Unknown to Known _ Interview with Casual Violence
Yeah, I’ve seen FSG play twice now, always put on a savage show it must be said. The whole TrusT idea is really well thought out and put together. It introduced me to a lot of unique artists. Can’t wait to hear the new compilation. Yeah that gig in Birmingham is going to be rockin i would imagine! So, you’ve released on an impressive amount of labels, how did you come about setting up your own Maieutics label and how do you manage the admin/ design/ promotion side of things?
For sure, Al and Paddy are amazing musicians and DJ’s no question. They’ve warped my head a good few times now in a smoky club.
So, Maieutics came about from a need of freedom. About two years back I found myself in a position where I had released on a fair amount of respected labels was getting a decent level of exposure, and the opportunity to release was there for me constantly. It’s a great position to be in, but in reality, I had become totally jaded by it all. I didn’t feel that I was writing my best work anymore, and there had become this self inflicted pressure to release on a regular basis. It kind of sneaked up on me. I went from exploring music and writing purely for pleasure, to a place where people were actually listening to what I was doing. The transaction from unknown to known is really subtle and I didn’t notice it happen until I was right in the thick of it. Music can be fairly fickle in that if you get to a certain point of exposure and then take a break from releasing or you fail to be active, then people tend presume that you’ve given up, which brings the possibility of fading into obscurity. I found myself in a position where I could either go full steam ahead and release as much as opportunity was allowing, or to risk fading away in to that dreaded obscurity. I decided to step back from it all, take stock and take control of my music and the direction of where my sound was heading. I’m not really a fan of artist’s who seem to release on a weekly basis anyway, I prefer instead to take my time with releases and writing, so it was an easy choice for me.
It’s not like I’ve ever craved exposure or anything like that, the progression of my music and being the best it can be is what’s important to me. I was thinking for a while about a label that didn’t have to rely on promotion, had no distributor, no release schedule, and could only be obtained directly from myself. I like that idea of people finding the music for themselves instead of desperately trying to get people into it, that way you only get people who really do connect with what you are doing. I wanted something that could be run at cost, with me providing the artwork, music and so on. I wanted something that wasn’t digital only and would be handmade. Most importantly I wanted a platform for myself to be creatively free and able to experiment without outside influence, with no deadlines and no second parties trying to tell me how I should do things. Basically everything apart from mastering would be done by my own hand and done without a thought for “will this sell”.
I had also started working on an album at the time so it just all clicked into place that this should be the time to take a step back, slow down releasing for others, work on both the album & label together and start to experiment again. I finished up any release commitments that I had, and got on with doing just that.
Managing admin etc is easy, as I’m basically dealing with myself and I have no deadlines. Also, there is the small matter of there still hasn’t been a release on Maieutics as of yet, so admin is currently nil. It’s all ideas and studio work right now and it’s great. Two years later and I’m still working on that album.
It seems to be a deep yet steady process. Very much looking forward to hearing the album! Has it been a smooth transition and have you noticed any change in your outlook since you have taken on the responsibility of running your own label?
Yeah the difference in my outlook since taking on the idea of the label is highly significant. As said, I have no outside influence to answer to, I’m able to now work at my own pace, and I’ve rediscovered my creative freedom. I can take my music in any direction I wish without a care for if it makes any kind of impact on the world. The decision to temporarily halt work for other labels has been odd, and I’ve actually only released once this year (acceptance of the fact at hand on Sect), but it’s made a huge difference as I’ve been able to focus on the album with no other thought other than “does this music move me”. I have started talking with other labels again about writing for them, but I shall do so with this new found outlook. Having only myself to answer to and the time to experiment has been a liberating experience.