Know Your Scene: Eric Osman and Emily Hakes of Lame-O Records

Featured image courtesy of Lame-O Records

Since 2012, Lame-O records has been helping great artists climb the ladder of success, and by doing this they have become a staple in the Philly music scene. Based in Philadelphia and run by Eric Osman and Emily Hakes,  Lame-O is a label that consists of mostly Philly based artists. Many artists are in multiple bands on the label, which has created a family vibe that runs strong in Lame-O, and has consistently produced happy bands, and great, fast selling records. Lame-O started gaining recognition right from its first release, with Modern Baseball’s Sports. The label has continued to grow and their lineup now includes great bands like Thin Lips, and The Superweaks. No matter what kind of music you like, this is a label that you just cannot ignore. 

ROP: How has the unique Philadelphia environment shaped Lame-O? Do you see it being the same label if you just transplanted it to another city?

Eric Osman: Philadelphia has shaped Lame-O tremendously! 90% of our artists our from Philadelphia and are our friends. Philadelphia is a very unique place for music and artists to be currently, so Lame-O would be a totally different label if this is not where we were born.

Emily Hakes: The Philly music scene is unlike any other right now. It’s more than just all of the amazing artists here, although we’re so happy to get to work with all of them. Having our home base being in this really connected and fun scene absolutely influences every aspect of our label.

ROP: In your opinion, what should a label do for its artists, and its local music scene? 

EO: Anything they can! I think in my mind, as long as the label’s working to do everything they can to achieve the artists’ goals, they’re helping out the local scene as well. At Lame-O and with our bands, a main goal is getting an artist or band’s music heard by those both inside and outside of our city and hopefully eventually allowing our artists to quit their day jobs and do music full time.

ROP: How have the artists you’ve signed changed Lame-O? Is there one in particular that really stands out in helping the label find its identity? 

EH: I think every artist we sign changes the label a little. We’re really still growing both from a business stand point and with our identity as a label, and every time we bring a band on to our roster they help shape it. I don’t think there’s any one artist that defines us, though obviously the huge success of a band like Modern Baseball draws in some more attention and allows them to influence the scene in a new way. 

ROP: Could you talk a little bit about Lame-O’s process of finding a band to sign?

EO: Basically Emily and I need to love it, and they need to be good people. We never seem to be hard pressed to find bands to put out. Many of our bands have other bands, or friends bands who are great. It’s a big giant family of music that we think is worth people’s time.

EH: Yeah, I don’t think we’ve ever really thought of it as a process, because there’s just so many great bands surrounding us that we love and (thankfully) have allowed us to work with them. That aspect of what we do has always been so simple

ROP: Have you come across any roadblocks with Lame-O that took you by surprise? 

EO: Hmm. I think everything about starting and running a label has surprised us. I’m personally surprised we get to keep doing it coming up on four years after we started. I’m surprised that we’re coming up on 40 releases and I’m surprised we have proper distribution set up. Though really none of the roadblocks like cashflow or anything like that have been surprising. I think the positives have been surprising and the negatives have been a little more anticipated.

ROP: Lastly, who do you think are some acts in the Philadelphia area that our listeners should keep an ear out for?

EO: Jake from Modern Baseball has a new record coming out on September 30th on Lame-O under the name “Slaughter Beach, Dog.” We also have new records from The Superweaks and a solo record by Dominic Angelella. All Philadelphia bands who rock.

 

A huge thank you to Eric Osman and Emily Hakes for giving us some great answers! 

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