Jan. 27 2015 05:53 PM

Boston-based label sets up camp locally

Topshelf
Kevin Duquette (left) and Seth Decoteau of Topshelf, shipping merch

Topshelf Records is relocating to San Diego from its former home base of Boston. The independent label, which was founded in 2006 by Seth Decoteau and Kevin Duquette, has released records by bands like Braid, Into It. Over It. and You Blew It! and in the last five years has come to be associated with the "emo revival" wave of young indie-rock bands.

Decoteau and Duquette tell CityBeat that, at this stage in the label's life, there wasn't much tying them to Boston. 

"Last year, we reached a point where we realized we could run the label pretty much anywhere," Decoteau says.

The label's cofounders say they wanted to find inspiration in a new city but weren't interested in going to locales oversaturated with bands or labels, like New York City or Los Angeles. And while they considered a half-dozen other places, San Diego ultimately had more going for it.

"I think there are more personal reasons than professional," Duquette says. "We have some family [in San Diego], some friends, and the weather is a factor, especially compared to Boston. We saw San Diego in a way that we could carve out a niche. It'll be a new opportunity to lay down some roots and get involved with what's happening."

The move is still in progress, though; Decoteau has already relocated, while Duquette will arrive at the end of the month. Moving to San Diego also offers some new opportunities for Topshelf. Decoteau and Duquette say that a lot of their favorite bands have come from San Diego, and they'd like to become better established in the local scene. 

"We've always tried to be as community-oriented as we can be," Decoteau says. "With New York or L.A., there's so much going on, and you're going at it with a ton of other people, that it's hard to really establish yourself.

"The more we looked into it, and the more people we talked to about it, and the support we got, the more it felt like we were making the right choice," he adds. "The response was super positive."

Email jefft@sdcitybeat.com or follow him at @1000TimesJeff

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