Flag Day Recordings
What made you start a label?
Part of it was because I would have a hard time hearing back from labels to release my material. The waiting around for an answer drove me crazy. I told myself that I would always give someone an answer if they took the time to share their work with me. When the label first started out, I was experimenting with bringing artists into a studio to record their sessions in one day. I wanted to help my friends have their work have that studio clarity that a lot of experimental artists seem to deny themselves, either because of funding or because they don’t think their work is “good” enough for a studio.
I know when I was first starting out; I didn’t have the means to record at home so I needed to rely on a studio. I was pretty self-conscious about that, because I knew I wasn’t playing “real music”, but I was able to build an awesome relationship with Kenny Eaton at Mystery Ton Studios over the years. So with that relationship, I’m able to work as a sort of liaison between the studio and artists. Making sure the session time is being used as wisely as possible since we only have about 8-10 hours to work.
The studio sessions haven’t been done since the Tag Cloud EP, I still need to work out some logistical things to make it work better. So right now, I’m just focusing on curating the best experimental music I can find.
What are some of the challenges you see as a label owner?
Trying to find a balance in curating a catalog that I personally enjoy while making sure it can still appeal to my target audience so that I may break even to continue releasing music. As with other label owners, our goal isn’t to make money doing this, especially in the experimental genres, but unless you’re some sort of millionaire philanthropist, you just can’t operate at a loss if you want to continue running a label. Having to say no to releases I’d really like to release because of finances is tough for me.
What is your take on Spotify and streaming services?
I personally love it. I buy a lot of music and having a Spotify account has allowed me to better support smaller labels and artists by buying their releases and using my Spotify account to stream the “bigger” artists. I’m also a frequent user of the Bandcamp platform and it is my favorite way to buy music from artists.
Is there a specific focus as far as genres or local/regional aspect of music you’re releasing?
Not purposefully, but it seems like a lot of what I’ve released on Flag Day in the past year has been ambient driven. I’d definitely like to make Flag Day Recordings a home for harsh noise and more sound collage releases as well, but I’ve yet to fully do that. I hope that’s something I can change in the New Year. As much as I love ambient music, I don’t want to pigeon hole myself as being an ambient only label. I did at least throw two curveballs this year with the Tired All the Time and Dry Bath EP’s.
2019 will definitely see some more ambient releases, but I’ve got a few releases planned that will be more experimental and noisy
Do you believe that music could bring about social change?
Yes, but I think it depends on the artist. For example, I don’t believe my own personal work could be a beacon for social change. Maybe it is to some, I really don’t know. But ultimately, yes, I do believe that music could bring about social change and progression.[/nextpage]