Moriah Berger, founder ofIn Transit Records, a record label and music blog that she started a year ago this August, chatted with us about when her interest in music started, how she got involved with NYC band, The Britanys, and how she's gearing up to release her first vinyl this fall, Transmission.
POND: When did your interest in music begin?
MORIAH: Since I was really little. I used to play piano, but I had to do this recital in this huge auditorium and I was supposed to play a song from Beauty and the Beast. I completely messed up and walked away crying. I refused to ever play again haha. I think I’m much better as a listener than a player.I really fell in love with music though when I heard Someday by The Strokes. I shared an iTunes library with my older sister and was just browsing through her music one day. I remember thinking this is the best fucking song in the world. I still think it is.
POND: How did you go about connecting all of these artists to produce a collaborative record?
MORIAH: I would find bands I liked to feature on my website and have been building relationships with them since. I have very specific music taste too, so that definitely makes the album cohesive, even though the artists are from all over the world. I ordered the tracks in a specific way that sort of builds up from slow garage-y to very punk then back down to the slower stuff.
POND: What was the first vinyl you bought?
MORIAH: I bought my first vinyl not that long ago actually. I think it was three years ago, when I was living in London. There was this outdoor market near my flat and I bought Velvet Underground’s Loaded for 5 pounds. I didn’t even have a record player at the time hah.
Vinyl is something that I have recently seen a lot of importance in, especially now. With the internet, songs can be obtained and deleted with a swipe of the mouse (most people don’t even bother owning it anymore) and artwork is basically the size of a thumbprint. I think this is devaluing music, you know. Everyone loves music, but no ones wants to pay for it anymore. People don’t even listen to full albums either; they just want the singles. I don’t really get that.
Vinyl is cool because it forces you to listen to an album in its entirety. You can also actually see the art, and you get to understand and experience the body of music the way the artist intends you to experience it.
POND: What made you interested in becoming a manager?
MORIAH: Management wasn’t something I really pursued. I’m more interested in A&R which is basically talent scouting, but I guess there is an aspect of that in management.I like working directly with artists. Since I moved to New York, I’ve met so many cool, creative, talented people. It’s an amazing atmosphere to be in and it’s really inspiring. A lot of my friends send me their demos to listen to, and I think that’s one of the coolest things. I love being a part of the process from the very beginning. I can’t play anything and I don’t make music, but I can tell what’s good and what’s not.
POND: Tell us about the band(s) you manage.
MORIAH: I officially manage one band—The Britanys, and they are the best. It happened pretty organically. I was interning at a label and I was introduced to The Britanys through a mutual friend. This was about two years ago, and I’ve been helping them out since. We made things official last Fall. It’s definitely a group effort; we are just trying to figure everything out together.They are the coolest guys, we’ve all become good friends.I also unofficially have been helping out about 3 or 4 other bands with some press, booking, and consulting type things.
Moriah with The Britanys
POND: What are you listening to right now?
MORIAH: I’ve been obsessed with the entire Denmark music scene lately. Several Things, Less Win, Tears, and Lust For Youth are all really good. The Communions latest self-titled EP is super sick too.
POND: What's your favorite venue to see a show at?
MORIAH: I like Baby’s All Right a lot. You can see both new and established bands there. It’s a cool space and they have bottomless brunch on the weekends. What’s not to like?
POND: If you could make a vinyl with any bands in the world, who would be on it?
MORIAH: Strokes, Libertines, Palma Violets, Joy Division, Youth Lagoon, Communions, Twin Peaks, Lou Reed, Daniel Johnston, The Smiths, and Foxygen
POND: What are your future goals for In Transit?
MORIAH: Down the line I want to start signing artists. I think it would be cool to have a venue too. In Transit Presents… I like how that sounds!