Interview: A Conversation with Luke Reilly of PNKSLM

In a world where underground music is slowly beginning to dominate the scene, look no further than PNKSLM – a Swedish-based label that’s adamant to expose the freshest music Europe has to offer. Boasting Angelic MilkShitKid and Beach Skulls alongside an abundance of other artists that epitomise cool, we had the pleasure of chatting to PNKSLM founder Luke Reilly about the label’s formation, Stockholm’s music scene and more: 

A quick overview for those who don’t know – who is PNKSLM?

We’re a rock and roll record label based in Stockholm, Sweden. We put out records by a damn fine selection of bands, and also throw a lot of parties.


What made you decide to start your own independent label?

It actually kind of happened by accident. When I first moved from London to Stockholm I was working for a big label, and kinda wanted to start doing a small thing of my own, maybe a few 7″s. It somehow spiraled out of control, now there’s me and Johan Alm working it full time, plus part time help from Joel, Julia and Samuel.


From Magic Potion to HOLY, you have a ridiculously talented array of acts on your roster. What key things do you look for when signing an artist?

I wouldn’t say there’s anything in particular we look for, just basically anything that both me and Johan get really excited about. Even if one of us loves it but the other one isn’t sure, we pass on it. I guess it’s really important that we both stand behind what we work with 110%, otherwise it wouldn’t be worth it.


You’re based in Stockholm, and expose some of the country’s best music to the rest of Europe. How does the music scene differ between Sweden and the UK?

I’d say London’s music scene is probably the only thing I miss being in Sweden. Apart from fried chicken shops. We’ve got a nice tight knit family going on in Stockholm, but I’d say it’s easier to pull of DIY shows and stuff in London. There’s a bit of a problem with lack of venues at the minute in Stockholm which is fairly frustrating.


What’s your proudest PNKSLM moment to date?

So many now, it’s hard to say. I’m particularly proud of putting out the records from Black Mekon, Swampmeat and The Castillians, they were all part of this collective in Birmingham called ColdRice, and I grew up going to their parties and watching those play. So to push those bands out to a bigger audience a few years later is kinda cool.


The Slime Ball is in its fourth year running; 2017’s edition looks to be its biggest yet. What can we expect?

Rock and roll. And a lot of fun.


This year sees the Ball’s first expansion to Manchester and Birmingham. What made you branch out to these cities?

Basically every time we do this, it’s the most stressful and financially disastrous weekend of the year for me and Joel, so we figured why not triple it and take it to 3 cities in 3 nights.


Looking ahead to the future – what are your PNKSLM plans for the rest of 2017 and the new year?

Soooooo many new releases. Next up is a new ShitKid 12″ that is going to blow minds, then Spice Boys debut album, a bunch of 7″s, and next year I’ve lost track of already. HOLY and Sudakistan both have their second albums coming out which are going to be particular highlights for sure.