Monday, July 11, 2011

Posted by Andrew Jacobs |
This interview is very significant to me as it's the first interview with a female in the hardcore scene that I've posted in my 2+ years here at xStuck In The Pastx. I have sent interview questions to a number of female scenesters but for whatever reason(s), I haven't received a completed one from any of them until Jenny Jensen at Revelation Records sent me hers. I will continue to make it a point to interview as many female scenesters as I can because I strongly believe that they're still not getting the attention and representation in the scene that they rightfully deserve. Enjoy the interview. - Andrew Jacobs



You are the Marketing Director for the Revelation Records label. When and how did you discover Rev?

I should say that I am actually the Marketing Director for RevHQ and RevDistribution, which are separate from Revelation Records, but I help with the marketing for Revelation and the other labels that we distribute. Jordan usually makes the final decision on everything that the label does.

As far as how I discovered Revelation Records, like most, I was in high school at the time – we’re talking mid '90s here. Quite a few of my friends were Straight Edge and it was only natural that Revelation Records was one of those labels that put out some classic releases that my friends would listen to. It wasn’t really until the emergence of emo (in its original cardigan clad, black t-shirt self vs. the current flat ironed hair, girl jean self) when Rev was putting out stuff like Texas Is The Reason and Elliott that I felt like I could really identify with the releases on a deeper level.


Discuss the process of marketing a record label like Rev in the digital age.

This is a tough question to answer because Revelation Records is sort of an anomaly of a label. With most of our releases, people have already formed their opinions about them, especially whether or not they want to own a Revelation release. We’re not bringing out any new bands with our recent releases, so everything is very quintessentially “Rev”, if you will. For the catalog titles that are sold digitally, people usually know if they like it, so it’s almost predetermined if someone is going to want it or not. Really, we want to be sure we’re making quality digital files available from albums that most people have heard one time or another in the past.


Vinyl came back into vogue with a vengeance right around the time that you became the Marketing Director at Rev in 2006. How has the vinyl resurgence affected your marketing strategy?

I came into the industry at this kind of awkward stage between the decline of CDs and the resurgence of vinyl. Luckily, hardcore and punk have both have been genres that were already heavily steeped in vinyl collectability, so it was a pretty easy transition for me. I like that nowadays, you have the option to put more emphasis on your vinyl versions; special colors, special packaging, heavier weights and so on. You don’t really get that with CDs and digital only albums. The strategy is very simply to appeal to people’s sense of wanting to own tangible items that they feel represent part of their personal tastes. Back to basics, as the saying goes!


Are there any plans to do vinyl repressings of any of Rev's now classic '90s catalog that you can talk about?

Well, Texas Is the Reason’s self-titled 7” was recently repressed and we did Elliott’s U.S. Songs LP for Record Store Day.

You never know what special repressing we may have up our sleeve – that’s why you should subscribe to our weekly email newsletter (send an email to Subscribe@revhq.com); that’s your best bet for staying up to date with what we have coming up!


Is Rev ever going to completely phase out CD releases? Why or why not?

I think like any label, we’ll do what makes sense for each particular case. I definitely think that we should keep titles like Start Today available on CD. Why? Because it still sells. We all know the drill - supply and demand.


What are some of your favorite Rev releases and why?

Well, I talked a little bit earlier about the mid '90s era emo type releases that Revelation has done in the past as being a part of my formative teen years. I also went to school in Northern California, which had a huge impact on what I was listening to at the time. I’d have to say though that WHVN by Will Haven will always hold a special place in my heart. I want to say that in 1996, I distinctly remember WHVN written in sharpie on most of my friends that wore windbreakers’ backpacks. Haha.


As a woman working for one of the most popular and well known hardcore record labels in the world, what sorts of experiences (good or bad) have you had?

There is no doubt that hardcore has traditionally been something of a boys' club, even though there is a lot of welcoming of participation by women in the scene. Some of my favorite emails to get are internship applications from young women looking to cut their teeth in the industry. Some find that this type of environment doesn’t fulfill them but some find that this climate is exactly what they need to feel that they are progressing in their paths – be it career-oriented or if it’s their personal journey. Helping to put that in perspective for young women is one of the most rewarding parts of my job for sure.


What sorts of experiences (good or bad) have you had in the predominantly male hardcore scene in general?

I haven't had any negative experiences with any of the hardcore scenesters that I’ve met while working for Revelation. We’ve had plenty of guys come through the office and I work with a lot of people over email daily that I have a great rapport with. There have been so many people that I’ve been able to build working relationships with over the years, so it’s hard to isolate one good incident from another. I think most importantly, I’ve never felt like I’ve been oppressed or held back because of my gender in this scene. It’s one of the reasons that I think I truly enjoy and appreciate what I get to do every day.


Where do you see yourself and/or where would you like to see yourself in the next 10 years?

I’d still like to be involved with what I’m doing now. I think that I’ll adjust to wherever the industry takes me. It’s undergoing some major shifts that are both exciting and scary at the same time, but I’d like to try to hang on for the ride for as long as possible. It’d be nice to have a small business of my own one day – what the premise of that business would be, I’m not sure of yet but I know I’d apply a lot of what I’ve learned at Rev to whatever venture that may be. Hopefully, there’s still a bit of Rev work down the line for me too. Ya never know!

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