A year ago, Jeanette Wall, a junior in the Bandier program, started The Miscreant, a promotional magazine for various bands. She said she wanted to help give back to all the contributors and bands, so she decided to make a compilation tape. Although the tape didn’t come to fruition, the idea planted a seed that she really wanted to release records.
Wall worked at Ba Da Bing Records, an independent record label, this past summer. She already knew much of what she did at the internship, but seeing the daily ins and outs of running a label was a learning experience in itself. Being the go-to mail person at the label, Wall was responsible for sending out vinyl, T-shirts, and other random items that either the label or the artists needed.
“It was just like crazy stuff. The label was also in the guy’s house, so seeing the lifestyle that you lead whenever you run a record label, sort of made it more real,” she said.
Also, reading Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records made her realize how possible it is for someone with her interests to start a label. She started Miscreant Records in late 2011, which releases records on cassette and vinyl.
“Obviously the music is what’s important. That should definitely catch your attention,” Wall said. “But I want to make sure it looks as cool as the music is and that you have that tangible experience with cassette or vinyl, which I think is definitely the foundation of the record label, and my philosophy on music because I love analog technology.”
Wall said she is currently working to release Dumb Talk’s next album on pink vinyl. Miscreant Records uses United Record Press, located in Nashville, one of the largest vinyl pressing companies in the country. The company even presses albums for Third Man Records, Jack White’s record label.
Some of the bands Miscreant Records works with are Walls’ friends. She said she likes to take on bands that she enjoys the music of, with no particular genre in mind. Others she sees live or finds on blogs.
“They’re just my friends. It is like getting married,” said Wall. “I’m taking a huge financial risk, but also I’m still building a brand and the artists trust you to brand their record correctly, and you trust them to represent the brand. I guess it’s just you want to have people who’s music not only do you love, but people you know will sell records who would be passionate about pushing it and be responsible and not get too ahead of themselves.”
Wall said she believes the word miscreant means being a misfit and not feeling like you fit in all the time.
“I feel everybody feels like that so it is a really identifiable, really inclusive brand identity, which is really something I’m all about.”