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Interview: Polyvinyl Indie Label In Champaign 20+ Years Strong

Rachel Otwell
Matt Lunsford, co-founder of Polyvinyl at the HQ

About 20 years ago two high schoolers in Champaign got an indie label off the ground, propelled by their love for the DIY indie music scene.

Credit Rachel Otwell
Polyvinyl HQ

Some of the first bands they released music for were Braid and American Football, both local acts whose music was indicative of the emo trend at that time. Both bands went on to gain national attention. Now, Polyvinyl Recordshas a diverse roster and represents some of the most acclaimed and provocative acts currently in indie music, bands likeDeerhoof, of Montreal and Xiu Xiu. Its employees are all over the country.

We caught up with Matt Lunsford, an owner and co-founder of Polyvinyl at the HQ in Champaign. We talk about an essay he wrote about the first 20 years of Polyvinyl and preview some tunes. Tune in!

A note: Polyvinyl had signed PWR BTTM and was set to release the band's sophomore album earlier this month. Right around the release, information came out that one of the band members had been accused of sexual assault. Polyvinyl has since dropped the band, and is offering refunds for pre-orders and sales related to PWR BTTM. You can read a post written about the initial fallout and situation, here. You can also find the statement from Polyvinyl on the situation on the label's Facebook page. This took place after the interview above. Mentions of PWR BTTM were deleted.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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