Label Of Love: Wigwam Records


Next up in our Label of Love series we chat to Joe Berridge of Wigwam, a colourful circus of independent sonic treats:

First of all, would you like to introduce your label?
Hey, we are Wigwam Records an independent label run out of Melbourne quirky cafes. We manage bands My Elephant Ride, Mihra and Ministry of Plenty and fill in our time writing and recording music.

How did you get started out with this adventure? Why did you decide to start an independent record label?
We’ve all been playing in bands for a while now and we started it to create a platform for ourselves to share the music we were creating. Working together is a lot better than going at it alone in this big scary industry, haha.

Why does your label bear this name, is there a tale behind the choice?
Well Wigwam describes a domed structure made out of sticks and bark by the Native American but humans have been making them all around the world. We discovered the word from a Bob Dylan instrumental from the 1970 album ‘Self Portrait’ and it kind of stuck in our minds after that.

What was the first creation that your label released?
Our first release was a double single from Mihra called ‘Avantus’ back in August last year. We were in such an embryonic stage back then, it was actually the first recording which we produced, mixed and mastered.

Is there a project you’re involved in at the moment that particularly excites you?
There are a bunch actually, all three of our bands are in the middle of recording at the moment and we are producing all of it. It’s a crazy, exciting time and we’re all really looking forward to sharing our music with the world. Next year will be even bigger, getting new artists on board and premiering our songs and video clips to everyone.

What are you looking for, or what grabs you, when you decide to work alongside/support an artist/band?
Hmmm, it’s a tough one to put your finger on; Wigwam is about quirky interesting songwriting that also are quite diligent and focused on succeeding in the industry. We love songs that are honest and have a strong emotional pull, wrapped up in a unique sound package and catchy hook.

What’s your preferred method of release (CD, vinyl, cassette, digital, zine, other) and why?
We would absolutely love to release everything on vinyl but it is quite expensive. Our first vinyl release will be later in the year when My Elephant Ride release their album! At the moment we just release digitally and in CD format.

Could you tell us about some of the more challenging or unexpected aspects of starting and running a label, from your experience?
It takes a lot of hard work and no one is going to hold your hand. Be bold and beautiful! But not like that cheesy show =) You will have to have your fingers in many different pies. Networking is a huge part of it but we also all have rent to pay so having a few different paid jobs which also allows you to network can be beneficial.

What is it that you love/enjoy the most about managing your own independent label?
There’s a lot of freedom when you run your own label but it takes a lot of work. We’ve networked with some incredibly talented people and some eccentric characters along the way. It’s a chaotic industry to be in but it’s worth it because of the people, events and ultimately the great music that Melbourne gives birth to.

Is there any advice that you’d give to somebody hoping to go down a similar path?
Only do it if you are really passionate about music and have come to terms with the fact that you might be driving the same shitty car and fixing the same roof leak for a few more years. Once everything is organised and you become a local at the cheapest coffee shop in town get to work and send out some emails!

Who’s playing at your upcoming ‘Label of Love’ gig and what can you tell us about them?
Ministry of Plenty are headlining the night with My Elephant Ride as main support. Ministry are a young bunch of friends who are all really talented, playing psychedelic, shoegaze sounds. My Elephant Ride are a close knit group that play with loops and visual projections to make their live performance quite unique.

The Wigwam/Breathlessness gig on July 5 comprises the second segment of the Label of Love series, which is happening at the Shadow Electric Bandroom in Abbotsford. Grab your ticket and find more info about this show here

Tickets to all of the below are on sale now. Stay tuned for more independent goodness!
Sunday 5th July – Breathlessness & Wigwam Records
Thursday 9th July – Catch Release Records
Friday 10th July – Big Village & Rawthentic Records
Saturday 11th July – Rice Is Nice
Sunday 12th July – Remote Control Records
Thursday 16th July – Poison City Records
Saturday 18th July – HopeStreet Records
Sunday 19th July – Butters Sessions
Saturday 25th July – Lost and Lonesome Recording Co
Saturday 1st August – Bedroom Suck Records

Chloe Mayne


Interview by Chloe Mayne.