Jim Carroll

Music, Life and everything else

Independence day for label-weary Supergrass

Supergrass have become the latest established act to see if they can get by without the help and largesse of a major label. After 13 years and five albums with EMI’s Parlophone imprint, the band has decided all future recordings …

Fri, Dec 19, 2008, 10:34

   

Supergrass have become the latest established act to see if they can get by without the help and largesse of a major label. After 13 years and five albums with EMI’s Parlophone imprint, the band has decided all future recordings will come out on their own independent label.

In an interview with BBC 6 Music, bassist (and newly-installed band managing director) Mickey Quinn claimed changes at the label since its takeover by private equity group Terra Firma led to this decision.

“Parlophone has changed so much over the past year,” he claimed.

“A lot of people seem to have left the company who were there for a long time, and who we respected. We saw a lot of wastage of money and a lot of things that seemed a bit pointless at the time. When you’re footing the bill you pull your horns in. In a lot of ways, that makes you more creative.”

Supergrass are the second high-profile band to turn their backs on EMI in favour of an independent approach since Guy Hands and Terra Firma took over.

In 2007, Radiohead headed for the hills with the In Rainbows album under their oxters. They initially promoted it in a name-your-own-price offer before signing deals with XL and ATO for its release.

But Oxford bands such as Supergrass and Radiohead are not the only ones leaving major labels behind and looking around for innovative new business plans.

This week, Madness announced a hook-up with Power Amp Music to release their new album The Liberty of Norton Folgate. Power Amp Music is a company set up to use the UK’s Enterprise Initiative Scheme funds to help acts to self-release albums.

And Patrick Wolf, the London-based singer-songwriter whose last album The Magic Position was released on Universal Music, will be relying on fans to fund his next album. Wolf has begun to sell £10 shares via Bandstocks to pay for his fourth album Battle.

Expect to see more of these deals and schemes to emerge in the months to come.

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