The recent split 7'' release featuring broken light and Earthgrazer through West Lafayette's Jurassic Pop Records illustrates the developing music scene's ambition and potential. The vinyl comes in a variety of designs including rainbow-splattered, coin-flip and color split, available at the release show on Saturday, January 26, at The Bayou in West Lafayette. Along with broken light and Earthgrazer will be Winslow, an Indianapolis band slated for an upcoming Jurassic Pop release, joining a slew of bands that have developed in the West Lafayette scene. Under the supervision of Jeff Mather (Dino DNA, High School Girls) and Dylan Schwab (broken light) this portion of Indiana is building a name for itself.
I spoke with Mather about the state of independent music in Indiana over the phone.
NUVO: Tell me a little about yourself. Did you grow up in Lafayette?
Jeff Mather: I didn't. I actually grew up in Cleveland and then went to Purdue, which is pretty much how I got involved with music stuff. The first two years of college were really annoying. There wasn't that much music going on. People have been critical of the West Lafayette and Lafayette scene for a while and I can attest to that. There was just nothing going on. But then I started having shows at my house and that was Jurassic Park. That was how the whole music scene started happening. There was already some punk stuff going on in Lafayette, but no music that they could really call their own local bands. So local bands like broken light and Faux Paw started coming out of the woodwork, you know, out of nowhere. These are fantastic bands. They'd be fantastic if they were in Cleveland and Cleveland's got a ton of bands. The one thing with Jurassic Park, more than anything, instead of being just a shitty basement to play in - which it totally was - the whole community got started with it. Now I look back and that's most of the reason that I'm so happy about it, that people were going there, meeting other people, meeting other bands. And that's what led into Jurassic Pop.
NUVO: What made you want to start a label?
Mather: The whole Jurassic Pop thing came around after Jurassic Park had pretty much ended. We were still around but the community and the spirit of all that - I didn't want that to end just because my house couldn't have shows anymore. And it was looking more and more like there was no place for music or there wasn't like a central thing. I do Jurassic Pop with a good friend of mine named Dylan (Schwab), he's in broken light. He plays drums for them. We had the idea of wanting to do a record label but we also wanted to keep that spirit alive with the local thing. I realized with Jurassic Park that people really did want a venue, like a local thing. We wanted something like that for Lafayette and West Lafayette, like a local label. People loved it. People have been so supportive of it so far. And this is something we were unsure of. We didn't know if students would want it, if Lafayette would want it, if the cities would be cool. We were worried about it but it's been getting a semi-good amount of press, even outside of Indiana and stuff. It just started off as our local bands but hopefully its turning into something a little more.
NUVO: The type of stuff going on in West Lafayette is so different from stuff going on in the rest of the state. Is there anything you'd like to come to West Lafayette, or that you'd like to take to the rest of Indiana?
Mather: The one thing that's so incredible about Indiana is that each little town - Mostly Muncie, Bloomington, Indy and West Lafayette - is that they do each have their own really different music scene. And each city has that record label that you know. For Indy there's Joyful Noise, GloryHole. And for Bloomington XRA, Flannelgraph. I want Jurassic Pop to become that West Lafayette one.
I think a lot of people go, 'Man there's nothing going on in West Lafayette.' And I want to do this so people go, 'Oh all these bands from Lafayette are pretty good!' In a way that's starting to happen but we've still got a lot of work to do.