SST. Despite the accuracy of the above headline, it actually stands for Solid State Transmitters, which was originally a mail-order WWII surplus radio equipment company that Greg Ginn started when he was twelve. Now thirty years after Greg changed the dial from surplus to punk, we are celebrating one of the most pivotal and influential labels of our time. How we love thee SST, let us count the ways.
Perhaps you are simply a fan of a little band that Greg started called Black Flag . Yes, THAT Black Flag; the hardcore band responsible for launching the TRUE indie DIY model/mentality. Maybe you’re a warm blooded, die hard Minnesotan with a love for Hüsker Dü and a certain Mr. Bob Mould who would go on to influence everyone from The Pixies to Green Day .
For me, I was smitten once SST put out I Against I by Bad Brains . When the worlds of hardcore and reggae combine forces it only makes sense for the offspring to reside at SST. While this was the only Bad Brains album to come out on SST their explosive frontman H.R. would continue making records with Greg for some time to come.
Crossing lines and mixing flavors was nothing foreign to SST, however, as one of their most pivotal releases Double Nickels on the Dime featured 45 tracks with styles ranging from punk to jazz and funk to country. Touching upon important social issues such as the Vietnam War and racism, the album credits inspiration from such visionaries as Jack Brewer and one time Black Flag frontman Henry Rollins .
undoubtedly rocked out to an SST release, bought a badass vintage t-shirt of one of their bands, tattooed the Black Flag logo on you forearm or sworn
allegiance to a modern day band that would have
never existed had Greg Ginn and SST not started putting out records.
For 30 years we have been following Greg Ginn’s lead by cranking up the dial, at least to 11, and personally i cant wait for the new bands 30 years from now to do the same, giving us, and a new generation of music fans a reason to rock, all while still having a home to trace it all back to.