Saturday, March 1, 2008

Longtime Northwest record label, Empty Records, calls it quits!

This photo is of Blake from Empty Records and me at Brian Foss' wedding reception. Blake has been a pal of mine from back when I started publishing 10 Things zine in 1991. He and Russ from Fallout were the first advertisers that stepped up to support the zine. Over the years I've written tons about bands on Empty, it was a record label integral to the Northwest punk and rock scene and featured tons of fantastic bands. In Empty's peak period, I considered it a better and more representative record label of the Northwest rock'n'roll scene than the much larger Sub Pop was. I published a history of the label a few months ago here, but just recently heard Blake has decided to call it quits and stop doing the label. Times have changed of course. Blake has a kid, moved to Portland, and the label had slowed down. The whole way of publishing and distributing music has drastically changed, it's really tough to make an independent record label survive, much less profit, following the traditional method. So it's no surprise that Empty has decided to stop now. But it's still a big blow for underground rock and punk music and the label will be sadly missed by thousands of its fans. Its legacy however, will live on! Empty put out so many great bands and have a ton of fantastic records in their back catalog. Gas Huffer, Sicko, The Derelicts, The Supersuckers, Accused, The Catheters, Dead Moon, Zip Gun, Gloryholes, Midnight Thunder Express, Fireballs of Freedom, Murder City Devils, New Bomb Turks, The Gits, Devil Dogs, Girl Trouble, Mea Culpa, Lost Sounds, Gruntruck, Motards, Scared of Chaka, The Loudmouths, The Statics, Valentine Killers, and so many more had either their first or best releases on Blake Wright's label. This is truly an end of an era folks.

For more information on Empty Records or to snap up CDs and vinyl before the label closes for good, check out


Anonymous said...

this makes me sadder than i can even put into words.

i'm gonna play at least an hour f empty stuff on tonights Sonic Reducer broadcast.

Unknown said...

I've known Blake for more than 20 years.
I've seen him wrestle through the shenanigans pulled by his/our old friend and his ex-partner Joe Raimond, which caused him great hassle/time/irritation in many ways. But I won't put words in his mouth.
Over the intervening years, I've also seen how much time he has spent on his label. The man has never made a profit, never been in it for the cash, that's for damned sure.
Like most of us, Blake loves amazing, cool-as-fuck music, pure and simple. (Although we might come to blows over the Supersuckers.) He always has, and he always will. I love Blake for that, and know that other folks do too. Viva Empty!!