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Old 07-26-2015, 10:07 AM   #1
oktocus
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questions regarding labels/distos for grindcore projects?

Hi I have a few questions... I am almost done with a Demo album (12 tracks, around 20 minutes long). Other than a bandcamp/youtube account, I'm not sure what to do next.

1. How exactly do labels and distros work?
2. what are my other options?
3. What do grindcore artists stand to gain from a label? Or what can a label do that an artist or band cant?
4. What are the other things artists ought to keep in mind when working with labels?
5. Does the artist retain the rights to the recorded material?
6.What happens if the label/disto shuts shop?

thanks in advance!
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Old 07-28-2015, 06:33 AM   #2
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Re: questions regarding labels/distos for grindcore projects?

Now I can only tell you from the point of view from our small label/distro, so don't take it as close to gospel but here's my answers.


Other than a bandcamp/youtube account, I'm not sure what to do next.
I would consider doing a small run of physical releases yourself. Play some shows.

1. How exactly do labels and distros work?
In all kinds of different ways. There'd be more money in major labels but they are less likely to take interest or risk in bands. The main premise would be that you create music, the label produces a product from that and promotes it to get sales. You "pay back" the label and get a cut.
Distros, as I understand them, deal in trading and wholesale of products from bands and labels.
2. what are my other options?
Do it all yourself. Maybe find a manager or publicist. There are probably some nice people who might help you if they like you. The choice of doing it yourself means you have full control on everything, it also means all the risk and reward is yours.
3. What do grindcore artists stand to gain from a label? Or what can a label do that an artist or band cant?
Labels, depending on the size and history, have experience and a client base. In theory they also have some money. If a label puts something out, often customers buy it just because they like everything else the label has put out. The label should have contacts to push for gigs and promotion etc as well. The artist can do all this too, just takes time and effort. Again the greater it is for you to do it yourself if you can.
4. What are the other things artists ought to keep in mind when working with labels?
Just because you think your music is amazing does not mean that anybody else will and labels are probably more picky and cynical than your objective view of your creation. In order to get signed you'll probably want to go to some effort, get some good shows with good bands under your belt, book some tours - this shows that you know what you're doing and that you will be playing and therefore your name will be around so things will sell.
5. Does the artist retain the rights to the recorded material?
It would depend on the deal you sign on to... I think. As far as I'm away you should always have the intellectual rights to your creation, but maybe you could sell them off...?
6.What happens if the label/disto shuts shop?
You continue as a band or you decide not to. They might try to sell your stuff for cheap or just bin it. I don't think you're likely to get much out of it if they close.

Please don't contact me about getting signed to Grindhead. We're well behind on our releases at the moment and our schedule is full for at least 14 months.
I am happy to answer, in my half arsed way, any questions you have though.
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Old 07-28-2015, 11:39 AM   #3
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Re: questions regarding labels/distos for grindcore projects?

hi guy from grindhead,
thanks for your detailed reply. Much appreciated.
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