I guess We’re Trying Records started when I was living in Omaha, NE in 2013. At the time, I was finishing up college and interning at a music non-profit called Hear Nebraska – which dedicated it’s time to supporting the local music scene through journalism, video, and events. I was primarily responsible for working shows and eventually booking/running events.
After graduating in 2014,, I was brought on part-time and began interning at several labels around the area – Sower Records (digital marketing), Silver Street Records (licensing), and Make Believe Recordings (publicity) – and held down another part-time job. Throughout the year, I started to become restless and wanted to give my own project a shot. So, I started asking each of my supervisors questions about the business and what it took to run a label. That summer, I set up the label by reaching out to bands and working on my brand, and launched the label when I moved to Austin, TX that fall of 2015.
During the year in Texas, I worked to become part of the scene by meeting and collaborating with different bands and people. We hosted a event at the University of Texas-Austin and a series of shows throughout that summer. Eventually, I heard from back from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA and moved there to get my masters in Entertainment Industry Management in the fall of 2016.
I approached my only year in Pittsburgh the same as when I moved to Austin. I worked to meet people and continued to release music and host events. During the Spring of 2017, WTR hosted their first House Fest (Omaha, NE) – 30 bands in 2 nights – and first SXSW showcase.
In the summer of 2017, I continued the label as I moved to LA to finish up school. Throughout the year, I interned at several labels and attended class on the weekends, while continuing to grow the label. We hosted our first show in LA, and continued with our second House Fest and SXSW showcase. I completed my schooling in May of 2018.
I feel like I wrote a lot and feel weird about telling my personal story as it related to WTR. I think what I want people to understand is how powerful the DIY spirit is, and how important it is to build relationships, collaborate with others, and treat people well. The label and my personal goals would not have been achievable without the friends I made over the years.
Favorite Record Store
Almost Music (Omaha, NE)
Lefty’s (Lincoln, NE)
Waterloo Records (Austin, TX)
Breakaway Records (Austin, TX)
Favorite Concert Venue
Lucy’s Pub (Omaha, NE)
Emerald House (Los Angeles, CA)
The Mohawk (Austin, TX)
The Mr. Roboto Project (Pittsburgh, PA)
Soundtrack Of Your Life
Jordan Hiebner / We’re Trying Records
Operated out of Austin, Texas — via Omaha, Nebraska — We’re Trying Records is a DIT record label. We work with our roster to provide them with any support we can. This goes beyond releasing albums and into giving our artists the creative freedom to produce what they’re passionate about. We freakin’ love doing this.