BARF: How long has Don't Look Down been in existence for?
DON'T LOOK DOWN: The label was created in 2013 with the release of Strike to Survive's LP, "Yesterday's News."
BARF: What inspired you to start your own independent label?
DLD: I was playing bass in the band Strike to Survive at the time. Leading up to the labels creation, the band had embraced the DIY aesthetic with the mentality that if we wanted to see something happen, we had to do it ourselves: printing shirts, booking tours, printing records, doing promotion. After three E.P.s the band sat down and wrote out an LP, which seemed monumental at the time. We shopped around for labels for a while, with no luck. One day I had a phone conversation with a friend, Mike B., and he convinced me starting our own label would be better in the long run. I got two other friends, Timmy and Erin, on board and we popped a bottle of champagne and drank on it.
BARF: What’s the label’s most recent release?
DLD: We've got two releases in pre-order at the time of writing: Cursed Graves' E.P. "Pseudoscience", and Red Wood's E.P. "Wildfire."
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?
DLD: I can only list one? Fine. Brown Bags. Disclosure: they're on my label.
If that's cheating, I'll say the band CALIFORNIA.
BARF: What’s the most prized record you own?
DLD: I have a copy of Kurt Stenzel's "Jodorowsky's Dune" OST that I got him to sign at a listening party hosted by Aquarius Records. Front to back that record is insane and Kurt is super cool. Would recommend if you're into ambient.
BARF: What are some other labels you admire (and why?)
DLD: I admire Tiny Engines, Mayfly, and Silver Sprocket. TE and M because they are honest, approachable, and have a genuine passion about what they do. Silver Sprocket because 1. Avi is awesome 2. They don't limit themselves to just records 3. and most important, they aren't afraid to make statements about their beliefs. Seeing everything they do inspires me to go much further with my own label.
BARF: Anything else that you’d like to share (music or non-music related!)?
DLD: This label has been a hobby in-between sometimes working two jobs, college, moving four houses, and going through crazy depressions. It's created bonds and friendships with personal heroes, and across state-lines. Even if I didn't sell any records, I'd still consider this label a success.
Thanks to all the bands that have put any measurable amount of faith in me: Brown Bags, J.R.R. Tallcan, No Sun, The Illumignarly, The Down House, The Vibrating Antennas, OVVN, Spiritual Buzz, Cursed Graves. Shout out to the awesome people at New Noise Magazine and Idioteq.com that are above the politics of doing PR.