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Tour dad

Weirdo fan-boy Preston turns his obsession into Bleeding Gold records.
Weirdo fan-boy Preston turns his obsession into Bleeding Gold records.

Bleeding Gold may be the widest-reaching indie label in San Diego. I’m sitting with its founder, Valhalla High alumni Roger Preston, on a sunny afternoon in Trolley Barn Park. He keeps pulling full-color covers for vinyl by Parisian, American, British, and Japanese bands from his satchel as I ask how it happened.

“My sisters’ Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Blue Öyster Cult records began the obsession. I was just a huge music nerd — vinyl-buyer, show-goer. In the ’90s, the local band that most excited me was Pinback. When I see Rob Crow around town I still feel like a weirdo fan-boy. I usually just stare inappropriately — it’s not very cool.”

“I created the Bleeding Gold blog in 2009 to share new music. Many songs I wanted to post weren’t on YouTube, so I started making videos with copyright-free footage. There’s a lot of dogging on fan-made videos, but they connected me with musicians I love. Bands were emailing, ‘Thanks for the cool video’ — or, once, asking me to remove it. When a British band, the Notes, wanted to use my video for ‘Wishing Well’ to promote their tour, it was time to pounce on the chance to start a label. I offered to join them as a ‘tour dad.’ Then I found more bands in France and England.”

So far, Trips and related projects comprise the only local music on Bleeding Gold. What if other San Diegans want to work with you?

Past Event

Trips, Space Chainsaw, Butler, Nothingful

  • Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 8 p.m.
  • Bancroft, 9143 Campo Road, Spring Valley
  • 21+ / Free

“An ’80s sound aesthetic is what I love most: lo-fi, dream pop, shoegaze, electronic. Also, I get so many digital listening requests; the best way for musicians to ensure I hear them is sending an actual CD.

“It also helps if artists can negotiate a release timeline that works for the label — I’m booked pretty solid through 2014. I’m releasing Jakob McWhinney’s Space Heat EP in June. There’s a five-release collaboration with Trips’ Field Trips label, plus albums by Tape Waves, Furrow, and Songs for Walter. There may be more, depending on what I can take on. It’s a very expensive hobby, funded by my medical insurance job. Most projects are lucky to break even — at this point, breaking even is the new bar to beat.”

Trips is playing the Bancroft on June 11. Bleeding Gold will be at the July Vinyl Junkies Record Swap at the Casbah.

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Weirdo fan-boy Preston turns his obsession into Bleeding Gold records.
Weirdo fan-boy Preston turns his obsession into Bleeding Gold records.

Bleeding Gold may be the widest-reaching indie label in San Diego. I’m sitting with its founder, Valhalla High alumni Roger Preston, on a sunny afternoon in Trolley Barn Park. He keeps pulling full-color covers for vinyl by Parisian, American, British, and Japanese bands from his satchel as I ask how it happened.

“My sisters’ Led Zeppelin, Queen, and Blue Öyster Cult records began the obsession. I was just a huge music nerd — vinyl-buyer, show-goer. In the ’90s, the local band that most excited me was Pinback. When I see Rob Crow around town I still feel like a weirdo fan-boy. I usually just stare inappropriately — it’s not very cool.”

“I created the Bleeding Gold blog in 2009 to share new music. Many songs I wanted to post weren’t on YouTube, so I started making videos with copyright-free footage. There’s a lot of dogging on fan-made videos, but they connected me with musicians I love. Bands were emailing, ‘Thanks for the cool video’ — or, once, asking me to remove it. When a British band, the Notes, wanted to use my video for ‘Wishing Well’ to promote their tour, it was time to pounce on the chance to start a label. I offered to join them as a ‘tour dad.’ Then I found more bands in France and England.”

So far, Trips and related projects comprise the only local music on Bleeding Gold. What if other San Diegans want to work with you?

Past Event

Trips, Space Chainsaw, Butler, Nothingful

  • Wednesday, June 11, 2014, 8 p.m.
  • Bancroft, 9143 Campo Road, Spring Valley
  • 21+ / Free

“An ’80s sound aesthetic is what I love most: lo-fi, dream pop, shoegaze, electronic. Also, I get so many digital listening requests; the best way for musicians to ensure I hear them is sending an actual CD.

“It also helps if artists can negotiate a release timeline that works for the label — I’m booked pretty solid through 2014. I’m releasing Jakob McWhinney’s Space Heat EP in June. There’s a five-release collaboration with Trips’ Field Trips label, plus albums by Tape Waves, Furrow, and Songs for Walter. There may be more, depending on what I can take on. It’s a very expensive hobby, funded by my medical insurance job. Most projects are lucky to break even — at this point, breaking even is the new bar to beat.”

Trips is playing the Bancroft on June 11. Bleeding Gold will be at the July Vinyl Junkies Record Swap at the Casbah.

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