Making records Posted on Friday 8 May 2009

So, we wanted to say a little something about the way we are going about releasing our album “Reservoir” and how we’ve ended up as CEOs of the mighty Raffle Bat Records corp. It was never our particular intention to plough our own furrow and stand David-like against the Goliath music biz, but by a series of baby steps and cursory scrutiny of just what you have to give up to sign even a cruddy record deal, it seems that’s where we have ended up.

After talking to a lot of labels and other parts of the industry, going to countless meetings and learning a whole lot more of the ins and outs of the legal, number-crunching side of music than we ever thought we would (or than we wanted to), we decided last year to just talk directly to a great producer and make an arrangement between them, our management and us where we could just go ahead and make the record we wanted. It was an incredibly liberating feeling – to just figure out what we’d like to do and then just do it!

So the record gets made. Everyone is excited. Back to talking deals, meeting labels again, more number crunching… but guess what? It’s the same story over again. So we figured, why stop here, if we got this far on our own, why should we now chicken out and start giving away 85% of our income for the pleasure of being affiliated with a record label?

Meanwhile things are ticking on… people are starting to review the album and want to know: what label is it coming out on? We’ve got NME in one ear and Mojo in the other and need to figure out what to tell them to go to print with. Ok, so why don’t we just say that it’s coming out on a label called… er… Raffle Bat Records. It’s just a formality at this point; the name is a stupid in-joke but why not?

And now here we are, seemingly with a DIY record label on our hands… the album is up on iTunes, we’ve got a makeshift living room mail-order business running selling it from our website (thanks to everyone who’s bought it, tell a friend who hasn’t), in a couple of weeks we are Album of the Week at Rough Trade in London, and a couple of weeks after that the record will be out in the UK’s other remaining record stores via the clever new distribution deal we just struck.

If you build it they will come.

The experiment continues…