Cleveland-based Love Muffin Records is one of those labels that care about the type of music that it puts out. The label’s owner Adam Rich took the time to answer some questions about the history of the label itself and about the type of music the small, independent label releases.
1. How long has the label been around? How did it get started? Why the name “Love Muffin Records”?
Love Muffin was started in 1994 to release my first full-length cassette Virgin Freak while I was in college. I released my first cassette, a 4-song effort, in 1993 on my own Rich Records label but didn’t really like that name. It then occurred to me to use Love Muffin instead. Love Muffin is a nickname I picked up on my high school soccer team. I don’t remember exactly who gave it to me, but I have it narrowed down to 3 or 4 people. I created the logo using Microsoft Paint on my computer. It is a muffin with a red center – red for love. A couple years ago I had the logo redone by a professional graphic designer in Illustrator. I have an alternate design, which I’m starting to use more – an all red muffin with a glowing black circle background
I released my next cassette Flavor Savor in 1997 just before I graduated college. I also started selling other local bands projects on the label and taking a small cut. I guess that was my first attempt at distribution. I basically had a printed catalog. The Internet was just getting popular then, but I knew nothing about creating a website. I used my student email address, though. Some of the early cassettes/CD’s I remember selling were Margot O’Breslin, Junkqueen, and State Of Green. Sales were minimal, and I gave up on the distribution part. I moved back to Cleveland and joined a new band in 1998. We put out a 4 song CD in 1999 and I slapped the Love Muffin logo on it. The only action from around 2000 to 2006 was the release of 2 solo CD’s in 2002 and 2006.
I went back to college in the fall of 2005 and took a class on running a small business. Rejuvenated, I began distributing other bands CD’s again. I created a website and eventually got PayPal. I started trying to find old bands I had met over the past several years to see if they were still active and had current CD’s out. When I say distributing, I mean selling via the website and a printed mail order catalog.
2. What kind of music does the label release?
Anything I like.
3. How many bands call Love muffin home? Name some of the best-known bands on the label.
I currently sell 12 different CD’s. Most of them are different bands, but some are the same band with multiple CD’s. Most are active bands, but some are bands that have disbanded several years ago and had leftover copies of their CD laying around. TiLT 360 out of Youngstown and Skychief out of Akron are my two main bands. I also distribute CD’s by Toledo’s Pacemaker Jane and Cleveland’s Oliver Buck & The New Madrids, Calo, Hollywood Blondes, Mindscape & Drago
4. 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?
This summer, we will be releasing – not just distributing – new CD’s by TiLT 360 and Skychief. I have known both bands for several years, going back to 1999. I always dug TiLT 360 and tried to get whatever band I was in at the time to play shows with them. Their CD is called Day 11 and is available now. With Skychief, I had heard of them back then but we never actually met. They are the first two bands I thought of when I decided to start distributing CD’s again in 2005. I am really excited to be working with them. Their CD is called Auto Exciter and will be available in September.
TiLT 360 is going to be my main band on the label. In addition to releasing the CD, I will also be doing radio/press promotion for them and booking a small portion of their gigs.
5. How does the label release its music (music formats)?
CD. I haven’t gotten into selling songs digitally. That is something I may delve into in the future.
6. Biggest plans for the future of the label?
In 2007, in partnership with LarryMac at Domain Cleveland, I started putting on concerts featuring some of the bands I distributed. I did 3 of them staggered throughout the year. Some went well, some didn’t go so well. I called them Love Muffin Showcases according to the number – LMS1, LMS2, etc.. The most recent one was early May of this year, LMS4.
In January of this year (2008), the Euclid Tavern reopened. The place has been there for over 50 years, and was in its prime in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It closed in 2001, and I was very pleased to see it reopen. I plan to have several shows there starting in August when the surrounding colleges are back in session. For the summer, I plan to set up a couple shows at the Beachland Tavern. I’m also working on a sampler CD for 2008 which will have 1 song from each of the new releases/additions this year, as well as songs by bands I like that don’t have a CD out yet.
7. Anything you want to add (fill in the blanks here).
I’m always looking for good bands and decent venues .I try to get flat guarantees for payment whenever I can. A band should get paid something even it is gas money. Any interested bands that can draw people, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out the website www.lovemuffinrecords.com.