Local music in Philadelphia has become an undeniable phenomenon in just the past couple of years, and the city has cultivated a boisterous underground music scene unrivaled by any other. Underground being the operative word, however, because you won’t find many of these shows at major venues like the Electric Factory or the Trocadero Theatre. No, Philadelphia’s local music scene has evolved past the need for fancy lights and stages. All you need these days is a basement, some musical instruments, and of course, a dream.
A dream that may not be unlike that of Temple University’s own Snack Time Records Ltd. Founded in the Summer of 2014, Snack Time Records arose from four friends with the goal of releasing their own music in one unified place. Since then, it has climbed out of the proverbial tide pool and evolved into something much bigger. Snack Time has moved onto endeavors of promotion, recording, and perhaps most prominent of all, live shows.
“I’m in a band called Behind the Grandstand, Charlie and Mike are in a band called Green Jeans, and Rob is ^wolf^,” said Temple University Senior, Music Therapy Major, and co-founder of Snack Time Records Pat Hamill, “We just wanted to pool our resources.”
Snack Time Records has decided on a goal of two shows a month this upcoming year, with varying locations across the Temple University and North Philadelphia area. More often than not, these shows take place in the homes and apartments of other music enthusiasts. It is incredibly common for artists in the local scene to support each other.
“[Snack Time Records] works with upwards of 20 bands – we promote a lot of people but don’t have formal agreements,” said Charlie Dubuc, Senior Psychology major at Temple and co-founder of Snack Time Records. “We wanted to build a network and promote our own stuff. Build a community.”
Snack Time is also big on helping budding artists make their first debut into the world of underground music.
“We make it a point to book people who haven’t had the opportunity to play a show before. We like to give people their first show.” Said Hamill.
Despite a Philadelphia and Temple area of operation, Snack Time stresses that they are not confining themselves to their immediate area. “A lot of Temple music students, but we’ve had touring bands too. We’re not locking ourselves in the Philadelphia area. In the first year of operating, this guy from Los Angeles hit us up and we’ve been promoting him online.” Said Hamill.
“I’ll just stand at the belltower and hand out CD’s for free, tell people to check it out.” Said Dubuc.
Hamill also stresses the importance of a good label-musician relationship.
“Me personally, playing in bands for so long, I realized throughout the years how I want to be treated as a musician. That’s what we want to give back, these house shows are more than house shows, they’re events.”
After finishing their education, the guys at Snack Time Records have plans to continue working on the label and grow it into something even bigger, all with the express purpose of being able to offer more to musicians, both veteran and newcomers. The ultimate goal being a static location, a recording studio, and higher profile venues.