You may not have known this about Sean Bohrman, the guy who co-founded Burger Records, but Sean is a fireman. His typical day begins with him waking up in his record store. He begins answering calls, texts and emails. The store opens at 11, and he is awake putting out those fires until around 4 a.m. He does this everyday and has for many years. Sean Bohrman has a drive that just can’t quit and by the sounds of it, he has no desire to quit. He is thankful for all the support and everything that is happening with Burger these days. And what is exactly happening? A whole lot of really good, like insanely good music is being created and somehow I always see Burger Records is involved. Here is what he had to say on why that is.
A little bio on Sean… Sean co-founded the label, Burger Records, with Lee Rickard in 2007. The label is most known for releasing music on cassettes and their annual Burgerama music festival in California featuring Burger bands. He opened an actual record store in 2009 with co-owner Brian Flores. Before Burger Records, Sean and Lee grew up together and began playing in bands together, most notably their garage-rock band “Thee Makeout Party”. Since then Burger Records has become more of a community for fellow rockers and fans to come together and spread their message. A message that promotes a sense of rebellion, punk-rock, self-ambition, peace and love.
Sorry bands if you are looking for some sort of magic checklist that Sean keeps in his pocket to see if you are Burger material. I asked him what he looks for in a new band and he simply stated, “We just look for stuff we like. If we dig it and we like the people then it’s good. We say yes a lot, that’s our thing.”
He explained to me the difference in Wiener Records and Burger Records. “Wiener Records is a subsidiary of Burger. Anybody can be on Wiener Records and Burger Records is our record label where we curate it with our favorites.” I told him Gymshorts was one of my favorite bands and I noticed they just moved onto the Burger label from being with Wiener Records. When I asked how you get “promoted” from Wiener to Burger he stated, “You just gotta be good and work really hard.”
I asked him if he listened to the music he promotes and what he’s listening to now… “Absolutely! I am listening to Distractor, it’s really good. Thomas Mudrick is another one we just put out that is a really good one.”
When asked if he had any favorite moments from the last few years… “Having Weezer play at Burgerama and Iggy Pop shout us out, I think that may be the coolest thing that has happened to us so far. And the fact that we are still kicking and still around is a miracle unto itself.”
I asked him about BRGRTV on YouTube, and what he thought the future would be for that, seeing that it is constantly evolving… “We are starting to make short documentaries with it now, which is something we have been wanting to do for a long time. But mostly just keeping it updated and expanding is the goal for now.”
Van Halen’s 5150 was Sean Bohrman’s very first tape.
When asked where is your favorite place to watch live music… “I am a hermit. [laughs] I don’t drink, I don’t go to bars and not into crowds, so my preferred place to watch a show is here at the shop so I don’t have to go anywhere.”
I asked him about backing Bernie Sanders in our current presidential election, what encouraged that and why he chose to play a part in politics… “We were talking about it for a long time, we have never gotten political before but we felt like it was time to do something. Also, we have called ourselves a youth movement and we feel that if we are going to call ourselves that, then we have an obligation to move the youth in a positive direction. It’s getting pretty fucked up. He seems like he is our best chance to move in that positive direction.”
I asked him if he ever saw himself getting back on stage… “I’d love to! But I just don’t have the time for practices and shows. I did it for many years and I enjoyed being on stage.”
What do you see happening in the next few years for you and for Burger… “Hopefully being able to move out of the shop, getting a kitchen. I am a workaholic, I have given up my whole personal life basically for Burger. I don’t want to sacrifice or throw away all that we have done. We have had offers from people to buy Burger, but it’s just not something we are interested in. So we are just going to keep on going and keep moving in the same direction we have been.”
And finally, what is Burger to you… “Burger is everything to me, it’s our legacy and what we’ll be remembered for when we’re dead. We’re just trying to cement our place in music history.”
A huge thanks to Sean for having this conversation with me and letting me inside his brain for a minute. He motivates me and it’s exciting to watch all of his and Lee’s hard work come to life. Check them out at their website, Facebook and Twitter for updates.