The Little Angry Comet That Could
While you can't even figure out where to go for dinner with the old battle-ax, husband-and-wife team Shahab Zargari and Heela Naqshband are releasing music by their favorite bands, publishing books and raising a daughter.
OC Weekly:What's the story behind the GC Records name?
Shahab Zargari: Do you want to tell this one?
Heela Naqshband: GC Records stands for Geykido Comet Records. Comet is what Shahab's name translates to in Arabic. Geykido . . . in high school, there was a Japanese foreign exchange student in Shahab's class. Shahab asked what his name would translate to in Japanese. It didn't really translate, so the exchange student picked Geykido. There was a presentation in class about revolting against the King of England. Shahab drew a picture of the king on the board, and he ran and hit himself against the wall. Geykidomeans "ultimate anger."
So it's "ultimate anger comet" records?
Shahab: It's kind of like "angry comet." At the time, I was worried about picking an original name.
And how did the label start?
Shahab: I met one of my good buddies, Dave Small, at UCI. Back then it was kind of boring. No one really talked to each other and it was a really competitive school. I saw this guy walk out of some class and he had a Crass patch on his jacket, and I had one on my bag. We were like, "Hey!" So that spawned a friendship. He was doing this one-man project, essentially punk music. He was constructing Oi music with digital means. He was looking to put out a seven-inch. That's how it started—with an Intro5pect seven-inch.
Is there a division of labor or do you each have titles?
Shahab: We have titles on the website.
Heela: At one point we were trying to do it like, "You do this. I'll do that." But right now, it's pretty much the two of us, so whatever needs to get done, we'll handle together.
Shahab: We've done so many great things because of the way she can communicate with people.
Heela: Thank you.
Shahab: I just think of the crazy ideas. That's all.
Is it weird to outlast bands?
Shahab: I think it's a curse of record labels. Bands are almost like a relationship—not between two people, but three, four, five people. Just like regular relationships, you get into fights, you break up, you don't want to talk to each other.
Heela: We understand it, but it's sad.
Do you have any career aspirations with the label, like paying the bills with it?
Heela: That would be great, but we know it's probably never going to be feasible.
Shahab: Until we get to that point, it's nice having it set up like a bunch of projects. It's a really good hobby. Everyone has their own things that they do—fix up cars and whatnot—something to break from their daily grind. And we love music. This is what we prefer to do. I don't think we're looking for money or fame. It would be nice. I don't know if it sounds cheesy, but it's for the music. Getting to work with people you respect is an accomplishment in itself. So if the label were to go bankrupt or make a million dollars, either way, we've already achieved a lot of really good things.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.