Musicscan: When did you start Temporary Residence and what inspired you to start an independent record label?
Temporary Residence Limited: Late 1995. I was 18 years old and I really wanted to release a single of my own music.
Musicscan: Did you have prior experience in the music business or did you pretty much start from scratch?
Temporary Residence Limited:I had no idea what I was doing, and I still feel that way sometimes. It's all a giant experiment and a huge learning experience as I go along.
Musicscan: In how far do you think TR is connected to the Portland and Oregon scene in general? Would you say that you could be located anywhere or does the city influence your work and your way of doing business?
Temporary Residence Limited: I love Portland and am currently quite inspired by the city itself and a lot of people who live here, but I could really live anywhere and do what I am doing. I adapt very well to my surroundings, so if I picked up and moved tomorrow it wouldn't change the way the label is run.
Musicscan: When has TR become a full time job? How many people work for TR?
Temporary Residence Limited: It still isn't a full time job. I work full time at a record store and work on the label in every spare moment I have outside of that. I have a couple people that help me one or two days a week, but no proper employees, per se. It's really not the empire that so many people seem to perceive it as. But a boy can dream, right?
Musicscan: What was your best selling release so far? Do you have a feeling about what is going to sell and what probably isn't going to sell as much? How much does this honestly influence the decision to sign a band?
Temporary Residence Limited: The best selling release thus far is Explosions In The Sky "Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Die, Those Who Tell the Truth Shall Live Forever." They are our most popular band, and we always anticipate their records doing very well. You can never tell ahead of time what will sell really well and what will not. It's very rarely under any of our control. It's more important that we're ready when a record does start doing really well so we can be prepared to accommodate and expand on its success.
Musicscan: Have you signed bands solely based on demos? What are you looking for in a band?
Temporary Residence Limited:I have never signed a band solely based on an unsolicited demo. I look for sincerity and honesty in a band. They are the bands that you listen to and are just totally inspired by their beauty and brilliance and their intense devotion to their own music. I don't follow fashions or trends, I just follow the music.
Musicscan: You also have international (non-US) bands on your label as Kammerflimmer Kollektief for instance. What has your experience been with foreign bands in the US? Would you say there is a genuine interest in bands that equals the attention US bands get?
Temporary Residence Limited: It varies. Kammerflimmer Kollektief is a truly amazing group, but they have yet to tour in America, so they are not very well known in the US. Icarus is the same situation for now, but that will soon change when we bring them both over to tour. Fridge, however, are very popular in America. They have toured here twice and their fanbase has continued to grow steadily, especially with the breakaway success of Four Tet.
Musicscan: What are the best and worst aspects about running a label?
Temporary Residence Limited: I truly love most every aspect of running a label. The only really bad part is being constantly broke and owing bands money that I don't have. Other than the debts, I can't complain!
Musicscan: What would you do differently in retrospect? What advice can you give to people who are trying to get started with their own business?
Temporary Residence Limited: I would have slowed down my release schedule years ago and not spent quite as much money on some of the artwork, because it made it very hard for me to recover financially and really scared me sometimes. If you're looking to start a label, just make sure you REALLY love music and maintain a really strong sense of ethics and integrity. It will carry you much further than any amount of money.
Musicscan: Did TR turn out the way you imagined or planned it to or are you in another position with the label than you expected a few years back?
Temporary Residence Limited: The label has always been more than I ever expected and yet not quite enough. I hope it will always feel that way. There's no race and there's no finish line. I'll just keep running!
Musicscan: What is your favorite TR release and why?
Temporary Residence Limited: So many of them hold such deep places in my heart for entirely different reasons. This questions is just too difficult to answer.
Musicscan: What is the most time and energy consuming aspect of running TR?
Temporary Residence Limited: I can't tell the difference. It's all so intertwined. Every aspect is time consuming in some way, but I always feel extremely rewarded, both literally and emotionally.
Musicscan: Any last words or comments?
Temporary Residence Limited: Thank you for caring. I won't stop if you won't.