We spoke with Jeremy deVine about the innate artistry in operating a record label, helping artists in ways they may not help themselves, seeking out activities that heighten his creative process and his greatest conduit to pure joy.
I think anyone running a label should ask themselves what they can and will do to help an artist in ways that the artist may not help themselves.
I love how, through your work with Temporary Residence, you work with everyone on your roster to form a wide collaborative partnership. Personally, I consider there to be an artistry to owning a record label. Where does your sense of creativity begin and end in the process of releasing a record?
It depends on the artist and the project. In some cases, the musical part of the album is delivered completely finished, and my contributions are limited to the layout and/or package design. For some albums, I collaborate very closely and intensely with the artist from the earliest demos. Together we work on arrangements, mixes, mastering, etc. I am always happy and honored to collaborate in whatever capacity the artist finds necessary.
In your view, what are the capacities or requirements to run a record label today? Could you explain this to someone who might be interested in starting their own label?
I think anyone running a label should ask themselves what they can and will do to help an artist in ways that the artist may not help themselves. I run Temporary Residence as a long-term collaborative art project that is also a business, so in addition to creative contributions, we offer our artists resources, platforms, facilities, and organizational tools that are either unavailable or unaffordable for them individually.
Please make an hour-by-hour timeline of a typical day for you, from waking to going to sleep.
I try to keep every day a bit different, but I consistently wake up every morning at 7:00 am, and usually go to sleep around 1:00 or 2:00 am.
I don’t think any of my hobbies are particularly unique, but I tend to seek out hobbies and activities that help elevate my creative process.
I understand that in the past you’ve participated in the graphic design of your records,as well as the release cycle. Do you still work in the visual realm of your releases? If so, can you give us a specific example?
Yes, I still contribute layout and design to most releases on Temporary Residence. Recent examples are Songs: Ohia, MONO, Young Widows and Paul de Jong.
Can you describe any interests, hobbies or concepts that are important to you but not necessarily to anyone else? Can you describe them in a list format?
I don’t think any of my hobbies are particularly unique, but I tend to seek out hobbies and activities that help elevate my creative process. For example, I play fantasy NBA basketball because it’s a statistical puzzle filled with constant problem-solving. It helps me think and focus, and I often come up with some of my best music ideas while doing something not music-related.
I myself ran a record label, Africantape, for years. I did it out of passion for the music, but weirdly, one of the other primary reasons was because I didn’t have the finances to print books and become a publisher. So, what led to your decision to own a label? Did anything influence this choice beyond a love of music?
I was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. I got into punk rock in the early 1990s and was particularly inspired by local bands like Slint and Rodan, which introduced me to Touch and Go Records. They were a huge influence on me and an early inspiration for starting a label. My biggest influences to start a label were Touch and Go, Dischord, the Payola/Kollaps/Hausmuzik collective and the DIY bands of the early/mid-1990s that released lots of handmade, limited edition vinyl records.
What most influences you in the banality of everyday life, and how so?
My daughter, because she offers the opportunity for me to experience a kind of joy that’s more pure than any that I remember.
Finally, we love lists and data collecting at North of the Internet. Can you tell me how many musicians are involved in your label and what instrument they play?
Including all musicians, past and present, too many for me to reasonably count. Probably somewhere around 150 total. Most of them play more than one instrument.
Curated by: Julien Fernandez
Conducted by: Email
Published: April 11, 2018
Total questions: 8
Word count: 655
Reading time: Three minutes
activity, Africantape, Brooklyn, collaboration, creativity, design, Dischord, facility, graphic, Hausmusik, hobby, intensity, Jeremy deVine, joy, Kentucky, Kollaps, label, layout, Louisville, mastering, mixing, MONO, morning, musician, NBA, necessity, New York, opportunity, package, participation, past, Paul de Jong, Payola, platform, present, process, puzzle, realm, resource, Rodan, Slint, Songs: Ohia, statistic, Temporary Residence Ltd., timeline, Touch and Go Records, visual, Young Widows
About the curator
Julien Fernandez was born in Mayenne, France in 1976. He currently lives and works in Pescara, Italy with his wife, two kids and a dog, Lenny. He is captivated by structural relations between objects, animal behavior, contagion and magic, and is currently working on a mechanism that would classify mental images in the physical world. He also designs and envisions the day-to-day architecture of North of the Internet.
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