I called the boys over a Burger Records during their radio show and they were kind enough to take some time to talk to me about their current tour, Burger A Go GO. The duo is incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated to what they do. Although the brand and label of Burger has grown considerably over the past decade the two still maintain the local, DIY feel that makes Burger so beloved by rock and roll kiddos all over the planet. They love what they do and can’t wait to bring the tour to Portland, which is one of their favorite cities.
Rosie Blanton: The music industry is a tough to make a profit in, is that something that Burger records is able to do?
Lee Rickard: We generate money and we create a lot of content and platforms for people to make money. Personally we make a couple 100 bucks a week from the record store for being record clerks and shop keeps. Mean while we’re booking shows all over the world and doing all sorts of events and organizing and releases on top of everything. But the label, we’ve put everything back into the label for the ten years, that’s why our catalog is so vast and has grown. It’s a struggle though and we have a lot of bills to pay and were not going to be comfortable until all our debts are paid and were doing it. Were in the red but were nurturing a community and a scene. It’s a big investment. But this is what we love to do, there’s nothing else we’d rather be doing. We’ve sacrificed a lot of things to make Burger. It’s not even an option at this point for Burger not to succeed.
RB: It sounds like you guys are workaholics, but how do you keep the DIY aspect that Burger is so very well known for? Do you feel as you get bigger its harder to maintain the DIY, esoteric vibe?
Sean Bohrman: For me it’s not hard at all bc I’m a control freak. At times I don’t want to be that way and it would be easier to have people helping but I like doing it myself.
RB: With the tour, it’s mainly female bands or female fronted bands. Was that a conscious choice, did you want this to be a pro female or feminist tour?
LR: We’ve done two female festivals that were all female fronted bands. It seems like a no brainer. A Lot of them friends.
SB: We did the two festival’s (Burger a Go GO) probably three or four years ago. Were just bringing it back now
RB: How did you guys pick the bands for this tour?
LR: They’re some of our favorite bands
SB: They’re all friends of ours and we just thought these bands would go well together
LR: We’ve toured with The Coathangers before and they’re friends of ours and they’re rock and roll lifers. Dengue Fever is such a cool band , it seems a little random , typical Burger chaos but it makes sense to us.
RB: Do you think next year you would want to make this a bigger tour?
LR: For sure , I was actually anticipating a month long tour but for whatever reason it ended up just being a west coast tour
SB:We’re hoping to take it to Japan!
RB: You guys talk a lot about being in the Burger bubble but I do think you have a big reach. Has it gotten to the point where you even have to look for bands to sign or do the demos just come pouring it?
SB: We get flooded but we love to discover new bands. A Lot of what we do is debut releases.
RB: What’s next for Burger Records?
SB: Burger Boogaloo just got announced today
LR: John Waters iss hosting for the fourth year!
SB: We have ton of releases all the time
LR: I’m really excited for The Flytraps 12” LP and PMS and the mood swings
RB: How did you create a relationship with John Waters? How did that Happen?
LR: Our promoter and partner just reached out and built a rapport with him and eventually we finally got him out and he had a great time and he continues to come back. He says it’s one of his favorite gigs of the year. He’s one of our idols and it’s really special to have him involved.
But were wheeling and dealing and got a lots of things going on. We get up, put our boots on and go to work every day and just grind it out.