Benchmark Records: A Fresh Indie Label
What began in the summer of 2002 has become one of the hottest newest record labels in the Midwest. With their first release in April of 2003, Benchmark Records has steadily grown in popularity and has some of the best local artists in Indiana. Their commitment to their artists, plus their dedication and hard work, is making Benchmark Records a label that is watched by important people in the music industry nationwide.
Josh Baker (President), Mike Kenney (VP Retail), and Jeff Zuckerman (VP Operations), with their vast and varied musical backgrounds and contacts, have made a unique record label that is becoming more and more important to the local music scene each year. Benchmark is in an area where the competition is not as fierce as it is in other parts of the country and they are very confident that they are going in the right direction for the company.
When asked about the many genres that they have Jeff Zuckerman, Vice President of Operations, told me that he doesn’t listen to just one type and most of the people that he knows listened to a variety. Why should they limit the company like that with so much great music coming from all the styles? They felt that to put out as much diversity as possible was much better for them as well as for the public. It also opened the door for many more artists, which goes along with their belief that “strong artist relationships and artist input make all the difference.” At the moment they have 4 main types of music that they handle. This includes acoustic, indie (independent), pop, and rock.
Benchmark Records has a few artists signed up that include the bands Loretta, America Owns the Moon, Devil to Pay, and The Pieces their flagship artist. Their single artists include Otis Gibbs, Seth Horan, and Courtney Kaiser. They totally support local talent and have the strong belief that they can create a demand for the artist. It is this commitment that makes Benchmark Records exceptional. If they see some great talent that moves them they are willing to help that artist or artists get to where they need to be.
A big event that they stage every year is the Battle of the Bands. This year the 2004 Battle of the Bands promises to be grand. This is the third year for the Battle and each year it has gotten bigger than the year before. More and more bands are participating and it is also gaining more national recognition. There are other battles of the bands in the state but theirs’ is the largest and longest running local battle.
The Battle of the Bands offers local musical talents the chance to be discovered and on the way to stardom. With judges comprised of the people from the music industry from all over the country this is a great way to show their musical skill to the best advantage. It is definitely a must see for any music lover.
Humility is very important to them because of where they started and where they are now. They never forget that and know that tomorrow everything could change. “Success is a work in progress.” They believe in a very happy work environment and to be able to stick it through the years. The people at Benchmark Records realize that it takes determination, hard work, and the strong belief that they can succeed. Listening to Jeff, I believe it too.
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Picking A Studio |
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