Throwback Thursday

Today’s throwback thursday is our first ever press on our little label.  This was featured in the Lethbridge Herald in December, 2008. The full text is included below.


Norwegian Blue looks to tap into local talent
Richard Amery
Though fledgling Lethbridge record company Norwegian Blue is
named after Monty Python’s classic dead parrot sketch, there is
no joking about their motive.
“There’s a lot of talent in this town. So we wanted to see it got
appreciated and make a community of the arts,” said Tyson Wiebe, who
formed the new label earlier this year with Quint Viskup, Dino Scavo and
Aaron Bay.They are having a big kickoff bash to release their new compilation
featuring a variety of Lethbridge bands Wednesday at the Slice.
“Lots of people play but they don’t know each other,” Wiebe continued,
adding a major reason the label formed was to release Planet Telex’s CD.
Wiebe’s band also includes Viskup as well as Clayton Smith and Paul

“Having a label to introduce people to each other also helps keep them
organized and motivated,” Viskup added, emphasizing Norwegian Blue
won’t act as an agent for bands but will put them in contact with venues
and concert promoters. The members bring a lot of different skill sets to
the table. Viskup brings a business and recording background. Bay also
has a recording background, Scavo has a musical arrangement
background and Wiebe has a lot of music contacts and hopes other
bands can learn from some of his mistakes.

“The biggest thing is to promote all of the talent in Lethbridge. That’s
the goal,” Viskup said.

Bands on the label include Planet Telex, Cicala, Cranbrook singersongwriter
Jamie Martindale and negotiations are underway with
Treeline, Sandwich and Shawna Romolliwa. Services Norwegian Blue offers are Viskup’s studio plus Bay works as an engineer at Ever Dawn Studio in Magrath.

“And because we all play, if you’re a singer-songwriter, then you have
an instant band,” Viskup added, emphasizing the label is modelled on
Internet site, which offers access to printing, distribution
companies and other resources for musicians.

“We have a lot of talented individuals who are willing to help you in
your recording career,” Viskup said, adding any of the company’s services
like engineering, recording or session players can be hired on a contract
basis. No money goes directly to Norwegian Blue, though that is a goal
further down the line. For now, the indie label can act as a stepping stone
for musicians looking at a major label recording contract.

“(When calling major labels) It’s easier to say ‘this is Norwegian Blue
Records calling on behalf of so-and-so,'” said Wiebe, who has to juggle
Norwegian Blue with school, three jobs and six bands.
“It’s nice to say this is something I’m part of,” Wiebe said.

“It’s more about creating a community out of a scene. There’s nothing
saying Lethbridge can’t be the next Vancouver or Calgary. We certainly
have enough talent,” he continued.

A rebirth of sorts

In 2007, myself and a trio of talented friends decided that we wanted to make a record label. We were tired of everyone in our tiny town of Lethbridge, AB. not getting their chance to be heard. We decided that we should make a label and record all the local bands that wanted to. However, this really get much farther than a few talks fueled by whatever alcohol was closest to hand on that particular night. To have a label you need to have money up front, something we sorely lacked.

The record label idea fizzled out as these things do. We did have a bit of press, and released the Planet Telex CD with the Norwegian Blue label on the back, but that’s about as far as it went. As the years flew past, we saw our other contemporaries, Paul Lawton and his Mammoth Cave Label and Jesse Northey with his Esper Records label, succeed where we were afraid to even try. Their achievements have served as both an inspiration and a call-to-arms. We are going to take a run at this label thing once again!

Our first releases will be coming this Fall. We are excited to share the music that we believe needs to be heard.




El Presidente

Tyson Wiebe