Ask college freshmen about their time management skills, and they’re likely to smile smugly and brag about their ability to balance classes, homework, a job, and a social life. But how many of these overconfident 18-year-olds can attest to all of this while simultaneously owning and operating a record label?
Derek Jolley, a Wilkes first year and Kingston native, doesn’t seem to have had much trouble adjusting.
“Being a freshman is a lot of fun,” Jolley said from his third floor Waller room. “[School] forcing me to schedule myself has helped me deal with the label.”
Jolley is referring to Time Table Collective, the DIY style record label he started in 2008. Originally developed to release his first band’s albums, Jolley expanded the label last spring as a way to help local and semi-local acts gain momentum.
“The local scene needed to grow,” Jolley said. “This is how (Time Table) helps our friends catapult out of this local scene.”
Since its inception, Time Table has put out five albums from Jolley and his respective bands, two compilations of signed and affiliated artists and several releases that range from gritty, lo-fi punk (Black Diamond) to emo rock (In Writing) to radio pop (Ashton Zanecki).
By running the label, Jolley seeks to offer bands resources and opportunities they might have not otherwise had, including highly discounted CD production and merchandise printing, booking connections and more recently, live sound services and in-studio live sessions.
While always willing to do whatever is necessary for his artists, Jolley is quick to emphasize his label’s collective style of operation – that is to say, Jolley’s philosophy is that Time Table is less of a business and more of a family.
“We don’t strap bands down,” he explains. “There are no signatures [and] no obligations…we work with bands individually and on a request-by-request basis.”
When asked if he had plans post-graduation to make Time Table a major label, Jolley said he hopes to remain small-time. As he puts it, labels that grow (and function for profit only), become corrupt.
“We’re never going to get large,” Jolley elaborates. “We’re not going to abandon the people we work with, and we’re not going to abandon the ideology that the label exists to serve itself.”
Jolley cites his label as a starting point for bands, comparing his hope to help smaller bands grow to a concept found in nature:
“If a band gets too big (for the label), like if a bird gets too big for their nest, they fly away,” he said. “But it’s like when you leave home: you never really forget your nest.”
Jolley said within the next year, he has plans to put out several new releases from up-and-coming bands in and around the area.
In addition, Jolley will be entering the studio to record his new solo EP, “Summer’s Over,” which he said he is a writing in a stream-of-conciousness style.
“All my life I’ve been trying to write within walls,” he said. “This record is me trying to break them down.”
Artists that are interested in becoming a part of Time Table Collective can contact Jolley at [email protected] Check out some of the label’s releases at http://timetablerecords.bandcamp.com.