How did you get into music?
I guess the defining moment was when I borrowed Life In General by MXPX from a kid that rode my bus in middle school. I don't think I ever returned it. Listening to that album opened up my eyes, because before that specific point in my life, I thought that the radio was the only place to listen to music. Then again, I was 12, and it was 1998.
What sparked you to start the label? What has been the most rewarding thing working on the vinyl releases?
Starting Thunderbeard Records was really an accident. It started off as a learning process. I had some friends in Indianapolis that wanted to release their album on vinyl, so I volunteered to take on the project. A couple of months later, a label approached me about doing a co-op release. Things kind of just snowballed from there.
The best part about it all has been the friends that I've made. Artists, other label-owners, collectors, web-sites, bloggers... It's amazing how many people you meet and get to know when you are a part (even a small part) of the music industry.
What sparked the idea for the lullaby songs?
The lullabies are completely unrelated with Thunderbeard. However, just like Thunderbeard Records, the lullabies were an accident as well. My wife and I were just blessed with our first child; a beautiful little girl named Sparrow Lucille. As a dad that loves music, I was so excited to introduce her to all of the bands and songs that I love, but I wanted to do it in a productive way that would also help her fall asleep when she was fussy. The week she was born, I was listening to a lot of Saves the Day, so it just seemed fitting that I would experiment with lullabies using their songs. I made a handful of them and posted them online for my friends and family from out of state to listen to. The next thing I know, people online were sharing them with each other and music blogs were posting about them. It was all pretty surreal.
This is perfect timing for how old some of the emo fans are, did you expect the response it has gotten?
I didn't really think about the fact that there is a whole generation of people out there my age (28) that grew up listening to the same music I did. So it would only make sense that a lot of those same people are like me and have children. I found a bunch of lullabies online that had the same approach I did: AC/DC lullabies, Elton John lullabies, Coldplay lullabies... but there weren't any "smaller" bands (smaller being relative). There were no Drive-Thru/Epitaph/Equal Vision/Triple Crown bands with lullaby albums. I had no idea that others would enjoy them, or even find them for that matter. Regardless, the response has been incredibly overwhelming. The lullabies were posted online last Wednesday, and there have been almost 25,000 plays. It's just been nuts, and the feedback tends to be incredibly positive.
How long does it take to put a lullaby cover together? Are you a guitar or piano player?
The lullabies come together fairly quick. I use a program on my computer to put them together, and it's a program that I used in previous bands I was affiliated with. I used to play guitar, but I wouldn't call myself a "guitar player." I guess I am a computer player.
What are your thoughts on the "emo revival"?
To be honest, I've gotten old and it is so hard to pay attention to all of the new bands coming out. A few of them have found there way into my regular rotation, but for the most part I stick with what I know. And it's funny, because as I get older, my record collection gets softer. My wife and I are huge fans of Punch Brothers, The Low Anthem, Damien Jurado, and Pokey Lafarge. Bluegrass albums find our turntable more than rock albums. But I still have a soft spot for any of the bands from my high-school/college years (Saves the Day, Brand New, Alkaline Trio, Jimmy Eat World, Copeland, The Starting Line, etc).
Also if there is anything you want to mention but i miss, by all means go right ahead.
The Brand New album will be available on http://sparrowsleeps.bandcamp.