benelux label

Getting Bullied, Eating Dirt & Signing Record Deals

We Are Elevate Everyday I am grateful I was pushed into lockers, bullied, and choked out in the halls of New Berlin West High School...because there is nothing worse than peaking in high school.

Arriving back home after three years of incessant touring and some 500 shows across North America, Europe and South Africa, I feel I’ve finally acquired a “license to chill”, a reason to lounge against the machine.

When music became my only source of income 3 years ago, I knew I'd have to take matters into my own hands. I didn’t have much for contacts, resources or marketing dollars, so inevitably it’d be D.I.Y. to the core. I booked my own shows, played for $41, and slept in pube-infested rat holes to save money on lodging. My morale consistently got crushed. I even remember crying once while driving alone across Kansas after playing three shows in a row to a total of 31 people and making $97. “What the hell am I doing with my life, I should just go back to work at McDonalds.“

But the highs always follow the lows, and the tiny speckles of glory in the buckets o' shit were enough to keep me motivated. After two years of pushing thru the gauntlet, attendance was rising. I signed two small but sturdy record deals, and was selling enough records to quit all other odd jobs. I no longer had to sleep in pube-infested rat holes, or if I did, there were far less pubes.

For all the small indie bands out there grinding it out, I feel your pain, and I salute you. You keep me motivated and also make me feel like less of a weirdo. ☺ I think it’s important we have a sense of humor about this path/industry. At the end of the day, the game is fairly stupid. Us bands must ignore the “popularity contest” side of the industry and just write quality, short, hooky songs that cater to attention spans in 2015. No one is going to give you a record deal in year 1 unless you’re a rare super-prodigy or have bags of money. Cut your teeth. It’s rewarding to start from the sewers and work up because everything feels like a bonus. For every handful of dirt you eat, there’s a worm that tastes like chicken.

The workload is infinite, and today it’s an honor and joy to sign with ELEVATE RECORDS (Rotterdam, NL). They’ll be handling label and booking duties in Benelux & Scandinavia. I will be traveling with the label to Future Music Forum in Barcelona and Reeperbahn Festival in Hamburg this September to shake hands and administer hand jobs to industry executives.

Thank you for any support you’ve given, it boosts morale more than you’d know.