In 2004, Jerry Dirr, drummer for the band Knife the Symphony, got the crazy idea that he wanted to start his own record label, with a focus on presenting the kind of music that he likes and that he thought deserved to get noticed.
Ten years later he and his label, Phratry Records have established relationships with dozens of bands and have released albums for groups from as far away as Toronto [The Shanks], Madison, WI [Tyranny is Tyranny], Portland, OR [Palo Verde] and even Croatia [Joe 4].
Dirr has worked with many great local acts like Thistle, Caterpillar Tracks, Swear Jar, Ampline and Mad Anthony. He has also produced albums for nationally-known artists Ed fROMOHIO [fIREHOSE], and Kelly Deal [Breeders, Rring].
As part of Phratry Records' anniversary celebration, there will be a live music event coming in October, and a documentary film being assembled that highlights Phratry bands doing what they do best, performing live and loud in front of the fans they love.
I met with Jerry Dirr in his home/office in Cincinnati to talk about the establishment of Phratry, how it has evolved, the anniversary and what is next for the label.
"Feel the Holes" by The Shanks from the album Surfing the Lexicon
"It's Scientific, Goddamn" by Caterpillar Tracks from the album Scrape the Summer
"Premonition" by LKN
"Santa Maria" by Food from the album Four Pieces from Candyland
"Narcissist Artist" by Swear Jar from the album Cuss
"Fallout" by Knife the Symphony from the album Dead Tongues
"Monolith Days" by Gazer from the album Phone Commercial