This month, Counter Intuitive Records (Oso Oso, Mom Jeans, Sleeping Patterns and Prince Daddy & The Hyena) is unveiling a new side to the label- 2000’s revival-core reissues! Among the first will be VANNA‘s metalcore anthem, “The Search Party Never Came” (15th anniversary, coming now as a fresh one sided 12″ with a screen printed b-side, order HERE), as well as local MA metalcore record THEREFORE I AM’s 2008 LP “Escape” (first vinyl pressing, White w Red & Black Splatter, order HERE! We sat down with the label’s founder Jake Sulzer to discuss his background, perspective on these cool new reissues, local hardcore scene, and more!
How did you get the idea to reissue a classic mainstay like Search Party?
I had gotten a tip that some bigger labels were open to licensing out older albums for vinyl pressings so I sort of started just browsing a few classic indie labels catalogues. Vanna was the first band that jumped out to me because they had been such an important part of my early entry to independent music. When I pieced together that a lot of their early material had never seen vinyl pressings, I knew it would mean a lot for me to get to work with a local band that had such a strong presence in my musical development during my mid teens.
Why did you want to reissue a Therefore I Am album alongside it?
Once I was able to land the Vanna pressing, it got me on a kick of relistening to a lot of the bands from that era that I had been into. My first ever show in a venue was seeing Therefore I Am at the upstairs palladium in Worcester in 2007. That show sold me on so much more than just the band, but the entire concept of emotional punk that inspired kids to push to the front of the crowd and scream along to. It set the stage for the most cathartic moments of my adolescence. I already had a connection to Jim from Therefore I Am since I worked with his new band Born Without Bones, and it made a lot of sense to pair it with the Vanna release as they were such close knit bands having done a split together & they also shared members.
Can you give a short recall of early 2000 wave of emocore / metalcore / hardcore in the Boston?
I feel this question is a bit out of my range. I was big into Vanna, Therefore I Am, Lions Lions, etc but i don’t think I was old enough, or experienced enough, to have any understanding of the music community at the time. I just knew i liked them so if they were opening for Underoath, or A Loss For Words, or The Devil Wears Prada, I was gonna be there to see them as the opener. For me at the time it was just about going to shows & sweating my ass off while dehydrated as hell in the pit for every band playing regardless of if I had heard of them or not. I had friends that were exposing me to a lot of the local hardcore at the time like Have Heart, Shipwreck, stuff like that but outside of a show or two at Anchors Up in Haverhill, MA I never really dug much deeper as I started to lean more into the emo, pop punk side of things which is were I feel like i first started to recognize & understand music communities a bit more.
You put out a hardcore 7″ a few years ago, right? What did you learn with that release that helped you prep these reissues?
I would say the main thing I learned from that is that regardless of genre, the main thing bands are looking for from me is just making sure their vinyl turns out nicely, that we do what we can to promote it & spread the music as much as we can. Going into these reissues, I knew that Vanna and Therefore I Am both have their fans from 10+ years ago that already love these records, so I just need to do the best job I can to deliver them a product that reflects how good the music is.
Do you have plans to announce more reissues in the future? What’s on the horizon for Counter Intuitive?
I’m always looking to bring albums I love to vinyl. Whether it came out 20 years ago or is going to be released in 2 years, I love to be involved. I have been in discussions with at least 2 other bands about doing reissues for classic albums I really love but nothing is locked in yet. Hopefully we see some more by early 2022! In the meantime, have plenty of new artists I’m actively releasing stuff with that I am really excited about.