A ridiculous name for an even more ridiculous endeavor - a record label.
Traditionally, the function of a record label was to develop, produce, promote and distribute audio recordings for the purpose of generating a positive return on capital investment. In the mid nineteen-sixties, the record industry began to steadily grow and blossom. It offered tremendous return on investment and in turn spread the wealth to artists, producers, recording and manufacturing industries. It created iconic artists that have survived the tests of time and have had their recordings passed to multiple generations of listeners. But those days are over. The major record labels have shrunk or faded away completely. Sales of physical recordings have diminished to a mere wisp of what they once were and the remaining large labels have been forced to direct their focus to capitalizing on artist’s t-shirts and live shows rather than recordings.
So why the hell would I want to start a record label in this impending climate of failure? Because I am interested in seeing how to maneuver in the new digital terrain. I have nothing to lose as I am not venturing any stockholder capital oher than my own (which amounts to very little). But more importantly I want to develop a brand focused around this very special musical circle I have been so fortunate to be involved with for the last forty plus years.
Currently there are multiple releases planned for 2017 and we are working to grow our roster of current artists. We are also planning to reissue several older albums and archival material from artists that predate the era of digital downloads and streaming music in our Legacy Artist Series.
Please feel free to reach out to us. We want to know what’s on your mind and would love to discuss any of the current and legacy acts under our brand.
Sonic Biscuit Records is the absurd folly of Mark Murray, your humble narrator. I have been in the business of music and sound since I was a wee tot. My earliest experiments in sound began at age four when I took the hammer from my “Handy Andy” tool kit and proceeded to systematically knock the ivory off the keys of the family piano starting at A -2 and working my way up the C major scale. I made it about two octaves before my mother put an abrupt halt to the operation. At around age six or seven, my father purchased a Montgomery Wards Airline brand console stereo for the family. With my brother off serving in the Viet Nam conflict, I became the recipient of his Columbia House Record Club monthly albums. Through this service I was exposed to the music of The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Doors, Blue Cheer, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa. This set me on the path of critical listening, hifi snobbery, and yes, musicianship.
These things had such an impact on my life that they became my career and lifelong pursuit. The critical listening part turned into a great way to pay for the hifi snobery and musicianship parts, as I became a successful audio engineer and have enjoyed that career immensely over thirty years. I was never a very disciplined musician, but I have a music-centric mind and love working with musicians that are way better at what they do than I. Most of all, I love recording and producing music, so this will become the vehicle by which I shamelessly share the music I have been a part of as well as the music of the fine creatives I have had the pleasure to work with.
There are certain people that have contributed greatly to Sonic Biscuit without whom this brand would be impossible. I can’t name them all, the list is far too long, but these fine folks directly put their backs into helping launch this idea:
Alan is involved in so much of the work being delivered by Sonic Biscuit. He is a fellow audio engineer, musician and person who cares about the art. His mastering expertise and general love for what this brand is trying to accomplish has inspired me to get this thing off the ground. You will be hearing his handiwork as a mix engineer, mastering engineer and even some drums across the entire Sonic Biscuit catalog. He is the go to audio guy for the Lubbock/West Texas region and I would encourage you to visit his lovely studio in the serene flatlands just outside the city of Lubbock, TX.
John always told me “when you get ready build your music career, I will be an investor”. I think he meant he would invest money hoping for some return. Instead I have tapped him for ungodly amounts of his time and energy for which I am eternally grateful. He has provided our lovely Sonic Biscuit logo, helped with graphic assets for this site, built and maintains the Four Stories Tall website, and designs and retouches artwork for our album covers. When he’s not doing visual art for us he plays drums and co-produces Four Stories Tall. Visit his site to see more of his amazing work and read about his capabilities.
When Mark Turner announced he was departing Dallas for a new career in Seattle, we were devastated. As a founding member of Four Stories Tall, he was instrumental in developing our recording process. His generosity lives on at Red Door Studio, where the current line up of Four Stories Tall gathers to create and record music. It is our sincere hope that Turner will come visit us every opportunity he has and that some day soon he will have his home recording rig up and running so we can collaborate from afar.
When you start counting off great visual artists in Lubbock, you can’t get past the first couple of fingers before you say Kyle Pettit. He was always a fixture when we were making music. He would often come hang at rehearsals and quietly sit off to the side sketching in his book, lending an occasional nod when we were doing something right. His sketch book was an endless fountain of great centerpieces for promotional posters and album covers. He was called upon again recently to help redevelop the Mesquite-O-Bytes album and single cover art. As always, he went above and beyond, seamlessly retouching and extending the boundaries of his paintings and etchings from twenty-five years ago to fit modern format requirements. He receives extremely high humanity marks from all the Sonic Biscuit artists.