Chicago-based Trouble in Mind are one of the best independent record labels going. Run by husband and wife team Bill and Lisa Roe, the label has gathered itself a worldwide cult following. The type of following where fans pick up records when they see the Trouble in Mind name knowing it’s gonna be great, whether they’ve heard it or not.
If you’re new to the label or a long time fan, co-founder Bill has curated this week’s mixtape of their recent releases for you to enjoy! Over to the man himself…
When or where should this playlist be listened to?
I guess the playlist has a kind of arc of heat up to cool down? So maybe on a run or something? Haha, I’m not sure – I didn’t really consider anything other than choice tunes from our more recent releases… Jam it in the car, on a run, in the sauna, in the pool. It’s flexible.
Why have you picked these songs?
I picked a group of songs from some of our more recent and upcoming releases. There’s an older Salad Boys tune in there but that one’s there because we’re releasing their new album, This Is Glue early next year.
What was the first record you put out? What made you want to put it out yourselves?
The first record we released was a 7-inch of mine and Lisa’s old band, CoCoComa. We had originally intended to release a single from an Ottawa band called The White Wires (RIP) first, but since our band had a little bit of notoriety with in our microcosm of a scene, we figured it would sell out (or enough) to have money to get our name out there and also help fund the White Wires release. I guess it worked – we’ll be at 126 releases by the end of this year!
What Trouble In Mind releases are you excited about this year?
We’re excited about EVERY release, but we only have two more for this year; Omni’s new album Multi-task is out on 22 Sept and then a band from New Haven, Connecticut called Headroom’s debut album Head In The Clouds. It’s a project fronted by guitarist Kryssi Battalene who also plays in another band we’ve released called Mountain Movers.
What records have you been listening to recently?
I’ve been listening to a lot of jazz lately; mostly older albums, but some new. I find it great to work to, as I can really drop into the groove and blaze through my work day. Same with a good rock and roll album too, but lately my ears have been tuned to jazz. I’m a big fan of 70s free jazz and spiritual jazz, so my tastes veer toward the more experimental or “out” side of the spectrum: Nicole Mitchell’s Mandorla Awakening II: Emerging Worlds, Joe Henderson feat. Alice Coltrane The Elements, Nation Time| by Joe McPhee, Fly Or Die by Jaimie Branch, Sun Ra Discipline 27-II, Meltframe by Mary Halvorson. But also some non-jazz too, Bill Orcutt’s self-titled record on Palilalia Records and Negative Boogie by David Nance.
If a film was to be made about Trouble In Mind, what song would play on the trailer?
Oh geez – I’d like to think it would be Ride of The Valkyries or something exciting, you know – to convey the THRILL of running an independent label, haha. But I’d probably request someone we know to score it like Chuck Johnson or The Limiñanas. Come to think of it, I guess The Limiñanas tune (I’ve Got) Trouble In Mind is an apropos choice. They composed it as a sort of theme for us, ha.
About the Author
Lucy joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In October 2016 she became a staff writer on the editorial team and in January 2019 was made It’s Nice That’s deputy editor. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about new and upcoming creative projects or editorial ideas for the site.