Owner Follow-Up Interview
with John Gore of Cohort Records
Name: John Gore
Label: Cohort Records
City: Monticello, IN
Artists Roster: too long to list
Original Label Owner Interview with QRD
QRD – Any major changes to the label or your general outlook on running a label since last time?
John – Yeah, the label is pretty much kaput due to lack of interest in CDRs.
QRD – How do you feel labels are more & less useful to artists now than they were five years ago?
John – I enjoyed running the label. It wasn’t my decision to cease activity. No interest, no money. No money, no releases. It’s as simple as that. I’m not sure about the necessity of labels. It all depends on whether you want to do all the work yourself. Some people like to be connected to larger organizations that will facilitate the promotion & distribution issues. The more famous artists benefit from the apparatus of a label. The small fry, in my opinion, are better off taking care of things themselves. As far as I’m concerned Bandcamp has pretty much made small labels obsolete, but there still seems to be a lot of them out there, netlabels I mean, probably because their operators like the process of interaction with artists & I say more power to them. I don’t have any problem having my own music released on netlabels, but most of it goes on Bandcamp.
QRD – There are a lot less record stores than their used to be. How has that effected your model for releasing music?
John – Not at all, since my releases are all download based now.
QRD – Spotify has become an undeniable force that has reduced download sales while (allegedly) fighting piracy. In the end what is good or bad about it for you as a label & do you embrace it?
John – Spotify has a special place in my hating heart. It rips off the artists with its minuscule payment scheme, all under the guise of giving the artist exposure. There’s no Spotify in my immediate future. I’ll continue contentedly with word of mouth promotion as I always have.
QRD – Most labels are making a bit less money than they were a few years ago. What have you done to lower expenses or find new sources of revenue?
John – I still run my label website, but there is almost no sales connected with it anymore. All the money I’ve received has been through Bandcamp. I used to put a lot of time & effort to give my releases handmade covers & the like, but no more. No point in wasting all the time & money when no one is interested.
QRD – What social networks are you active on & what ones aren’t worth the time & energy to you?
John – I primarily use Facebook.
QRD – Do you think fan funding (e.g. Kickstarter) is the future, a fad, or an awful thing for the music industry?
John – I think fan funding is a good idea. At least you know what the interest is before you invest the time & money needed. The only downside I see is not being able to satisfy the customer. If you ask for their money you’d better produce a good product & on time.
QRD – What’s something you leave up to bands to do rather than handling as a label?
John – If they’re a touring band they’ve already got a built-in opportunity to sell releases. For the bedroom musician type, it’s pretty much up to them to do as much or as little as possible to promote the release.
QRD – Do you see albums, EPs, or singles more relevant than a few years ago or pretty much in the same place?
John – Some music needs a full length release to make the conceptual point, some don’t. I guess it all depends on whether you consider it worth the effort.
QRD – Do you have separate release dates for different formats (CD, vinyl, digital download, streaming)?
John – Nope.
QRD – Anything else?
John – Yeah, have fun doing it & keep your expectations low. There’s so much music out there that it will be hard to heard above the din. No one will get rich doing it. Music is supposed to be enjoyed.