BARF: How long has Sell The Heart been in existence for?
SELL THE HEART: Sell The Heart Records started back in 2009 when I was still living up in Santa Rosa, CA.
BARF: What inspired you to start your own independent label?
STH: I saw so many great bands that were not able to release their albums or were releasing them and not getting much traction, and I figured that since I was always taking the lead regarding booking/promotion/managerial stuff in the bands I was in, that I could channel that same energy into helping other bands out. I really wanted to bring a collective together, the grand vision was to have the bands essentially helping each other out with promotion, tour support, etc.
BARF: What’s the label’s most recent release?
STH: Our most recent release was actually from a few years ago, a 7" split record between Hanalei (Brian Moss from Great Apes) and Sundowner (Chris McCaughan from The Lawrence Arms). We did that as a joint release with Mission Social Club. Most of the bands that I was/had been working with up until that point had either dissolved, and I was focusing on my move from Santa Rosa to the East Bay, as well as going to school.
BARF: Contrary to not so popular belief, the Bay Area’s music scene is alive and well; currently, who’s your favorite local artist/band?
STH: Oh, I think the Bay Area has a really vibrant music scene, and always has. We've unfortunately lost a lot of the great venues over the years, which makes it tough for bands to elevate the scene. Thankfully we still have great spots like Bottom of the Hill, Hotel Utah, The Night Light, The Uptown, etc. As far as bands, I really love what Creative Adult are doing, and I'm eager to see where this new album takes them.
BARF: What’s the most prized record you own?
STH: That's a tough question to answer. I don't really have any that are incredibly valuable or anything, but I guess the one that might be my favorite is my copy of The Smashing Pumpkin's Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. It's easily one of my favorite records of all time, and always deserved to have the vinyl treatment (though I believe that it had been released on vinyl in Europe back in the day).
BARF: What are some other labels you admire (and why?)
STH: I really love Asian Man Records, Merge Records, Stones Throw, Fat, Alternative Tentacles, and a ton of others. I grew up listening to a lot of the bands on these labels and they had such an impact on me and the formation of my musical tastes. It is something that I really want to hopefully do with my label. Help artists reach a wider audience and connect with their fans.
BARF: Anything else that you’d like to share (music or non-music related!)?
STH: I'm really psyched to be getting Sell The Heart up and running again. I'm putting together a tribute album for Fugazi, which will feature an eclectic mix of bands, each covering a Fugazi song their way. Bands include: Great Apes, Black Map, SNIPERS!!, Vast Wild, Jonah Matranga, Identical Homes, Long Knives, and more. It going to be a fundraising effort, where all of the album proceeds beyond the cost of production will be going to a San Francisco based non-profit organization called Taking It To The Streets (www.takingittothestreetssf.org). One of the things I really want Sell The Heart to do is to have one release per year be of a similar nature, where the proceeds go towards some sort of charitable organization, and this will be our first attempt at it. I couldn't think of a better band to pay tribute to, or a better type of organization to be helping out.