with Andrea Vascellari of ViVeriVive & VeniVersus
Name: Andrea Vascellari
Label: ViVeriVive & VeniVersus
City: Vittorio Veneto (Italy)
Artists Roster: Lullabier, Firetail, Mircanto, Giò Fattoruso, Faro, Rodolfo Toè, Il Nostro Tempo Violento, & others.
Websites: viverivive.blogspot.com; veniversus.blogspot.com; facebook.com/viverivive
QRD – When & why did you start your label?
Andrea – ViVeriVive was born in January 2011, to release songs with Italian lyrics made by me & by friends. VeniVersus was born in April 2015 to release instrumental music & songs with non-Italian lyrics.
QRD – Where did you get the money to finance your first few releases?
Andrea – First releases were digital-only. No money involved, just time.
QRD – How many releases have you put out?
Andrea – 18.
QRD – How many releases would you like to do a year?
Andrea – 3 or 4.
QRD – What are the fun &/or rewarding parts about running a label?
Andrea – Feedback from listeners & press.
QRD – How have your motivations for having a label changed over time?
Andrea – They haven’t changed.
QRD – What do you feel is the biggest waste of your time running the label?
Andrea – Uploading music on the web maybe?
QRD – What are some labels you admire or feel a kinship to?
Andrea – Biggest inspiration has always been the free-download stuff of Silber. I also like Silentes, Under The Spire, Kranky, Slaapwell, Moonpalace.
QRD – What other work experiences prepared you to have a label?
Andrea – None.
QRD – What makes your label special & unique?
Andrea – ViVeriVive is the only label focused on music with Italian lyrics. VeniVersus is just born, I hope it will become unique soon thanks to its music.
QRD – How has your physical location effected your label?
Andrea – All the artists are Italian.
QRD – What’s your demos policy?
Andrea – I listen to them.
QRD – How do you find out about new artists for your label?
Andrea – Lately I don’t.
QRD – How do most fans find out about your label?
Andrea – Press & social networks.
QRD – What’s been your biggest selling release & why do you think it was?
Andrea – Just a few of our releases aren’t free. Osservazione rilassamento e assenza di giudizio by Lullabier is the biggest selling one. So Far by Firetail is the most downloaded release among the free ones. Probably because they are good albums.
QRD – What release that you’ve done was the most important & special to you personally?
Andrea – Every release by Lullabier, who is me.
QRD – What are some things that make you want to work with a band?
Andrea – Just their music.
QRD – What are some things that would make you stop working with a band?
Andrea – Artists must support the label, or the label won’t support the artists anymore.
QRD – What is the thing all releases on your label have in common?
Andrea – ViVeriVive: Italian lyrics. VeniVersus: non-Italian lyrics & instrumentals.
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?
Andrea – I do mastering if needed.
QRD – How involved do you like to be in the artwork design for a release?
Andrea – Sometimes I do everything, sometimes I do nothing. It depends.
QRD – If a band breaks up between the recording of a release & the release date, how does that effect what you do?
Andrea – It doesn’t. I’ve released an EP by a broken-up band.
QRD – What do you wish bands on your label would do?
Andrea – Promotion.
QRD – What’s a record you’d like to put out that you’ll never be able to?
Andrea – Never say never!
QRD – How is financing of a release split between artists & the label?
Andrea – It depends, most of times I pay everything.
QRD – How do you split profits from a release between artists & your label?
Andrea – 50%-50% after recoup of costs.
QRD – Do you have written contracts with your bands or handshake deals?
Andrea – E-mail deals.
QRD – Do you take a cut of a band’s publishing?
Andrea – No.
QRD – Do you handle promotions in house or hire out & why?
Andrea – In house. Not enough money for outsourcing this kind of thing.
QRD – How do you maintain contact with your fanbase?
Andrea – Social networks.
QRD – Do you have intern & street team programs & if so, how do they operate?
Andrea – Just me.
QRD – What do you do to build relationships with magazines & websites?
Andrea – I send promos & press releases.
QRD – What is the job of your distributors?
Andrea – I don’t have contacts with them. Some copies of the physical releases are distributed by a bigger (far bigger!) label named Silentes.
QRD – What percentage of a pressing do you use for promotions?
Andrea – Just send digital promos.
QRD – Do you sell merchandise other than the music (t-shirts, etc.)?
Andrea – No.
QRD – Do you sell music that is not on your label?
Andrea – No.
QRD – How has running a label effected your own artistic career?
Andrea – Heavily, since I started releasing some of my own stuff (Lullabier & Firetail).
QRD – Ideally, would you release your own material?
Andrea – I do.
QRD – What do you do to try to build a sense of community within your roster?
Andrea – I try to get authors to promote each other.
QRD – Do you think the album format is dead?
Andrea – No.
QRD – Do you think the return of vinyl & cassettes is a fad?
Andrea – I don’t listen to them.
QRD – Is it important to have physical releases over digital ones or does it not matter?
Andrea – Lots of people still love physical stuff over Mp3s.
QRD – What do you think of ultra-limited runs of releases (less than 100 discs)?
Andrea – That’s what we do!
QRD – What do you think of “print on demand” discs?
Andrea – It’s fine, a good way to cut costs.
QRD – How much content do you feel should be available free to fans?
Andrea – As much as possible. Most of the time, a fan who has downloaded some stuff for free will reward the artist buying a physical release.
QRD – What do you do about people distributing your music without financial compensation (piracy & file trading)?
Andrea – It has not sense, since most of our stuff is available for free.
QRD – What changes in things would cause you to stop your label?
Andrea – If I ever get bored, I’ll stop.
QRD – What would you suggest to someone starting a label today?
Andrea – Don’t do it. Look for a suited label for your music instead.
QRD – Where do you think money is currently most available to labels/musicians & where in the future?
Andrea – Digital downloads & also donations.
QRD – Why do you think labels are still important to artists?
Andrea – Labels maintain contacts with press, & can increase the fan base of artists.
QRD – Music has had different hotspots on the internet over the years (newsgroups, MP3.com, MySpace, LastFM), but when MySpace died there was no real space that picked up the torch, what do you see as the place where “normal” people go to find out about & get excited by new music?
Andrea – Bandcamp, Soundcloud, & Spotify.
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?
Andrea – I just put some stuff on Spotify (it is difficult to recoup the costs), but I like it & often listen to music on it.
QRD – What social networks are you active on?
Andrea – Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp.
QRD – With the rise of social networks & trusted download shops, has your own website become less important than it was a few years ago?
Andrea – It’s still the main information source for label-related stuff.
QRD – In 20 years what do you think/hope your label will be known/remembered for?
Andrea – Cool music!
QRD – Anything else?
Andrea – No thanks. Hope readers will love our stuff.