28 September 2010
Scottish DIY Labels #8 - Gerry Loves Records
Would you care to introduce yourself?
Hi. I'm Andy from Gerry Loves Records, based in Edinburgh.
What inspired you to start your own label?
We've wanted to do it for a long time, but only recently been able to, for various reasons. We want to promote some of the excellent bands that aren't getting the recognition they deserve. We're both vinyl and packaging lovers so we wanted to do something where we could geek out on that too.
Yahweh - Make Me Stop by gerrylovesrecords
Who do you have signed to your label?
No one really. We have put out singles by 4 bands: Conquering Animal Sound, Debutant, Trapped in Kansas and Yahweh. However, we don't have any formal deal with them as such. They are free to do things with other labels if they want. Conquering Animal, for example, have an album coming out on Gizeh/Mini50 later this year.
Being based in Scotland do you only sign Scottish artists?
So far, yes. Certainly at the moment, we can be much more effective in promoting bands who are playing in Scotland regularly, and who we have a personal relationship with. We don't really have the contacts yet to heavily promote bands fro further afield. We know the Scottish music community pretty well, and so we (hopefully) know the best way to promote bands within that. I could see us working with non-Scottish bands in the future, but not yet.
Trapped in Kansas - Towerblock by gerrylovesrecords
Is this something you do as a hobby or can you make a living from it?
Ha ha. Making a living from it is an amusing concept. We sell brittle plastic discs in hand-made packaging with recordings by smallish Scottish indie bands. I don't think that's something you CAN make money from, is it? We do it purely for the love of it, and to keep ourselves out of trouble.
Do you have a certain type of sound that you look for in a band?
Not really. We both have to love a band and believe in them for us to want to release their records, so naturally there are certain types of band that we gravitate towards. I really like hip hop but know very little about it, especially locally, so it's unlikely we'd take something like that on, although not impossible. We don't really get exposed to too much of it. We just like what we like, whatever that is. I think the stuff we have put out so far and the next release we're planning are all quite varied. I don't know, I'm pretty bad at articulating anything worthwhile about music.
Debutant - Thirst by gerrylovesrecords
How do you go about deciding which artists you want to work with? How do you go about approaching them?
So far, it's mostly from seeing bands live. We either see them live by chance, or hear some recordings by them and make a point of going to their shows. I suppose we just feel that there is something there worth helping. The two of us don't always agree on bands, so when we do, that's normally a sign. As for approaching bands, there is no better way to get them to hear you out than buying them booze. We are pretty bad for approaching bands while very drunk. I like to think bands find this endearing, but they almost certainly don't.
What has been you personal highlight from running the label so far? What has been your biggest success?
I've enjoyed lots of moments. Our first Edinburgh launch show was really good. We sold out the venue, which we weren't expecting, and it was the perfect antidote to a gig the night before in Aberdeen with a shocking soundman. Just getting the label started has probably been the biggest success so far. I'm also pleased that we're very close to starting to pay money out to the bands on the first release.
Conquering Animal Sound - Giant by gerrylovesrecords
If you could give one piece of advice to someone wanting to start up their own label, what would it be and why?
Don't pick bands that are cool that you think will sell records. Pick bands you genuinely love and believe in. That love is all that will keep you going when it's 3am and you're stuffing records into sleeves and trying to balance a spreadsheet and one of the bands has just done something really silly.
What can we expect to see and hear from the label in the future?
We've got one more release planned for 2010, which will be a bit bigger, in terms of the amount of tracks and artists. We're close to getting that finalised, but it won't be out till much later in the year. We're really excited about it, but can't say more till we have it all agreed with the artists. Then next year, who knows? More good music on thoughtfully produced vinyl. Maybe other formats too, but not CDs.
Gerry Loves Records