signing the paper.

So I signed the estimate from Way To Go! that committed us to four CD releases over the next twelve months.  

Sandy and I had pored over the list of costs that I had made, and realized that the biggest costs involved with putting out records were the manufacturing costs – pressing records and printing packaging.

It sounds silly to say, but if it wasn’t for the damn manufacturing costs, we would have been in pretty good shape.  I had really begun to resent them, though, because so many indie records were just bad, and we had such good music sitting in our “good” pile of demos – there was crap like The Cucumbers coming out on various indie labels, and yet we were sitting on demos from so many good bands that were sitting in a pile on top of my stereo, just waiting until we or some other tiny label were able to scrape together the money to put it out.

I could, at any point, rattle off a list of indie bands that I absolutely hated, who were putting out records on indie labels all over.  Even labels I liked.  It seemed that even within the indie rock community, there was crap.  I had good music to put out. 

And seven-inches weren’t enough anymore.

The day I faxed the signed paper to Way To Go!, I called doug from cuppa joe.  The conversation literally went something like this:

“Doug, I’d like to put out a full-length for cuppa joe.”

“Okay.”

The band had recorded a bunch more music across two recording sessions – the original sessions that yielded their demonstrations demo tape, and the second session that yielded “bottlerocket” and “surface area” from the busy work e.p.

“We have some new stuff we want to record,” he said. “We had planned to go into the studio anyway, so we’ll go in and record the new stuff.”

That was going to give me a huge assortment of music to choose from.

I had planned on doing the Travel Guide, and we were also toying with the idea of doing another compilation album.  But I wanted to get a few full-length CDs out before we started talking about any more “Various Artists” collections.  

I had heard “Superworld” and “Watermelon,” and I had seen Footstone live a bunch of times that winter.  I could sort of feel where the band was going.  And so one night I was sitting with Ralph and Mark – it might have been at Paul’s Bar in Hoboken – and I sprung it on them.

“Do you guys want to do a CD on Dromedary?”

I could see it in Ralph’s face pretty quickly that the answer was yes.  After just a few minutes of back-and-forth, they began talking about logistics.  Where would they record it?

“Do you think Ray would let us do a whole CD there?” Ralph asked.

“I’d rather not put that out,” I said.  “Could you find another studio?”

“Oh, yeah, I forgot,” Mark said. “Sure.”

We talked for a while longer, and I had the distinct feeling that Footstone were pleased.

Sandy and I talked about putting out cuppa joe and Footstone CDs simultaneously, in mid summer – like, July.  Then, we wanted to follow up with two more CDs in the fall – one full-length, and one compilation.

It was right about this time that I got a phone call from Mike Hart, the drummer from Toast.

“Ron told me to call you.  He said you might be interested in putting out a Toast 7″.”

I was thrilled.  “I can do one better,” I explained. “I’d like to put out a Toast CD.”

Mike’s reaction was not what I expected.  “We’d really rather do a 7″.”

I stammered for a second.  “I can’t really do seven-inches anymore,” I said.  “I can do CDs for almost the same price, and there’s just not a lot of money in seven-inches.”

“We don’t have a lot of music recorded, and we don’t have a lot of money to go into the studio,” Mike explained.  “I’ll have to talk about it with the band.”

“Even if you don’t have a lot of music recorded, we could do an EP.  Think about it, let me know.”

I also called Mike from Gapeseed, and made him the same offer.  I made it clear that I wanted their Silver Girl CD to do well, but also said that I’d love to do the followup record on Dromedary.

Footstone, cuppa joe, Toast, and Gapeseed.  Four bands, four potential CDs.  I hadn’t even begun talking to any of the other bands from The Tape, and I was beginning to flesh out the details of a compilation album as well.

It was amazing how quickly I could fulfill a four-CD commitment.

~ by Al on April 9, 2009.

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