How do people expect to own sound and put price tags on a thing that can't be pinned down?
I'm not sure what you mean but I certainly have no problems with the task of making music in a marketplace. I LIKE the marketplace. I like people deciding that my music is worth paying money for. The market serves to keep musicians honest. Look at the nonsense that gets promulgated in fields where art is socialized and there is no connection to the real world of economics.
I dont know anything about the way you get the artwork for your cd covers, but I would love to design for you.
I'm a very hard person to work with. I am like Saddam Hussein. I only really trust people from my village and I try to surround myself with them, artistically. Almost all my design has been done by the same fellow for the last 25 years: John Thompson. I tell him the name of the record and tell him the story of it and sometimes he hears some songs. Most of the time he doesn't. Then he gets on with it. You can see it's an issue of trust. Sometimes I'd like to work with other people but I fear change. What I do is very American and very Midwest and locked in a certain generational window. In many ways the people of my generation (40-ish) are the Last of the Americans... like the Last of the Mohicans. We're the last ones who knew the Golden Age well enough to have a respect and deep fondness for all its facets while still being realistic about its prospects. We saw the dimness come to it and we knew what that meant and could not find it in ourselves to weep. Still we had seen for ourselves how the sun used to shine off its polished surfaces. After us come the barbarians.
Can you and me start discussing art stuff - or is it absolutely necessary that we get Nick's blessing on the business deal before we can start up?
I am incapable of working on something unless I am sure in my mind that it will see the light of day by a certain date and that I will control my work as much as I choose to control it. It's Nick's job to determine that the resources are in place so that he can give me a reasonable assurance that the project is on solid ground. It is MUCH easier to deal with him than it is to deal with me. Be grateful. Yes, it is necessary to satisfy Nick because Nick, in turn, must satisfy me. The process of making stuff hurts too much to be entered into lightly.
Are you happy with the way [Fill in the name of a record label here] handled your record?
Artists always have cause for complaint. Record companies always have cause for complaint. It goes round and round. No one is innocent. In the end it comes down to the people and whether or not you enjoy your time working together on a personal level. You can always find a better drummer or a better guitar player. Or even, gulp!, a better singer. That's not the point. It's whether or not you enjoy the work together. If the record sells that's nice. If not, remember our mission is to collect ALL record labels. It's our hobby. It keeps us going. Some people collect stamps.
There was a highly publicized fight with a major American record label a few years ago. What happened?
We ran into trouble with a fellow and he wasn't a bad fellow. We liked him. We simply found ourselves at loggerheads and on opposite sides of an issue that blew up. It got out of control. He had to maintain his position and we had to maintain our position and so we battled to the death. It happens.