Another first here! This is the first in what we are hoping will become a regular feature, label interviews! We love little labels doing amazing things here at Sparks and Nerves, so we thought we’d introduce you to some of our favourites. First up is our lovely new friends over at Enjoyment records, read on to discover the rather wonderful way the label started and find out what record Enjoyment would put out from the past!
S&N: Hello, thanks for doing this! Would you mind just introducing yourself and what you do?
ER: My name is Dale and I run a D.I.Y. record label named Enjoyment Records here in the UK.
S&N: How old is the label and what was the impetus for first starting Enjoyment Records?
ER: We’re just coming up to our first birthday (which will be October 13th) so we’re still pretty new to the scene! I’m still learning the ropes but it’s safe to say I’ve made a lot of friends and had some nice opportunities in the small time the label’s been going. As for the label’s birth – one day I spontaneously e-mailed Trencher (a London-based grindcore band) asking when their new material would be ready. I had been a fan for a while; collected all of their records etc. so it was great when they e-mailed back saying they had it all nearly ready for release but were looking for someone to put it out for them. I e-mailed back offering to help release it on vinyl and surprisingly they were into the idea! It seems pretty crazy looking back on it as at the time I had nowhere near enough money and not even a label name…I think I saved my wages without spending anything for a good two or three months just so I could afford it!
S&N: Ahh wow that is dedication! I do like Trencher as well, so might have to purcahse that box set! Would you say the bands you release are all from a similar genre or are you quite open?
I like the label to reflect my personal music taste so I’d find it difficult to only release a certain style of music. We’ve released a lot of heavy music such as Hexis, Comity, The Hardest Season etc. but then we’re also involved with bands such as Mrs. Magician, NGOD and Lions who couldn’t be placed further from those bands on the musical spectrum!
S&N: I think variety is good for a label, means you get different sets of people interested in what you’re doing.
What’s your favourite record that you’ve released so for? Maybe one musically and one stylistically?
ER: Tough question! That would be like choosing between children but hey I’ll give it a shot. There are definitely a few records which I would say stand out in our catalogue.
Musically – I would say Comity is my favourite release – I’ve always really been into technical and extreme music so when I heard The Journey Is Over Now my mind was completely blown and I had that record on repeat for weeks. I’m still keeping my fingers crossed for a UK tour at some point or at least a few shows which I would definitely travel to. Basically if you’re into bands such as The Dillinger Escape Plan and Converge then this record is essential!
Stylistically – When I have the privilege of handling how our releases will turn out (in terms of design, packaging, colours etc.) I always try to make them look as good as possible. This is mainly due to the fact that I’m also a record collector and know how nice it is to own something that looks special. This really is a tough one to decide on…we have the Trencher LP which has a sick giant logo screenprinted onto the records themselves, a split 7″ for Saint Coltrane/Weird Wives on tri-colour vinyl which matches the artwork perfectly, a picture disc vinyl for Mrs. Magician…I think right now though I’m going to say our 4-way split featuring Bonjour/Invalids/Nai Harvest/Reno Dakota takes the cake! We pressed 300 copies to clear vinyl with red/blue/white splatter (representing the US/UK flags) and it looks super tasty.
S&N: I’ll definitely check out Comity!
The 4 way clear split with splatter does look lovely, speaking from personal experience, buy it people!
You’ve sort of answered another one of my questions there as well, as I’m a record collector so have always wondered who decides what colour records are going to be pressed on, does the band have a say at all, or is it just you?
ER: I can’t speak for every label of course but I always run everything by the bands before going ahead and making any final decisions when it comes down to the pressing details. Part of the fun in running Enjoyment is being able to bounce ideas back and forth with the bands and allowing everyone involved to give some input – this way it also feels a lot more relaxed for everyone and overall is a much more productive way of dealing with how a record is released.
S&N: What are your goals for Enjoyment, what do you want to achieve and what are your future plans?
ER: I think the ultimate goal would be to reach the point where the label becomes my full time job and not just an expensive hobby like it is right now, ha! It would be great to work with bigger bands next year, not just for personal gain but to also help give the smaller bands we’ve worked with some exposure. I guess you could also count that as a future plan! Another thing I would like to do is to start putting on shows in and around my area. There are a few awesome promoters near me who always put on the best shows and that’s something I’d like to be involved in at some point.
S&N: Yeah that sounds like a good plan.
Being a small independent label do you find it hard to get exposure? That could be seen as a negative, so what are the other negatives and indeed positives of running a small indie label?
ER: Most definitely – I always send out our releases to reviewers/bloggers and post on all of the social media websites (facebook/tumblr/twitter) quite frequently. I rely a lot on people talking about our releases and telling friends. Also it really helps when the bands promote themselves as much as possible. To be honest there is only so much I can do at this stage which is why every sale we make is well and truly appreciated. I can’t express enough how grateful I am to anyone who has checked out the label and/or bought something from us!
The positives outweigh the negatives for sure. We’ve had a few hiccups such as manufacturing errors, damaged stock, website issues & delays on releases but I’m pretty sure these are all things most indie (and major) labels would experience in their careers. Having the privilege of working with great people and seeing the development of a release through until I’m holding it in my hands is always a great experience, not to mention having the opportunity to be interviewed about it as well! It’s also nice to hear new material by our bands and to follow their progress – for example I was recently sent a new demo by The Hardest Season which is sounding amazing and I’m looking forward to their new direction.
S&N: That’s awesome! Do you find that there’s a really nice community around this sort of music as well? It’s always impressed me, the attitudes and ideas that are shared by bands, labels and listeners, gives you a real connection to the music, and even more so when they’re released with amazing packaging and pressed on wonderful colours.
ER: Of course! It’s a very welcoming and friendly scene. The many other labels and bands I’ve met are always supportive and never trying to be ‘one-up’ on eachother. In fact we’ve co-released with tonnes of amazing DIY labels and it’s clear that everyone is in this purely for the music, live shows and being able to put out and own great records/tapes/CDs etc.
As cheesy as this may sound the whole DIY music scene is about enjoyment (see what I did there? I do apologise…) and I think that’s a nice little thought to wrap this up with!
S&N: One final thing, if you could have released any record from the past, what would it be?
ER: I’m going to go for Alexisonfire’s self titled record. They were one of the bands that got me into heavier music and I remember being hooked on that album for a long time. It’s incredibly well written and I couldn’t pick out any flaws. I still love it to the same degree today as I did when I was a youngster so I think that’s a safe answer to an incredibly difficult question!
S&N: Thanks again for taking your time to do this man, we appreciate it at Sparks and Nerves!
We look forward to hearing what you release next!
ER: No problem! Thank you for the interest!
Buy some lovely Enjoyment Records releases over here: http://www.enjoymentrecords.bigcartel.com/
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