Label Spotlight: State of Mind Recordings

posted February 1, 2006

by Corinne

State of Mind RecordingsPlease introduce yourself.

My name is James and I run and own State of Mind Recordings with Dave.

When and why did you start your label?

The idea of the label came about in the summer of 2003, but we didn't officially start up the label until early 2004. We started a label because we both wanted to give back to the hardcore/punk community. With work and lack of musical talent, being in a band wasn't for me. Since Dave has only 3 fingers on his left hand (firework accident) being in a band isn't something for him really. So we decided since we can't be in a band why not run a label and do our best to support bands.

What kind(s) of music does your label put out?

All kinds, we have released a solo folk album, screamo, hardcore, metal, etc. We like all kinds of music and are by no means locked into just releasing one style of music.

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

Our first release was the vinyl version of the Dead Wrong / The Banner split. It was financed by a lot of bottle returns picking up pennies off the street…just kidding. Both Dave and I have full-time jobs, so getting the money together wasn't a problem.

What is your most recent release?

Our most recent release is TAEA "No Place Like Home" CDEP.

How do you feel about sharing music on the Internet?

I think it's shitty. I mean if you are going to share the new Green Day CD that's cool. That band makes money in so many other ways. But I think it kills the smaller bands, most of those bands barley make it to the next show sometimes. Bands that are playing the VFW halls and hole in the wall bars get killed from this. A lot of people probably think they make it to the next show by the door money. But they really don't it's all in the merch sales. If one kids buys the CD and then gives it to 5 of his friends how does that support the band?

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

No matter how big or small your label is or how big or small you want it to be remember it IS A business, don't let your friendship with a band get in the way. Find a local or family lawyer and get contracts for EVERYTHING. Just remember it is a BUSINESS.

What has been your most successful release?

Our most successful release has been the Dead Hearts "s/t" CDEP, with the This is Hell "s/t" CDEP following it.

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

Any press is good press. We find it best to just post your news updates EVERYWHERE message boards, MySpace, have an e-mail newsletter, etc.

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

Bands that are real bands, a band that tours, has merch made, knows what it's like to be on a month long tour. A band that has had a few tours under their belts, have released a EP or a Full length already. Bands that know what needs to be done by a band and does it. A band that tours 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?

We are very lucky, this label is run by two of us. So we split up the tasks, we also have a few friends who live locally who help out a lot as well with some smaller things.

Anything else you would like to add?

I'd like to thank you for the interview. I'd like to invite all of you who are reading this to head on over to and download our 18 song sampler and check out our bands. Also be sure to check out TAEA, This is Hell, Dead Hearts, and Crime in Stereo who are always out on the road touring. Thank you for your time.