Creator Chats: Connor Murray (Crafted Sounds) & Billy Philhower (Too Far Gone Records & Day Crush Records)

Welcome to Creator Chats - a conversation among two groups, bands or people in the music industry. Today we welcome Connor Murray of Crafted Sounds & Billy Philhower (Too Far Gone Records & Day Crush Records)

Connor Murray: Hey, Billy. It's definitely been a minute. Thanks for being down with this. I feel like I owe you one. We will just kinda jump into it here... I know you ran Too Far Gone Records (TFG) while you attended school, but when did that start? When did you decide hey, I want to try this? Did you know anyone who had dabbled with work as such? Did you look to others for inspiration?

Billy: For sure. So, my freshman year of college at Boston College I had a writing class and for our final project we had to interview someone that we looked up and wanted to know more about. This was in like 2012 so I was super into all of the emo bands that were making music in my area back home - in particular a lot of the emo bands in the PA scene. Snowing was a band that put out records through this label called Square of Opposition Records, who was always a label that I respected and tried to support as best possible because a) they put out some damn solid records and b) they always made a point to support things that actually mattered, even if that fell outside of the realm of selling records. The concept of running a label like that was really appealing to me so I reached out to Chris Rejec who runs it (and Lehigh Valley Apparel Creations) and asked him about his experiences and turned it into a final paper of sorts. After that, I decided to just run with the idea myself and see what happened. I think I got a B- on the assignment? Who knows?

How was it balancing the label and school? Like anything else it's hard to balance work and play, but the label stuff sometimes take more work than people talk about. Any moments in particular where you felt you spread yourself too thin?

Yeah, absolutely.  Balancing things was really hard at points, especially between things that you really enjoy doing and sinking time into and things that you know will be good for you in the long run, like school. There was one night in 2013 where I had to package like 100+ Park Jefferson pre-orders and did it all in one night and didn't sleep at all and by the time the sun was rolling around, I was definitely beginning to question my priorities and my sanity. For the most part, it was bearable and I learned my own limits and could better balance my own expectations as well. I tried to put out a handful of records over the summers because typically I was just working and didn't have to worry about classes and everything that comes with those. Running a label by yourself, even on as small of a scale as I was doing, can absolutely make your head spin.

TFG had a good run, but all good things do eventually come to an end. Did you feel you needed to start fresh? What led you to start Day Crush Records?

I started the new label for a few reasons. Mostly, I wanted to start fresh and try my hand at a more focused label, both in terms of sound and creative style. I also wanted be able to just put out records whenever I felt like it. A big part of me feels as though once you put out 20-30-40 releases, you're expected to consistently be doing that and there's expectations of consistency in quality and genre. I love music and I love being a part of releasing the incredible sounds that people are putting together and recording into the world, but at this stage in my life I have a lot of other commitments and things that matter to me that I need to prioritize as well. I feel like TFG had become very boxed in and even stagnant to me. There are a lot of other reasons as well.

With Day Crush, I see a more mature Billy. Not to say TFG was not hella cool, but the way you have presented the label is definitely in a different style. With the start of Day Crush do you find yourself more on top of things with the experience from TFG? What if anything have you taken from TFG to Day Crush?

Absolutely. I learned so many lessons from starting a label and trying and failing and trying and failing and trying and failing and finally succeeding at what seems like 39953893 different things. Having previously run a label, plus my experience in digital advertising where I currently work, has definitely helped inform this new journey. There's too many things to list here - everything from how to package and ship a record to how to design a j-card in photoshop has been passed along from one to the other.

I see you have continued to work with "I Hate Sex" (Alberta, Canada) and the Hemmingway album was sickkk. What do you have to say about what you have done so far with Day Crush?

I'm really proud of our first two releases, both for a lot of different reasons. I Hate Sex is a band that I've been friends with for years and this recent album was a huge, huge exciting step for them. Everything about that record came together great and I'm super happy to have been a part of it with Dog Knights. Fantastic record that I can't hype enough. I Hate Sex is the best screamo band in Canada right now and I can't wait until they play Boston.

Hemingway was a band that I wasn't super familiar with before, but after one listen to this record I knew that I wanted to be a part of releasing it. Dustin from Making New Enemies hit me up about potentially helping out and I'm super grateful for that and stoked on how it all came together. The vinyl came out great - both physically and sonically. Hemingway For President 2017.

Do you have any big plans you can talk about? Any words about the direction Day Crush is going in?

We don't currently have anything planned, honestly. Keep your ears to the ground though.

Any shoutouts to any homies? Anything I should be listening to?

Shout out to literally everyone. Shout out Chris from Square of Opp and Lizzie for designing the logo for both labels and the Terrace. Shout out to you Connor. Shout out to Dog Knights Productions and Making New Enemies. Shout out to every single person that goes to stupid ass punk shows in attics and living rooms and closets and supports the people that they love. Holy Shadow has a new album coming out soon that should be on everyone's radar. Frank Ocean continues to put out great songs and "Blonde" stands up like none other.

New Cage the Elephant album is sweet. Walter Etc. has a new record out now, get on that too. Shout out Lauren Records. I got stoned one night and signed up for their year-long record club and I have not gotten a bad release yet. Shout out Pfife Dawg. LCD Soundsystem, I love you, but what is up with that artwork on the new record?

video premiere: "Summer Song" - Triples

mp3: "Green" - Young Jesus