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Martin Carr On New Bandstocks Scheme
The Quietus , August 28th, 2008 18:16

Martin Carr

One-time Boo Radleys mainman Martin Carr has told The Quietus about his participation in Bandstocks, a new venture where artists finance the release of their records by selling shares in themselves.

Initially, artists have to go through a voting process to decide whether Joe Public deems them worthy of participation in the ba bandstocks scheme. If they pass muster in the public's eyes, 'bandstocks' can be flogged to pay for the release of an album. Already onboard are much-hyped consonant expanders frYars, and you can see the whole process here.

The Quietus got in touch with Martin Carr to find out how he got involved in Bandstocks. Care to enlighten us, Mr Carr?

"A friend of mine was involved in the launch, he'd been talking about it for a while but it wasn't until I'd finished the record that I started to listen properly to what he was saying."

Why did it appeal?

It's something different. The thought of talking to record companies, doing the whole industry dance once again didn't inspire me at all and record contracts are even more artist unfriendly than they used to be.

At first I was sceptical, I thought it would be a market stuffed with bands who couldn't get a deal the normal way because they weren't good enough, but once I found out that they had to actually want you to do it then I became much more interested. I like a challenge. The whole thing is completely transparent as well. The investor knows exactly where every penny is going. It's good to know that your tenner isn't going up somebody's nose. The contract is amazing, unheard of and the idea of music being about the musician and their audience still rings true. The music industry is relatively new, there were bands and musicians before record companies. I think people are beginning to peek behind the great curtain and trying to see who the little men are behind the great wizard.

Do you feel that it gives you more freedom than a conventional deal?

The artist gets complete freedom. Of course I realise that there are some artists who should never have any creative freedom whatsoever and that's why the people at Bandstocks are careful about who they pick. Saying that, the artists still have managers and press people and pluggers etc They are not completely rudderless. For me it means making the record that I want to make at the time and presenting it the way I want which for me means designing my own artwork and making it available on vinyl, something which I've not been able to do for a while. I want to be able to create a package that doesn't make you've been feel ripped off. I know it's the music that counts, not the packaging, but if you've invested then you must be reasonably sure that you like what I do. The deals are only for one album, once you're ready to make another, the whole process begins again.

You were in a band that experienced all the joys the music industry can throw at you - life on an indie label, then having a massive chart hit. How does this compare as a way of working?

I loved being on Creation records, it was a dream come true for me. By the time we'd started having hits though it was part of Sony and the pressure was on, even more so when Oasis came along. I had no interest in contracts or anything to do with the business. I would sleep or stare out of the window when we had those kinds of meetings. I'm a creative person, I don't have a business bone in my body. I think that goes for many songwriters and musicians, without guidance we are there to be had. I'm not saying we're idiots, some people just aren't wired that way.

Do you worry that Bandstocks might become a popularity contest where it's not necessarily the most interesting music that wins out?

That's down to the people who sign the bands. Anyway, it's not a label, there is no indie ethic. Nor is it a war on record labels per se, merely a new way of doing things and it suits me down to the ground.

When does bidding start?

You can start buying bits of my body and soul within the next couple of weeks. Get me while I'm hot, I'm luvverly.

Listen to some of Martin's new music here. Buy his arse on Bandstocks here.

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