chat Interview: Citrus City Records

citrus city

Give us a brief history of Citrus City Records!

Rene: Basically picture this, I went to a Wavves show had tons of fun and bought a t-shirt. Next Monday I head to my history lecture and this kid goes “hey nice shirt did you go to the wavves show?” and I’m like “who is this” but I choose to respond with a yes.Match made in heaven. We become friends pretty fast and then about a year later Manny casually mentions that he wants to start a label. For some reason the idea really struck a chord with me and I offered to help out. So it marinated for a bit and Manny got a lot of great bands to put together our oh so precious comp tape and boom!

Manny: The label was just an idea I had for some time. I’m a staff writer for Indie Current so the label is just a way for me to me more hands on with music & promoting overlooked bands which is pretty much the same motto I have as a writer.

You say you’ve got mediocre jobs… so what goes on outside the label?

Rene: I’m a server at a restaurant. Not such a bad job but it would be nice if people tipped more. It’s a 15% minimum people!

Manny: I’m a full time student at Virginia Common Wealth university.  So from school and working part time at this sandwich shop takes up much of my time which leaves little free time for stuff with the label but Rene and I manage. 

Richmond, Virginia is a world away from Fresh Juice here in the UK, what’s it like over there?

Rene: It’s pretty nice. It’s diverse but it definitely has its jerks. The place feels like there’s a lot of possibility to grow. Maybe that’s normal for a college town. The gentrification seems to be mounting up however.

Manny: Richmond is cool. I like it a lot. There’s a ton of cool shows that happen here. So it’s nice not having to drive down to DC which is like an hour or more of a drive to catch a show. Overall it’s a diverse music scene. Mostly known for its hardcore & heavier music but we still fit in I guess. We’re just know starting to get around town. There’s great bands like Manatree, Nervous Ticks, Headless Mantis, Camp Howard, White Laces, Hot Dolphin..the list goes on. It’s a supporting community. I’ve met rad people.  

What’s been the most rewarding moment running the label?

Rene: You know I think we’ve yet to reach a peak moment. In terms of personal experience I think it really was the show our boy Collin T played in Boston. Watching the crowd react in such a positive way made me feel like we were all a part of something bigger than we thought. It was stunning. I felt proud of him and of what we had built. We’re still just babies in the grand scheme.

nothing buttrock
Collin Thibodeauxx’s ‘Nothing Buttrock’.

Manny: Hmm, I think the rewarding thing for me is working with all these talented bands. We’re just two normal dudes so it always means a lot when people are eager to work with us because it means we’re doing something right. They can always go to another bigger label but chose us & I just think that’s amazing. 

What advice do you have to someone running a cassette tape label?

Rene: Figure out why you wanna do this and never forget why. It’s okay to take breaks because it’s impossible to keep yourself constantly at work. Also inspiration comes from the outside not from within. Go out and meet people and go places and the answers to why you should do anything will come. You’ll do great. Also be prepared for people to be irrationally mad at you because you’re not working on their time. Comes with the territory.

Manny: Advice is to have some cash saved up and overall what Rene said know why you’re doing it and what you’re getting into. We really aren’t doing this for any other motive. I think it’s silly when people try to start labels or bands and their motive is to get famous. Fuck that. Shit never really feels genuine that way. 

citrus city 1

What are your favourite bands and labels outside of Citrus City?

Rene: Right now I’ve been listening to a lot of Alex G and R. Stevie Moore. Really been on a bedroom pop/DIY binge for a minute. I’ve also been listening to Kate Bush, Iceage, Pixies, Parquet Courts, and Brian Eno. My favorites change all the time. I’m not the kinda guy who can say I got all time favorites. I’ll know that on my death bed. In terms of labels I like Sitrus Sity.

Manny: The typical ones, Captured Tracks, even though not that crazy about their latest signings but the class CT bands like Beach Fossils, Wild Nothing, Chris Cohen, Hanoi Janes and Juan Wauters. I really like Sacred Bones too. And Orchid Tapes is pretty much my favourite label of all time. Smaller labels include our pals Track & Field, Furious Hooves, Babe City, Little L Records. I really like Sports Day Records & Fox Food too. Hmmm, I have lots of bands that I enjoy but recently I’ve just been listening to Telstar Drugs, Knows, J.Fernandez, the new Ducktails record & Vundabar. I also listen to a lot of my friends music, everyone from the CC Vol 1 comp & our releases haha!

Any exciting releases/plans on the way soon?

Rene: We recently just put up our Boys Age release! And we’re working tapes for Collin Thibodeauxx, Sports Coach, Good Try and an Occasion for Balloons! All great artists and bands.

Manny: I got a few things lined up this fall. Planning on doing a U.S. release for a from band from the UK actually but that’s a little surprise. But yeh a few more things until we take a little break in 2016.




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