We had the good fortune of connecting with Mickey Darius and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Mickey, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I chose this question, as it encapsulates what I would have written in response to a few of the questions you posed (re: what we do for social impact, whether to give up vs. keep going, taking risks, and what makes me happy). I’d say that the most important factor behind our success (if you’d call what we’ve achieved up to now success) is that the mission has been kept simple…we make records and give a shit about people. Everything that happens with/for/through BCR has that stuff in mind and if there’s a project or campaign on the table, it’s not difficult to decide if it’s the right thing for us…does this project help make records and/or does it help sell records and/or does it do something to benefit the community (immediate or far-reaching). Literally anyone with a few bucks can press vinyl and call what they do running a label. It’s vitally important to me, and I believe it’s a fundamental piece of why I’ve been around these few years, that we not only put out the good shit (which I’d say we do pretty damn well), but also stick out our hand to hold/lift up those that need it. It feels like a factor in our success, but also something of a responsibility.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I am torn, as there are 2 things that I see as related. 1) How I treat/pay artists.
2) The biannual Giving Back campaign

1) In most scenarios, the artists are the last to get paid, even though they are the ones at the very start of the chain…without them, there’s no content…no labels…no streaming…nada. This is insane. I pay the artists on the front end (as soon as the records show up) for everything they would earn, if all the records sell. They did their part, so should not be held hostage, waiting for the label to do the selling part. We are quite literally putting food on our artists tables and paying rents…even if we don’t sell a single copy…and this means a lot to me.

2) On top of making sure that money gets to the artists, I also run a biannual campaign, where I donate the entirety of the label’s portion of profits for February and August. We’ve donated to organizations from Berlin to Madrid to Brooklyn to San Francisco. This means a great deal to me, to not only be contributing member of the international music community, but also part of the global collective of folks who see inequity, give a damn and do something about it.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Are we talking olden (pre-COVID) times, or a visit to our current plague-torn city?

Current: Put on a mask, find an area that’s not heavily populated and do your best to enjoy. I have really been playing it conservatively these past months, so don’t really have much current stuff.

Pre-COVID: On way back from picking up @ SFO, we’d stop at Thee Parkside and grab a bite + maybe a happy hour band. That night would be smoking a joint in Alamo Sq. Park and listening to the wind blow through the trees in the center of the park.
Next day would be bikes to beach, stopping at The Pizza Place & Noise Records on way home for a delish pie and some wax. I’d likely cook at home that night.
The next night would be the big one…SF’s crowning glory (my favorite restaurant in the city)…Blue Plate. Between the food, the setting and the loving personalities of JT, Cory and Shannon, there is no place I’d rather sit & eat than there. Just after, we would pop over to Secession Art & Design, as it’s right across the street and Eden Stein is one of the kindest and most dedicated gallery owners in the game.
Day after that would be a Haight St. adventure. We’d start in Lower Haight, grabbing coffee and a bagel @ Cafe International. After, we’d roll over to the Super Sugar RayRay/Vinyl Dreams compound, to do more record shopping + say hi to Mike Bee (owner of Vinyl Dreams) and Ray Ray Riggins (owner/designer of Super Sugar RayRay). If hungry again, for the carnivores, we’d pop across the street to Memphis Minnies (get the Southern Star and add/dip in to the vinegar bbq sauce….the yellow/orange one). If veggie, we’d hit Love ‘N’ Haight (RIP) for the smoked duck sando (it was fake meat). After lower haight, we’d head up the hill, towards upper haight. Once up the hill, we’re rewarded with Amoeba Records (ask for Jacob Peña…he’s like an encylopedia for music stuff and will steer you in the right direction of anything you’re looking for…or didn’t know you needed.). If/when hungry again, we’d either hit Citrus Club for some amazing noodle love, or hit Cha Cha Cha for the shrimp, spinach salad and ceviche. Their sangria is also off the chain, but for everybody’s health, I steer clear of that stuff now. All this is followed by a quick post-meal walk in GG Park, right off of Stanyon and then listening to new records @ home.
Day 4 would see more coast cruisin’….ride bikes to ferry bldg and then along water to Chrissy Field and GG Bridge. Would make a point to get a pic at the Vertigo area of the bridge (where Hitchcock filmed the famous scene) and then loop back, as we’re starting to get peckish. Would branch in to the city, making our way to Columbus St, for panna cotta and espresso from Stellas. Might call up internationally acclaimed artist and gang boss (SPB), Jeremy Fish, to join us, as he’s a good pal and also pretty much the mayor of North Beach.
{I can go on and on….stopping here, but let me know if you want more on this.} Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?

Nothing I have done (ever) got done all on my own and I owe a debt of gratitude to so many. A few come to mind though…

Terrence Blank: Terrence was my state-appointed counselor, as I was going through some very dark alcohol-related stuff. He actually help me quit drinking and was the first person who seriously suggested I get in to running a label.

Marc Barrite: I have been making music and throwing events and talking shit with this internationally renowned artist (goes by Dave Aju) for almost 25 years. His approach to people and music inspires me like no other.

Mary Goree: We met when I worked at Great American Music Hall and she was my manager. She has since become friend, confidant, consultant, colleague…and not slacking in any of these areas. She’s been critical when I needed it, but also full of praise and support, when that was what was called for. She’s not necessarily the friend I always want (although she pretty much is), but she’s definitely the friend I always need.

Zachary Blizzard: Zachary was the artists that shaped what the first release and the direction of the label would look like. He also is one of the few people who maybe loves dogs more than me. Dude has not only some of the most amazing tortured songs in his heart, but also the most love and kindness.

Maria Davis: This woman teaches a daily masterclass in forbearance, ambition and keeping the wheels on the track. Not only does she handle being a mom to the world’s best 7 year old (HI ODESSA) with absolute aplomb, but she successfully owns/runs a venue (The Stud), a bar (St. Mary’s Pub) and her own bloody mary mix business (Three Sisters) AND somehow finds the time to be a caring, considerate and compassionate partner. How she finds the hours and patience to handle all of this (and handle it all amazingly) is beyond me.

Mom: While my mother and I recently encountered a massive test of our relationship, at no point have I ever lost sight of who made all of this possible for me. From day 1, the moms has always been there. Navigating a world where the footing frequently feels as reliable as quicksand, it goes without saying that I’d not be here without her support and love.

Bandcamp: https://brokencloverrecords.bandcamp.com/

Website: https://www.brokenclover.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brokencloverrecords

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/brokencloverrecords/

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.