A big thank you to the crew from Etxe Records for coming on the show!
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FROM TODAY'S SHOW
- Crewsin by Dupont Brass (Hip-Hop/R&B)
- What to Say by Near Northeast (Indie/Folk)
- The Shovel Song by Andy Shea (Indie/Folk)
- South Virginia by The Red Fetish (Indie/Post-Prog)
- Wonderful Gift by Silo Halo (Rock/Post-Punk)
- Dinner Date by Teething Veils (Folk/Chamber Pop)
We’re asking for a bday present! Since we’ve turned 1 year old, we’d love some more good reviews of our podcast on iTunes and Google Play. Could you go on there and share a good review? More reviews means it will show up higher in search results, which will help us share the DC music scene with more people!
THIS WEEK'S LOCAL DC SHOWS TO SEE
There's so many! Visit our Local Music Calendar to see the full list! These are just the few we discussed on the show to get you started.
Fri-Sun, Jul 14-16
16th St House Farewell Bash featuring Throwing Plates, Justin Trawick, North Country, Coward’s Choir, Adrian Krygowski & More @ 16th Street House in DC
Audioteka Fest - 50+ bands, including Tempurcrush, DriveTFC, Two Dragons and a Cheetah, & so many more @ Club Heaven And Hell in DC
Wed Jul 19
Human Country Jukebox @ Madam’s Organ in DC
Thurs Jul 20
Wylder @ The Black Cat in DC
Moogatu @ Gypsy Sally’s in DC
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VIDEO - BIO - LINKS - TRANSCRIPT
Etxe Records is an artist-run collective founded in 2008 by members of the DC-based post-punk band Girl Loves Distortion, Christopher Goett and Jenn Fox Thomas. Greg Svitil came on board in 2009, first as Etxe’s in-house recording engineer, co-founding Empress of Sound Studio with Goett in Petworth, DC; and later as part of general operations. Alejandro Castaño (The Red Fetish, Silo Halo, Teething Veils) came on board in 2014, first as an artist and then as part of general operations. The first two Etxe released were the first two Girl Loves Distortion albums. The label then branched out with the release of Toledo-based punk band Fangs Out’s debut LP Speech Shadowing. Releases followed from DC psych-shoegaze-post-punk band Silo Halo (Night and the City LP, Blackout Transmission LP), Florida-based darkwave band Ars Phoenix (Violent Rain LP), DC-based folk/rock/avant-classical band The Red Fetish (The Wind, as Now, is Silent CD, Non Sequitur CD), and DC’s chamber folk band Teething Veils (Velorio LPx2, Constellations LP, Dinner Date 7”). Empress of Sound Studio also serves as the DC home of Etxe Records. Etxe Records also has a home in Los Angeles.
Brian: Etxe Records is an artist run collective founded in 2008 by Chris and Jenn of the D.C. band Girls Love Distortion. Greg came on board in 2009 as Etxe's in house recording engineer and Greg and Chris co-founded ... They formalized it and now they call the recording studio Empress of Sound Studio. It's up in Petworth, D.C. Alejandro came on board back in 2014, first as an artist and then now as part of the general operations and there have been many bands who have since released music with Etxe records and you can find the full list obviously, check out their website and the many in their ranks share a connection to D.C. and the D.C. region as well. Empress of Sound Studio up in Petworth serves as their D.C. home and they also have a location now in Los Angeles so the group is growing, but definitely hail from the D.C. region. Guys, thank you so much for being here, it's a treat to have you here.
Greg: Thank you for having us.
Brian: This is awesome. Now, kick it off now, where does the name Etxe Records come from?
Greg: The name Etxe was a ... It is a Basque word meaning a shelter or home or domicile and it was an idea that Christopher had had as far as approaching music as a safe space to nurture communal connections and dialog and conversation and really, that's what all the bands have in common. Often you see things written about Etxe artists all being wildly different, which may or may not be true. I would neither agree nor disagree with that aesthetically because ultimately I believe that the tie that connects all the artists is this sort of thoughtful approach to writing and sharing ideas and treating it as a dialog.
Brian: Yeah, wow. Now, we introduced you earlier, but there is one more here so why don't all of you introduce yourselves and share what instruments you play and what bands you're a part of as a part of Etxe. So let's go around. Greg first.
Greg: I'm Greg Svitil, I play in Teething Veils and in Silo Halo. In Teething Veils I play the guitar as well as a little bit of piano and other instruments and in Silo Halo I mainly play guitar and organ.
Brian: Wow, cool. All right, Hannah?
Hannah: I play viola in Teething Veils and do some occasional backup vocals.
Brian: Nice, all right. Alejandro? Talk to us.
Alejandro: All right, thank you very much for having us first of all. Thanks again. I didn't get to introduce myself earlier. I play a couple of things. I started with Etxe playing bass for Silo Halo. Then started playing piano for Teething Veils and we brought my project on board, The Red Fetish, in which I play guitar and whatever else is called for.
Brian: Wow, very cool. All right, and last one?
Austin: Hi, I'm Austin from Near Northeast and I mostly play bass, standup and a little bit of electric, and do the production for the album and sing harmonies and a little bit of drum machine programming.
Brian: Got it. Wow. So much talent in this room right now, it's kind of unbelievable. I love it. So now talk about you guys ... What I want to hear from each of you guys is where did music come from for you. How did it start in your lives? Start with you, Greg. Go ahead.
Greg: Well, for me as a child I would hear melodies in my head and had no sense of putting them down to paper or a tape recorder until I was about eight or nine or so. There were two moments that really crystallized my want to create songs and the first was when I bought my first cassette, which was Raising Hell by Run-D.M.C. and listening to the-
Brian: Excellent, yeah?
Greg: The content and the depth and substance of the lyrics and as well as just the rhythms and the layers of sounds was really inspiring to me. Then the other moment was the first time I ever saw The Ronettes on TV in [crosstalk 00:04:29]
Brian: Oh and for those who don't know and if they don't know who the Ronettes are, who is that?
Greg: They are a girl group who were most prolific in the 1960s and one of their largest hits was a song called Be My Baby, which a lot of people know whether or not they associate it with the Ronettes, but to me hearing that wall of sound, incredible, celebratory, romantic music made me want to write songs and I never stopped.
Brian: Very cool. Hannah, what about you?
Hannah: Grew up in a pretty musical household. My father was a [inaudible 00:05:06] in the National Symphony, mother's a pianist. I started playing violin when I was about five and switched to viola in middle-school and then learned guitar and drums.
Brian: Wow, so you play a little bit of everything and you've been at it most of your life here it seems like.
Brian: Wow, that's cool. And Alejandro, what about you man?
Alejandro: I didn't actually have any moment that kind of convinced me that I should dedicate myself to music like that. At some point in high-school I started recording random sounds. I don't come from a particularly musical household so I just recorded them on my computer using a sound recording thing that was pre-installed, mixing them together, manipulating the sound, and eventually that just kind of grew into making music naturally. I got to college, started studying instruments, music theory, got into classical music and just kind of never stopped.
Brian: Wow that's kind of amazing. Holy smokes. All right Austin, what about you man? Tell us.
Austin: Well I feel like I kind of just stumbled into it. I just started playing the clarinet as like a thing to do and I just stumbled from one thing to the next and then started playing guitar and I don't know, it's just always been a part of my life. I haven't really thought about it in depth, it's just always been there, but an incredibly meaningful part of my life.
Brian: Wow so and all you guys had started real young and it's just always been a part of the lives, I love that. Absolutely. Me, too. It was definitely from a very young age. Absolutely.
All right, so now what about you guys on the personal side? So we've got this whole musician sides that we've heard about. Outside of being a musician, do you have hobbies? What else do you do? What's life like for you guys? Share with us. We'll start with you again, Greg.
Greg: I spend my days doing museum work. I install exhibitions. I write texts and I edit things so I'm around art during the days, which I'm very thankful for.
Greg: And then my life is otherwise is quite quiet. I spend a lot of time at home with my roommate's cat and with records and books and movies and going to other museums and kind of absorbing as much art and music and life as I can.
Brian: Yeah and is there a certain museum that you're tied to? You said you work with it during the day or is it just in general?
Greg: Yeah I've spent 17 years working with a modern contemporary Latin American and Caribbean art museum and I've also in that work collaborated with other places around town, galleries and other exhibition spaces.
Brian: Yep, gotcha. All right Hannah, what about you?
Hannah: My day job is at a restaurant. Other than that I like to go see shows and I live in the Trinidad neighborhood in D.C. with my husband and our dogs.
Brian: Nice, so play with the puppies, too.
Brian: All right, got it. Wow, sounds fun. What about you Alejandro?
Alejandro: It's hard to find the time for everything you want to do, right? All of the music that you want to do, all of the different projects that take you in different directions.
Brian: True. Yep.
Alejandro: I try to spend as much time doing whatever crazy project I can. Other than that, I work in a performance rights organization. We pay royalties to recording artists and that's about it.
Brian: Wow so you're kind of surrounded with the scene in your day job as well.
Alejandro: A little bit. A different aspect of it, I guess.
Brian: Yeah. I got it. All right, and what about you Austin?
Austin: I by trade am a computer programmer. I actually quit my job to work on this last record so I hope it was worth it.
Brian: I hope so, too. We're going to share it, absolutely. And so just computer programming or now what do you do if you don't have the day job in the way?
Austin: Yeah, now I work on music, I read books, write things. Also, I have a cat. I like to hang out with my cat. But I'm now looking for a new job because petting the cat doesn't pay the bills.
Brian: I feel like that's some kind of t-shirt that should be in productions somewhere. Petting the cat doesn't pay the bills.
Brian: I don't know, I love it. All right. Very cool guys. So one of the questions I love to ask on this one is if you could offer one piece of advice, what would it be? Greg, start with you.
Greg: Well I don't know if I'm in a position to give any advice to anybody but I do think that it's important to maintain personal boundaries as a musician or as any kind of artist who just is out in the world in general in life. To maintain a sense of taking on things that are within one's ... That are comfortable or pushing the comfort zone in a way that's constructive and not in a way that's putting one in harm's way.
Brian: Yeah. Okay, good personal boundaries. Hannah, what about you?
Hannah: I am not sure. Pass.
Brian: Okay, no advice coming there. Alejandro, you got any thoughts? You and Austin if you have any, please do share. I always think it's interesting and it doesn't have to do with ... I'm not considering you an expert in any way, but collective intelligence is one of those amazing things where society betters itself and so we share cool concepts and ideas. So I always love to hear from all the guests what's one piece of advice you'd offer and I've gotten so much over the years. So I appreciate any thoughts are fine.
Alejandro: Yeah so for me something that I took a little bit of time to get acclimated with or to learn a lesson that has served me valuable in recent years has been that if you'll want to reap the benefits of collaboration, you also have to give up a sense of ownership over a particular project. And that is a decision that you have to make and that you have to make wholeheartedly and one that is ultimately very, very rewarding. If you're willing to collaborate, be willing to collaborate fully and accept the results.
Brian: That's a great piece of advice, absolutely. Collaborate fully, it's the teamwork but you've got to ... I like that, nicely done. All right Austin, any thoughts from you there?
Austin: I was just talking to my friend and he was like, "I think I've spent a lot of time playing shows or getting into the music scene and not knowing how it's done and then like, just floundering." I think you just go out and you do it is the answer.
Brian: Absolutely. Got out and you do it and you educate yourself. I gotta shout out to the ... There's a book by, I can't remember his name, it's the How to Make it in the New Music Business. It's a book that came out back in like, December of this past year and it was also ... I read that when it was kind of good ... Shining that spotlight on what this whole music thing is and how this works.
Now, if folks are interested in finding out more about Etxe Records, where do they go? Is there a website? What is it?
Greg: We do have a website, which is Etxe Records. E-T-X-E records.com and from there, there's links to all the various artists and their pages and the band camp and so going to that website will take you mostly anywhere.
Brian: Etxe Records. E-T-X-E records.com