This year has gotten off to a bit of a sluggish start but today is my birthday so I figured what better time to give a quick update of things afoot. If you’ve had any kind of conversation with me in the last, well, last few years honestly, then you know I’m deeply conflicted on the notion of what a record label even has to offer in 2021. There’s nothing worse than being a middleman, and even back in the early days I actively thought of releases as collaborations but I think that’s even more important these days. I don’t have a specific answer to that yet, and I expect that it’s a question and discussion I’ll continue to think over and discuss with anyone within earshot – though I continue to think the real value in all of this has always been the community, the relationships and the friends. And if we can work together to make something cool, all the better. To that end, when asked what the future looks like for Toybox, my answer continues to be “to make awesome shit with friends.”

So where are things at? The CRUD IS A CULT anthology is moving right along. The remasters sound absolutely incredible and the submissions we’ve been receiving for the book are hilarious, heartbreaking and beautiful. I don’t need to tell you how personal this project is for me, but I can tell you that it’s shaping up to be everything we all hoped it would be and more. If you told us you were going to send something in and haven’t yet, hurry up!

As many of you asked, and hoped when we released the remastered digital files for Ascension’s Years Of Fire and Abomination albums I’m happy to confirm that yes, new vinyl is coming soon. 2021 is actually the 25th anniversary of the release of Years Of Fire so expect that to play a role here. Make sure to join the mailing list to find out more on these (and get first crack at the special editions) the moment more details are announced.

But what about new stuff you ask? I am beyond excited to announce that the next Slap of Reality record will be on Toybox. This honestly feels like a deal 30 years in the making as SOR’s drummer Rob Sexton taught me how to screen print one hot Tampa summer afternoon in 1990, and I’m pretty sure guitarist Joe Kiser, wielding a hockey stick, took out a nazi skinhead who was getting ready to kick my ass at a show in Ybor sometime in ’94. I could be remembering that entirely wrong, but I’m gonna run with it anyway. Regardless, this is going to be brilliant – stay tuned for more on this again, get on the mailing list to make sure you don’t miss the news.

Because I’m insufferable, I obviously have some still top secret comps and singles in the works which I’m looking forward to gushing about. I will say that Josh Brown (Ink & Dagger/Crud Is A Cult) and I have been scheming and if you have been day dreaming of a Toybox + My Bloody Radio comp, your prayers are about to be answered.

Finally, I’m delighted to confirm that Paul at Aardvark who mastered most of the original Toybox releases will be continuing cutting duties on upcoming vinyl, which I’ll be having pressed locally at Clamp Down. There’s some cool new merch up in the store and if you are into limited collector shit, check out the Toybox Crypto Club. Before I forget as I don’t think I’ve mentioned it yet, we have a new mailing list – make sure you are on it.