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:
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“.