Monday, October 11, 2010

TVD Label Spotlight: Yep Roc Records

I've long respected North Carolina's Yep Roc Records not just for their exceptional taste, having such names as The Go-Betweens, The Fleshtones, The Reverend Horton Heat, Robyn Hitchcock, Bob Mould, Paul Weller, Kristin Hersh, Nick Lowe, Ken Stringfellow and John Doe (among many more) on their roster, but for their unwavering commitment to what brings the vast majority of you here each day—vinyl. Even when not in vogue per se, you could count on Yep Roc to consistently load store shelves—and my shelves—with records.

Similar to our Record Label Spotlight series we ran as a lead up to Record Store Day this past April, we're spending the entire week with the good folks and the bands of Yep Roc and we're kicking off the week with a little Q & A with label co-founder, Glenn Dicker.

First, tell us about your love of music. Where did it come from? What are some of the first bands you remember hearing and, possibly collecting?
I was very into watching the Partridge Family and Monkees re-runs on TV as a kid. I remember digging that as an afters chool thing. I remember being inspired by that in a real way because ever since I was in 1st grade I wanted to be in a band. My parents always went to flea markets and garage sales every weekend and I quickly started getting into vinyl singles. I'd pick one to buy for like $.05 or something and they'd say oh, just take them all. So I really got into collecting.

My cousin had a couple Beatles picture sleeve 45's- Rain/Paperback Writer and Hello Goodbye/I Am The Walrus and I ended up with those early on. I picked up a book by Hunter Davies at a garage sale about the Beatles published in 1968 and it blew me away. So I really became a big Beatles fan and still am to this day, really. Eventually got into other Brit rock stuff from Stones to Kinks to Who and Bowie. Then got into punk rock and really was buying records like crazy. Had a friend who would drive me to Philly and Princeton before I could drive to shop at great indie record stores. Soon found the Jam via a girl that moved to town from the UK and I found my new Beatles. Mind was really expanded when I started to work for Rounder Distribuition which had incredible indie labels with every possible kind of amazing music.

Where did the decision to start Yep Roc come from?

It grew from having the distribution company, Redeye, starting out as a regional music distributor. My partner Tor Hansen and I both had the passion to want to work more directly with artists and do projects from start to finish. It started with regional acts and grew from there.

Yep Roc has long issued vinyl—even when it was out of vogue for a while. Why? What is it about vinyl that adds to the experience of listening to music?
I think that hardcore music fans have never really stopped collecting vinyl. So it was really about serving the fans of the acts that we worked with. If they had a fanbase that desired it, we gave it to them. We of course love it ourselves because we grew up with it. The aesthetic is great, no question. And the sound is warm and killer.

What do you like to listen to now? If you were on a deserted island and had to choose only five records, which would they be?
Wow, that's so impossible. Today, it would be these: Rubber Soul, Sound Affects, #1 Record/Radio City (I have a CD with both records on here), Stax Box Set (since I'm cheating anyway), and Being There.

Check back all the week for Yep Roc-sponsored vinyl and ticket giveaways!


Anonymous said...

So happy to see a Yep Roc spotlight this week. They have the best roster of artists! Let's not forget the excellent Grant-Lee Phillips (among the many more). Looking forward to what comes next in the spotlight.

Joanna D Robertson said...

I'm on Yep Roc's mailing list for the sake of Drink Up, Buttercup. Viva Yep Roc!

But could they please do something about the format of their tour update emails? The geographical grouping causes Google to truncate the emails before I can see what's playing in Virginia. Not useful!