|Brosefs for life: (from left) Chris Egger, Ryan Smith and Jeremy Hanna|
For years, local brands such as Volcom and RVCA have cashed in on the link between music and fashion, endorsing hoards of nationally touring bands, presenting showcases and releasing compilations. These days, Sullen is also looking to get in on that action with its new record label, Sullen Musik, releasing its first 22-track compilation album, Sullen Musik Vol. 1, on Tuesday. While the sound is decidedly bro-centric, the album does take a few unexpected turns that could bode well for those seeking multiple avenues of aural aggression. But does a local brand known more for selling shirts than singles have a real shot at longevity when it comes to supporting bands?
Rob Burnelle of the Slow Forward thinks so. His band are the first to sign with Sullen Musik. "I'd be lying if I said that issue didn't come up," Brunelle says. "We had been speaking with a few more established labels at the time, but we loved the purely artistic direction that Sullen was headed with the label and the collective."
Sullen founders Ryan Smith and Jeremy Hanna say they want their pool of artists to be diverse--which doesn't necessarily mean innovative. The compilation's opening track, "Straight Subliminal" by Huntington Beach's John "Johnny G." Gillespie is a Sublime-esque blend of hip-hop and pop written just for Sullen that sports a predictably promotional hook: "Rollin' with my Sullen family."More »