Meet & Greet: Jade Tree Records

It’s nice to know that Jade Tree has a weird guy who lurks near their building. (Their buildingmate, actually.) The Detour Bivouac is surrounded on all sides by the shiftless and strange, the forms of creaky-looking men who we believe will one day assassinate us. But wait, that’s us. Jade Tree’s been doing the damn thing since 1991, and has given us great records like Jets To Brazil’s Orange Rhyming Dictionary and Fucked Up’s Hidden World. Here, co-founder Darren Walters (along with Tim Owens) gives us the lowdown on the label, his struggling vegetarianism, and his apparent knowledge of the proper way to abbreviate Sound of Music. — Thomas Rooker White

Who runs the label?
Tim Owen and myself.

Where is the label located? Describe your digs?°¦
Beautiful downtown Wilmington, Delaware. We share a building with a Merry Maids and a strange guy that we think lives in his office. Occasionally there is puke in the hallway, but we get lots of natural light.

How did the label get its start? Its name?
The label started when Tim and I merged our previous straight-edge hardcore labels into a new one. We both agreed that it would be more interesting to own a label where there was no focus on geography, genre, or philosophy (other than DIY) and where we could release any kind of music that we liked. The name was Tim’s idea and he can never remember where and how it came to him. When he mentioned it to me, I liked it because it did not conjure up anything at all in my mind. To this day, our bank thinks we are a lawn care company.

How many releases do you issue a year, on average?
That all depends. Some years we release 12 records; others 3. When we have music to release, we do it. Otherwise, we don’t push it just to fill a schedule.

True or false: Digital downloads are okay, but 7″’s are cooler?°¦
7”s are always cooler, we just barley make them anymore!

Favorite label besides your own?°¦
I very much admire Dischord and Touch & Go for their adherence to their manner of operation. In the past, I have been a fan of everything from Creation to Revelation and everything in between.

Favorite record ever?°¦
Could you think of a worse question? I, like many, cannot pick just one. So here are a few:
The Clash, London Calling
Madonna, Like A Virgin
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, The Harder They Come
The Smiths, The Smiths
New Order, Power, Corruption, and Lies

Favorite movie ever?°¦
It has to be Star Wars for the massive impact that it made on my life. I’m a child of the 70’s.

Vegetarian or carnivore?
Vegan for 18 years. Recently downgraded to full-time cheese head and part-time fish eating slob. It’s probably my one real regret.

Your guiltiest pleasure. The thing no one would believe you watch, read, or listen to?°¦

Watch: “Prison Break”
Read: Men’s Health
Listen: Everything But the Girl

I love the Sound of Music movie and soundtrack, too. I can often be seen sporting a Maria Von Trapp (Julie Andrews) button and singing tunes.

In further pursuit to experience the Sound of Music, I have trekked not once, but twice to Austria.

The first time I took an overnight train from Munich to Vienna at 3AM, only to realize upon my arrival that I was supposed to be in Salzburg.

Returning to Europe on tour a year later, I traveled overnight from Saarbrucken to Salzburg and enjoyed a joyous day doing a SOM tour. It was one of the best days of my life!

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