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Birmingham’s Skybucket Records Celebrates 10 Years (MM)

01 Feb 2013

written by Mod Mobilian

Birmingham's Skybucket Records Celebrates 10 Years

Birmingham’s Skybucket Records Celebrates 10 Years

by Old Lady Hayes

 

It is tough, for anything these days, to last for more than a few years, especially a label. Skybucket Records is proving to the be a mainstay of the southern scene. Skybucket has released over 30 albums in the past decade with the likes of the Dexateens, Through the Sparks, Vulture Whale, 13ghosts, Delicate Cutters, Barton Carroll, Terry Ohms, Dan Sartain, Taylor and the Puffs (Taylor Hollingsworth), Wes McDonald and more. With their 10 year anniversary fast approaching, I chit chatted with the Pilot of Skybucket, Travis Morgan.

Old Lady Hayes – Travis, what was life like for you before the launch of Skybucket?

Travis Morgan – I was a college student.  I was interning at a commercial video production facility and was considering going into film and video production.  I also had various jobs, mainly at record stores in the Birmingham area from high school on throughout college.

OLH – I suppose working in those records stores helped you realize the dream of Skybucket Records. What was the initial inspiration?

TM – There were so many good Birmingham bands and very few were releasing records and even fewer releasing them with record labels.  There was only one other Birmingham label at the time and they really weren’t putting anything out by the time we were getting started.  It seemed like a golden opportunity to help promote music we thought was excellent coming out of Birmingham.  There was a need to be filled and we jumped on the opportunity.

OLH – How have you kept Skybucket rocking and rolling for ten years?

TM – We’ve been fortunate to have so many great bands want to work with us.  The quality music has continued to be the number one driver behind our motivation.  It’s what has kept things inspired.  When one is inspired by something so strong, it is a huge energy source.  I’ve also been fortunate to have a supportive family knowing it takes on so much time and energy. It would be hard to name all the people and things that have supported us.

OLH – Look into your crystal ball if you will and tell me what you see for Skybucket in the next ten years?

TM -The future is unpredictable.  My hope is to continue running the label and putting out several releases per year. My budgets have shrunk in size drastically because there is no money to recoup.  It’s a money pit and very sad to experience.  I wish I had more money to put into it.  It can only go so far with the current model so I’m re-thinking ways of doing it more efficiently.  The key is usually to have bands that tour.  I know very few bands in Alabama that tour.  I understand it’s not financially possible for 99% of bands to tour and that’s a shame because that’s one of the big gaps separating them from having viable music careers. That’s if they want that.  I don’t know if this is the answer you want to hear but the reality is that labels are struggling.

I have started managing bands to have more involvement long term in their careers.  My 10 years plus of industry knowledge hopefully can come to the assistance to some bands.  I hope to build this side of the business up and help develop musicians and bands’ careers.
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Help Skybucket Records celebrate their ten years on the scene at Bottletree on February 8th and 9th. Full line up and ticket details can be found here.


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