Zum 250. Release auf dem britischen Liebhaberlabel haben wir Labelchef Kev Douch zu den Beweg- und Hintergruenden der kleinen aber feinen Plattenpresse aus Oxford befragt. Im Rahmen des Jubilaeums verlosen wir zudem zwei Exemplare der "Let’s Just Do It And Be Legends" Anniversary-Picture Disc-Compilation.
Can you give us a brief introduction about who's behind BSM?
Hi! We're a small team at BSM. I (Kev) have been doing it for 18 years now, and have been joined in recent years by Dave (who looks after many of our campaigns), Connor (who runs our playlists, podcast and various other things) and Josie (who organises our live events and popup shops)
As a record label these days, what does it take to not only stay in business but relevant for as many as 250 releases? What would you say is or has been the secret behind BSM?
I would say the secret is to be smart and observant. You need to be willing and able to change whenever necessary, and always keep your ear to the ground for amazing new music. Either that or you have to be really stupid and just refuse to quit! Over the years we've tried to keep things interesting by changing the way we run campaigns, trying to reach new targets and - in more recent years - diversify into putting on our own little festivals and other things which hopefully excite fans but also keep every day different for us.
What is your approach and the overall idea behind BSM and how has it changed over the years?
I think the core idea always has and always will be to do the best for our bands. The first thing we do when we start working with a new artist is to ask them what they want to achieve from a campaign and then work out how we can help them reach that goal. We're lucky that as the business has grown we now have more time, resources and experience to help with this. I think that's the main thing which has changed along the way. It used to be about trying to do as much as we could with very little, but now we can get a little more creative and come up with fun new ways to try and reach new people. Ideas like making this picture disc compilation and letting people pay whatever price they wanted was a risk, but we were confident that our fans are friendly and would donate what they felt to be a fair price for it.
What other labels or artists inspire you personally?
The Get Up Kids have been my favourite band since they released Something To Write Home About 20 years ago, so the fact we now get to work with them inspires me. I've always been quite inspired by Jack White too, for the eclectic nature of his music but also his entrepreneurship with Third Man Records and all of the weird and wonderful things he does with that. In the UK I think Specialist Subject is an awesome record label who are effortlessly cool and have such great branding, same as Polyvinyl in the US. They both inspire me because I look at some of the things they do and it makes me think we need to try harder!
Can you share a funny/ridiculous/sketchy/special story about one of the releases or signings on BSM?
I've told the story of us signing Andrew WK for a single lots of times (it involves winning money in a Fantasy Football league, square vinyl and a very hot curry) so here's a different story: A very long time ago we put out a compilation of our favourite Swedish bands called Svenskt. To promote it myself and a couple of friends went to Stockholm for a weekend where we hand delivered a copy to a surprised guy who'd bought it online, went to a gig in a converted mental hospital, ended up throwing a last minute party for the CD release in a hut in a forest and, weirdly of all, I ended up on national TV talking about the record. I was really hungover and it's pretty much the worst interview you'll ever see, It aired across the whole country at 6pm so everyone saw it and let's just say we've not worked with another Swedish band since!
Thanks for your time!!
No, thank you!