After speaking with Victory Records owner Tony Brummel, I can understand why the dude has gathered the reputation that he has in some circles. Why? Because he’s a pretty honest and direct guy.
That threatens most people in life and that causes them to take it back to the high school level and gossip, while back at the ranch his label is surging forward on the strength of Taking Back Sunday, Atreyu, Hawthorne Heights and more.
But it’s not just the recent uprising that has established Victory as a staple in the game for cutting edge hard music. The legendary Snapcase made their career here in addition to others, such as Thursday and Hatebreed, who both placed significant blocks for their major label futures (by the way, Hatebreed sold a nominal number more with Universal than with Victory and Thursday sold less on Island Def Jam than with Victory) under this umbrella before moving on.
But truthfully, during our conversation, for as direct as he was he was also very cool, funny and humble where it counted. It’s important to lay all of this out because you can’t lay out someone’s tone of voice on paper and when in doubt, at least in this conversation, always err on the side of the fact that the dude was about as cool as one of the busiest cats in the business can be during a typical work day at the beginning of the year.
It takes a lot to build something with this much staying power and in this candid rare interview I may ask the questions, but Tony is speaking directly to you the people who have supported his brand and his artists for all these years.
What is the thing you are the most proud of?
The thing that that I am the most proud of is that so many people feel the need to buy the records from the bands that we release. If I had to pinpoint one thing that we do, I would say that I am very proud of how we choose to support our bands.
We don’t care about the typical record industry bullshit (that most labels do). Going gold does not excite us. We have to like the music that the artist is making and we have to like them as people.
That’s just part of it. It could be anything. I could be at a show and somebody could walk up to me and say, ‘You’re Tony from Victory Records. I love all of the records you put out. Thanks.’ And that means more to me than anything.
So as a label executive, do you pride yourself on being accessible where others in your position are not?
I am the luckiest guy in the world. My hobby became my full-time job. But our job is to be accessible. Look, this is an addiction. Once you start, you can’t stop.
You keep doing it more and more and there are so many great artists out there on so many labels. It’s gotten to a point where if you wanted to, you could put out 30 great artists a month. It wouldn’t make a whole lot of sense, but you could do it.