Ames label Nova Labs marks first year
Published on December 23rd, 2013 | by Joe Lawler
The Ames record label Nova Labs released its first albums in July. When the label closes out its 2013 on Friday at Vaudeville Mews with a showcase, it will already have a dozen releases under its belt.
The label was started by Bryon Dudley and Matt Dake, who each have their own recording studios in Ames. The duo said they would regularly record an act, hand over the masters and be met with the response, “What do I do now?”
“We had lots of really long discussions about how all these bands seemed kind of frustrated to not have proper avenues to release their work,” Dake said. “They were putting all this money into something, then not knowing what to do with it.”
From that, Nova Labs was born. Since then Dudley and Dake have released albums and singles by Liana, the Observer, Obsidian’s Dream, Neon Lushell, Flavor Basket and others. On New Year’s Eve Jordan Mayland and the Thermal Detonator’s “I Wrote It All Down” will be released by the label.
Dudley and Dake started out releasing material they had recorded, but have been making the move to releasing other material, like Mayland’s album, as well as re-releasing older, out-of-print works like Yeti On a Budget’s “Dinner Theater.”
Nova Labs has also enjoyed a cooperative relationship with Maximum Ames Records. For past showcases in Ames, Nova Labs has roped in Maximum Ames acts like the Wheelers and Christopher the Conquered to play on shows. Gloom Balloon will be a part of the next showcase, Jan. 25 at DG’s Tap House.
“They’re like our big brothers,” Dudley said of Maximum Ames. “We look to them to see how they did it and they’ve always been helpful whenever we’ve had questions or needed advice.”
Friday’s show features performances by Obsidian’s Dream and Unwavery, who had albums released by Nova Labs in 2013, and Diamonds for Eyes, whose album “Hidden in Clad Veils” will be released through the label in the late spring or early summer.
“I noticed they were starting to do some big things and I had a lot of material I was working on at the time so I just approached (Dudley) to see if he thought our music would be a good fit for his label,” said Diamonds for Eyes singer/guitarist Joshua Putney.
In addition to Diamonds for Eyes, Nova Labs will also be releasing an album by Putney’s side project, Instants, at a later date.
Dudley and Dake said they plan to have quarterly showcases for Nova Labs, with most tying in to the release of multiple albums (there’s no release scheduled for Friday’s showcase). The January showcase will feature new releases by People With Heads, Strong Like Bear, Doctor Murdock and Beach Toys.
There will be more Nova Labs showcases in Des Moines in the future, when it makes sense for the acts they are featuring. For instance, the Seed of Something has a large Des Moines following, so the showcase for that band’s upcoming release show will likely be held here.
The Ames showcases have also featured interesting fan bonuses like free tacos. Sadly, there won’t be any free tacos Friday at the Vaudeville Mews.
“Ames is more familiar with us, so we’re allowed to be a little goofier,” Dudley said. “I think this winter we’ll just play it straight and have it be about the music. We like the food themes, though. Once people know we’re serious about it, we’ll bring out the tacos.”
Nova Labs Showcase
With: Diamonds for Eyes, Obsidian’s Dream, Unwavery
When: 9:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Vaudeville Mews, 212 Fourth St.