Monday means BandsOnBands, and we’re excited to be posting the new PropertyOfZack features today with frontman Andy Maddox of The Saddest Landscape. The band just released a new split with My Fictions, so make sure to pick it up here.
In this week’s feature, Andy talks about his love for Dinosaur Jr. Listen to songs by Dinosaur Jr. here and check out what Andy had to say about one of his biggest influences below!
From Andy Maddox:
I very vividly remember the first time I heard Dinosaur Jr, it was on a mixtape that a girl I was completely glued up on made me. One side Dinosaur Jr and the other their off shoot Sebadoh (who are also great but that is another story) and I wore the shit out of that tape and she of course broke my teenage heart but it all made sense. There was comfort and heartache in those songs, I was not alone but it still felt intimate, and it all felt right.
Every time I hear Keep the Glove or Thumb I am immediately calmed, it is audio comfort food and it always does the trick, and even now every time I hear Raisans or Not You Againgoosebumps crawl up my spine, total perfection. I love this band.
And whether intentionally or not all these years later they are still influencing my songwriting from the hummable yet dirty fuzzed out guitar parts and barely intelligible lyrics to the driving drum beats and quiet interludes Dinosaur Jr did it first and it rules.
PropertyOfZack is back with a new 10Of’12 End Of The Year Lists with our friends in the Topshelf Records family. Check out lists from Topshelf, Into It. Over It., Code Orange Kids, Slingshot Dakota, The Saddest Landscape, Diamond Youth, and so many more. Check them out below and come back every day for more!
We love Topshelf Records, and we think most of you do too, so PropertyOfZack is stoked to be posting a brand new Label Talk feature with Seth and Kevin. Seth, Kevin, and I had the chance to discuss Topshelf’s great growth over the past year, what bands like Pianos Become The Teeth and You Blew It! have been able to accomplish with help from the label, new signings, how the guys manage the internal side of the label, the future, and much more. Check out the full Label Talk below!
It’s been around a year since we did our first Label Talk with Topshelf. In the past year, I feel like you guys have really begun to transform from a label that artists respect in general to a label that fans are truly excited for with each and every release.
Seth: Without a doubt. This past year, we’ve been trying to stay consistent and busy with our release schedule compared to the year before. We’ve been working with artists that are larger this past year and that have more of a fan base before we actually start working with them.
We know that both of you have outside jobs, or at least previously did, which might hinder giving the label 100% of your energy. Has that changed as the label has become busier?
Kevin: It’s definitely changed. I am not doing a full time 9-5 anymore. Seth’s still at Bridge Nine full time, but we share a space with them so that helps with being flexible. It seems like its a comfortable transition for Seth that we’re under one roof. There have been growing pains in terms of needing to have a personal income and working about the bigger things with the growth of the label. We’re still trying to find a balancing act that works. They’re good problems.
Seth: We’ve been more active with having interns as well to help that growth that we’ve had. Both of us don’t have the time and day to be able to pack as much mail order and to ship out everything. When a band is like, “We’re leaving Friday for tour, and we need a hundred records and forgot to tell you.” Having interns help for that has definitely been one way that we’ve been able to try a much as possible to stay consistent with our growth to offset it and to not get too bogged down. Bridge Nine is my priority from 9 to 5 though, and we do feel growing pains. We do fall behind with mail order sometimes, and that’s a very important aspect for us. We’ve made a lot of changes in the past year with that with reordering. We’ve done a lot of small things that have made our operations easier, but you often don’t implement those things until it’s now or never or until you get so far behind, which is what happened a month and a half ago. I was processing orders and it wasn’t working right. So that night we reworked our entire order process.
POZ: I guess it’s good that you’re still small enough where you can redo things like that.
Kevin: It’s just the two of us, so we can change our minds really easily. I guess i would equate it too a large career shift at a big corporation. There are a lot of moving parts and making a major decision would be a big deal, but for us it’s just like, “Hey, you want to change this? Yes.” We’ve done a lot of little things like that recently where you wouldn’t notice it publicly, but internally things are running a lot better for us.
The labels two biggest releases as of late have been the Pianos and You Blew It! records. Both bands are getting a lot of push and stream. Can you talk about those releases?
Kevin: Pianos is a band that we’ve worked with for a while. We’re really, really good friends with those guys. We knew going into that that we knew there were high expectations for it. Everyone involved delivered. It was a really solid record. One of the strongest in our catalog. It’s been awesome seeing that band grow. They work way too hard, so we’re pumped for them.
Seth: It’s in its fifth press on vinyl right now.
Kevin: It’s the most successful release that we’ve done. It’s awesome because they’re awesome to work with. I can’t say enough things about them. People are still talking about it, and they just had that Coheed tour. So kids are still just getting into them. They’re having exponential growth right now, and it’s awesome since we’ve had our hands in putting out three things from them.
Seth: In regards to the You Blew It! record, it’s been awesome. The overall response has been great. People have come out of the woodwork to support it. We were fans of their EP, and those guys are working hard and supporting the release. The band is going on the road and supporting it. They’re great guys and they’re very, very funny. We have a lot of group texts that go back and forth, and there’s probably only one serious text out of 30.
Kevin: I got a play-by-play rundown of what they got at CiCi’s Pizza this morning for breakfast.
Seth: It’s great to have a relationship with a band like that. Since we first started working with them, they’ve grown so much. It’s cool that we’re able to have a personal relationship with them where we can talk about anything and hopefully be able to be there for anything that they need as a band.
One thing that’s interesting about the label is that Topshelf is becoming a label where fans are driven to check out all of your new signings and releases regardless of whether they know the band or not. You don’t want to fall back on that, but is that nice to have?
Seth: It’s been beyond awesome. We constantly have fans that get one specific release, but we put in samples of other bands in our orders, so they email us saying they checked out a new band on our label and they think its awesome. So we’ll see a kid order a You Blew It! record with a Pianos record. Kevin and I get to put out stuff that we enjoy. A lot of labels have trouble crossing over into different genres, but we’ve been fortunate. We see a lot of the same names when we’re doing mail order, and that’s awesome. We’re putting out stuff that we like, and we’re music fans like anyone else. We just are in a position where we curate what we release for other people. It’s awesome that we see a lot of the same names picking up stuff. It’s cool that people trust us. I like that we don’t have to be stuck forever in one genre, because that’s not how we listen to music.