To answer your first question, as warehouse manager for the venerable Sub Pop Records, it is wholly untrue that Mark Arm of Seattle greats Mudhoney touches every single mailing. “To be clear, I don’t send out people’s individual orders,” Arm says with a hearty laugh. “I deal more with distributors—international and domestic, but also record stores. So if you’ve purchased a Sub Pop record from your local independent record shop, then there’s a chance I’ve handled it.”

That said, Mark Arm has had a, um, hand in helping Sub Pop since the label was little more than a good idea, and well before the existence of Mudhoney, when Arm was a part of Green River along with future members of Pearl Jam. “Back then it was kind of like all hands on deck, especially in the early years. Go to the office and help stuff singles or whatever—kind of like a glorified intern,” recalls Arm, cracking a smile but barely withholding a chuckle. “But that was only a short period of time, and then they actually hired people. I started as a warehouse manager in 2005.”

With 17-plus years of experience in the warehouse—not to mention decades as an industry player—you’d think he might have a left-field, multifaceted choice as to what release is his favorite. Instead, when cornered about his favorite Sub Pop LP, Mark Arm answers with ease: “Pissed Jeans’ King of Jeans,’’ he says succinctly. “I mean, [all Pissed Jeans records] are great, but it’s the one I’ve listened to the most and has landed the best.”

As for his least favorite, it has much less to do with the music than it does the burdens of the job: “It’s gonna be hard to narrow it down, but I would probably say my least favorite is the Bob’s Burgers Volume 2 box set. It’s really big and bulky, and the packaging just doesn’t really make sense—it doesn’t even have the same packaging as Volume 1. There are a ton of them sitting in the warehouse, so it’s sort of a daily bone of contention.”

One might assume that, surrounded by all these records in the warehouse, Arm would have an unassailable at-home collection. “Not so much anymore. I don’t listen to music all that much at home, and I don’t collect records. I’m listening to music more at work,” he admits. “[Mudhoney guitarist] Steve [Turner] totally does collect records, and so does [drummer] Dan [Peters]. Dan has so many fucking seven-inches that on the last European tour we did, he was buying seven-inches that he already had, except maybe the Spanish edition or something like that.”

With the band’s latest LP, Plastic Eternity, now out in the wild, you may be seeing the Mudhoney boys in a town near you, raiding your foreign-press record sections. And between Plastic Eternity and the Sub Pop records in your local record store, you still have a large probability of capturing some of Arm’s DNA. So all you Mudhoney psycho-fans, get your altar ready: Snag a few photos of the band, whatever Sub Pop vinyl you can find at your local record store, and a VHS copy of Chris Farley’s classic Black Sheep. All hail the Gods of the Big Muff π. Let the blood rituals begin!

Thanks for reading CREEM. This article originally appeared in our Summer 2023 issue. If you prefer to read in print, grab a copy here and subscribe to never miss another one.




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