LABEL FEATURE – SACRED BONES
With releases including Destruction Unit, Pharmakon and Follakzoid New York label Sacred Bones push the boundaries of experimentalism in new music as well as unearthing past obscurities with reissues such as David Lynch’s Eraserhead soundtrack and anarcho-punk’s Vex. We chat to founder Caleb Braaten about John Carpenter, Deathrock and how it all began.
When did Sacred Bones begin and what was the driving force behind starting the label?
The label started out to release a 7″ by my friends band The Hunt. The original intention was to do mostly re-issues with some new records scattered in. But it turned out the other way around. When I started do it I couldn’t believe how many great bands/projects were out there.
Can you tell us a little about the ‘Killed By Deathrock’ compilation? Can we look forward to vol. 2 soon??
That record took about 7 years to come to fruition. I had the final track list for years. It just took a really long time to track down all the bands. Also, cover art was key. I needed it to be perfect and it wasn’t until I met Alex Heir did it all really come to life. His cover art is almost as important as the music. It puts it all into context.
You recently put out a book by one of our favourite artists Alexander Heir, the man behind Death Traitors. Can you explain the creative process of working with him on this project and collaborating with him on record sleeves?
He’s just amazing. He’s one of my favorite living artists. He’s super easy to work with and has such incredible vision. When I’ve asked for something specific it’s been so easy. I’ve just given him a basic idea of what I’m looking for and he comes back with something better then I could have imagined.
We were stoked to hear about the John Carpenter debut solo release earlier this year. How did that come about?
We had a previous relationship with the person who would become John’s new music attorney. When she started working for him she asked if I had any ideas for him. We asked if John might have some old reels kicking around the studio or something and he came back with essentially a demo cd of new material that was fantastic!
It seems unlike most labels who have been around the block a few times that your releases are becoming more experimental and more varied in content and medium. Do you think this was a natural progression from inception?
I guess we’re just doin our thing. We put out music we like, always have always will.
You are speaking at the upcoming Liverpool Psych Fest panel ‘Musings In Drone’. Are there any probing questions into personal scandal your PR have vetoed the Wire from asking you?
What is next for Sacred Bones?
Lots of things. Too soon to talk about some of them. But let me just say there’s some incredible things in the works.
Check out the Sacred Bones curated Ritual Mixtape below.