Music Interview: Wyall Style Records
We chatted to Lewis Coleman from Wyall Style Records, who have just launched as a brand new independent label:
First of all, would you like to introduce your label?
Certainly! Wyall Style Records is a new imprint on the established Melbourne label HopeStreet Recordings, currently based out of a house in Brunswick West, which is occupied by four members. We’re trying to put out music and other artistic offerings with the same level of heart/soul and quality as our older sibling, but – as the tag line says – “through a different set of glasses”.
How did you get started out with this adventure? Why did you decide to start an independent record label?
After quite a few years of the majority of the members playing in The Cactus Channel, we started getting involved in various other projects separate from the thriving Melbourne funk/soul scene, and also started doing a lot more in house recordings of things we thought were cool, however maybe didn’t quite sit in the land of HopeStreet as appropriately. Frida was one of them, and so as a group we sat down with Bob and Tristan from HopeStreet and nutted out the idea of having something separate, but still intertwined with the label that could serve as a platform for these other creative endeavours.
Why does your label bear this name, is there a tale behind the choice?
There’s not really a grand tale, however there was an overwhelming amount of deliberation. Wyall is the street name, Style rhymes with Wyall. Style encompasses aspects that might not necessarily be musical. Wyall has a Style, Style makes people pronounce Wyall properly. Records makes us look legit official, and also I guess states our biggest focus which is on musical releases.
What was the first creation that your label released?
The first thing to come out of the Wyall factory is a 7-inch single from Frida. Side A is a track called Slowly, Side B is a track called I Want It All. Come to think of it both titles combined have a bit of an ambitious sense to them, which I guess is fitting for the beginnings of Wyall Style.
We recorded them earlier this year at the Wyall household and subsequently threw the tracks between bedrooms and refined them till they were beaten into shape.
Is there a project you’re involved in at the moment that particularly excites you?
I guess on a broad scale the whole idea of starting this imprint, because there’s still heaps of things to establish, and also heaps of potential for different projects we’ve been thinking of. Having a solid platform to put stuff out on is very exciting to me at the moment.
What are you looking for, or what grabs you, when you decide to work alongside/support an artist/band?
Really it probably boils down to just quality content and a good sense of musicality, whatever that means. I’m a bit nerdy for sounds, so if there’s something with really interesting sonic elements and textures to it I’m a sucker.
What’s your preferred method of release (CD, vinyl, cassette, digital, zine, other) and why?
I don’t really have a preference, they all serve their own thing and do good jobs at it in different situations, I guess vinyl kind of gives me this bigger more tangible sense of accomplishment, because it’s got the biggest physical presence and you’re involved in all the aspects of getting it through your stereo, and the artwork is engulfing, and sometimes the vinyl is clear (like Frida’s new 7-inch single!), but also digital stuff can be released in really cool ways too!
I haven’t really delved into the cassette world but I seem to buy them if a band is selling them at a gig. I’ve been in too many cars now where you need that cassette tape to aux cable adaptor so there’s gotta still be a huge market for them…
Could you tell us about some of the more challenging or unexpected aspects of starting and running a label, from your experience?
There hasn’t been much yet because we’re still finding our feet, I’m sure I’ll have a bazillion answers for you in half a year or so. Choosing the darn name and the logo was a bit of a process, and also realizing that we responsible of conveying a vision effectively to HopeStreet is something we’re working on. I guess one of the aspects is that you’re essentially trying to run a legitimate business now so you have to act and function in ways that might not be as familiar to you. Also being able to take yourself seriously and not getting caught up in taking the piss of yourself that you’re now a bit of a business-y label guy is a bit of a challenge.
What is it that you love/enjoy the most about managing your own independent label?
That I get to collaborate with great musicians who are also my good friends on a bunch of artistic material. Trying to make something sustainable out of something I love doing is a good feeling.
Is there any advice that you’d give to somebody hoping to go down a similar path?
We’re no seasoned pros by any stretch, so any pointers for us would be great! I guess focusing on some core elements of your music/art and the ways in which you go about producing and creating it that might be simple or complicated but have a sense of uniqueness to it, and building a strong identity around that can be pretty effective.
Frida will be joined by friends Plastic and Tully on Tully at The Gasometer on the 18th of September (tonight!) to celebrate the release of Slowly / I Want It All and the launch of Wyall Style Records.
Slowly / I Want It All is the debut release from Wyall Style Records, and is available worldwide on clear 7” vinyl and digital download from. Visit wyallstyle.com/slowly for more details. Look out for regular Wyall Style content on their blog at www.wyallstyle.com.
Words by Chloe Mayne.