Last years Ludicra album, “The Tenant” was my top pick for the year. It was a beautiful record, heavy, harsh yet, very melodic and moving. The vinyl release was by a little label called Throne Records. The label is based in Spain and has put out a lot of great music; as I like to support those that support good music, I thought I would shine a little spotlight Thrones way. The owner, UG, graciously took a few minute to answer some questions, so read the interview; then head over to Throne and buy some music.
1) Tell us a little about yourself.
a) I’m UG, turning 37 this July. Been involved in the DIY scene since the very early 90’s. Playing in bands, writing fanzines, distributing stuff, putting up gigs/tours, and of course, releasing records. Main focus nowadays is Throne Records and Gälernå, my new band, where I play guitar.
2) Why did you decide to start your own label?
a) I was involved in several labels and distros before, so it was a natural process. I started releasing and distributing my own bands back in the day, until today.
3) How did your label get started?
a) Being active since so many years, it’s like a snowball. You meet people, get to know new bands, you get demos in, etc. etc. I started with Throne in 2002, after quitting my older label Don’t Belong. Some of the first releases in Throne were agreed back in the Don’t Belong days, so you get the picture…
4) What is the most difficult part of running a label?
a) Dedication, motivation, and of course, money. If you don’t sell your latest release, you have no money in for the next one, and so on…
5) Based on the releases I’ve seen from you label, it’s obvious you put a lot of effort into them, particularly the vinyl. How much time goes into the actual design of these releases?
a) Well, it always depends. I help as much as I can with designs and such, but for the most part it’s the band who provides the artwork. Or the main pictures, for me to put together and add the final touches. If I get a shitty artwork, I try to be respectful with the band, but I most probably would tell them to change it for the better, since a bad artwork is not good neither for the label nor for the band themselves…
6) Which of your releases is your personal favorite?
a) Always the upcoming one! I value every single record I’ve released, but the main excitement always comes with the brand new stuff in the works.
7) If you could re-release any album you wanted on vinyl, what would it be and how would you package it?
a) Tough one… there’s a lot of vinyl albums from the 90’s (when labels tried to push CDs in) so poorly packaged… I wouldn’t choose just one. I can’t. I would re-package half of my 12”s collection into gatefold sleeves, haha…
8) Is there another small label out there that you admire? Why?
a) Yeah, too many to mention. You can guess by looking at my links section at the label’s site. I try to deal only with labels I admire.
9) Are there any specific artists that you would like to work with?
a) Nah, I’m OK with the ones wanting to work together with me. Of course I’m always in the search for new blood, but I try to be happy with what I’ve got.
10) What do you see as the future for CDs? Digital? Vinyl?
a) I did quit releasing CD format several years ago now… I think it’s slowly dying… some labels around realized about it recently, but when I decided to quit CDs some labels around thought I was going mad or something… Personally I think this way: For those wanting to buy the original album – vinyl. For those not interested in pilling up material things, but wish to support the bands and help them continue recording new stuff – digital download. With one remark here: if you’re charging money for a digital download, supply a wav / uncompressed file. CD audio quality. That’s the minimum you can do if people is paying for your songs… otherwise compressed mp3s are freely available in the net, who would pay for that anyway?
11) Where can we get our hands on the records you release?
a) Well, if you go to the label’s site, there’s a Links list with all my distributors there, divided into countries, so you can choose your nearest distro/label/shop carrying Throne in your country.
12) What advice do you have for someone that wants to start their own label?
a) Good taste, commitment, patience and perseverance. Not afraid of loosing funds helps too…