By Chris Murphy (with some assistance from Patrick)
Murderecords is owned equally by myself and the three other members of Sloan. It started as a record label that would release Sloan records, but we were originally only able to release one record of our own - the Peppermint ep - in 1992, before our band was signed to Geffen that same year.
Being signed to Geffen meant that we had some money enabling us to consider putting out more records. We couldn't put out any more of our own, but we came from a thriving music scene that we were eager to document and promote. For the next two years we released a fair number of records by some great East Coast bands like Eric's Trip, Hardship Post, and Thrush Hermit.
We hired Colin MacKenzie to help run Murderecords as a utopian business. Based on our own experience we were determined not to subject our friends to the trappings of signing a record deal that would limit their options. We quickly found, however, that if you give people the option to leave, they eventually will. So Eric's Trip, Hardship Post and jale went to Sub Pop before we could even get their records out. We just wanted the best for our friends.
By the end of 1994, Sloan decided not to be a band anymore. The American money from Geffen was gone, but there were still great bands making records in our area. So, Jay, Colin and I spent 1995 attempting to make Murderecords into a financially viable entity with the next crop of bands. We released records by The Super Friendz, The Local Rabbits, and Kingston transplants The Inbreds. At the same time Sloan decided to do one more record, which we realized could also make some money for the label. So gradually we recorded another record. Then gradually we decided we would be willing to promote it. And then gradually we decided to be a band again.
One Chord To Another was originally released only in Canada, on Murderecords. But we went down to America anyway, just to test the waters, and lo and behold we ended up signing to a new label down there, The Enclave. We left Canada out of the deal, meaning that we would continue to release our records here on Murder, and on The Enclave everywhere else. Now, we were able to increase the profile of Murderecords by having Sloan not only own and run the label, but put our records out on it as well. And we had American money again, coming in from The Enclave.
Well, that didn't last long. Even with its promising roster, The Enclave was shut down in a matter of months when its parent company decided to sell itself. With our string of bad luck with labels, we decided to attempt to release Sloan records on Murderecords outside Canada as well. Now we not only didn't have American money flowing in, but we were paying to put records into stores ourselves. So, the other bands on Murderecords who weren't jumping to bigger labels and/or breaking up were told they should go and find a new home, as we couldn't afford the money or attention they deserved.
Murderecords is now effectively a vehicle for Sloan. We were able to document our regional scene fairly well between 1992 and 1997, but then it tapered into a Sloan thing, as our friends broke up their bands or moved away. We too left Halifax for Toronto. Since Sloan relocated, so did Murderecords. Colin MacKenzie started his own label. Now we have Mike Nelson overseeing (often overlooking) operations. At the present time we are busy making and funding all things Sloan, but we may get back into releasing records by other bands in the future. It was fun releasing worthwhile records by other people, and we miss it, but this is what we have to do right now.
So for the time being, Murderecords represents Sloan, and the scene where we came from.
--C.M., Aug 2000
© 2013 Sloan. All Rights Reserved.