Night School Records is an independent, DIY label run by Michael Kasparis (the Lowest Form, Please and Apostille). Label artists include Bomber Jackets, Divorce, Golden Grrrls, Group Rhoda, Julia Holter, the Rebel, Terror Bird and Yong Yong.

I met with Kasparis on a snowy Brick Lane, to talk more about the label.

I ask him how it got started: "I got this idea in my head but I didn't have any money... I basically sold a bunch of my own records to get enough for the first release. The first time I didn't make enough for the second... but since then I've been able to make enough back for the [following] ones."

The current label roster is drawn from all over; there's artists from London, Glasgow, San Francisco, California, Vancouver and Lisbon. Kasparis says that if he likes an artist he'll usually contact them through Facebook or email. And then, he tells me, "if they're nice they'll get back to you." It's not so daunting... "when you meet icons... you find they're just like you but older!"

The physical copies of the Night School records' both look and feel great. Kasparis screenprints all of the artwork himself, something he'd never done before he started in 2011. Sleeve-making skills were learned on the job. He says he got a bit stuck when it came to sealing "... we literally had no idea what we were doing!" He enquires if my Bomber Jackets record sleeve was a bit wonky.

The bands themselves are also "pretty DIY" when it comes to record making, which can "sometimes be a dangerous business," he jokes. As Kasparis recalls, "with the Divorce record they had just a few days to cut 1000 [copies]." A few sharp- edged accidents later and some of the records ended up a little blood-tinged.

Inside the record sleeves there are handwritten and typed lyrics, stamps, small pictures and lots of little things to look at as you listen. All of the download codes come with a repeated Night School logo, a black line drawing of an open book. Kasparis tells me it was designed by a member of Yong Yong. "It's kind of a branding thing, though I try and have lots of little things..." The website's logo was designed by Kasparis when he was "just messing around with some paint."

I'd noticed that 'Night School' was written in a few different ways all over the internet. I ask if there's meant to be a space in between the words. Yes, is the short answer, but he doesn't mind so much. "There's loads of labels with really strong identities who really care about branding: smaller versions of the capitalist model. I'm not that fussed about what people think about the label. I always think it should be about the artists."

This mentality accounts for the label's variety, and Kasparis adds, "I would never say, 'I really love that but I don't do that type of music.'" I ask him which labels he prefers and he recommends ESP ("pretty much the blueprint for all independent labels"), Goaty Tapes and Night-People.

Night School uses an independent distributor to circulate the records; people who love the records as much as him. On the decision to use a distributor, he says: "I want loads of people to hear [the records]. I could phone up twenty shops around the world but when you have a distributor [they] are able to get in more places."

As a one man outfit he's relieved when he hears the reactions coming from a record release: "the bands are not outside the system, out of promotion, but sometimes it's like, am I the only person who gets this?... and then when you put it out and people like it, I'm like, I'm not fucking mad!"

He'd love to press more of each record - especially when the records sell out - but as a small label, it's a risk. Plus there's that added problem of physical space "I can't press 1000, my room would be like...!"

Most of the Night School artists can be found on Spotify. He says the exposure is useful, "the only people who really worry about [Spotify] is people like Lady Gaga" adding, "if you're like me, you like so much more than you like to buy."

I ask him if he is responsible for some of the very decorative Last.fm descriptions of the Night School bands. (Last.fm users will attest to some of the more creative and obscure artist descriptions). "Sometimes, yes." He laughs, remembering... "Someone, I don't know who wrote it - the Lowest Forms' artist picture is of our singer's dog, he's got his little tongue sticking out - and all it says is, 'Some Secret Squirrel shit going on here...'"

Night School has up to 9 releases planned for 2013 and there's more artist tours on the way; Golden Grrrls will be touring the UK extensively. A label showcase party with Upset the Rhythm will be held at The Yard in Hackney Wick on February 16th, where Apostille, Bomber Jackets and Golden Grrrls will be playing.


You can visit the label by heading to nightschoolrecords.com