Different labels come to mind for different reasons. Really Rad Records might be the first label that I've ever come to associate with alliteration, but as you will see in the interview to come that's not far off. The label home to bands like Troubled Minds, Pictures of Vernon and Remo Drive has put together a string of impressive releases. I had a chance to exchange some emails with Xaq and Gerty and here is our conversation.
Rob 1340 (RF): Can you please tell me the story of how Really Rad Records came to be?
Really Rad Records (RR): No one else wanted to release the music we were making so we decided to do it ourselves. The name Really Rad Records was originally a joke, but our mutual passion for alliteration gave us the inspiration to get two birds stoned at once and keep this label thing going.
RF: Do you find that having two people involved in running the label makes it easier or more difficult?
RR: Way easier, we have access to far more intellectual & physical resources together than we do apart.
RF: How do you delegate responsibilities?
RR: We don't really "delegate" responsibilities insofar as one of us will assume ALL responsibilities of a release until the mental or financial burden is too great for that person to bare alone. >:3
RF: What else have you alliterated?
RR: Nothing really but we have illiterated a few times.
RF: What is your current roster and how did you come up these bands?
RR: Firstly, we have no set "roster" but we try our best to keep a good relationship with the bands that we work with such as Adult Feelings, Troubled Minds, and Pictures of Vernon (among others). We've come into contact with these bands by having friends in within the DIY community, networking, and obsessively scouring Bandcamp for new music.
RF: What is your favorite story about finding a new band?
RR: How we find bands is always changing, a lot of times bands find us. However, we have had luck with Reddit. We discovered Pictures of Vernon, Best Friends, and Dowager that way.
RF: What are the advantages/disadvantages of doing things on a release to release basis?
RR: the only clear disadvantage is that we can't continue to work with bands we love once they think it's time to move on to another label. Even then, we want what is best for the bands that we work with, it's the reason we work on a release to release basis to begin with. We don't want a band to feel like they owe us something either. We try to build strong personal relationships with bands so even if we don't have the physical resources they need we can still be people they are comfortable coming to with questions or advice.
RF: What is your dream for Really Rad Records? When would you feel like you ‘made it’?
RR: Really Rad Records SXSW showcase (LOL shout out Broken World Media, Funeral Sounds & Ozona Records) Realistically, our goal is to be as selfsustaining as possible, be able to put out more records, and work with more bands and labels within the community.
RF: Are there labels that you have patterned yourselves after?
RR: Joshua Lawrence of SelfTaught Media (then of Waybridge Records) gave us a lot of great advice and shared a lot of great contacts with us throughout the inception of Really Rad Records. As far as patterning ourselves after labels, we drew a lot of influence from people like Josh of Ozona Records & Connie of Structures//Agony Records.
RF: Do you like doing coreleases with other labels more or doing things solo?
RR: CORELEASES! It's dope to work with other people in the community and build relationships.
RF: What is the thing about Really Rad Records that makes it important to you?
RR: More than anything, we are incredibly grateful and flattered that so many amazing musicians allow us to play a role in releasing their art. It's also important to us to be able to work within the paradigm of the DIY gift economy as opposed to the top-down, corporate-driven means of producing and distributing art.
RF: Let’s talk about the ‘gift economy’ some more, can you give some examples for those who might not be familiar?
RR: D.I.Y. does not literally mean you need to do EVERYTHING yourself. A large part of the D.I.Y. Scene is trading favorsshows for shows, beds for beds, and art for art. These are all examples of a "gift economy" or economy that is not dependent upon a monetary gain.
RF: If you could sign any band out there, who would you sign?
RR: We as a label don't have any interest in "signing" bands or legally restricting an artist's ability to release or distribute their music how they want. However, if THE BRAVE LITTLE ABACUS ever let us press Just Got Back From The Discomfort we would be stoked. But we WOULD sign A$AP Rocky.
RF: There have been instances of labels being burned by artists taking their work elsewhere after gaining momentum. Do you have any fear of that at all?
RR: We know it happens, and know it will likely happen to us. But it sucks when artists piggyback off the D.I.Y. Community.
RF: Does money change people?
RF: How can people find out more about Really Rad Records?
RR: MERCH STORE: reallyradrecs.com
RF: Thank you very much!