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Exclusive Q&A With Milwaukee Record Founders
We talk Photoshop, Bob Uecker and vibrancy with Matt Wild and Tyler Maas of the soon-to-be-launched venture.

Photo by Troy Freund

It’s been teased for weeks, and it’s finally here. It being the new journalistic venture from Matt Wild and Tyler Maas called Milwaukee Record. The duo sent out a wonderful press release this morning, which has been covered – appropriately – to death. In that press release, Maas promises the site will “provide thorough, fearless, and altogether unique content while expanding on a proven model to reach new, exciting, and occasionally uncomfortable places.”

If you’d like to read the full press release, you can find it elsewhere. We decided to go another route with a quirky, irreverent Q&A session. The two dish on the plans for the site, who shot that great promo photo, and how exactly they plan to improve Milwaukee’s vibrancy.

Will you two be handling everything for the site? Writing? Editing? Web development? Sales?
Maas: Initially, yes. I'm accustomed to writing all the time about almost anything. We both have editing experience, so we're all right there for now. Matt made the site from scratch and it looks wonderful. I really hope we can bring on a salesperson within a few months. We're not salespeople by any means, but we believe in what we're doing, so hopefully that shines through to potential advertisers. 

What is the most uncomfortable place in Milwaukee? When will you take us there?
Maas: When I wrote that, I didn’t really have any particular place in mind. I just don’t want to close any doors with this project. While most of our coverage will be in the vein of music and culture, I want to be able to cover all corners of greater Milwaukee that interest me without constraints in terms of word count or whether it will hurt “our brand” in the long run.

How will you handle the media beast that is Summerfest?
Maas: With as many Pizza-Cones as it takes.

Think they’ll give you press passes?
Maas: I hope so. If not, we’ll pick the shows we want to cover and either pay out of pocket or rely on that friend everyone has who has a bunch of free vouchers. Everyone knows a person with vouchers.

Will Milwaukee Record engage in Facebook arguments?
Wild: Much like your parents and/or distant relatives, we welcome any opportunity for Facebook arguing.

Maas: To me, Facebook isn’t for arguing, it’s for inviting friends and acquaintances to play Farmville. I bet Matt will get in the occasional rhubarb on our behalf when it’s warranted. I’ll probably just keep it to links and funny one-liners.

The promo photo is adorable. How long did that photo shoot take?
Wild: Our promo photo was shot at Acme Records by Troy Freund. The two gentlemen pictured are actually down-on-their-luck stunt doubles. Hire them now, Milwaukee.

Maas: Well, as you can see, I had to shove cheeseburgers into my face between shots. So between food runs and constantly re-dressing me in progressively larger clothing, it was a long journey to that perfect picture. My winter paunch aside, Troy Freund did a great job with the average-looking nerds he was hired to photograph.

Who designed the logo?
Wild: Our gorgeous logo was designed by Catherine Brautigam of Lone Shoe Graphics. Hire her now, Milwaukee.

Tell us more about this video programming. Are you thinking interviews or more scripted stuff?
Wild: We’re really, really, really excited to be working with Honeycomb Productions on our video stuff. They’re amazing. We can’t reveal too much right now, but let’s just say our first series involves local bands, on-the-fly music videos, and shopping sprees. It’ll all make sense soon.

Which one of you is in charge of Photoshop?
Wild: Since this is a co-venture, all hasty and ill-considered Photoshop work will be shared.

Maas: I mean, if you really think about it, isn't God in charge of the Photoshops? I think we'll both do them. Mine will be the hilariously bad renderings.

When can we expect to be able to purchase Milwaukee Record T-shirts?
Wild: At our May 9 launch party at the Cactus Club, of course! We’ll also have stickers, buttons, and commemorative plates available.

What are you doing to increase the city’s vibrancy?
Wild: Here’s a fun fact: No one knows what “vibrancy” is. Seriously. And if you do claim to know what it means, you’re probably not the kind of person we want to have drinks with. Maybe a friendly game of Uno, but that’s about it. With that being said, we look forward to filling the Milwaukee interwebs with vibrant feature stories, vibrant opinion pieces, and vibrant pictures of Bob Uecker.

Maas: Between placemaking and launching vague crowdfunding campaigns, I'm not sure there's time to increase vibrancy at this point. Milwaukee went to SXSW this year, people. We're on the map now.

Do you plan on bringing contributors onboard?
Wild: Yes. You’ll be seeing a lot of familiar names from A.V. Club Milwaukee, plus some new ones. We guarantee all of them will be vibrant in one way or another.

Maas: Again, eventually. But for now, we're just two guys wearing a shitload of hats and working out of our apartments. Contributors will be sought eventually.

Is your site coming out in support of listicles or opposed to them?
Wild: Lists accompanied by thoughtful prose? Yes. Lists that are nothing but pictures of people twerking on the Bronze Fonz or whatever? No.

Maas: Pro. We're working on our "Top 17 lists in which Milwaukee was in the top 10 of 2014" list as we speak.

How about a Bob Uecker photo or two to whet our appetites?
Wild: Enjoy!

Maas: Here's one I made for a 2009 post about my desire to have Mr. Baseball cloned. I feel this effectively answers the Photoshop question.

From the Press Release:
Beginning April 7, the Milwaukee Record will be updated daily at milwaukeerecord.com. Connect with the Milwaukee Record on Facebook (facebook.com/milwaukeerecord), Twitter (twitter.com/milwaukeerecord), Tumblr (milwaukeerecord.tumblr.com), and Instagram (instagram.com/milwaukeerecord).

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