How did the record label start?
Alcopop! was born somewhere around 2006 (we’re old agh) with Kev from Big Scary Monsters when we took a three figure loan from my Dad and had a fuzzy idea to mix up some classic 90s indie and some awesome new stuff and, via a series of handmade, special three-inch CDs, do our bit to prove that physical music wasn’t dead! We got drunk, bet a large chunk of the money on a football match, and Congolese striker Lomana Lua Lua ensured that we had enough cash to get going!
I’d been involved playing in bands on a label before and was never particularly impressed with them, and was sure we could do better – then a demo turned up at our house which was way too pop for BSM, but far too good not to be released. So, we got drunk, made some plans and Alcopop! was born.
Is there an ethos or mission statement behind the label?
An ethos seems a grand statement, but we do have a loose core of ethics, values and a way of working which are so important to us. I like to feel that we’re always in it for the right reasons – and that we put passion and creativity first when we work with anyone.
What key things does your label look for in a band?
There’s no exact formula when it comes to picking bands to work with, but first and foremost it’s ‘do we love the music that they’re playing’. We just couldn’t work with a band we disliked, even if I knew they’d sell a load of records. It’s great to see that a band are hard-working, and that they’ve got a real desire to make what they’re doing work.
Is there anything that would make you not sign a band?
Haha – I find the things that make you not want to work with a band are usually the personal issues that you only discover after you’ve started working with someone. Thankfully that’s happened to us very, very rarely throughout the label history. We’ve been lucky/ pick well
If you had to pick out one the signing of one band as a highlight, who would it be?
Just like most label people say, I love all of our bands and releases absolutely equally (ahem) so I couldn’t possibly pick a favourite! I think signing Johnny Foreigner all those years ago was HUGE for us to be honest as it taught us how to take that next step up, and signing QI (the podcast No Such Thing As A Fish) was great because it felt like something different and exciting… In terms of the actual signatures, we always arranged to go sign the My First Tooth contract in blood on the sea lion boat at Longleat Safari Park but we never got round to it. Still waiting My First Tooth!!!
Release wise; is there a particular you’re most proud of?
See above! Couldn’t pick ‘em. I enjoyed the completely blank ‘Wit and Wisdom of Nigel Farage’ blank 7” we put out with Enter Shikari though which was really fun and generated a stack of love from people who heartily agreed with our sentiment.
What upcoming releases on Alcopop! are you most looking forward to?
All of them! July see’s epic albums from johnny foreigner and Happy Accidents and a new EP from Brawlers, and we’ve got the debut album from a staggeringly good new British band in November. We can’t announce it yet, but it’s big!
Anything in particular you’d like to add?
Feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, get on up – it’s BOBSLEIGH TIME!
**5 key songs released on Alcopop!
johnny foreigner – You vs Everything
Get Inuit – Pro Procrastinator
Fight Like Apes – Pretty Keen on Centrefolds
Len – Steal My Sunshine (genuinely // Alcopop100)
Happy Accidents – Leaving Parties Early
**5 key songs that made Alcopop! come into existence
Hundred Reasons – Cerebra (From the Fierce Panda catalogue and when I realised I truly loved a record label)
Symposium – Fizzy
Llama Farmers – Always Echoes
Midget – Camouflage (from the mini album ‘Alcopop’)
Encyclopedia – Emily (our first ever release)
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