Интервью печатается в английском оригинале!
What I did notice first when came across your label was that it was a completely unique and thoughtful carefully designed product. Now I can tell that Haute Magie managed to build a strong brand-idea with a modest and intelligent aesthetics. So please tell me, how did you come up with thу idea of the label? And how long did it take you to think out the ideology etc?
Amanda: The ideology came very intuitively. The ideas behind the label are those that we’ve personally identified with throughout our whole lives. The motif of magic and how music can be an extremely magical and psychedelic experience is something that we really wanted to bring to light.
Silas: Both of us have had a heavy interest in the occult and classic, sometimes archaic ways of doing things, and I definitely think this bleeds through in everything we do. The detail given to the craft, the thoroughness of our manifesto and submission guidelines, the approach to the website and other promotional materials, among many other things.
Most of the artists assigned to the label (except for William Bowers) were unfamiliar for me until I’ve seen them on your web-site. How do you find your artists? Do they arise from the backlog of demos or your prefer to find musicians and offer them a contract? Btw, you really have contracts?
Amanda: The bulk of our earlier releases throughout the first year of the label’s reincarnation were from artists we had begun working with long before and were committed to releasing. Other artists as of late have been discovered through Bandcamp, Facebook, and other social networking sites. However, we have received some amazing submissions we’ll be working with throughout this next year. We initially preferred working on a contract basis but have now thrown that idea completely out of the window. Running a record label should be a fun thing. Doing away with the contracts released a lot of stress, and made it more relaxing, casual, and just plain fun.
Silas: A name you’ll see very frequently on our release schedule is Mike Bruno. I’ve been friends with and have been working with Mike on and off for about 5 years now, and that eventually developed into a wonderful label-artist relationship. We released “In Memory”, a collection of his live recordings spanning a chunk of years, in 2009 on our old imprint Domovoi Records. His new cassette as Mike Bruno + the Black Magic Family Band just came out, entitled “The Willing of the Wisps”. Another fantastic connection is through our artists themselves… quite a few were referred by other artists on the label beforehand. Megan of Bad Braids is a member of the Family Band and was referred through Mike, Ross Major through Jon of Footpaths,and then Morgan of Sea Birds through Ross…I would also say that a large majority of our artists are from the Northeast, where we both call home. A fact that’s very special to us. One of the stronger connections we’ve made through the internet was with Paul Best (Bestovitch). His LP “Rituel de la Haute Magie: Kiss From a Witch” came out in April, and we’re looking forward to much more! As for the contracts, Amanda pretty much said it all. When we initially came up with the idea, it seemed like a solid way to ensure that our artists would know that everything was properly laid out in print. It became a hassle, and we eventually decided that the bond we share with our artists is enough.
Really I can’t stop speaking about how I love your work! Who is responsible for the cover arts design? Just as everything related to Haute Magie, all the covers are somehow fresh and definitely perfect in terms of the way they fit with all other cover arts, label ideology, web-site look, even the text you put in the press-release etc. That’s the point when one can definitely tell a Haute Magie thing from all others when sees a cover or a text or anything. Was it an intention to develop a recognisable brand?
Amanda: Thank you so much! It’s definitely not intentional, nor a form of branding, but because we want the label’s style to align with our personal ideals.
Silas: Well, Amanda has done pretty much all of the illustrations to date. Her artwork has really given the label a defined direction when it comes to aesthetics, and that’s something I cherish. There have only been a few where I’ve done all of the artwork or the artist has exclusively done the artwork and we’ve handled the layout. We’ve had the pleasure of working with some talented photographers (Nicolette Polek, Kate Kell, Robert Moses Joyce). For the most part, Amanda does the physical art and I do the digital art / website / press information, the ideas and direction for which we collaborate on together.
I should stop flattering and turn to some simple questions. There are two of you guys doing all the work? How do you split the responsibilities?
Silas: I should have just copied and pasted my last answer to this question…
Amanda: Well, we’re a couple, so we split the responsibilities of the label like we split the responsibilities of our household; we bicker about things until they somehow get done.
Silas: We see it as us being one entity, where all of the ideas, aesthetics, principles and everything else forms from a sort of wellspring that just so happens to be 100% mutual. We pack up orders together, Amanda usually sends them out since she’s self-employed. We do all of the artwork together, in some small way. We organise the shows together. Everything just sort of falls in place from there. Flatter away, our egos can take it!
What can you say about the local scene?
Silas: Live-music-wise, we recently began a series known as Solar Lodge Society (http://solarlodgesociety.com). This is pretty our way of branching out into the Austin scene and having a prepared vehicle for our record release parties. It’s fun, easy, carefree (although it is usually a whole lot of work), and every show we’ve done thus far, we’ve considered to be a success.
Amanda: Solar Lodge is basically an ambassador between the label and the live music scene in Austin. We can organise the shows we want to see with the artists we’ve come to love. The local community here is extremely diverse in terms of both genre and audience. We’ve had the pleasure to work with a lot of wonderful locals through these shows, such as Smokey Emery, Sprills of Ore, Thomas Fang, Stoke Newington, Lee Dockery, I Have a Dream… I Think, Silent Land Time Machine, Cinders, Skullcaster, How I Quit Crack, Twine, Xander Harris, Daze of Heaven, Jezzebeam, Jackson Wallis, Johnathan Cash, Horne+Holt, and Peasant. Katie Rose Pipkin of local gallery Wardenclyffe has done visuals for two of our four Solar Lodge gatherings.
Silas: Our recent one year anniversary party, held at local non-profit organisation Church of the Friendly Ghost in the Salvage Vanguard Theater, was balanced out between dark electronics from Troller, BOAN / SSLEEPERHOLD, Missions, and Symbol, with visuals by Gushh. We’ve volunteered with Church of the Friendly Ghost for almost a year now. This led to our relationship with the band My Education forming. We recently released a split between The Witch Family (based in Kyle, Texas) and David Carter, and are working with No Mas Bodas, Troller, and hopefully many more.
Seriously, you both made the tattoos with the label’s logo image! That definitely shows a very strong link with the label. Can you say that HM is the project of your life?
Amanda: Well, the symbol means more than just the logo for the label.
Silas: The triangles are based in the realm of the elements. The small symbols at either end are Alephs, the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. The overall shape is that of an hourglass. In wanting to keep with the whole “obscure” thing, we won’t give away too much, but the symbol definitely has a deeper meaning.
Amanda: Life is such a long commitment for anything, and is so uncertain. Haute Magie is something that, even if I don’t do this for my entire life, I’d like to be able to be proud of what it accomplishes throughout my entire life.
Silas: I can’t see a point where I think the label might not exist, in one form or another.
Money issue. What about the balance. You earn more than spend?
Amanda: We definitely don’t make a profit. We’re operating on a loss. That’s not to say we wouldn’t like to make a profit and be able to put that towards releasing more music and paying artists.
Silas: Despite the fact that physical music sales seem to have declined over the years, we both believe very strongly in the physical place music has in our lives. We also know that we aren’t alone in that thought, and an entire world underground or over, exists where diehard and new music fans alike gather to play real objects with real mediums and platforms.
What are your future plans in terms of the label activities?
Amanda: Right now, we’re focusing on more promotion and trying to raise more awareness to get more sales. We have quite a lot of releases slated for 2013.
Silas: Releases we would like to be able to afford to provide with the best promotion, physical representation, and worldwide reach. We’ve done a lot in the past year with six 12” records, ten cassettes, a double cassette, and a CD. We have a handful of other tapes, a few select LPs, and two 7”s on the way for the rest of the year.
Amanda: We would love to sell out of our current stock in order to make way for the rest of the year and the new releases in 2013. That’s our number one goal right now.
Silas: We also would like to heavily focus on cultivating our artists and helping them acquire more attention across the globe. We’ve primarily worked with artists who have never had a release, or have only self-released thus far. All in all, we’re looking forward to continuing to do what we’ve been doing, and things can only go up from here.
Хотим принести извинения за позхднюю публикацию - дело в том, что инервью было готово еще в прошлом году…