Interview with Brooks Daughtry [Bianca Wieck]



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00:00:01 - Spacebomb and the Richmond Music Community

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Partial Transcript: BW: Hi, this is Bianca Wieck, it is December 11th, and I am interviewing Brooks Daughtry, a member of the Spacebomb record label in Richmond. So how has, in your experience, Spacebomb been a part of the Richmond music community?

BD: Sure, yeah, so we started in 2012 and on of our founders Matthew E. White is from here as well as almost every employee we have is either from here, moved away to work in the music industry, came back, I mean, a lot of our in-house bands too went to VCU and U of R and were in the music programs so they grew up around and went to school with a lot of creative like-minded people in the music industry in Richmond. So we just kind of founded as our home and have stayed here and have grown it from here because we didn't want to move to LA or New York, didn't see anything super appealing about it, versus here there's a lot of undiscovered talent here that could be honed in on and we've just tried to take it and run from there. We've been expanding and have founded as a nice headquarters.

BW: Awesome, so then from your personal experience, how would you define the Richmond music community as a whole?

BD: Um, in a word or in a couple sentences?

BW: In however long you think.

BD: Yeah, sure, how would I define the Richmond music community? Um, I mean obviously really diverse and there is a couple college towns, like it is a college town. So people come from other states and other countries to be here and study music and I think that takes on its own form too, like that kind of molds into the people who grew up here and played here all their life and can work with people who come from all around the world.

Segment Synopsis: Brooks Daughtry discusses what Spacebomb is, how it came to be, how she would characterize the Richmond music community, and how Spacebomb interacts with that community.

Keywords: Richmond; Spacebomb; community; music

Subjects: Richmond music; VCU; music community; record label

00:02:28 - Richmond as a "Music City"

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Partial Transcript: BW: So then, you talked about LA and New York, which are definitely Music Cities. So do you think that Richmond is becoming one of those quote-on-quote "Music Cities"?

BD: Um, yeah, I think, I mean, there's always conversation of the "New Nashville" in the South, like what city is kind of taking on the "Nashville music-centered" kind of feel, and I think that Richmond has started to show itself as one of those cities, especially with developments like Spacebomb. And we have like four or five really nice world-class studios here too that people come from all around the world, and we're developing one of those right now. So I mean, yeah, I think it's changed a lot from the 80s DIY sort of like basement show feel to this kind of, like you actually go out and see a Richmond-based artist in a 1500-cap venue. But I definitely think it could happen but it's in the works for sure. It's in the works. It could happen though, we are hoping to help bring that here.

BW: So at Spacebomb it's definitely part of the conversation then, that goal?

BD: Yeah, for sure, I mean we like the fact that it's like not known as a Music City I think specifically because we can kind of take chances and take also the forefront of that conversation because we're not like mixed up in a crowd of hundreds of labels in the city. So yeah, that's our goal, one of our goals I think is to make that more of a centralized scene here and kind of like take that across the country and the world hopefully.

Segment Synopsis: Brooks Daughtry elaborates on the concept of Richmond becoming a "Music City" and how Spacebomb is working towards this goal.

Keywords: Music City; Nashville; Richmond; South; labels

Subjects: Music City; Southern sound; centralized scene; the New Nashville

GPS: The new location of the Spacebomb Studios record label.
Map Coordinates: 37.55046, -77.47458
00:04:36 - Recording International Artists Versus Local Artists

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Partial Transcript: BW: Yeah, so I was actually wondering, because I know that you guys record international artists. So what's kind of the incentive with that? Why does Spacebomb seek to record international artists?

BD: Yeah, I mean I think it's kind of small-minded to just record people in Richmond, like I think there's, you shouldn't just work with the people that you work with because of convenience or locality, so, I mean, if we have world-class composers and musicians and studio space and people in the industry, they're going to be attracted to that. And if you can take Spacebomb's name anywhere else in the world like that it's obviously great for us too. So we're like, if you do good things then good things will be attracted to you, and I think that's what has happened with us, and it's only helpful.

BW: Absolutely, so then, you've already worked with local Richmond artists. How would you characterize them? Is there a certain type of person that's recording music in Richmond?

BD: Um, I'd say people that work in Richmond to me are like multi-faceted, they are multi-instrumentalists, they have multiple talents, they have to be a bunch of things because they're not in a big city where they can be specialized, and be doted on as one specific kind of artist or thing or sold or branded as one thing. They've had to play gigs and different kinds of shows, like maybe they were in a choir, maybe they were writing for a media outlet like we have one of our artists writes for us, helps with our press reports and stuff but also plays on some of our albums and makes his own music. So I think that kind of, that's to me what I think of when I think of an artist like, just multi-talented.

Segment Synopsis: Brooks Daughtry discusses why Spacebomb records international artists as well as local Richmond artists as well as describes what the local Richmond artists are like.

Keywords: Spacebomb; artists; international; local; recording

Subjects: artists in Richmond; international artists; multi-talented; multi-talented artists

00:06:55 - Richmond Music with Regards to VCU, Authenticity, and Becoming a "Music City"

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Partial Transcript: BW: Cool, um, so then, I know you've only been here a couple of months, but have you experienced any influence in the industry from VCU? They're kind of this big performing arts, I mean, monster in a way in Richmond. Have you experienced in Spacebomb any influence from them?

BD: From Spacebomb's perspective, kind of like you mentioned, we reach a little farther than that. We work with artists that are more developed than kind of the reach that VCU would have. But we of course are trying to be involved in their community as much as possible. But for me I would say we haven't had as much of a connection as we probably should, I mean you said, they're a mass entity, they have like 40000 undergrad or something like that, it's crazy, I don't know how much of that is music but I think that's also on them, they don't have a very developed system. There's not specific venues or anything that they have open to the students it seems like, but it's definitely something I think we should be more connected with but aren't right now.

BW: Ok, so then, in your experience working with Spacebomb, are musicians from Richmond close to, so not the international artists but like musicians from Richmond, are they singing about Richmond? Are they close to the concept about creating music for Richmond?

BD: Absolutely, I think that's what Spacebomb also tries to embody too, is like we are from Richmond we try to tell that story as much as possible- where people are going, what people are attracted to at the moment, what the charm around Richmond is about. We're trying to hone that in and keep it a part of our mind at all times. And specifically with the artists, it's definitely an influence because most like 90 percent of them grew up here, so it's like a big thing for them to be able to first of all, write about where they are from and live and to be able to work with people in the industry in the same city, yeah, it's definitely an influence for them.

BW: Absolutely. OK, I have one final question, thank you so much for your time. So Spacebomb as an entity, I know that there's this juxtaposition between wanting to be a Music City but then also liking the locality of Richmond and how it's not like New York or LA. So as a record label, would you guys rather see Richmond grow into this Music City, into this metropolis of music, or stay as this kind of individual, authentic scene?

BD: I mean, it's always nice to say you want both, I think that's, the goal would be to have the best of both worlds. I don't see a world in which we won't be based in Richmond, so however big we get is however big Richmond will be taken with them or we will be taken with them. So I would say that we want all the success for Richmond to be a music scene and a music center. So I would say we would never want to hold back from that but till somehow hold the charm and distinctness that comes from being a small-is Southern city.

BW: Ok, well thank you so much.

Segment Synopsis: Brooks Daughtry describes how Spacebomb views the influence of VCU in the music industry, what musicians in Richmond are singing about, and whether or not it should become a "Music City."

Keywords: Music City; Richmond; VCU; industry; influence

Subjects: Music City; authentic Richmond sound; authentic scene; influence of VCU