RISE OF THE ROBOTS
In a very rare interview, the only original member of electronica legends Kraftwerk, Ralf Hutter, reveals his inner android and tells what it will be like to headline Ireland’s newest festival
Top interviews with Flume, Frightened Rabbit and Django Django
Longitude Dos and Don’ts
Confessions of a festival virgin
Detailed site map
If there’s one term used in and around the music industry most likely to induce severe teeth-gnashing and the loss of politeness towards others, it is the phrase “unsigned band”. No other phrase grinds my gears more, not even the recent American name for dance music – “EDM”.
With the democratisation of musical control and the opportunities brought about by a little thing called the internet that I write about here every week, the landscape was dug up and relaid. There doesn’t have to be a gatekeeper, a middle man to get that music out there any more. Technology makes things easier and cheaper to make a reality; social media gets the word out to fans. Bands are no longer primarily obligated to attempt to throw themselves at a major or independent label.
The idea of a “record deal” is one entrenched in the fabric of the rock’n'roll dream. But nowadays, the idea of a band being unsigned just shows a person’s lack of savvy or lack knowledge that the game has changed. Nevermind that the heyday of the record deal was essentially a risk-heavy loan given to a band that they could potentially have been paying back for years.
Which is precisely why I adore the concept behind Any And All Records (anyandallrecords.com), the owners of which clearly share my gripe with the dogged use of that old-fashioned vernacular and are seeking to eradicate it altogether.
Any band can pop over to the the Any And All Records website, fill in a form and before you can say, “Rick Rubin” , they will no longer be “unsigned”. As Any And All Records say “our record label obligates nobody to anything.”
They won’t claim any ownership on your music because the site exists explicitly to make the term “unsigned” go away forever and to get musicians, many of which are still stuck in the old ways of record deals, to move on and embrace the present and face the realistic possibilities. No to unsigned forever more.
Glen Hansard is Once bitten but never shy, as he gives one of his most honest interviews ever to John Meagher, telling how Once may have ended his relationship, how he always wants his songs to be heard by as many people as possible, and how it is to meet his heroes, including The Boss.
ALWAYS ON OUR MIND
Over 30 years on the road, Pet Shop Boys are the most successful electronic act in history, take that Daft Punk. They tell Eamon Sweeney the secret of their success SEX, GOD & ROCK ‘N’ ROLL Matthew E White is a man of God and beards, he is also the sound of tomorrow, he reveals his spiritual inspiration BONEHEAD Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs on the ‘madness’ of life in Oasis, the group’s inevitable bust-up and why he’s happy to no longer be a rock and roll star