By Nathan Banks
When you listen to the music and read the roster of artists on Anti Records website an Indie label does not come to mind. With a long line of names like Galactic, Tom Waits, Lyrics Born , Merle Haggard, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Wilco, Xavier Rudd, DeVotchKa, and Eddie Izzard each name a separate slap across the face. It was not long before I realized Ive seen over a third of these acts. What a contribution to the music world Talent like that reminds people of the importance of indie labels, and the huge part that they play in the music landscape. I believe a great number of people have the perception that “Indie” has to always be a small-time, barely scraping buy operation. Labels like Anti with such a wide variety of artists are inspiring in many ways. As well as entertaining! Do not forget why many of us attempt to get involved in the music business in the first place besides having a go at a successful operation was to be involved in something that offers people something of value. The website alone is a musical gem, offering music videos for the watching and plenty of diverse artists. One second I am listening to Betty LaVette’s “Joy” , the next minute I have got an earful of Lyrics Born. The story behind the greatness goes back to 1981 when former Bad Religion member Brett Guerwitz stated Epitaph records. Started in Los Angeles mainly as a punk rock label, Epitaph worked with Bad Religion as well as Offspring which in 1994 is the act that gave Epitaph the steam is needed to push on. In 1999 Anti which is a sister label to Epitaph signed Tom Waits. After the success of Waits material Anti president Andy Kaulkin began to sign a wide array of talent. Kaulkin says that “The label is for artists who are not trying to do something that’s trendy. They’re following their own path, and they have an understanding of music history without being beholden to it. It doesn’t matter what genre it is. You can do that in any genre, and you can do that at any age.” Anti is known all around the world for good solid music, avoiding useless trends and a cookie cutter, one size fits all attitude.