We are Adam Heathcott and Sara Padgett Heathcott, and we are Hometapes. Technically - a record label. Truthfully - a whole solar system of artists, thinkers, makers, and feelers. The idea we named, logo'd, and brought all our friends into back in 2001 has continuously grown in the shape of vinyl records, compact discs, tapes, tours, events, objects, and a tight community of international musical and visual artists.
This is our sixth year at SXSW, and our sixth year creating Friend Island - our signature event. It began at SXSW and is now a staple of NC's Hopscotch Fest, too. We set the bar high on our first trip back in 2007 - Friend Island's first manifestation was a two-day art and music show on Austin's east side. Since then Friend Island has grown with us, our bands, and our wild ideas. This year's Friend Island is shaping up to be the best yet: next Saturday we're transforming a tropical backyard at 1306 E. 6th St. into our own oasis, complete with piles of Pop Tarts, Topo Chico, drinks and food from the rad Mexican cantina sharing the space, an animated gif photo booth, the Hometapes Portable Record Store - with the reveal of brand new records - and a wicked lineup including Bear In Heaven, AU, new Hometapes artists Ormonde and Matt White, Dana Buoy - of Akron/Family - and TX-based wizards Diamond Age and Zorch.
If producing over fifty releases has taught us anything, it's how deeply connected we are to the relationships and the processes that combine to create a record. When we stand back and look at a shelf of our LPs, we see our whole lives and everyone we love. From a dreamlike idea, to the first sketches, to the wild moments of execution, to the refinement, to the translation - we are present in different ways. We began Hometapes with the entire process in mind - that was the world we came from and the world we were embedded in, back in those first years when we were both in art school - Adam studying sound design, Sara studying photography, and both studying Historic Preservation. Since then, that first notion - to do it ourselves, to do it better, and to keep pushing - has driven us and has influenced the growth of an entire roster of musical and visual artists who embody this run-full-speed-in-the-dark energy. We see a band and we see their whole universe, not just their record cover. What this means for us is a constant state of growth, weekly - if not daily - opportunities to make something entirely new, an intimate role in the creation of the best stuff anyone's ever heard or seen, a strange concept of time and schedule, and a record label who produce records the way artists produce their art. It's our own equation. Plus a lot of calendar reminders.
Above all, we work to foster freedom for all of our artists. Their response is akin to the freedom we feel every day - that we can make anything. The people we're drawn to are fully committed to their world of creation - people like Sonnenzimmer, Friends With You, Aaron Draplin, and Cody Hudson. We often come to the table with just as many ideas, a collaborative approach based on the acknowledgement of any notions the artist and Hometapes have... it could be something we've carried separately all our lives or something unique that took hold between us when we all first met. With every artist, every record, every process, every deadline -- we evolve. This is as intense as it sounds. Often our biggest challenge is to keep up with ourselves and the genius of the people around us.
Zac Traeger. He's currently living in Austin, is in a totally insane band called Zorch who are playing 18 times during the music festival this coming week, is Berkley alumni and designs custom audio software applications for his music. He's putting on a number of shows this week and is an almost never-ending fountain of creative, chaotic energy. Easily one of the most inspiring humans we've met in a very, very long time.
The referrals began with Leah Jackson who referred Stephanie Downey who referred Chris Hill who referred Jonathan Wallace who referred Dominic Hofstede, who referred Paul Fuog, who referred Ben Edwards and Juliet Moore, who referred Ryan Russel and Byron George, who referred Dianna Snape, who finished the stream with Jessica Brent. We also introduced Matt Hinkley who referred Warren Taylor who referred Yanni Florence, who referred Liv Barrett, who referred Fayen d'Evie, who referred Masato Takasaka, who referred Madeline Kidd, who referred Meredith Turnbull, who referred Nella Themelios.
In May 2012, we began a new Melbourne stream with Oslo Davis. He then referred Alexander Stitt, who referred Mimmo Cozzolino, who referred Fysh Rutherford, who referred Simon and Jenna Hipgrave.
In March 2012, we went to Austin for SXSW, where the daily referrals began with Sonnenzimmer who referred Landland and Hometapes who referred Zorch, who referred Brian Maclaskey, who referred Bobby Dixon, who referred Brian Phillips, who, through some auspicious coincidence, turned the SXSW referral interview project into a perfect circle, by referring us back to Sonnenzimmer. Then there was a giveaway to celebrate.