Andyinhaler | Indy Week

Member since May 25, 2011



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Re: “Getting a label deal is important, but it's not the only route to success

Hmmm, this is a most unfortunate affair that’s for sure. I would like to think that Grayson is not 'out to get' Hammer for wishing to see some reward for their hard work, passion and sacrifice? I really don’t think (hope) he is, but it does read a little on the negative side.

Ok, so HNMTF maybe should not have been so open with DTH's reporter - we all know Journos are not to be trusted, and often know little about music (ha!) HNMTF were surely within their rights to hope for the best outcomes for their releases? I really don’t think that shopping their record around was such an issue? I have done the same for them in the UK and continue to do so as I understand my own labels limitations (its run from my kitchen) and also recognise HNMTF's potential. I do the best I can with the resources available as I am sure Churchkey do? However, I would be very annoyed with Duncan, Joe and Jeff if they did not have a more ambitious plan for their band. Ok, so it is nice for a band to have a record out at all, sure it ticks some boxes of satisfaction for them when they first see it finished and packaged in a nice jewel case, but when you are touring across two countries and putting in more work than most bands on 'named labels' that kind of misguided ego stroking does not last long at all. A lot of bands on ‘hobby’ labels are often satisfied with that, and that is fine if you are happy with having a cd and playing locally. If what you want is a hobby then all of this is very nice. Don’t get me wrong, Inhaler and Churchkey work their asses of for their bands, but we are very very small fish.

Anyway I digress, does a band need a label? I'd argue that it does. We hear about bands that have done it on their own all the time don’t we? But they are the Cinderella’s of bands, the exception, and most usually only get enough of a head out of the sea of other bands just enough to get picked up by a more established label. That is the reality. How many bands do you read about that don’t do it on their own? None probably, because there are too many to mention, it’s depressing and does not make for good reading does it?!!

I'm not even talking about a major label, or a Merge/Sub Pop/Matador sized label here either. There are many labels that have ticked over nicely for years building up their reputation, finances, contacts that can do amazing jobs in getting their roster the attention they need. Over here in the UK we have a label called Big Scary Monsters run by Kevin Douch (yes really) - it is a one man operation, but has since 2006 built up enough of a reputation that its bands will pretty much automatically get a booking agent, they can afford press campaigns and bands can attract praise from all the right places because of the logo on the rear of the cd/record. The benefits of being on an 'established' label are many.

What I am trying to say is that it’s ok to berate a band for wanting to do well, after all being in a band is a piece of piss isn’t it, not hard work at all…is it? Try spending 9 months of the year in a van driving up and down the country, sleeping on floors and barely making enough for rent, gas and food then come back and re-examine that thought. Inhaler and Churchkey do their best yes, but other more established labels could make things a little better for a hard working band, not perfect by any means, just better.

Andy/Inhaler Records

Posted by Andyinhaler on 05/25/2011 at 11:31 AM

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