Thursday, August 21, 2008

Jordan Cooper - VOL. 4

Revelation Records tidbits never get old. More from Jordan Cooper...


Revelation has employed quite a few hardcore kids over the years. Who are some notable hardcore kid employees? Who have some of your favorite or even not so favorite employees been? Has it ever been tough sometimes getting work done when you are around friends you might just want to BS with all day?

I think we did a "fun fact" a few years ago about that. There were tons of people from bands and people who run other labels that worked at Rev. The first people that actually worked at Rev - besides friends who just helped out when they could - were John from Seizure, Rich from Contraband/Onion and F from Slipknot.

Travis from Mean Season/Outspoken/Whirlpool was probably one of the standouts for being best and worst. He'd sleep on piles of shirts for a few hours, he fell through the ceiling trying to retrieve a ping pong ball, but he'd also do stuff that no one else would or could do. For instance, there was this piece of wood with carpet glued to it that we found in the warehouse, and I once I was talking to Travis and I described a big desk extension that would be good for the graphic design computer desk. Less than an hour later he was done with it, built perfectly from that piece of wood and just a one sentence description. We're still using it and that was over ten years ago.

Greg Brown (from Blackspot) was another character of course. There were lots of guys who had (or ended up having) labels who worked here: Porcell (Schism, Fight Fire with Fire), Steve Reddy (Equal Vision), Dennis Remsing (Conversion), Mike Hartsfield (New Age), Dave Mandel (Indecision) and a lot of others. I'm sure there are times where hanging out got in the way of work, but overall, it's seemed to be ok.

When we first moved into this warehouse we had so much extra room that someone brought in a ping pong table, we had a few pinball machines and video games. Then as we filled up the space with people and stuff all that had to go unfortunately. We did spend some time goofing off in the early days, but we were here for 15 hours a day usually so it never seemed to really be a problem.

What was the set up like in New Haven before moving? What exactly made you decide to move to California? Were you certain you would keep the label going once you got out there? Did you ever miss things about the east coast - what about today?

I moved a lot more when I lived in CT than I do here so there were a few different "offices" out there. The best one was a one room office in an engineering company where they had a basement and an attic that they let me use. Right before I moved out here I had a two bedroom apartment: I lived in one bedroom, the living room was the warehouse and the other bedroom was the office.

Regarding the move, I was thinking about getting out of New Haven for a while and Porcell invited me to travel with him and some friends to Huntington Beach in early '91. I had a great time and I decided to move here, which I did in July of that year. The label was pretty much all I did at that point so the plan was to move out here and do the same. Yes, there is a lot I miss about NY and CT still, so I try to make the most of my time when I'm there visiting.

Sloth Crew / NYC Guys, Park City, Utah, Snowboarding Trip
Front Row L-R: (NHL Hat) Greg Brown, (Mickey Hat) Scott Sundahl
Back Row L-R: Jordan Cooper, Eric Sundahl, Chad Weaver, Scott Lytle, Jay Anarchy, Porcell, Jim Filipan, Skinhead Max Wilker, Unknown NYC Dude.

Do you have a personal favorite record label? Whether it is from a business or just an artistic standpoint, which one label (hardcore or otherwise) jumps out to you as your favorite?

Musically I really liked all the early hardcore labels like SST, X claim, Touch and Go, Dischord, Ratcage, Positive Force and probably a lot that I'm forgetting. Aesthetically I liked a lot of different records, but no one label really stands out to me. Business-wise I really thought that Sub Pop was great in the late 80s and early 90s. They had a lot of great artwork, the text in their catalogs was usually funny or at least didn't take things too seriously and the singles club was a great idea. Then as far as doing a great job at promoting bands and really pushing things, obviously Equal Vision, Victory, Trustkill, Eulogy and a lot of other labels have been able to show how big things can be.

What is your favorite part of the job? When to you is the "pay
off" for your work? What would you cite as your proudest achievements with the label? Do your parents who people who knew you from growing up seem surprised that you have made a living out of something that was started to put out a record by a skinhead band?

To this day it's still really cool when a record finally comes in. Working with the bands and labels and people here is probably the payoff at this point. I don't pay too much attention to new music so that's probably the biggest deal now. The records we've put out that people really like is really the main achievement along with providing a place for people to work that's hopefully somewhat rewarding or at least fun.

I'm sure some of my family is sort of baffled about what I do. If you don't know anything about hardcore, you'd never have any idea what Revelation is so to them it probably looks like I'm doing something pointless that somehow keeps me alive. To them, Farside, Gorilla Biscuits, Sense Field, Into Another, Youth Of Today etc. are just bands that no one has ever heard of. I never tried to explain to them what made me care so much about hardcore in the early 80s so at this point they just get little bits of it here and there when we talk about it (which isn't much or often).

The funny thing is that in the beginning it was just that I wanted to put out a record by one band and I didn't think that it would go beyond that. Warzone was much much more active after the 7" came out and then when Don't Forget the Struggle came out, they really took off, so I didn't expect that. Also, If I had known that Ray would end up really putting his personality into Revelation and lending all the weight that Youth Of Today and their friends had to the label, I probably would have expected at least some of the success that we had, but I had no idea that would happen in the beginning.

To my knowledge, you have never done a band. Do you play any instruments? Have you ever had the desire to do a band or be involved in something on a music level outside of the label?

I do play guitar, sort of. I tried to join Violent Children but that didn't work out. In college my roommate and I did a band just for the school's talent show. We did "Nothing" by Negative Approach and maybe a Ramones song. We sucked and got booed. It was pretty funny.

Also, I was supposed to record the guitar tracks for the Shelter record and Walter was going to do the bass, but I wasn't really good enough so Ray waited and ended up asking Todd Knapp and Tom Capone. I sold my SG a long time ago unfortunately and gave my amp to my friend who was doing a band that was kind of like Rizzo a few years ago. I barely ever play anymore, maybe once a year.

Typical day at REV HQ, give me the details for before, during, and after work...

I pretty much do a lot of the office maintenance, especially the computer stuff. I deal with the contracts, the web sites, some of the regular business stuff like taxes, the landlord etc. I stopped going to Taco Bell and Del Taco every day a long time ago so I think my lunches are usually pretty healthy. Most people are usually out of here by 6, but I come in later so I'm usually out by 7.

Other than that, who knows...the usual stuff anyone would do. Hang out with friends, or go home and watch tv or sit in front of the computer or something. Same thing on the weekends. At the moment I'm in the Orange County Pinball League so I spend some time working on pinball machines and occasionally on other electronics.


Larry said...

I love Jordan.

Ed Goodlife said...

Jordan played bass for Project X twice at both of their Belgium shows on the YOT 1989 european tour after they fired Lethal Agression.

He was masked and sported an OG Bold shirt, as evidenced here :

The club was Netwerk in a town called Aalst, and not 'Namur' as is falsely stated.

Unforgettable show, place and time !


SLYTLE said...

When the Coop came to Orange County it was like when ET got left on Earth - we were as Puzzling to him as he was to us. The days when Porcell used to drag all of his Rev. work into the backyard so he could work on his Bronze Warrior tan all day - that was amazing.

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