In honor of Small Business Week, we’re going to be bringing you a week of new interviews with industry professionals—one right after the other. Today we’re chatting with Pure Noise Records owner Jake Round to discuss starting a label, signing to a label, and everything in between. Check it out below!
Infectious Magazine: Thank you for taking the time to speak with me. How are you?
Jake Round: I’m awesome thanks. Super busy getting ready to catch a plane to London in a few hours.
For those unfamiliar, can you give us the rundown of your company, the artists you work with, etc?
Pure Noise Records is an independent record label based in Berkeley, CA. We work with a wide range of punk rock bands including The Story So Far, The American Scene, Rotting Out, Handguns, State Champs, Gates a whole bunch more.
Pure Noise Records turns five this year—congrats! That is an amazing milestone, especially in this industry. Thinking back 5 years ago, what do you think have been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learned?
I think the biggest lesson I’ve learned is to not get talked into things and trust my own instincts. A few times I wanted to roll out records differently than the band/management and I wished I had trusted myself more.
5 years ago, where did you think you’d be at this point, and where do you hope to be 5 years from now?
I never really thought about where I’d be in five years. I just wanted to get to a point where the label was my only job, which is the case now. In five years I just want to be running a label that I’m proud of.
What advice do you have for bands seeking a label?
Spend the money and record a demo that sounds good. That will be a huge help. Also, you’re going to need to show labels that you can tour and be self sufficient so a van and DIY touring is a must.
What is one of the biggest misconceptions bands have when they first begin looking to sign to a label?
They usually think the label is a larger company than it really is. Until recently it was just me and a couple of freelance people that help with PR. Recently we’ve added some people who help part time which has been awesome.
Without giving away your secrets, what do you think is essential to a successful campaign?
There are no secrets in the music business. There is no substitute for a good record. A good record makes its own buzz.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to offer aspiring music industry professionals?
Go on tour with a band. Music starts and ends at the gig.
What is the best piece of advice you received when opening this business?
Hmm…. Craig Ericson at Rise Records gave me more advice than I could ever repay him for. I owe him a lot.
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