In 1999 I made the difficult decision to walk away from putting out records and a year later from the music industry all together. I was heading up the design department at Victory Records at the time and I’d begun to feel like the community and DIY spirit that had drawn me to this music in the first place had been replaced with a lot of drama and unneeded polish. It was leaving a bad taste in my mouth, so I decided to leave. But anyone who grew up in punk knows you never really leave because the attitude and ideals infect everything you ever do. I simply resigned myself to sitting firmly in the fan category and leaving the business to others and for the last 10 years I’ve spent most of my time and energy working on an environmental non-profit that I co-founded in 2011. Admittedly, since stepping away I’ve crossed the music line-in-the-sand a few times either designing records for others or collaborating on music projects and playing around with online releases. And when I’ve done that, I’ve enjoyed it. The fact is I like making things. I like making friends with cool people and working together on creative projects, and having something to show for it in the end that other people enjoy and are inspired by. And truthfully the isolation of living in Japan for the last 3 years followed by living in various levels of quarantine for most of 2020 has caused me to realize how much I’d missed the community as well.
Moving back to North America (I’m in Vancouver BC now) seemed as good a time as any to take stock of the situation and take new steps. So here we are, and this is happening. I brushed off the dust and the engine still spins up – so welcome back to Toybox Records. Thanks for being here with me, it’s going to be fun.