Facedown Records -
San Diego, CA

Interview by Nate Bailey

Facedown Records
Nate: Recently, Facedown has set up distribution with some pretty heavy hitters. Tell us a little more about that.

Jason: We work with a company called NAIL distribution out of Portland, OR and we just signed a semi - exclusive deal with them which means that we get to continue to work with all the distros that we already have, but that they take our releases on very seriously and shop them out to their clients which include: Best Buy, Warehouse, Borders, Tower, Hot Topic, Virgin, and a few other large chains. It takes a little while for our releases to actually get carried by most of the stores and stocked on the shelves, but it is happening. The best thing for us is to have people go into these stores and ask the music buyers there to stock our releases.

Nate: What were the circumstances behind the creation of Facedown records?

Jason: I was touring a lot with my band No Innocent Victim and I always brought a small distro with me on tour and set it up at all of our shows. I called it Facedown Distribution. I then decided to start it into a small label and I put out a few 7" records and a CDep with Overcome which is what really got our name out there. I started this label because I felt like God laid it on my heart to help out and get good Christian hardcore and punk bands out into the scene and not just in Christian bookstores. I saw a lot of bands out there that didn't get the credit they deserved.

Nate: What is the most sought after Facedown release?

Jason: I couldn't tell you. We have a few releases that are out of print, but aren't too sought after yet I don't think. We put out a 3 7" set with all different colored vinyl and hand numbered and gold foil covers. Those sold really fast because there were only 300 of them and they were only available through mail order and through Revelation Records.

Nate: Do you receive numerous demos? What does it take to meet the selection process?

Jason: We get demos almost every day in our PO Box. It's awesome that we get that many because that shows me that a lot of bands like what we are doing and they want to be a part of it. I am very picky when I listen to bands and I always have to see a band live before I sign them. I am also very critical when it comes to the drummer since I am a drummer. I always listen to the drums more than anything else.

Nate: The Deal. They are taking off like wildfire. How did they come to find a home with Facedown?

Jason: Yeah, The Deal are blowing up right now. Right now we are on their third pressing of their CD in just 8 months of it being out. That is really good for a new band on the label. I met the Deal guys through my friend Jon who ran Warfare Records for a little while. He was friends with them and introduced me to them. We played a show together and I really liked what I heard and saw so we set up a deal with them.

Nate: Recently the word on the street has been that Facedown will be releasing the newest One: 21 full length. How did this come about and when can we expect it?

Jason: I have known Kenny (Singer for One: 21) for years and have always been a fan of their band and music. I heard that they were having some problems with the label that they were with so I got in touch with Kenny and talked about it with him a lot and made them an offer. It all happened over a period of about 3-4 months as they were trying to get out of their contract with their old label. I am very excited to be working with them, as they will bring a new and fresh sound to our roster. The new record is incredible. Definitely their best stuff yet. The street date is September 4!

Nate: What are the most negative aspects of running an independent label?

Jason: Trying to collect money from people that owe it to you. Right now we have distributors that owe us thousands of dollars and are late paying so that throws us off with getting releases out, advertising, etc. I just wish everyone would pay on time.

Nate: What other indie labels are catching your attention?

Jason: Chad is doing an awesome thing with Takehold. There is a bunch of other labels that seem to be up and coming also.

Nate: Does Facedown cater to a specific crowd of people?

Jason: I would say our main crowd right now is the hardcore scene, however with some of our newer releases like the Deal, Dogwood, and One 21, a lot of punk rock kids are getting exposed to Facedown Records. That is something that I have always wanted to do, I was just waiting for the right bands to do it with.

Nate: In the history of Facedown records, what has been the most amazing event/occurrence?

Jason: All I can say is that when you give something to God, He will amaze you everyday! You just have to allow him to pour blessings into your life and He will do it. I am amazed when I look back 3 years ago and I had a couple 7"s out and now you can buy our CD's in stores like Warehouse and Best Buy! I always dreamed of being my own boss and now I am and my wife works full time for the label as well. All I can say is allow yourself to be used by God and He will blow you away and bless you in ways you would have never imagined!

Nate: What band just takes your breath away?

Jason: Every time I see Figure Four they just get better and better. They put on an awesome live show! The Deal: everytime I see them I get goosebumps! All of our bands have a great live show! As far as bands go that aren't on our label that I love to watch - Dropkick Murphys (I just saw them and it was one of the best bands I have ever seen live), Ballydowse, Social Distortion, Madball, and a bunch more.

Nate: If you could have any band, past or present, on Facedown, who would it be?

Jason: That's a hard question! I love all the bands that we have now and they are all my top favorite bands! I would love to have a band like Living Sacrifice on the label. I think those guys are incredible. Maybe the old Crucified stuff too. That's what I grew up on so it's special to me.

Nate: Cornerstone is probably the biggest event of the year for you, what kind of results do you look forward to?

Jason: I think it is just awesome to see the response that all of our bands have when they play. There are thousands of kids there singing along, dancing and just getting into them. That is real encouraging. It is also awesome to see so many kids wearing Facedown shirts. That makes me feel really happy!

Nate: What keeps you pouring your energy into the label? Is it the bands, the kids, or something else?

Jason: All of the above! I love putting out records and working with all of our bands! However, Facedown records is more than just a business, it is also a ministry for our bands and us. God has already used it to minister and help out a lot of people in need. That is the number one reason that we have for everything that we do in this life, to tell people about our hope in Jesus Christ.

Nate: What are the Facedown board meetings like?

Jason: Me sitting down with my wife and Aaron from Point of Recognition (He works for us doing our web site and other random stuff). It's nothing crazy, just us 3 planning stuff out.

Nate: Any other comments?

Jason: Thanks for the interview and to everyone who supports Facedown records and our bands. It is appreciated more than you know! Thanks a lot. Check out our website at www.facedownrecords.com! Featured Interviews (click to read the interviews)
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