Archive for August, 2012

It Costs How Much?

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

I was recently reminded of one of the oldest myths in the Music Industry. Many industry professionals feel it is perfectly fine to have one rate for musicians and then another much higher rate for Record Labels. While I understand the feeling that record labels have deep pockets and that you are giving independent artists a “break” this just isn’t the case. Especially when dealing with a small independent label like us (or any of a hundred others I could name). The simple fact is you are still charging the artist, even if a record label is fronting that cost as part of their advance. Whatever the label is charged is going to be charged right back to the artist and until record sales (and increasingly live show revenues) cover all those costs the artist doesn’t see a dime.

While I agree that records labels have taken advantage of Artists for years, for smaller independents that sprung out of the DIY movement this is rarely the case. In our case we act as a partner with our artists. If they are doing say, 100 things to make them selves successful before signing with us, we then take on say 50 of those duties after they sign. We are hopefully amplifying the job they have been doing, not by doing it differently, but by using contacts we have already established. We also add quite a few additional opportunities and projects. Working fast and smart with a streamlined budget seems to be our recipe for any kind of success.

The proclivity of up charging labels was so bad when we first started Slothtrop we would have our artists get quotes for items and then send them a check to cover the cost. While this saved the artist and ourselves some money, it had the net effect of making our artists do more day to day work, not less. So it comes to this, if we have a certain amount of money to spend on anything, recording, photography, video, reproduction, or ad space – do I really need to have the artist call in order to get the best deal? The budget doesn’t magically get larger just because we’re the ones on the other end of the phone. Maybe a fair deal is a fair deal. Don’t you think if you treat a label fairly now, that when they do have a larger budget they’ll’ll come back to you. Well I can’t speak for everyone, but Slothtrop will.

New Releases and some changes!

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Wanted to let you know about a couple of new releases we have available. First up the debut single on Slothtrop Records from Chicago based Paper Arrows, “Love Goes On” a brilliant piece of songwriting which we hope you’ll be hearing in lots of your favorite TV shows soon! (the other two songs on the single aren’t too shabby either).

Next we’ve got the first in a new series of CD’s from Slothtrop Records entitled “5 Dollar Cover” which appropriately enough features songwriters doing 5 songs that inspired them in their formative years. First up is Eric Hester with his first release of new material (even if they are covers) in over 10 years.

Finally the blog section of this website was initially convinced as a way to inform you about all the goings on at Slothtrop Music, not just the releases on Slothtrop Records (we’ve got a management, publishing, and consulting department too!). To get back to our original vision, we will begin posting a series of essays regarding music business topics, things we find helpful, or annoying. We imagine they are going to be pretty unpopular with a lot of folks, as they are designed to help the artist and provide realistic views and expectations about the music industry in general. So be warned………