Q&A with Elliott Miller of PROTOtape, Peoria's Newest Label

We talked with Elliott Miller of Peoria's newest record label PROTOtape to learn more about the business and his goals for the local scene.

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Mike: Tell a bit about yourself and how you got started in local music.

Elliott: I'm 23, I've lived in the Peoria/Washington area my entire life. I started going to shows and playing in the Peoria scene since 2012 (thanks to Tony Smith). I played in Drained for most of the time spent in this scene and that's what got me into making and facilitating physical forms of music.

M: How did you come around to starting PROTOtape?

E: PROTOtape was an idea that I had about 2 years ago. I wanted to start a label for the area and put out stuff I find worth while. It was definitely inspired by what Ryan Murphy was doing when I first started going to shows here. He had a label called HONEST EMPIRE. He put out a lot of music for the scene and bands from outside of our scene but who were in the same realm as DIY. I thought it was really cool because at that point, I was only ordering music from really established record labels or labels not from the area.

M: What are some of the main projects you're focusing on now with the label?

E: PTr right now is in its really early stages. I just put out "ToSuffer - The Heartbreak Loop" a beat tape created by Koby Ward. I'm working on PTr002 which will be a band not from the area (still from the Midwest) but a band I think fits in with what our scene is into. I've been pushing the Bandcamp a lot trying to get people to take notice on what I have going right now because it's just an example of what I want this brand to be.

M: What are some future plans and goals for the label?

E: I want to get more music out from the artists of the Peoria music scene, that's my #1 plan. I believe in this city and the artist community that naturally comes with it. Next year, I will be working harder at building my distro for the label as well. After I build the distro up, I will do a pop-up shop, I'll showcase the releases PTr has and the distro artists that I want us to support. I'll also be showcasing some of the PTr merchandise, some of which is on the Bandcamp merch tab now and some that will be exclusive to that function. My higher goal for this brand is to get it to the point that it would be more realistic to open a storefront. That is what I really want this brand to do, be an outlet to showcase Peoria and showcase things that aren't on everybody's radar.

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Keep up with PROTOtape on Facebook for all the latest updates and check out the Bandcamp page for music and merch!

Mike Rundle