Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Wilco establishing local record company

Every year the rock band Wilco ventures into the Pioneer Valley to headline the Solid Sound Festival at the Massachusetts Museum of Modern Art in North Adams. Now the band is setting roots down in Easthampton.

Wilco, a Chicago-based rock band led by Jeff Tweedy, announced that they are leaving Nonesuch Records, their long-time label, to start their own record company dBpm Records.

“This is an idea we’ve discussed for years,” Tweedy said in a statement. “We really like doing things ourselves, so having our own label feels pretty natural to me.”

The band detached themselves from a record label two years ago, after the release of their 2009 album, “Wilco (The Album).”

The headquarters for the new record label will be in the Eastworks Complex on 116 Pleasant St., in Easthampton, approximately 13 miles away from the University of Massachusetts campus. Eastworks is already the headquarters of Ecstatic Peace!, a record label founded in 1981 by Sonic Youth member Thurston Moore.

This location is also home to Tony Margherita, Wilco’s longtime manager, and newly appointed head of dBpm Records. He moved his office to Easthampton 18 months ago.

In an interview with Reuters, Margherita said, “Wilco’s independent streak is well documented and nothing new.”

“And this is the culmination of what we’ve been working toward for the last 15 years. As we reached the end of our last deal, it felt like it was time for a change and the one thing we were certain we did not want to do was to sign another traditional recording agreement.”

In an interview with The Republican, Margherita said establishing the record label in Easthampton would be a smooth transition for him and the band. “We knew this expansion was coming, and I wanted to do it in a place that was less stressful, financially and otherwise, than New York City had been.”

Margherita said the 500,000-square-foot Easthampton location, offered a large open space that would be compatible for the new company, with very reasonable rent, especially compared to the rent of his former New York City managing offices.

The other businesses in the complex where dBpm Records now calls home are the Apollo Grill restaurant, the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts, and numerous studios for local artists.

“We basically shopped around the Northeast looking for hospitable communities lifestyle-wise, business-wise, etc. My wife is a New Yorker so proximity to New York City was a plus. I on the other hand, am originally from the Midwest, and for reasons I can’t really explain, this area felt very comfortable to me right away.”

For the moment, Wilco is the only band on the label for now, but in a press release Margherita said the label will release “all future Wilco recordings and more,” though did not specify what more will entail.

Wilco will continue to call Chicago home as they work on their new album that is planned to be released during the late summer of this year, and is not yet titled.

Michelle Williams can be reached at [email protected].

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    Jon BudishFeb 10, 2011 at 7:26 am

    are you looking for investors for this project?