How A Mentor’s Advice Inspired Yeah Yeah Yeahs Drummer Brian Chase To Form Chaikin Records

Brian Chase Chaikin Records

What compels an artist to start their own record label? Is it a desire for unbridled creative freedom? Pure hubris? Revenge on The Man? All of the above? In our new series titled Why I Did It, we’re going beneath the surface and asking DJs, producers and musicians about why they decided to form their own imprint.

Launching a DIY project has always required a leap of faith. But what drives creatives to go through the hassle in an era when labels are faced with countless challenges?

For our debut profile we spoke with Brian Chase. A founding member of highly influential NYC trio Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Chase and his cohorts, Karen O and Nick Zinner, have eschewed trends to etch out a post-everything experimental sound on their own terms for nearly 20 years.

In addition to his work as a drummer, Chase works as a drone musician, performing and recording with the likes of John Zorn, Stefan Tcherepnin and Seth Misterka. (Chase’s drone style has been inspired by his time working at La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela’s Dream House in NYC.)

Along the way he recently launched Chaikin Records and just released Untitled: After, a provocative avant-jazz album with Irish saxophonist, improviser and composer Catherine Sikora. Below we asked Chase about how the label came together, what his YYY bandmates think of his label and plans for his new endeavor. Continue Reading