INTERVIEW: Sad For Life Records | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image: Laurens Court

Kicking off their inaugural Sad For Life Warehouse Party on Friday 26th July – with Whale Hill’s alt. rock sound bringing riffs aplenty, plus sets from Hartlepool’s noisy rock ‘n’ rollers Leopard Rays and experimental grungers Laurens Court – we spoke to the label’s Aaron J Lythe to find out more about the special events and their ambitious plans for the future.

What exactly will the Warehouse Parties entail?
The Sad For Life Warehouse Party will be exactly what it says on the tin. You can expect three of the best emerging artists nationally and locally (even international in August as North by North are coming from the US) – we want to bring an element of art in ourselves, offering a showcase to artists we love. There will always be art at Auxiliary Warehouse which will also be on display at our parties, but we’d like to curate some one night only art to display for our events. 

What’s going to be different about this event as opposed to others you’re running?
The Warehouse Parties will be different because it offers a completely unique stage, like nowhere else that we host gigs. We have monthly takeovers at Fang starting in August which allows us to showcase bands in a club night setting, but the warehouse party allows us to create something completely new. There will be no smoke and mirrors, just a big opportunity for people to come, pay what they want on a donation basis that goes towards the artists playing, and enjoy themselves once a month in a space that is otherwise an art gallery. We want to create some amazing memories for everyone playing and everyone in attendance. Liam at Auxiliary has been wonderfully supportive and we’re more than excited to help build the prestige of his space too!

You’ve said it’s an ‘artist led project’ – how will you be supporting artists to challenge and develop their ideas?
We will always support artists and try to offer them a new stage, room to work and grow their skills. Since working with Northern School of Art and seeing the Sad Sack collective develop first hand, we are excited by the prospect of inviting artists and bands to these parties and letting them take control over their work/performance for a new audience.

It’s increasingly clear your output is going far beyond what a record label would normally offer, which is very exciting! What’s your primary aim over the coming 6/12 months in relation to the region’s music scene?
We are a record label, we do sign and release music and merchandise for artists we are passionate about. That will always be the case. Beyond that, we absolutely love music and love the music scene and as long as we can, we want to bring new gigs, festivals, social events, bands and artists to town. Give everyone involved and everyone interested in what we’re doing a reason to be excited. We will never restrict ourselves to one process and as long as we have any influence in town we will continue to grow and bring these things to town. We want to see Teesside and in particular the music scene thrive, we want to see people coming to Middlesbrough for these gigs and a real sense of community form beyond what it already is (it’s already proper mint!)

Our warehouse parties will come to Auxiliary from July, then we’ll be taking over the chapel at Fang once a month, bringing touring bands to the room every month from August. 

We’re going to be doing a lot more live Sad Session videos, as we have just released for Travis Shaw. Recording and release live session videos and tracks for bands in some of the area’s most unique spaces. 

We will be working closely again with the Sad Sack collective on a second event which is currently being planned. We are planning collaborative events with Clue Records across both Teesside and Leeds.

As well as new releases by artists on our label, maybe even a new signing or two…there’s a lot being planned on top of what we’ve already announced and we have no plans to stop growing as a record label, events and promotions company!


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