Chris Burden, Music Website
💭 Thoughts on third-wave coffee, touring with Beach Fossils, and folks who consistently deliver incredible art.
Thought Enthusiast is an AdHoc Project where we chat with fascinating thought leaders across various facets of music, tech, and culture whose work we admire, simply asking “what’s on your mind?” and “why do you care?” 💭
Chris Burden is an artist manager, creative, and the co-founder of the NYC-based label Music Website—a new label specializing in underground electronic-alternative music. He has over a decade of experience working in the music industry across various disciplines. He was the marketing director at Knitting Factory Entertainment, managed George Clanton, tour managed Beach Fossils, served as the label manager at 100% Electronica, and helped organize ElectroniCON 1-3. He studied Music Industry, Music, and Graphic Design at James Madison University, and Digital Design at Pratt Institute. Outside of music, he enjoys snowboarding, skateboarding, and photography.
🎯 Current focus
My partner and Music Website co-founder, Vitesse X, has two new albums she's working on that are coming out within the next year or so (you heard it here first). So, most of my focus at the moment is spent planning out the campaign, schedule, and helping on the creative, etc. The first one is very indie/bedroom/dream pop + guitar-focused, in a similar vein to her most popular song "Us Ephemeral" (VICE listed it as #1 on their best songs of 2022 list last year). The other one is an expansive experimental-electronic concept album. Both albums resonate with me deeply because we're best friends and have a lot of the same influences. I'm excited to be collaborating with her on her best and most ambitious work yet, and releasing it on the label we started together.
🙂 I <3 Music Website
Vitesse X and I started Music Website earlier this year. I get to work with incredible artists every day. I can't wait to see where it goes. Stay tuned for new music from Swordes, Tapeworms, DV-i, Couch Prints, VAPERROR, Vitesse X, Null Object, The Life, and xJermsx in 2024.
🎶 The Beatles “Now and Then”
The Beatles are my favorite band. They really set the template for how we consume and experience music. In 1995, Paul, George, and Ringo recorded their parts over a John Lennon cassette demo for a handful of reunion tracks. "Now and Then" was shelved due to poor recording quality. Recently, they circled back to the track and used the same Machine Assisted Learning AI tech that Peter Jackson used to restore the audio in the "Get Back" movie. I got choked up watching the music video when it dropped. It's really cool to see these dudes still making #1 hits, spreading peace and love in 2023.
🚐 Touring with Beach Fossils
I had the pleasure of driving and tour managing my friends Beach Fossils around the country for a few years. Touring is not always the most fun—long drives, running on little sleep, eating fast food, being away from family, etc.—but Beach Fossils tours are some of the most enjoyable times I've ever had and I really admire them. If you follow them on IG stories, it's like that, but 24/7. They set a great example of spreading positivity, acceptance, working hard on your craft, and doing what you love with like-minded people. They inspired me to really go for it, challenge myself, and helped set me on this path. Peace and love to Beach Fossils.
🎁 Taking time to reflect during the holidays
I'm really looking forward to the holidays. The music industry goes quiet from mid December through the beginning of January. For me, it's a great time to reflect and come back fresh with new ideas for the new year.
🔎 Pinterest as a very slept-on social media & image search engine
I've been doing a lot of creative direction this year. I was just talking with my friend Valerie, AKA DV-i, earlier this week about escaping the social media noise and using Pinterest and Tumblr for creative inspiration. She told me about Cari, which is an index of aesthetic references and a total gem. Those platforms are like old IG back when it was more aesthetically driven. I highly recommend it if you miss custom CSS coding your Myspace or aesthetic Instagram.
🧚 Consistently delivering incredible art
In a world saturated with content and overstimulation, I find myself tuning out to a lot of stuff. I think, at its core, art needs to provide value by delivering incredible experiences with authenticity and unfiltered connection. Whatever you are pushing really just needs to be truly unique, needs to fill a cultural void, and at the same time, play a part in the larger conversation of music. I love it when an artist builds a universe around what they are doing, and every piece of content plays a part in a larger story. It's also important to have a strong sense of branding, visual identity, and consistency. I loved Yeule’s rollout for softscars (one of my faves of 2023). They consistently deliver incredible art, each channel is curated masterfully, and they treat every piece of content with a high sense of purpose.
I hate being so dependent on it and I’ve tried quitting, but coffee is an integral part of my daily routine. I get caffeine headaches if I don’t have it first thing when I wake up. My vibe is way different and I’m way less productive. I’ve gotten to the point on tour where I bring a travel kit with a coffee grinder, an aeropress and an electric kettle that has a car adapter because a lot of places aren’t on the boujee coffee tip yet.
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