Aurora (MA)/Blank Youth Records Interview Special

Here is an amazing example of a community working together towards a larger common goal. Some friends in central Massachusetts decided to form a label in order to help out their other friends and colleagues in working bands. They’ve in turn created a small scene within a small community that has been created around them and are making a lot of headway. We need more people like this who are willing to work together instead of competing for advancement. Hopefully these interviews shed some light on the bands and labels that you should be familiarizing yourself with no so that you can get involved tomorrow.
The Aurora questions were answered by Sean O’Loughlin (Vocals)
LH: How long have the members of Aurora been playing together?
SL: Aurora has been a band since the summer of 2012. All of us are original members besides Ethan Cheesman, our new drummer who started with us in late 2013.
LH: You’re kicking off 2014 with a new acoustic single and accompanying music video. What was the thought-process that determined this?
SL: I was going to release Changing Winds on my own. It was a song that I had been working on for a while and wanted to do some acoustic stuff on my own. I recorded it and then showed the other guys in Aurora. When they all liked it we decided to use it as a full band release. In the end it worked out perfectly and we started the new year with a new track!
LH: “Changing Wind” is definitely a new step for this group and I was curious what the origin of this song was (if one).
SL: I really don’t know how to put it with this song. Everyone goes through hard times, I just wanted people to listen and relate to this song in any way that they could.
LH: Who produced your Changing Winds music video?
SL: Nick Parabicoli, from our new label Blank Youth Records laid out the idea with the dog. We all thought it would be funny to have a deep song with a video that had no true meaning. Plus, Scoobe (the dog) is awesome.
LH: Having never been to MA, I was curious what the punk scene was like in your area.
SL: It’s strange, there are some awesome punk, pop punk and indie bands that come out of MA. In our area, Central Mass there’s a way bigger hardcore, post hardcore scene which makes the shows really dynamic in genre.
LH: Any touring plans?
SL: This summer we will be doing a week or two around New England. We are working on getting another band to come along with us as well. Hopefully later on this year we’ll book another tour during winter break too.
LH: What else is in store for 2014?
SL: Were going to head into the studio soon to start recording our next EP which we’re planning to release in the Spring of 2014. Until then we will keep promoting ourselves, playing shows and anything else we can do to get our name out there!
The Blank Youth Records questions were answered by Matthew Perham (Owner)
LH: How long have BYR been in business?
MP: Well, I got the idea to start a record label back in December of 2012. I wanted to showcase some of the local talent in Central Mass and give them an outlet to build their careers in music. I started working on my own and released a 10 song compilation album featuring local bands. After the release I started to realize that I had a lot of close friends that were as passionate about music as I was and I asked them to help out with the label.
In August of 2013 I enlisted the help of four long time friends, Pat, Jon, Bryan and Nick. We discussed what goals we wanted the label to accomplish and started talking about which bands we would like to sign. In September of 2013 we chose a name for our label and started researching the first artist to join our roster. In late December 2013 we announced the signing of Aurora and Blank Youth Records was on its way!
LH: What types of music do you usually cater towards?
MP: At the moment we are catering to the Pop Punk/Alternative Rock scene. In our area there are a lot of Hardcore/Post Hardcore bands but we wanted to find a smaller niche to work with. Although, that doesn’t mean we won’t be branching out to different genres later on in the future.
LH: Besides Aurora, what other bands have you worked with?
MP: Aurora is our first and only signing at the moment but after we get our feet off the ground and release their third EP this spring we’ll be looking to sign other artists. When I released the 10 song compilation in 2012 on my own it featured some awesome bands from Massachusetts such as Atlas, Pathogenic, Kerrigan, and SuperStoker.
LH: What is your specific role in the organization?
MP: I’m kind of the ‘Jack of All Trades’ when it comes to the everyday operations within the label. I’m first and foremost the owner. I’m the guy behind the scenes making sure we get everything done. I (attempt to) keep everyone in line and on task. I figure out what needs to get done and then I make it happen.
LH: What are BYR’s plans for 2014?
MP: Right now we are really focused on getting Aurora’s EP out in the spring and getting them out on tour. After we get that release under our belt we will start seeking out other artists to work with and start the process of releasing awesome music all over again. 2014 should be a big year for Blank Youth. We hope your ready to hear some awesome music.
For more information on Aurora (MA) and Blank Youth Records, visit their Facebook pages:
Luke Helker

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