You might remember our friends from specialty vinyl label Last Hurrah. Last year, they pressed an ultra limited vinyl run of 16's Lost Tracts Of Time. This summer, they will release a full length album from Mike IX project The Guilt Of... Although this will only be released on vinyl Decibel scored an early peak at three tracks from Isolation Room, available for streaming below. Keep in mind that these tracks were mastered for vinyl.
Following the stream, we have an interview with married label partners Chad Hensley and Carey Hodges, who decided to open a vinyl only label in the age of ubiqitous digital. You can preorder Isolation Room and learn more about Last Hurrah on Facebook.
What made you start the label? Carey Hodges: After SXSW 2010, it just popped out of my mouth while driving back to New Orleans. I guess I was inspired somehow. My husband Chad has been a music journalist for years now. We used to attend SXSW back in the ‘90s. Back then, Lindsey Kuhn used to put on anti-SXSW shows at his Swamp warehouse in Austin. We’ve always gone to shows and had friends in bands. Chad and I both love cool vinyl records, so a combination of all that together explains a bit about Last Hurrah.
Chad Hensley: Carey and I were driving home from SXSW and she turned to me and casually said “Why don’t we start a record label?” I had a zine in the ‘90s called EsoTerra the journal of extreme culture, so I was familiar with mail order. I’ve also been a music journalist since ’94 and before that I use to be a silkscreen printer for Frank Kozik and Lindsey Kuhn in Austin, Texas. So I have lots of connections with bands from these activities.
How do you go about selecting material for release?
Chad: Obviously, both my wife and I are music fans. In regards to selecting material for the label, we both pick and choose. So what we release is sort of a collaboration of our separate but similar tastes.
Carey: A gut feeling. We are both into edgy, dark, heavy music. I try to bring a female edge to the label, such as Star & Dagger’s In My Blood record, a band fronted by three women. Sean Yseult from White Zombie and Dava She Wolf from Cycle Sluts from Hell are both in this band. We have a ton of fun with these gals as they’ve gotten to play with bigger bands such as Down, High on Fire, Eagles of Death Metal, and Helmet and the crowds have been very responsive.
Have you thought about digitally releasing material or does keeping it vinyl only make the releases more special?
Chad: We like to keep each release as special as possible. I’ve been a record collector for a long time, so we try to do something we haven’t seen before. Our goal is to combine heavy music with exciting visuals in order to create a single focus of sound and style. We try to outdo ourselves with each release and see what kind of combinations we can come up with. We want people to buy the record for the music and the art. The jacket, the sleeve, the vinyl, is all part of a bigger package. We only make 500 of each release. Once they’re gone, that’s it.
Lindsey has handled a lot of the artwork for your releases. How did you start collaborating?
Carey: Chad and I have known Lindsey forever and he is a good friend. We all grew up on the Southern Gulf Coast. Lindsey is a great artist. It seemed natural for him to be the art director for Last Hurrah records; a creative fun project between friends and an excuse to travel and hang out.
Chad: I grew up with Lindsey in Ocean Springs, Mississippi in the early ‘80s. At the time, he had one of the biggest vertical skateboard ramps in the world in his backyard. It was called the Swamp Ramp. Later on, I worked for Lindsey and Frank Kozik printing silkscreen rock posters in Austin, Texas. Since then, we’ve continued to collaborate on various projects.
How did you meet Mike IX?
Chad: I met Mike sometime around ’94, after moving to New Orleans from Austin. Since then, I’ve interviewed Mike about his various bands a bunch of times and he is also a fan of EsoTerra magazine. New Orleans has a small scene so we’ve seen each other at shows for a long time.
How did this project come about?
Chad: We’ve been talking to Mike about letting us put out something for awhile. When Mike told us about his project The Guilt Of… I thought it would be a good fit for the label. Mike and Ryan Mckern sent us the songs and we liked them immediately.
What's next for Last Hurrah? Carey: On June 8 at Siberia in New Orleans, the Vomit Spots are playing a show and it will also be the record release party for The Guilt Of’s Isolation Room. We are trying to get The Guilt Of... to play the gig but it depends on Mike’s schedule with EyeHateGod and Corrections House. After that, we’ve got some cool things planned that I can’t talk about yet.
Vomit Spots Dude, I Didn’t Know! Hurrah-LP-001 12-inch vomit colored vinyl in printed polybag
Star & Dagger In My Blood Hurrah-EP-002 12-inch dipped in blood translucent vinyl with foil stamped jacket
-(16)- Lost Tracts of Time Hurrah-EP-003 One-sided 12-inch midnight sky colored vinyl with etching
The Guilt Of… Isolation Room Hurrah-LP-004 12-inch translucent green with a splash of doublemint vinyl with embossed jacket