WIN is a parnership between Devin Sarno & Tom Grimley.
>How many employees, if any, does WIN Records have?
None...WIN has always been run out of a spare bedroom space
& a garage. Tom (when he ran his own studio) would record
all the bands & i would handle the day-to-day affairs of the label.
That's basically how we divided the work.
>How many releases does WIN records have?
38 at the moment -- which is split between 7", 10",
12" LP, cassette & CD releases.
>What is the label goal?
The goal has always been to release records from friends
who were making music that we believed in & felt should be heard.
Pretty straightfoward. WIN's striven to be a family more than
>What is the label motto?
"Ear-splitting cacophony from around the world!"
>Who is on the WIN records roster?
We don't officially "sign" anyone & everyone
is free to record for other labels, but the artists
we've released recordings from include:
Benett, Charles Brown Superstar, Beth Capper,
Speculum Fight, Cut, Waldo The Dog Faced Boy,
CRIB, The Centimeters, The Magic Pacer, Polar
Goldie Cats, Lynn Johnston, Upsilon Acrux,
Solid Eye, Miss Murgatroid, Petra Haden, Chika Chika,
Aloha Wednesday, Danny Frankel, Rod Poole, The
Uphill Gardeners, Jen Wood & Recess. There have also been
duet projects from Nels Cline/Devin Sarno &
Miss Murgatoroid/Petra Haden.
>What do you consider your best release?
Probably the "Poop Alley Tapes" double CD
compilation. Poop Alley was Tom's recording
studio & where he recorded hundreds upon hundreds
of local L.A. bands. This comp reflected several years
worth of work at the studio & is a really personal document.
It sums up the concept of WIN pretty perfectly.
>What are some upcoming WIN Records releases?
At the moment, the label is on break. After we hit
our 10 year mark & Tom closed his studio, it seemed
like a good time to stop & re-evaluate. I'd love
to release some stuff in the future...i'm just trying
to figure out the best way to do it.
>How, when, & why did you start WIN Records?
Tom & i had a band called Waldo The Dog Faced Boy.
When the time came to release our 2nd record,
we were without a label & trying to decide what road
to take. We sent tapes around to a few places but never
heard anything back. So, rather than sit around & stagnate,
we decided to start something ourselves.
It took us a while to figure things out but after a couple of
years, we reached a point where we felt confident enough
to approach other bands about joining us. At the same time,
Tom was getting pretty serious about his studio...so it all
just made logical sense. We could offer bands a place to
record & release their material.
>How did you finance your first release?
Fished for coins under couch cushions basically!
Luckily, i had a decent job at the time & over the
years that's helped to finance the label. It's hard to
break even at times on some of the releases we've
tackled...but when something is a complete labor of love,
that's not a huge factor. We've never obsessed about
things like that. If it felt right to be working with an artist
or band, we just went with it & had fun.
>What are the most satisfying/frustrating aspects to running an indie
Frustrations include: money money money & distribution distribution
Of course, it would be nice to have endless funds to put out
even more bands with even more elaborate packaging, but that's
just not possible.
Also, we've been lucky to have a great alliance with NAIL Distribution,
but honestly, it's very hard to get experimental
or improvised music releases out in any major way beyond 500 or
1000 copies. I understand the reasons why that's true, but it's still
Satisfactions include holding that disc in your hand the day it's
back from the plant
& seeing someone's vision finally tangible & realized.
>What are some other labels you admire?
Dischord, Kranky, Thrill Jockey. Generally labels that have
stuck to their guns & been successful in the process. That's
always inspiring to see.
>If you could release a new record from any band, what would it be?
I'd prefer to reach back in time & release a record by Sammy Davis Jr.
>In 10 years where will WIN Records be?
Hopefully run from a hot air balloon that's circling the globe.
>You'll know WIN Records has made it when...?
ELO is breaking down our doors to release their comeback album.