Alright, so back at the start of 2015 I found Bay Faction's demo on r/emo, reached out to them and ended up investing all the money I had (and a lot more I had to earn) into their first full length album putting it out under the name Counter Intuitive Records. Luckily, the album took off and sold out pretty fast & now I've repeated that process about 20 times with bands from all over the USA (and one from the UK).

you can follow my big announcements here:

You can listen to any of my releases here & download 20 albums for like $8:

Or see the physical products on my site here:

I lost my job in march right before South by South West and it really changed my life. I met my now friends Prince Daddy & The Hyena while at "unofficial" events at the festival & have toured the country with them numerous times now, including 1 day after meeting them.

It is hard to make money from this and I will likely be scraping by for awhile, but currently I am running the company from my bedroom, doing all the mail order myself, & I get to sell their records firsthand at shows while seeing the country with some great friends.

I've seen my bands play to 3 people in a taco restaurant and play sold out shows opening for the likes of Silversun Pickups & Letters to Cleo at ridiculous venues I grew up going to like The Paradise in Boston. It's been a really cool few years. AMA!

Proof: instagram: CIRecs

EDITTTTTTT: if there is any interest awhile ago i made a imgur album of behind the scenes stuff of running a vinyl label from my bedroom:

Comments: 1249 • Responses: 109  • Date: 

ludvista291545 karma

Hi Jake, how's it feel to be a big-time manager for the most cooked band on the east coast?

tlmma1098 karma

my answer to this question may be very different after spending next week in the van with you

ludvista29518 karma

How is this the most upvoted question lol

tlmma843 karma

for those curious this idiot plays drums for nj based rockers toy cars..we are touring together later this week with this rad band retirement party from chicago

dabvt188 karma

That's awesome, I actually met and helped throw a show for Toy Cars when they came to VA!

tlmma157 karma

was that the show with modern chemistry? i was there :)

dabvt101 karma

It was actually with Quinn Cicala! The sound situation didn't really work out in Toy Cars' favor, but it was a great time regardless.

tlmma74 karma

ahh i see, must have been a different tour

AntiSalty51 karma

Oh god I hope they're good. We don't need another disappointment coming from Jersey. We already have Christy.

tlmma58 karma


mimeticpeptide10 karma

this is great!

tlmma12 karma


Notamouselover10 karma

Holy fuck I love the sound of both of these bands.

tlmma6 karma

come to a show!!

logikfail3 karma

Any chance you're heading towards NC at all? I'm loving their sound

tlmma3 karma

not TC but retirement party is there 8/23 at local 506

murf4314339 karma

You guys coming to Michigan ever?

tlmma71 karma

if they still want a manager they will be touring a lot in the next year

Surf_Colorado1148 karma

If somebody else were interested in starting up their own label, what advice would you give them to help them start up?

tlmma1044 karma

the most important thing & first step is to find the band that you are passionate about working with and see if they are willing to take a chance on a label startup. from there, they should figure out what they want to do for the release (cd's, vinyl, tapes, digital) and do a little research to find out where to get the exact product they want for a good price. then, they will have to get started on the behind the scenes stuff - finding a website host, ordering shipping supplies, creating some sort of marketing plan. a lot of the stuff you don't realize you have to do until you do it.

Biscuitburke28 karma

I'm the sort of nerd that all I took from reading this is you need to create marketing plans for all of these new bands you take on. I've worked with a number of different marketing automation systems and I love any sort of design / marketing projects so if you need any help or advice your welcome to ask.

tlmma38 karma

when i say marketing plans, i mean like i think of "ok these sites may write reviews or premiere a track, these subreddits may be interested in the album" nothing too in depth

dgapa49 karma

Hey I work for a publication up in Canada and we love premiering new music (singles/videos/albums etc). If you are interested we can chat a bit offline if you have any upcoming stuff you are trying to promote!

tlmma29 karma

dak47922225 karma

Did you quit your job at state farm for this? Also what are you wearing? 🤔

tlmma192 karma

honestly pains me to upvote this but you seem nice

guitar_emoji184 karma

Hey Jake, big fan of all the stuff you've put out. As a musician I was wondering what you look for in bands to potentially release music for? I'm really curious about what goes on behind the scenes in that regard. Can't wait for future releases, there isn't a single band in your roster that I don't like!

tlmma195 karma

thank you as always for the kind words!! for awhile i was 100% only about the music. i just looked for fresh new music that i loved and figured if i like it other people probably will to, right? but now i've started to be a bit more selective going forward. making music i love is the #1 thing but after that i try to find bands that are hardworking, touring as much as they can, and simply playing because they love it & don't want to do anything else.

every musician can say "i love music it's all i want to be doing with my life" but not many actually will go through tour after tour of barely, if even, breaking even or getting a response from new fans. so, i definitely look for dedication.

LittleBigPancake131 karma

What about Bay Faction wanted to make you invest in them?

Also, favorite band not on Counter Intuitive?

tlmma170 karma

when i listened to the bay faction demo for the first time, despite the lofi production, their songwriting talent just bled through and was so infectious. i hadn't really even thought to start a label before but i had to at least reach out to them and once they showed interest, i must have relistened to that demo 500 times over the next 6 months until the real lp masters came in. even now, i love that demo to death.

fav band off the label currently... gotta be oso oso

blocknroll35 karma

Is it possible to hear the demo?

Apologies if it's been listed already, I'm posting on mobile and will be back tomorrow to scour everything you've posted at work I mean on my computer.

Great AMA I really love these kinds of stories, best of luck to you, the label and the bands! Cheers

tlmma56 karma

not my place to send that out anymore. ask the band

desertfordessert58 karma

Cool stuff! So how legitimate of a business do you run? Do you have a business license, put barcodes on your records, or sell them in stores? Do you pay your artists based on sales or support them for tours or anything?

I've put out records for friends before, but it's always been very low key, DIY-style. I'd like to expand on that but have no idea how to get barcodes, better press, and decent distribution that isn't 100% mail order. Any advice on that whole process?

tlmma58 karma

sounds like we have a similar system going. i'm in the process of 'legitimizing' as i have to due to the success of some of my releases.

i don't use barcodes, don't like how they look. but recently the mom jeans lp has been seeing enough success that distribution is inevitable so i got barcodes on the latest repress. the pressing plant added it to the artwork for free when i requested it.

for awhile i ran as a nonprofit, giving 100% of digital and physical profits to the bands, but it wasn't sustainable with the growth i was seeing so now i do 50/50 splits. everything is still relatively diy but i'm at a point where i need contracts before releases, and need to keep legit accounting numbers.

better press is hard to get without paying for it. the best press i've got is when a band hires a company for their release since i can't afford to drop thousands on marketing. there are a lot of good sites out there that aren't just the big ones though, look at The Alternative & New Noise Magazine.

most of my distribution is mail order, and the bands selling on tour. monkey boy records occasionally will help with UK distro on my big releases and punx save the earth does the same with japan distro.

desertfordessert24 karma

Interesting. This gives me hope, as I've been kinda worried that I should finish this and that (register a business, trademark, licensing, etc etc) all before I even move forward with my next release, rather than just learning and doing it as I go. I was also intimidated by the idea of doing mail order only, and on my own. Now I'm thinking I should stop stressing and just keep going until these things become necessary. Thanks!

tlmma20 karma

absolutely!! you got this!! just keep grinding and down the line worry about that stuff if something you release really picks up a lot of traction

Leeroyjenkins272753 karma

What was the most interesting thing to happen when first starting? Thanks so much, love your work and admire your dedication.

tlmma92 karma

over the first 2 weeks of announcing the label, the reaction from posts on r/vinyl, r/indieheads, & r/emo was unlike anything i could have expected. going from literally no audience, to selling a few hundred records right out the gate was the most surreal thing

blacktiewhiteman51 karma

How was it working with mom jeans?

tlmma46 karma

it was, and is, an absolute pleasure. they are a great group of people. i actually will be with them on a full US tour later this year ;)

blackandgould8 karma


I've worked with their sister band; Meet Me in Montauk and all those guys are a pure joy to be around.

tlmma16 karma

i put out their 7" split with sports!!

DaedricBlood46 karma

I work at a venue in Gainesville and we have had 3 bands from your label (Prince Daddy & The Hyena, Graduating Life, and Mom's Jeans) play, send us some more! Each of them have been awesome shows

As for the question, did you tour with Prince Daddy & The Hyena early this year? If you did then we've met.

tlmma23 karma

i was in gainesville with them for a show with insignificant other (great band) if you ran that show i believe we got food together at a rad mexican place after while the band stayed and played smash lol

send me contact info and i'll send you more bands!

grumdruitar39 karma

How often do you receive demos, and has there ever been one that you accepted? Any horror stories with demos? Also, whats the process with working with record plants? Do you have one you go to each time? Any time the process has gone wrong?

Best Buds is probably one of my favorite albums ever, thanks

tlmma49 karma

damn thank you for the kind words on best buds, one of my favorites as well.

i receive about ~5-10 demos a week sometimes. it's gotten to the point that i can't respond to them all anymore. i just put them in a folder and go through a bunch at a time. for the most part there are some decent submissions but most of the bands come from me seeing them while they are on tour, a recommendation from a band on my label, or just me randomly finding them online.

no real horror stories and i don't think i've had any bands submit stuff to me that i end up working on.

the process is pretty easy, i go through this company A to Z media who has a color guide of options for the records, i tell them what i want and they send me a quote and we go from there. recently they've had great turnaround times. i've never had any really big issues, and they have rectified most of the small mistakes.

dev-localhost33 karma

What is the minumum number of records needed to be sold to break even and then start earning a decent profit? How much do albums cost at that level and how much do you recommend selling them for?

tlmma76 karma

the minimum order the pressing plant takes is 250, this costs around $2,000. I sell for between $12-$15 and we maybe will make $500 on an order that size, so it takes about 200 to break even. if you want to make any profit you need to be ordering in quantities of 500-2500 which i'm slowly getting closer to doing for every release. it's just a lot of money up front.

when i was just starting i was selling 12" for $10 which is basically unheard of, but it help me build a bit of a following. now i still think my prices are relatively low for the market

me_llamo_greg35 karma

$12-15 is a fantastic price, and the kind of price that will keep people buying records. Seeing some of the bigger labels pricing new releases at $30 or more is starting to turn me away fe buying new releases on vinyl.

tlmma61 karma

yeah those labels can fuck off and die

moanroeville25 karma

What's a band you like which is different from the ones you usually work with/listen to?

tlmma50 karma

i'm really into this band good old war and they are really acoustic driven folky pop type band. i usually work with more punk rock/pop punk/emo type stuff

Kourageous18 karma

Good old war is fucking dope, and they're great people. Met them quite a few times between their shows and them touring with Anthony Green on his solo shows. You've got great taste in music man.

tlmma23 karma

thanks, you clearly do also! i bet it was awesome seeing anthony do his guest part during their set!!

fun fact, soem friends and i paid $1k to their kickstarter and had them drive up to MA and play a set in my friends living room. one of the best sets i've ever seen. i'll never forget it!

The_Dawkness24 karma

Just wanted to say, I hope you fucking blow the fuck up and take over the music business.

If I have to put a question up here, I guess I'll ask... What's your favorite venue/music festival, favorite IPA, favorite part of a woman/man, and favorite part of your day?

Answer any, all, or none. Good luck man!

tlmma15 karma

fav big venue: the sinclair in boston. i dont fuck w ipa's. thanks for the kind words :)

NoahVonlehHaverhill5 karma

v big venue: the sinclair in boston.

I saw jeff rosenstock and laura stevenson play the sinclair about 6 weeks ago. was probably one of the best shows ive ever seen. bay faction is awesome man. do you live in the merrimack valley? I see you post a lot of shows in lowell

tlmma5 karma

i book in lowell cause i went to college there but am moving to boston from central ma

Stevo3279223 karma

Damn, I actually still remember when you dropped the Bay Faction album on /r/vinyl. Still have my signed copy. Went back a week or two ago to your website to see if you had another band (that wasn't Bay Faction or Plainclothes). To my surprise there were a ton of albums and I shamelessly bought 10, lol.

Anyways, do you have the bands remaster their music for vinyl, or do you just have the og masters/lossless files pressed directly? Do you have an end goal for counter intuitive, or do you plan to keep it as a smaller hobby/job setup with you operating solo as best as you can?

tlmma19 karma

i remember that order, i actually made a instagram story of me packing the order saying it was my favorite kind since there was such a diverse amount of my releases in it. thank you for your support!!

never specifically asked for a vinyl master, just lossless masters have been perfect. no end goal, hoenstly already achieved everything i ever dreamed of..i had to start thinking of new dreams to chase since it expanded so quickly! i hope to one day employee people, maybe even friends

porchguitar23 karma

Can you please rank the members of Toy Cars?

tlmma44 karma

i'll do ya one better. here is a pros and cons list i made of the band after our first tour together.

bearonsphone24 karma

Cooked? Is that like baked?

tlmma15 karma

it's new jersey speak for being a moron

itisacircle20 karma

Can you put the Bay Faction album back on Spotify please!!??

tlmma19 karma

i have no control over that, you'll have to ask the band

NJNeal1711 karma

Are the band's royalties from Spotify really as bad as they say?

tlmma26 karma

no, in fact i think this is the best chance bands have at a consistent monthly income from low investment (basically free to get digital distribution) you just need an audience

NJNeal1711 karma

So it's prolly the large bands who aren't happy with the amount they're making you think? Do you have any bands on your label that you can compare their Spotify payments vs what you are able to pass along to them from vinyl sales?

tlmma8 karma

i think any band is happy when they are making money. i think the bigger bands are the ones most happy with what they are making. $$ comes from a lot of angles when you are in a band, shows, physical sales, digital, it's all good no matter what the size. and if it's a big band i can pass on quite a bit of money from vinyl sales

baec13018 karma

Obviously you're stoked on any record you release- but what one are you MOST stoked on releasing this year? (/or have released this year)

tlmma33 karma

this is a really hard one to pick obviously, but i'm going to say the Graduating Life album An Introduction to Rock & Roll. i found grad life just days after their first demo and did cd's for their first 2 ep's, but this release simply blew those out of the water and it felt really cool to see a band i believed in from the get go find their voice and make what i think is an instant classic.

untilthestarsfall17 karma

Hey Jake, I know I sound like a typical student here but do you have any opportunities for internships or have would you consider being a mentor?

I started my own music PR website when I was 15 and now I'm 20, I'd love to get more stuck in with someone who a) knows what they're doing, and b) will let me work with them to gain experience in my dream job.

Is this something you're able to do?

tlmma10 karma

right now, no i can't do that. but in the future i'm hoping to be able to offer internships similar to what topshelf records and run for cover records do. look into both those labels, they offer student internships

Kourageous13 karma

Oh shit, you put out Casual Friday's album? Been playing the fuck out of that record since I heard it a couple weeks ago.

Picked up your discography off bandcamp since some of the stuff isn't on Google Play Music. Keep doing your thing man. I love to see people help get bands out of the local scene.

tlmma9 karma

yeah!! really took off on r/listentothis and r/vinyl. great band that has a promising future!! that was a co release with some cool labels from around the states

pogiface12 karma

Letters to cleo still exist? Wow that's a 90s flash back

tlmma22 karma

i believe it was either a 10 year tour or a reunion tour...all i could think about backstage was "wow you are speaking to me right now and you were on parks and recreation"

BreezyBlink12 karma

How big of an effect do you think /r/emo has had on the success of the bands on your label?

tlmma31 karma

in the grand scheme of things, a post blowing up on r/vinyl or r/listentothis is 100x times more financially helpful to my label. but r/emo holds a special place in my heart for being the sub that helped me start it and the sub that most closely represents my taste in music...they just need to be more open and encouraging to bands in the genre with female members/singers

leninmccarthy11 karma

When I read the title of this post, I knew it was someone who was involved in the DIY scene.

I've been putting on shows and touring for the past 4 years, I know how much work goes into it and I just wanted to say good job and keep up the good work!

P.S. Do Prince Daddy And The Hyena smoke as much weed as they want people to think?

tlmma9 karma

they smoke a fair amount, i have trouble keeping up and can't start as early in the day as them

leninmccarthy7 karma

You just need to put the passion you have for music towards smoking more weed.

Seriously though, keep doing what you're doing. I imagine you'll probably be at the Fest, send me a DM if you want a beer during Prince Daddy's set!

tlmma4 karma

i'll be the weirdo at their merch table, and yes i would like one :)

YukkyBrain10 karma

Not sure if this had been asked but I was wondering how much per record sold goes to the artist your promoting?

tlmma11 karma

i keep it all until i recoup my investment then we split profits 50/50

SnakeHugz9 karma

How come some of the albums on your bandcamp are name your price, but some of them have a set price?

tlmma14 karma

if the band lists their album free on their bandcamp, i do the same. if they list it for a price, i match it. it's their call. i prefer free

ladykillerwannabe9 karma

What's your opinion on Jake Checkoway? I don't think you've ever made a statement about him before.

tlmma6 karma

killed it on recording everything

Scottler9 karma

Sorry if this has been asked, but what's your background as far as music is concerned? I absolutely love a good band, and I love finding things people aren't familiar with and getting them some publicity. I was just commenting to a musician friend the other day that I'd love to be able to do that for a living.

tlmma8 karma

played drums off and on since 14, just started drumming in this band called moon house

got into local diy music around 17 after the hotelier put out their album it never goes out. shit changed the course of my life as it lead me to dive deeper into the world of local music since these kids were around my age growing up in a similar central MA suburb 30 mins from me

slippingparadox9 karma

Question: have you ever been to a Mom Jeans show where people didn't scream "MOM JEANS!" during the intro to Edward 40-Hands? Asking the important stuff here.

tlmma9 karma

honestly, never

le_dank_maymay_man8 karma

reached out to them and ended up investing all the money I had (and a lot more I had to earn) into their first full length album

How did you dare to do that? Was it a true trust in their potential, a bit of a "eh fuck it lets see if it works" or just a little bit of crazy? Of course money ain't everything but to invest all you had in a band you weren't even in baffles me.

Sorry if my question is worded in a offensive way, not native speaker.

tlmma8 karma

not offensive at all. i just had a feeling about the band and believed in their abilities as songwriters. and the second they played me the finished product, i knew i wasn't risking a cent and that i would make that money back fast

le_dank_maymay_man7 karma

Isn't the music industry quite a bit of a gamble? As laymen we hear about how showbiz is a combination of talent, knowing the right people, having a TON of luck (releasing the right content at the right time) etc.. So as far as I'd know it's always a gamble, but maybe it isn't after all? Got any interesting insights on this from the other side of the fence?

tlmma7 karma

every release is a gamble, but sometimes you can just tell if a band will pick up steam. i guess it's kind of a gut thing, and i've been watching bands blow up through different message boards since i was like 16 so i'm getting a feel for it

whitewill0wbark7 karma

Sleeping patterns is from my hometown. They deserve all the recognition, thanks for helping them put out such an amazing album. My question is who contacted who?

tlmma5 karma

i've been friends with them awhile, we had been talking about it since before they started recording the album, so im not really sure. great group of people

fireork127 karma

Dude, that's awesome and all, but Prince Daddy & The Hyena? How could you simply gloss over that? That's a story right there.

tlmma7 karma

because if you get me started on them i will talk your ear off all day. we just re-released their debut LP which is an artistic achievement in channeling the feeling of being alone and depressed in the internet age

coryrenton7 karma

what's the most interesting packaging for a record you've seen?

tlmma10 karma

shamless plug, although i didn't release this album i am the sole distributor of it at this point, but i had nothing to do with it. this wayne szalinski album black mirror is super cool design that's code based.

Tsrdrum6 karma

Glad to see an independent label doing well, the business model of the music industry is going through substantial transitions, and small, independent labels have been pushing forward a model that eschews huge million-dollar deals, and focuses instead on efficiency. Small labels are doing the work that a record label should do, namely organizing the music industry's diverse genres and ethos by uniting a particular kind of music under a single label.

I have my own music company where I'm trying to provide musicians and labels with everything they need to run their own musical career. That said, I've run into a few hurdles that I'd appreciate some insight into.

First, how do you go about promotion? I've got a good handle on songwriting, practicing, recording, releasing digitally, making merch, and going on tour. However, I still don't quite understand what the process of promotion is like, aside from one time when I hired a company to do radio promotion, with little success. How do you go about it? Like, what's your promotional schedule like before and after a release? Also haven't figured out how to do tour booking but that's a whole nother ballgame and probably not your specialty.

Secondly, what are your usual production runs for LPs? Based on the research I've done, per-unit pricing is excessive with production runs of under 500, like 10 bucks per LP, compared to more like $2-$3 per LP for production runs of 1000+. Is this what you've found as well?

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that my company makes screen-printable CD and album packaging out of laser-cut wood, which has proven very popular in the few runs I've done. Specifically, the band I've been working with for the past couple years has sold out of more than 100 copies of their CD, which used a prototype of our current packaging design, despite only having around 450 Facebook fans. They sold the CD exclusively at their shows, so I haven't had to do any of the distribution. How does this compare to your methods, in terms of where you sell your releases and how much inventory you get stuck with?

I appreciate you taking the time to answer questions, I love connecting with other music makers. It's been a shit industry for years but now the power is being put back in the hands of the people who actually make and consume music. Keep it up!

tlmma5 karma

for promotion, i have a friend that free-lances as a pr guy for me. he has some in's at the bigger blogs and can pitch them singles and stuff for me. i'm lucky to have him help out. i'm clueless on legit pr.

for 500 records you can get a cost of about $6-7 per unit. just go light on fancy variants and you can prob do even better than that.

sometimes i'm stuck with a few hundred records for awhile, but mostly things have sold pretty well so i don't have that crazy of a backstock piling up

Traxxien6 karma

I am currently digging the hell out of the Bay Faction album on band camp. Are there any current plans for a resressing? Being a fellow MA native I would love to support a local act.

tlmma3 karma

nothing currently but ya never know

someyoungoldguy6 karma

Hey Jake, super interesting AMA!

I volunteer for a diy music venue, and something that's on our agenda is having a small music distro to support independent artists and labels.

Have you sold music/merch on consignment or is there a better way for you to get your records into shops? Or do you prefer online sales?

Bonus question: how do you feel about licensing agencies like BMI and ASCAP?

tlmma4 karma

to be honest i dont know much about licensing agencies..if that stuff ever comes up i'll just defer it to my lawyer haha

i have been offered consignment but i prefer to sell the records up front. i'm happy to provide distro to anyone and everyone but for now it needs to be an up front deal rather than consignment, that being said i think i have pretty good distro prices and am willing to do really small quantity orders.

daretoeatapeach6 karma

Any tips on getting pr for a band that doesn't tour? I tried to help a friend and contacted about 80 bloggers with handwritten emails, all who for sure cover their genre. It's a decent band but I got zero replies.

Follow up, how long after the official release date to bloggers consider a release old news? I'm wondering if the album release being two or three months old when I pitched doomed his response rate.

tlmma7 karma

usually they will want to review within the first few months. hard to get people interested if you aren't putting in the work to tour as well. there is a lot of music out there you gotta seperate yourself through hard work

jensenjd6 karma

Have you ever worked to connect your artists with any commercials/advertising forms or any tv shows/movies? Basically, have u ever come across some awesome music that isn't that popular and then helped the artist get the song heard via advertising/entertainment.

I thought about this when I heard Portugal. The man's "feel it still" on a vitamin water commercial and I was like ayyy good for them that's a great song. HBO's "Big little lies" has a dope soundtrack too.

tlmma11 karma

this is hard to do. a dude from sony bought an album and i sent him songs for months trying to get a meeting to get them in mlb the show. he stopped answering me

twishue6 karma

Wanna help out my NJ based rock band? We're good and lack direction, cause we're stupid, but we play music well.

tlmma18 karma

not the best pitch ive heard lol

lafordgt6 karma

Hey Jake, first and foremost, congratulations on your company's success! I am currently a senior in high school and very interested in the music industry, but not into making the music but more about promoting and being able to help artists I really like get their name out there, since it's something I want to be able to pursue in the future. I, however, have zero experience and I want to hopefully be able to do what you've done. Any idea on how to start, how to approach an artist and how to provide a generous investment among other things? I am very interested in being able to do something here like you've done and hopefully you can provide me some insight and information on how I can start to build a foundation now so I can be able to do something with this later on. Thank you very much and good luck on your future endeavors!

tlmma7 karma

hey buddy!! thanks for the kind words, i didn't event think to get involved til i was 21 so you got a step up on me already. here is what my line of thought was when i decided to start. what can i offer this band that they can't do themselves? i had no name recognition, no prior could i help? the only thing i could think of was financial investment. they were starting out and dropping a ton to record an album. i had to match that with enthusiam and my own financial risk so that they would even have a reason for working with someone they had never met. so my advice is that when you find a project you are passionate about, ask yourself "what can i do for them that they can't do for themselves" and if you can come up with an answer, pitch it to them and see where it takes you!

forava75 karma

What is one moment that you will always cherish? (from the tours, to the work with the orders, etc.)

tlmma22 karma

damn this is a good question. there have been a lot.

the feeling when i got my first vinyl order and saw my logo on the back of the jacket. staring at the logo the same way i have stared at so many legendary releases.

recently the feeling when a band on my label (mom jeans) played to over 400 people at a venue literally across the US from where they are from and kids were screaming all the words and crowd surfing along. that was beautiful to see.

or honestly just the feeling of being truly free, on the road with people i have grown to love, living my life exactly how i want to at that moment.

sunofshadows5 karma

What would you say is the best way to put a demo out into the world and actually have producers listen to it?

tlmma3 karma

you need to support it in person. i will notice bands that tour, play/book a lot of local shows, etc

coryrenton5 karma

who are the best vinyl manufacturers, distros, stores to work with? biggest shipping problems (broken merchandise) etc...?

tlmma7 karma

i have relatively few shipping issues. maybe 1 out of every 75 records has enough damage to get a complaint, so it's easy enough to replace for free at this point.

i really like using a to z media for vinyl, it's nice and simple and they do everything (vinyl, jackets, inserts). i'd also like to shoutout pavonine packaging from NJ. it's a one-woman operation run out of a dorm (i think) that makes handmade cd's and tapes and they are absolutely gorgeous. any band/label should hit her up for the best possible product!

tgldude5 karma

So you work with Mom Jeans? Can you get them to come to OKC or Tulsa again? I missed their tour this summer.

I also have to ask, what are some of your favorite emo bands that got you interested in the genre?

tlmma4 karma

they have some awesome tours coming up, including a full US tour for FEST in october. i'm sure they will play one of those cities at least once more this year.

i'll be in OKC with prince daddy & the hyena in a few weeks. you should check them out

tgldude3 karma

awesome, I'll be sure to do that! I also edited my comment and added a question if you'd have a chance to answer!

tlmma5 karma

my fav album all time is hoffman manor by state lines. also love the hotelier, early saves the day, twiabp, the wonder years. not all emo but some good bands

stopthatmonkey4 karma

Hey Jake!

As a non-touring musician (strictly recording, no live shows), would you recommend finding a startup record label and working with them to get my album "out there"? Or just doing it myself?

My goal is to get my music used in films/tv shows/etc, but I really have no interest in touring.

Also am from Boston, spent much of my youth at the Paradise too!

Thanks sir

tlmma8 karma

i may not be the best person to ask about this as i heavily favor bands that are on the road working their asses off. i think it will be a hard path to climb without supporting it live. but ya never know. try to find so indie filmmakers to email it to

DoingItLeft4 karma

Can you give me a job? I'm either getting laid off or fired within the month.

tlmma8 karma

probably a few years away from being able to do that..can barely support myself as it is lol

ralgrado4 karma

Sounds like you have worked a real job for the last two years. So about my question: What's your favorite food?

tlmma6 karma

i was working 40 hours a week doing sales at a shit company in addition to running the label for 18 months. it blew. pizza babyyy

HenryCurtmantle3 karma

Will you produce classical music on vinyl?

tlmma14 karma

if there was a tight ass local classical diy band i'd be interested

GamerToons3 karma

Why the fuck were you hanging out on /r/emo?

tlmma3 karma

good music

Alfsh3 karma

What are you looking for in a musician that wants to be promoted? What's the "standard" apply, and how many songs you expect them to have as a musician?

tlmma3 karma

they can have 3 songs to their name as long as they work their asses off

human1st3 karma

How often do you get in annoying conversations with people who confuse mid-2000's pop punk with Emo?

tlmma3 karma

haha actually rarely, i try to avoid that stuff nowadays

coryrenton3 karma

what quantity of T-shirt sizes and brands do you recommend every band take on tour for selling?

tlmma3 karma

out of any recommendation i make, there is no company i support more than Leigh Valley Apparel Creation based out of PA. small operation in terms of only being a few employees, but an amazing printing company that always gets shit done perfect, for amazing prices, and works really hard for me and everyone else they print for. support local business!!!!! they've made every shirt and custom vinyl jacket i've ever ordered

i usually buy between 50-150 shirts per design, heavy on medium and large sizes as they sell more, and most of sales are on tour so the more shirts the better on a long run!

pafkoatthewall3 karma

Would you be interested in helping a band out advice wise? We are recording everything ourselves, and have completely gone the DIY route, but it's hard to get shows outside of our own city....advice? Also, if you're interested:

tlmma7 karma

this is something i also struggle with. i try to help book tours for bands on my label sometimes and it is hard. best advice, look at bands around the size of your band and see where they tour, hit up those venues. find the local bands they play with, hit up those bands.

Wjb973 karma

Oh shit. I'm always looking for music, especially local stuff so this is great!

Do you have any suggestions for people looking to start a band in and around Boston?

tlmma3 karma

check out shows at the middle east upstairs, and house shows and try to find fellow musicians

patafla2 karma

Hi Jake, I'm in an unsigned band and we're hoping to self record our first album in a few months. Do you have any tips for getting it out there once we have? Are there any benefits to getting a few vinyls made?

This is a really cool AMA by the way, thanks!

tlmma3 karma

i think vinyl legitimizes a band a bit as it shows someone, even themselves, believes in it enough to invest A LOT. my tips are book and play local shows and tour as much as possible!!!

Bunny_Wabbit2 karma

Seriously? Jobs are becoming extinct by the month, and here you are saying you haven't had to work a 'real job'? How is what you do not a 'real job'?

tlmma2 karma

because a real job gives you paychecks. this is inconsistent money month to month that i will likely need to supplement to be able to survive. my last job was in a soul draining office that gave me financial security. this will be a 'real job' when i can feel comfortable supporting myself and the business from it


Are you in Austin? My band may want to link uo with you.

tlmma2 karma

no but i will be for sxsw :) hoping to do another unofficial showcase this year!

piccolo3nj2 karma

How much money do I need to put music on vinyl?

tlmma2 karma

for a 7" probably $1200, $1500 for a 12"

SU_gr81 karma

How much of a cut do you take?

tlmma1 karma

50/50 on things i front the cost of

AlREDALE0 karma

which band do you regret signing?

tlmma2 karma

NONE. i honestly believe i have a flawless roster of 20 perfect releases. i have an emotional connection to every single one of them!!!

nigboner-17 karma

you gay?

tlmma12 karma

would it matter if i am?

nigboner-11 karma


tlmma12 karma

please die