ScenePointBlank: New Bruises has only released one full-length and a slew of 7"s, right? Is another record in the works?
Bryon Lippincott: Thanks for rubbing it in our face. Just kidding, like I was saying we are trying to be a little less lazy this year. We have the one full length and like 4 splits and our own 7inch—almost enough for a collection record. As of now, we have actually written over 15 new songs and are trying to get all the bugs worked out and record a new album. We have gone through a couple of member changes and have grown as a band so I really hope that this new record would be the best representation of New Bruises. I am hoping it is not just a collection of great songs, but moves like a full record with ups and downs. We are hoping to have it out in like March 2011 and tour the US and maybe the UK/Europe on the release of it.
ScenePointBlank: How did the split with The Measure [SA] come about?
Bryon Lippincott: We have been friends with The Measure since 2006 and I knew Fid even before that from a band he played with in the late nineties. They wanted to do a split with a UK band called Chillerton and so did we. We decided to do a four-way split with those bands and include an amazing band from the UK called Above Them. As the record label goes, we waited for a while for songs and then Chillerton broke up. They had sent songs that were amazing, but had a few audio issues. After waiting a year for the finished songs we just put it out as single 7" but I am hoping to release the Chillerton/Above Them side one day. Or New Bruises may just do a split with Above Them (even though they don't know it yet).
ScenePointBlank: What was the inspiration to cover Mid Carson July on the split?
Bryon Lippincott: Well, for those people who don't know: I was in said band and this is also the aforementioned band that landed my brother and I in jail for trespassing. Anyway, our buddy Mikey (who played guitar in Mid Carson July with me) also tours with us most of the time because Marcus can't tour as often any more since he has become a family man. We thought it fair that if he had to learn sixteen New Bruises songs for the UK/European Tour that the guys should learn at least one song he already knew. We settled on “More Metal," played it nightly on tour and, when we went to record for the split, we recorded it for fun. There was not enough room on the vinyl so it is only available on the download. I am not sure which is better: the original or the cover
ScenePointBlank: Transmit! Transmit! was the first release on Kiss of Death. At the time, did you plan to run a label or did you just want to get your record out there?
Bryon Lippincott: That is a funny question. Mid Carson July had ended up on a bigger label (Fueled By Ramen) and there were things we liked and disliked about it. When we recorded Transmit we really wanted to end up somewhere like No Idea or something and when that did not happen I opted to put it out myself other than on a few smaller labels that had offered. I really had no clue what I was getting myself into, but I rolled with the whole idea of putting out records and knew there were a few other records that needed a home. Next thing you know, it is like five years later and the label became its own little monster.
ScenePointBlank: Is there a particular record that you've been the most excited to release?
Bryon Lippincott: That is a hard kind of loaded question. We believe in all the bands: that is why we work with them. So we have been excited about every record we put out. This year though I have been really stoked on the Unwelcome Guests full length, the No Friends EP, the VRGNS new full length, the Senders 7" and working with Fellow Project again. For Fest this year I am hoping we have this new batch of split seven-inches. They are almost all new bands that we have not worked with and they are all amazing. They are all at the pressing plant now and our fingers are crossed that they make it for Fest.
ScenePointBlank: Probably not my best wording there. I guess I was wondering if you'd released any records by somebody who influenced you a lot or was a idol to you as a kid or something, where there was just a little extra emotional connection.
Bryon Lippincott: I have not been lucky (or maybe daring enough) to work with any of the bands I loved as a kid. There are plenty I would love to release something for but, at the same time, I really like working with new bands as they are coming into their own. It is fun to watch them change and progress and sometimes even gain a larger fanbase. If I do have an extra emotional connection to a band it would probably be something like that. I remember watching Young Livers play Common Grounds at Fest 7 and watching the massive crowd being totally into the show. I ended up feeling this mixture of pride, excitement, and speechlessness on how an amazing band they are and how well they were received as I watched them play. I am not saying I responsible for any of their success—because I am not—but I love that I was part of their history as a band. I got behind them in the beginning, helped put out their first record, and I believed they were a phenomenal band well before other people knew who they were. I guess that is what makes me feel connected to putting out records for bands, not just in the beginning, but over the whole relationship you have with the bands you work with over time. The ones you become really good friends with: that is what I get emotional about.
ScenePointBlank: Has Kiss of Death seen an increase in business since adopting the free download policy?
Bryon Lippincott: We have definitely gotten a lot more traffic on the website/online store since we put up the free downloads and we have seen sizeable increase in sales. Since the inception of the label we have been working hard to keep trying new ideas. The free downloads is kind of un-chartered territory for us but seemed like the right direction to move in. We just figured all of our releases ended up on torrent sites, sometimes bad rips of the records themselves, so why fight it? Let's give away the records and maybe people will check out other bands on the label or buy a record. What has happened that I did not expect was to have someone login, download a record, and come back twenty minutes later and purchase the vinyl. That is not the rule of our free downloads but it happens pretty frequently and it makes me believe that it was a smart move on our part. Most of the bands we work with just want people to give their records a fair listen and I think we are helping create that opportunity for the bands—even if we do not always see a financial gain from it. On financial side of it, I think the only thing we may add is a donation part of it to help offset the vinyl cost to help keep it affordable.
ScenePointBlank: Thanks for your time. Who should I check out at the Fest this year, on Kiss of Death or otherwise?
Bryon Lippincott: Well, as always, in the name of shameless self-promotion you should check out New Bruises. But, seriously, check out some of my favorite bands to watch like Unwelcome Guests, Mayflower, No Friends, VRGNS, The Arteries, The Slow Death, Too Many Daves, and make sure to check out Monikers—they were a stand out last year and my favorite band to watch.
Thanks for the questions, Stoked.