An interview with Asheville's Harvest Records, turning 10 with a festival next weekend | Music | Indy Week
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Thursday, August 21, 2014

An interview with Asheville's Harvest Records, turning 10 with a festival next weekend

Posted by on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 9:12 AM

click to enlarge harvest.jpg
A decade ago, Harvest Records opened doors in Asheville. In the years since, Harvest has expanded beyond just a record store. Under the Harvest Records banner, Mark Capon and Matt Schnable run the shop, put out records and occasionally book shows. A major feat for Harvest arrives next weekend with Transfigurations II, a festival that celebrates Harvest's 10-year anniversary with artists including The Clean, Endless Boogie, Angel Olsen, Hiss Golden Messenger and dozens more. 

We caught up with Harvest Records co-founder Capon about Transfigurations II and Harvest Records' place in Asheville's culture. You can still get tickets to Transfigurations II here.

INDY: Transfigurations happened first with the fifth anniversary. How did you decide a festival was the best way to celebrate?
MARK CAPON: We’ve booked shows essentially from when we opened—in-store shows and club shows around town, etc. When we were getting to the five-year mark, we were just like, "Y’know, let’s step it up and try to throw a miniature festival," because Matt and I really are into that challenge. It was great, but it was also very exhausting. We said, "We’ll probably do it again in 10 years.” Here we are.

How did the lineup come together?
We started making a list of bands and artists that we would love to have probably over a year ago. A lot of those are bands that we’re friends with, or are familiar with, or that we’ve done shows for or worked with before. People like Steve Gunn, William Tyler, Reigning Sound, Angel Olsen: These were all people on the lineup that we’re tight with. And then, of course, we also had plenty of dream artists, people like The Clean or Mudhoney. We hit up all these people at some point. You just see what sticks.

A lot of people are unavailable. A lot of people need too much money. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it was pretty fun, because we curated it to our liking. So we’re really excited about everyone that’s playing. We don’t book anyone that’s like, "Oh, maybe we’ll sell tickets.” I mean, we are worried about selling tickets, but I’d rather book a festival. If we’re going to celebrate 10 years of Harvest Records, then we should book bands that we really care about that are close to our hearts.

It seems like you curated it to be a festival for people who are already really interested in music.
We were hoping that there’s enough people out there that are similar to us in what they’re looking for out of a festival. 

Name some of the difficulties in putting together this festival?
A lot of challenges have been logistical. We’re doing the one day in Marshall, which is an indoor-outdoor thing, so that’s certainly territory that we haven’t really covered before in our previous years of booking shows. We’ve never messed with outdoor stages and PAs and getting alcohol permits. That’s still our biggest challenge, trying to nail down the logistics. But we secretly love that sort of thing, too. We like the details and trying to keep it as organized as we can. With something like this, there’s always going to be the monkey wrench thrown in, a hurdle to jump over. There still might be. Maybe a band is going to cancel the day before. You just have to be prepared, mentally, to be like, "Well, this thing is going to be great, regardless. This thing is going on regardless."

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