Tuesday, December 8, 2009
Before we had headed out to Denver back in September for Suburban Home Record's 14 Anniversary, we put together a "Half Issue" of Lubricated that was all things good and great Suburban Home. We asked Virgil a few questions to include in the zine and our good pal, Kalvin Who Floats on Moonbeams created a killer Play Nice monster drawing on a photograph of Virgil.
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Lubricated Zine: How did SHR get started (when and where)?
Virgil Dickerson: I was going to college at the University of Colorado at Boulder as a freshman in 1993. My new friends in the dorms turned me onto Punk Rock, Ska, and Indie Rock and it blew my mind. Up until that point, I was all about Hip Hop and R&B. I started giong to shows, buying records like crazy, and just jumping head first into independent music. This love of my local music scene inspired me to start Suburban Home September of 1995 which began as a fanzine. About a year later, we started releasing records.
LZ: What was the initial impulse that pushed you in the direction of starting your own label?
VD: When the label bean in the mid 90's, I only had ears for punk rock and pop-punk so nearly every release we put out fell under those 2 categories. It wasn't til I heard "hobos demos" by Drag the River that I realized there was Country music out there that didn't suck. Drag the River opened my world to a lot of other bands and are a huge influence in the Americana direction of the label. And Drag the River have been instrumental in many of the bands we have put out like Two Cow Garage, Tim Barry, Joey Cape, and even Ninja Gun who contacted us because they had played some shows with Drag the River. We still love Punk Rock and Indie Rock, but Americana/Alt-Country has been a big focus of ours.
LZ: What has been the most rewarding thing about SHR/VC?
VD: Going to a show with one of our bands, looking around and seeing everyone singing along, getting drunk, and having a blast. Getting the occasional letter from a supporter of Suburban Home saying they love what we do.
LZ: What is your earliest musical memory?
VD: I remember an REO Speedwagon cassette that was given to me as a kid that I wore out. I remember an HBO special with Olivia Newton John on her "Lets Get Physical Tour" that I taped onto cassette. And I remember "Mr Telephone Man" by New Edition bumping out a boombox somewhere.
LZ: How many friends through music do you have?
VD: I have no idea, but I feel confident that the number is in the thousands. I talk to people all over the world, on our message board, via email, and am sure I could travel the world and find a place to stay wherever I go.
LZ: What are some bands/musicians you would want to sign if they were still around?
VD: Lifter Puller (Craig Finn's band before Hold Steady), Slobberbone (who I heard just played a show in Chicago), The Snake the Cross the Crown, I Can Lick any Son of a Bitch In Town, The Beatles, Rhythm Collision, Jawbreaker.
LZ; How would you define success for yourself?
VD: I measure success as others should by happiness and by having fun. I can say that Suburban Home isn't the most successful business around, but we have a really good time and love what we do. By that measure, I like to think that I am successful.
Here are just a few of the many snaps that I took on the Northern California leg of Revival Tour in November. So many memories were made, drinks were drank, songs were sung, new friends united, old friends re-united, and miles traveled Thanks to the Revival Tour for taking me in for a couple of days and thanks for doing what y'all do so well. I have been revived!
Daisy Mae Anderson of the Anderson Family Bluegrass Band also gets credit for some of these photos. I handed her the camera and told her, "The number one rule of photography is to always wear the camera around your neck. The rest is up to you." Daisy is 8 years old and pays the dobro in her family band of of 6. She is an incredible little girl with an old soul.
Enjoy the snapshots.
Possessed By Paul James, Digger Barnes, Chuck Ragan, Ethan and Mark Anderson, and Frank Turner at The Blank Club, San Jose.
Possessed By Paul James hitting the streets in San Francisco.
Jim Ward and Daisy Anderson backstage at Slim's, San Francisco.
Chuck and Jill Ragan backstage at Slim's, San Francisco.
The Revival Tour gang at Slim's, San Francisco