Following on from Part One, Isaac from Wake spoke to us in a little more detail about the UK scene and what he’ll be releasing in the near future.
Take us through the current UK alternative scene. What’s good, and what’s bad?
The state of the music scene currently is a very delicate subject for me right now, but for the sake of this interview/being controversial I will speak my mind. Over the past year or so I’ve seen so many bands come and go, and it depresses me to say this but arguably the majority of them have churned out release after release of mediocre music that just sounds like a diluted version of their favourite grunge/pop-punk/emo band. My philosophy on artists like these is that they are way too caught up on being ‘legit’, and I think unfortunately this is the fault of the internet (as useful as it can be), how important image apparently is, and having a super gnarly rad social networking presence. Actually writing the music really does seem to me like the least important aspect of being part of this generation of bands, and what’s even more tragic is that by tarting up every other less important aspect they’re able to manipulate suckers into thinking it’s incredible and a credit to the scene. No. Occasionally I’ll strike gold when searching for new music, and I’ll really be able to tell the amount of thought put into the writing process. It’s moments of discovery like these that make me see the scene in a different light, a band will stand out to me for being innovative and concerned about their music, for pushing boundaries, and that’s really special but unfortunately so rare nowadays thanks to this wave of identical, image conscious rockstars. Maybe it’s just me that feels this way? It probably is just me.
Although fairly new, you’ve already got a few releases out. How have you found putting these out? Stressful? Fulfilling? A dream come true?
I’ve found them fairly stress free. After thinking running a label was a complicated web of all sorts of fine details these first few have given me an insight on how simple releasing music can be. However, I don’t feel I could ever call it a dream come true, purely because of the kind of person I am. Naturally I’m always thinking of the future and what could be possible so I don’t think I’ll ever be completely satisfied. I feel I needed to get these first few releases under my belt to get to grips with how the whole process worked, and now I feel like I’m at the stage where I can start having fun and experimenting with physical releases. In fact, last night I had a great time doing all sorts of colourful doodles on cassette cases for one of our releases.
Have you got any upcoming releases that you could give us a heads up about? Pretty please!
Sure, we’ve a few being released in the foreseeable future which I can give you a heads up on. The first, out tomorrow in fact is a little 2-track acoustic EP I recorded in my room a while back, and I can’t express how rewarding it feels to be able to release your own music. Second is one I’ve been meaning to release for a while – Barker, a young skramz outfit based in Leicester put their debut EP out last year, which is what I’ll be releasing. We’re also going to be releasing Cast Ashore’s debut album, which should be special for us as they’re part of the Wake family, and finally, our very first vinyl release, which I’m so excited for! A 4-way split 12″ between Bluebird/College/The Reason I Failed History/Pipedream, collectively released between Wake and your favourite three label dudes in Wolf Town DIY (http://wolftowndiy.bandcamp.com/).
Give us some bands / artists to check out!
Sam Cox Illustration – http://samcoxdesign.co.uk/
Willi Jeschar – http://willijeschar.tumblr.com/
(and look out for Tom Alexander, Joe Wright and Will Good!)
Flamingods – http://flamingods.bandcamp.com/album/sun-2
Cosmic Thoughts – http://cosmicthoughts.bandcamp.com/album/cosmic-thoughts
Idiot Kid – http://idiotkidpa.bandcamp.com/
Narrow/Arrow – http://narrowarrow.bandcamp.com/album/middle-children
Charlotte Light & Dark – http://charlottelightanddark.bandcamp.com/
Thanks for chatting. Any last words?
What would the world be like if it was standard procedure to have to wash your eyes in the shower?
by Joe Stewart, Razz Music Correspondent