One can only assume the fiercely independent soul/funk/gospel label, Daptone Records, would have no problem bringing their no frills, just focus on the music approach, to rock & roll. Their dedication to superior talent, not flighty trends, is reflected by the core roster of artists which includes Charles Bradley, The Budos Band, and Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings.
Wick, the recently formed subsidiary label from Daptone, continues with that ethos of just releasing honest music that drips with integrity. Not tricks. With resplendent current releases from The Mystery Lights and The Ar-Kaics, Wick has began their own legacy with a dedication to the garage band tradition.
Mikey Post, co-founder of Wick Records, was gracious enough to answer a couple questions from SF Sonic concerning the new label.
This interview was conducted before the recent passing of Sharon Lafaye Jones on 11/18/16. Sharon Jones, lead singer of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, was an integral component in establishing the success of Daptone.
Her passing, after a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer, was confirmed by her publicist Judy Miller Silverman. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings. Often referred to as “110 pounds of soul excitement,” Jones contribution to the world of music is poignant, unfeigned and regal.
SF Sonic: What made Wick come to life? Was there something missing in current rock ‘n’ roll?
Mikey Post: Wick started as an idea between me and Wayne Gordon. We both started working at Daptone around the same time, and within a couple weeks we began staying late after work to track my band The Jay Vons. It was a win-win type situation – we got to record for free and Wayne got hands-on experience engineering the sessions. That’s where it began. After every session we talk about how awesome it would be to start an imprint on Daptone that featured rock bands. Fast forward eight years and voila!
SF Sonic: I believe, and please correct me if I am wrong, you started as an intern at Daptone 8 years ago. Was this in a musical capacity? Do you have a funny weird story about being an intern?
Mikey Post: Yeah, it’s coming up on 9 years now… I started as a paid intern for like three months, and then Gabe hired me. During that first three months I earned the nickname “The Custodian Of Soul.” With a company as small as Daptone was when I started working here (yhey only had one employee before me – Nydia), most of the day to day maintenance, like painting, fixing holes, catching rats (yes, catching rats), was sort of put to the side. I fixed all that. I came in as an intern for the label side, but music is what brought us together. Back then, Binky (guitar player for the Dap-Kings) was playing these Tuesday night shows at a small club/pizza joint called Lucky Cat. I’d be there every Tuesday, and the shows were great, but the turnout was a bit slim. At the time I was DJing around town, so I approached Binky about DJing these Tuesday night shows in an effort to bring out some extra folks. I can’t say I brought many extra folks, but we became friends. From there I began to DJ all the Daptone events at Lucky Cat – Budos Band, Naomi Shelton, etc. One night when I was DJing a Naomi Shelton show (my band at the time was on the bill too) Gabe Roth approached the DJ booth and asked me if I was a drummer. I said yes, and without skipping a beat he asked, “Can you play a shuffle?” I shook my head yes, and he said, “Great! You gotta sit in with us. Our drummer is a no-show.” I played the show as best as I could, but it was nerve-racking not knowing the songs and seeing Sharon Jones right up front singing along to every word – but I survived. Anywho…fast forward a year or so, and I’m working at Daptone and playing drums full-time in Naomi Shelton and the Gospel Queens. Surreal…
SF Sonic: Can you explain the journey from intern to co-founder? Can be a short, medium or long answer.
Mikey Post:It all progressed rather naturally. So naturally that I have to sit back sometimes to really take it all in. Sorry to be cliche, but it’s a dream come true.
SF Sonic: I listened to The Ar-Kaics and The Mystery Lights…Real killer stuff. Grimy rock and roll…like early Van Morrison vibes and The Kinks. Dope stuff. Is there a certain aesthetic or trait you are trying to pull from the Daptone brand or sound that you would like Wick to follow?
Mikey Post: Our vision of Wick was never to stick to a specific genre, rather, we just want to release good music that speaks to us in some way. Being a new imprint, I think our aesthetic is yet to be defined. We want to be as diverse as possible, but at the end of the day, we want folks to hear our records and be like – man, that’s gotta be something on Wick. But yes, our love for ’60’s rock ‘n’ roll, especially teen combos from the states (who in many cases are copping bands like Them and the Kinks) is the common denominator.
SF Sonic: BTW, does Wick stand for Bushwick?
Mikey Post: It does and it doesn’t – ha! It was actually born from a label design idea I had. I thought it would be cool to have an old-timey looking candle where the smoke forms the name of the label. Then I started thinking it would be cool to maybe have a label with “I” in the title so I could make that a candle too. I landed on Wick because it was short, catchy, no one had used it prior, and most importantly! It just looked good in print.
Check out Wick Records here.