Independent labels

Why the hell would anyone want to start a label? Why would they want to spend their every waking hour wondering whether Spangle Sparklytrousers fanzine was into their latest three chord thrash wonderteens? or whether the boss will notice them running off another 10000 flyers on the photocopier? or if the NME will slag them off in an even vaguely amusing way this week? or if they can squeeze another box of unsold records ("ahead of their time, mate") into the *ahem* back catalogue stored under their bed? Can they go without food three days this week to get a bit more studio time for their latest proteges? Will hiring the Camden Falcon on the same Monday night as the UEFA cup final turn out to be a financial disaster? Can they stomach another trip to the post office to send this record to another 20 journos who'll claim it's shit now but love it in 3 years when the band's huge on Sony?

All will be revealed as we speak to the people behind labels ranging from the might of Beggar's Banquet, through the credibility of Che, the anti-music biz of Org and the fledgling tape-only labels Crash the Luau and Best Kept Secret. The same four questions were put to everybody:

[1] why did you decide to set up a label?
[2] what release have you been most pleased with?
[3] what's your dream release (any band, any song)?
[4] tip for anyone starting their own label (don't just say "don't")?

If you run a label and want to answer the questions yourself, feel free to email your answers to me cos this feature is intended to grow over time.


A-B, C-D, E-F, G-H, I-K, L-N, O-Q, R-Se, Sf-Sz and T-Z

Sean, Tappersize \

1. the original purpose of doing the label was to release music by the band Lenola in some facade of formality so distributors would carry it, with intentions of branching out later to release music by other local bands.

2. probably the Photon Band single , because it sounds as beautiful as it looks. and also because it has the longest title for a 7" i've ever seen.

3. release a new Red House Painters cd because i am sick of waiting for it! I would also like to re-release the first Soulside album ("less deep inside keeps").

4. realize what is really necessary and what is not for putting something out. there are plenty of things to waste money on, try not to. The recording and packaging of a release can be done inexpensively and often come out sounding/looking better than if you had blown a ton of cash on it. it all comes down to the strength of the music and the amount of work you are willing to put behind it. you better be head-over-heels for the band and their tunes if you commit to releasing something for them.

Mark, Tea 250 Holmes Ave, North York, ON, M2N 4N1, Canada

1. Started in 1989 to release my own indie cassettes (and one by a partner) -- to create an artist's "circle". The label was dormant for while after my 1993 CD release. I brought it back to life of late...

2. That's unfair, as most releases are by me!

3. Something by David Bowie, I guess...

4. Keep the budget low, and be prepared to put in a lot of hour yourself. Get a partner (or more than 1), and run it as a co-op.

Pat, TebleYoo Music

1. Due to the complete indifference shown by established labels to my demo. It's never going to make money - but a copy was passed to somebody I've never met, who e-mailed me to say it made them cry. Who needs to make money!

2. I will be pleased with my own CD........due out in the near future, to be called (I think) The Idle Singer of an Empty Day.

3. My dreams are limited. I dream of my own work being released.

4. Go for it. It's been great fun for me so far. And bollocks to the establishment - why should we allow them to have a strangle-hold on what we're allowed to listen to.

Andy, Ten Foot PO Box 187, York, YO23 1ZH

1. listening to bland radio offerings travelling round and thinking is this really what music is like in the realworld? then seeing bands playing eclectic and diverse music, caring not about popularity or fitting a trend but believing in their conviction and direction. tenfoot records set up to take a chance that other people feel the same and are fed up with what is served up on a plate to us, or programmed into accessable and user friendly definitions eg guitar indie, surf, punk. some thing different that has the seeds of passion of those that believe in music-or just noise1

2. we have mucked around with regional releases but percy's 'west yorkshire super heroes' is the first nationally promoted release and so in terms of circulation alone we are most pleased with this. getting the ep played by john peel was a bit of a plus.

3. generals and majors by xtc

4. don't work with mates, buy (or blag) a copy of the music week directory (best L40 ever spent), get promotions people such as overground in newcastle who are firstly fans of music (hopefully yours). check out all of the local buisness/arts trusts that may give money for promoting the endeavours of the artistic youth. don't expect to make any money.

Martin, Tesla

1. The single was put out in collaboration with fanzine Here be Monsters so in some respects it was forced upon us. However we had been thinking about it for a while. It was a natural step for us, we'd put out three tapes the year before and got a favourable response from fanzines. However with little response from labels we thought lets do it ourselves. Clive (H.B.M.) just forced the issue by asking us if we'd like to do a 7". Well with two vinyl junkies in the band and the band as a whole very much believing in vinyl we couldn't turn him down and so it progressed.

2. Jimmy, man, this is our first release, so in answer to your question, this one is the one we are most pleased with and I should say the reason is because we did it, we actually got a single out there. However if you ask Philip (singer) he'll tell you its because this is a cracking good single.

3. This is a tricky q to answer as well, 'cos obviously it can't of happened yet, all our releases are in the future and I can't posibly know what bands we'll get on the label other than ourselves, and I would like to get other bands and put them out. I guess if it was a matter of what has gone before, then I'll chose my dream release as "Sally go round the roses" by The Jaynetts or "Hey Bulldog" by The Beatles. I'm sure other members of the band will have different ideas though.

4. If you have doubts then don't do it. You just have to be 100% sure, oh and most important, you've got to have some music you truly believe in. This is where the major labels fall down. So for us it was real easy 'cos we obviously wouldn't be playing music we didn't believe in.

Chris, Throwrug

1. Received $4,000 when drum set was stolen in break in. Decided to retire as a drummer and become a "Record Executive" (have only drummed once since then for one of Throwrug's bands showcase (BOB RISING) at SXSW in 97') Took the money from the insurance Company and put out my Friends (Neena Foundry) as the first record on Throwrug Records. Neena Foundry then later turned into Old Pike (Throwrug Release #10) and have now subsequently signed with Sony 550. The Old Pike Major Label debut will be out this spring 99'.

2. I would say the Marvel Kind "mini" ep. This is probably one of the hardest working bands I have been associated with. On the level that Throwrug is at, I really need bands that can go and play lots of shows on the road. That is really the only affordable way for Throwrug to sell records. The Marvel Kind "mini" ep was recorded in their basement studio with the help of David Baker (formerly of Mercury Rev) and the bass player Brent's little high school brother Justin. Basically at a very minimal cost to the label.. As long as the songs are good, you can really legitamately release anything you want.

3. The long awaited , next My Bloody Valentine Record. I have the inside scoop on this , that it is going to change music again the way he did with "Loveless" and I'm sure he's positioning it come out in the Millenium in order to make its impact even more revolutionary. I have already released the first LOTUS CROWN ep, "Alvar Aalto" which is Jimi Shields band (Kevins younger brother) maybe in my dreams I can release the Shields brother box set or somthing.

4. Only work hard for bands that are willing to work just as hard for it themselves. On any level there are only four ways to sell records; Radio, Video , internet, and the most cost effective: Touring. Bands on Throwrug can only be guaranteed of the last two: Our constantly developing web site: and by touring the band puts their future in their own hands.

[1] why did you decide to set up a label?
[2] what release have you been most pleased with?
[3] what's your dream release (any band, any song)?
[4] tip for anyone starting their own label (don't just say "don't")?

Tim, TLM

1. The label was started just as the internet possibilities started to grow and we realised other old staid labels were running scared and not realising what was possible.

2. As for favourite release, so far, I would have to say this one, Unit have a really good melodic grasp and their guitar and electronic combinations are quite exciting.

3. A dream release would be any breakthrough one, one that really proves the internet can be a successful big time launching pad for an act and a label, prooving you can break the traditional deadwood hold that the major labels have.

4. A tip would be that the internet now makes previous impossibilities possible. It gives you immediate worldwide distribution and if you are prepared to find them, endless promotional opportunities.

Kim, Tonguebath, PO Box 30755, Oakland, CA 94604 USA

1. I was tired of writing musical reviews about bands who were lacking a certain panache, or creativity. And, because I was hearing works by unsupported musical artists who were doing much, much more than the rehashers these days who were making serious wads of money. I've always had a special soft-spot in my heart for those less financially fortunate, but ultra-talented. When I used to live in Baltimore, MD and in the Southern U.S. I'd try to help out bands who were either working hard, had an identity shtick, and who were not getting much exposure. I used to put on benefits to support these artists [and to raise money for the TongueBath] where I would show-case a veritable plethora of bands playing different musical styles. The goal here being, drawing a crowd/audience that might come to see one band, but be exposed to another they might not necessarily come out to support. Another case in point which inspired me to put down the pen and start a label was Curtis Bay's modesty and genuine talent that won me over---not to mention, his back-log of compositions [many of which have yet to be released] was more impressive than most crap I got sent to the TongueBath for reviewing purposes; he's in it for the long-haul. A lot of stuff I've reviewed does not have the staying power like Curtis Bay, and what talent existed in these other artists I've reviewed was blown on the first release. It took me two years to convince Curtis Bay to put his electro-ghetto techno out; this was mainly because this guy is a jazz cat by default, who wants to be known for his jazz prowess. He only noodles around with electronic music on the side. My cat has the rumpus.

2. Curtis Bay "Genuine Low" of course! I only put this release out to see what it would do. The response and feedback was well beyond any expectations I had hoped for for a no-name artist!! This release actually made it into the Top 25 3 weeks in a row at Radio Universitaire Namuroise in Belgium, hit the Top 10 of several RPM lists in U.S. College radio, Heavy Rotation at a number of stations in U.S. College radio, Heavy Rotation at DFM RTV in the Netherlands, and the U.K., was a Featured Release 1-week at PURE -FM in Portsmouth, UK, and had 250 call-in respondents for 1 on-air give-away at Trinity and All Saints College, Leeds, UK. Not to mention, you've supported Curtis Bay on your show. Hey, picking scabs is fun.

3. Maybe Mark E. Smith of The Fall would come do "Fantastic Life", or James Chance would want to do a remake of "Dish it Out" [a song I used to use as my opener on the punk show I did on WFIT-FM in my undergrad days] on the TongueBath---probably couldn't afford to pay them, though. Naw, just whatever innovative, challenging, meaningful stuff Curtis Bay, Full Metal Chicken, or DJ Cut-N-Paste can come up with that jostles the bowels of the music industry is fine with me. And short dogs grow.

4. Don't waste copious amounts of money on superfluous crap until you know you have a viable product, and you've broken-even. What I mean by this is, don't waste money on stuff like business cards; personally I use the CD as a calling card. And recycle bubble packaging if you can. There's lots of ways to cut corners. I've learned a lot from friends who put out releases and have half of their closets filled with 7"s/CDs they can't ditch. If you don't have a way to get rid of 1,000s of units of your product, or a distributor, just don't print thousands of copies of CDs/vinyl. Start conservatively----you can always press more later; granted you may not make as much. But hey, if you break-even these days, you're doing great!!

If you have a butt-load of leftovers, I personally think that it's better to give music away and let the word of mouth spread and do the work for subsequent releases; this tactic has been working great for Curtis Bay's second release "Medium Rare." I did not have a distributor for Curtis Bay's first release "Genuine Low", so I anticipate to be able to merch out the left-over copies of "Genuine Low" at the 1-man live act show in support of "Medium Rare." And if all goes well, I'll repress another batch of "Genuine Low" in the near future.

Also, 50% of your budget should be for promotion/publicity. Get distribution----things aren't like they were 10 years ago; without distro these days, you won't have a chance. And use the web and e-mail, if at all possible, to save on phone calls----a lot of radio stations post play-listings now on the web, and if they don't, a number of these stations have Music Directors/Heads of Music who aren't totally skittish about e-mail and dispatching weekly play-lists over the network. Just go MIT's web site to see the motherload of radio stations worldwide who started doing this at There are no Fruit Loops in Hell.

Glen, Tugboat

1. We have a long history of running labels since Geoff Travis founded Rough Trade Records in 1976 but we essentially are here to release the music we love/music we think deserves to be heard.

2. On a personal level, I'm most happy with the ISAN album, "Beautronics", released on Tugboat last November. It's very honest - what you see is what you get, in an age of superfluous excess in electronica, it harks back to a time of analogue simplicity, of manually-operated melody. I'm also very excited about the Low single and album we're about to release the single, "Immune" on Feb 22nd and the album, "Secret Name" at the end of March.

3. Well, Aphex Twin said his dream would be to get hold of the masters to Kraftwerk's "Computer World" album and remix it. I'd die to release that record. :)

4. Don't try to compete, have reasonable expectations, don't work outside of your means, follow your instincts, write down every monetary transaction no matter how small, only work with people you've been told my someone you can trust, that you can trust!

Mark, 25 PO Box 3006, Poole, BH12 2HU

1. i wanted people to here some bands that i thought were really brillent.

2. tough question, i'm really please when some one starts raving about or playing a track on thr radio, then you think "wow some body else likes it as well."

3. teenage kicks by the undertones.

4. first you must love music, second be thick skined, third be prepared to 16 hours a day, seven days a week, and always be skint, and if your really serious, try and get some work experience with a record label for two or three weeks.

Christopher, Unread PO Box 3462, Omaha NE 68103, USA

1. originally it was to release songs that i myself had been writting, and for friends bands, ect. i guess i just started getting really cought up in it all, and was making alot of friends through the mail. i took a few vacations from my hometown, met up with a bunch of people that i had been in contact with, and had alot of fun, all the while.

2. hmmm...the charlie mcalister tape is gold, and the jarbaby tape is grand as well. i think alot of the stuff that will be coming out in the next few months will be swell...especially the will simmons record. i dropped a bunch of the older releases, just cause they were very amature, and alot of them were by me, that were just lame.

3. thier are a few records that i hold dear to me. i actually get the privilage of releaseing a new bright eyes record this summer... my good friend conor (bright eyes) released a little split 7 inch on sing eunuchs! way back in 96 i think??? it is a split with bill hoover. that is the best 7 inch i own for sure, if not just the best slab of vinyl in general. next to that it might be...mountian goats "zopiloe machine"/ evading the devils darts 7 inch/ or simon joyner "room tempature"...

4. hmmm...well, i just started out by writting to people and labels, that were idols to me. i got alot of replies, ended up making friends, ect. that is the most rewarding thing to me...meeting the people that are scattered all over the world. i have dug myself a deep deep hole, in regards to money spent/no money gained...but i am not complaining.

[1] why did you decide to set up a label?
[2] what release have you been most pleased with?
[3] what's your dream release (any band, any song)?
[4] tip for anyone starting their own label (don't just say "don't")?

Rich, Vagrant 2118 Wilshire Blvd.#361 Santa Monica,CA 90403, USA

1. I needed a job and no one else would give me one

2. It's impossible to say, I am pleased with all of them

3.Beatles "White Album"

4. Stick with no matter what anyone says to you or how much money you lose.

Paul, Van Ricter 100 South Sunrise Way, Ste. 219, Palm Springs, CA 92262, USA

1. We started Van Richter in 1993, before that we all came from Wax Trax and Arista. We started VR because all the best bands in the industrial music genre were coming from Europe.. but no one was signing them for North America. So we first started out licensing....then later on signed bands

2. Our biggest selling band on our six band roster is TESTIFY We are pleased because they sell as well as a great crossover Industrial/Metal band who have been compared to MINISTRY...but we feel they surpassed them back in 1996!

3. NIN signed to our label and produced all our bands as well as takes them all on tour!

4. Don't is the first thing that comes to mind. Remember 90% of the releases don't make their money back! You have to do it because you believe and love the music...its not a keen way to make money! Also do it right...don't cut corners with the music or do a half ass job. The music is what matters. If you can't do a top job don't do it at all. Too many labels put out crap...sell records by the pound and only look at it as a revenue stream. This is what kills the music business.......

John, Weird Neighbourhood PO Box 7279, London, E5 8XQ

1. Weird Neighbourhood was set up at the start of 1998, initially with the sole aim of releasing records by the Monsoon Bassoon. Having managed the Bassoon for the previous couple of years, starting a label was the next logical step in the face of general indifference from the industry, but I think the success achieved has surprised us all. 1999 will hopefully see the label expanding to enable releases from other bands too.

2. That's a tough question, we've only released two singles so far! Obviously the first release ("Wise guy") was very special---seeing your record in the shops and hearing it on the radio for the first time is a huge thrill. But really, your releases are like your children, you can't pick a favourite.

3. At the risk of sounding cheest, the Monsoon Bassoon's debut album, currently being recorded with Tim Smith at Apollo 8's going to be mindblowing. But if I had to put together a dream roster of current bands it would have to include Add N to X, Autechre, The BEta Band, Cardiacs, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Mercury Rev, Mogwai, MBV, Sonic Youth, Squarepusher...uncompromising beautiful music with a disregard for convention.

4. Well, Weird Neighbourhood is in its early stages, I'm still learning...I'm certainly no expert, but I'd say that a reall belief in your artists is essential. For anyone starting a label it must be a labour of love, you're very unlikely to make any money initially. Plan everything carefully: think about artwork and formats, approach distributor before pressing, make sure you have a budget of sorts for promotion. Get as much advice from those with experience as you can, but ultimately, if you believe in the music, follow your instincts, go ahead and learn from your mistakes.

John, WIAIWYA 1 Bankside, 10 Brock Lane, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 1LP

1. had wanted to for ages, primarily to see how it was done, and because it looked exciting... and because girlfrendo had a fantastic tape of songs that i loved... and because sarah was no more... and because slampt are cool... and because career rock bands are so awful... and because i wanted to hear demos by bands that really loved what they were doing... and because i thought it was a good way to meet hot chicks... hmmmmm

2. very tricky question... obviously the girlfrendo one was exciting cos it was the first, and every step was a new lesson to be learnt... and then the family way single was the first to be recorded in a studio, and i was genuinely shocked at how good it sounded... and then the djdownfall one was ace when it started getting such rave reviews... and because it wasn't what people expected on a crap indie label... and then sportique cos i was releasing a record by gregory webster... then pimblico cos they were all so excited about it... "you mean this is a real record.. with us on"... and because it makes me grin every time i hear it... then the next djdownfall cos it's so strange, and i know where the sample is from, and that makes me smile too... and "i am the resurrection" in 100 times better than the pompous original... and marine research, cos i'm releasing a record by amelia fletcher... and and and... all reasons to be equally pleased with all of them... which one do you like best?...

3. something by jonathan richman... something by lou reed (as good as "new york", or "songs for drella")... something by morrissey... this hip hop demo i've had for about 6 months now and haven't done anything with it, cos of money and sample clearing... a triple concept album... something with a guitar part as recognisable as "smoke on the water"... something spoken word... a book... a video... a manufactured all girl pop group... too many to mention them all...

4. don't expect to make any money and stop doing it when you stop enjoying it

Gary, Wiiija 17-19 Alma Rd, London, SW18 1AA

1. The label was started by Rough Trade Shop in Portobello Road in 1988 as a means to release noisy, experimental leftfield British stuff. The first bands were Terminal Cheesecake and Bastard Kestrel!

2. The Huggy Bear stuff still sounds really edgy and exciting. The Free Kitten stuff was great because I got to tour manage for them on their u.k. tour. Cornershop's last album because it shows that if you let bands develop they can become capable of awesome things.

3. Dial M for Motherfucker by Pussy Galore.

4. Do it for fun and because you love the music, if you sell any records and it begins to grow just treat it as a bonus!

[1] why did you decide to set up a label?
[2] what release have you been most pleased with?
[3] what's your dream release (any band, any song)?
[4] tip for anyone starting their own label (don't just say "don't")?

Devin, Win Records Post Box 26811, L.A., CA 90026-0811 USA

1. started by me (devin sarno) & my partner tom grimley in order to put out records by our band: waldo the dog faced boy. we did that for a few years & then when things were sufficiently in place (distribution, etc.) we decided to ask some friends if they wanted us to put out their records. so, from 1989-about 1991 we only had 3 waldo releases in the catalog. from 1991-98 we jumped to over 30!

2. beth capper, jen wood, benett, petra haden, miss murgatroid

3. anything by LOW !!!!

4. be patient. we just hit the 10-year mark & we're still losing money!!!!! (unless you plan to sell-out to a major, of course. in which case....FULL STEAM AHEAD!)

Chris, Wine Cellar 22 The Limes Ave, London, N11 1RG

1. Some friends recorded music for a college project, which was brilliant but their college fucked them over and it deserved a release, my Mum offered L1000 cheapo loan.

2. The BEATVERSE album because it's completely home made and it's just me, no other bands getting praised (ego massage a-go-go)

3. A hardcore trance/electro Bruce Springsteen remix record

4. (1) 7" = scratchy indie vanity, 12" = DJs, NEVER DO CD singles, CD albums = money...expect to lose money unless you do albums or you're shagging someone who owns a pressing plant; (2) ALWAYS attend mastering; (3) Be patient with rude fuckers - everyone's rude until they've heard your stuff because they have to wade through tons of shite and don't know yet how great you are; (4) Don't bother with major labels and don't trust them. If you're doing a release, just do it - get distribution then press, radio, gigs and if you're secretly dying to be on Sony then they'll find you.

Mikko, Winter Cow Vaino Auerin Katu 6 f 23, 00560 Helsinki, Finland

1. to release beautiful music, to be the queens of the scene and to get free love.

2. We are equally pleased for the music, but (wow-03) Office Building: City Square 7" has sold best.

3, we would love to release charalambides, sun city girls, caroliner, jandek, alastair galbraith, Jon, Those Lovely Hulahands and Sahkokvarketti... all our favourite artists.

4. never release anything that is "ok", it should blow your head away before you even think of pressing it, world is full of tiny labels who put out boring "ok" 7"'s. Don't just release for the sake of releasing.

Darren, Wire Monkey PO Box 56605, Portland OR 97238, USA

1. I've always wanted to start a label to reissue punk/indie/experimental music that I thought should be allowed to deafen human ears again. I think its important to at least have a basic understanding of what has gone on before to create any meaningful musical future. More importantly, the music is still amazing and either brings a smile to my face or a tear to my eye.

2. So far we have had but one release with two more planned. Our first, Jad Fair & the Shapir-o'rama, will probably be the hardest since the first is all about to coming to terms with how you think things will go and how it really is. Beware: the graphics part is the most difficult. On the other hand, with our first release, I got to meet two of my musical role models, Jad and David Fair as well as get to know, Kim Rancourt, a man's who's work I respect greatly. No pain no gain, I suppose.

3. My dream release would be a Great Plains (the Columbus, Ohio 80's band and not the stupid country band) box set or a Mirrors retrospective.

4. Whatever you think it will cost, double it. However many promos you think you need, double it. Make a professional one-sheet for your release (like Mom said, they look at your finger nails). And, don't take any short cuts graphicswise.

Wilks, Won't Stop

1. because i beleive in my music plus music is buissness and in the near future i will get it wontstop records will be bring a lot of artist soon.

2. i am very critical about my music but like all of them because they are real but all of my releases will be reworked in the future.

3. my dream release is going to be when i get some resourses behind my label recording with profestional musicians and lots of marketing.

4. if you are going to start your own label be prepared for a lot of stress and head ache and heart ache but if you love the music and the vibe then you will know soon it will all be worth it.......hope i could help

Simon, Maz, John, Ben & Noah, Words and Works 90 Haydon Place, Guildford, Surrey, GU1 4LR

1.To be able to release things on our own terms. We also discovered that it was affordable.

2.We have only had two so far but both have done very well.

3.We have a possible release by Silkworm in the pipeline, which is our dream release. Otherwise Lambchop,Will Oldham,Drunk,Lullaby for the Working Class.

4.Presentation and packaging are very important and also get some John Peel play because that helps too.

Skiz, Wordsound

1. The label was started to promote creative, original and innovative sounds, and give a voice to the silent minority.

2. Probably the first record, The Red Shift, is my favorite because it was created with the purest intentions and a great deal of innocence. Also, as they say, Its never as good as the first time.

3. A dream release would be a dub album featuring Robbie Shakespear and Flabba Holt on Bass, John Bonham on drums, Hendrix on guitar, Jackie Mittoo on Keyboards, and Hugh Mundell, Prince Far I and Bob Marley doing vocals. The whole project would be mixed by Scientist, the Dub Master.

4. Perseverance is the key. Don't take no for an answer. Do everything yourself. Trust no one, and realize that even your closest friends will fuck you over money.

Ade, Woronzow 75 Melville Rd, Walthamstow, London E17 6QT

1. Nick Saloman started Woronzow, principally as a device to get his (Bevis Frond's) music to the public, in the absence of anyone else's interest.

2. Personally, I think the Frond's "New River Head" is my favorite Woronzow album.

3. I think our forthcoming "Country Joe and the Frond" album is pretty much my dream release. Both Nick and I have been big Joe fans going back to his heyday in the '60's. An opportunity to play with him, as we did twice last year, and then release the result on our own label is as good as it gets. Unless, of course, I come across an unreleased Beatles album from 1966!

4. Get your pricing right. We nearly finished ourselves off by releasing a couple of albums on vinyl that we allowed our distributors to sell on our behalf to cheaply. We pay a lot of attention to unit pricing now. Do your sums realistically and don't allow wishful thinking to enter the equation.

Charlie, Wot 4 Piazza Torrigiam 14, 50050 Vico D'elsa, Firenze, Italy

1. I have been in management for some years and I got fed up with having to compromise and then lot's of my ideas never got picked up on and 6 months later someone else has done it and there in the top twenty !!

2. The first one "Aliens in Roma" CD Comp, cos it was the first. It's not bad either ..I have 3/4s of "Electric Chairs" Album recorded there in the studio next week (brighton). It will be the first album that I have followed the production from start to finish so I hope it will please me the most.

3. I don't dream about songs

4. Get stuck in and do it don't worry about what all the so called experts say. Do your own thing.

Alexander, Wreck Age

1. Because I wanted to release stuff from artists who would have never been released on any other label anywhere on this planet. Plus, I also wanted to release some of my own stuff, which has always been rejected and ignored by all other terran labels.

2. The ARCHANGEL and ATMOSPHEH-RHYCXX. Also, DFS and Holoskanks are very nice too. All 3 volumes of A COSMIC NOISE COMPILATIONS have been good sellers too!

3. PANASONIC "B" e.p., and anything from VROMB

4. Get ready to invest more time and money than you ever thought humanly possible. Having a label is like marriage with a house, 3 kids, and a couple of dogs: it's a full-time commitment, not a hobby.

Lez, Yassaba PO Box 6364, London, N22 8LA

1. We started out managing bands, we set up the label to combat the music industry's obsession with Britpop and the"let's all sound like Oasis" releases. Our bands were not britpop so no one wanted to know. We therefore set up our own label and released our bands music.

2. Good Bloke Bad Bloke & God, by Stella Maris - released Jan '98 and was NME "single of the week". It proved that we were right to go it alone!

3. Nirvana - Smells like teen spirit - a song that changed musical direction. I always wonder what would have happened if Kurt had not died, would Oasis have been as big?????

4, Work with people you trust, only release songs you personally like and remember to set a budget and stick it.


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