Sheiks of Industry
Austin record labels, part 2
Super Secret: a Little Louder NowOne night last year, Richard Lynn was out bar-hopping and checking out local rockers Manikin. It occurred to him that the worst thing that could happen to the band would be for them to never release a CD and fade away with no proof of their existence
"I've got zero musical talent myself, but I've always loved music and had friends in the scene since '95 -- the Motards, Chumps, et cetera," notes Lynn, founder of Super Secret Records. "I saw Manikin that night, realized that they'd never put out a record on their own, and decided this would be a way to get into the middle of the scene."
Since then, the rough-and-tumble Super Secret roster has expanded to include Slum City, the Eastside Suicides, the Ends, the Materialistics, and Electric Eye. Though running a cottage-industry label is nearly always a financial debacle, Lynn is making a go of it, scrounging up gas money for the bands along with providing booking, press work, and distribution through Hep Cat and Road to Ruin.
"I'd like to see things get to a point where I can at least sell enough CDs to fund future releases," observes Lynn with an eye firmly on the realities of small-scale economics.
Lynn's labor has paid off modestly for the bands, with Manikin and the Eastside Suicides building positive notices and a noticeable fan base.
"None of this would have happened if it hadn't been for Toby and Alex at Mortville," offers Lynn in a mad shout-out to his compadres. "I've been friends with those guys forever, and they really showed me everything about running a label. They really have got to be the best label in Austin."
With like-minded advocates like Mortville and Super Secret to help spread the word, Austin's punk and garage scene has the tools to succeed. Nobody said it was going to be easy, but Lynn and Super Secret knew that going in.
Kingpin: Richard Lynn
Notable Releases: Eastside Suicides, Manikin
New & Upcoming: Winks 7-inch; the Put-Downs CD
Average Print Run: 1,000 (CDs); 500 (7-inches)