In a short time, Ann Arbor’s Quite Scientific established itself as the go-to label for Michigan’s blossoming orchestral, indie-folk scene. With releases from Canada and Chris Bathgate and upcoming salvos from Frontier Ruckus, Maryland’s Cotton Jones Basket Ride and Philadelphia’s Hezekiah Jones, Qui Sci continues to spread the gospel while broadening its reach. Run by affable brothers Brian and Jeremy Peters and Justin Spindler, the Qui Sci boys not only release records, but they can record them too. Old school, but new tricks. — Scott Sellwood
Who runs the label?
Brian: Jeremy Peters is the wise old sage with the most experience around here, he’s been doing this a lot longer then the rest of us.
Jeremy: Justin Spindler is a real ideas man, he usually lays the path we follow.
Justin: Brian Peters takes care of the day to day, and really is the hands-on man when it comes to Qui-Sci. That and he technically owns the business I guess.
Where is the label located? Describe your digs…
Brian: We work out of Jeremy’s and my house on Main Street in Ann Arbor. It’s your typical, somewhat worn down, Ann Arbor house, but with location, location, location. There is a dedicated office, with two computers, boxes stacked five high in the corners and paper everywhere, but work tends to spew out all over the house. The main floor has album boxes, bubble mailers, and computers taking up most of the living space.
Justin: The office always seems to have an ironing board set up as though it were going to be used, though I never see anything ironed. I think I left my cell phone charger in the outlet behind it. That fucking ironing board is the reason I only have one bar of battery life.
Brian: I have great plans for that ironing board… you’ll see.
How did the label get its start? It’s name?
Justin: The label was started by Brian when he decided to make up a fake label on the Internet
Brian: Just a MySpace to showcase all the recording I’d been doing at the time. I’d only thought of putting out a comp of some sort at that point.
Justin: Then mostly because I’m gullible, I asked if he’d put my record out on the imprint. Instead of putting my record out, I gave him money and became a 50% partner in the label. Later, we repeated this process with Brian’s brother Jeremy, though he has never asked us to put out a record of his own making. The label probably “officially” got it’s start when we approached Canada , the band, not the country, though we were driving east, and asked about putting their record out as the first full-scale release on Quite Scientific Records.
Brian: Wow, it sounds so unromantic. I would have said, an ectoplasmic burst started it all. The name – more ‘unromanticalness’ – was really just two words I thought sounded good together. The clincher was when we discovered it could be shortened to the unbelievably hip Qui-Sci.
How many releases do you issue a year, on average?
Justin: Three-ish? 2008 may be a banner year for us with 4 EPs, a full length and a split 7″.
Which rules more, digital download or vinyl?
Brian: God, who would have thought vinyl would still be around, and now to start kicking ass again in the sales market? Amazing! And don’t get me started on the digital iPod “revolution.” We live in great times, well, as far as audio and the music industry are concerned.
Justin: True, but for us, currently, hand-made Art-Book EPs rule. Though digital has been incredibly kind to us.
Jeremy: I have to agree with them both. Digital is awesome from a label standpoint, and vinyl is great from a consumer standpoint.
Favorite label besides your own…
Justin: I would be remiss if I didn’t answer Mute Records.
Jeremy: I’m gonna have to say Ghostly, for many reasons, but one really good one, called “not wanting to get fired.” Just kidding, we’re all one big happy family at Ghostly.
Brian: Man, this is hard, seeing I’m not obligated to an answer since I don’t work at another label like these two. Barsuk, Secretly Canadian, Ghostly. I mean, there are the labels that just have so many great artists, and then there are the labels that have great people running them, and then you have these labels with both.
Favorite record ever…
Justin: Wow, really? That’s a fucking mean thing to ask me. It provokes hours of soul searching and self-analysis. In all likelihood, [Neutral Milk Hotel’s] In The Aeroplane Over the Sea had the biggest effect on where my musical taste sits today. Lately though it’s been non-stop [Television’s] Marquee Moon.
Brian: Maybe you’re just over thinking it Justin. Mine, um, Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker. Sure, why not.
Jeremy: Oh the pressure…I abstain, courteously.
Favorite movie ever…
Jeremy: Egh… whatev’.
Brian: The Sandlot… forrreeeevvvveeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr.
Justin: Wet Hot American Summer
Vegetarian or carnivore?
Justin: Depends on the day. I go on streaks. Due to my other job I’ve been eating more Vegan food than ever before.
Brian: How posh, Justin…I’m an equal opportunity eater.
Jeremy: Ha! I too eat all of god’s creations.
Your guiltiest pleasure. The thing no one would believe you watch, read, or listen to…
Brian: I REALLY, REALLY like “Law & Order.” I could watch it all day long, and thanks to the lovely people at TNT and USA Networks, I can.
Justin: Nice! But, FOX News is fucking entertaining! It’s really scary that people actually watch it as a source for news and/or opinions, but if you turn on “The O’Reilly Factor” and just stare at it in sheer awe of the ridiculous things being said, you usually are rewarded with priceless gems of absurdity. You can get the same effect watching the religious zealots who are given their own public access shows, but their production values are so much lower and they can’t wrangle in A-Level guests to add some spice. Pound for pound, FOX news has the best jaw-dropping insanity out there.