Tell us about the decision to start the record label.
Guestroom Records Records was something Justin, Will and I talked about for a few years before deciding to act upon. There was and still is so much quality music being produced around Oklahoma. The deciding factor at the time was that the Starlight Mints final album ‘Change Remains’ was set to be released in the summer of 2009 and their label was not going to issue it on vinyl, which at the time was starting to become our dominant product format. It was AMAZING to host the band in OKC for the album release show and we sold a fair amount of the records. That said, the label has always been a labor of love rather than a healthy business venture. Over the years, we’ve put out a dozen or so releases from creative friends whose music we love. It has always been my hope that with our releases, the bands might be exposed to greater awareness nationwide with the opportunity to make a larger impact than solely on their local scene.
I don’t remember deciding to do it as much as feeling like it needed to be done. For me, it goes to the whole “build the scene you want” ethos. I was writing a music blog and we were recording a weekly podcast because no one else was. I looked around and there was no indie label presence documenting the local scene despite a tremendous amount of creative energy flowing all around Norman and Oklahoma City at the time. The opportunity to work with The Starlight Mints on their next project came up and it was time for us to make something happen. So we did.