Rocket Heart Records co-founder Colby Blanton was cool enough to speak with me via e-mail the other day. Blanton’s been part of the local music scene since his days on the Lazer’s Local Music Show as an intern, despite having moved to Seattle almost five years ago. Rocket Heart’s already put out the Dead Girls’ Out of Earshot, and recently announced a Kickstarter project to fund a vinyl release of Ultimate Fakebook’s Electric Kissing Parties. Here’s what he had to say:
What made you guys decide to go with an all-vinyl label? Did you take cues from anyone else (Paper + Plastick)?
The vinyl label kind of fell into our lap, but that’s a whole different story. For us, Vinyl Collective/Suburban Home Records really grabbed our attention. They were putting out older and newer vinyl in so many color variations, it really made it fun collecting. We also looked at our own music buying habits. For example, I have only bought one CD this year (The Get Up Kids’ Simple Science). I also bought that same album 5 other times on different vinyl variations. It just seemed right; there is a market for it. Plus we’d get to have bands we love on a format we love.
Any national acts you’ve talked with?
There have been a few: Gasoline Heart, The Ataris, Tumbledown, but nothing set in stone.
Obviously, there’s something about the whole Podstar / UFB connection that got you guys going, since the Dead Girls was your first release. What attracted you to those guys?
The Dead Girls and UFB have been great to us. They have really stepped up to let us get our bearings as a label. We have always been a huge fan of the music scene in Lawrence/Kansas City. Taylor had become pretty good friends with The Dead Girls guys since the Podstar days. With all the recent activity with UFB, it just became logical to start with their catalog next. The timing was just right and they were super stoked to put something out on vinyl. There is a bunch of old Lawrence/Kansas City bands that I’d like to see re-pressed on vinyl. I actually joked with Jeff Peterson the other day that I was stealing his record label after I stole his local music show on The Lazer.
How’d you go about getting the rights to Electric Kissing Parties, since that’d been re-released on CD by ReIgnition?
Assuming — much like the contract we have with UFB for this release — ReIgnition had exclusive rights for a predetermined amount of time. Plus, we are releasing the Noisome version (minus ReIgnition bonus tracks) and with Noisome’s cover art. As far as we know, we are in the clear to release this version of the album.
Are you guys looking to release other former Noisome stuff, then? Ruskabank, Creature Comforts, Primetime Heroes, Bubble Boys? Maybe that unreleased Bubble Boys album? Or are there other bands you’re looking towards – newer ones?
We really would like to release Laughing Week, but someone had to go sell those rights to a major label (haha). We have made some headway with Epic Records, but still nothing is 100% solid. As for the rest of Noisome, if fans would like to see it pressed, we might try it. I wouldn’t mind seeing some Creature Comforts on vinyl. I — personally — would really like to see The Belles’ Omerta pressed. That record has been on repeat for me since it came out. The first two New Amsterdams album are high up on my list, too.
I moved to Seattle about four and half years ago and have lost track of a lot of the newer bands in Lawrence. Thankfully, [label co-founder] Taylor Thompson has kept his roots in Lawrence and has kept me updated in music. However, I did pick up the Suzannah Johannes 7″ when it came out. An LP with her could be fun. Right now we are a young label — who knows whats next?