Behind The Scenes is a series of interviews and guest blogs, where artists give us insight about their work in a specific industry. Here, Rob from Little Comets contrasts his band's experiences on Columbia Records, a major label, and their current independent label, Dirty Hit.
Words: Rob Coles
Hello.... I sing in a band called Little Comets, from Newcastle, there are four of us...
But I think we all have very different functions and interests, which helps us be more of a shape. Even though Mickey knows the architectural strength of a triangle, we are a pretty tough quadrilateral - four insulated sides that have taken an emotionally jaunting set of strides through the past three years, and despite the minor ablutions and rigorous examinations, are still pretty intact.
The last twelve months in particular have been a truly tumultuous time, stemming from our relationship with Columbia Records - a meeting of totally unlike minds...
I suppose it was with great naivety that both parties thought that they'd be able to steamroller the other, we assumed that we'd still be able to self-produce (Mickey had really spent hours creating our recorded sound and was able to clearly enunciate his ideas), look the same, decide where and when we could release singles, play gigs and maintain our online content. The confusion created by this misunderstanding quickly knacked up our relationship.
The most frustrating aspect for us was the lack of a middle ground or a coherence as to why things should be done in a particular way. From starting Little Comets we've always tried to solve a problem using an iterative process and been very logical about jumping hurdles - Michael has a physics degree and a tenacious ability to argue, so we were initially brow-beaten into adopting such an approach by him. Equally, if somebody could counter an argument with a sensible proposition then we would reluctantly concede a point. Columbia's constant retort was "trust us", or "it doesn't work like that", a recipe for disaster especially considering that our principles have always been very self-reliant.
I guess we just made a bad call in signing to a major label, as cash-aside it was a very deflating experience - being turned into some sort of automaton, constantly patronised or fobbed off.
Since signing to Dirty Hit we've been a lot more relaxed. We considered self-releasing but came to the conclusion that we needed a buffer between ourselves and the actual machinations of the music industry. Also, Dirty Hit actually use reason to make a decision, trusts us to be creative without capturing our thoughts in a plastic bag and has belief in our music - they seem to like it more than we do. They even thinks we're illogical.... ha ha, we find that particularly offensive!
It is a relationship that works because we both just about recognise where our energies are best focused - an honest appraisal that we've finally learned through trial and error. For the sake of their own musical output, I hope that Columbia have found the experience similarly cathartic.
STREAM: Little Comets - Joanna
DOWNLOAD: Little Comets - Joannacapella
Little Comets release new single 'Joanna' on January 17th. In the meantime, enjoy their advent calendar on Facebook, with a choice cut embedded in the YouTube video above.
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