In our inaugural series story titled “The Industry Report,” we look at a company that does it all that we need to pay attention to, SBAM (like Spam but with a “B”).
SBAM is a combination of both Stefan Beham’s first and last name. He needed a “street name” thus “SBAM” was born. As an old-school punk rocker, Beham got his start making art with ad agencies. After seeing a social media post from Joey Cape of Lagwagon who was looking for help to create a tour poster, Beham responded and was able to create the one Cape decided to use. From there, Beham was able to meet other bands and create artwork for them, causing his list of clients to grow.
We were able to speak with Beham, despite the nine-hour time difference as he and his company reside in Linz, Austria. At the time of our interview, Austria had just entered into another COVID lockdown which allowed the record company owner some extra time for our chat.
Beham’s punk influences are NOFX, No Use for a Name, Lagwagon, but he credits Green Day’s “Dookie” and The Offspring’s “Smash” albums as being the initial sound to get him into the punk world in Austria. This makes sense as you can see art influences from both album covers integrated into his artwork.
SBAM has multiple music festivals each year (including a SBAM-a-ween), but their biggest is the summer event SBAM Fest. This coming July, Beham will hold their fourth annual festival with the likes of Descendents, Millencolin, Donots, The Bouncing Souls, No Fun At All, A Wilhelm Scream, Authority Zero, Chaser, The Venomous Pinks, MakeWar, Get Dead, and many more! The full bill has yet to be announced, but it’s guaranteed to be a massive banger for all involved.
Beham wanted the SBAM festivals to be more than just a concert. He envisioned an actual festival – food, drinks, art, speakers, and entertainment for people of all ages – and he is delivering such. Some of the art that will be featured at the festival includes works from Beham himself, super pro skateboarder Steve Caballero, Erik Ohlsson from the punk band Millencolin, with many more to be added.
There will also be speakers from popular bands to talk about their life in the music industry, mini ramps for skateboarding sessions, and a great concept called “Pink Noise Camp,” which is geared toward girls learning instruments to help get them into the punk scene (or just into music in general).
Beham also told us, “We are allowing everyone under 18 to get free entry to all our shows. It’s very important to get the kids involved. If the kids get in for free, some will like it and maybe they will get interested in the bands and buy their records. We want to give back to the community. When I was a kid, I loved going to punk rock shows and it would be great to see kids hanging out again at these shows”
We can’t help but feel incredibly jealous that this isn’t happening near our neck of the woods (or country!) because we would really like to attend. Fingers crossed that Beham starts a SBAM Fest US show because if history has taught us anything, it’s that you need to put something out into the universe to make it happen. (Plus, printing it for Beham to read isn’t a bad idea either.)
Beham told us his driving force is to help bring punk back to the community. “I really want to build the scene again. It’s not about the money for me,” he explained. He just wants to see punk for everyone. This shows not only in SBAM festivals, but in SBAM bands that have been signed on this Austrian label this year alone!
Orange County’s Chaser was added earlier this year, Minnesota’s female-led ska/punk band The Von Tramps were signed last month.
The SBAM cast of artists includes other notables such as Pulley, Joey Cape, The Venomous Pinks, DFL, Fire Sale, Get Dead, Bracket, Guttermouth, No Fun at All, and many more.
SBAM is planning an art show tour within the US for a month or two with different artists and bands from that touring area. Beham said they will be filming the whole trip for a documentary of the tour. Dates are pending as of now, but hopefully we will see this come to fruition soon.
Beham says he loves to hear new music and loves to receive submissions (*cough-cough* if you needed a sign to tell you to send your submission over, this is it). He says submissions can be sent via the SBAM website.
Their main goal is to have a mixture of bands: female, punk, young, old, well-known, new, etc. Beham will have no easy task sifting through the massive amount of amazing music in our punk community, but we know he does this with open arms and a smile on his face. We can’t wait to see what SBAM records, festivals, art shows, documentaries, and whatever else, comes next!