Nervous Youth (DIY Label/Arts Collective)Isaac Ashby
- Hey, how you doing today?
Pretty great, how are you?
- I'm not too bad cheers! Firstly, you’re not just a label are you? Tell us what you’re all about!
Well, primarily we are a record label but we are passionate about all things creative so we want to support other areas of the arts as well, be that photography, film, design, theatre or otherwise. Nervous Youth is essentially just a collective that wants to support and promote the things our friends are doing. I guess you could call it a ‘platform’ for music and art. Whatever it is, if we like it, we’ll try and help it grow.
- I understand you haven’t been established for very long, what are your first thoughts on becoming a DIY collective and what challenges do you think you’ll face in the future?
Nervous Youth spawned from a conversation between Andrew and Ewan on boxing day in 2012. We didn’t properly “launch” until around May/June time of 2013 with Dan onboard as well. Obviously we’re really excited to see what comes of the project overall but there are a couple of things like school and university, especially with Andrew moving to a different city to study, that will make things a little bit difficult at first. That said though, I’m sure we can take positives from all of the different situations we will find ourselves in over the coming months.
- Can you tell us how/why you came to be known as ‘Nervous Youth’?
The name Nervous Youth actually came about thanks to Ewan’s gran, initially! Ewan was having a conversation with her one evening about starting up a label and she had suggested that, since the music Fiesta Minor played and a lot of the music Ewan liked sounded very “nervous”, the label be called Nervous Records. We decided though that since we wanted to do more than just release records we wanted the name to be a bit more encompassing. Andrew suggested ‘Nervous Youth’ since we ourselves are teenagers and that most of the people we were intending on working with were young. We’re all really pleased with the label’s branding in general.
- You’ve just released the ‘Fiesta Minor - Time Spent Breathing’ EP, which is your first release. How did that go?
We’ve been stoked on the response. We put in so much work and considering the time frame between the songs themselves being recorded and the release, I don’t think it could have gone much better. People all over the country have been supporting both the band and the label and that’s all we can ask for really. It’s been a great stepping stone for us.
- A few of you are in Fiesta Minor too am I right? It must be rewarding being a part of every aspect of a release - from writing the music to releasing it.
Ewan is in Fiesta Minor and Andrew does all of the band’s design work. The process is stressful but always worth it. Personally, Time Spent Breathing was a record that meant a lot to me personally and was, in a way, closure for a particular period of my life and therefore to have written those songs in the winter of 2012 and watch them develop through to playing them all live in the summer of 2013, I felt like I’d really accomplished something. Regardless though, my part was no bigger than anyone else’s. Everyone in Fiesta Minor and Nervous Youth put 100% into the release.
- When you first began writing the record did you know you wanted to release it yourself?
Actually, when we were writing the record we were planning on asking another couple of labels to do it for us and we weren’t expecting to end up recording it so soon either. It was just the way things worked out. Needless to say, the support we’ve been given from labels like Struggletown Recs, Wolf Town DIY, Hawkchild DIY, Good Grief and Partywound Productions has been more than helpful for us.
- Were there any particularly daunting challenges you thought you may have to/did face when you came to the conclusion that you were going to do the release?
Money. It’s obviously the biggest factor and if it wasn’t for Dan and the help of his family, none of this would have been possible. Everyone chipped in to make it work but it was certainly the bit that frightened us the most. The thing that sticks out most for me in regards to the release though was the never-ending back and forth we had over artwork for the record. Fiesta are really particular about artwork and the whole band wanted to make sure that the release overall had the right aesthetic. It was finalized pretty last minute but thanks to Andrew’s design skills, we got artwork that we thought was appropriate for the record.
- You’re releasing a fanzine along with the record, what are we to expect?
Lots and lots and lots of sadness. The zine is probably our favorite part of the release and it’s filled with poetry, photographs, drawings and lyrics. We knew that doing a CD release wasn’t particularly inviting for most people so we wanted to do something as well as the record itself. The zine really helps give context to the music and enhances it overall, we think.
- Are there plans for an independent zine as a pose to an artist’s fanzine?
It’s been discussed and it would be cool to do, however, there are no concrete plans as of yet. We are keen to stock more zines however!
- Have you got any plans for future releases?
Absolutely! Got lots of cool and interesting things in the works. Don’t want to give too much away but there’s plans connected to acoustic music, electronic music, live music, churches, bleak photography, short films and dare I say it…v-v-vinyl…?
- Right, this is a little irrelevant but we like to include at least one question like this per interview. If cats and dogs started walking on two legs do you think the human race would see them differently, would they be treated more equally? And if that was the case would they continue to evolve more like humans as everything would already be tailored to the human body and how it works?
We love both cats and dogs. In regards to the rest of your question, we have no idea what you’re on about.
- My friend Hayden is getting a haircut tomorrow, how should he get it?
Whatever makes him feel fabulous.
- Finally, any bands you’re into at the moment that you’d recommend?
You should know better than to ask us a question like this!
Planning For Burial
Party Wound Productions (DIY record label)Isaac Ashby
- Hey man, how you doing up in Edinburgh?
Hey man, I'm currently recovering from last night, judging from the time I'm assuming you are as well.
- From what I’m aware Scotland has produced some incredible Emo bands, what’s the music scene like up there?
The Scottish scene for Emo is mind blowing at the moment. The last year or so has seen a massive revival up here, with loads of new bands surfacing which is amazing. We used to be able to count how many Emo bands we had in the country using our hands, back when I was in Tramadol Party (a short-lived band that never did a proper release and broke up before we did a show, in tr00 emo fashion) but now there is easily double the amount, as well and lots of bands making appearances on tours, which has given us some amazing shows.
- Why is it you think yourself and many others dig the DIY scene so much?
In my opinion it's the sense of community. Everyone is friendly and willing to help each other out with shows, whether it's giving advice online or people actually rolling up their sleeves and helping folk out. I feel I should mention a current community project in Glasgow where people are turning the now closed ‘Arc Studios’ into a DIY/Art space which should hopefully see a lot of rad things happen in it. You can tell that people have a passion for what they're doing and that's the way it should be, it really makes the DIY/Emo scene what it is.
- Got any tips/wisdom for anyone interested in starting their own DIY label?
Find a band you believe in and start working with them, don't be afraid to say no to people. I myself, and several other friends that run labels, I'm sure will all agree, you want to be friendly but remember you can't always do everything for everyone, the worst thing you can do is take on too much at once as you'll find you become overwhelmed and releases will fall through cracks, get delayed, or just fall apart in front of you.
- What’s your favourite format when it comes to physical releases?
I'm a massive fan of tapes, whilst none of my tape releases have surfaced yet, though the Tape Club releases (Manbearpig/Summo/Gunfinger) and a few others including a US Pressing of King Swags album and my "I love you." variant of the Ducking Punches x Curves & Nerves split should hopefully all be out in the coming month(s). CDs get a bit boring, despite being the most accessible format, but if you package them right it's worth doing as I personally don't like using jewel cases for releases. Vinyl is so expensive to press that I feel a lot of the time it's not worth releasing on unless you’re more established and have a following, as nobody can really afford to have 200+ copies of a release sitting in their bedroom. I'm also into releasing stuff on random formats, like Floppy disk, Zip Drives or whatever quirky items you can find that you can put music on as it's a always fun.
- Whatever happened to that ‘No Fun’ vinyl you were planning to release?
Well after waiting ages for one of the labels to get the money together, myself, Hawkchild DIY & Moshtache decided we had to replace them which was done rather fast, and it was all looking good, got everything placed with DMS, during this time however members of the band had personal issues happen which lead to the band splitting, which meant we'd be selling 250 vinyl for a band which aren't able to tour. We all spoke to each other and with the band and felt due to the circumstances it was best not to continue with the vinyl and instead release it digitally so people can actually hear the tracks as I personally feel it's their best material. Luckily Record Store Day delayed the pressing so we're currently waiting to hear from DMS about getting our money back and we'll hopefully be working together on other projects in the future.
- You’re notorious for having an overwhelming hatred for Nick Stutsman of Merchant Ships, Midwest Penpals, Park Jefferson etc, care to elaborate?
This dates back to when Party Wound was still a new label, I had 2, maybe 3 releases under my belt and somehow started speaking with Nick Stutsman which was exciting at the time as Merchant Ships are one of my favourite bands, even after the ordeal. Basically Nick had a label called Bummerzone records, and planned to release a solo EP and a split between his label and Party Wound, so he sent me details about the pressing and links etc and it all seemed legit, so I handed over my half of the cash for the release. Nick went quiet for months, and closed his label. Several times I messaged him to find out the situation and I was always told some lie which was either the pressing plant was backlogged, due to him not having any money, he would have to wait till he got paid, and whatever other lies he told me. Finally after a year or so later he finally admitted to me that he spent my money on weed and Park Jefferson recordings for Weekdays and that the solo EP wasn't happening, and said he'd pay me back. (another lie and loads of excuses later) I end up a total of £250-ish down, from the money I gave him/having to refund all the pre-orders that went up, this ultimately closed Party Wound for several months, and has given me a back log of releases I still haven't put out, as shortly after I moved house and rent is where all my money goes these days. If you search around their is loads of similar stories about Nick, but yeah at the moment I'm writing a grind/slam band named xDickStutsmanx which will chronicle this ‘whenever it happens’.
- Have you got anything you’re releasing or would like to release in the future?
Well my next set of releases are the tapes mentioned above. I then have various CD releases, some floppy disk releases for various bands, all of which were announced last year, which I shamefully haven't had the money to put out yet. A few ego projects of my own music and a special release for Party Wound’s 3 year anniversary next year. Hopefully after these some new releases will be planned and some more Digital Distro items will be added.
- Favourite show you’ve put on or been involved with?
That I've put on I would say when myself and Hashim (Hawkchild DIY) put on Empire! Empire! (I Was A Lonely Estate) as part of their tour with The Reptilian (both of whom are on the great CYLS records), where we got My Castle, Your Castle to do a reunion show. Shortsfest 2012 was a great weekend - I helped out on the day and it was a great mix of emo and hardcore bands, and also when we met and began working with NO FUN. However later in the year, I'm putting on shows with Dowsing & Annabel (again more CYLS bands) with Steven from Struggletown Recs which should be insanely good as well as a show for twinkly legends Dads which I've been looking forward to for over a year.
- Ok, this is a little off topic but, Imagine you’re with Pinocchio and he says ‘Now my nose will grow’ what would happen? (Think about it...)
Well it would only grow if he lied, so saying it would when he isn't telling a lie, would make it a lie, so his nose would grow? or would it?
- Finally, any bands you’ve been getting into recently that are worth recommending?
Obviously any of the bands I've worked with I feel you should check out, but I'll avoid just dropping a massive list of names and suggest a few that I haven't worked with that I like. Check out Crywank if you’re a fan of ‘I Hate Myself’. The Sinking Feeling are an insanely good band from Glasgow, Fiesta Minor have a new EP out which from what I've heard is rad. Proverbs, a screamo/emo-violence band with members of MC, YC and xHaroldShitmanx who just put out an EP which is great. Baton Rouge (touring the UK very soon), who I am looking forward to seeing very much. I'll leave it at that for now and say go listen to some Mineral or Kitty Pryde.
Get Sad x