In the twelve months since we last spoke to No Sleep Records, many changes have happened as the label has expanded in both terms of its roster, as well as its staff. Earlier this year Chase Igliori joined NSR as its label manager and is one of the main reasons why the label has signed bands such as The Felix Culpa, Now, Now Every Children, Double Vision and Stay Ahead Of The Weather. This has resulted in the label becoming more diverse, with acts ranging from hip-hop (Double Vision) to progressive indie (The Felix Culpa) to ska (The Sheds). In 2010 NSR has developed itself to one of progressive independent labels, and with an established following in both American and Europe, the label dosen't have plans to stop its growth.
Alter The Press recently spoke to NSR's Chase Igliori about his role with the label, its changes, the importance of vinyl, and much more.
Download a free No Sleep Records sampler here.
Alter The Press: From the start, what is your role at No Sleep Records?
Chase Igliori: I'm the label manager here at No Sleep Records. I've got my hand in just about every aspect of daily life at No Sleep Records. Chris and I keep pretty busy.
ATP: How did you become label manager?
CI: Well, I had spent time working at a few others labels and management companies soaking up as much as I could from some really amazing people. After a few years of doing so, No Sleep was expanding and growing so Chris approached me with the job offer.
ATP: As the label manager, what do you look for when signing a band?
CI: I'm looking for bands I would listen to myself. Bands and artists that are doing something different and that are hard working. We don't sign bands because of how much money we are going to make or how many records they are going to sell. We sign bands we truly love and care about. No Sleep is one big family.
ATP: Could you explain the process of how NSR discovers and signs a band?
CI: I think Chris (Hansen) and I being genuine music fans really aids in the way we discover and find new bands. I am always looking and checking out new bands, reading blogs, reviews. I spend about 5-7 months a year on tour which really gives me time to spend listening to bands and taking recommendations. Truly the best A&R tool are the bands on the road. They hear about new bands before anyone else. Our family tends to have great taste as well.
ATP: For those who are unfamiliar with NSR and its roster, how would define the label as a whole?
CI: It's hard to define NSR as a whole because of the diversity of our line up. We are an Indie label putting out records we want to listen to every day. Chris and I come from a hardcore/punk background but you wouldn't gather this from the label's line up but more so in the overall mentality of how we do things. Respectful, dedicated, caring and no bullshit.
ATP: No Sleep is considered by some as a "punk" label. Do you think some of the labels signings this year such as Now, Now Every Children, The Felix Culpa and Double Vision will shake off this image?
CI: I do think the great new bands we've added to the line up, will blur the genre line we have been grouped into over the past couple years. Bands like you listed above will help that and even some of the new bands and artists we haven't announced or are talking with. I think the new additions will help blur the line even more. We aren't a punk label, we're an independent label putting out records we love. Non genre specific records. I think people will be very surprised and taken when they see what we have in store for the coming months and into the new year.
ATP: What can we expect from No Sleep in the coming months?
CI: We have a few really great releases coming up before years end from Aficionado, Atlantic/Pacific, Stay Ahead of The Weather, Into It Over It, Koji, La Dispute, Now, Now, Felix Culpa and more! We also have some new release announcements and signings coming your way soon.
ATP: Overall how has NSR changed and developed in the past 12 months?
CI: It has been one big year for NSR. We started 2010 off with a Billboard charting release (The Wonder Years' 'The Upsides') and will be finishing the year leaps and bounds ahead of where we were even at that point. Our bands are on great tours, selling records and developing into bands people are really starting to notice. It's very exciting.
ATP: With several of the labels roster beginning to raise its profile overseas, do you think the label will expand, for example could we see a UK/European division of the label forming?
CI: We have UK/EU distribution at the moment but we plan to expand a bit more over on the UK/EU side of things in the coming year. Our bands are all coming over and playing for a lot of wonderful fans and we push a large amount of records and merch out of webstore to UK folks. I've had a lot of time working on the UK side of things with the previous label I worked for and I don't plan on stoping our overseas push anytime soon! There is so many great bands in the UK people need to know about. Tangled Hair, MEN, &U&I, All or Nothing and more.
ATP: How has the label taken on services like Bandcamp? Do you think these services are useful for a label like NSR?
CI: I think Bandcamp has helped our label more so indirectly than anything else. We've used Bandcamp to compile large mailing lists for our bands to then import into platforms like Topspin. I've seen Bandcamp really help defeat early leaks this year as well. Our friends Man Overboard and Run For Cover Records used the platform to get the songs up and out early after an unexpected leak. I think Bandcamp is a great tool for labels and I'm sure NSR will be using more of its services in the near future. Its a great way for new bands to get their music into the hands of fans quickly and easily while also gathering a few dollars for their hard work.
ATP: With digital services like iTunes/Amazon considered to be heavily used. Is NSR's distribution in the UK, Germany, Japan etc still worthwhile and influential?
CI: I think it absolutely is worthwhile. We have distribution via iTunes, Amazon and other digital markets worldwide, but also push our physical products into your local record stores. With the amount of time our bands spend touring the UK, Australia, Europe and Japan, we need the distribution to make sure the fans have the music in their hands before and after the bands have graced the respective territories, whether thats the physical product or a digital download.
ATP: Vinyl is continuing its resurgence in the market. How influential is this to NSR?
CI: Our vinyl product is VERY important to us. We put out a lot of limited splits and 7" and you can purchases just about every one of our releases on vinyl. I think vinyl is making its resurgence because people still want something physical, something tangible, something to collect. We spend a lot of time and money making sure we put out a great vinyl product. Everything from die cut packaging, multiple color runs, etching, etc. I think Chris and I being big vinyl collectors helps with this. There is nothing like tossing on a Sam Cooke record while cooking dinner or rocking a NOMO LP while cleaning up the apartment. Love it.
ATP: Do you think it'll come to a point where vinyl will out grow CDs?
CI: Maybe someday but not for awhile. We believe bands still sell CDs and stores are still carrying them. Not everyone has a record player, not everyone has an iPod. Its a cost effective way to support a band on tour as well. There is still a convenience to popping a CD in your car or computer. I rarely purchase them myself but thats because I'm a vinyl geek.
ATP: Other than NSR bands, what other bands are you liking at the moment?
CI: I personally have been listening to a ton of the new Tim Kasher solo record. I've also been listening to a lot of NAILS, Black Breath, Such Gold, Tallest Man On Earth, Hostage Calm, Crocodiles, The Pains of Being Pure At Heart and Adeem. Oh and the new Fake Problems record! Great friends and a great band!
ATP: No Sleep has a good online presence in terms of being involved with a number of social networking sites and music websites. How important are these for the label to build support, both at home and abroad?
CI: Branding and establishing a label across social networking sites is key. Chris has really done a great job in this regard over the past few years. You can find our logos, bands, advertisements and overall presents all over the internet. Outlets like Twitter and Facebook help us reach our fans in all different places across the world with a few clicks of a mouse. Its great.
ATP: Is there anything final you would like to say?
CI: I'd like to just say thank you to everyone over in the UK for the wonderful support you have given NSR and our bands. Everyone from press to fans, we are forever grateful.
Further information on No Sleep Records can be found here, on MySpace, on Facebook and on Tumblr.
Chase Igliori can be found on Twitter and Tumblr.
Download a free No Sleep Records sampler here.