Ive just finished reading this incredible book, I read it in 2 or 3 sessions because I couldn’t put it down. It’s like a cross between Fear and Loathing and American Psycho but set in the mid to late nineties London music industry, exactly the time six.byseven were getting signed. The book mentions so many bands and people I know and assorted fuckwits and music industry arseholes we signed publishing deals with. It really brought the whole thing back to me, being wined and dined one minute and then they don’t pick up the phone the next. We avoided a lot of the idiots because we signed a deal with Beggars Banquet pretty quickly – we didn’t want to play the ‘game’ that is so accurately described in this book. Sometimes I wish we had as we were offered over a million quid from one label (probably the main protagonist in this book!) who just wouldn’t accept that we had made a gentlemen’s agreement with Beggars for a 5 album deal.
We actually recorded our first album on a handshake, we didn’t sign the deal until well after the album was recorded and almost finished, which was around the same time that the NME and Melody Maker starting saying that we were going to become a huge stadium band! They didn’t know that we had already signed either because we strung them along with the ‘self release story’. In actual fact Beggars paid for the ‘European Me’ 12″ and gave us 250 envelopes with industry addresses on. We just stuffed the records in the bags and put stamps on (which they also gave us) and posted them from Nottingham so it looked like we were doing it all ourselves on our own label. We pissed ourselves when they kept saying how underground and brilliant it all was. The irony was that when we actually were doing that a few years later they weren’t interested but we still laughed! That’s business. Anyway, it’s a brilliant book, if you haven’t read it, buy it now!
I just posted all the new EP’s out today/ this morning narrowly avoiding a shooting outside my regular post office last Wednesday. I spent all day yesterday working on the packaging to make it really special as I felt slightly mercenary about selling 6 songs recorded as demos for £10 (even though there is only ever gonna be 30). While I was doing it I realized how much I am and have been outside of the music industry now for so long and it made me feel extremely happy, especially after reading that book. I’ve just been offered a deal in Japan and although apprehensive will do it as it doesn’t affect what I release over here and they may pay for me to go over and tour there if they sell enough records (yeah right!)
Anyway, to those of you on this mailing list who bought the Demo’s CD, I am indebted to you, for it is you who keep me away from all those terrible cunts I used to have to meet and have to deal with all those years ago.