Local record label celebrates first anniversary

Kate Butler is looking forward to a busy summer with her record label She Said Feck! (Alishya Weiland/AQ)

She Said Feck! Records run by St. Thomas University alumna Kate Butler has made its mark on the Maritime music industry and it’s about to celebrate its first birthday.

Butler, a Saint John native, has spent most of her life around music. She volunteered at shows when she was young just to get a glimpse of the action and wrote for The Aquinian during her time at STU for the chance to interview bands.

For her, starting a record label was a no-brainer, but it took a lot of work.

“It’s had its up and downs over the year,” Butler said.

“I think every business in its first year definitely goes through a lot of changes and difficulties that they probably didn’t foresee. But it’s been a lot of fun [and] definitely a huge learning curve.”

Butler’s 40 to 60-hour work week isn’t in vain – her label has grown over the past year. She manages bands The Tortoise the Hare and the Millionaire, CHIPS and MELONVINE full time and is about to sign another artist.

Butler said her knowledge on how the music industry works helps the bands she manages succeed.

“I have more knowledge, [a] better ground of the music industry here in the Maritimes, greater friends in the industry and connections and contacts.”

A typical day for Butler includes running around Fredericton, dealing with bookings and constant work with the bands. The biggest challenge she’s faced is learning when to take a moment for herself.

She said the music industry never sleeps, but she needs to.

“It’s a world that doesn’t ever stop and you have to make time for yourself and say, ‘No, I’m not going to work this afternoon, I’m going to chill’ or ‘I am going to go away for two days.’ It’s difficult to turn your life off.”

But her busy schedule has led to a collection of fond memories over the past year. Butler said the best memory so far was having The Tortoise the Hare and the Millionaire play at the Area 506 festival in Saint John, along with them releasing a physical copy of their album.

“The response from starting the label has been amazing and all the support it has received in the past year … And seeing all these bands on my favourite stages and at these great festivals all last summer.”

She’s looking forward to a busy summer with her label and already has bookings lined up into the end of the year.

For now, She Said Feck! Records has two birthday parties planned. One on March 1 at the Tide and Boar, a pub in Moncton, and another on March 2 at the Capital Complex in Fredericton. Both events will feature live music, door prizes and cake.

Butler said she wants to take things slow.

“I would say I’m going to definitely be one of those slow burners – taking two steps back and five steps ahead.”