HSAL, by Aaron Jacks

As we inch closer & closer to our HUGE TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY EVENT, we thought it would be interesting to connect with people who have been with us through various seasons. These may be artists we’ve worked with or simply friends of the label who have watched us grow.

This time around, we caught up with Aaron Jacks, who has been an Lynchburg art & music scene enthusiast for over half a decade now. Most know him these days as a member of L.A. Dies, whose “Drifting Still” drops this weekend! We asked him a handful of questions & here’s what he had to share:

Aaron Jacks tracking guitar during “Drifting Still” sessions.

When was the first time you heard about HSAL?

I first encountered HSAL when I went to Speakertree for the very first time back in early May of 2013. Nathan, who was behind the counter at the time, invited me to the show that was happening that weekend. Naturally, being entirely unaware of what I’d be in for, I went back to my dorm and sampled every artist on the bill I could find on YouTube. After some digging, I finally found a video of TLVS performing the then-unreleased “TV-MA-LSV” somewhere in Norfolk. I was blown away (and also surprised to see that the very same gentleman who invited me to the show was behind the drums absolutely killing it!) I needed to go to that show after watching that video. Luckily, I managed to secure a ride with some friends after some enthusiastic begging and we all went to the show. I left with a copy of TLVS’ “Porcelain“.

How has HSAL connected with you personally over the years (either as a fan or an artist)?

Had it not been for Nathan’s invite or that video of TLVS, I don’t think I would have been so insistent about going to that show; a show that I, without exaggeration, give credit for changing my life. From then on, I went to any local show and immersed myself in as much local music as I could. Almost four years later, this would ultimately lead me to attending a couple of L.A. Dies shows and subsequently tricking them into letting me join the band. In 2018, L.A. Dies was asked to participate in HSAL #44, which led us to Allen Bergendahl, who would later be at the helm of our upcoming LP “Drifting Still”. To be a part of the HSAL truly means the world to me.

What do you think HSAL has meant to “the scene”?

HSAL’s unending support for Lynchburg’s music scene has been integral to its growth and persistence. With every release, Lynchburg further secures itself as one of the most lush and eclectic music scenes any college town has to offer. We are extremely fortunate to have HSAL taking it upon themselves to ensure that the scene is both thriving and preserved.

Which two or three HSAL releases would you use to recommend the label to a friend?

  • TLVS, “I Can Dream All Day“: I had to wait TWO YEARS for “TV-MA-LSV” to finally come out, and it was worth every second. If you’re a post-rock fan of any degree, this is essential.
  • Benjamin Mauch, “Golden Bay Garden“: This is a tough contender for the most beautiful sounds HSAL has ever pressed.
  • L.A. Dies, “Drifting Still“: Completely unbiased here! You should totally listen to this album!
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