Q&A w/Tucker Riggleman (pt. 1)

We wanted to find out more about what's going on with Tucker Riggleman way out in Shepherdstown. For those that don't know, Shepherdstown is basically in Maryland. But whether with The Demon Beat, as a solo performer, or now with his label Big Bullet, Riggleman looks like he stays busy out there. We decided to pick his brain in a special two-part series...

Rockscene: What made you want to start a label?
TR: Living in Shepherdstown and being surrounded by so much musical talent made me want to start a label. There are so many great bands in our area that I believe could greatly benefit from the unity and networking that an independent label offers. Also, I love music and can't imagine having a real job one day that does not revolve around music, so why not start my own label right?

Rockscene: What bands or artists made you want to play music?
TR: When I was younger I was into heavier stuff and eventually went through the typical Nirvana/Green Day phase. Now that I'm older I draw from a lot of different places and types of music. It's actually pretty strange because nobody in my family was a musician, so I guess I just fell in love with music on my own. These days I tend to be inspired by a lot of older country and folk like John Prine, as well as newer alt-country singers like Ryan Adams.

Rockscene: What excatly does your role @ BBR entail?
TR: As manager/president I am pretty much in charge of everything. Being that we are just starting out, there isn't much to do until we can establish our home base and recording studio in July/August. Once we get that all straightened out we can begin a cycle of recording records, pressing and promoting those records, and getting our artists some shows.

Right now what we are doing for artists is almost entirely on the promotional level. We have sent label songs to an area internet radio station, we have established an online presence that keeps people up-to-date on what our artists are doing, and we are helping Greg Loftus promote his album and get shows for his tour.

Along with myself, we also have Leah Seager on board who is in charge of our DVDs and live show footage. We also have Adam Meisterhans from The Demon Beat on board as our recording engineer.

Rockscene: What do you like about the acts involved with BBR?
TR: I think my favorite thing about our artists is that they all believe in what they are doing. Integrity and passion are a big part of what we do and we want our artists to represent that accordingly. When you have musicians who are really passionate about what they are doing the rest will naturally fall in line.

I also love the diversity of our label. We cover so many genres such as rock, folk, alternative, pop, minimalist, and experimental.

Rockscene: Do you know who will be on this BBR Vol. 1 compilation?
TR: As of right now we will be putting one track from every label artist on the compilation, but we also have a couple other possibilities such as using a live track of the West Virginia-renowned one man band J Marinelli playing at a famous Shepherdstown venue from a couple years ago.

We are also planning a DVD compilation that will probably take a little longer to get finished. We have around a year's worth of footage from area bands that we are compiling along with some cool behind the scenes stuff, so be on the look out for that too.

Rockscene: You do a lot of solo shows out there, where are some of your favorite spots? Jumpin' Java?
TR: Yeah, I try to make sure that I don't let my solo material fall to the wayside while I get caught up in label stuff or stuff with The Demon Beat. It's really important for me to have my solo work as a creative outlet. Playing in bands is great, but sometimes we need something entirely our own, and I think Jordan, Adam and I have found a really cool balance between The Demon Beat and our respective solo work.

As for my favorite spots, Java is cool, but I'd have to say that my favorite place is On What Grounds? Coffee Shop in Chambersburg, PA. When I started playing there, the crowd was pretty small, but as I kept playing the crowds have really turned out and people there are really receptive. It's great because there's no stage or anything, so the setting is really intimate between the artist and the audience.

-- In part two we'll talk to Tucker about The Demon Beat, Shepherdstown bands, Whiskey & Waterbeds, and more...

Photo: Sara Chroussis

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