Feature / Music
Pass The Mic: Record Labels and Artists on 2008

Words: Michael • October 16, 2010

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Benard/ Jena Berlin (Zac Hobbs)

What are your top five albums that were released in 2008?

  1. Lemuria - Get Better
  2. The Bronx - III
  3. Glass and Ashes - Glass and Ashes
  4. OleHole - HoleMole
  5. Antillectual - Testimony

What band did you discover in 2008 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?

Had an impact on my life? I don't know, I never really listened to The Hold Steady much before this year, but now I listen to them pretty regularly. I really like OleHole a lot and I think if we hadn't played with them at the Fest I would have never gotten into them. I'm not sure if either of these bands had an impact on my life, but I just started listening to them this year, so, I suppose that's relevant.

How will you remember 2008? (In terms of music)

For me, personally, this was the year that I stopped listening to as much new music and started focusing on the records I really love and figuring out why I love them so much. I got Blink-182's "Dude Ranch" like, ten years ago and I still love it to this day, and I spent a lot of time this year revisiting records like that as opposed to tracking down new ones and trying to remember and figure out why those types of records made me interested in playing music. I really didn't have much interest in The Gaslight Anthem or whatever bands are really hot right now?for me I am less concerned with what people I have never met are creating. I think in 2008 I was way more concerned with what the community around me, the stuff that me and my friends are and were making, and are/were doing with our lives and our scene, as opposed to slobbering over the new Off With their Heads of Abel Baker Fox records.

Vinyl record sales saw a significant increase this year while hard copy sales continued to dwindle. Is this a return to the glory days for vinyl or just a phase? Explain.

Last year I got really into collecting vinyl?I think this year I have just been more of a vinyl buyer. I don't really buy CDs anymore, but at the same time I very rarely see the need to have multiple copies of the same record anymore. I guess I feel like that with Vinyl you are getting more for your money, and its something that you can hold and feel producing sound. I think a lot more care goes into a vinyl packaging and the process of listening to a record is much more intimate than a CD or an iPod. I think people are starting to realize that for the same price of a CD, you can get a lot better packaging, and often lots of different colors and just a much better feeling from owning an LP or a 7". I've seen TONS more split 7"'s in the past two years than I have in all of my life prior, and I think that is something that isn't going away. I'm not sure if it is a fad or not, but, I guess either way, it can't be a bad thing. If people are buying records and supporting bands, then, that's great.

What was the most memorable moment for you in 2008? (Can be in terms of anything)

The Fest 7 was pretty incredible. All three sets I was a part of were some of the best shows I have been a part of. More than the shows and music, the Fest was incredible because I think every friend I have ever made from playing in bands were all in one city at one time. I couldn't walk down the road or go in Taco Bell or go in a venue without running into some good friends that I don't get to see that often. For me that was the pinnacle of the year. Jena Berlin's trip to Europe was also pretty amazing, simply because it gave me a lot of perspective on how we treat bands in America, and really changed the way I think about helping out touring bands when they come through Atlanta. But above those two, I adopted a dog this year?she's pretty amazing.

What can we look forward to from you in 2009?

Touring a lot, I suppose. I know Benard has a split 7" or two in the works, and I know Die Benny has about two EP's worth of material that we need to record and figure out how to put out. Jena Berlin is going to be doing some weekends here and there and possibly another European trip, and I'm sure I'll be spending a lot of time on tour with Mose Giganticus this year.

What three records are you looking forward to most in 2009?

I honestly don't know. I guess I'd be really happy if Young Hearts put something new out. I'm real interested in hearing the new Fake Problems LP?How Far Our Bodies Go was one of my favorite records when it came out and I'm really interested to see what they do on their second full length. Oh!, and whenever Worn in Red puts out their new record, I'm sure it will slay.

Homepage: http://www.myspace.com/benardmusic

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