BUZZ RECORDS – Record Label’s We Love

Posted: February 7, 2015 in MUSIC, WE LOVE
Tags: , ,

Toronto-based independent record label Buzz Records label co-founder Ian Chai about the story behind the label before letting the bands themselves introduce each other.

Buzz Records first started as a musical venue in a garage in the Chinatown area of Toronto back in 2011. Initially hosting punk and noise shows, the space rapidly became something of a multi-genre hub, playing host to like minded touring bands on their way through town, with acts like White Lung and Sean Nicholas Savage passing through its doors. All the shows were recorded to tape and sometimes released in small quantities. As is often the way, with underground or DIY venues, the space was closed down in late 2012. However, the ethos of “Music for the sake of Music” remained.

When Metz invited Odonis Odonis out on tour in 2013 the Buzz story sparked back to life. Dean and Denholm of the band joined forces with Jude of HSY (another founding member of Buzz the venue) and Ian Chai to put together a label that Chai describes as “taking forward the ethics and values of the people who came through the original Buzz”. The labels first release was Odonis Odonis’ Better EP, which was followed by HSY’s Self titled EP and ANAMAI. “Initially it was just releases from the immediate, original Buzz family, but soon we reached out to others, including The Beverleys, Weaves and Greys”.

Although many of the labels releases lie at the more noisy end of the spectrum, and that much of the ethos behind the label stems from growing up in the DIY and Punk scene, Chai is keen to point out that the labels approach is not genre specific. “We listen to fucking everything. I don’t care if someone thinks we sold out because we put out something different. Surely the inherent thing with having your own label is that you can curate it. And we do that. So we can put out a pop record by Weaves, or an Electronic record by Beta Frontiers…we have meetings and sit and really listen to and talk about the music. We send it to the other bands on the label because we want them to have a say, or get excited, or want to tour with them or remix them or whatever. It’s not like we are just going to put out a polka-trance record. You can be eclectic but you can’t be unfocused.”

Buzz’s approach seems to be a simple one, in a world that Chai feels can often over complicate things: “We got fed up with that one size fits all approach – the same marketing, the same touring circuit…we like to work one to one, and see what different people can bring to the table. There isn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow anymore – so you have to work with the right people. After a while, you just know, you can almost smell it. We work with people who have the same view of loyalty as we do.”

But now more than ever, with a little effort, you can find people with like minds and you CAN make it work. But you still have to focus, you have to be judicious and enterprising – that might be house shows, or it might be the traditional agent route, whatever. We do what it takes,
“There is no one way of doing things, and there is no manifesto, but if there had to be one golden rule I guess don’t be a dick fits the bill.”

At The Bottom of the page is a Buzz Records sampler, with tracks from each of the artists currently releasing on the label. And, in order to get to know the bands better,



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