In Their Own Words

In Their Own Words /// How to Start a Record Label

By Worst Records' Brandon de la Cruz

By Worst Records‘ Brandon de la Cruz. Worst is currently working on the music of The Stateside Menace, Blown Stag, and Jordan Jackson. Their focus is on singles and vinyl, and their first single came out last week.

Our In Their Own Words section showcases the irreverent, creative voices of Nashville’s musical community first-hand.

brandon_sparklesDENIAL (1998)

You possess a firm and grounded love of music. You are motivated to do things like listen to your favorite album 20 times in a row with your eyes closed. It never occurs to you that this is a talent.

You spend several years in or around a ska band. You learn that it is okay to fail.

You are very keen on potential, which you can see everywhere and in everyone, especially when they themselves can’t. You know exactly what people should be doing, and you spend a lot of time trying to coax others into pursuing their dreams.

You know how to make things happen.

You are smart, intellectually and emotionally.

You do not believe any of these things about yourself.

ANGER (2002)

You graduate from college. You get a job at Target.

You take the money you have leftover from student loans (nuts to you, Department of Education!) and spend it on a new P.A. and recording equipment.

You want to make big, powerful, Strummeresque statements and feel the world resonate from the force you’re applying to it. You want to push and be pushed back.

By your estimate, it will be six months before your first album destroys the world and your shows at Shea Stadium have sold out.

This doesn’t happen.


You stop telling people about your music, even at parties.

Your taste in harmonized guitar solos becomes questionable.

You spend two weeks in the back room of your parents’ house, writing and recording,

taking a quick biopsy of your overswollen heart, working through the pain to get it under a microscope so you can dissect every passionate beat. You end up with seven emo/indie-pop songs (sample lyric: “Can I be someone who helps you to fly when your wings are broken?”) and two Smiths covers.

You’re certain these songs will unlock the ironclad heart of your one true love, whom you’ve been pining over for several years in complete secrecy.

This doesn’t happen, either.


You go to college again, because you don’t know what else to do and it’s a good excuse to move somewhere with a better music scene.

The gear you spent $1,000 on languishes unused and follows you through 2 moves until you finally slough it off at a pawn shop for $50. You never, ever needed those $600 P.A. speakers. Not even once.

You graduate from college again. You do temp work.

You stop knowing how to hold yourself together.

You go to therapy, you take medication. You get cats. You become entirely too self-aware.

You practice giving interviews in the car. You’re prepared for anything a journalist could ever throw at you. You practice your “interview laugh”.


Shea Stadium is torn down.


You spend two and a half years recording an album. You work really hard on tying the whole thing together thematically. This includes writing a 2-part song about the TV show House.

The only person who buys it is your ex, who pays you $25 for a copy out of pity, or guilt, or malaise.

Your net profit is negative five thousand, nine hundred and seventy-five dollars.

You are forced to reconsider your entire approach. This is not the first time, or the fifth time, or the twenty-fifth time.

It never occurs to you that this is a talent.

Worst Records was formed in January, 2013. Their first single is out now.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: