Although CDs may be a thing of the past, vinyl is keeping physical media alive. It’s hard to put into words just how important it is to hold an actual product in your hands in the streaming age. Part of the appeal is the collectability of some releases. Be it other-worldly color variants, or the obscure release finding it’s way on the format for the first time. Rusted Wave understands and caters to that aspect, but isn’t all about the kind niche releases that sit on display and collect dust.
I had the opportunity to talk with Jake Lamme of Rusted Wave about everything from goofball comedies to recording music that could potentially change the world.
For those who don’t know, what is Rusted Wave?
We are an independent record label and entertainment company focused on bringing soundtracks, original music and cult classic merch to the masses!
How did Rusted Wave get started?
We launched back in 2014 with the first-ever officially licensed t-shirt line for the cult classic comedy Wet Hot American Summer. The Wet Hot creative and production team (David Wain, Michael Showalter, and Howard Bernstein) introduced us to Craig Wedren, the artist who, along with Theodore Shapiro, created the score and original music for the film. We teamed up with them to issue a 7” single for Higher and Higher (with “Wet Hot American Summer” on the B-side), and the rest is history!
Why do you feel soundtrack albums are getting to be so popular in the vinyl market these days?
Wow, great question! For me, it’s all about nostalgia. Movie nerds and fanatics from the 80s and 90s (like us) grew up consuming films and video games with memorable and impressionable scores and music. There’s something inherently comforting about listening to the music from a film you love. Even as a kid, I would always check out the soundtrack section in the record store first to see what gems I could find. Of course, then I’d move onto the ska and punk section and spend the rest of my time flipping through music there!
What goes into releasing a soundtrack album on vinyl? Is it as simple as talking to the film company artists?
Each album is different, and each deal can be extremely complex and time-consuming. Sometimes different studios own the music and the likeness rights, so it makes pulling a project together difficult. They are all a lot of work, especially for us because our quality demands are super high.
You recently released Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. That was always one of my favorite movies as a kid. I think it solidified my love of rock n roll. What’s so special about that movie and what makes it such a classic?
At its heart, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is a timeless love story about music. It signifies that no matter who you are, or what your musical training is, you can make music that changes the world. Of course, this message is intertwined in an 80s cheese ball comedy, which makes it that much better!
The characters of Bill & Ted aren’t very bright but remain positive. They face peril but still seem to be having fun. The music in that film seems to elevate those vibes. Do you have a favorite track on the album?
Wow, I feel like Brodie Bruce (from Mallrats) when he is asked which superhero he would be! Its a difficult choice between Bricklin’s “Walk Away” or Extreme’s “Play With Me”. I’ll go with “Walk Away” because Bill & Ted’s school report is my favorite scene of the film!
Was it difficult to get this album released?
This was two long years in the making, but worth the wait!
The entire visual presentation of the Bill & Ted release is amazing. How did the artwork and packaging come about?
We partnered with Mondo on this release because one of their regular artists (Matty Ryan Tobin) was itching to put his spin on Bill & Ted, which is his favorite film.
Any chance we may see a vinyl release of Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey Original Soundtrack in the future?
Working on it!
Along with vinyl, Rusted Wave offers an assortment of collectibles. How important is the collector’s aspect of the label?
We aren’t too concerned about collectibles per se. We just want to release records and merch that we think is cool. If others like it too, awesome!
Does Rusted Wave deal in soundtracks exclusively? Have you, or do you plan to release albums from artists, not part a soundtrack?
No, we release all types of music. A few months back, we released Foo Fighters guitarist Chris Shiflett’s West Coast Town album on vinyl. It’s an amazing honky tonk country rock album that is worth a spin or ten if you haven’t heard it! The Foo Fighters posted about it so our limited pressing sold quickly. We’ve only got a small quantity left for those who are interested. We also released a rad 7-inch last year from Chantal Claret called Let’s Pretend Everything’s Okay. Great little EP!
What does the future hold for the label?
On July 20th, we released the first ever vinyl pressing of Alan Silvestri’s Young Guns II Original Motion Picture Score. It’s a double LP set cut at 45rpm. Even though Silvestri is on the Mount Rushmore of film composers with his other massive hits (Forrest Gump, Back To The Future, The Avengers), to me, this is his finest work!
Is there a film soundtrack out there you would consider being your dream release for Rusted Wave?
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, of course! That was our dream release for a while, then we made it happen! We’ve got some other dream releases, but none that I can share right now! Stay tuned…
For more information on Rusted Wave, please visit RustedWave.com
Aaron (or Coop) is a freelance writer, multi-instrumentalist and overall lover of all things music. As an advocate for indie record labels and artists, he is passionate about local scenes and do-it-yourself artistry. If it’s good, it’s good. If it’s bad, he’s not afraid to explain why.