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With the current situation being complicated for the music industry, it was an opportunity for me to highlight some DIY punk labels around the world. I am very happy to present our series of interviews, starting with the US label Pine Hill Records, managed by Tino Valpa from The Cryptics.

Meet the DIY punk label, Pine Hill Records

Could you please introduce yourself and present your record label to our readers?

This is Tino from Pine Hill Records. Based out of Dover, NH, USA.

What made you concretely get into the music industry and how did you start this label?

I began it in 2013 as a necessity to put my own band’s material out. There’s a decreasing population of record labels to help out bands these days so it was either create this label or leave the back of our albums blank. That’s the real deal behind it, no glory here.

With a worldwide pandemic going on, how have you handled the management of your label over the past few months?

It hasn’t changed anything. The music industry’s decline was there beforehand, and the theme remains constant.

How does a label develop its roster? Do bands approach you directly or is it rather the other way around?

For most labels, it’s the label reaching out. People approach you as a label fairly consistently. Most of the time, it’s unestablished bands who have never left their hometown, toured, built a name for themselves. So, there’s very little incentive to put them out. Most releases I’ve put out have been me reaching out to a band I’m into.

Has the pandemic strongly affected the production of your merchandising and the pressing of your CDs / vinyls / tapes?

Yes. Vinyl waits are back to major pains. It reminds me of 2009-2011 ish era when it was 9 months to get your record to matter what. So ridiculous. Also, having worker number restrictions in a vinyl manufacturing warehouse is ridiculous when 80 people can hang out inside the local Chili’s.

If you had to choose between a vinyl or a CD, which one would you personally pick and why?

If anyone answers CD to this question, don’t trust them.

Out of all the experiences you had with your label, has there been one that has stood out to you?

Just the collective experiences together of bringing to life some of my top favorites like Gein & The Graverobbers, Cathedral of Tears, Blind Seagull, Zygote etc. Making those exist, whether it’s a first-time on vinyl or a reissue is the rewarding feeling and the only reason why I continue to do this.

Pine Hill Records - GEIN AND THE GRAVEROBBERS

To finish, what is one lesson you’ve learned that you think is important to pass onto other label managers?

Good luck…

Thanks for your time!

Picture: Mike Winters Photography

Musically,
What Happened to your Band?