How do small record labels work these days? (1 Viewer)


Since 1999
Nov 15, 1999
Where dogs wear hats and birds fly backwards
... and how do they make any money?

For example KEELEY (who maybe used to post here?) is on Dimple Discs in London, with only 300-odd monthly listeners on Spotify. She's getting some decent support slots in Dublin, and a bit of press, which I guess is the label's doing, but how on earth are they making any money out of it? Similar for Klubber Lang - on FIFA, but only ~150 monthly listeners on Spotify. Is it cos people who are into tiny bands tend to buy physical merch, and the label takes a cut of that?
I like playing gigs ok. But the social aspect of being in a room with guitars with Mates is the absolutel best thing about being in bands for me.

I'd be content jamming in someone's kitchen.
My band gave up on gigs and played in a rehearsal studio for a couple of years before we split up. Best thing we ever did (playing for ourselves, not splitting up). Was listening to some rough recordings and we were doing some great stuff at the time.
Haha the most recent one we put out was in May 2022, and there's loads of lyrics for it (most of which I didn't use) in pre-2011 notebook. The lyrics of the first verse in the song I'm working on now are, judging by their position in the notebooks, from before I left my previous job in 2017 ... so maybe I'm speeding up, but not much

the last album I did (2017) was a concept album based around a random song I began to write in 2007.
I love an audience, me
Me too but it’s the faff of moving gear around, dealing with venues, dealing with sound men (I remember playing in Eamon Doran’s and having no mic because the sound man walked off during the set - we were instrumental but it’s nice to talk to people while tuning), and losing money.

Though we did play a wonderful small set at the King Kong Club in Pravda/The Grand Social. I think it was our last show and everything was perfect - it was essentially a battle of the bands which we won conclusively but had to say no thanks to returning for a finals as half the band was moving to the UK.
the big empty hole is space to throw your hope, dreams, money, and youth into
Done! Goodbye to those things (waves)

For me an audience is just anyone who'll listen. I can't afford to be picky

a recent song by egg_ said:
It's open mic night, it's open mic night
And we're all here because we need
Someone to listen
Even a musician
We can't afford
To be ignored

(gonna be playing the above at an open mic night in Bar Eile on Baggott St tonight if anyone lives nearby)
Actually,I do really like saying gigs. Just don't often get asked. And I'm not into the hustle,ass kissing and general constant socialising that's needed to get more.
I love playing gigs whenever I get the chance. The main obstacle for us is time to play them. I’ve 2 young kids and a wife who works a lot of evenings and weekends. And our drummer has 3 kids and has to work the occasional weekend so it limits things a fair bit there. So the idea of going out schmoozing and socialising outside the current gigs we actually get to play ourselves is pretty much not going to happen
We recorded an ep last weekend. We’re just waiting on the final mixes etc. we’re half thinking of sending it out to a few small labels to see if anyone would be interested in releasing it. Has anyone here ever done this? Or do ye have any advice on this?

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