As we mentioned in our last post about Saturday’s hugely exciting Independent Label Market, we’re catching up with some of the labels involved to discuss them, the industry as a whole and their thoughts on meeting their customers face to face.
Having introduced the likes of Bloc Party, Florence and The Machine, Hot Chip and current We Heart band-crush, Egyptian Hip Hop – the guys at Moshi Moshi sure have a keen ear for crossover indie whilst always maintaining their cool with a steady flow of the latest underground sounds – we caught up with Michael McClatchey for a quick chat about Saturday’s Soho market…
What was your inspiration for starting a label?
Just wanting to do it for ourselves. We both worked for record labels when we started Moshi Moshi so it was a chance for us to do our own thing. An opportunity to indulge our own passions and see if other people felt the same about the stuff that we liked.
What has been the biggest change caused by downloading to your label and the independent record industry as a whole?
We have probably suffered less than many because our business doesn’t rely on big back catalogue sales. On balance the digital revolution has probably done us as much good as harm. Sure we sell less physical product these days but the internet has enabled us to have a much wider reach than we ever would have been able to. And reach people who would never have knows we existed. I actually find the opportunities presented by digital music very exciting and I think (hope) it’s will ultimately be a good thing for us.
Berwick Street is obviously a huge part of the UK’s music heritage, how big a loss, do you think, are shops like Sister Ray to popular culture?
I think it would be a real shame if we lost independent record stores. They are a place where like-minded music fans can hang out and learn more about the stuff their passionate about. I’d hope that this social aspect of the indie store might be its saviour.
We have fond memories of trawling through stacks of vinyl on the hunt for something special, hanging around in record shops, meeting new people, and so on… How important do you think events like this and Record Store Day are in both preserving something special, and introducing the digital kids to the excitement of physical music?
Record Store Day is a great idea. Not only is it a chance to remind people how great these places are but its an opportunity for labels like ours to show our support and do something creative with physical product that we probably wouldn’t otherwise be doing.
Are you looking forward to meeting the record buying public? What do you think you’ll gain from the experience as a label boss?
I’m strangely excited. I used to work in a record shop before i started the label and I loved it. I enjoy the inter-action with the public – it gives you a window into what people are listening to that you don’t get stuck behind a desk. Sometimes i wish i could go back to it so maybe this could be a turning point in my career.