What is Maximum Ames Records?


Murder by Death performs at DG’s Tap House on Sept. 28, 2013.

Celeste Welshhons

Maximum Ames Records is a record label for Iowa bands located here in Ames. Their event, Maximum Ames Music Festival, will take place from today through Sunday in a three block radius covering Main Street and Douglas Avenue.

Maximum Ames Records was founded in 2011 by Nate Logsdon and Chris Ford, both of which are also musicians. They were very interested in each other’s music, and wanted to figure out a way to help each other out. They met on a weekly basis at Jeff’s Pizza to discuss.

“Out of those conversations we were talking about how we could finance each other’s records, and…what we [were] talking about is a label,” said Nate Logsdon, President of Maximum Ames records.

At the time, there was not label in Ames focusing on the niche that Logsdon and Ford were interested in; all Iowa artists.

“We just had this idea of all vinyl all Iowa. We don’t do cd’s, we don’t do any medium other than vinyl. We always have digital downloads of course,” said Logsdon. “We aren’t gonna release anything that wasn’t made in this state [or] by artists that [don’t] live in this state.”

By the end of the year, Maximum Ames will have released music by 14 different Iowa artists. “Truth Sound” by Mr. Nasti, the most recent release, came out earlier this week on Sept. 23. A reissue of Brooks Strauss’ “Dead Animals” is slated to be released later this year as well.

In February of 2011, Maximum Ames hosted a 12 hour music fest which turned out to be a great hit. This paired with Chris Lyng, co-founder of the festival, and Logsdon’s realization that some of their friends were organizing their own festivals led to the creation of MAMF, the first of which was held in September of 2011.

“We were super inspired by our friends who were doing a similar thing like Mission Creek Festival in Iowa City and 80/35 in Des Moines,” said Logsdon.  

“We looked at those and we were like, well we know who put these together, they’re our friends, they’re our age, and they have the same interests as us. There’s no reason we can’t do this ourselves.”

At Maximum Ames, Iowa heritage really does matter. Being in state and from Iowa, along with overall quality, positively, and a strong belief in their music is what all of the Maximum Ames artists have in common.

“We’re all about promoting the culture of Iowa and celebrating our Iowa music heritage,” said Logsdon. “Our whole thing is that being from here and being here and doing art here…there’s a place for that too.”

Maximum Ames hires two interns every semester to help out with the overall running of the company, and the festival for the fall interns. The two current interns are Clark Eilers, senior in journalism and mass communication, and Mhikealy Knight, sophomore in event management.  

Eilers first heard of Maximum Ames Records while the company was still just starting. Eventually he started working for the Iowa State Daily and covered much of what was going on with Maximum Ames which led to an internship offer.

“It was a very big deal for me to be able to do something I was interested in and had known about for a while,” said Eilers.

For Knight he was introduced to Maximum Ames by a chance meeting.

“One day, I think it was the Art Walk…I saw him (Nate) and he was handing out these little handbills for the festival, and it just got me really excited,” said Knight.

Knight started school at Iowa State the following year, and after speaking with adviser Dan Rice, he was instructed to contact Nate Logsdon. The two happened to run into each other at a grocery store which is when Logsdon explained that he was still looking for another fall intern. Mhikealy emailed Logsdon on the spot which led to him becoming the second fall intern.

When it comes to the qualities a potential intern should possess, writing capabilities are a must as well as the ability to be adaptive and a quick thinker.

“You really have to love music, you really have to be positive and willing to represent our business. Our brand is positivity and collaboration,” said Logsdon.

“We don’t have any room for attitude, we don’t have any room for drama. That’s not what we’re interested in. You have to be able to stay positive and stay yourself even if stressful things happen.”

The office for Maximum Ames Records is located in the same place as the Iowa Music Store, 300 Main Street. Festival passes are still on sale for Maximum Ames Music Festival as well as tickets for individual shows.