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Having gone through the experience of being in a successful, touring indie band with Man … Or Astro-man?, Brian Causey decided to take a break.
“The life on the road was not doing so good for my personal life,” he recalls. Armed with a love and knowledge for music and an Industrial Design degree from Auburn University, Causey teamed up with Lance Bangs (filmmaker and music video director) and Chris Bilheimer (R.E.M.’s art director) to create WARM Electronic Recordings. After Bangs left soon after the label’s incarnation, WARM was left to Causey and Bilheimer, the latter of which finds time for the label between big projects with bands like Green Day and Weezer.
Causey’s incredibly creative background means he can be involved with bands on all sort of levels from producing the record to creating the artwork – though it depends on the act’s resources.▼ Article continues below ▼
“Some bands have art backgrounds, some bands have rich parents, some bands have recordings,
some bands have other stuff that they can provide, so it varies from project to project,” says Causey. “I like being involved in the earlier aspects of the recording and the engineering and the art and stuff, that’s really where I came from when I started the label.”
With all the contacts Causey has built along his career, aspects of WARM’s projects can include
familiar faces for music fans. The label’s distribution is handled by Man… or Astro-man’s label Touch and Go. Liz Durrett’s latest record Outside Our Gates included work from Vic Chestnutt (Durrett’s uncle) and Crooked Fingers’ Eric Bachmann, the latter of which drove all the way from Denver, Colo. to be a part of the project. And Don Chambers and GOAT’s Zebulon was helmed by Drive-By Truckers’ Patterson Hood (you can read more about that experience in our Studio Diary).
Obviously, living in Athens keeps making music easy, as Causey is just a hundred yards or so from Andy Baker’s great studio (“Which he changes the name of every six months,” quips Causey) and the city itself has a wealth of bands old and new.
“I definitely like seeing a band out of Athens, who nobody’s ever heard of, and then suddenly the world sees them,” says Causey, citing Drive-By Truckers’ recent success, though he doesn’t always see Athens music as worthy of attention. “Athens goes through waves of coming out with creative stuff, and then it goes through what seems like nothing. I like Athens for now, but I’m definitely not stuck on staying in Athens for the rest of my life. The older you get in Athens the older you feel.”
Despite the label being “more work that I thought it would be,” Causey hopes the label will continue to grow.
“The industry is changing so much that it’s hard to kind of get a foot hold,” he says. “The label business these days, its basically going to a casino every day and gambling: in one day you can win big and in one day you can lose everything.”
Label Contact: Brian Causey
Phone: (706) 369-1650
Address: P.O. Box 1423, Athens, GA 30603