This is something I've been wanting to write about on here for over 6 months now, yet on Friday 20th November 2009, the day I finally decide to go ahead with it, I can't even think about how to start. I guess the beginning would make sense. Sit tight folks, this is gonna be a big one...
Basically, we're starting a US "division" of BSM. I use the quote marks because division typically implies something a little bigger and more professional than the setup we have here, as I imagine many of you are well aware. Here's how it all came about, along with a bit of information on our new "team" (must stop using quote marks)...
At SXSW in March of this year, somewhere in the midst of a hazy drinking session, scorched by the Texan sun and with ears pounding under the weight of hundreds of live bands, I spent some time hanging out with Chase, a man I'd met through his time working for our friends at Sargent House, and someone who boasted better knowledge of my own record label than even I did (seriously, test him). Chase wanted to start a label to work with some friends bands and I was in Austin to chat with people about how we might be able to raise the profile of BSM Stateside. A somewhat blinding realisation hit us. From that day on we've been chatting, planning, signing and planning some more. We didn't want to launch into anything above and beyond our means, so we're starting slowly and naturally, with a perfect little team ready to bust their balls to try and finally bring some of our wonderful music to a larger American audience.
Chase is working as our US label manager. He has been hard at it already, working on the distribution side of things, as well as helping out the first two of our American signings, whose records will be released both there and in the UK simultaneously early next year (more on those below). In 2010 we'll begin work with some of our current British bands, helping them find their feet the other side of the pond, building towards taking some of them over to tour later in the year. Promoters, bands, well-wishers and everyone else can reach Chase via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next person to welcome to Team BSM USA is Chuck at Beartrap PR. With arguably the best underground punk roster in PR, including the likes of Polar Bear Club, Look Mexico, Bridge And Tunnel and Slingshot Dakota, Chuck will be handling press for our two new signings, as well as some of our other "crop" (there I go again) next year. Having spent eight years working at Deep Elm and citing 'Little Lights' by Spy vs Spy as possibly his all-time favourite record, we couldn't think of a more perfect man to have on our side. Journalists, blog writers and radio DJs/promoters can contact Chuck via www.beartrappr.com
We'll be introducing you to the third part ("the distribution department") of our new team very soon. This one will give us an outlet to make BSM releases available in select US stores, whilst we're also working on revamping our mailorder system, meaning that it'll be easier and cheaper than ever before for the good people of America to get hold of the good music of BSM. Good times all round, really. In the mean time, any shops wishing to stock our releases should contact Chase to discuss.
The new bands
So, that's the "team", now is probably a good time to tell you about our two new awesome bands. Note, no quote marks needed here, these really are awesome bands.
The first band Chase mentioned to me back in March, and a regular on the stereo ever since. Castevet will release a 12", 6 track EP (with free MP3 downloads) in the US and UK on February 23rd entitled 'Summer Fences'. Fans of Hot Water Music, Small Brown Bike and the like are going to love these guys. www.myspace.com/romancastevet
Our second new band, and one I talked up on here a couple of months back, is Grown Ups. The band from Michigan will be recording their debut full-length with Brian Southall of Boys Night Out/Fordirelifesake fame at the end of this month. Expect a release date to be confirmed for Spring 2010. In the meantime, check out their latest demo track, 'Are you Kitten Me?', featuring guest vocals from Motion City Soundtrack's Justin Pierre. www.myspace.com/ihategrownups
Castevet and Grown Ups will be touring the East Coast together this holiday season. Check the dates on their Myspace pages.
So that's it. BSM USA. I'm going to be asking Chase to contribute to this blog from time to time, updating everyone on his work with the label as well as recommending new bands for us all to check out. We'll also be posting free MP3 downloads from the new bands and announcing a couple more American signings closer to the end of the year.
The final thing to say is that we're looking for a bit of help in a few US cities next year. Nothing particularly thrilling, just help with promoting the bands and label. If this is something you might be interested in getting involved with, get in touch with either Chase or myself, and we'll give you more info.