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Inspiring Conversations with Mickey Darius of Broken Clover Records

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mickey Darius.

Hi Mickey, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself. Maybe tell us where things began and how you go to where you’re at today.
There are myriad things that I could point to, as far as how my story started and how I got to where I’m at today. There are so many jump-off and turning points, but for the sake of space and relevance, I’d say a good answer for both questions is when I stopped drinking. It was at that point that I felt like I got to start again and it was through that opportunity that I got to where I’m at now. I am not trying to get preachy…I am all for drinking and getting your party on. It just stopped working for me….and then it took a few more years for me to turn around and really see the flames & rubble behind me. That was when I was 40. Prior to that, there was a lot. A lot of drinking and a lot of music and a lot of shows and a lot of escape and a lot of skateboarding and a lot of anger and a lot of fun and a lot of shame and a lot of beauty and a lot of pain.

Since I made that change, in some ways it seems not much has changed, except that there’s no drinking and there’s A LOT more remembering of all the other stuff (which is not always awesome). It was certainly a turning point though, as health and ambition and self-care and outward love and all of that magically started to emerge too.

As a side thing, it was also an alcoholism counselor that convinced me to start a record label. I have likely gotten there anyhow…but also maybe not.

We’ve been impressed with Broken Clover Records, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others and what you take pride in?
Learning to be patient (or at least slightly more so than I was previously) has probably been my biggest lesson. On top of the label, I also run a booking agency (Ivy Agency) and it’s been a very trying 19 months for folks making their living from music. I mean, it’s been hard as hell for everyone, but our industry has faced a bit of a unique challenge. There have been a few shining moments, but the path has largely been beset by hurdles and rarely have things just gone right. I don’t mean to sound too “poor me”. I say all this to really hammer home that patience was key. I needed to feel like while it might not be OK today…or tomorrow…or even for a while longer, things are gonna turn around. The patience to breathe deep through the thunder, knowing that sunnier days are ahead.

Beyond patience, I am also continually reminded of the importance of kindness and compassion (which are tied to patience). Everyone is going through it and life is hard right now. Really fucking hard. That said, it’s at the times when I am most at the end of my rope that I am best served by taking a beat and cooling my jets and leaning in to kindness/patience.

We’re always looking for the lessons that can be learned in any situation, including tragic ones like the Covid-19 crisis. Are there any lessons you’ve learned that you can share?
Two big lessons…

1) Patience

I also run a booking agency (Ivy Agency) and it’s been a very trying 19 months for folks making their living from music. I mean, it’s been hard as hell for everyone, but our industry has faced a bit of a unique challenge. There have been a few shining moments, but the path has largely been beset by hurdles and rarely have things just gone right. I don’t mean to sound too “poor me”. I say all this to really hammer home that patience was key. I needed to feel like while it might not be OK today…or tomorrow…or even for a while longer, things are gonna turn around. The patience to breathe deep through the thunder, knowing that sunnier days are ahead.

Fer chrissake… I sound like a Hallmark card.

2) The value of knowing who your people are. Who really shares your ideals and worldview. Who really has your back. Those people.

3) The day after I submitted these answers to Voyage LA, I received notice that Broken Clover Records was voted best record label in the Bay Area (48 Hills / San Francisco Bay Guardian).  Between my love for The Bay and my love for music, I’m not sure who comes out ahead, so this means a great deal to me and I’m giddy as all hell.  It means we’re doing it right…and that we’ll continue to do everything we can to keep moving full steam ahead.

Pricing:

  • We try to keep our records as inexpensive as possible. We haven’t quite broken under $20, but we’re close.

Contact Info:


Image Credits:

Photo of Danielle De Picciotto by Sylvia Steinhaeuser photo of Cindy Emch by Michele Kappel

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