Twenty years ago, Syd Butler started Frenchkiss Records, after his band Les Savy Fav couldn’t find a home at the prominent labels of the time. Fast forward up until today, Syd’s now part of Seth Meyer’s 8G Band, the label is still going strong, and Les Savy Fav is still playing shows. On this episode, Syd joins us to talk about the label’s triumphs and tribulations over the course of the last two decades, as does Craig Finn, who’s bands The Hold Steady and Lifter Puller have enjoyed success under the Frenchkiss umbrella.
Denmark’s Crunchy Frog has been releasing albums for a quarter century this year, and they are celebrating their anniversary with a new compilation of music from the label’s roster, that’s being released in tandem with a variety of specialty beverages to commemorate the occasion. Listen in as label head, Jesper “Yebo” Reginal, talks about the origins of the label, and its successes with international crossover hits from bands like Junior Senior and The Raveonettes, while Johannes Gammelby tells us why his many bands are all signed with the label.
Given the success of films that have been adapted from comic books and graphic novels, it makes sense that other industries would start adopting them, too, and Herø Records is doing just that. Blending the worlds of music and graphic art into a “trans-media” experience, Herø Records, has released several singles, EPs and more that are all tied to comics in some shape or fashion. On this episode, we speak with the CEO (Matt Medney) and Creative Director (Pete Russo) of Herø Records about their vision, and Herø Records artist, Skela.
In 1971, Bruce Iglauer founded Chicago-based indie blues label Alligator Records. For the last 48 years, Bruce and his team have released hundreds of albums by some of the world’s most celebrated contemporary blues artists. On this episode, Bruce recounts five decades in the business and gives us a taste of what’s next for Alligator. Cutting edge talent Selwyn Birchwood also joins us to talk about his work with Alligator and more.
From streaming to the inner-workings of indie labels, hear our most popular interviews of 2018 as determined by you, our listeners. In this episode, you can hear Liz Pelly speak on “The Problem with Muzak,” Rob Jones’ spiel on the history of Jealous Butcher Records, Jen Cloher’s financial advice on starting your own record label and keeping it local, and what Justin Schmidt has to say about musicians looking to work in the industry without a record label.
For our last episode of 2018, we spotlight independent record label Fresh Selects. Started as a blog in 2008, Fresh Selects celebrates its fifth anniversary as a label this year. Driven by the vision of founder Kenny Fresh, Fresh Selects has made a name for itself by releasing music by artists on the cutting edge, many of whom have found mainstream success.