Label Owner Interview with Roger Linney of Reverb Worship
Label: Reverb Worship
Artists Roster: The Hare & the Moon, Sand Snowman, Moonswift, Wyrdstone, Kawabata Makoto, LSD March, Pete Fosco, Magic Carpathians, Jeremy Kelly, & others.
QRD When & why did you start your label?
QRD Where did you get the money to finance your first few releases?
QRD How many releases have you put out?
Roger So far 140 plus although I have done various editions of some releases.
QRD How many releases would you like to do a year?
QRD How many hours a week do you work on the label & how many would you like to?
Roger 40 hours normally.
QRD What are the fun &/or rewarding parts about running a label?
Roger Getting worthwhile comments from buyers & artists, good reviews. Doing music with people you admire.
QRD How have your motivations for having a label changed?
Roger The recession has made me more conscious of what I do.
QRD What do you feel is the biggest waste of your time running the label?
Roger Having customers reserve items & not paying for them.
QRD What are some labels you admire or feel a kinship to?
Roger Blackest Rainbow, Earworm, Static Caravan, Lanimeaux Tryst, etc.
QRD What other work experiences prepared you to have a label?
Roger I used to do printing many years ago.
QRD What makes you label special & unique?
Roger All my release are handmade & I like to think of them as works of art really.
QRD How has your physical location effected your label?
Roger Living near London you get access to better gigs.
QRD Whats your demos policy?
Roger I would rather prefer to receive demos on CD rather than music files sent in an email or download.
QRD How do you find out about new artists for your label?
Roger Research & looking around. Sometimes recommendation.
QRD How do most fans find out about your label?
Roger Reviews, internet, distros, website &/or word of mouth.
QRD Whats been your biggest selling release & why do you think it was?
Roger Probably the two releases by The Hare & The Moon. They make great dark psychedelic folk music.
QRD What release that youve done was the most important & special to you personally?
Roger I always like working with Kawabata Mmakoto (we do a release each year). I also enjoy working with the Magic Carpathians. Most artists appreciate what I do.
QRD What are some things that make you want to work with a band?
Roger I have to like the music.
QRD What are some things that would make you stop working with a band?
Roger Being messed around.
QRD What is the thing all releases on your label have in common?
Roger Good music & nice artwork.
QRD How involved do you like to be in the artwork design for a release?
Roger I do most of the designs & I make almost everything myself. However I do encourage artists to get involved. Some do contribute from time to time.
QRD How long is it from when an artist delivers an album to you until release date & why?
Roger It ranges from a few days to 6 or 7 months or even more sometimes.
QRD If a band breaks up between the recording of a release & the release date, how does that effect what you do?
Roger N/A so far.
QRD What do you wish bands on your label would do?
Roger I hate having music files sent to me via email. It just clogs up your inbox.
QRD Whats a record youd like to put out that youll never be able to?
QRD If you really like a band, but arent sure you could sell many copies of their record; what do you do?
Roger Do a small edition.
QRD How is financing of a release split between artists & the label?
Roger I usually give the artist a portion of the CDs I make for them.
QRD How do you maintain contact with your fanbase?
Roger My website, MySpace, Facebook, blogs, email group.
QRD How big of a staff do you have & how big of one do you need?
Roger Just me.
QRD What do you do to build relationships with record stores?
Roger I deal with online distros.
QRD What do you do to build relationships with radio stations?
Roger Send CDs sometimes.
QRD What do you do to build relationships with magazines & websites?
Roger Send review copies sometimes.
QRD What is the job of your distributors?
Roger I do this myself.
QRD How do you decide how big the initial pressing of a release should be?
Roger Judgment. Sometimes I do second, third editions.
QRD What percentage of a pressing do you use for promotions?
Roger Depends 5-10%.
QRD Do you sell merchandise other than the music (t-shirts, etc.)?
QRD Do you sell music that is not on your label?
QRD How has running a label effected your own artistic career?
Roger It keeps me going artistically.
QRD Ideally, would you release your own material?
QRD What do you do to try to build a sense of community within your roster?
Roger Keep in touch.
QRD Whats your most common conversation with bands as far as balancing artistic integrity & financial viability?
Roger Trying to encourage cost effectiveness.
QRD How often do you look at your return on investment & adjust your business model?
QRD Do you worry about search engine optimization & website traffic?
QRD What have you done to cut costs over the years?
Roger Re-evaluate packaging, postage, & shipping.
QRD Do you think the album format is dead?
QRD Do you think the return of vinyl & cassettes is a fad?
QRD Is it important to have physical releases over digital ones or does it not matter?
Roger Physical is very important.
QRD What do you think of ultra-limited runs of releases (less than 100 discs)?
Roger Love em.
QRD What do you think of print on demand discs?
QRD How much content do you feel should be available free to fans?
Roger Depends on what you mean by content.
QRD Whats something you see other labels do that you think of as borderline unethical?
Roger Being too over the top with packaging. Charging too much for product.
QRD What changes in things would cause you to stop your label?
Roger No sales.
QRD What would you suggest to someone starting a label today?
Roger Try to be as cost effective as possible.
QRD Where do you think money is currently most available to labels/musicians & where in the future?
Roger The internet.
QRD Why do you think labels are still important to artists?
Roger Certain labels have kudos.
QRD Music has had different hotspots on the internet over the years (newsgroups, MP3.com, MySpace, LastFM), but with MySpaces decline, what do you see as the place where normal people go to find out about & get excited by new music?
Roger Facebook is good.
QRD In 20 years what do you think/hope your label will be known/remembered for?
Roger Interesting releases.