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And although this approach requires the majority of Jones' time and energy, it hardly seems to faze him. "Work isn't work if you like what you're doing," he says. "I get to work with some of my best friends every day, on all kinds of projects.

"I'm still running around blind sometimes," he quips. "But that will never change."

In the grand scheme of things, however, Jones tends to let the negatives roll off of him. "One success easily outweighs 99 failures," he says. "The satisfaction of finishing a record, poster or T-shirt — and seeing the look of excitement and appreciation on someone's face — is just so much better than sitting in my cubicle at work."

Label owner Mike Jones, director of publicity Nicole Madden and Haddonfields guitarist Daren Gratton look over blueprints at the label's new studio.
Kholood Eid
Label owner Mike Jones, director of publicity Nicole Madden and Haddonfields guitarist Daren Gratton look over blueprints at the label's new studio.
Mike Jones in front a potential expansion space for I Hate Punk Rock Records.
Kholood Eid
Mike Jones in front a potential expansion space for I Hate Punk Rock Records.

And although juggling the label and his full-time job keeps Jones plenty busy, his biggest endeavor is still in the works. In April or May of this year, Jones will unveil Encapsulated Studios, a 5,400-square-foot warehouse located in the heart of Maplewood that will provide a one-stop shop for budding local and regional bands. The space will feature seven practice rooms available for rent, a state-of-the-art recording studio and a screen-printing operation to handle shirt, poster and album artwork needs. True to form, the development of the warehouse is being handled by the hard work of Jones' friends and members of IHPR bands. From hanging dry wall to hauling lumber and roughing in door frames, 90 percent of the labor is being handled by the IHPR community.

Finally, the IHPR collective will be able to abandon its cramped south-county corridors and spread its wings a little bit.

"I think it's the greatest possible thing [Mike] could do for himself, the label and St. Louis music," says Nicole Madden, IHPR's director of publicity. "After all the work, time and finances he has put into IHPR, he deserves to have a place to call home. And St. Louis deserves it, too."

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