8ctopus Records

Owner/Founder: Eli Morrison
Year Established: 2006
Current artists: The Wolfs, Vile Blue Shades, Red Bennies, Blackhole, Pink Lightnin’, Eyes and Ears, Mystifiied, Ketamine Kurtainz
Number of releases to date: 20
National Distribution: None, other than own website.
Is Roster Available on itunes? The Wolfs and Blackhole only
Number of albums sold to date: Around 2,000
Website: 8ctopusrecords.com

Photo by Ruby Johnson

Slinging some of the more legitimate “out there” shit since 2006, 8ctopus Records tends to keep the focus local. Their roster features artists such as Vile Blue Shades and owner/operator Eli Morrison’s own project, The Wolfs. The label also co-released SLUG’s Death by Salt III local comp on vinyl last December. The label serves as an online distributor for local labels like Red Light, Pseudo and Feroz, but also for international releases in the experimental field from Extreme Music. Recently, 8ctopus geographically expanded their own catalog by releasing Howl at the Moon/Slave Wage, a 7” from Denver’s Eyes and Ears.

SLUG: What led you to start 8ctopus?
Eli Morrison: I had all this cool stuff sitting on my desk that was, for one reason or another, un-releasable on a legitimate label. So I thought, ‘Fuck it––I’ll just put this stuff out, and I’ll just plan on eating the cost.’ Luckily, I have a couple of day jobs that allow me to do this.

SLUG: What is the point? Why put out such esoteric and underground records?
EM: Good question. I wonder what the fuck I’m doing all the time! I guess I just want people to be able to hear some cool stuff that otherwise wouldn’t come out.

SLUG: Does 8ctopus have a distinct sound or genre?
EM: I don’t fit any specific marketing niche or genre of music, and I don’t really care.
We carry stuff relative to the punk/underground scene, as well as stuff in the experimental/noise/ambient field. If it’s different, I’ll probably like it.

SLUG: What makes a group an 8ctopus Records type of group?
EM: It’s gotta be NON-commercially motivated, underground, artsytype shit. Go ahead. Surprise me.

SLUG: What are the plans for 8ctopus in the future?
EM: The label continues to define itself out of necessity. I am still taking things one record at a time, and I hope we can pull through and do justice to each release. Right now, we have no impending releases, because there’s nothing hot on my desk.

SLUG: How do your own musical endeavors work with the label?
EM: If nobody else wants to, or is able to release a recording, and it’s good, I’ll put it out myself. I still work with a number of other labels to issue my own material, when possible.

SLUG: How does 8ctopus support local music?
EM: I issue records that would otherwise go unheard. I also distribute all the coolest local shit online at 8ctopusrecords.com. This year we’ve had orders from Russia, Poland, Japan, you name it. Had one last week from Greece!

SLUG: With the current status of the music industry and the economy in general, do you think smaller labels will make a comeback?
EM: I would certainly hope so. I think ‘gain ground’ is even more appropriate than ‘comeback.’ The underground has always been there, and we’re largely unaffected by the comings and goings in ‘The Industry,’ as it were. Every time I see something that makes me wanna puke, I just take a deep breath, and remind myself that it has nothing to do with me.

SLUG: What releases are you most proud of?
EM: Red Bennies’ Announcing Demos, Ketamine Kurtainz, and The Wolfs’ Death Theme. I think all three of these came out really nice.

SLUG: I noticed 8ctopus’ current catalog mostly includes the 8ctopus releases and local acts. What happened to the distribution catalog?
EM: I’m not carrying as much of the international stuff right now— there hasn’t been much demand for it. This could change as some more killer releases come out. Terminal Sound System was really good––it kills me that nobody’s ever heard it.

SLUG: Do you have your eye on any local artists out there now? National artists?
EM: My plate is pretty clean at the moment, but I always try to keep my ear to the ground.

Putting out records with little to no hope of recouping the cost may not seem like the best business model. However, it’s this freedom to focus solely on the validity of the art is what places 8ctopus Records in the same category as other mind-blowing underground labels in cities across the country. Like Load Records from Providence, R.I.––the label that brought us Lightning Bolt, USAISAMONSTER and Coughs––or Gravity Records, the early 90s San Diego label that introduced the world to Angel Hair, The VSS, Antioch Arrow and even Black Dice. For individuals desperate to hear a wide variety of music that challenges conventions in a meaningful way, Morrison’s label is doing society a huge favor. Making these releases available to the public is a phenomenal contribution to the proliferation of artistically valid music in Salt Lake, and a testament to Morrison’s passion for music as an art.

OCTO-001: Vile Blue Shades – Ballz 2 the Wall – CDR Edition of 100 (2006)
OCTO-002: Red Bennies – Announcing Demos – CDR Edition of 50 (2006)
OCTO-003: Bleed Yellow – Self-Titled – CDR Edition of 50 (2006)
OCTO-004: Polestar – Self-Titled – CDR Edition of 50 (2006)
OCTO-005: Jealous – Self-Titled – CDR EP Edition of 50 (2006)
OCTO-006: Various Artists – Posters Project – CDR Edition of 150 (2006)
OCTO-007: KNVZ – Self-Titled – CDR Edition of 100 (2006)
OCTO-008: Vile Blue Shades – CDR Edition of 50 (2006)
OCTO-009: Blackhole – Self-Titled – CD Edition of 1000 (2007)
OCTO-010: Morrison/Bury/Smith – The Blue Door – CDR Edition of 25 (2007)
OCTO-011: Kqwiet – Sleep – CDR Edition of 25 (2007)
OCTO-012: Various Artist – S.L.C. RULES – CD Edition of 1000 (2007)
OCTO-013: Wolfs – Death Themes – CDR Edition of 187 (2007)
OCTO-014: Wolfs – Awful Offal – CDR EP Edition of 100 (2007)
OCTO-015: Vile Blue Shades – Triple Threat! – CD Edition of 1000 (2007)
OCTO-016: Ketamine Kurtainz – Self-Titled – CDR EP Edition of 50 (2007)
OCTO-017: Various Artists – SLUG Mag Presents: Death by Salt III – 12” Vinyl LP Edition of 1000 (2007)
OCTO-018: Pink Lightnin’ – Self-Titled – CDR Edition of 200 (2008)
OCTO-019: Mystified – Major Fog – CDR Edition of 100 (2008)
OCTO-020: Eyes and Ears – Howl at the Moon/Slave Wage – 7” Vinyl Record Edition of 250 (2008)