Since 1999 Heela Naqshband has been bringing punk rock to your record collection. She is the co-owner of indie punk label GC Records, with her husband, Shahab based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Geykido Comet Records, or GC Records for short, launched officially in January 1999 with the release of the Intro5pect debut 7-inch vinyl record, and they haven’t looked back since. They accept demos (find the address on their website), are running a distro and still releasing new talent.
When Heela isn’t working to release more music, she’s reading, traveling (hopefully again soon), playing Animal Crossing “…why is it so cute?!“, and spending time with her awesome teenage daughters.
How did you get into your industry / What motivated you to get into it?
I’ve always been a big fan of music and loved going to shows. In college I began dating my husband just as he was starting GC Records, his way of sharing music created by his friends and other bands he was a fan of. I helped stuff the very first release, a 7″ record by an electro-punk band from Southern California called Intro5pect and have been involved ever since.
What is a day in the life like?
It definitely varies. In the early days, much of our time was spent dropping off or sending physical records and CDs to record stores and distros, working on promotions (one-sheets), and mailing out orders. Over the years, our time consisted of going to shows, promoting bands, and working on releasing both physical and digital albums. Coming out of this pandemic lockdown, we’re starting to focus again on new releases and shows. And yes, we still have people ordering physical items that we have to package and mail, even though much of our stuff is available digitally.
In your opinion what has been your favorite / the coolest thing you’ve worked on?
One of my favorite projects was the GC Records 20th Anniversary LP. It was a multi-stage process accomplished through the dedication and talent of many. First we set up an all-day festival in June 2019 featuring several acts on our label, local and from out of state. Their sets were recorded so we could select songs to be featured on our anniversary album. People who preordered the record got a cool tote bag filled with some of our releases from throughout the years. We then worked for several months on picking songs, editing, album artwork, creating a zine insert, etc. When the vinyl came back, we had a record stuffing party at our house to get ready for the record release show in early February 2020. Thank God this was just before the pandemic hit. The timing couldn’t have been better, and we cherish getting to celebrate with friends that one last time before everything shut down.
What has been / is the most difficult part of your job?
When we first starting releasing vinyl in the late 90s/early 2000s, it was relatively cheap and turnaround was not too long. Now that vinyl is so in demand, both the cost and production time have drastically increased. Our 20th anniversary LP took nearly 6 months to get back from the plant.
What advice do you have for someone wanting to get into pursuing what you’re doing?
Go into this for the love of music, not the love of money! Getting to meet and work with cool bands and artists and helping share their music is a much more attainable and rewarding goal for anyone wanting to start an indie label.
Are you a vinyl collector yourself? What drew you to it?
I grew up with cassette tapes and CDs. I didn’t collect vinyl until I was an adult, and now my family has a fairly decent and diverse collection with 600+ records. There’s a shop in Vegas called 11th Street Records that we love to support, and with my day job as a librarian, sometimes I buy old records that have been donated.
What types of things are happening in your industry / with vinyl that you’re excited or worried about?
I love that vinyl is getting more popular again, but with that comes increased costs and production times.
During this time we’re currently in, what message do you have for music and vinyl fans? How can we support you, the industry?
Keep buying vinyl and supporting independent labels and record shops, even if it costs a little more. Add all of your favorite indie artists to your Spotify playlists and use them in videos you share online (Instagram, TikTok) to help them get heard more.
Anything else you want to share?
Thanks so much for checking out GC Records! Our next album is going to be totally different from what we’ve done before and will feature the scores of two short films on 180 gram color vinyl and art by this cool Italian artist named Alessandro Pautasso (@kaneda99).
GC Records: @gcrecordslv