Mike Park has been running Asian Man Records out of his mom’s garage for over two decades with a refreshing approach that might seem unusual by today’s standards: there’s no advances and every release is a handshake agreement. “I do this for the love of music,” writes Park on the label’s About page. “Not for capitalist gain or status recognition. I try my best to do the right things ethically and to believe in helping others instead of striving for profit over people.” Somehow its worked, with Asian Man amassing a small, but powerful catalog/community of underground music comprised of seminal third-wave ska, early Alkaline Trio records, Jeff Rosenstock, Joyce Manor, AJJ and many others. On this episode, Saxon decided to hide the crystal ball, puts away systematic analysis, and erase the galaxy brain chalk board to talk with Park about the very real highs and lows of being an indie label head on the fringes of the music industry. Along the way, the two discuss format changes, early 2K sellout culture, the role of a small label in today’s ecosystem, and lament briefly about the disappearance of Myspace.
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