Sunday, 1 July 2012

Workshop interview #10: Indie Record Label Roundtable

Want to learn what it takes to run a record label? Or already run a label and want to get the chance to probe these seasoned veterans on how they do things? Discussions about marketing, distribution and pressing and everything else about running a label that you need to know.

This year’s Indie Record Label Roundtable will feature Mike Slumberland, Trev Odd Box, Tom Fika, John WIAIWYA and potentially a very special guest. Trev, Tom and John dropped by for a chatette.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves!

John Jervis – Where it’s at is Where You Are – I started the label in August '95 (although the first release was a year later), named after a lyric in a Huggy Bear song and I also run Hangover Lounge records: / named after the club.

Tom Fika - Fika Recordings is a diy indiepop label. I started the label 18 months ago, handmaking cassette tapes. Since then, there have been a few records from Tigercats and Moustache Of Insanity, and an epic 60 track advent calendar curated by Darren Hayman. You're supposed to listen to our releases drinking tea and eating cake - that's the "fika" bit.

Trev Oddbox - I'm Trev. I work for a living and I use my credit card to run Odd Box Records in my spare time. I started Odd Box in 2009 as a solo thing after my previous label Lostmusic (run by 2 then 3 then 2 pals) came to an end. Lord knows. I have no interesting facts. So here are a couple of dull ones instead; I've been a vegetarian for 25 years. I wrote a fanzine in the early 90s called WireMesh and I reckon none are still in existence. I can't clap in time.

Have you been to the festival before? Do you have any stories you’d like to divulge with us?

John WIAIWYA - yup... stories?... hmm... get down boner sticks in my mind, but I won't tell you any more than that...

Tom Fika - I've been to the festival as a punter for several years, but last year was my first as a record label. Fika threw a tea party and then got drunk in the merch tent. Interesting stories? Plenty. That I'm going to divulge? Not a chance... (come and ask me if you really want to know).

Trev Oddbox - I'm something of an Indietracks veteran and I've been every year since it started. I've graduated from camping to hotels the last few years (I'm getting old, y'know). Stories? Not that I can actually remember. Indietracks usually falls on (or near) my birthday (but not this year!) so it's impossible not to get drunk. Best memory; moshing with Ian from Horowitz to a Spanish band (I forget their name) doing a Buzzcocks cover in the pouring rain on the Elefant stage a few years ago. (I've got a picture of this somewhere).

What are you looking forward to most this Indietracks?

John WIAIWYA - Rose Melberg, naturally... and whoever we can get to do an acoustic turn in the merch tent... breakfast with Michael Zakes is always a pleasure, as is an early morning drink in the campsite bar listening to Queen and Elvis on the jukebox... and shifting UNITS... it's all about shifting units...

Tom Fika - The line up this year is cracking and there are plenty of bands I'm looking forward to seeing, but more than anything, I'll be looking forward to some nice ales, riding the train and catching up with folks I've not seen since the last Indietracks.

Trev Oddbox - Not doing anything on the merch stall for a change! Are The Give It Ups playing? I'm looking forward to them. Oh, they're not playing...... Ummmm, I'm looking forward to hanging out with friends, drinking good beer and seeing some cracking bands.

Do you have any festival going tips?

Trev Oddbox - My tip for everyone is to catch Young Romance. They're ace. Non music tips - buy your veggie burgers early just in case they run out. Same goes for real ale on the Sunday! And be nice to all the volunteers, they're ace and make the whole festival the smilefest that it is. I hope the cheery barman is there again this year. He always makes me smile.

John WIAIWYA - buy more units...

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