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QRD #52 - Indie Label Interview Series
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Indie Label Owner Interviews:
Bar la Muerte
Cape & Chalice 
Dusty Medical Records 
Gilead Media
I Had An Accident
Listen Loudest
Low Point 
Prairie Fire Tapes
Saxwand Records 
Silent Media Projects 
Sloow Tapes
Tompkins Square
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Interview with Indie Label Owner Bart De Paepe of Sloow Tapes
March 2011

Name: Bart De Paepe
Label: Sloow Tapes
Country: Belgium
Artists Roster: numerous
Websites: sloowtapes.blogspot.com

QRD – When & why did you start your label?

Bart – I started the label in 2005 when I was hanging out a lot in Antwerp’s premier record store (now sadly missed) Freaks End Future, which acted as my gateway to new unknown spheres of exciting underground music. I got to know quite a few people in Belgium who were running their own labels, releasing good music on tapes & CDRs. Labels like Imvated & Audiobot.

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

Bart – Private savings & cassettes aren’t that expensive.

QRD – How many releases have you put out?

Bart – Close to 100.

QRD – How many releases would you like to do a year?

Bart – I try to keep it around 12 releases a year.

QRD – How many hours a week do you work on the label & how many would you like to?

Bart – 14 hours a day, 7/7.

QRD – What are the fun &/or rewarding parts about running a label?

Bart – Discovering new music, building a record collection through trades, getting to know a lot of interesting people.

QRD – How have your motivations for having a label changed?

Bart – Not really.

QRD – What do you feel is the biggest waste of your time running the label?

Bart – Going to the post office & returning broke.

QRD – What are some labels you admire or feel a kinship to?

Bart – Imvated, Time Lag, Eclipse, Blackest Rainbow.

QRD – What makes you label special & unique?

Bart – The music & the covers I guess.

QRD – How has your physical location effected your label?

Bart – This is the space-age dude.

QRD – What’s been your biggest selling release & why do you think it was?

Bart – They are all limited editions
QRD – What release that you’ve done was the most important & special to you personally?

Bart – Keijo as it was my first release.  Silvester Anfang because a couple years later I started playing in that band.  A bunch of releases by people who have become good friends.

QRD – What are some things that make you want to work with a band?

Bart – I only care for the music.

QRD – What is the thing all releases on your label have in common?

Bart – Slow psych.

QRD – How involved are you with a band for acting as a producer as far as hearing demo ideas or selecting tracks to be on a release or mixing & mastering?

Bart – Not much.

QRD – How involved do you like to be in the artwork design for a release?

Bart – I like to take care of that myself, I find a lot of cover art tedious & very boring.

QRD – How long is it from when an artist delivers an album to you until release date & why?

Bart – Lately it has been going fairly quick, depends on how many other masters I have laying around.

QRD – How big of a staff do you have & how big of one do you need?

Bart – It’s a solo ride.

QRD – Do you view advertisements as a way to generate interest & revenue or more as a way to financially support magazines & websites you like?

Bart – I don’t have the money for this.
QRD – How do you decide how big the initial pressing of a release should be?

Bart – I consult astrology charts & the karma of the band.
QRD – Ideally, would you release your own material?

Bart – I have already done this.

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

Bart – What is that? Nope.
QRD – Do you think the return of vinyl & cassettes is a fad?

Bart – I hate digital formats, only analogue is real man.

QRD – Is it important to have physical releases over digital ones or does it not matter?

Bart – The physical format is the reason why I started a label!! I was intrigued by the format of the cassette; it’s a great object & has kind of a nostalgic feeling to pre-internet days.  Who cares about a 1000 MP3s on his computer or MP3 player?? I want to pick the records/tapes/books off my shelves, look at the cover, take out the tape/LP & put it in the deck/record player.  It keeps you sane.

QRD – What do you think of ultra-limited runs of releases (less than 100 discs)?

Bart – It’s all I do.  & it’s not that “ultra” limited... less waste.