Sunset Alliance (1999-2014+)
“Of the bands, by the bands.” That was the idea behind Sunset Alliance since our inception in Arizona, 1999. We were an alliance of Arizona artists who took pride in the fact that the label was made from the blood, sweat, and tears of volunteers and the bands that shared the imprint. Arizona has a wealth of resources and our primary focus was to utilize them as well as contribute to them. By our efforts and the interest of our local brothers and sisters, the label quickly grew.
While Sunset Alliance was in its infancy, David Jensen was building an alliance of his own with his 2-year investment into Not One Light Red: A Modified Document. With contributions by Scott Tennent, this compilation of local bands & artists in support of the historic art and performance space, Modified Arts (founded by the cherished, Kimber Lanning), in downtown Phoenix, was made complete. Ready to launch his own label called Aireshire Drive, Jensen received an offer to jointly release the compilation, and co-operate Sunset Alliance. Jensen deliberated for about .01 seconds, before accepting the offer. Later in 2000, he took over the reigns from Steve Lefever who had altruistically served the label in every imaginable capacity. Steve worked behind the scenes to complete his releases: Last Day Parade, The Necronauts, The Manhattan Project, and Signsedso.
In an attempt to build a local utopia, Sunset Alliance factored in the local artistic landscape with every decision we made. Great strides were taken as the catalog continued to swell and the successes and accolades were garnered. This effort also came in form of a Mesa (“480-area-core”) collective that led to the production of a compilation titled Americopa Mantle, Volume I. The way the local music community came together for this compilation and its artists was a real achievement and defining moment for our scene and greater attention and opportunities started to come to the desert. Those opportunities spread with the release of Not One Light Red: A Desert Extended; a compilation that paired local artists with internationally known indie rock outfits. This compilation marked the first release for The Format (later Fun.) and first American release for Kristopher Astrom (Fireside) and other notables.
Divisions throughout the local music scene took some of the wind out of our sails, but our stubbornness kept us positive. We saw the fissures that cracked our camaraderie as evidence that Phoenix was on the national map as a legitimate music scene. The byproduct of competition was inevitable to bide for the attention of the music lovers, as more and more creative options made their way in throughout Arizona. Over the years, and with continued blood, sweat, and cheers, our catalog has continued to shine on with proud releases. Some local labels have unfortunately sunk, but somehow this Sunset Alliance remains afloat.
It takes more than friendships and loyalties to keep a label running. It takes more than money and contacts. It takes more than desire and even ideas to continue the voyage. Through the storms, some mates have turned to wreck-wishers and assailants. Some have just gracefully retired. And some still help steer through the waves.
Thanks to all the invaluable shipmates, deckhands & contributors. Thanks to those allies who have added enough wind to the sails to keep us moving. Thanks to selfless leaders like Kimber Lanning, Leslie Barton and Scott Tennent and enduring stalwarts like Landon Magnusson, Drex & McKane Davis and Chuckie Duff. Thanks to Arizona and our foreign friends who progressively grow in numbers and support. Thanks to all allies. Your messages, contributions, and encouragement are great blessings. After all these years, Sunset Alliance stays afloat because of you and our commitmented motto to, “Commit, explore, discover, build.” Cheers!
Do you want to make a Contribution? Paypal: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our bandcamp page