Craig “Dodge” Lile has been an avid supporter of local, regional and international music through his widely respected blog, MyOldKentuckyBlog.com, founded in 2004. In 2009, Lile watered a dismal garden of indie shows in Indy, and watched it grow into a popular stop for touring talent. (MOKB’s sister entity, MOKB Presents, booked some 70 indie rock shows in Indy last year.)
This year, with the help of wife, Micki Lile, a few close friends and organizations, Lile is turning his eyes on the recording industry with his latest endeavor, Roaring Colonel Records. On April 15, the label will release its first record, a 7-inch from Indy trio Burnt Ones, followed up in late spring by a full-length EP. Lile says RCR is his attempt to use his MOKB success to help Indianapolis bands — a few at a time, at least for starters.
“Now, I can't afford, yet, to champion all the great bands I love in Indianapolis, who are…making great music, on par or better than what is getting love out in the national indie rock scene,” he says. “I want to help showcase that...get that out there to the rest of the world.”
Q. Why did you choose Burnt Ones as your flagship artist?
Well, I love their sound. I love their work ethic and passion. They have a plan. They are smart and stable. They have a great in-band dynamic. They are really talented. They are good people. I am very attracted to good people, passionate and driven people.
Why start your own label amid the several labels already in Indianapolis? What makes RCR unique?
Right?! What am I thinking!? (Laughs.) No, well, I obviously believe I bring something new to the table. MOKB's influence and status in the national/global online indie music community has me already working hard each and every day to influence and share new music.
This is just another form of that, but it offers a band real financial support to make their goals come fruition.
I get 300-plus emails each day from labels, bands and PR firms. It isn't rocket-science — the PR side, I mean. The label side is VERY challenging, a little scary...but I love a challenge...at least until it bankrupts me!
Anyway, I see what they do every day...the good and the mistakes. I have a load of contacts and relationships in the industry. I believe I can do this. I want to try it.
Who is involved with RCR at the moment?
For now, it is just lil' ol' me and Burnt Ones. I have some great friends and very trusted resources I talk to every week, if not every day, and who are supporting this effort. Michael Kaufmann with Asthmatic Kitty Records, here in Indianapolis. Karl Hofstetter who runs Joyful Noise Recordings, another fabulous Indianapolis-based record label.
Jeb Banner, the founder of Musical Family Tree and MFT Records. Josh Baker, former head of Benchmark Records. Todd Robinson and Jess Clark at LUNA Music. Mark Latta and Kevin Phillips at Standard Recording Co.
I'm not actually doing anything new. These guys are the dudes that really stepped out there early. I am just trying to learn from their successes and failures and trying to use my national voice to propel these bands and leverage all that knowledge and previous work into this label.
What are your plans for RCR in 2010?
The only thing I know for sure is that we're gonna put out this Burnt Ones 7" and the follow-up full-length. Then maybe one-to-three more full-lengths with one to three other bands. We'll see how it all develops. I am excited, nervous, terrified, and confident.