Record Start are an act from Brighton. They (/he – they are in fact made up of one man, but could be progressing to a full group in the future) play guitar power pop with plenty of electronic influences – sort of like Future Islands if they were a mid noughties indie band. It all comes out sounding rather wonderful. I talked to Record/Start to find out more about the bedroom artist phenomenon and also about his recent Japanese only cassette release (Japanese only and a cassette? That’s triple points in the indie world).
You’re a one man act at the moment, do you see this as affecting how you write songs?
I used to collaborate a lot when I was younger with other musicians with writing and recording. I loved the whole process and look back on it fondly. Since I formed my old band Carlis Star about 10 years ago I’ve pretty much worked alone in terms of songwriting and the production side of things. I do however miss having the input of other musicians from going to band practices and doing live shows. Working alone is where I feel most confident though, at least for now anyway. The process can be much slower which at times can be frustrating but the overall accomplishment ending up with a finished recorded song is really satisfying.
Another band I interviewed recently, the boy i used to be, started off as a bedroom artist. Do you think this in an increasing trend and if so why?
Well music software is certainly a lot more accessible and cheaper to buy now days than says 15 years ago. I started off with a rackety old cassette 4-track when I got my first guitar and gradually upgraded my gear since. It can be overwhelming with the level of gear that you can buy working as a home musician and weighing up whether you actually need it or not is also tough. Musicians are pretty spoiled for choice now days which has its pros and cons. By all means go be a bedroom musician but don’t lock yourself away for ever and never experience working with other musicians and playing live to broaden your creativity and ideas.
So far you haven’t performed live (at least that was the impression I got from BBC South Introducing). Do you think this has limited you in any way? Is the live scene getting more or less important in the age of the internet, in your opinion?
Yeah I haven’t played live yet as Record/Start. It will certainly be limiting me to an extent but I’m personally not overly fussed about that. Live music really has and will always be the forefront of interacting with your fans. It’s just not for me at the moment. Whether I wanna dust off the old touring gear is to be seen. I fill the void in my life not performing live by going to loads of other gigs.
The live scene is vital to keeping the music industry alive and kicking. I do what I can in the capacity I’ve set myself, and I’m happy with that.
You’ve released a cassette on a Japanese label. How did that come about and what was it like – is the Japanese music market different from the British one, based on what you experienced?
The cassette was released through the UK label Post/Pop Records. It was then picked up by a Japanese label who wanted to sell copies of it too. I went to Tokyo a couple years ago and had first hand experience witnessing how passionate and supportive the Japanese are over new music.
My experience so far is that both the UK and Japanese market are pretty similar. The reactions from both sides of the pond for Record/Start music has been more than I could have hoped for.
Are you planning on any more releases in the near future, including in different countries?
More music is on the way. I’ll certainly will be releasing more music in a physical format as well as digital around the globe. Not sure when though. I’ve stock piled enough demos to decide which are the better ones to release. Since starting Record/Start I’ve met so many interesting people, many of which have offered to help in some sort of way. There’s always new surprises around the corner.
If you had to curate your own festival, who would your headliners (dead or alive, currently together or not) be?
Ah well I’d have Bill Murray headlining one stage. Just telling stories, singing and stuff. I could listen to him all day. I’d have a bit of Beethoven on the 2nd night with some epic symphonic pieces. I’d throw in a bit of Elvis on the Sunday night to round things of nicely followed by a super group with all three performing together on the finalé number.