Here at Northeastern there are hundreds of great student organizations to get involved in! We want to highlight some organizations that you may not know, so we’re interviewing members of student organizations to learn a little bit about them and what their club is about. Tune in every week for a new post from The Club Chronicle! 

The Club Chronicle Interview #12: Green Line Records

Interview conducted on August 14th 2019

What is your name and your position in the club? 

My name is Will Kast and I’m the President of Green Line Records.

What does Green Line Records do here on campus?

Green Line almost has two sides to it, as a whole we are a non profit student run record label. We work with local artists in the Boston music scene to promote them as a non profit, to release their music, and record it. Our events department which is tied in but sort of works somewhat independently puts on, I believe this year it will be 5 shows, right where we’re sitting right now in Afterhours. They tend to focus on emerging bands that are slightly under the radar but have some of the most devoted followings, I think, of the artist that come to Northeastern. So it’s been really exciting. 

I didn’t know that Green Line helped people record music, can you dive into that a little more?

I think I should start off by saying there are 5 departments in Green Line. They are: A&R, recording, marketing, merch and design, and events. The first 4 of those are basically our label operations. A&R, which is industry slang for artists and repertoire, which doesn’t even make sense because only one of those words are still used in the modern meaning, is basically connecting with artists and working with them. Our A&R people will go out and scour the local scene for great musicians. When they find someone they like and who’d be compatible with us they offer to do a no strings attached simple contract for the release of a single. We will record it and do marketing for it and provide design and any other services we can to help them have a single release that is professional and free on their side, which is something that not a lot of independent artists have access to even with the increased DIY-ability. 

How do you get involved in the departments? Are there separate meetings for each department?

We start every semester with a newcomers meeting. That’s really our opportunity to explain what goes on in all of our different departments and give people who we’ve given our brief elevator pitch to, a better idea of what our day to day work is and find them a place to get involved. From there people will sign up for the individual departments and those will meet on a weekly basis. 

Green Line Records artist Brandie Blaze opening for JPEGMAFIA in afterHOURS

Is there a specific time and place for your meeting? 

Every department has its own meeting time and meeting room, but occasionally we will have general meetings. Those only happen once and awhile, people on our newsletter get notified of that. If you’re interested in getting on that newsletter, send an email to officialgreenlinerecords@gmail.com

Is it possible for people to get involved mid-semester, or for NUin students, mid-year? 

We have a ton of NUin kids every January and almost the same number of newcomers every semester, which is kind of crazy to me. Whether you’re there for the start of the semester and can hit the ground running or you’re a few weeks late or even a few months later, just shoot our email a message and we’ll figure out a way to get you involved. A lot of people already know, I’m interested in events or iIdo marketing as my major i’d love to get involved in marketing that’s great we can start there. But if you need to hear from us to find the right place for you we can help you find that. 

How many students are involved in Green Line?

It varies year to year, and we’ve been on the upswing, but I would say there are probably about 80 regularly engaged members. It’s a little difficult to count with all the different departments, I think that number might be higher, because most departments have 20 plus people. 

How do artists get involved in terms of being able to record music?

Our roster is 100% volunteer selected, which can be difficult to explain sometimes. We’ll get a lot of demos sent to our email, and  I’ll see them and i’ll say this is great but I can’t do anything about this. This is something we pride ourselves on, every project is taken on by an A&R member who really believes in that project. So whether they find out about it through someone behind the routes that you can submit a demo submitting it to them or if they were at a show and met the band or artist and really connected with them, it’s all completely A&R volunteer driven.

Snail Mail in afterHOURS, presented by Green Line Records

What would be the process for submitting a demo? 

There’s a spot on our website where you can send it in or you can send it to our email. The best time to do that if you were to do that would be right at the start of September or January because we always do most of our scouting during those periods.

You talked about putting on 5 concerts, is that the bulk of the events you do, small concerts? 

Yes, we have our concerts in Afterhours. We also do occasional other events. We started as of last year a series in the pop up space What’s Poppin those are strictly for local bands. Those are a lot of fun, there are usually like 20-50 people there. We have really good local talent and it’s a very intimate environment. We also had a tradition of doing busking day, basically it’s where we set up a microphone and speakers on campus and literally anyone, although fingers crossed they can sing, can sign up and perform in 20 minute slots. It’s cool. We usually have a few of our members performing little sets there, which is usually fun because members are usually not able to play at our shows or can’t be signed, that’s kind of a rule we’ve gone with.

How do you normally advertise your events? 

Facebook and postering are the two main routes. I definitely am proud of the poster designs, we have some really cool ones, they line the walls of our office. Wherever posters are found take a look for ours. Facebook is kind of king when it comes to events these days, you can certainly find us there.

Do you have other socials and what is your Facebook handle?

Facebook is Green Line Records and Instagram is @greenlinerecords. Facebook and our Instagram are the two main methods for external communication, but if you want to get involved, would highly recommend joining our mailing list which you can join by talking to us at a tabling event like the Winter Involvement Fair or just emailing officialgreenlinerecords@gmail.com and we’ll put you on the list. 

Green Line Records artist John E. Funk & the Skunks record in Shillman studios

What’s your favorite event that you’ve put on?

I want to share my favorite one, one of the universal favorite ones, and then my biggest regret missing when I was a freshman. My favorite one was a band called Ava Luna. They weren’t even our headlining act they were opening for Men I Trust but they just had the most phenomenal weird space age retro future act. The front woman in this band was unbelievable. I’ve never seen someone that was so coordinated and in sync and commanded the crowd like that. I had never even heard of this band before I showed up. I know one of the universal favorite events was Show Me the Body which played very recently, Ava Luna was also in the past semester. Show me the body was one of our less successful shows, it certainly didn’t come near capping, but everyone there was so locked in and engaged. We actually had a volunteer who was working at their record label recently run into their manager in the elevator. She mentioned that she was at this show and did they remember playing in a Starbucks in Boston and their manager said wow actually yes they do, they loved that show, it was one of their favorite shows. It’s kind of amazing that a show in a Starbucks to not that many people would be so fond in their memory. My biggest regret is definitely missing Mitski when I was a freshman, I was not wise to that yet. 

What is your favorite part about being in Green Line Records?

It’s hard to pinpoint but I think it’s just the fact that we all like the same thing and you feel a certain connection to the Boston music scene. One of the things that I really want to push to our newcomers this year is that the Boston music scene is your music scene, not because you own it, but by geography. If you’re just getting here or if you’ve been here a long time this is where you’re gonna see the best shows for the next 5 years or so. Being tied into that and being tied into a group of people who really care about that and are trying to make the scene better by providing resources to the artists here, I think leaves me feeling really fulfilled at the end of the day. 

What’s one thing you wished people knew about your club?

I wish they knew we existed, I wish that they knew when our events are, those two are definitely very good things. 

Are there any common misconceptions about Green Line Records?

We get a lot of people at our newcomers meeting who are like I play an instrument or I do this, how can I get signed? Or the opposite, we’ll give our pitch and they’ll say but I don’t play an instrument. I think that’s a misconception. We are absolutely music lovers through and through. A lot of us are musicians as well, but music playing doesn’t really happen directly through this club. That being said if you are a musician, I am I know lots of other people are, so many members of our club have found people to play with through our club or learned how to record their own music through working in our recording department or figured out how to have a social presence or really anything. We’re very open when it comes to experience level. We want to give people responsibilities who are really capable, but don’t have the experience yet and have them rise to that opportunity. It’s a really great place to learn fast whether that’s in a hard skill like recording or design or marketing or just networking with artists and socializing at shows. It’s a great place to build skills you may not already have. 

Local artist Anjimile performs at Busking Day.