Brisbane music label 4000 Records is celebrating its first birthday with the announcement of three live music shows over the next three months in local venues.
The label, which is run by Brisbane local John Russell, manages 13 bands situated in and around Brisbane, including the Holy Roller Coasters, Cloud Tangle and The Double Happiness.
Mr Russell started the label in September 2019, after the closure of his former Brisbane-based label, Valley Heat Records.
Mr Russell formed Valley Heat Records in 2016 with friend Brian L’Huillier, but the pair disbanded the label in 2019 after realising they wanted different things from the business.
“I’ve always gone to shows and been on street teams back in the day, but I didn’t really start properly getting into the music scene until I started Valley Heat Records when I was 30,” Mr Russell said.
“Being such a small music scene in Brisbane, any new kind of project gets a lot of attention, so we had a lot of bands contacting us and asking if they could jump on [the label],” he said.
Mr Russell said when he started Valley Heat Records, he had no idea what he was getting into.
“When I started Valley Heat Records I went in completely blind,” he said.
“But the more I learnt and the more I did with the label, I realised this is what I want to do, this is what I’m passionate about.”
“Over the three years Valley Heat Records existed, it grew quite quickly, well beyond what the initial expectation was.”
Starting 4000 Records was a relatively painless process for Mr Russell, as most of the bands from Valley Heat moved with him to the new label’s roster.
“When I started [4000 Records] in September last year, I brought a lot of that industry knowledge over with me and I really hit the ground running,” he said.
“I started the new roster with 10 bands that moved with me, and three or four music releases ready to go.”
Mr Russell’s role at 4000 Records includes organising shows and tours, as well as working with the media and PR side of the music industry.
The label was also in charge of releasing physical copies of its band’s rosters music on cassette tapes, as well as on streaming services such as Spotify and Bandcamp.
Amber Ramsey, of the solo project Cloud Tangle, said Mr Russell and 4000 Records had been extremely important in her music career.
“I linked up with John from 4000 Records for my first release in 2017 and was in awe of how passionate he was about local music, and I haven’t looked back since,” Ms Ramsey said.
“He takes a genuine interest in the artists who don’t necessarily fit the mould and gives them a platform, which is so important for Brisbane having such a diverse range of talent,” she said.
“The label and its artists have always felt like a sort of family and has motivated and inspired me in a way [so that] I feel like I can express myself honestly and without pressure, something that is quite rare.”
Singer-songwriter Jimi Beavis of The Holy Rollercoasters said Mr Russell’s passion and deep love for music really encouraged the band to keep releasing records.
“When you are part of a niche genre of music you need someone like John, who is a massive music fan, because otherwise it’s a real struggle to release music that you know is good but because of the costs of recording and releasing music, it is just so difficult to put out there,” Mr Beavis said.
“It would be a wonderful thing to make money from music, but the next best thing is to be able to just put it out there without a great cost to yourself and for it to be promoted, and John makes that happen,” he said.
“He is so passionate about music and it means it is easier for us, in fact it inspires us to keep going.”
“Having John say, ‘yep this is good music and I want to release it’, is a catalyst, an incentive and it means it is not just us that is passionate about our music.”
The gigs for 4000 Records’ first birthday celebration will be performed by bands signed to the label.
The first event is on September 19 at Goleby’s Basement in Ipswich and will feature bands Coalfalls, Edith Thomas Furey, Johnny Cyrus and His Band of Ghosts, and Local Authority.
The second show is on October 10 at Club Greenslopes and will feature The Double Happiness, Endless Valley, Greska and Fingerless, with three of the bands launching their new singles at the event.
The final gig is on November 12 at The Zoo in Fortitude Valley.
The gig offers fans the chance to pay just $5 to see five bands, including Cloud Tangle, Aubergine, The Holy Rollercoasters, Coatfalls and Shugorei.
For more information about the upcoming shows, visit the 4000 Records official Facebook page.