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     interviewed by robby sumner  
Interview with
Jessica Meiselman
Owner of The Vinyl Summer
E: Jessica, you run the indie label The Vinyl Summer, whose releases include an EP from the band Rydia as well as the debut album from June. How long has the Vinyl Summer been in operation?
Jessica: Well, the Rydia EP came out in October 2003, and I guess the work leading up to that started in May or April of that year. Now it's September 2004, so, about a year and a half.
E: How serious was the idea of starting a label when you first started?
Jessica: Running a label was something I had thought about for a long time before I began. I did an internship at Downfall Records, so I got a feel for how small labels operated, and my interest in the business only escalated from there. I was serious when I began, because I was into the idea enough to spend my own time, money and energy on something I had researched and learned about previous to the Rydia release. So I guess the answer to your question is... serious enough to know it wasn't just a one-time thing.
E: How did the relationship with Rydia first form?
Jessica: From a demo I received while I was working at Downfall.
E: Is there anyone else helping out with the label's production?
Jessica: Not at this point, no.
E: What other projects are planned for the future?
Jessica: Well, I've got a Counting Crows tribute album entitled Dead and Dreaming coming out on November 16th. It'll be available in record stores everywhere! I'm really excited about that--I'm a huge CC fan, and all of the bands involved are just as excited as me. So far it's awesome.
E: Who's set to be doing the tribute?
Jessica: Well, we just confirmed the entire lineup... here are the bands that will be on it: Bayside, Lucky Boys Confusion, June, Rydia, As Tall As Lions, Melee, Limbeck, Number One Fan, The Junior Varsity, Hidden in Plain View, Punchline, and Between the Buried and Me. That's not to say we may or may not add another track anytime soon!
E: How does the success of a band you've released allow the label to be successful itself?
Jessica: If a band does well, theoretically it will be selling records, records that I as a label have put forth money to make, if I make my money back off a record, I can put out another record! That and the name getting out allows more interest in the other bands on the label, or other happenings that the label is taking part in. Therefore drawing attention to the name.
E: What other people or agencies have you been working with in the process of releasing the bands' albums?
Jessica: The process of releasing the album is strictly my work. The band however may or may not choose to work with other people to do things like manage or book tours.
E: Is running a label still a learning process for you?
Jessica: Oh, absolutely! Working on Dead and Dreaming has been amazing because I've been able to work with all kinds of bigger labels and managers. To say I learn something new every day is an understatement.
E: What are the benefits of running a relatively small label?
Jessica: Pardon my language--a lot less bullshit.
E: How do you mean that?
Jessica: Most people who deal with bands and labels of smaller sizes are pretty humble, I've met a lot of really nice people, and I think that when you keep a business small you actually get to know these people you work with, whereas if the label was huge I'd never be in contact with so many people so frequently.
E: Why do you think that this label is the best thing for you to be currently doing?
Jessica: Because I love doing it. People don't usually question that which they love.
E: Well thanks for talking, and best of luck to you and all your bands.
Jessica: Oh no, thank you! Best of luck to you as well. Take care.