CONVERSATION : PATIENT SOUNDS

patient_header

Interview with Matthew Sage of Patient Sounds


To begin with could you tell me about the various musical projects that you’re associated with?

I primarily just record and perform sound collage and ambient music as my first initial (M. Sage). Currently I am playing live with The Continent Strings — Allison Sheldon plays cello, Chris Jusell plays violin. They are featured on my new record, a 2xLP coming this winter. I also do Wellington Downs, which is my studio rock band hobby. I love multitracking rock tunes in the basement with little intention of playing said tunes live. That is fun for me. I have played in tons of projects and stuff throughout the years, but I am kinda keeping it simple these days with just these two things.

I also love recording, and pitch in on a lot of friends recordings when possible. I tracked parts on and engineered on the latest Nate Henricks tape Horseradish, and the Wylee Zephyr tape with my old roommate Alex Runge (he wrote those tunes). Both of those tapes came out on Patient Sounds.

 

How did Patient Sounds get started?

It started as a few friends working together to self-release the music we were working on in various groups and stuff. Basically it was just like me and roommates making tunes. I have always kind of driven the project and organized things, but it was more like a collective at first. Now, four years later, it is just me in a home office…me and a dachshund and a sheep dog. My fiance helps me on really hairy packing and shipping days (we share an office, she is a designer at Bonnie & Caprice) and she has a great eye for design, so she offers advice on printing and layouts. She’s the best.

KCSP_tapeimage

PS043 The Kevin Costner Suicide Pact – Container Ship
Limited edition of 50 double cassettes

You’re based in Fort Collins right? It seems like there’s a very strong experimental scene in Colorado, can you tell me a bit about your experience with this scene and it’s growth?

Fort Collins is secretly like a little punk rock / bar rock coven. A lot of classic 90s pop punk music was recorded here at this revered studio, The Blasting Room. There is a lot of like alt. country punk here. I made Karl Alvarez (of Black Flag, All, Descendants…) americanos when I was a barista. So, I had a lot of that influence growing up. That whole punk thing effected the ethos for sure.

Now a lot of that fuels the experimental scene, at least that’s how it feels here. There was a space in Colorado for music like this, and it naturally kind of unfolded in its own way here. I mean…I live a few-hundred yards from the high school that Aaron Warren from Black Dice went to. Goldrush Festival is kind of the long-awaited realization for the rest of the world that Colorado has good weird stuff happening, and has for a while.

The label has been around since 2009, in which time Bandcamp and Soundcloud have become very popular. Can you tell me about your experiences with these platforms?

We started primarily using Myspace, so the social media aspect has always kind of been present. I am a huge advocate for both platforms because they make sharing sounds, and hearing sounds, incredibly easy. Having said that, we are NOT a digital label. We oblige our customers for buying our limited edition tapes by providing mp3s and streaming sounds, because we know not everyone has access to cassette players or turn tables.

The digital thing is convenient, but making the objects is what matters most to us. We are glad that the artists whose work we publish can share and profit from using platforms like these to share their sounds after our editions run out. Soundcloud and Bandcamp are great, but physical media is priority to me.

kitessail_tapeimage

PS010 Kites Sail High – Motivated / Unmovitated

Any thoughts on how streaming sites such as this affect listeners relationship with music?

I know personally it has affected how I listen to music, and not necessarily in a good way. I think it wouldn’t hurt people to reconsider their physical relationships to the media they consume. Listening to a tape, putting on an LP, those sensory experiences are treasurable, fleeting. Alternatively, digging up some obscure mp3 and looping it on your phone for a day and then never listening to it again has a value too. It just seems like two very different ways to encounter music to me. Patient Sounds longs to provide quality physical media, which is available on the internet to facilitate awareness.

On your site you’re very clear about your label not being heavily into PR and not being all about signing and pushing bands. As someone who runs a blog and is constantly being sent lengthy, overly descriptive emails about bands I find this refreshing. Could you expand on this, perhaps by offering some insight into how you run the label and manage releases?

We are a label focused on facilitating a relationship between our artists–most of which are home recording young people with interests in both folk-way and experimentation–and our listeners. The internet’s reception of our work is pretty secondary to how we work at this point. I feel a lot of labels in this current “indie” scene are unknowingly generating content for the blogs/websites that profit from “discovering” something new every ten minutes.

Also, there are countless labels out there that are claiming DIY, or “indie” or whatever, but pay press agents to do their PR. Sorry, but you aren’t DIY or “indie” if you pay a press agent to propagate your work for you, filling email inboxes world wide with junk. We don’t want to ask blogs to write about something they don’t connect with personally… Not to say we haven’t done this; we have never payed for press, but we used to send out your typical email press release bombs, up until a year ago. But we no longer do this, because ultimately, we make things, that is what we do. If you want to write about the things we make, contact us and we will gladly and cordially facilitate a dialog. We are friendly and slightly hermetic. Email us.

 

What would you say the Patient Sounds philosophy is?

Renegade Spirit. Wonder. Anxiety.

You’ve been primarily a tape label with your first vinyl release on it’s way. What appeals to you about tapes? / Do you produce all your tapes yourself? If so can you tell me about this process?

Ultimately, making tapes is cheap, and being a believer in utility, that makes the most sense to me. I am willing to put the time in for tapes, especially when you take the labor intensive approach like I do. I order blanks, and print all our liners and j-cards at a local print shop. I cut and fold all the inserts and dub all the tapes in the office on my tweaked pile of dubbers. Every tape is a hand-crafted object in this way. That is better than a CDr and more cost-effective than a vinyl record. That benefits everyone, including me, because I get the satisfaction of pursuing my craft.

We are excited to move into vinyl…it is ultimately the medium we envisioned working with, and have waited years to manifest. This winter is the winter for records. We will of course continue to do tapes, because they are fun, and cheap, and those things are important in when the world is half-toast how it is.

You touched on the “weird” music to come out of Colorado – what do you think fosters this creativity? Cold climate? Drugs? Community? All of the above?

I definitely think the kind of ruggedness of Colorado–the weather, the landscape, the geographic isolation–has an effect on people’s psyche, and that comes through in our art. The recent legal cannabis situation has played into the image I’m sure, but I think people anywhere do the same drugs Coloradoans do, so I wouldn’t really say that is a factor in what really makes Colorado “weird.” I mean, Boulder is a weird place. The kind of detoxified hippy aura, as funded by largely wealthy upper-class consumer cesspool. BMW yoga moms. That is a huge part of what our markedly “weird” culture is. Existential confusion in the face of privilege and wilderness.

I am a proud citizen of Colorado, but ultimately most of my community for my work exists on the internet. Some of those people on the internet live in Colorado, so there is a bond there, but some live in Japan, or wherever. That idea of a community, an international and largely digital one (focused on the sharing of tangible media), is where I think “weird” music thrives. Just GO and let place be an influence, but not a defining feature.

Are there any obscure local artists (past or present) we may not have heard of that you can recommend?

Erik Wangsvick, whom I played with in Kick Majestic, is an off the map musical wonder that I think the world of weirdos is really missing out on. Erik’s music would be perfectly at home in the online noise scene, but he doesn’t have a Facebook, and only had an email address through the university here because he had to. He makes music as Wrecked, and performs in several other groups, as well as creating visual art. I put out pretty much any Wrecked material he passes to me because it is so fascinating and bizarre to me. He is an analog sound collage master. He uses hand-wired PAs and all sorts of broken electronics and stuff to generate sounds, then he makes these massive performance pieces using recordings of all this source material, as well as field recordings. When he performs them live, he plays percussion (ERIK IS A REMARKABLE DRUMMER). It is really hard to explain, and I think that suits the work. It is complicated.

Another of my favourites is Christina the Hun. She is no longer performing, but she was kind of a local legend here in Fort Collins for a few years. She was a singer-songwriter that played drums and yelped and hollered. I saw my high school physics teacher at a show of hers once and he leaned over to me and said, “She’s like Patti Smith with drum sticks!” He nailed it.

Lastly, there is this shadowy group of avant-garde folk musicians, a collective kind of, called Biota. They are based here in the Fort Collins area. I don’t really know a enough about this band to explain, but just google “biota” and learn about this group and listen. Their latest record, “Cape Flyaway” really floored me. Seriously, heads out there, just google and explore Biota stuff. I can’t vouch for all of it, but they are certainly obscure and fascinating.

 

Can you talk a little about the process of organising a release with an artist – from the initial of contact through to working with them on the release?

It is kind of different with every release. Sometimes I will pester a friend for months, in a few cases years, to release something. Other times I will just surf Bandcamp. This is a hobby of mine, surfing Bandcamp and kind of scouting for tunes, then finding something and asking the artist to make something in the future. We have only released maybe five tapes that were unsolicited demo material. It happens, but it isn’t our primary way to find material. Once we start a project with someone, I kind of outline our platform to the artist if they haven’t heard of the label. I remind them they need to have balanced side lengths on their cassette, I send them a link to a page to pick the color of their cassette shell, I ask them for album art, and then I wait for it all to pour back in. Basically, I pick an artist and kind of assign them the homework of making a release for me. Generally tons of emailing and Google chat ensues, and within anywhere from a few weeks to a few months the tape will be out.

The Kevin Costner Suicide Pact release is amazing, certainly one of my favourite albums of the year. Can you tell me a bit more about that release and your experience with the band?

I know the guys from KCSP pretty well just from being fellow Coloradoans. We spoke at Goldrush, and they informed me they had an album on the shelf at home they wanted me to listen to. We had talked about it working together before, but I could tell right away this was the one I was gonna put out. They told me it was designed as a double LP, but understood if the format was too expensive, so, I listened to it, and loved it. I felt it was really well-constructed as a 4-sided thing, so that is why we went with the double c44. They are really great guys to work with because it is just working with friends. They had it all recorded, so we just worked with the visual artist, George Ferris, to make the artwork and got it ready to release. The album is just so great, such a huge space to explore. I was really glad to add it to the canon.

 

What about the Foothills tape? I really like the music Chase Hudson makes music with 2PPM, I think he’s a really interesting musician. How did the release come about?

I started talking with Chase via a demo submission actually. I really love both the fundamentals of the Foothills project, the concerns of the project, and also the recordings are just so lush and beautiful, so it was a natural fit. Chase leads a very incredibly enriched lifestyle, and works hard for it, and I am so happy to be able to present artists’ like Chase. Melodically I think NEW WORLD is one of the most accomplished PS tapes. It is so tactile, so easy to listen to, but the compositions are challenging! I am pleased to share that there will definitely be a Foothills LP on Patient Sounds in the 2014 future.

 

Can you tell me more about Goldrush Festival? Will it be on in 2014 and if so when? I’ll need to book flights. The lineup this year was incredible.

Goldrush has really evolved. 2014 is probably definitely happening. I wasn’t involved in the first year, but 2012 was great, and this past year was really incredible. The atmosphere was really great, so friendly, really open. Ridiculous merch booth scenarios. Crawford is the man, and does so much work to make it something truly special. Lake Mary was my personal highlight this year. Also, Giant Claw was insane.

 

It seems like there’s a really strong community between many independent labels – what are some of the labels that you admire?

I feel like I find out about a new label every day, but here is a list of what I have been into lately

BATHETIC – EARN – Hell on Earth
ORANGE MILK – JERRY PAPER – International Man of Misery
SCISSOR TAIL – Bruce Langhorne – Music from ‘The Hired Hand’
CONSTELLATION TATSU – FLUORESCENT HEIGHTS – Tidal Motion
UNKNOWN TONE – DYLAN GOLDEN AYCOCK – The Blindfold

 

So more vinyl to come – what else is on the horizon for Patient Sounds?

Well, there is a move in my future (I am applying for grad schools right now, to get an MFA in creative writing & poetry). So there will be a lot of work going into that, but I plan on letting work in the grad school program influence what the label is doing, so we are expecting more poetry books, more printed matter. Of course more tapes, always tapes.

The big thing on the PS horizon; we have 3 LPs locked and on their way this winter, and 3 more to follow in the spring. Without divulging too much, the first release is a double LP of material I have been working on with the string duo. There is a huge list of collaborators on this record too, it was kind of a group project. I built all the arrangements with electronics, and then invited friends to contribute parts to songs. They sent me pieces and I edited it back together and re-arranged it into the album. There will be a deluxe version of the record that comes with a beautiful book of printed collage (by Nathaniel Whitcomb) and poetry (by Grant Souders). These editions will truly be something to behold.

 

Patient Sounds home

Patient Sounds Bandcamp

Patient Sounds Soundcloud

CONVERSATION : MELTED ICE CREAM

MICheader

Conversation with Joe Sampson of Melted Ice Cream

How did Melted Ice Cream begin?

Melted Ice Cream began when I came up with the idea for the logo sometime in 2011. My friend Leo drafted it up for me and I started up a Bandcamp to host a couple local live releases. It stayed much the same until April this year when I put out a free digital compilation of Christchurch punk and alternative music (Sickest Smashes from Arson City). Not long after then I started putting out cassette releases (a few reissues to begin with and then some fresh stuff).

Did you have a long term plan or a vision for the label?

I haven’t got a long term plan as such but I’d like to continue releasing cassettes for the next while and another compilation sometime in the next six months. I’ve got a couple of collaborations with other labels/magazines/websites in the drafting stage, nothing confirmed yet though. I would like to be releasing vinyl at some point, although the costs of doing such a thing from New Zealand is ridiculously expensive.

Tell me a bit about the initial process involved in releasing an album or EP, from talking with a band to deciding that it’s right for the label.

Basically if I think it’s decent then I’m keen to put it out. There’s some fantastic stuff out there that no one knows about. I’m not a record label in the traditional way, if that even still exists. I’m short on time between my own bands, so I like to make any band or artist involved well aware that I can’t really function as a proper label. MIC is more about consolidating the bands that I like and the bands I think deserve more attention, safety in numbers.

 

You’re based in Christchurch right? What’s the music scene like there at the moment?

I am based in Christchurch as I have been most of my life. Not trying to be pretentious or cryptic but I don’t actually know what a music scene is all about to be frank. If it’s anything like it is in movies or books then we don’t have one here. We’re a city of 400,000 or less. Music scenes only seem to exist in hindsight.

If I take a year like 2007 for example there was probably a dozen or so regularly gigging bands in the guitar genre that I was aware of, but there was probably many more. If I look back over the last 7-8 years of local music there’d be about a dozen bands, acts and projects that I’ve been fond of that I would still listen to on a regular basis.

So it sounds like you keep focused on local music fairly strongly. What sort of music did you grow up listening to?

Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins, REM, White Stripes, David Bowie, QOTSA, Neil Young, Marcy Playground, Green Day – fairly mainstream alternative stuff, which I love. I ventured off to the underground/avant in my later teens but I still listen to the important bands in my life on a regular basis and I often revisit past love affairs.

What are some of your favourite NZ bands, past and present?

Pretty much all of the Flying Nun from the 80s and 90s – there are a lot of bands in that canon but Verlaines, 3Ds (David Mitchell), Chris Knox and David Kilgour’s many groups are particular favourites. Semi recent – Mint Chicks (probably the best band out of NZ in the last 20 years), Onanon from Dunedin, and many local bands current and past which I won’t list out of fear of missing anyone out.

Can you tell me a bit more about a couple of your artists – Salad Boys and X-Ray Charles?

Salad Boys is my current main song writing outlet, we’ve been a band since mid 2012, we’ve released a self titled mini album on MIC and have been on tour around NZ pretty much constantly over the last year. We’re currently recording our first full length which will hopefully be out on cassette by Christmas, and we’re planning a trip to the USA in about 6 months.

X-Ray Charles is the current main song writing outlet of my friend/ex-house mate Brian Feary with James Sullivan (Salad Boys) on drums. They’ve been together for roughly as long as the Salads and have so far released a “selph titled” mini album through MIC and have been up and down the country in past months performing their sick brand of turbo geek trash. Plans wise I’m not sure but I imagine another mini album or full length in the next six months.

 

You’ve put out a few tapes – how do you produce these? Who does the design for your releases?

We’ve had a good run with the cassettes, some people out there really dig them! I make my masters on a Fostex 4 track and we run them off on our recently acquired Sony cassette duplicator – that thing runs at 16x regular speed and hauls ass! It’s been a great addition to our capital. We typically do small runs of 20 to begin with and then go from there if they sell quick. The designs vary from release to release, usually a member of the respective band, but our “in house designer” role has pretty much been Brian Feary.

MIC_saladtapeimage

MIC0011 Salad Boys – Salad Boys
Edition of 130

What’s next for Melted Ice Cream?

We’ve got another compilation in the works – aiming for a release around January combined with a national tour in support – we may even make it to Australia this time, money permitting. Various cassette releases in the coming months, at least half a dozen in the planning stages right now. We’re also putting out a VHS of the soon to be released film documenting the recent Christian Rock and Salad Boys tour, once we figure out how to do VHS runs haha.

 

Melted Ice Cream on Bandcamp

CONVERSATION: FURIOUS HOOVES

FH_interviewheader

Interview with Ryan and TJ from Furious Hooves

Conducted 11.9.2013

Standard question to begin – tell me about how Furious Hooves began.

TJ : I played in a band called Go Tigers and we did a demo with a guy, recorded an EP, and rather than having it pressed we burned the CDs ourselves. I made CD sleeves out of poster board, cut them all out with scissors, by hand. Then I really wanted to make a stamp out of rubber but I couldn’t find any rubber, so I got some of that non-slip plastic, the type that goes on top of stairs I guess? I glued layers of that together and made a stamp of a picture that I drew. I just had a really great time doing it and a lot of people were pretty stoked on it so I thought about doing it for other bands.

Ryan: That was in 2009 when TJ did that. Did you have the name then?

TJ : No.

Ryan : That was pre-Furius Hooves. Then in 2011 Furious Hooves actually started.

TJ : I got more into engineering and producing and a few of my friends started recording our own music and stuff. I had some friends who were in a band called The Naps and they wanted me to record a demo for them and so without telling them the plan was to record the demo and do the same thing I did with the Tigers CDs, kind of like a surprise. Like “thanks for letting me record you guys and I made these cool little handmade things”. That’s when I started thinking more about it and wanting to do it with other bands. I just love Ryan to death and think he’s a wonderful artist so that’s when I hit him with the idea of hey, do you want to do this with me?

And you guys live in the same town?

Ryan: We grew up in the same town, we actually rode on the same bus in middle school and high school. Then I moved away for college and I stayed in that same town

In Savannah?

R: Yeah and the same thing for TJ. In 2011 I had moved back to Virginia and that’s when we made “Without a Fight”, the first one that we did together.

And then you put our more of your own stuff?

Ryan : I’m in Mumble Dust and TJ was in Go Tigers, he played in Without A Fight.

So it seems like your label was a combination of being in bands and people wanting to have this DIY approach, the fun of putting out your own music and your friends music. It seems to be the way a lot of such labels start.

Ryan : Yeah totally

And there was also the love of 90’s basketball?

(laughter)

TJ: Absolutely. Even before Ryan and I were trying to push ourselves as musicians we lived in a nowhere town where we kind of the only people like us so we bonded really well. Back then when we were hanging out, all we’d do is play basketball. I was in eighth grade and he was in seventh and we’d just hang out at each others house and talk about skateboarding and basketball. We’ve always been huge fans of the NBA and all the players we watched when we younger.

Ryan: And 90s hoops is just cool. So now we try to include a basketball card from the 90s with every release.

TJ : It’s from our personal collection from the 90s. It’s kind of hard to give up a little bit of that piece of yourself.

Ryan: It is really hard. You come across one sometimes and you’re like “oh I really want to keep this card”.

FH001

FH001 The Sunny Side of Northwood -Without A Fight
Edition of 50

I’m sure they’re not the best cards that you’re giving away though…

Ryan: You put a good one in recently right TJ?

TJ: A lot of the time if I have duplicates I’ll do a player that I’m really into but sometimes I want to hook people up too, because I know if I got something like that and opened it up and theres a John Stockton card I’d be so pumped.

It’s mainly tapes you’ve done so far?

Ryan: We’ve done tapes and CDs and we’ve done one vinyl release, which kind of came into our hands.

TJ: We adopted that one.

Ryan: It was the 1000 Pieces record, which is like a really cool math rock record, it’s really good. We took that one under our wing I guess you could say.

Do you have plans to put out more vinyl or do you think you’ll keep going with tapes and digital?

TJ: I’d love to put out more vinyl but it’s just like a see how it goes kind of thing.

Ryan: What we are wanting to do with everything is so hands on and limited that it makes sense to do small runs. With vinyl, unless we eventually get our own press, it’s kind of difficult to do small runs.

TJ: Yeah you can’t do like 30.

It seems to work for what you’re doing at the moment. It’s really diverse, your catalogue. Listening to that recent compilation you put out, there’s so much different stuff on there: some screamo sounding stuff, some folk, some electronic sounds. I guess the label reflects your own tastes and having two of you it makes it even more diverse?

TJ: Absolutely. Ryan, he and all of the guys who are adopted into our collective family in Savannah amaze me on a regular basis. Without the addition of Ryan being in Savannah and all the musicians in Savannah, I would have never seen Furious Hooves being where it is now. So definitely both of us having different taste and knowing different people has increased the diversity to a place where I would have never imagined.

FH_stayrad

FH015 Stay Rad Vol​.​01 – Furious Hooves
Edition of 24

Sounds like it keeps you motivated, having two of you. Keeps you inspired.

Ryan: Definitely. I feel like we’re always texting each other or getting in touch with somebody to figure out what our next thing is going to be, like what friend do we have that wants to put something out or who can we talk to now. All of our friends are very talented people so it’s nice having that.

So that’s largely the sort of music you put out , from your friends? Family seems like a big word for you. As opposed you stumbling across something obscure on the internet and saying hey this guy’s good…

TJ: That happens as well. We also have people contacting us.

Ryan: We’ve had a few people contact us that we’ve ended up releasing. Bedroom was one, he got in touch with us…that might be the only one.

TJ: We’ve had a lot of people enquire

Ryan: Nadine Carina got in touch with us, she’s from Switzerland and lives in London right now. She’s really cool. She knew about Mumbledust and we were talking back and forth about our own projects and eventually I showed it to TJ and I said maybe we should just ask her if she has anything she wants us to put out.

TJ: I’m really stoked on her not only because her music is so awesome but she’s so collaborative with other people, such a prolific musician. She’s wonderful.

In that way there’s no rules in what you’re doing is there? A large part of it’s you representing music from Savannah and your friends but if someone does pop up from Europe you can put their music out.

TJ: It’s wonderful. The only thing that holds us back is transcontinental shipping fees.

Money’s always the thing. You mentioned collaborations, there was a collaboration you put out between Black Rune and Man Eating Sloth…

Ryan: That was part of the Halloween series that just started happening. We put out the Mumbledust and Blood Cousin one and then it came around again a year later and I thought “I wonder if Gabe (who’s Man Eating Sloth ) would want to collaborate with anybody”. Sure enough he and Paul from Blackrune just hit it off and they were able to create two separate tracks that just work so well together, back to back. It was pretty astounding.

It’s great you can bring that sort of thing together. What can you tell me about those two guys? I think they’re both really interesting artists.

Ryan: Paul lives in Savannah so I met him down here. He was doing music for years as this kind of electronic project called Magic Places. He has a tape out on that through Mirror Universe I think. We were talking and he was like I’d like to release something through you guys but not as Magic places, I want to change up my sound a lot and go into this dark shoegaze realm. That’s how Blackrune was born. Gabe is friend of ours from way back, right TJ?

TJ: Yeah I met Gabe in my freshman year of high school skateboarding. I didn’t even know that he played music back then and then Ryan played with him in a band for years.

Ryan: The cool story about Gabe is that he learned music just by one day deciding that the entire summer he was going to stay at home and learn guitar. He did that and he’s a phenomenal musician now, after that happened.

That’s great. How did International Tape Day go? You did something at Graveface, can you tell me about your relationship with Ryan?

Ryan: When I moved back to Savannah I met up with Ryan and we became friends. Eventually I started working for him, doing graphic design. We formed a relationship as friends a few years ago and he now he does our digital distribution. He’s a good guys who’s helped us. He has a store and thats what we did the tapes for. He asked if we could throw something together for an extremely limited Graveface release, which was compilation that he put together of Graveface bands, obscure stuff that he had. So that was the limited five tapes that we did with him.

FH_graveface

Furious Hooves and Graveface 2013 Cassette Day limited edition compilation

How do you produce your tapes?

TJ: We do it all ourselves. Be it running an RCA cable from an iPod to a tape deck, or burning a side A and a side B on separate CDs and dubbing it that way. So its all very homemade. Mix tape style I guess.

Has that been something you’ve always done or is it something you’ve gotten back into recently with the resurgence of tapes?

TJ: A little bit of both. I was never really as technologically advanced as most kids my age growing up. I remember I got this shitty little car from my parents and all it had was tape deck so I remember sitting in my room for hours going through my CDs making mix tapes. Even before that, when I was young, my dad was a guitar player and always have like a little mini recorder thing and he’d always record himself playing Neil Young covers and stuff. The idea that you record things and put them on something else and have them with you wherever you go, it’s always been interesting to me.

Ryan: I always remember you having a car that had a tape deck, you’d be cruisng around blasting it.

TJ: You bet.

That seems to be very central to the tape movement, tape decks in cars. Whenever I hear people talk enthusiastically about tapes they talk about listening in their cars.

TJ: It’s bittersweet when thats all you had when you were young.

Ryan: I had a friend who I was talking to recently who doesn’t have a tape deck and he said he was seriously thinking of hooking up a tape deck via the auxiliary cable.

So what’s next for you guys – you don’t seem to be hugely ambitious. You’re just working from one project to the next?

TJ: I’m going to school and working full time so it’s hard to be overly ambitious to do new things. Currently I’m trying to pick up a release that we kind of dropped the ball on, just to make everything right with that and not have a hole our catalogue.

Ryan: Basically we were being too ambitious at one point and thats how we dropped the ball. We’re very busy in our outside lives so we just kind of do it as we go along. If we’re feeling like making a tape or making a CD or something, we’ll do it. We usually give it about a month notice.

So you can put something together in that time? Within a month?

Ryan: It depends on what’s going into it. Sometimes if we’re looking for a certain feel we’ll do a lot of looking around for materials that we think fits whatever project we’re working on.

R Like that first Bedroom EP. It’s all recycled filing folders..

TJ: Yeah it’s just dark green folders from a filing cabinet.

Ryan: Then we found this old, old toy catalogue from the 60s and collaged a bunch of stuff, because the Bedrooms EP was called Toys so I thought it was pretty fitting.

TJ: That was really fun too because didn’t we order the toy catalogue off eBay and we were expecting to be a lot bigger than it really was? It arrives in the mail and Ryan sends me a picture on his phone and it like fits in the palm of his hand. I was expecting like a Sears wishbook.

Ryan: It was two inches by three inches!

TJ: There’s always things like that that happen, when we have to get something online and it ends up not being how we expected. I like that one because we made it work.

I’m looking at the page now – twenty four you managed to put together.

Ryan: Yeah we can’t do a repress of that, because there’s no more toy catalogues.

That’s great though, so super rare and so nice for people to have such a limited edition.

TJ: Definitely and that’s what inspires me the most I guess. This release especially, the Toys EP. The reach that Noah (Bedroom) has. The fact that someone from Japan bought this tape blew my mind. Here I am in Dublin, Virginia, which no one fucking knows about, and we send this cassette tape to a kid in Japan. I remember his comment on it when we posted it and he was like “I cherish this tape”. It meant so much at that point.

Ryan: That was the moment where we went, whoa, this is kind of doing something.

TJ: Really cool. It blew my mind.

FH_toys

FH005 Toys EP – Bedroom
Limited edition of 24

Wonderful. I guess that could have happened 20 years ago before the internet, but it would have been harder to make it happen and harder to get that feedback and support, to know it reached someone.

Ryan: I’d like to take this time to thank the internet, from Furious Hooves.

Bandcamp is a large part of what you do.

TJ: I love Bandcamp. I think it’s a wonderful interface and…I just love it.

I hear mixed things about it, that some artists and labels don’t like using it.

TJ: I don’t get that, I’ve never heard a real valid argument as to why people dislike it.

Ryan: I agree. I think they take the gains from every tenth item sold. I think that’s completely fair. It’s such a user friendly site.

TJ: It’s so simple and still looks so great.

Ryan: You spend countless hours on Bandcamp..

I do. I think a lot of the reason its so good is it’s run by music fans. You read about how they wanted to start it and they wanted to give music a strong digital platform, and I think that still really motivates them to make music easier to discover for fans, to make the interface strong, to give artists options. So yeah, I really love it as well. It’s been great to be involved with it and great to discover all this music and all of these labels. What do you guys see as the function of a record label?

Ryan: For us, it’s really family oriented. Our goal is to help out the artist as much as possible. We want to create something with our hands to give their fans but we also want to give them exposure to new fans, that may not be into that sort of music. Someone listening to Go Tigers may come across Nadine Carina – typically that would never happen.

TJ: I don’t know…

Ryan: You’re right, I won’t naysay

But it’s a great way to discover music, I know what you’re saying.

Ryan: I feel like we’re also trying to make sure the artists get what they deserve. So a lot of times we let the downloads on Bandcamp go directly to them. For instance Nadine Carina, Bedroom – you can’t download their album from us unless you buy the tape. We redirect their downloads to their own Bandcamp pages so they can get the full profit from that.

TJ: The biggest part is exposure. I feel like its like that with every label too. I mean I’m definitely no expert in the field of record labels. I have a couple of friends who run another label around here called Flannel Gurl so I catch a little bit of what goes on with it from them – Flannel Gurl Records are great, throwing it out there real quick.

Labels, in my opinion, in addition to the exposure, should give the music another face. Give the artist another face and hopefully in our case a more positive face. I hope that for us, especially, people see that these guys are nice and they suggested this so hopefully, this music will be good.

I definitely get that impression from your online presence and stable of artists, that positivity is a big part of it. That comes across. I think we’re almost done here…maybe to close – can you tell me about the name?

TJ: Honestly thats just a product of imagination running wild. I really enjoy wildebeests, just as an animal. I was starting to throw around names and we do a lot of this in our group friends – we like to think of the most terrible band names possible and share it with one another, we have specific group on Facebook where we do this. In the mix of thinking up terrible band names and song names you come across some really neat ones too, ones we think would be awesome.

So I was throwing ideas around and was torn between “furious hooves” or “gilded hooves”. I thought of furious hooves being a wildebeest destroying a pursuing lion or something like that, and then gilded hooves being a bronzed wildebeest statue – both of those are really cool in my opinion. I asked some people – furious or gilded hooves? and they were all “furious hooves is good”. I like the feel of that a lot better. There’s no true sentiment behind it rather than just enjoying the name and trying to come up with something cool.

Ryan: And without Furious Hooves we wouldn’t have furhoof (the labels catalogue title).

TJ: Fact. I’ve had several people comment about it – “I mean, furious hooves man!” And I’m like – “yeah I know!” I really just like the mental image you get whenever you hear it. It makes a lot of mixed impressions I guess, and most of them are positive.

Furious Hooves on Bandcamp

Furious Hooves on Tumblr