We’ve been trying to help out local musicheads a bit on fns so this week JustBoy57 had a word with Iain from Bedford Records to tell us a bit more about them.
What is Bedford Records and how did it come about?
Bedford records came about through all the recording I was doing with some really talented local artists. There didnt seem like much of an output for them and I had a few contacts from my days in the house music scene back in the 90’s and early 00’s so thought I’d give it a crack.
Was it born out of frustration living here in Aberdeen, or was it just something you have always wanted to do?
Not so much frustration, no… The modern music scene is very global. Aberdeen, Glasgow, London, Paris, LA… you can present yourself the same to your fans wherever you are. I just saw a gap in the process up here. All the bands leave Aberdeen to get deals down south. I understand this, but we could at least develop and record them up here before they go off to bigger and better things.
How do you go about setting up your own record label? Is it easy to do, or have you experienced problems along the way?
It’s as easy or as hard as you want to make it. There are loads of aggregator companies like emu and record union that will get your music on all the main digital sites pretty easily. All you need is a ‘.wav’ file of your music and some artwork… but that is only a tenth of the battle. You then need start the HUGE job of interacting with fans and trying get them to visit your webspace/high st store and hopefully spend some money on your products.
I’ve listened to the Ashley Park track “100 Year Old Street”, and it is sounding fantastic. Can you talk us through some of the stages of recording? Is it done in one take or is it built up in layers etc?
Thanks a lot. Craig wanted to keep it as lo-fi as possible so we recorded most of it and mixed all of it on an 80’s analogue desk. We spent a long, long time getting the guitar sound right and, apart from one song, we used that sound throughought the whole album. Its pretty cool to work so precise as if we needed to do ovedubs we could get the exact same signal path very easily and drop in a line or two. As far as microphones go, we used a MXL 2006 Mogami Condenser pointed at the neck/body join and a Shure beta 58 straight at the soundhole. We used a Jumbo Tanglewood tuned way down (to B maybe?) and I think a standard sized Takamine for the higher parts. We got the guitar parts down after lots of takes, then put a few over dubs on – surprisingly few actually. We used a Les Paul through a Fender tweed combo for the twangy Electric parts. The multitrack voice thing (one low vocal take, one high vocal take) came about by accident but it really seemed to work. We would often use different mics for the high and low parts which worked really well. Craig didn’t want reverb or delay (we used it twice on guitar over dubs and that was IT – for me it was a great lesson in restraint) so we had to use other was to create depth and texture with the vocals. I think we’re both happy with the way the vocal sound turned out.
With a roster boasting the aforementioned Ashley, Steven Milne of The Little Kicks fame, and acoustic troubadour Myke Black, is it Bedford Records’ mission to showcase some of the finest talent that Aberdeen has to offer?
Yeah but no but… haha! We’re not going to stick to Aberdeen acts as a rule, but I do think there is scope for a company like ourselves with the same level of enthusiasm as the artists we are working with just to give them a push in the right direction. We’re not pretending to be some big-shot company with a shedload of connections, but we do have a few solid relationships from previous projects. Hopefully we can use this to benefit some Aberdonian artists and bands.
Is it predominantly acoustic singer/songwriter music that you are undertaking at the moment, or are there plans for bridging out into full band albums/DJ mixes?
No plans. It’s just happened this way so far. I love all sorts of styles and that should hopefully show through on the label.
You have a few free downloads available on your website. Do you see free music as a valuable marketing tool to create interest in the label and its artists?
Yeah, for sure. Love it or hate it, I wouldn’t even think about releasing anything until I had at least 3,000 or 4,000 fans on the various social networking sites, and giving away tracks for free really helps get the fans to visit the site to learn more about the other artists on our roster and just to generally see whats going on. Photos are also good, and anything personal about the artists.
What are the goals and targets that Bedford Records aim to hit throughout 2010?
Ideally we would like a new premises where we could record music to a better level and provide management services to back it up to find bigger deals and music placements for our artists. In Short, an old style ‘production house’ with great industry links all around the world.
Any sneaky exclusives that the Flares n Seagulls readers can get excited about? New artists? Launch Night? Come on, there must be something! 🙂
We are just in the process of signing a 3 year administration deal covering North America with a very reputable company based in Florida, USA. This is very exciting for us as the previous placements for their current clients have done wonders for artists profile including 100’s of placements on National TV and Movies.
Anything else you would like to add?
Come see us on facebook and say hello?
Top 5 Desert Island Tracks?
John Martyn – Solid Air
The Beatles – Tomorrow Never Knows
Underworld – River of bass
The Cure – 10.15 On a Saturday Night
The Stone Roses – Shoot You Down
And finally, your favourite flavour of crisps?
Ready Salted. Classic – and doesn’t spoil the taste of the beer.
Thanks for taking the time to fill these out. All the best with the project, and I really do hope it evolves into bigger and better things! It’s a refreshing addition to the Aberdeen Music Scene and no doubt will be a pivotal component in getting the scene some more National and perhaps International recognition! JustBoy57