Researching this week's cover story brought us into conversation with Sean Bohrman, the Thee Make Out Party member who co-founded Fullerton-based Burger Records nearly one year ago. When we called him on September 3, we caught him in the middle of a veritable run on the label's supply of Japanese chillwave. A selection from our conversation:
Good! I don't know, Clive Tanaka is blowing up today. Just got two more orders for Clive Tanaka. I'm looking at our PayPal today and we sold five already today. I just wonder what happened to facilitate such a Clive Tanaka rush.
Well, he's really good. That explains it.
We haven't checked in on you guys much since putting you on the cover. How have things been?
Our anniversary is going to be in a month, a month today. It just grows and grows. The label's just taken off. It's a lot of work, but we're doing really well.
We're working on this article about OC music scenes, and it seems like you have a definite music scene around the bands on your label and a few others up there. You think so?
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Yeah. It's just a bunch of kids making music, but really good music. That might separate it from other scenes. There's just a lot of kids in the community, and they're all connected. It keeps getting bigger and bigger and more bands keep popping up. It's not just relegated to orange county really, we're trying to make it as big as we can--but starting here.
The sound? It's psychedelic, it's punk. But the kids around here appreciate all kinds of music. We all listen to pop radio, we all listen to the classics. It's not like the feeling of the scene is specific to one kind of genre. I feel like anybody can make any type of music and it can be accepted in our scene because people are open minded musically here.
How have you been signing bands and putting out tapes from all over the country?
To begin with, we started putting out our friends bands, and then we started putting out bigger stuff. And then people took notice that we were putting gout good music and want to work with us. Or we've been doing such a good job that we can go to bands. We're so delusional, I guess, that we're like 'Hey, we can get a White Stripes tape.' Yeah, the guy Ben Blackwell who does [Cass Records] with Jack White ordered a copy of something, and we sent him a letter. Who knows if anything will happen, but you got to send it out into the cosmos.
My main dream is to do a Lady Gaga tape. And if I'm thinking about it, it will happen eventually, I know it will. We put out bands like the Black Lips and we put out bands that nobody knows, like Clive Tanaka, and people buy them because I think they trust what we're doing, and our vibe and everything.
And someday, Lady Gaga.
I know it's going to happen because I think about it. If you think positively about stuff, anything can happen. That's how I got the store and that's why we're doing so well. Just stay positive, you know.
So you do The Secret?
Yes, we do The Secret. I didn't actually read The Secret. [Burger co-founder] Lee [Rickard] watched a video of The Secret and told me about it. I'm like, okay, that seems like something that might work. Just think about things and picture them happening in your mind, and one day you'll wake up and own a record store, and a going-good record label. So yeah, we do The Secret. We let the cosmos and the universe guide us. You have to.