Continuing our ongoing look at cool independent record labels, this week we feature Maryland based Chavis Records. President and owner Bill Chavis let us know what the label is all about and what they have planned.
Rock and Roll Report: How long has the label been around? How did it get started?
Bill Chavis: The initial thought and building process started in 2000. We officially launched in 2001. I used to run a webzine called Metalvault which started in 1996. It was one of the first and we did all the reviews, interviews, tour reviews etc. We advertised the labels and artists stuff for free. It was really to create awareness for the artist and give a web prescience with this new technology at the time.
RRR: What kind of music does the label release?
BC: We do what we like basically. Music That Rocks!!! Is the motto. In a nutshell our artists are geared around the hard rock/ heavy metal genre. But that could change this year. We are talking to several outside agencies to diversify the label and make it more lucrative in this ever shrinking and screwed up music business.
RRR: How many bands call Chavis Records home? Name some of the best-known bands on the label.
BC: Right now there are 12 active artists on the roster with a few more pending contract negotiations. Overall probably double that over the years. Currently we have DC4 which features Rowan Robertson of Dio fame, Jeff Duncan of Armored Saint and Odin, Shawn Duncan of Odin and Matt Duncan. We also have Tarsha which is a new signing. Sheldon Tarsha is also the lead vocalist for Adler’s Appetite. Asphalt Valentine out of GA. If you dig Buckcherry and Beautiful Creatures, check them out. Quiet Riot is the anchor. We did the last ever QR release with Kevin DuBrow. Rehab is a great record. American Angel, Minoli, Snake Eyes Seven, X-Thirtien which features ex members of Savatage and Metallium. Plus we have a few big names to announce soon! (ed note: the label just announced that they have signed the reunited Keel)
RRR: What are some of the current releases being promoted right now by the label? What releases are going to be released in the near future?
BC: DC4 – Explode drops on Jan 27th and Asphalt Valentine which drops Feb 14th. Right now we are scheduling out the rest for the year but these 2 are the primary focus at the moment.
RRR: How does the label release its music (music formats)?
BC: Every way. CD and digital. We have national distribution as well as mail order and we are on all the online outlets.
RRR: Biggest plans for the future of the label?
BC: We are really focusing on tightening the ship and pushing the artists. Building the label bigger and financially better is always key. Finding new ways to break out in this ever challenging business. Get more people to “know and hear” about Chavis Records
RRR: The industry is going through some trying times with CD sales dropping. How does Chavis deal with this?
BC: Just like everyone else. Tighten the ship and really work on signing artists that can shake and move. 2008 was a bad year for everyone including us. 2009 will hopefully be better. It’s going to depend on the economy and how the music business evolves this year.
RRR: What sets Chavis apart from other labels? What should rock and roll fans know when checking out your bands?
BC: I think we all do our own thing. We have a good reputation thus far in the business. Make a mistake, own it and try to correct it. We’re human, shit happens. People should know that we have really great artists and we like to give the unknown great bands a shot. We also have national artists that are known. It’s all a risk. Just keep moving forward.
RRR: Do you accept demo submissions from bands?
BC: Sure. You can find all that info on our MySpace page at MySpace/chavisrecords.
RRR: Anything you want to add?
BC: Thank you for this interview and everyone’s continued support. This is a very tough business. There are way more downs than ups at this level. People, keep listening, support the indies, buy our releases, go see our bands, get involved. It keeps the wheels of rock rolling.