Toronto indie labels Buzz Records and Dine Alone join forces


Two of Toronto’s biggest independent record labels have announced they are teaming up in an official partnership that saw Buzz Records move into Dine Alone’s Gerrard East office in January.

While it’s unclear how the move might affect future release schedules and signings, it appears that the strength-in-numbers approach is leading to some powerhouse showcases. 

The labels will present a Jimmy Eat World, Trail of Dead, Tokyo Police Club and Weaves show at SXSW on March 15, and two shows during Canadian Music Week on April 21 and 22 that include Buzz-affiliated bands Greys, Solids, New Swears, Casper Skulls, Vallens and others.

“This is a merger of two like-minded companies at different stages in their life cycles,” says Dine Alone’s Joel Carriere, who started the label, which now has offices in Toronto, Nashville and L.A., in 2005. “Both Buzz and Dine Alone bring unique and exciting opportunities to the table, and [the partnership] will allow each company to tap into those collective successes and ever-growing resources.”

Carriere says both companies want to grow on a “global scale,” resulting in “more value for our artists.”


Buzz’s Ian Chai, who started the label with Denholm Whale, Dean Tzenos and Jude in 2011, credits an admiration for Dine Alone’s decidedly rock-minded roster, and cites the labels’ similar origins and motivations for the pair-up. 

“They’re a family, and one that’s passionate about doing right by their artists, a mantra that mirrors our own,” says Chai. “Being part of a collective that uncompromisingly blazed an independent trail from basements to stadiums can’t help but inspire everyone at Buzz. We’re excited about what the future holds for our family of sonic mutants.”

Both labels are already having a good year, if the recent Juno nominations are any indication. Buzz’s Weaves and Dilly Dally got nods in the alternative album of the year category, and eight Dine Alone bands were nominated in various categories, including Monster Truck, Wintersleep, Black Mountain and Alexisonfire. | @nowtoronto



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