Blog

a tiny record label from western massachusetts

What's the Bizness (yeaaaaah)?

Greetings from TRs HQ! To say we have been busy this summer is an understatement. As you know well by now we have been hard at work getting TR-03 ready for it's late September release, and we've got some exciting announcements up our sleeves about some new groups joining the TRs family. But we've also been busy behind the scenes taking a hard look at the first year of the label's life, determining what our goals are and figuring out how to get there.

When the label got started we weren't even totally sure who the "we" in TRs was. There were lots of people helping out but we lacked structure. This is a pretty common situation for people who just care about "getting it done" because the "it" is the most important thing. In that first year we released two records and began work on a third, held 6 residency shows at the Montague Bookmill, and spent a whole lot of time handscreening t-shirts and tote bags to raise funds for the label. In the midst of all that activity we also learned some lessons and sat down (with calculators, gulp!) to figure out how to chart a future for TRs that could last more than 12 months.

It was through this process that we came to make three major changes to the way we operate. Because transparency is something we value and always engage in with the artists we work with, we wanted to lay it all out there for those of you who follow the work we do.

The first change was to say that we needed some structure. We established an executive committee who meet regularly and share responsibility for making decisions about the direction and objectives of the label.We brought on someone to work exclusively on promotion for TRs and for our artists because we knew that we needed someone who was only focusing on that one thing in order to do it well. And we are working with everyone's favorite Northampton booker to create the long overdue Western Mass music compilation. The more people who join us in this venture, the better we get!

The second was to determine that while we will always operate with the values of a non-profit we can't really be one. Because of the legal structures of non-profits we wouldn't be able to do all the things that we want with the label. There are lots of different kinds of businesses out there and we are exploring our options. But ultimately we have decided to stop talking about our non-profit ethos and focus instead on our commitment to not screwing over artists and growing the label to be a resource for beautiful, independent music that should be pressed on vinyl. No one in the TRs family gets a paycheck for this work -- we do this in our barely existing spare time and we love it.

And lastly we have made the decision to work with artists based in places outside of Western MA. We love our music scene here but it is undeniable that there are artists living in other cities that are part of our TRs family. We are still really excited to do the compilation record which will be focused exclusively on our little music scene and its greatest artists. And we will continue to do events and scheme up new ways to contribute to the scene in this place we all call home.

So stay tuned. September is gonna be chock full of news and announcements.

xo.cjc