Sunday, November 1, 2009

A Sunday Conversation with Poison Tree Records

Continuing on with our series of interviews with the people who bring us the music.

How did you get started running an independent record label?

I have been a musician my whole life. Since I was young, I always thought it would be cool to have a small label. I looked up to the likes of SubPop (when they were indie;)

What motivated you? Did you tap into a particular local scene or were you aiming to capture a sound?

Well, it's just in your blood, I think. I can't stop...even if I wanted to..ha ha At first, Poison Tree was more of a Stoner/Metal label. Now anything goes!

Which was your first release?

One of the first releases was "Road To Nowhere", the compilation.

There's so much to learn about running a label, share with us some of the lessons you've learned along the way.

It's too much work..ha ha. It would help to read a lot of books on the music business...updated books....the music industry has changed majorly in the last few years and will continue to do so. A great lesson is patience, not kidding about this.

What's been your label's high point? Low point?

Well, we push for placements in film and tv. It's always nice to hear our artist's music (or my music) on tv. A low point for everyone is piracy.

Who would you like to work with, but haven't yet?

The next Poison Tree band, whoever that may be.

What changes do you see ahead for the music industry?

MAJOR changes... Well the CD just replaced the tape....Digital downloads replaced the CD...Piracy replaced the legit digital download..... I see internet radio taking over... and ipod type devices that stream music for a very low monthly price. Oh never mind, we already have this.... ha ha..more changes to come!

What are you doing to stay on top of new and emerging technology?

We focus on digital sales and music placements. We have started to work with a few subscription radio companies that businesses play in their stores or restaurants.

What's the biggest challenge facing you today as an independent label?

Dumb asses stealing your music. I can't really even believe this. For me, music is a lifestyle and almost a religion. You follow certain bands for the music, cd art or whatever. How can you "like" a band but steal from them and in return they have less money to create you more music?!?

How do you find your artists? Are you a club rat, constantly searching live venues for cool acts?

No, not in LA..maybe if I lived somehere else.

What would you like to see happen for the future of the music industry and your label in particular?

I would like Poison Tree to grow and bring unknown artists to the world. Somebody has to, right?

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