Interview: Sad Tapes

Acab Rocky: Disgusting

We caught up with the relatively new Socal-based independent record label Sadtapes. Sadtapes is a cassette-specialized label that started in December 2013, currently featuring five artists with three gorgeous tapes for sale.

Who makes up Sadtapes and where are you from?

Sad Tapes is made up of Pace Bailey and Ian Quill and is based in Orange, CA.

How did Sadtapes get started/ what made you want to start your own label?

Ian: We had kicked around the idea for a few months and John Klein came to us with a few songs saying he could get 2 more artists to do a split and we decided to put it out.

Pace: We are both fans of bands such as Alex G, Coma Cinema, Teen Suicide, etc. that are based out of micro labels that work mostly in cassette. After following their progress for a little while, we decided it would be fun to create our own label, as there are many small bands on the west coast and elsewhere that are not represented.

Do you define yourselves by a specific genre or sound?

Pace: Not necessarily. It’s irresponsible from a business standpoint to pigeonhole yourself, and it would be hard to ignore so much good music that exists outside of one particular genre. Regardless of this, the bands we have put out so far have tended to play lo-fi pop and folk, with the exception of Beechwood.

Who does the designs/album artwork for your merch?

Ian: We do a lot of the layout for the tapes, with the exception for the Acab Rocky release, which was designed by a friend of Sam’s.

Pace: This is all done in house, save for the images themselves, which originate with the artists. That is one of the most interactive portions of the process, and we’re lucky to be exposed to so many unique artistic visions.

Do you call yourselves “Sadtapes” because the music is sad, or because you guys are?

Ian: Both.

Pace: How could we deny the obvious?

How do you find/approach artists?

Pace: Our approach so far has been similar to cold-calling. We search for new artists by wading through social media and listening to as many demos, eps, etc. as we can in order to find new names and artists who would possibly be interested in putting out a tape with us. We tend to approach artists from those that we find based on how we receive their past releases.

As two college students, was it difficult getting the money and resources to start your own label?

Ian: Yeah, it’s definitely been tight, but we’re having fun putting out what we can and we’re beginning to expand.

I noticed you share an artist with Orchid Tapes, Euphoria Again. Would you say you style yourselves after or are inspired by DIY labels like Bird Tapes/Orchid Tapes?

Ian: We have a lot of respect for the guys at Bird Tapes and Orchid. They were definitely an inspiration, especially with how well they treat their customers.

If you could have any artist on your label, who would it be?

Ian: Kanye West

Pace: Yung Lean, because I feel he really understands our sad movement.

What’s your favorite song right now?

Ian: Any Bassnectar remix

Pace: Anything off of the new Warpaint album

Does Sadtapes have any upcoming artists or releases?

Pace: We currently are finishing up our work with our next release, “Stay At Home” by Doomslang. He’s a very talented songwriter from South Carolina, and we’re lucky to be involved with his first physical release. Beyond Doomslang, we are speaking with a few potential artists about putting out their tapes. We’re very excited for the prospective future of Sad Tapes and would recommend that you all keep an eye out for what’s coming your way.