What's the inspiration behind your label?
I started doing this what seems like so long ago, I can't really remember. So I suppose it's not so much about inspiration as it is about motivation. Motivation can wane from day to day, as it becomes increasingly difficult to get music heard and appreciated, but I was speaking to a friend who works at a very successful label about the frustrations of running a small independent label and he said, "but i'm sure you've made some people very happy". Whether he was right or not, that's as good a motivation as any.
How did you start your label?
It just sort of happened. the idea existed before the first band. We were living in Coventry, bored out of our minds, feeling slightly cheated by the empty promises of following the scripted passages of higher education, so we thought we should try something - anything. I don't know why we thought it would work, but we printed out a few posters asking for bands to send us demos - these were posters made in Word using Times New Roman. Who would reply to something like that? Well, one band did, and luckily we thought they were good enough to make an idea into some kind of reality. They were involved with a local college music program/initiative and after a few meetings we managed to get £500 from a guy who headed it who, i think, was in The Sweet at some point. That was the first release, and it kind of snowballed from there. I think that was the first and last time anyone ever gave us any money.
Any interesting facts about your label? Does your label have a ‘USP'?
Don't do anything important with anybody else. We've got that written on t shirts, so I suppose that's as close as we get to a USP.
Where do you go to discover new music?
Same as everyone else I imagine - gigs, online, record shops. The longer you do something like this, the more music comes to you, which isn't always a good thing...
What’s your favourite thing about Independent Label Market?
Meeting people who are fans of the bands and label. It seems trivial or cliche to say it, but it was really encouraging to meet people who seemed to care about the music as much as we do.
What deals and steals are your bringing to the market?
Test pressings and signed records, and there's loads of non-record merch, like posters, fanzines, t shirts, hats, tote bags etc. A cornucopia of indie
Tough Love Records with be at ILM Uniqlo this Saturday 13th May