When you hear the term record label, you think of several things: what bands did/ will you sign? How will you market my band? How long will it take for us to tour? These are the questions the golden days of Rock n Roll, and movies like Almost Famous, and the onslaught of Rock Biopics shows have trained us to wonder. This world of musicians carving it out, fighting with their labels, and somehow becoming legends.
The world has changed. The world is changing. It is well documented.
Hookworm Records was founded on three concepts. Sub Pop records in Seattle in the late 80s and early 90s was a vision of exactly the kind of business we wanted to be. “Going out of business since 1988!” Two guys who just dreamed: one with a creative lens for authenticity and sound, the other with a more business minded bend to that perspective. When it combines organically, it is magic. The more Kevin Michael Prier and Ryan B. Clark talked, dreamed and schemed together, more and more they reminded themselves of Pavitt and Poneman.
The magic of early Sub Pop Recordings, was this strict sense of, you don’t know us, but you will. They were able to create a need for their records, even if you did not know the bands. You knew their vision. And you could feel it. You bought a Sub Pop album, for Sub Pop, and the treasure you might find as those unknown tunes cascaded through the chamber of your tiny bedroom where you hid for sanctuary with the hopes of new discovery. Recordings should be exciting: concept one.
Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) brought a similar rebel yell to the deserts of southern California at Rancho de la Luna. Desert Sessions became on ongoing experimental recording session out in the heat, and the scorch and the dust. And magic happened. Josh invites artists of all kinds to record something new, something totally unexpected. And he showcases those recordings with such reverence and passion, it is contagious. Desert Sessions became a vision of the Muse that Hookworm Records wanted to tap into. That vision of authentic challenging of normalcy is concept two.
The final piece of Hookworm is quality: not only in terms of great music, but excellence on all levels. Presentation, artistic excellence, the absolute pinnacle of sound engineering. Sub Pop took Indie music to places it had never dreamed to go. But, times are changing. Hookworm developed a model that would showcase the deep wealth of Indie talent in Arizona, by instead of thinking of signing bands to thinking of signing and sponsoring singles.
Hookworm is about art. It is about breaking normalcy, and elevating a cultural medium that has gone numb in a world of easy access and lack of authenticity. And in that world, what really rises to the top, are beautiful products that you are excited and proud to own. The joy of being able to create those products, fills me with hope.
And we all need some hope.
“I have been looking for the right combination for years. I knew I had raw talents: teaching, writing, critical thinking – but trying to find a way for your passions to move from dreams to realities can be daunting. People are not always who you think they are, or want them to be. They think the same of you. The way then…. is to prove yourself. With consistent action.. And have faith that the right souls will find you. Hookworm Records is the best team of community centered, music loving, honest, true people that I could ever hope for. We have become deep friends. I love these people!”Ryan B. Clark
Meet the Wurmz!
Kevin Michael Prier: Kevin is the creative, throbbing heart of Hookworm. He detests normalcy, and has been moved by what Sub Pop was able to do since his early youth in Missouri. Kevin has lived a life of music, whether in bands (Chalmers Green / The Real Fakes) , working for Fender, or simply meditating on the vibrations of the universe. He is cosmic.
David Rhodes: David grew up skateboarding the concrete sidewalks and boiling asphalt of Tempe, Arizona. He was the little brother to the 90s Tempe explosion in many ways. That youth has propelled a life of passion and dedication to the dream that is and always was Tempe. His band Big Finish is Long Wong’s revisited.
Jarrod Compton: Jarrod brings a wealth of knowledge, and just pure determination and grit, to the Hookworm team. He is a multi talented, multi genre, musical madman (Moons, Birds & Monsters, The Real Fakes, Comptalo). Being able to hone his passion working and learning from the magic man in Mesa has him pretty damn excited!
Amy Hansen: Most of the burgeoning Phoenix music scene knows Amy Hansen. She is a bright, shiny person who loves people, and loves music. She has dedicated herself to countless community projects. Recommended by David, after working together for Marc Norman 2020, she joined the Hookworm Team to lead the ground game.
Ryan B. Clark – I write stuff (Grave Whispers, Spirits of Jerome, Kindred Spirits & Mirrored Souls, ManInfest Destiny, Ghost Songs, Letters to Laertes, Keep the Greasy Side Down) . I love music. I am a teacher. I united these people. Chief Executive Officer. Co- Founder
And last but certainly an essential part of the Hookworm equation is Mr. Bob Hoag: Flying Blanket Recording. Right behind Z Trip, Bob was #2 on Phoenix New Times list of The 40 Most Influential Arizona Musicians. I mean…. damn.
Although not a direct partner of Hookworm, the team has contracted with Flying Blanket to produce and engineer all sponsored Hookworm projects. As the head engineer of what will undeniably be an awesome set of records, he is priceless as a member of the Hookworm Family.
The Hookworm Records Vision
“Oh Arizona, yeah, gotta love ’em; they sure do try hard.”
Sounds kinda like the way nobody had heard of Seattle a few decades ago. But as Poneman told Chris Cornell, “Seattle is going to take over the world.” It seems like everywhere you look, past or present, their have been flirtations with greatness from Arizona, but somehow the scene has never really garnered that kind of respect that moves you out of the little brother that tries really hard category. Hookworm Records believes that credibility of that magnitude comes with a package. If you have art, vision, and pride… your work should prove that. Not be thrown out there just so that it can exist. But that is far beyond what most Indie professionals are able to accomplish.
By investing in singles, Hookworm Records is able to put the entirety of their passion into creating compilation volume albums that showcase the wide breadth of Arizona talent. Hookworm does not sign bands. We put bands into the best recording studio possible, and turn them loose to create with a master. And prove themselves to the world. We instill in them our faith. We do that by inviting them to a project.
Each Hookworm record will showcase 4 Indie bands that spotlight the amazing diversity of our state. That is a tall order for a small record label, putting an artist in the studio once a month. But Hookworm believes that is the missing link in a world on fire. Time. Care. Precision. Reverence to the culture we preserve. On each and every song.
“Man, Arizona, gotta love em. They sure do try hard.” Together, we are going to change that.”Kevin Michael Prier
Invitations for the first compilation album are being sent now. Our first band going into Flying Blanket will be announced soon. Arizona, you know us. You have seen us at your shows. You have followed our Blogs. You have listened to our music. We are you.
We are Hookworm Records!