There has been a small project I sorta started working on about 2 years ago, that finally starting getting some steam in the last year. It’s finally gotten enough traction that I can finally introduce my small record label, Ancient Future.
I’ve always been a music fanatic. My tastes however, lean a bit to the extreme side. (Well, most of them.) For as long as I can remember, I’ve spent a good portion of my wallet’s contents on records, shows and whatever else I can get my hands on from punk rock and metal bands all over the darn place. I’ve dabbled in contributing to my local scenes over the years wether it be a small music project, booking a show here and there and doing websites for bands and other stuff. I always wanted to do something a bit larger though, so that’s where Ancient Future was born.
Yes, it’s a “record label”, but not some big operation. This label will be keeping things small. Most releases will be short runs of vinyl lp’s, 7″ records and cassettes. (What? Yes, cassettes are still a thing in metal circles!) I’ll also use the label as an outlet for other things now and then like shirts, posters or other projects I or my friends make that may be suitable for the label. The hope is that it will continue to fund itself and I can keep putting out projects that are fun while supporting other folks creative outlets.
It’s been a huge learning process. So far, the biggest thing I have learned is that I had no idea what I was/am in for. A general list of some of these things:
- Not so much a secret, but vinyl lp’s take a long time to make these days. All of the vinyl pressing plants are backed up anywhere from 4 -6 months.
- Your local printers can print almost everything you need EXCEPT: lp covers. (Unconventional lp covers: yes. Traditional: no).
- If you are releasing something on vinyl, you need to get that shit mastered for vinyl. However, lo-fi black metal bands can probably skip this.
- Having friends are who support you is the biggest help. It’s an exciting project and everyone knows it’s not going to make anyone rich. There is no way I could do this without my friends helping me with stuff.
- I want to do short-runs of vinyl – but if you do anything less than 300 lps you’ll have a hard time even making your money back. I give a portion of each release to the bands, so you have to add that into the costs.
- The fact that cassettes are still popular in metal circles is awesome.
- Bandcamp is a fabulous tool. Especially or labels. Still not sure how to price out digital download costs, but we’ll at least be offering a free digital download for each physical release.
- So far everyone has been understanding when it comes to making sure everyone involved get’s their fair benefit. I’m sure this will change over time if we release bigger numbers, but for now we can at least give our bands enough products to make it worth their while. It would be great if we can do more in the future such help with a recording budget or whatnot, but for now it is what it is.
So what does the name Ancient Future mean? Here is the scoop: I love metal, but I also realize that sometimes, metal takes itself a bit too seriously. “Ancient Future” is just a tongue-in-cheek take on all the unlimited genres that metal bands classify themselves as. It sounds cool, and it reminds me to keep it fun.
Anyway, there is a ton more thoughts I have on this, but I at least wanted to introduce the project and get some thoughts out on a blog post.