Arrows of Love, The December Sound, The Electric Mainline, The Nova Saints, Young Team - FREE NORTHERN STAR SAMPLER
Bill Cummings 22/06/2009
Following up last year's hit compilation of exciting shoegaze / psychedelic music 'Psychedelia Three' which even made it into GIITTV zine's poll of the best albums of 2008, now Northern Star release a new compilation entitled a 'REVOLUTION IN SOUND' this August.
According to the Scott Causer the man behind the label it's 'The next great Northern Star compilation - 17 tracks from 17 of the most exciting bands on the planet, for those who really have no other option than to rock 'n' roll...
To celebrate we've caught up with Northern Star main man Scott Causer, to delve a bit deeper into the past, present and future of his label. Plus he's very kindly given GIITTV zine an exclusive free sampler featuring five downloads from artists (Arrows Of Love, The December Sound, The Electric Mainline, The Nova Saints, and Young Team)who appear on the new album, scroll down to grab your free tracks!
When did Northern Star start?
The seeds of Northern Star were sown back in Manchester around 2001. I went to see this band of 18years old lads down the Atlas Bar in Manchester. They were playing as part of In The City. They blew me away. I couldn't believe they were unsigned! It was after seeing them I wanted to start a label. I didn't know how and I didn't when but I got hold of a copy of their demo and held onto it for future reference. That band was Pioneer 4. Solid plans for what was to be Northern Star didn't come around till 2005 - that was when we started the groundwork. Northern Star started functioning as a proper label in March 2006 with the release of Psychedelica Vol: 1.
Why did you start a label?
I had my own band called The Electric Mainline and I wanted to bring a record out. However I was realistic enough to know that no-one was ever going to buy a record by a band no-ones ever heard of so I hit on the idea of a compilation CD of like minded souls. At the time we had a fairly big myspace presence and were in touch with any number of bands such as The Black Angels, the Dolly Rocker Movement and The Stevenson Ranch Davidians. I then asked the Brian Jonestown Massacre and The Telescopes who both agreed to appear and that gave the project a massive boost. There was really no looking back after that. Incidentally, the initial incarnation of The Electric Mainline went by the wayside on the release of Psychedelica One as Northern Star went forward, but we're back with a vengeance on Revolution In Sound with a brand new line-up.
One man against the music industry are you big enough?
Hahaha Oh hell yeah… it may be seen from the outside that I'm punching above my weight, but I know full well what I'm doing. I'm Muhammed Ali coming in to take the crown off the big guns. The future heavyweight champion of the world. How can I lose with the stuff I use?
On a serious note, I should be careful what I say here. I'm often accused of being competitive, however, the reality of it is I don't have a competitive bone in my body. I really don't give two fucks what anyone else is doing. I have my vision and my vision alone and its served me well so far. In the music industry you can upset people just by having some element of perceived success. People try to shut you out but the more they try, the more I get in there. This however does not bother me, its just people running scared. I have no time for negative thinking. Many people have fallen by the wayside since I started on this path. I'm still here and Northern Star is getting bigger and bigger and making more of an impact with every release. I just keep looking forward.
How do you choose the acts that appear on your comps?
Its simply down to whether I like their music or not. There's no magic formula to it. I have no regard for 'names' or trends. I don't care for image or haircuts, I don't care who hangs out with who or who says who's good. Doesn't mean fuck-all to me. Its purely about the music and the music only and will always be that way. I've refused high profile acts because I don't like their music. I won't have has-beens living off past glories on my albums. Every act I feature is totally and full on relevant and is absolutely NOW! Bands know this and that's why they want to be be on the compilations.
Best find so far?
I guess in terms of success it would have to be The Black Angels. It has worked both ways - people have found them through us, and people have found us through them. I got them for Psychedelica One when they were unsigned. They then signed to Light In the Attic and the guys there loved what we did with the compilations and we have continued to work together ever since. I knew they were going to be massive - you could see it in their approach, their music, everything… cracking band!
Why do you think your compilations have had such a good response?
I believe this is due to many reasons. I believe its due to the enthusiasm of our approach; because we're a voice for independent bands; because we're putting out great music you'd otherwise never hear of. Most importantly I believe its because we put out undeniably great music without regard for anything other than the music itself. We put out great records and people love them. If you put out shit records, people won't buy them. The general public aren't stupid, they won't part with their hard earned cash for rubbish. People buy into Northern Star because the records we put out are great!
Favourite track on this album?
Thats so difficult. It really does change from day to day. Today its Tape Check by Delicasession but yesterday it was No Heaven Like Hell by The December Sound. There's some bands I've wanted to work with a long long time here like The Manhattan Love Suicides, Punk TV, Delicasession, Laboratory Noise, Screen Vinyl Image, Sunnyvale Noise Sub-Element and Revolution In Sound has given me the opportunity to work with these bands. There's also some new bands come through very recently like Mint Ive and Maribel and people who have worked with me before like The Nova Saints, The December Sound, The Voices and Youngteam who have all given me mindblowingly good tracks for this. This is the beauty of the compilations, they're of such a high standard, people naturally want to go on there and represent themselves in the best way they possibly can.
Favourite Northern Star act?
This again is really difficult but three bands who came instantly came to mind when you asked this question are The Nova Saints, The December Sound and Youngteam. They're three very different bands, but the one thing that links them in my mind is their dedication to the cause. I've watched them develop and grow over the last couple of years. They set their aspirations high, they only care about their music and are unconcerned about what everyone else is doing. I believe this undiluted concentration and focus on their music sets them apart from other bands. All three have been responsible for some of my favourite songs of recent times. This is not to demean any other bands I work with in any way whatsoever. All the bands I work with I rate very highly. If I didn't I wouldn't work with them.
Revolution In Sound Part 2 is in the works and I will be also working with individual bands on releases, something I've wanted to for a long time. Can't say too much on this now, but whats in store is going to blow people's minds. So much so I'd recommend a helmet.
What do you think the future is for small labels with the digital revolution that's going on: good or bad thing?
I think its been great for small record labels and independent bands. The digital revolution has brought back 'song culture.' The days where the majors put out an album with 2 good tracks and a bunch of filler are now well on their way out. People go to ITunes and download the 2 tracks they like and fuck the rest and rightly so. The majors have had it far too good for far too long and now its payback. Most small record labels only release the music they feel passionate about and often do not have the resources to release anything other than what they love, so when they do it, they have no choice other than to get it right.
I sell EPs and albums by independent bands at www.northernstarrecords.co.uk - the download facility enables me to put music out there which would otherwise become lost on ITunes and Northern Star has a regular fanbase by which people simply come to listen to great new bands. I have a policy on there whereby if the band does not have the Northern Star 'seal of approval' then they won't go on. That way people can cut through the bullshit and get straight to the great stuff. You can't do that on ITunes!
REVOLUTION IN SOUND
for rockers, ravers, lovers & gazers
1) MARIBEL - Deflowers
2) THE MANHATTAN LOVE SUICIDES - Clusterfuck
3) THE NOVA SAINTS - Lights
4) DELICASESSION - Tape Check
5) PUNK TV - Vala Svala
6) THE DECEMBER SOUND - No Heaven Like Hell
7) URSULA MINOR - Sick Fuzz
8) THE ELECTRIC MAINLINE - All Too Much
9) LABORATORY NOISE - You Created A Storm
10) THE VOICES - When The Black Sun Sets
11) HOT ZEX - Insecure
12) YOUNGTEAM - Introducing Mr Gladstone
13) DEAD LEAF ECHO - Pale Fire (Ulrich Schnauss Mix)
14) MINT IVE - Paint A Picture (Of The Broken Hearts)
15) SCREEN VINYL IMAGE - Slipping Away
16) SUNNYVALE NOISE SUB-ELEMENT - I Love You Everytime You Smile
17) KONTAKTE - Motorik
GIITTV'S FREE REVOLUTION IN SOUND SAMPLER:
ARROWS OF LOVE- BURN THIS TOWN-MP3
THE DECEMBER SOUND - KILL ME- MP3
THE ELECTRIC MAINLINE- DRIFT AWAY(LIVE)-MP3
THE NOVA SAINTS- SUGAR COATED- MP3
YOUNG TEAM- YOUR LOVE-MP3
Revolution In Sound can be pre-ordered via the following links:
This album won't be in the shops till August BUT but you can receive yours well in advance exclusively from Northern Star Records. The first 50 pre-orders will receive the limited edition CDR NORTHERN STAR SAMPLER II. Remaining pre-orders will receive the sampler as a free download. Please note that this free offer is only available from Northern Star.