10 - Derrick Johnston from Make That a Take Records

The Curator Podcast – Episode 10: Derrick Johnston from Make that a Take Records

My fascination (or perhaps obsession) with punk rock began when I was 12 years old. I heard ‘Pretty Fly for a White Guy’ by The Offspring on the radio and instantly fell in love. It’s probably a stretch of even the most liberal definition of what punk is to place that song in the category of “punk rock”, but through it I bought Americana, and from that I heard Smash and the rest is, as they say, history.

We find comfort in familiarity. The comfort zone is a very real and often very dangerous thing. How can we expect to grow as people if we never challenge ourselves? How can we expect to overcome stagnation and boredom if we never try new things? Right now I’m in the comfort zone – talking to people with whom I’m reasonably confident that I’ll share common ground with. Punk fans. Punk bands. People who I’m pretty sure had similar eye opening, brain expanding moments to the one I had back when I was 12 years old.

I have a number of interviews lined up which are definitely outside of my comfort zone, and you’ll get to hear those in the coming weeks but for now, I’m sticking to what I know.

My guest today is Derrick from Make That a Take Records. Deeker has been running Make That a Take for almost ten years. The DIY ethos that the label espouses is one that I try to follow in any of my creative endeavours (this one included). This interview reminds me a lot of the one I did with Steven Hill from Struggletown Records, and both labels seem to be cut from the same cloth: this is about passion, and helping people out, creating a supportive community and hopefully making some new friends along the way.

When I started playing live around the Glasgow music scene at the age of about 20, Make that a Take were one of the first punk record labels I’d ever knew of in Scotland. It’s also just occurred to me that they probably started around the same time that I did nine and a bit years ago. Their approach and drive hasn’t changed at all in that time, and hearing Deeker talk about the things he loves is, I hope you’ll find. Inspirational.

Highlights include:
  • Being in a punk band from an early age
  • Coming from a small town and having no other option but to be DIY
  • The genesis of Make that a Take Records
  • Stuck in Summertime and Book Yer Ane Fest.
  • Rubbing up against commercial interest
  • The success of the label
  • DIY gigs, finding venues and having your shit together

I hope you enjoy the interview.

Podcasting Resources

I mentioned in the intro that there’s a ton of great resources out there if you want to start your own podcast. Here’s some links to the sites that have really helped me out.

The Showrunner
The Podcasters’ Studio
The Audacity to Podcast
Music Radio Creative

You should sign up to my newsletter – I only send out one a week it and all it contains are ten cool news storys from the past week in the music/media/film and TV world.

Featured Music

Intro: Voodoo Puppets – Electric Chair Blues (used under CC licence, you can check it out here).

Kaddish – Treading,
Get it Together – Hole in the Head,
15 Minutes – You’re Still All That Matters to Me.

‘Treading’ by Kaddish can be found on the album Thick Letters to Thick Friends.
‘Hole in the Head’ by Get it Together can be found on the Rebuild, Recovery 7″.
‘You’re Still all that Matters to Me’ by 15 Minutes can be found on the album Together Forever.


You can buy all of the aforementioned releases on the Make that a Take Bandcamp alongside a whole bunch of other really great, varied stuff.

You can find Make that a Take on Facebook and Twitter as well as their website.


Thank you!

My thanks are eternal to you and everyone else who has listened to the podcast and helped me get it to where it is. It’s now on the goddamn front page. How cool is that? If you could take a second to rate and review this podcast on iTunes I’d love you forever and ever.

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