Hooker Vision is the only sliver of experimental music you’re going to find operating in Lagrange, Georgia but that probably comes as no surprise. Originally started by Grant Evans (Nova Scotian Arms) and now co-run by his wife, Rachel Evans (Motion Sickness of Time Travel), HV is quietly carving out its own niche in an ever-populated underground. When I first became aware of the label last year it mainly consisted of Grant & Rachel’s own (excellent) projects but in the past nine months their roster has expanded to include a wide swath of projects from all over the globe. Soon they’ll expand into vinyl releases as well which promises to take Hooker Vision to yet another level going forward. Get a taste.
So when did you first start the label and what made you want to start one?
Rachel: Grant founded the label in 2008, before I had any part in the label…
Grant: It started as just a thing to put on the small editions of music that I was releasing when I first started the Nova Scotian Arms project. But pretty soon I realized that I wanted to share other people’s music too. Although I wasn’t really aware of a lot of what was going on outside of our smoky basement…
What’s the story behind the name?
G: It was sent to me in a dream.
R: I’ve always loved the name because it makes so many people uncomfortable when they hear it.
G: It’s like X-Ray vision or beer goggles…
What keeps you inspired to continue doing the label?
G: The internet! Meeting new people that we’d never meet in real life. Hearing awesome music before most people get to. The momentum of time and the “big picture” of everything that’s going on right now. The historical implications, I guess, are really interesting…
R: Yeah, same for me; it adds a little more purpose to our isolated lives… people trusting us to present their music in a unique way can really make you feel appreciated, especially when it gets good reception. And I always feel so accomplished taking photos of the final product… that feeling is addictive, you have to keep making more and more…
What’s the hardest thing about running the label these days?
G: The hardest part for me is finding enough time. I try to divide my time equally between all my projects but that can be difficult. Other than that, it’s really pretty painless to keep it going…
R: Same for me… we’re both full time students in addition to having jobs so there’s always this struggle for finding enough time to get everything done for the label. But that’s really the only hard thing about it… as long as we can work out the time for it, everything else is a breeze since we have so much fun with it.
If you could work with any one artist, who would it be and why?
R: Honey Owens, hands down! I love all of her projects, especially Valet. She’s been a real inspiration to my own music.
G: Living or dead? Tupac. No… The Butthole Surfers. Or Cluster.
What is it about tapes that appeals to you?
R: Tapes are magic… plastic candy.
G: Sound quality. Hands down. Nothing comes close to the fidelity of a chrome cassette.
G: I’ve always respected labels with their own visual aesthetic… We both have backgrounds in visual art so it’s only natural that we handle the visual end of things more. For me, the visual elements are just as important as the musical elements. For any particular release, I’ll usually begin clipping images and piling them beside me on my desk as soon as I’ve first heard the music. Then that pile will grow and gather dust and some pieces will get lost; general disarray… Then at the last minute, I see a combination of pieces that I hadn’t seen before and it just comes together…
R: I’ve only recently started contributing collages to the label. We both generally pull from the same sources, so it gives the label art a little more continuity there. But the two of us approach the art differently… I try to search for shapes and textures that appeal to me. I also sit down and do a collage all at one time, gathering clips and putting them together as I go.
What’s your demo policy?
G: We’ve had a lot of amazing demos come to us seemingly out of the blue, recently. It’s actually to the point now where we can’t really accept any more demos for a little while. Unless it’s black metal.
R: Yeah the amount of demos recently has been pretty insane; we never thought we’d reach the point where we can’t accept anymore… but we have.
G: For the moment.
What do you have planned for the future?
G: Our next big step is vinyl. The first LP we’re doing is for our band, Quiet Evenings. The audio is already in the hands of the manufacturers and we just approved the jacket and label proofs last Friday. So it’s due out in the very near future… After that, as far as vinyl goes, we’ve got plans for the debut Afterlife LP. I’m super excited about that since Afterlife is definitely one of my favorite bands operating right now…
R: And of course we have many tape releases planned for the future, as well as a VHS release. I’m really thrilled that we’re doing another VHS, this time for Hobo Cubes/Moduli TV, whose visuals are some of favorite out there.
What’s the best record you’ve heard in the past year?
R: Peaking Lights newest LP is probably my favorite record I’ve heard in a long time… It’s got everything I love; a nice female voice, just the right amount of synth beauty and the power to make me listen to it on repeat over and over!
G: Yeah, Peaking Lights was almost all we listened to driving around in Texas… I’ve also been jamming the new Martial Canterel a lot. It’s an incredible record. Definitely my favorite thing he’s done so far.