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The personality behind Burger Records

Sean Bohrman, Co-Founder of Burger Records | Photo by Sarahi Apaez

Co-founder of Burger Records visits HSU

By Sarahi Apaez

The man behind Burger Records, Sean Bohrman, co-founded a record label and built a scene from the ground up.

Bohrman graduated from HSU in 2004 with a minor in graphic design and a degree in journalism.

Burger Records is a record label, a record shop, and a social media entity. Currently located in Fullerton, California , the record shop was an idea created by Bohrman and his bandmate and business partner Lee Rickard.

Bohrman is from Anaheim and started the Burger Records label as a way to promote his band, Thee Makeout Party!, with his bandmate and business partner Lee Rickard.

Once graduated from HSU, Bohrman landed a job as Art Director of a Fishing and Boating Company where he worked in a small cubicle where his coworkers had worked for 30 plus years.

After four and a half years of working with this company, Bohrman decided to leave to pursue something bigger. By leaving his job six months early he lost out on about $12,000 since the company did not have to match his 401k.

“But it was worth it,” Bohrman said. “It was the best decision I ever made for sure.”

Bohrman has sacrificed his entire life for the label and the shop. For seven years he lived in the back of the Burger Records shop since it’s opening in 2009.

There are currently 1,000 bands on the label and only five people on Burger staff working the shop, the label, publishing, and running social media.

“We started a record label and a record store and had no idea how to run either,” Bohrman said. “I designed the website and I don’t know how to design websites.”

Bohrman has very meticulous to do lists. His passion lies in discovering all of the music associated with Burger Records himself.

“I’m a control freak, that’s why I do everything,” Bohrman said.

“We never stop talking or working on Burger Records,” Bohrman said. “We put 100 percent of ourselves into this company.”

Burger Records, for many people, will go down in history as a movement that happened. From 2009 to present day, Burger Records is a subculture for many youthful people to hold on to.

Sean Bohrman speaking to journalism students at the Bret Harte House. | Photo by Sarahi Apaez

What separates Burger Records from any other major record label is how they manage their social media. Every social media account is filled with content written by the character called Burger Records created by Bohrman who writes everything in all caps and three exclamation points.  

Burger Records ventured into an untapped business in it’s time which is creating cassette tapes. The label creates cassette tapes for bands who are signed on to another label.

”It only takes two weeks to make a cassette tape which is convenient for when bands go on tour and need something to sell for their merch table,” Bohrman said. “It is also very inexpensive, it costs a $1.25 to make a tape and we make 250 for each band.”

When the company started, they were first losing money because for the first two years they were supporting it with their job.

“When we started I put 100 dollars in and Lee put 100 dollars in,” Bohrman said.

His taste in music has also been a big help along the way.

“I have a knack for discovering new music,” Bohrman said. “I’m going to take all of the good records here in Arcata, so don’t even try finding anything good later.”

“Even if the store has failed I would still feel better about it than had I not ever done it and had I grown up and said ‘what if I started a record label.”

Bohrman never saw himself as a trendsetter but that’s what he has done.

“It’s really hard to sit and take in everything we’ve done and everything we’ve accomplished,” Bohrman

Bohrman feels that whenever something amazing happens and it’s gone, then there’s always something on the horizon

“Maybe later on in life I’ll get to appreciate all the really cool things that have happened,” Bohrman said.

Bohrman and everyone who works at the shop tries to have the most fun while working long days and nights on Burger Records.

“Everything we do is a joke,” Bohrman said. “We’re good at saying that’s so funny, let’s do that.”

ADVICE: HOW TO START A BUSINESS by Sean Bohrman.

 

  • “It’s all about sacrifice, you’re going to have to skip meals, you’re going to have to work when other people are having fun.And if you’re out having fun there is someone else at home working to be better than you are,”
  • “You have to be working all of the time to stay ahead of everybody”
  • “It’s just total 100 percent dedicate to a cause, an idea, and following through with it, even with the stupidest ideas.”
  • “Stay true to yourself.”

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