Meet Jen Abeyta: The DIY Queen of Cyber Tracks

By | July 29, 2016 at 7:00 PM
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“One of the world’s most punk as f*ck labels is kicking ass and taking names completely independently.”

When you think true-blue, rock’n’roll roots punk, you think DIY ethics. Whiplash inducing guitar work and gnarly vocals filled with passion (or resentment) have always gone hand in hand with flyering for your own shows, loading your own equipment, and making unfiltered music with no one’s opinion but your own. It makes sense, then, that one of the world’s most punk as f*ck labels is kicking ass and taking names completely independently. That label is called Cyber Tracks, headed up by Jen Abeyta, and their story goes a little something like this:

It all started when rock band Margate finished recording with Aaron Abeyta Productions. (Does that name ring a bell? That’s because Aaron Abeyta, Jen’s husband, also goes by El Hefe in legendary punk band NOFX.) The crew had become friends, and it started to make sense that they should just release the album themselves. Just like that, Cyber Tracks was born, and Margate didn’t have to shop their record to any of the other labels in town.

“Just building the foundation was the hardest part, the most tedious part…”

Of course, now that the Los Angeles label had been created, someone needed to run the day to day operations. That someone is Ms. Abeyta. With her at the helm, and the goal of an independent label by artists for artists, Cyber Tracks was off and running—or, well, crawling. Jen says the hardest part was in the start up. “Just building the foundation was the hardest part, the most tedious part. Just like any business, trying to land distribution, reaching out to different companies, trying to get other people on board.”

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After everything was said, done, and established, it didn’t take long for the label to accrue a mile long roster. Only four years later, and the business has already surpassed the Abeytas’ expectations. However, with a growing company comes a lot of hours on the clock, especially since they keep all of their work internal.  From coordinating with bands and planning releases; to finalizing album art and programming bar codes; to distribution, shipping, and customer service; it’s all done by Jen. It all adds up to busy days, especially considering she homeschools her eight year old son, but the work pays off when albums finally hit shelves. “Release day is such an exciting day. I can’t sleep the night before, I’m always so excited to give the final product to the world. We spend so much time working on it and put in months, some of them put in a year or two, and once we finally get to put that out, that’s the pay off.”

“That’s why we created a family environment, we all talk everyday, we all work on the releases together, we’re all in it together.”

Troubles aren’t all that common with a pragmatic business plan like Cyber Tracks’, but when they do arise, the family feel makes it all that easier to overcome. “They [can] put a lot of weight on your shoulders to fulfill exactly what they want how they want it, and if something’s not perfect they can really come down on you… That’s why we created a family environment, we all talk everyday, we all work on the releases together, we’re all in it together.”

Cyber Tracks set out to create a label built on independence and team efforts, and after four years, they’re standing on a sturdy foundation proudly built by Jen and her husband. Next time you check out a release by the likes of Unwritten Law, Counterpunch, or Fenix TX, know that the album was put in your hands by a label that really cares about their clients; something that’s majorly lacking in the industry today. At the end of the day, Cyber Tracks is a business, but first and foremost, it’s a family. As Jen said, “We’re a team, we’re a family, there’s no putting people down, we’re all here to help each other.”

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