Label Spotlight: Poison Tree

posted November 6, 2007

by Corinne

Poison TreePlease introduce yourself.

Matt Sells, owner of Poison Tree and drummer living in Los Angeles.

When and why did you start your label?

The label is only a year old. [I started the label] to release good music and to have fun. It was a natural thing to do, because I have been playing music for some time.

What kind(s) of music does Poison Tree put out?

Rock...Punk......anything good.

What was your first release? How did you finance it?

My first release was from a Japanese artist Feltip Pens (experimental). I saved up some cash.

What is your most recent release?

Road To Nowhere was the last, but we are releasing the US-AUS-NZ version of "Phi" from the Truckfighters. The CD will be released on November 27, 2007 and limited edition vinyl will follow.

How do you feel about sharing music on the Internet?

Well, for dirt bags like me (ha ha) it's a beautiful thing. You can really spread the word via the internet. As most can see, we are experiencing a new music revolution.

Any words of wisdom for those interested in running their own label?

Before you start, do years of research and really know what your doing. Honestly, it takes a crazy amount of time to do this. Surround yourself with kind people, that is key. We don't work with assholes.

What has been your most successful release?

I think all have been fulfilling for me, but the one's coming up will be the best (Truckfighters - Tripping Horse -Winnebago Deal - Road To Nowhere Dos).

What's the best way and the worst way to get a label's attention?

Great question. The worst way is to message our MySpace page and leave some cocky comment that you will be doing us a favor or something. The best way to get my attention is to really believe in what we are doing. And obviously, I have to enjoy the music. All artists are welcome to email us with a link of their music.

Regardless of genre, what do you look for in the artists and bands you sign?

We look for artists that work hard and play shows. Playing shows is very important. And again, I have to enjoy the music a lot!

There are a lot of legalities involved in running a label (signing bands, releasing records, everyday work, etc.). How does your label deal with these things?

Work with cool people and you shouldn't have problems. I write all of our contracts, but you need a lot of knowledge to do this. It comes with being in the music industry for years and knowing the legalities of music. We try to work with attorneys as little as possible, but sometimes they are needed.

Tell us about your new compilation, "Road To Nowhere." It's got some notable names. What motivated the album and the track listing?

I wanted to put a compilation out to listen to on those long trips to Baja or anywhere else. Rumors are flying around that it was anti Josh Homme because of some of the tracks and people on. That's not true, I haven't even ever met Josh.

Anything else you would like to add?

We love your site and thanks for the interest!