Owner of Seattle’s beloved Spin Cycle record shop Jason Grimes and electronic artist Tim Held have come together to launch a new independent label, Spin Cycle Records.
To mark the occasion, they are releasing a 10 track album called TypicalHaunts. With a release date of January 15th 2015, a very limited run of just 300 cassette tapes are being produced. They will be available at nearly every independent record store in the Seattle area and digital copies will also be online.
We arranged a meeting with Jason and Tim in the 'Easy Listening' section of the record shop (it was a quiet, rainy Wednesday in Seattle), we pulled up some crates, cracked open a couple of 'coldies' and chatted about singing dogs, social media and celebrity clientele, here's how we got on....
Please introduce yourself and your label/music/store in one sentence….
Tim: I would say that our label is a labor of love between 2 like-minded individuals who want to share the music they love with their community.
Jason: I like that.
Where does the name Spin Cycle records come from? Why did you choose that name?
Tim: I will let Jason field that one as the label is named after his shop.
Jason: The store purveys things dusty, recycled, and seemingly obsolete. We're populating the world with tomorrow's relics. Truth told, though, we got a good write-up before we had settled on a name and the columnist printed Spin Cycle Records. It's got a nice ring to it.
Spin Cycle Records is an established independent record store, what made you want to start up a record label with Tim Held?
Jason: It started with finding out that this ludicrously nice guy Tim was also a genuinely great musician. He played an in-store at my shop and killed it, then later sent over a demo of his new album. It's spiralled from there.
The first track off of Tim Held’s ‘TypicalHaunts’ album is called ‘Birth’ is that a sentiment to your collaboration for this label?
Tim: I hadn’t thought of it that way, but I like it and will chalk it up to a poetic, serendipitous occurrence.
Jason: AWWWW! That's soooo sweet! Yes, it is now.
What advice would you offer to a new musician who is looking to get signed?
Tim: I have no idea really. If you want to take my route then find a record store with a cool owner and bug him until he becomes your friend.
Jason: Learn the process of putting out to different mediums. That's essentially a big reason for our venture.
Would you rather live with a dog that sings lullabies or a gorilla that can do sign language? Explain your answer
Tim: Well seeing as I worked with signing chimpanzees while in college I would go with the gorilla, but if the dog was a Corgi, it would be a tough choice.
Jason: Man, that's serious pressure being able to communicate with another species. And s/he would like HAVE to be your roommate now, right? I'll take the dog.
In your opinion, what is the BEST album/record ever released and why?
Tim: THE best? Just one? That’s a toughy. I will say that Oneohtrix Point Never’s R Plus 7 is a recent favorite that I believe is the pinnacle of creative and sonic production.
Jason: Fuck. Yeah: Neutral Milk Hotel's Airplane Over The Sea. On vinyl. It crescendos perfectly at the end of side one, holds its breath while you flip it, careens into Holland 1945 and then comes down a little too brutally, right as Jeff Mangum puts down his guitar for what feels like the last time, like a summer fling ending.
If you had a chance to put together your own ‘super group’, who would be in it? (only living members please)
Tim: I am reluctant to answer this question as super-groups always seem to underwhelm me. But that is a cop-out. Brian Eno and Daniel Lopatin from Oneohtrix Point Never.
Jason: Super groups aren't. But since Tim did: Weird Al, Diamanda Galas, Bill Murray and Questlove.
Who designed the artwork for the TypicalHaunts cover?
Tim: My childhood friend Caitlin Blackinton. She’s the best.
I recently had the pleasure of visiting Seattle; I was able to see Star Anna, Shawn Smith, The Kills and Something in the Trees play live. Who at the moment would you say has the Seattle sound? Also how has the music scene in Seattle changed since the explosion of the ‘Grunge’ genre?
Tim: I hate to use the word eclectic, but the Seattle sound is hard to pin down due to the wide range of styles going on right now. I know the electronic scene is really on point with labels like Hush Hush and Further putting out top-notch acts. On the flip-side you have Star Anna holding down the singer song-writer territory and Nik from Good to Die records releasing some of the best hard-core bands I have heard in years. I can’t describe THE sound of Seattle, but I will say this is the place to be right now.
Jason: It's an exciting time. Every night you can step into one of a dozen bars, house shows, or unofficial venues and see it unfolding. And the crowd consists of the bands you saw the nights before. That's the Seattle sound.
What style of musicians will you be look forward to adding to your stable as time moves on? Will it be Seattle musicians or from further afield?
Tim: I think as of now we will be focusing on Seattle groups. As far as genre goes, we are not limiting ourselves. If we love it, we’ll release it.
During my time in Seattle, I sat behind my musical hero. Mike McCready while watching The Kills, I froze and couldn’t speak to him, mainly because I know I would have made a fool of myself. Have there been any times when this has happened to you?
Tim: When I was a teenager I was at Bumbershoot and walked right by Mike McCready and in a star-struck knee jerk reaction I exclaimed “Hey Mike!” and waved enthusiastically. He handled it like a pro with a wave and a genuine smile. I still felt like an ass.
Jason: I met J Dilla's uncle Herm. Oh man, I was so proud I had the Donuts 7” box set on the wall that day. We dug the dollar bin and talked for like an hour.
First gig you ever went to and the most recent? How were they?
Jason: Tom Petty, for my 11th birthday. I didn't know what I was looking at. Or what that funny smell was. Saturday I saw FF perform, a killer local band on the superb local label Couples Skate.
Tim: My first concert was Garth Brooks in the Tacoma Dome in the early 90’s. I shook his hand and my 3rd grade mind melted. Most recent was last night where a band I have been playing guitar for shared the stage with a group from Portland called Minden. They were super-tight musicians and had a great 70’s psychedelic feel to them.
What do you think social media has done for up and coming and already established bands? Is it difficult for a band/musician to get noticed these days?
Tim: Social media is a double-edged sword for up and coming artists. On the one hand you have a nearly limitless audience, but you are competing for their attention with a nearly limitless amount of people with the same intentions as you. I still think live shows and word of mouth are the best way to get your music heard and gain a committed following.
Jason: Tim nailed it. We pass on what sticks. Because of Twitter it only takes a few minutes before someone walks into the store and says “Holy shit have you heard the new D'Angelo??”
Where did you record the album and what made you choose that studio?
Tim: TypicalHaunts was recorded and mixed in my living room. I chose this studio because it was free. It was mastered by Graig Markel at The Recovery Room in Seattle.
Within your record store, have you had many musicians in there browsing the racks? If so, do you remember what they bought and if they actually paid for it?
Tim: I can’t speak to this other than I am a musician who browsed, and continues to browse the racks. It is the best record store in town.
Jason: I'm awful with faces, but they sometimes have a certain quirk that makes me look twice at their credit card name. Peter Buck likes classic rock. The lead singer of Enslaved collects Beatles records (and is super nice). Brother Ali bought some documentaries. Krist Novaselic was fascinated that we could buff the scratches out of Cds. None of the above asked for a discount, but a lot of customers do.
There are many good bands and musicians out there, who would you ask the readers of musicmuso to look out for?
Tim: Anyone from any of the labels I named above. There are just too many to name here.
Jason: I'll second that, and add noisemakers NEWAXEYES, rapper Vince Staples, the ever-dreamy Posse and semi-locals Naomi Punk.
Do you think we can ever live in a world where a chicken can cross the road without having its motives questioned?
Tim: Absolutely not. I mean with your Gamergates and Fergusons I don’t see the situation settling down to where the poor poultry community can conduct their business without being hassled.
Jason: I literally --- literally last week saw a chicken in the middle of Hwy 101. That's in the Olympic National Forest for christssake. There are no chickens, no roads. Everything's context.
The light was fading in the 'Easy Listening' section and we'd just clocked some hot chicks heading into the 'Soundtrack' section, we decided to follow at a distance and strategically placed ourselves behind a pillar so we could check out the ladies fine forms and also engage Jason & Tim with some thought provoking and intellectual quick-fire questions....
Coffee or Tea?
Coke or Pepsi?
Jason: * cringe * diet coke
Drum machine or the real deal?
Mac or PC?
Taco or Clam Chowder?
Mother Love Bone or Nirvana?
CD or Vinyl?
Car or Motorbike?
Tim: Car. Motorbikes are dangerous.
Jason: I have a scooter
Seahawks (NFL) or Sounders (MLS)?
Tim: At the risk of damaging my street cred, I am a bit of a Seahawks fan. But I am not going to scream about it at non-football related functions. If you do that, you need to calm down and rethink your life-decisions.
Jason: I love watching good athletes. It's creepy when your city is winning, being basically a celebration of conquest and territory, but they're all soooo happy I don't split hairs with them.
Acoustic or electric?
Shower or Bath?
Jason: I want one of those tall Japanese tubs.
Tattoos or Piercings?
Robert De Niro or Al Pacino?
Jason: Are you talkin' to me?
Tim: De Niro
God or Google?
Tim: What’s the difference?
We'd like to thank Jason and Tim for sparing their time to sit and labor over our questions, we know it's not a pleasant experience but sitting back now, with a coffee in hand, reading through, I hope they feel that it was all worth it, we certainly do!
Spin Cycle Records can be located at;
321 Broadway Ave East, Seattle, Washington 98102, USA
Opening Hours 11:00 - 22:00 Sunday to Monday
The shop is a small but dense collection of used vinyl, select new LPs, classic and modern video games and consoles, mad cheap cassette tapes and tons and tons of DVDs, get yourselves down there for a rummage, you may just unearth that rare record or CD that you've been after for ages!