28 April 2021
In these science-fiction-like pandemic times when all sorts of industries/business
threaten to collapse (certainly the small ones for obvious reasons) it takes guts and courage to get up, stand up and fight for the future of your small and vulnerable indie label. That’s exactly what Canada-born musician and DIY centipede Laura Lee Schultz
did. She re-injected her beloved Off White House Records with vital fuel and decided
to go international. Respect!
Laura Lee told us anything you need to know about
the past, the present and the future of her label.
What’s the Off White House Records story so far, Laura Lee?
This humble little label started in the bedroom of a decrepit, haunted house in the suburbs of East Vancouver. As an independent artist for over 25 years, I consider myself lucky to have cut my teeth in the 90s when rock bands were being courted by major labels like it was going out of style. And yes, it did go out of style. Grunge. But my love for rock music never did.
My previous projects all had devoted fan bases and I experienced so much being in those bands, including business. So I took what I learned, started a label and released the first Down The Lees album in 2005. Since I was doing the whole album myself, I needed to jump into the process with both feet. From writing and playing all of the music, going into the studio, planning the CD duplication, distribution and marketing. Ever since then, I have been releasing material with many bands I have played with over the years.
Cut to 2020. When everything changed. I was living in Ghent, Belgium when Down The Lees was playing shows in Belgium, France and the Netherlands to support the Steve Albini recorded album ‘Bury The Sun’. Then everything stopped. As the months dragged on, it became painfully obvious that things were going to drastically change for the entertainment industry for a long time. After the initial shock wore off, the idea of supporting other artists started to percolate and I made my way back to Canada to live in the Okanagan Valley and be close to family.
At that point, HAZE was looking to release an album and I couldn’t have been happier to help her with it. That experiment made me think that signing and helping other artists was what I wanted to do with the label.
Main goal of the international adventure?
Why did I get into music in the first place? It’s because of the feeling I get when I hear a song
for the first time and it makes the hair on my arms stand up. I want to help THAT music get
out into the world. And with this label, all artists support each other. We herald each other, we believe in each other. We are nothing without community. This is an alternative, post-rock, noise rock label and I want to continue on that track. More acts are being signed and announced throughout 2021!
The loud and clear roster so far…
BRONSON ARM (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
Newest noise rock duo to join the label.
New single Conscious Confuser out now…
DATING MYSELF (Vancouver, BC)
All new 90s hits you’ve never heard.
DOWN THE LEES (Vancouver/Ghent)
Caustic, raw and cuts like a knife.
New material coming in 2021.
EP ISLAND (Vancouver, BC)
A project that is scheduled as one-weekend events,
bringing in special guests with the goal of writing
and recording as much as possible over 3 days.
ERIIS (Ghent, Belgium)
Chaos, strife and discord.
HAZE (Ghent, Belgium)
Lo-fi, bedroom rock.
NEW YEARS RESOLUTION (Vancouver, BC)
SEPARATION AGREEMENT (Ghent/Vancouver)
Cross continental alternative rock.