Barnaby Struve was a pioneer in bringing the metal and craft beer worlds together when he worked at Three Floyds Brewing for more than a decade. He was key in booking metal bands in to perform at the brewery’s annual release party for its Dark Lord Imperial Stout every April. In fact, one of those shows was recorded in 2011 and eventually released on the brewery’s in-house label, which Struve curated. So it’s not surprising that after leaving Three Floyds about a year ago, he’s launching a new record label called Puppy Mill Recordings with partner Matt Blanks in Portland, OR. Struve checked in and gave us the lowdown on what the pair are doing, as well as an exclusive preview of what they have coming up (as well as their current release).
Barnaby, you were one of the first to bring craft beer and metal together when you were working at Three Floyds. How have you seen the beast you helped create grow and thrive?
BARNABY STRUVE: It is thriving. Of course [Three Floyds] continues to crush it with amazing beers and bands, but there seems to be a growing movement of collaboration with craft beer and heavy music. It’s all for the greater good in my opinion.
Tell me some of the projects you’ve been involved with since you left Three Floyds.
STRUVE: I’m currently helping out my friends at Stigbergets Bryggeri in Gothenburg, traveling to breweries and doing collaboration brews. It’s taken me across the globe for some amazing beers and adventures. It was Victor Brandt from Entombed AD that connected me with Stigbergets. Gothenburg is an amazing place for craft beer and metal—so many good breweries and crushing music. Also I spend time in Portland, Oregon, with my friends at Relapse and Wayfinder Beer which is great.
You put out some records when you were at Three Floyds. Did that experience inspire you to start Puppy Mill Recordings?
STRUVE: Just like with brewing, I’m fortunate to know a bunch of creative people and the label came out organically with Matt Blanks looking to put out his music Captain Fuck and the Electric Bologna Sandwich on a split LP with Devil Worshiper. Matt is a ninja with the same ridiculous world view [as me]. It is a fun and interesting project.
What kind of stuff will you be putting out on Puppy Mill, as far as bands and also musical formats (7”, vinyl, CD, etc.)?
STRUVE: Our first releases are the aforementioned split LP and a split 7” with Hatebeak and Richard Christy’s band Boar Glue, featuring [Christy’s] guinea pigs on vocals. It’s the first death metal record featuring two animal vocal tracks. Gigantic Brewing in Portland is doing a beer in conjunction with that release.
I know you’re passionate about art as well. Will your own art be used for Puppy Mill releases?
STRUVE: Both Matt and I make art so I suppose it’ll make its way in there. The next art show I’m involved in is being curated by Win Wallace (winwallacefineart.com) in Austin with William Test, Orion Landau and others. You can check out updates for the art show at @winwallaceart on Instagram.
Will any puppies be harmed in your Puppy Mill?
STRUVE: Quite the opposite. We are donating a portion of the proceeds to animal charities of the artists’ choosing.
Will there be a craft beer connection wth the label in the future? Collabs with breweries, or anything like that?
STRUVE: It’s an evolving project that will definitely involve our friends in metal, art, food and beer.
Do you have any future Puppy Mill releases or projects you want to mention?
STRUVE: We have a few releases we are working on, but until they are solidified you’ll have to listen to the first two.