Rochester natives take record label from shitty van to warped bus.
One long, hot day on the Warped Tour can be a grind for the most dedicated of fans. So imagine doing it 40 times a year.
That’s pretty much been a way of life the past half-decade for Jason Sarkis and Rob DPiazza, who run Rochester-based Streaker Records with somewhat-silent partner Jack Flynn.
Streaker is a one-stop shop for music distribution, publishing, promotion and apparel that was founded in 2007. The company began as a side-project of Rochester-band The Sunstreak, which featured Sarkis on bass and Flynn on guitar.
Streaker is now its own entity with 10 bands on its record label and publishing divisions. The list includes Rochester acts Young Bloods and Storm The Bay, as well as Australia-based hardcore-band Amberain.
The Warped Tour serves as the main vehicle for Streaker to promote its acts. DPiazza and Sarkis have spent the past few summers sleeping in a 1994 Ford Windstar van, while selling tons of t-shirts, CDs and short-shorts.
“We went 17 days last year without taking a shower,” says Sarkis. “We basically lived in Wal-Mart parking lots. I’d be in the bathroom, washing my feet in the sink as people walked in.”
All the hard work has paid off. This year Streaker is making its rounds on Warped in a tour bus equipped with showers and sleeping quarters. The bus should help counter act the long haul of the tour. However, it can’t counteract DPiazza and Sarkis’ seniority.
Sarkis turns 30 later this year while DPiazza isn’t too far behind at 28. That’s a far cry from Warped Tour’s average age range of 16 to 21.
“I think I must be getting older because I’m losing track of the music,” says Sarkis. “In the past five or six years there’s been bands headlining the tour that I’ve never even heard of. And, yet, it’s just gotten bigger and bigger every year.”
DPiazza says the entire journey has been a pleasant surprise. Streaker began as a promotional vehicle, but has become a full-time job for DPiazza who recently moved to Hawaii, giving the label a West Coast presence.
“We didn’t think it would last more than a year,” says DPiazza. “We thought it would be something that would just hold us over until The Sunstreak got back up and going. Then it started to seem like viable career option. And here we are.”
~ Story by Kaitlin Mesmer; photo by Chloe Rolls