Exploding In Sound Records is an ever-growing family — and now it’s time for a reunion.
The then-Boston, now-New York-based record label started in October of 2011 by Dan Goldin and Dave Spak after they met at Northeastern University. “It seemed like there were so many great bands making amazing albums in Boston that were only heard by their friends and the circle of people that would go to shows in Boston,” explains Goldin. “I wanted to spread it around. Now, we want everyone to feel like part of the process, from fans who are just getting into it to bands that have been a part of it for the whole time.”
To say thanks, they’re throwing three shows for the city and its fans in return for their support over the years. On August 22nd at 8PM, Krill, Big Ups, LVL UP, Stove, and Palehound will play The Sinclair. On August 23rd at 1PM, Vundabar, Washer, Zula, Swings, Great Deceivers, and Lady Bones will play at O’Brien’s Pub where, if you get there early, you can nab some free pizza. Finally, on the evening of August 23rd, Pile, Kal Marks, Gnarwhal, Leapling, and Bunny’s A Swine will play Great Scott to close out the thank you weekend.
If a new listener turns up this weekend, drawn by the good word and rock-heavy music of EIS’s roster, they will immediately enter a friendly environment filled with music-obsessed friends. Technically, being nice should be an easy thing to do, but there’s an approachable-ness to EIS that isn’t immediately recognizable in others. “A lot of that comes from the fact that all the bands we work with are humble people,” says Goldin. “No one’s trying to be a dick, basically. We’re all appreciative that people care.”
Even moreso, that positivity comes from the label’s glass walls. If you have something to hide, people lose trust. “I try to be pretty transparent as a label,” says Goldin. “I hope to take the mystery out of it all. There’s nothing secret or intimidating about the label; it’s all right in front of you. The focus is on the music and our love for the bands. A lot of what we do comes from the fact that we’re huge fans of the music, the same as anyone that’s a fan of the label — we’re right there with ’em.”
Originally, Goldin and Spak planned to have all of their acts perform at the weekend extravaganza, but that proved nearly impossible. “It would be hard to get Disco Doom to come from Switzerland,” laughs Goldin. “That was in talks, actually, but I understood it wasn’t the smartest investment if they weren’t touring.” The lineup they landed comes pretty damn close, roping Pile, Krill, Kal Marks, Palehound, Gnarwhal, and more onto the bill, including DJ sets from Speedy Ortiz‘s Sadie Dupuis and Darl Ferm.
“We have our roots in Boston, but we never get to do showcases there,” says Goldin. “I realized while booking this that I didn’t want to exclude all these other bands, so I wanted to widen it for as many people to enjoy as possible.” In that sense, Golden Girls references aside, the “Thank You For Being a Friend” extended weekend is an open-ended hug. It’s an honest, straightforward thank you to those who have supported them over the years. “Who knew if this label was going to work?” says Goldin. “No one could have cared if we fell apart in a year. The audience keeps it going. And the bands, too. Thanks to them for wanting to be on it because, really, they could all do better.”
When you start a label as a labor of love, your roadblock stands tall. Money is always an issue, as it is for anyone. “Every year, we’re almost doubling the amount of releases we’re putting out,” Goldin laughs, as if in disbelief of their efforts. “Reception-wise, we’re doing okay. Financially, we’re always on the brink of everything collapsing. I’d like to get out of that rut, but that’s not my main concern at the moment.” To them, they’ve already achieved that main goal: spreading music that deserves to be heard — and this weekend is the fireworks display to celebrate that.
EXPLODING IN SOUND “THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND” WEEKEND EXTRAVAGANZA. THE SINCLAIR, O’BRIEN’S PUB, GREAT SCOTT. EXPLODINGINSOUNDRECORDS.COM. BUY TICKETS HERE.