“Barf Wave” started as a name for Eric Vaughn Eisenman’s band, Loafers, to book shows under.
“Everything we do starts off as a joke; then it gets serious,” he says.
He and his bandmates began to toss around the idea of a record label in 2015, when they released a split EP with pop-punk group Teenage Sexx.
“When we went to put our music on DistroKid, it asked for a label, and we didn’t have a label. So we just used Barf Wave," Eisenman says. "Then we just kind of jokingly said that we were a label.”
The project took a turn for the serious when North Texas nerd rock group Poison Culture approached Barf Wave about releasing its album Perdido Para Siempre through the label. Sub-Sahara’s first dance-punk release, The Servant EP, quickly followed.
Barf Wave puts out its releases on CD and has plans to start making band shirts soon.
“We’ve got three releases scheduled in the next few months,” Eisenman says. “We’re doing the Delzells, Springtime and the Changes, and this really cool band from Fayettville [Arkansas] called the Phlegms that we met when Loafers were on tour.”
A little over a year into its existence, Barf Wave has eight bands on its label and intends “to shoot for more local bands,” Eisenman says. “We kind of stay in the more garage rock-ish realm, but we like so much stuff.”
“Yeah. As long as two or three people from the record label like it, we’ll put it out,” adds Taylor Smith, Loafers bandmate and Barf Wave co-founder.
To promote the label, Barf Wave has begun hosting a monthly event, Barf Wave Plays the Hits, at The Nines on the last “Whiskey Wednesday” of every month.
Once again, the idea started as a joke. Eisenman made an offhand comment to The Nines’ bar manager, Corey Howe, about deejaying a set, and Howe took him seriously.
“Corey was like, OK,” Eisenman explains. “At first I thought just me and Taylor would do it, but then we came up with [the] idea of just getting all of our friends to do it to get more hands-on promotion.”
At the inaugural event in December, Kevin Adkins and Charlie DeBolt from Teenage Sexx, Savannah Loftin from Loafers, Kate Siamro from Spinster Records, Alex Mitchell from Party Static and Logan Kelson from Talkie Walkie took turns spinning their favorites behind the DJ booth.
“Everybody kept asking me what kind of music they should play,” Eisenman says. “I told them that if you feel comfortable playing ‘Barbie Girl’ followed by Nine Inch Nails, go for it.”
Soon, Barf Wave Plays the Hits will add live bands affiliated with the label to its lineups. Ultimately, the hope is to alternate between DJ sets and bands.
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“We were just going to do DJ sets all night, but then we thought we should have a live band, too, because really, we’re not that into DJs," Smith says with a laugh.
This month, Barf Wave artists the Delzells — who just released a new single, "Heavy Drapes" — will cap off the Wednesday evening festivities.
“We definitely want to get Barf Wave some exposure,” Eisenman says. "There are punk labels in Dallas, but nobody’s putting out Loafers or Sealion. I want us to fill that void.”
Barf Wave Plays the Hits, 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, The Nines, 2911 Main St., free, see Facebook.