20 January 2012
Sean Moeller Interview
Here's my interview with Sean Moeller, the creator of the amazing website Daytrotter. Enjoy.
Me: I know it's a stereotypical way to start an interview, but tell us a little bit about yourself.
Sean: I'm a married man with three kids. I buy lots of books, more vinyl
records than books, subscribe to a lot of magazines, get some golf in when
I can, cheer for the Chicago Cubs when it's proper, like old barns and old
professional wrestling (the good stuff), work a thousand hours a week, run
occasionally and try to keep my head on straight.
Me: What is Daytrotter?
Sean: Daytrotter is a music website that's an analog recording studio, that's
a website. We exist to capture and preserve all of the great musical
artworks obscure or known that are currently operating in the work. The
sessions that we tape are made available on the site and remain there
forever. The idea is to make sure that the cream either rises to the top or
at least has a chance to never be forgotten about by a culture that burns
through great art faster that you can spit.
Me: How do you find out about all of these bands and artists?
Sean: It's a whole host of ways these days -- bands we've worked with in the
past, fluke luck, diligent and never-ending looking. ears open wide and
stuff like that.
Me: Who have been some of the most memorable artists that you've met?
Sean: It's a 3,000-way tie between everyone. It's really kind of incredible
how all of them are memorable in different ways. I've scarily retained the
most minute details about so many of them. I feel lucky.
Me: Is the Daytrotter movie ever going to happen?
Sean: No comment.
Me: Will Daytrotter ever release more Records again?
Sean: Yeah, that's the plan. We've got one upcoming one this spring and we'd
like to do more of it. I think getting more of these recordings out into
the physical world is a good thing. I like these recordings and I like the
physical world more than most.
Me: You're someone who clearly goes to a lot of shows. What do you look for
in a good show?
Sean: I actually don't get to a lot of shows. Not anymore. When I was
attending the University of Iowa for college I did. There was always
something good happening in Iowa City. Where we are right now, the great or
even good shows are few and far between. We have a bit of a plan to change
that. Ask me a year from now if I go to a lot of shows. Or, phrase it just
the way you did and you're likely to get a different answer.
Me: Tell us about the decision to make daytrotter not free anymore.
Sean: It was sort of a decision and absolutely a necessity. Since we began the
site almost 6 years ago, every month has been bigger than the last and with
the added traffic, our costs have soared. The traffic and just the nature
of essentially keeping multiple recording studios running 365 days a year
to be able to achieve our mission of making sure we can preserve and
showcase all of these great artists really racked up the bills. We were
losing our asses and the advertising game was a crapshoot and is a mess. It
wasn't working for us. We decided to let the people who love the site and
appreciate the work that we do in shedding light on these wonderful artists
decide if we worth supporting. We wanted to keep the membership very low
and so far the response has been overwhelmingly positive. It's been
reassuring and we're not going to let any of these people, or any of these
people making these songs down. We're going to work even harder.
Me: How do you feel about today's music industry?
Sean: I think it's as exciting as it could possibly be. I think there are so
many d*mned opportunities for bands. It's all becoming something that can
Me: Is it better to release music for free, or for money?
Sean: People have to eat and live.
Me: Is vinyl the best?
Sean: Absolutely. It's special.