I've maintained steady attention on the recently introduced AnalogueTrash record label; their diverse roster of artists are quite unique in sound and flavor, and are unlike any that you may see elsewhere. That being said, I got the chance to chat with one half of the AnalogueTrash collective, Adrian Thompson, talking about the roots of the label all the way to recent and future plans.

So, let's get started with a little introduction of yourself. Who are you, and what do you do?

Adrian - "Hello! I'm Adrian Thompson, or Ady to most people, and I?m one half of the team behind AnalogueTrash - the label and promotions team based in Manchester, England."

Can you recall back to the first song that really made you sit down and go, "Man, I want to get involved in the music industry?"

Adrian - "You know, I don't think there was one particular track. I didn't have any aspirations to do music stuff on any sort of professional level until a few years ago when I sort of fell into it by accident."

At what age did you really get involved with any one musical scene? Be it through clubbing, going to shows, or just discussing music with friends nearly nonstop?

Adrian - "In 1999, I got massively into trance and hard house, and started going clubbing to various nights around my home town in Yorkshire. Dance music was my major love for a few years, then I got really into rock and metal, then into the harder and more underground styles of dance music and eventually I discovered industrial and futurepop which seemed to bridge a gap between the alternative stuff and the dance stuff I was into and tick all the boxes for the things I liked about both styles of music. From 2003 onwards I started going to industrial clubs and goth nights and that was probably the first time I'd experienced any kind of music scene in a major way. With dance music and metal I just went to clubs or gigs because I liked the music, but didn't really know many people and it was a very different vibe to a more niche event like an industrial night where pretty much everyone knows each other and it's a much more intimate thing. I don't think I've ever been hugely involved in one musical scene really. I have always just hopped around between different groups of people and styles of music based on whatever caught my ear at a given point in time, but I've been obsessed with music since my early teens and electronic music is a massive part of my life."

And when was it that you officially broke into the music industry business?

Adrian - "I guess it was 2009 when we started the AnalogueTrash club nights. Back then we weren't really that business-minded about things - we just wanted to throw some parties and have a good time, and for the first few years we just funded everything ourselves and ran at a loss because we were really enjoying it. We always took it seriously and worked to put on the best nights possible, but I guess you could say it was a really expensive hobby at the beginning! By 2012 I was getting a little bored of my day job (I worked in the public sector as a youth worker for a long time) so I moved to working part time in that to cover the bills and did freelance music stuff, a bit of design work and events on the side to try and really build things up and spend more time doing what I loved, even if it meant not having the income I had when I was in my old jobs. It's never really been about the money for us - if it was we'd probably take everything we know and run a big commercial operation playing middle-of-the-road dance music or something like that - but being able to spend a good chunk of our time working with music and artists we love is an amazing thing."

I know that you've also started the AnalogueTrash music label. However, if I'm not wrong, it was a club event at first, correct?

Adrian - "That's right. My partner Mark and I started AnalogueTrash as a club night in mid 2009, on a Thursday night in the small room of a club in Manchester called Moho Live. We'd been to see Covenant play live on a Saturday night in April of that year. It was an awesome gig, but afterwards there was nothing really happening where we could go and carry on listening to that kind of music. We ended up going home rather than going to the big rock club at the time and a few drinks later we'd decided it'd be fun to put on a night. The day after I sent a bunch of e-mails to venues, got a slot, booked some bands, learned to DJ to a passable standard and the rest is history really. Since then we've ran loads of club nights (some successful, some less so!), a few gigs and an annual chiptune and low-tech art festival."

And, does the AnalogueTrash club even still occur to this day?

Adrian - "It does indeed! We don't do them as often these days and tend to host a few different events on a more ad hoc basis, but we try to keep them regular. We do most of the event production, promo and running the events ourselves so they're pretty work-intensive, and that affects how often we can fit them in alongside running the label. Our main club nights are pretty grand affairs with DJs playing a lot of different styles of alternative electronic and dance music with cool lighting, visuals, lots of decor, party hosts and a great crowd. We've recently started hosting some smaller, more specialist club nights where we'll just play synthpop and futurepop as I'm a massive fan of those genres and nobody else in Manchester is really playing that stuff, and as of 2015 we're going back to putting on some smaller, more grassroots gigs to showcase some of the bands from the label and some of the other talented artists in and around the North West UK."

When did you decide to move forward with AnalogueTrash? To move it into a record label? And did any of the bands you worked with sign over to you immediately?

Adrian - "It was late 2013 when we decided that running a record label would be a good next step for us. I'd been studying a course in Music Business at college, and while it didn't teach me lots that I hadn't learned through experience, some of the tutors running the course had worked for major labels or run indie labels of their own and they really inspired me to give it a go for myself. Mark and I had actually talked about it off and on for a few months before that, but I guess it wasn't the right time then. We'd originally decided we were going to launch the label in mid 2014, a good six months after we actually did. I contacted Tom from Advance out of the blue because I was a huge fan of the demos he'd put out and figured it wouldn't hurt to ask if he had any plans for an album in the future. As it turned out, he had a full album nearly ready to go and was looking for a label to release it and would be up for working with us. That was too good an opportunity to pass up so we just went for it and I learned as much as I could in a fairly short time from books, the internet and leeching as much knowledge as I possibly could from everyone who knew anything about running a label. We already knew a lot about the music business in general and had some good contacts because of our events, so we had a bit of a head start. Of course a load of people said 'don't bother' and were pretty negative as you'd expect, but nobody ever achieved anything worthwhile without taking chances, right? From there we just approached people that we'd not worked with before, but knew of and liked and it grew from there."

What bands really supported AnalogueTrash in the beginning? And which ones came along for the ride later on?

Adrian - "The guys that signed to the label in the first few months and took a chance on us definitely deserve a shout out - Advance, Factory Acts and Syd.31 started working with us when we were pretty new and finding our feet, and we were pretty humbled that they believed enough in what we were trying to do to get on board without us having an established label, back catalogue or all the other stuff you'd expect to be in place. We'd put on a show for Deviant UK way back in 2010, and even back then, Jay was really supportive of our events and of us. When we started working together more regularly in 2013 to put on some shows around the UK he was a really great source of advice, anecdotes, pep talks and contacts when we were first starting out and still is. It's really great having him on board and believing in us, especially as such an established and respected artist working with a relatively new label. It really gave us a lot of credibility."

I know that most labels have a sort of mission statement going on. Do you have one, or do you just go with the flow of things?

Adrian - "We don't have a mission statement, but there's definitely a strong ideology behind the brand that we're really passionate about. We use 'No Boundaries. No Scenes.' as a tagline for AnalogueTrash and that sums up our ideas for the label and the events perfectly.

It's no secret I'm a little idealistic, and I see music as a universally brilliant thing that really has the potential to break down barriers and bring people from different walks of life together as common ground - something the world really needs more of. My experience with niche music scenes, particularly the alternative or dance music scenes is that they're too often defined by how they can separate people out into increasingly smaller social groups and boxes which can eventually cause people in them to become really insular, blinkered when it comes to music and art and then stops that particular style of music from growing or going anywhere because of loads of miserable people insisting it's not 'true' metal or 'real' industrial or whatever. It really limits the audience to the music itself, which is no fun for artists as they find themselves playing to increasingly smaller crowds with nobody new getting into their music.

With AnalogueTrash we're trying to break that cycle by presenting a diverse palette of musical styles and influences in a positive way, so that what we're putting out catches the attention of people who are into various styles of electronic music and then encourages them to check out new stuff or, in the case of our events, meet new people or experience new things. It's all about bringing people together, breaking through the glass ceilings, blurring the boundaries of genre or 'scene' and getting the music we love out to the widest audience possible because it is awesome and it needs to be heard. We're not expecting to cause a revolution or make the music 'mainstream', but if we can make our little corner of the musical world a little bit more inclusive and help some talented artists get their hard work out there, then we're doing it right."

I notice that you also really diversify the artists you pick. Whether it's from Syd.31's punk/synthpop hybrid, to Vieon's 70s/80s inspired soundtrack music, straight to Needle Factory's 8-bit/chiptune influenced distorted electro work, how do you go out to pick artists you want to work with?

Adrian - "My absolute favourite music to listen to and put out on the label is music that really crosses genres and blurs boundaries between established styles. We don't just opt to work with artists who expressly bring together different influences, but we do look for stuff that has a certain something about it, even if it does fit nicely within an established genre or style. We're all about diversity and crossing boundaries, so we try to work with a roster of artists who really represent that, the only unifying factor being that they're all brilliant at what they do and really passionate about their music.

Mark does most of the A&R as he's really got his finger on the pulse when it comes to up and coming artists and can really see the potential in something, even if it's a little rough round the edges or needs some work. So long as the music is predominantly electronic and has something unique and interesting about it, then we'd certainly consider putting it out, but at the same time we are pretty picky about who we work with. AnalogueTrash is a family in many ways, so we'll only work with good people who are positive and passionate about music first and foremost - that's a really strict rule we stick to which is more important than anything."

Do you have a limit to the amount of artists you'd want to be working with? Or is that something only the future can tell?

Adrian - "We don't have a fixed number of artists in mind for the long term, but we've been very conscious of taking things slowly and not over-saturating things by signing too many artists at once and putting out more music than we can do a proper job with.

Instead we prefer to work with a few artists, invest a lot of time and energy into each one, work closely with them and try to support them to reach their potential and ultimately get the right exposure for their work. We put a lot into each release in terms of promotion, budget and time, so we've tried to go for a quality over quantity approach with a steady stream of releases and only working with a few artists that we really believe in and hope to work with long term. We figure that if we put the work in to support the artists to be successful then we become successful as well, so it's win/win for everyone."

And, as of right now, how are things going for the label? Has everything been a success story so far, or has there been a down turn here or there?

Adrian - "Nothing's ever totally smooth when you're trying to do something new or different and we've had our fair share of hiccups and issues, but it's thankfully been nothing major and certainly nothing that we couldn't overcome. There's been the odd delayed CD release due to pressing taking a bit longer than anticipated, the odd advertising campaign that fell flat or stuff like that, but thankfully that's been the worst of it. Because we really did our research at the beginning and planned everything out for our first year, there haven't really been any massive setbacks. The hardest thing at the moment is getting new music noticed by people who we hope will appreciate it - there's more out there than ever before and it's tough to get heard in the white noise of social media and traditional advertising.

Overall though, things are slowly but surely moving in the right direction, sales are steadily increasing all the time and the artists on the label are getting more and more notice and media coverage from people like your fine selves so it's all going pretty well."

And, how do you plan to establish analoguetrash further as a brand? What do you think you could do more? And are there any other areas you could improve?

Adrian - "We're always pretty busy already to be honest, but we always have a few ideas on the back burner. We'd love to put together a radio show or podcast in the future, and also possibly a free, printed music 'zine for Manchester in the future, but those are a while off yet as we're focussing on the label for the time being.

For now our biggest challenge is keeping pushing forward and supporting new music, keeping plugging away and getting the artists exposure and spreading the word. A few good electronic music labels have closed up shop recently for various reasons and it's not the best market for independent, promoters, labels or artists with music sales not doing so well, so if anything we need to keep focussed, stay positive and keep moving forward."

Is there any exclusive premiere news you'd be willing to share with us?

Adrian - "We've just confirmed that we're hosting our first annual festival under the AnalogueTrash banner this coming June, in Manchester. It'll be a one day event featuring several bands and an afterparty at our beloved venue The Zoo. We've talked about this for a while, and Manchester could really do with an annual event to call its own, so we're really excited about it and can't wait to get stuck into planning it."

And, that's all for now. Do you have any final words?

Adrian - "Just to say thanks for your time and to everyone who's been so supportive and awesome so far. If anyone reading this hasn't already, they can check out our label, releases and our events via www.analoguetrash.co.uk. We've some great artists releasing some awesome music! A little shameless plug there!"
AnalogueTrash interview
November 11, 2014
Brutal Resonance

AnalogueTrash

Nov 2014
I've maintained steady attention on the recently introduced AnalogueTrash record label; their diverse roster of artists are quite unique in sound and flavor, and are unlike any that you may see elsewhere. That being said, I got the chance to chat with one half of the AnalogueTrash collective, Adrian Thompson, talking about the roots of the label all the way to recent and future plans.

So, let's get started with a little introduction of yourself. Who are you, and what do you do?

Adrian - "Hello! I'm Adrian Thompson, or Ady to most people, and I?m one half of the team behind AnalogueTrash - the label and promotions team based in Manchester, England."

Can you recall back to the first song that really made you sit down and go, "Man, I want to get involved in the music industry?"

Adrian - "You know, I don't think there was one particular track. I didn't have any aspirations to do music stuff on any sort of professional level until a few years ago when I sort of fell into it by accident."

At what age did you really get involved with any one musical scene? Be it through clubbing, going to shows, or just discussing music with friends nearly nonstop?

Adrian - "In 1999, I got massively into trance and hard house, and started going clubbing to various nights around my home town in Yorkshire. Dance music was my major love for a few years, then I got really into rock and metal, then into the harder and more underground styles of dance music and eventually I discovered industrial and futurepop which seemed to bridge a gap between the alternative stuff and the dance stuff I was into and tick all the boxes for the things I liked about both styles of music. From 2003 onwards I started going to industrial clubs and goth nights and that was probably the first time I'd experienced any kind of music scene in a major way. With dance music and metal I just went to clubs or gigs because I liked the music, but didn't really know many people and it was a very different vibe to a more niche event like an industrial night where pretty much everyone knows each other and it's a much more intimate thing. I don't think I've ever been hugely involved in one musical scene really. I have always just hopped around between different groups of people and styles of music based on whatever caught my ear at a given point in time, but I've been obsessed with music since my early teens and electronic music is a massive part of my life."

And when was it that you officially broke into the music industry business?

Adrian - "I guess it was 2009 when we started the AnalogueTrash club nights. Back then we weren't really that business-minded about things - we just wanted to throw some parties and have a good time, and for the first few years we just funded everything ourselves and ran at a loss because we were really enjoying it. We always took it seriously and worked to put on the best nights possible, but I guess you could say it was a really expensive hobby at the beginning! By 2012 I was getting a little bored of my day job (I worked in the public sector as a youth worker for a long time) so I moved to working part time in that to cover the bills and did freelance music stuff, a bit of design work and events on the side to try and really build things up and spend more time doing what I loved, even if it meant not having the income I had when I was in my old jobs. It's never really been about the money for us - if it was we'd probably take everything we know and run a big commercial operation playing middle-of-the-road dance music or something like that - but being able to spend a good chunk of our time working with music and artists we love is an amazing thing."

I know that you've also started the AnalogueTrash music label. However, if I'm not wrong, it was a club event at first, correct?

Adrian - "That's right. My partner Mark and I started AnalogueTrash as a club night in mid 2009, on a Thursday night in the small room of a club in Manchester called Moho Live. We'd been to see Covenant play live on a Saturday night in April of that year. It was an awesome gig, but afterwards there was nothing really happening where we could go and carry on listening to that kind of music. We ended up going home rather than going to the big rock club at the time and a few drinks later we'd decided it'd be fun to put on a night. The day after I sent a bunch of e-mails to venues, got a slot, booked some bands, learned to DJ to a passable standard and the rest is history really. Since then we've ran loads of club nights (some successful, some less so!), a few gigs and an annual chiptune and low-tech art festival."

And, does the AnalogueTrash club even still occur to this day?

Adrian - "It does indeed! We don't do them as often these days and tend to host a few different events on a more ad hoc basis, but we try to keep them regular. We do most of the event production, promo and running the events ourselves so they're pretty work-intensive, and that affects how often we can fit them in alongside running the label. Our main club nights are pretty grand affairs with DJs playing a lot of different styles of alternative electronic and dance music with cool lighting, visuals, lots of decor, party hosts and a great crowd. We've recently started hosting some smaller, more specialist club nights where we'll just play synthpop and futurepop as I'm a massive fan of those genres and nobody else in Manchester is really playing that stuff, and as of 2015 we're going back to putting on some smaller, more grassroots gigs to showcase some of the bands from the label and some of the other talented artists in and around the North West UK."

When did you decide to move forward with AnalogueTrash? To move it into a record label? And did any of the bands you worked with sign over to you immediately?

Adrian - "It was late 2013 when we decided that running a record label would be a good next step for us. I'd been studying a course in Music Business at college, and while it didn't teach me lots that I hadn't learned through experience, some of the tutors running the course had worked for major labels or run indie labels of their own and they really inspired me to give it a go for myself. Mark and I had actually talked about it off and on for a few months before that, but I guess it wasn't the right time then. We'd originally decided we were going to launch the label in mid 2014, a good six months after we actually did. I contacted Tom from Advance out of the blue because I was a huge fan of the demos he'd put out and figured it wouldn't hurt to ask if he had any plans for an album in the future. As it turned out, he had a full album nearly ready to go and was looking for a label to release it and would be up for working with us. That was too good an opportunity to pass up so we just went for it and I learned as much as I could in a fairly short time from books, the internet and leeching as much knowledge as I possibly could from everyone who knew anything about running a label. We already knew a lot about the music business in general and had some good contacts because of our events, so we had a bit of a head start. Of course a load of people said 'don't bother' and were pretty negative as you'd expect, but nobody ever achieved anything worthwhile without taking chances, right? From there we just approached people that we'd not worked with before, but knew of and liked and it grew from there."

What bands really supported AnalogueTrash in the beginning? And which ones came along for the ride later on?

Adrian - "The guys that signed to the label in the first few months and took a chance on us definitely deserve a shout out - Advance, Factory Acts and Syd.31 started working with us when we were pretty new and finding our feet, and we were pretty humbled that they believed enough in what we were trying to do to get on board without us having an established label, back catalogue or all the other stuff you'd expect to be in place. We'd put on a show for Deviant UK way back in 2010, and even back then, Jay was really supportive of our events and of us. When we started working together more regularly in 2013 to put on some shows around the UK he was a really great source of advice, anecdotes, pep talks and contacts when we were first starting out and still is. It's really great having him on board and believing in us, especially as such an established and respected artist working with a relatively new label. It really gave us a lot of credibility."

I know that most labels have a sort of mission statement going on. Do you have one, or do you just go with the flow of things?

Adrian - "We don't have a mission statement, but there's definitely a strong ideology behind the brand that we're really passionate about. We use 'No Boundaries. No Scenes.' as a tagline for AnalogueTrash and that sums up our ideas for the label and the events perfectly.

It's no secret I'm a little idealistic, and I see music as a universally brilliant thing that really has the potential to break down barriers and bring people from different walks of life together as common ground - something the world really needs more of. My experience with niche music scenes, particularly the alternative or dance music scenes is that they're too often defined by how they can separate people out into increasingly smaller social groups and boxes which can eventually cause people in them to become really insular, blinkered when it comes to music and art and then stops that particular style of music from growing or going anywhere because of loads of miserable people insisting it's not 'true' metal or 'real' industrial or whatever. It really limits the audience to the music itself, which is no fun for artists as they find themselves playing to increasingly smaller crowds with nobody new getting into their music.

With AnalogueTrash we're trying to break that cycle by presenting a diverse palette of musical styles and influences in a positive way, so that what we're putting out catches the attention of people who are into various styles of electronic music and then encourages them to check out new stuff or, in the case of our events, meet new people or experience new things. It's all about bringing people together, breaking through the glass ceilings, blurring the boundaries of genre or 'scene' and getting the music we love out to the widest audience possible because it is awesome and it needs to be heard. We're not expecting to cause a revolution or make the music 'mainstream', but if we can make our little corner of the musical world a little bit more inclusive and help some talented artists get their hard work out there, then we're doing it right."

I notice that you also really diversify the artists you pick. Whether it's from Syd.31's punk/synthpop hybrid, to Vieon's 70s/80s inspired soundtrack music, straight to Needle Factory's 8-bit/chiptune influenced distorted electro work, how do you go out to pick artists you want to work with?

Adrian - "My absolute favourite music to listen to and put out on the label is music that really crosses genres and blurs boundaries between established styles. We don't just opt to work with artists who expressly bring together different influences, but we do look for stuff that has a certain something about it, even if it does fit nicely within an established genre or style. We're all about diversity and crossing boundaries, so we try to work with a roster of artists who really represent that, the only unifying factor being that they're all brilliant at what they do and really passionate about their music.

Mark does most of the A&R as he's really got his finger on the pulse when it comes to up and coming artists and can really see the potential in something, even if it's a little rough round the edges or needs some work. So long as the music is predominantly electronic and has something unique and interesting about it, then we'd certainly consider putting it out, but at the same time we are pretty picky about who we work with. AnalogueTrash is a family in many ways, so we'll only work with good people who are positive and passionate about music first and foremost - that's a really strict rule we stick to which is more important than anything."

Do you have a limit to the amount of artists you'd want to be working with? Or is that something only the future can tell?

Adrian - "We don't have a fixed number of artists in mind for the long term, but we've been very conscious of taking things slowly and not over-saturating things by signing too many artists at once and putting out more music than we can do a proper job with.

Instead we prefer to work with a few artists, invest a lot of time and energy into each one, work closely with them and try to support them to reach their potential and ultimately get the right exposure for their work. We put a lot into each release in terms of promotion, budget and time, so we've tried to go for a quality over quantity approach with a steady stream of releases and only working with a few artists that we really believe in and hope to work with long term. We figure that if we put the work in to support the artists to be successful then we become successful as well, so it's win/win for everyone."

And, as of right now, how are things going for the label? Has everything been a success story so far, or has there been a down turn here or there?

Adrian - "Nothing's ever totally smooth when you're trying to do something new or different and we've had our fair share of hiccups and issues, but it's thankfully been nothing major and certainly nothing that we couldn't overcome. There's been the odd delayed CD release due to pressing taking a bit longer than anticipated, the odd advertising campaign that fell flat or stuff like that, but thankfully that's been the worst of it. Because we really did our research at the beginning and planned everything out for our first year, there haven't really been any massive setbacks. The hardest thing at the moment is getting new music noticed by people who we hope will appreciate it - there's more out there than ever before and it's tough to get heard in the white noise of social media and traditional advertising.

Overall though, things are slowly but surely moving in the right direction, sales are steadily increasing all the time and the artists on the label are getting more and more notice and media coverage from people like your fine selves so it's all going pretty well."

And, how do you plan to establish analoguetrash further as a brand? What do you think you could do more? And are there any other areas you could improve?

Adrian - "We're always pretty busy already to be honest, but we always have a few ideas on the back burner. We'd love to put together a radio show or podcast in the future, and also possibly a free, printed music 'zine for Manchester in the future, but those are a while off yet as we're focussing on the label for the time being.

For now our biggest challenge is keeping pushing forward and supporting new music, keeping plugging away and getting the artists exposure and spreading the word. A few good electronic music labels have closed up shop recently for various reasons and it's not the best market for independent, promoters, labels or artists with music sales not doing so well, so if anything we need to keep focussed, stay positive and keep moving forward."

Is there any exclusive premiere news you'd be willing to share with us?

Adrian - "We've just confirmed that we're hosting our first annual festival under the AnalogueTrash banner this coming June, in Manchester. It'll be a one day event featuring several bands and an afterparty at our beloved venue The Zoo. We've talked about this for a while, and Manchester could really do with an annual event to call its own, so we're really excited about it and can't wait to get stuck into planning it."

And, that's all for now. Do you have any final words?

Adrian - "Just to say thanks for your time and to everyone who's been so supportive and awesome so far. If anyone reading this hasn't already, they can check out our label, releases and our events via www.analoguetrash.co.uk. We've some great artists releasing some awesome music! A little shameless plug there!"
Nov 11 2014

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

Share this interview

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
0
Shares

Popular interviews

Psyclon Nine

Interview, Mar 24 2017

Kite

Interview, Feb 10 2017

SHIV-R

Interview, Sep 21 2017

God Destruction

Interview, May 17 2016

Bornless Fire

Interview, Jul 09 2017

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016