Student Loan Records

STUDENT LOAN RECORDS IS A LABEL CURATED BY DANIEL RINCON THAT HAS RELEASED A SERIES OF 7”S AND CASSETTES FOR LOCAL BANDS SINCE DECEMBER 2011. HE’S OPERATED THROUGH A UNIQUE ECONOMIC MODEL: PUTTING ON SHOWS TO FINANCE THE LABEL’S RELEASES. ONE HAND FEEDS THE OTHER, AND VANCOUVER’S NIGHTLIFE SCENE IS BETTER OFF FOR IT AS THE LABEL HAS SOME PARTICULARLY RAD ACTIVITY.

THERE WAS A ROOFTOP CASSETTE RELEASE/KEG PARTY, SIO FEST - A WEEKEND LONG MULTI VENUE ART/MUSIC FESTIVAL, AND NUMEROUS SHOWS AT RINCON’S EAST VAN AFTER-HOURS SHOW SPACE (NOW SADLY DEFUNCT). AND OF COURSE, THE PIECE DE RESISTANCE, LAST SUMMER’S ROCKNROLL LOTTO, WHERE PARTICIPANT’S NAMES WERE RANDOMLY DRAWN TO FORM BANDS, WITH SAID BANDS THEN PERFORMING THEIR BRAND NEW TUNES DAYS LATER AT THE STUDENT LOAN HQ, A.K.A. RINCON’S HOUSE.

THE LABEL’S RELEASES AND PARTIES HAVE BECOME RELIABLE NIGHTLIFE HIGHLIGHTS, AND A FRESH WAY FOR VANCOUVER’S VARIOUS SCENES (ART, MUSIC, DJS, PARTY) TO CROSS-POLLINATE. THERE’S MORE GOING ON HERE THAN YOUR AVERAGE BOUTIQUE RECORD LABEL. DANIEL COLUSSI SPOKE WITH RINCON FOR ION ABOUT THE LABEL’S UNIQUE ECONOMIC MODEL, AND PRYING OPEN VANCOUVER’S SOMEWHAT CHILLY OUTER DEMEANOUR TO RELEASE THE RAD VIBES CONTAINED WITHIN.

Tell me how Student Loan started.

Originally it was three people: myself, Jarrett Evan Samson (of Korean Gut), and Natasha Lands (a.k.a. Cherchez La Femme). Natasha had an idea to fund records by doing parties - it was never my idea - and asked me to curate it. Right away I thought we should do split-band releases, to cover as much ground as we could, because releasing records is expensive. But I had no idea what the first step would be. Jarrett had his own label that had put out a cassette for my band, and he was the only person I knew I could ask about it. I wanted to make the label be completely collaborative, with people I respected, as I’d never done something like this before. But, I eventually realised I could do it myself.

So the initial concept was to put on shows in order to pay for releases. Has this method worked?

Well, the label doesn’t make any money, but basically every release show funds the next record. The label made its money back on the first show, which is really good.

From the outset Student Loan’s had one foot in the live music camp, and one foot in the party/illegal show space scene. That’s very reflective of Vancouver as a whole… It’s at the cross-section. It’s tricky territory involving the label in Vancouver’s nightlife scene, because once you start involving people who make a living from it, other people will want to make money from it, too. It’s still a novelty to buy vinyl and tapes - people still buy them but most of the time they just sit there. But we’ve almost sold out the first release. It’s only 300 hundred copies, but to move that locally is huge. And you know, filling out orders to Australia…that’s pretty cool. But I don’t have any distribution yet, so I want expand that more, at least to have it down the West Coast.

The label started with three people, but now it revolves around you and Ryan Smith, of Green Burrito Records… I moved into that house with Ryan in August and right away we started doing stuff together. And now working together feels organic. It just happens, and we both see eye to eye on things.

What’s the next Student Loan release?

Aaron Reed/Koko split 7”. Aaron’s sick. All his recordings are by himself. The dude’s got so much content. He just sent me a bunch of songs, and I was like, “Yo you got so many songs and you’ve never put anything out, you should do a tape with Green Burrito and then Student Loan will do the record.”

It’s good to link it up, you know?

What’s been the most satisfying thing about doing Student Loan? That talent can still be showcased, even though the product might not sell in huge numbers. To act as a reflection of the band being well-liked and having weight of its own to show a record, even if they’re not well-known outside of Vancouver. It becomes something that’s really site and time specific, and that’s always been the case with indie labels in every city: records get released that are a big deal to that city, but most people will never really hear it. I want to showcase talent. That’s all I want to do.

 

Photos: Andrew Volk

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