HSAL, by Allen Bergendahl

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 Allen Bergendahl, who most recently produced the new L.A. Dies album. Over the years, he’s been involved with lots of Virginia based indie rock history from the K Word to Shy, Low, to Psalmships. We asked him a handful of questions & here’s what he had to share:

When was the first time you heard about HSAL?

I heard about Harding Street Assembly Lab so long ago. So long, in fact, I don’t recall when exactly. I had gotten to work with Nathan on (maybe?) the earliest TLVS recording, but that was pre-HSAL.

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

I can say for certain that I was distinctly aware of the label when Snowy Owls (a band I was in at the time) released a split EP with White Laces (HSAL #17) on the label. It was very cool. The artwork features a dude with a club in some sort of brutal battle with a many headed dragon/beast. Pretty cool! The bands are good too.

I had the honor of working on the (forthcoming) L.A.Dies record ‘Drifting Still’ and I cannot wait for that to find the ears of Virginia music lovers. It was an amazing experience with a supremely talented band. Their soulful, swirly, shoe-gazey, powerful music moves me and resonates with the sounds I love. Grandeur gives way to sparseness. Beautiful.  I first worked with them while making the HSAL compilation ‘History Lesson Vol.1‘. (Which, if you haven’t heard, you should check out.)

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

HSAL is unique in the way they conduct business. I personally have gotten to see behind the curtain and know that everything they do is completely deliberate, carefully planned and deeply loved. Serious and forward-thinking. Practical, professional, driven. Joanna and Nathan are the real deal – hands-on, heavy lifting collaborators.

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

White Laces & Snowy Owls, “HSAL #17“; Various Artists, “History Lesson, Vol. 1; L.A. Dies, “Drifting Still

Advertisements

HSAL, by Landis Wine

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 Landis Wine, longtime RVA rock dude. His band White Laces were an early addition to the roster. His current act, Opin, has a single-sided 12″ through HSAL. We asked him a handful of questions & here’s what he had to share:

Landis Wine pre-show in RVA, 2018. (PC: PJ Sykes)

When was the first time you heard about HSAL?

The first time HSAL crossed my radar was on November 27, 2009 when my friend PJ forwarded me a press release detailing their first two releases. I was the music editor for RVA Magazine at the time and scanning through an endless sea of music arriving daily, but I distinctly remember receiving those first two 7″s and promptly wearing down the groove on TLVS‘ “Pebble Azalea Starfish” that winter.

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

HSAL were crucial in helping out White Laces as we started trying to crawl out of the morass. The special edition 12″ and split 10″ were huge deals for us and they were extremely encouraging. More recently, after Opin had a bit of a label reshuffling, HSAL stepped in to help release our Drifters EP (HSAL #43), which was a huge vote of confidence for us while we were touring and trying to plot our direction. As a fan, I’ve enjoyed dozens of their releases over the past decade, many of which I still tie with very specific/important moments in time.

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

I think one of the most important things that HSAL has done, which has hopefully impacted what it has touched in Virginia and beyond, is stand by its roots in quality, craftsmanship and discernment. It has always served as a healthy reminder to other operators that you can survive by holding close to your guiding principles without chasing some obscure promise down one path or another.

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

TLVS,Porcelain“; White Laces & Snowy Owls, “HSAL #17” (NOTE: This was the first release Tori and I ever appeared on together, albeit on opposing sides); KillGXXD & Irving, “HSAL #42“; Various Artists, “History Lesson, Vol. 1“.

HSAL, by Ben Mauch

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 Ben Mauch, who not only turns heads with his solo work, but as the drummer for Richmond-based post-rock outfit Colin Phils. We asked him a handful of questions & here’s what he had to share:

Mauch performing in Greenville NC, 2018. (PC: HSAL)

When was the first time you heard about HSAL?

I first heard about HSAL when I was in college around 2010. I was living with a bunch of people on Yeardley Ave. in Lynchburg that were involved with the band Alaska (HSAL #10). I eventually met Nathan and Joe somewhere around town.

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

HSAL has always been a constant source of interesting music for me, and I always look forward to listening to the releases that come out. As an artist, HSAL has pushed me to create meaningful work that I feel can have a lasting effect on a listener, and I am proud to be a part of the community.

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

HSAL is a big part of the western Virginia music scene and is important to Virginia overall, because of the aesthetic of the music and the DIY nature of it all.

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

Oahu‘s “Slow Waves and Simple Sounds“, Opin‘s “Drifters“, and Alaska‘s “Alaska“.