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QRD #47 - Record Label Owner Interview Series
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Label Owner Interviews with:
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Reverb Worship
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Record Label Owner Interview with Roger Linney of Reverb Worship
January 2011
Name: Roger Linney
Label: Reverb Worship
City: Maidenhead
Artists Roster: The Hare & the Moon, Sand Snowman, Moonswift, Wyrdstone, Kawabata Makoto, LSD March, Pete Fosco, Magic Carpathians, Jeremy Kelly, & others.
Websites: www.reverbworship.com

QRD – When & why did you start your label?

Roger – 2007.

QRD – Where did you get the money to finance your first few releases? 

Roger – Savings.

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? 

Roger – 50.

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 – What’s 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 – What’s 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 you’ve 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 – What’s a record you’d like to put out that you’ll never be able to? 

Roger – Eleh.

QRD – If you really like a band, but aren’t 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.)? 

Roger – No.

QRD – Do you sell music that is not on your label? 

Roger – Yes.

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? 

Roger – No.

QRD – What do you do to try to build a sense of community within your roster? 

Roger – Keep in touch.

QRD – What’s 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? 

Roger – Regularly.

QRD – Do you worry about search engine optimization & website traffic? 

Roger – Yes.

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? 

Roger – No.

QRD – Do you think the return of vinyl & cassettes is a fad? 

Roger – No.

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? 

Roger – Okay.

QRD – How much content do you feel should be available free to fans? 

Roger – Depends on what you mean by content.

QRD – What’s 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 MySpace’s 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.