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|interviewed by robby sumner|
Owner of Tinted Amber Records
|E: Andy, you're president of the indie label Tinted Amber Records, which has been adding new bands to its roster and releasing some great music. How would you describe the label's growth over the past year?
Andy: Thanks man. But damn, the last year has been crazy. At this point last year the label was only working with some local bands and it looked as if things were just going to stop. But I decided to give it one last chance and signed a band from California--Falling For Alba--and things just took off from there. I can't even keep up with it. I've met so many people and learned so many things about this business. It really is incredible. A year ago I never would have thought that it'd be as big a deal as it is now, and it seems now like we're just getting started.
E: What sort of experience did you all have going into the business first off?
Andy: *Laughs* None at all. That was the worst part. I had just turned 17 and a friend of mine convinced me to start the label. I was so unprofessional when I began. I read a lot on it, but I think I learned much more just going and trying things myself than I did reading any of the three books I read. I'm still learning things every day.
E: How many people are on staff for the label?
Andy: Good question. I'm not even really sure. There are about ten kids that will help me with whatever I need whenever I need it. A lot of them aren't involved with the day-to-day activities, but without them, I'd be nowhere. Those kids are the heart and soul of the label. They all love music and just want to help. And for that, I love them all.
E: Do you think that a label does better if most of the bands they sign have a similar sound?
Andy: You know what, I don't really know. It certainly works for a lot of labels. I decided early on that I didn't want to do that though. I have pretty eclectic tastes in music and want to show that. It's just representative of what I listen to. I don't know if it'll help or hurt the label. I don't really care. I think it'd get pretty dull if every band I signed sounded the same.
E: How would you describe the bands on TA?
Andy: Okay, here we go. Audio Recording Club--Some of the funniest and best guys I've ever met. They're extremely passionate about music and have a crazy live show. I've seen them like five times maybe and every show has been different and made me want more. Elite Stranger--They're our newest band, and you may not heard of these guys, but trust me, in six months you will know every song. Really catchy stuff. Falling For Alba--How can you not love these guys? They're the nicest guys in the world and they love to have fun. They're currently working on writing material for a full length. The plan is for about seven full band songs and for those old school fans who loved the acoustic material, there will probably be about four acoustic tracks. I'm pretty sure this will be the album that will make these guys big. Races To April--Man, these guys love to party. So solid live. They sound exactly like they do on the EP, if not better. So cool to hang out with. And last, but not least, The Turnout--Their EP drops October 19th. I love it. Can't stop listening to it. Think a really catchy Further Seems Forever. These guys are like my brothers. Catch them on tour this October with Stars Hide Fire.
E: What do you believe is the most important thing that TA can offer bands?
Andy: I really don't know. I guess it would be different with every band. We're really willing to do anything and everything for our bands. They're my family.
E: How much do you figure you have to like a band to be willing to sign them?
Andy: I have to love the band. I've been listening to The Turnout EP for the last month now nonstop. Before that, I listened to Races To April nonstop. I'm not in it to just release CD's and make money. I would have given up a long time ago if that were the case. I really love all of our bands and that's how it will always be.
E: As an indie label, what are your views on the "major" labels with larger rosters and corporate budgets?
Andy: I really don't have anything against them yet. Yeah, a lot of times they put out sh*tty music, but recently they've also been putting out some real good music. None of them have dicked me over yet, so I really don't worry about them. It's a business, and in every industry there will be a few that have an advantage and are really just in it for money. And there will be the little guys in every industry who do it because they love what they do. It's life. I try to worry about it too much. Doesn't really affect me right now.
E: How do you think one label differs from any other?
Andy: Every label is different. The owners may have similar goals, but still different goals. The ones who truly love their bands and what they're doing really push their bands and really try to make a success of them. And you can tell who those people are. But they all do it different ways. Every label is just completely different, just like every person is different.
E: That should do it. Thanks for doing the interview and helping fans and bands alike see further into the workings of a record label.
Andy: Thank you for the opportunity.