Saved By Vinyl

Saved By Vinyl
Date of Birth: January 2006
Releases to Date: 9
Biggest Seller: Danny Michel Welcome Home: 1997-2007
Upcoming Releases: Ford Pier, Shuyler Jansen, Forbidden Dimension

Four years ago, Dawn Loucks and Jennifer Abel established their first imprint, Saved By Radio. Both feisty cancer survivors, the two CJSW disc jockeys bonded over the healing power of music and their fondness for Alberta bands. They spent the next few years as the loudest champions of prairie talent — buying touring vans for bands, spotting them cash for rent and churning out 18 releases (from Falconhawk’s Hot Mouth to BYOP, a Stompin’ Tom Connors tribute album). While they have several CD releases in the works for Saved By Radio, they’ve recently switched gears to focus on better sounding wax, hence Saved By Vinyl. Along with Owen Merrifield, these two women are enthusiastic trailblazers armed with as much intelligence, patriotism and fuck-you punk rock spirit needed to disarm a slightly haughty Toronto-centric Canadian music scene.

Girl Powered
Dawn Loucks: "At the beginning of the label, I would say, for sure, people treated us like 16-year-old girls that had their dad’s money. It was shocking. I’d say, ‘well no, actually I’ve worked in business.’ I know how business works. I get that a lot too from people, like, ‘this should be more business-like.’ No, it shouldn’t. I can do whatever I want. It doesn’t have to be about something that’s all about turning some kind of profit. I don’t even have to break even if I don’t want to. People use that as an excuse to treat someone badly… ‘you should be more business like.’ So that means, you can treat me not very nicely and that’s okay? Screw you guys.”

Flippin’ the Bird
"The thing that’s really saved me and this is just the vinyl. It’s saying ‘fuck this, we’re going to do what we want.’ We’re allowed to operate on the outside. We don’t really need distribution for vinyl. It’s nice to have, but you don’t need it. Who gives a shit. We sell way more mail orders than we’ve ever sold in stores. What’s been good for us too is you can phone up any person in Canada who makes music and say, ‘Would you like to put your record out on vinyl?’ Anyone will take your call. All of a sudden, you can talk to whomever you like. It’s been a lot more gratifying. It’s good that my aspiration is never to work in the industry — only to work outside. We’ve finally found ourselves in a niche that is exactly where I want to be.”

Well-Travelled Records
"It’s really not that hard and it really doesn’t cost that much. People don’t want to mess with it because it’s not one-stop shopping. I really like the fact that we do the vinyl in Nashville, we do the mastering in California and we do the art here. It was the Summerlad who said John Goldman has to master it. He’s the guy who cuts lacquers. I swear to God, when you hear the stuff he masters, it sounds like the musician is sitting beside you breathing in your ear. We’ve been pressing in a place in Nashville — they’ve been around since the Four Tops. We do the downloads with Zunior. It gives them some revenue — that’s the way I think about it too. If we have some money, we should transfer it around to help everybody keep doing this crazy thing they’re trying to do.”

Life After Cancer
"At the beginning, I talked about it a lot because I was just recovering. Now, it’s been seven years since I was diagnosed. Ford Pier just sent me the artwork for his EP. On the back is this thing, I think it’s a picture of coral, but it looked exactly like the cancerous lymph node that they removed from me. I got it on the seventh anniversary of my diagnosis. I had to email Ford and say ‘I know this is weird, and it’s totally fine, I don’t want you to feel bad about it.’ It’s just life staring me in the face and always reminding me that this is one of the reasons that I stayed alive.”