Two long-time friends, Marc Ruvolo and Gar Brandt, cooked up Johann's Face Records in Chicago, 1989. Ruvolo, having previously worked for Roadkill Records (releasing Screeching Weasel, The Effigies and No Empathy records, among others) and fledgling indie distributor Cargo Records, wanted an outlet for his many musical projects. Both Marc and Gar wanted to document the snowballing Chicago punk scene by releasing records that they believed deserved a wider audience. Their ethic was based mainly upon the models of Chicago's Touch and Go Records and D.C.'s Dischord Records: handshake deals with friends where the label and the band split the profits fifty-fifty. The first Johann's release was a vinyl-only pressing of Chia Pet's debut "Elpee." One thousand were pressed (500 on blue vinyl) and sold out quickly. Johann's Face was on its way! The two friends would go on to release over 50 other titles, launching the careers of such legendary punk bands as The Smoking Popes, the Alkaline Trio, The Strike, Sludgeworth, Apocalypse Hoboken, and No Empathy as well as doing records for already-established bands such as Scared of Chaka and Zoinks!. In 1997, the label landed worldwide distribution through San Francisco iconoclasts Mordam Records and added another key member, Davey Houle, who handles graphic design and other creative duties. In 2005 we added an electronic music subsidiary, Circle Machine Records. To this day Johann's Face has remained true to its ethic: releasing quality, intelligent, melodic punk and pop music while staying clear of all the bullshit inherent to the "mainstream" music business. This ethic continues to grow and flourish into the 21st century, and we hope to bring you many, many more years of great music. Thanks to all the people who buy our records and make this possible. We couldn't do it without your enthusiasm and dedication to keeping underground music alive.
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