JONATHAN GALKIN, GUEST EDITOR AND CO-FOUNDER OF DFA RECORDS, TALKS ABOUT MUSIC, MEDIA, AND LIFE IN GENERAL
DFA HAS JUST CELEBRATED THEIR TENTH ANNIVERSARY… Yes, and we are using this whole year, until September 2012 to use that as a selling point. Seems fair.
WHAT IS THE SECRET TO YOUR SUCCESS? Low overhead.
TYPICAL DAY IN THE DFA OFFICE? There are no typical days really but myself, Kris and 1 or 2 interns arrive by 11am and leave sometime between 630 and midnight. It involves laughing, crying, eating and drinking a lot of coffee and water. Bands often stop by the office or studio. On the other hand, everyone seems to be traveling around a lot too.
WHAT IS YOUR TASTE IN MUSIC? HOW HAS IT CHANGED SINCE YOU FOUNDED DFA? I am quite obsessive when I get to something I like, I enjoy the research. I love dance music but I am not a DJ and I don’t go out much. I sorta obsess over classic rock, folk, tropicalia and all things Laurel Canyon. My taste hasn’t changed much but what is amazing is still discovering artists from the 60′s or 70′s with full bodies of work that somehow I missed. I could take a year each getting into Mike Cooper or Michael Chapman or John Martyn or Joni Mitchell – that is how you discover Heijera & Hissing of Summer Lawns albums!
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR ARTISTS? I sort of will them to take shape, mentally. To fill a void. This is definitely true with our 12″ singles. I just need to learn how to monetize my special powers better.
WHO IS THE MOST EXCITING ARTIST YOU’VE RECENTLY DISCOVERED? Factory Floor.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST OPPORTUNITIES FOR INDIE LABELS IN TODAY’S MARKET? Controlling your own catalog and mercy and getting direct payment for both physical and digital. That sounds good to me as an indie label.
WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES? Getting Megaupload back up again.
YOU WENT TO FILM SCHOOL…HOW DOES YOUR FILM BACKGROUND INFORM YOUR MUSIC CHOICES? It helped build a very pretentious movie collection which sits right next to my pretentious music collection. So, lets just say they are closely related.
DO YOU TWEET? HOW IMPORTANT IS SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MUSICIANS? I once tweeted but to be honest it was not for me. Way too few characters. For bands (and labels) it is very important. What else can I say? There are so many levels, from the way Facebook can connect hundreds of thousands of people and if you can integrate your store as well (as Kris did for DFA) and raise excitement and awareness via those simple (and well designed) means. For musicians and labels it makes so much else obsolete. Twitter is great too. I truthfully do quite like it.
IF YOU WEREN’T MANAGING A RECORD LABEL YOU WOULD BE… Talk show host.
WHAT ATTRACTED YOU TO THE COLLABORATION WITH DREAM THE END? Working with you!s
For our first all-music edition, Galkin collected 50 tracks that represent the kind of music played at the DFA offices, “titles that are obscure, exciting and very unexpected”, as well as a special mixtape for Valentine’s Day.