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Thread: Question about Electropop Demos & Record Labels

  1. #1


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    Question Question about Electropop Demos & Record Labels

    Hi everyone,

    I'm curious about a few things re: the business of trying to put out an ElectroBodyPop-CD. I am nearing the completion of a demo CD with my band. Were not quite Synthpop not quite EBM.

    My question is: what-and-who are some of the main players in the indi-electro labels. We are located In LosAngeles CA, so I think it would be to our advantage to talk to label-people who are in the US for ease of communication? Or is this totally off base?

    To follow, what are some of the procedures and proper steps neophytes like us should do? Ive read so many conflicting things online, but they mostly seem to focus on Rock-pop acts or Country artists. What about us syntheticheads?

    Any links or words of advice that will help us to gain some foresight into what we should start to do. Many thanks in advance for the help.
    -- EPH3KT http://www.mp3.com/ephekt
    EBM :: TECHPOP :: SYNTHPOP :: IDM ::
    for updates join our yahoogroup @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EPHEKT/

  2. #2


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    Well, here are the main labels in the US (independent) that may be interested in hearing your demo material, plus websites:

    Ninthwave Records: http://www.ninthwaverecords.com
    A Different Drum: http://www.adifferentdrum.com
    Cohaagen Music: http://www.cohaagen.com
    14:59 Records: under construction, e-mail info@1459records.com

    Some of these may help you get your foot in the door. Even if they don't pick you up for a record contract right away, you can get lots of good feedback about your music from them!

  3. #3


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    Fantastic! I do have my eye on A Different Drum & Cohaagen, I really like those Labels. I can't believe NinethWave slipped my mind -- thank you for the wake-up-slap, I needed that.

    Yet, I have not heard of 14:59 -- hopefully thier site will re-launch soon so I can check them out.

    In general, however, what is the standard approch to sending out a DEMO? I think I just want to avoid any faux-pas, so as to not piss anyone off? Is it bad to send a DEMO to all the labels at one time, or should it be systematic? Starting with our most favorite (wishlist) indi-label, and work down the lader?

    How did some of the guys here do it?

    Thank you for the advice, I hope to send the CD's soon -- if only just to get some professional feedback. Thanks again. Later.
    -- EPH3KT http://www.mp3.com/ephekt
    EBM :: TECHPOP :: SYNTHPOP :: IDM ::
    for updates join our yahoogroup @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EPHEKT/

  4. #4


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    Coming from the 14:59 camp....

    I for one, love to get demo's, as long as the sender is prepared for honest critiques. There is, to me, no right or wrong way to send a demo....well...I take that back.... The wrong way to send a demo is to not have the confidence in yourself that is takes to convence me that your s**t doesn't stink. I love a person to send a demo with a bio / one shot sheet. It helps me to put a face / image to the music. However, I've received a few great demo's that only came with a disc and a short note. (just for the record, I would prefer the bio / one shot sheet.)

    Don't expect miracles. If you send demo's out with the assumption that "someone has to like this..." then there is a possibility of being hugely dissapointed.

    It's a fine line to walk...confidence without arrogance. If you can manage that, then you are going to go far and well!

    Just my two cents...

    Sean Patrick

    P.S.

    btw...the website www.1459records.com should be up and running this weekend! Feel free to email me at info@1459records.com anytime for anything you may need!

    Best wishes for the future!
    \"...that\'s not music! I mean, it\'s ok if you only know three chords, but for God\'s sake, play them in the right order!....\" Hank Hill - King of the Hill


    \"...Hi Guys, the band club is collecting bottles and cans for the homeless; ironically taking away the only job the homeless have....\" The Midget Tuba player - \"The New Guy\"

  5. #5
    ElectroGardener conditioner's Avatar
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    dOIN the same thing, my friend. Always good to try the big labels, too. You never know!
    Some good ideas (though I don't have addres's right now)
    Emperor Norton Records
    Toast Hawaii-(andy fletch's label-they're looking for demos right now)
    Def Jam

  6. #6


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    Speaking from experience in this scene:

    I have sent demos of my music to almost all the labels in this scene ... mainly just to get reactions on what I've done.

    I really don't send out demos with the intent of getting signed, more so as to get a critique on my music, gauge where I am in regards to where I want to be with it. And as expected, I did get some honest criticisms, but I think it's really helped to put me closer to where I want to be with my music.

    Also, I have to say, that Todd, Dave Richards, Pat Runkle and Dave Friede, Brian Hazard, Ronnie Martin, David Lin, Sean, and everyone else who runs labels in this scene (sorry if I forgot anyone), you all are great people ... it's good to have people to approach when you need some honest opinions about your work, and a bit of encouragement that you're not wasting your time.

    Someone mentioned Emperor Norton Records ... why not also try Metropolis? Granted they are "higher level" in this scene, but you never know until you shoot big and aim high. http://www.industrial-music.com

  7. #7


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    Phuckingmega! First I would like to start off by saying thank you to all you synthetic people. You guys really know how to treat a newbie right. All the info I've gotten is invaluable

    Originally posted by IntrospecT
    Don't expect miracles. If you send demo's out with the assumption that "someone has to like this..." then there is a possibility of being hugely dissapointed. It's a fine line to walk...confidence without arrogance. If you can manage that, then you are going to go far and well!
    Sean, this is just the kind of advice I'm looking for. I don't think I'm arrogant, but I do have to put on the game-face if I want to get the ball rolling, right? The confident factor is very important in my line of wrol too -- directing a whole crew to create a cartoon. Show confidence -- never show the panic.

    I guess I'll go into it thinking "They gotta' sign me" while also being humble enough to take the the rejection -- use feedback and continue moving forward.


    Originally posted by conditioner
    dOIN the same thing, my friend. Always good to try the big labels, too. You never know!Some good ideas (though I don't have addres's right now)
    Emperor Norton Record. Toast Hawaii-(andy fletch's label-they're looking for demos right now)
    Wow! Andy Fletcher has a record label? I didn't know that? I'll look for it online tonight. I know he's got really highstandards... but it's worth a try, right? It would be ????ing awesome though!


    Originally posted by Synthpopalooza
    Speaking from experience in this scene:
    I really don't send out demos with the intent of getting signed, more so as to get a critique on my music, gauge where I am in regards to where I want to be with it. And as expected, I did get some honest criticisms, but I think it's really helped to put me closer to where I want to be with my music.
    That's got to be the healthiest way to approch it.


    [/b]
    Someone mentioned Emperor Norton Records ... why not also try Metropolis? Granted they are "higher level" in this scene, but you never know until you shoot big and aim high. http://www.industrial-music.com[/b]

    I would love to be on any one of those labels, but being on the same label as Front242, brings out the geek in me. Okay... back to mixing.
    -- EPH3KT http://www.mp3.com/ephekt
    EBM :: TECHPOP :: SYNTHPOP :: IDM ::
    for updates join our yahoogroup @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EPHEKT/

  8. #8


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    Also keep in mind that some labels may be interested in you, but won't be able to afford to put out your record right now. It may be worth it to send out the demo, and if they're interested but unable, keep communication open, finish up your full-length, and when they're ready, you'll be ready too.

    Also make sure that your demo is just that - a demo. I've seen a few people send out 10 tracks and call it a demo, which no label-cheese has time to listen to. Pick the 4 tracks that most represent you and go with those.

    If your sound isn't straight-up synthpop, try some of the more "indie rock" labels - they may be looking for something different. Can't hurt...worst that happens is you blow a coupla bucks on a CDR and shipping.

    Good luck!
    Eric Oehler
    wonko@nulldevice.com
    www.nulldevice.com

  9. #9
    ElectroGardener NJOberheim's Avatar
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    Not to take over your thread EPHEKT303, but since we're on the subject, i'm curious, what kind of funding can one expect from indie labels like ADD or Ninthwave? Im assuming they cover the cost of CD manufacturing. Do they also cover stuff like CD mastering costs? or is it more like you hand over the completed recording, mastered and all, and they take care of the rest?

    Rich

  10. #10
    ElectroGardener conditioner's Avatar
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    I was wondering the exact same thing.

  11. #11


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    I can speak about Nilaihah, which is a small label and probably typical of most indies.

    Duplication costs - covered

    Mastering - mostly covered. If it costs more than a certain amount, they cover up to that amount. So if I want someone expensive to master tha album I've gotta cover the difference.

    Promo - mostly covered. Nilaihah has been paying for magazine ads, promotional copies, distro, etc. We've still gotta do some legwork ourselves, though.

    Merch - they help, and can get good deals, but for things like Tshirts and stuff we're on our own.

    I know some of the larger labels can help fund tours and such. Nilaihah isn't quite that big. Dependent can cover tours, Metropolis can cover tours, but the rest of us...not so much.

    Now, what you give up is another matter. We get to keep all rights to our music, we can use our songs for any comps we want without getting permission, we can say to the label "don't use our song for X", etc. And our royalty rate is percentagewise higher than normal. However, that's after production costs are made up which we've barely done so currently our royalties could buy a cup of coffee and a Krispy Kreme.

    One thing that is nice about being on a small label is that the label-head is involved every step of the way and is super-enthusiastic. Kristy has been really, really awesome with us, and that is a huge bonus.
    Eric Oehler
    wonko@nulldevice.com
    www.nulldevice.com

  12. #12


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    Another thing great about the small labels, is the artistic freedom. You don't have to conform to their idea of "what the public wants to hear" and sacrifice your artistic vision in the process.

  13. #13


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    Originally posted by NJOberheim
    Not to take over your thread EPHEKT303, but since we're on the subject, i'm curious, what kind of funding can one expect from indie labels like ADD or Ninthwave? Im assuming they cover the cost of CD manufacturing. Do they also cover stuff like CD mastering costs? or is it more like you hand over the completed recording, mastered and all, and they take care of the rest?
    Rich
    I'm really glad you asked, cause I was under the impression that I woud have to pay for EVERYTHING, every step of the way. Which as I'm finding, I can't really afford the DEMO as it is. I'm not very good at EQing my music, so I've been paying someone to do it for me. While he is GREAT, I can barely afford him, let alone pay to have him do an entire Freshman-Full Length-CD.



    Originally posted by NullDevice
    I can speak about Nilaihah, which is a small label and probably typical of most indies.
    I absolutley LOVE Nilaihah Records... They've got a strong pressence online suporting some bands I really like. Most of which I found through MP3.com



    Originally posted by NullDevice
    Duplication costs - covered

    Mastering - mostly covered. If it costs more than a certain amount, they cover up to that amount. So if I want someone expensive to master tha album I've gotta cover the difference.[/b]
    So in theory, I could send a 4 song Demo CD, that while they might not be professionally mixed (but okay) and not perfectly Mastered? If they find some magic in my work, they will [help to] fund the mixing and mastering of a full length CD? Cause frankly, the mxing and mastering are the main things that are [IMHO] holding me back. Technically and financially.


    Originally posted by NullDevice
    Promo - mostly covered. Nilaihah has been paying for magazine ads, promotional copies, distro, etc. We've still gotta do some legwork ourselves, though.[/b]
    That's another BIG reason I'm aiming towards a record label. While I'm not looking to be the next Michael Jackson, I still what people to find out about my music. That's important. I know of so many amazing electro artists out there that diserve to get noticed but because they don't have a label behind them, no one [or at least most people] will ever hear their wonderful music.

    I'm not musical pioneer by ANY means. But I have fun doing it, and would like to share it with as many people as possible -- and having them like it would be the most amazing thing ever. It's a wonderful feeling when I do a SpngeBob cartoon and it excites people. I hold the same dream with my electropop.

    Plus, I love playing out, and getting a rush from the crowd is the best high without any booze or drugs.


    Originally posted by NullDeviceOne thing that is nice about being on a small label is that the label-head is involved every step of the way and is super-enthusiastic. Kristy has been really, really awesome with us, and that is a huge bonus.[/b]
    This certainly is important, having people doing this because they love it. It's like 24 Hour Party People, that was amazing!!!

    Okay guys... once again, thanks for everything. Bye.
    -- EPH3KT http://www.mp3.com/ephekt
    EBM :: TECHPOP :: SYNTHPOP :: IDM ::
    for updates join our yahoogroup @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EPHEKT/

  14. #14


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    Good luck on your search for a label..There is alot of great people in charge of these labels..My band, EuroVision is still unsigned, but I get alot of great feedback and compliments. Now if I can just get them to sign us, and that would be even better.

    But I've also have tried over seas labels..My style of music is, electronic pop/synthpop and its really big over in germany and sweden and sometimes norway. England has some labels to check out..

    I'm not knocking any of the USA electronic labels, I'm just not limiting myself to just that market..

    ________________________________________________

    Also here is some important things that i've been doing for my band..

    * self promote yourself- send out your demos to web radios to play like: Synthpopalooza Radio, Sloth Radio, New Artist Radio, etc...
    Get exposure out there.. Also get reviews of your music from e-zines or fan-zines or magazines. Which you can also use to fatten up your promo/bio/press kit.


    * Network with other bands and artists, email them and keep in touch..Good things can happen from them..ever heard of the phrase, its "Who you know, and who they know!"??
    And also another note on the networking, you get ideas, you can share shows or tours together, you can swap CDs, you can even co-write with others, also doing remizes is a possibility.. Or just make friends.

    * I'd also say to try to get on some of these labels compilation CD's to get your bands name and music out there..Once again expose yourself out there..

    You cant just sit back and expect a label to do it all, you've got to promote...I havent written a new song in about 2 months, because my free time (away from my day job and family) has been on the computer and constant emailing and connecting with labels, radio, artists and these electronic music communication boards..Its my choice to do so instead of writing at this moment, but someone has to do it.

    Anyways, i'm finished for now..hehe..

    Great to hear from you...email me and we can exchange music, etc..

    Joe Ramey
    EuroVision

    email- http://eurovision1980@yahoo.com

    website- http://geocities.com/eurovisionoffic...site/2003.html
    http://www.brandnewdaymusic.com

    STYLE single coming out in 2006.

    CD # 2, coming out in early 2007.

  15. #15


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    Here's some electronic labels to check out:

    USA International
    __________________________________________________ __

    Metropolis Records Mute Records
    Ninthwave Records Toast Hawaii
    A Different Drum Hand Held Halo
    Cleopatra Records Angel Productions
    Hardrive
    Memento Materia
    Van Richter Records Eternity Records
    Energy Rekords
    Orange Sync Records
    Black Flames Records
    Delicious Records
    Cohaagen Music
    Plastiq Musiq
    Accession Records
    14:59 Records
    Synthphony Records
    Shadowplay Electronica
    Zoth Ommog
    Nangijal Records
    Deftone Records


    This is just a short list of labels to try..If I forgot a label, dont take offense..

    Joe
    EuroVision
    http://www.brandnewdaymusic.com

    STYLE single coming out in 2006.

    CD # 2, coming out in early 2007.

  16. #16


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    Fantastic list! Just what I needed! Thank you so very much. I will start looking for mailing addresses for these labels this afternoon. I really appreciate you taking the time to write them down for me. You, and some many others have been very kind -- thank you.

    I'm sure I'll have more questions about this again soon.
    -- EPH3KT http://www.mp3.com/ephekt
    EBM :: TECHPOP :: SYNTHPOP :: IDM ::
    for updates join our yahoogroup @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EPHEKT/

  17. #17


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    If you cant find the addresses to the labels i mentioned, email me at http://eurovision1980@yahoo.com and i'll look it up for you..I keep records on these things..

    Joe
    EuroVision
    http://www.brandnewdaymusic.com

    STYLE single coming out in 2006.

    CD # 2, coming out in early 2007.

  18. #18


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    Speaking of promotion, you may want to change the format of your homepage. Personally, I wouldn't join a Yahoo group to learn more about a band I don't know much about.

    You're in LA. Start getting songs out to DJs and see what they think. If you get into a DJ's rotation, that's a good thing, because they're playing music that they think people will like.

    You might also want to get input here at Electrogarden. I've just finished listening to your music. Of the three songs you have at mp3.com, honestly I wouldn't consider any of them for my setlist. They weren't bad, "Inamorita" was a decent track, but they don't hold their own. It sounds young.

    I noticed that you list Ethyl Meatplow as an influence. What happened to them? My band opened for Ethyl Meatplow (Babyland, and Diatribe - killer gig!) over a decade ago. I had their first album, but never heard anything after that.
    A04 of SoundMine, self-proclaimed electromilitant

  19. #19


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    Originally posted by A04
    Speaking of promotion, you may want to change the format of your homepage. Personally, I wouldn't join a Yahoo group to learn more about a band I don't know much about.


    The yahooGroup acts mostly as a mailinglist. I don't have much of a choice, as I can't afford the cost of paying MP3.com 20 a month just to use their FANCLUB feature.

    However, we're working towards building a website and porting over all the emails that wannt to be notified of any updates.

    You're in LA. Start getting songs out to DJs and see what they think. If you get into a DJ's rotation, that's a good thing, because they're playing music that they think people will like.
    Almost there. We're working on it. We've had a few requests from some of the local DJ's from our local clubs to get one of our songs to them.

    You might also want to get input here at Electrogarden. I've just finished listening to your music. Of the three songs you have at mp3.com, honestly I wouldn't consider any of them for my setlist. They weren't bad, "Inamorita" was a decent track, but they don't hold their own. It sounds young.
    Thank you for the review. I appreciate the responce. Those songs are very "young" as you put it. We are continuing to move forward and have since gotten better. But it's all subjective.


    I noticed that you list Ethyl Meatplow as an influence. What happened to them? My band opened for Ethyl Meatplow (Babyland, and Diatribe - killer gig!) over a decade ago. I had their first album, but never heard anything after that.
    After Ethyl Meatplow broke up, Carla went on to create anew band called The Gerraldine Fibbers. Rock type outfit -- I liked them a lot -- but I gotta have my electronics. They released a few CD's then broke up. She's now recording under the name UNDERTHING -- which sounds very much like a Dark-Country & Folk thing. Carla stated i an interview once, that Ethyl Meatplow was recording again, but without her. That was maybe two years ago when I read that. I don't think it ever materialized.

    Well that's it for now.

    Originally posted by Joe Ramey
    If you cant find the addresses to the labels i mentioned, email me at http://eurovision1980@yahoo.com and i'll look it up for you..I keep records on these things.
    Ahhh... I certainly appreciate that. Thank you so very much Joe. I somehow managed to get most of those addresses by searching through some of the labels sites or through Industrial Nation Magazine. I mostly looked for the ones you had mentioned as was able to find them.

    The only one I STILL have not managed to find was DANCING FERRETS discs. I'm always able to find info on them, but nothing about submitting DEMO cd's. If you should come across an addy for those guys, please let me know. Thank again Joe.
    -- EPH3KT http://www.mp3.com/ephekt
    EBM :: TECHPOP :: SYNTHPOP :: IDM ::
    for updates join our yahoogroup @ http://groups.yahoo.com/group/EPHEKT/

  20. #20


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    DF is a goth label. If you don't have fangs, he won't sign you.
    www.myspace.com/pswk
    www.popstarwhokills.com (ElectroRock)
    www.myspace.com/youngjoon (Breaks)
    www.myspace.com/grep (IDM)
    www.myspace.com/requiemnoise (Industrial)

    \"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.\"
    - Pablo Picasso

    \"The world only goes round by misunderstanding.\"
    - Charles Baudelaire

    \"It is quality, not quantity.\"

    \"why is it feel like a greatful dead show here? like that hippe that constantly talks about one band and how they changed their lives.\"

    PLEASE NO MORE \"I am a robot music.\" You are not a robot. Learn to program better like human beings.\"

    Electro is House music. If you don\'t like House music, please don\'t put down Electro, because it is trendy to say it. It might suprise you that Electro and House music were invented by Gay Black Americans in the mid 80s. They weren\'t invented by the beatless people who like to coin new trendy phrases.

    I am so tired of \"I want to be Depeche Mode or Erasure for the last 25 years.\" I hope I am not the only one. 25 years is a quarter of century and about a 1/3 of human life. If a person spends a 1/3 of his or her life having the same tastes, I don\'t know if that person acquired enough information to have an interesting life or has a problem understanding he or she is no longer a teenager.

    So called artists who never change, why do you call yourself an artist again?

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