Tell us about ‘A Decade of Distortion’ the album…
The album is a celebration of I'm Not From London promoting gigs for ten years, and we wanted to have a memento of some of the great bands we've had on and the good times we've had doing it. A double vinyl compilation seemed to be a most fitting tribute, and it was thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign that all our friends, families and fans helped make happen so thank you so much to everyone who supported it.
The Kickstarter was two years ago now. What took so bleddy long to get it out?
A combination of things, really. A couple of bands that originally wanted to be on had got some label interest and mistakenly thought it might jeopardise their chances of being signed if they licensed a track to us. They got cold feet which dragged out negotiations. We also had a lot of decisions to make about the actual tracklisting, as you can only get a limited amount of time on each side. This means you need to think about what songs go where. There's little details our masterer taught us about having heavier bands on certain parts of the record. When the test pressings came back, Patrick observantly realised the record plant had made a mistake with the bass frequencies, so we needed them redone. Our business also expanded incredibly quickly that year, which meant myself and my co-directors, Patrick and Miles, had to prioritise a lot of our other projects. Plus, Miles and myself became new fathers to our sons, Francis and Vincent, which added even more beautiful chaos to our already incredibly busy and sleep deprived lives.
What are your personal favourite tracks on it and why?
Punish The Atom's Negative is very special to me. They were the band that introduced me to the city, and a lot of the lyrics sum up those early INFL years and gigs to me. It's a happy coincidence that lead singer, Joey Bell, now owns the amazing record store Forever Records just a couple of yards from our Cobden Chambers office.
I also love 94 Gunships' Dig a Hole. It's a simple song and definitely one of my favourites. The band's stomping, wonky, desert blues riffs remind me of Tom Waits, and I really like the fact you can tell they are good friends who enjoy playing together. That's a massive part of the band's appeal to me.
I'm a massive garage rock fan and our band No Nothings' A Country Song is one of the most garagey on the compilation. Fast, hard, distorted and loud, the band are amazing to watch and listen to and they were the first band we signed from outside of Nottingham. Jimi Arundel, a good friend mine and INFL’s, pretty much introduced us to Hull's amazing music scene, and I've never met or put on a band from Hull I didn't like. We've since signed a couple more Hull bands to our publishing roster and label and have visited Hull quite a bit for business and gigs, most notably the amazing Humber Sesh. I love their spirit, work ethic and sense of community.
How are you promoting this release on Record Store Day?
The record will be stocked in record outlets up and down the country, to be released on Record Store Day. We’ve been sending them out to DJ's, bloggers, journalists, music supervisors and industry people we've met who we think will appreciate it.
We're also doing an interview about it for a lovely little culture magazine in Nottingham that you might have heard about. [That’s this one right here, duck]. We hope that will encourage anyone who's ever come to an INFL gig in the city over the last twelve years to come down to Cobden Chambers and buy a copy . At £20, it’s a fucking steal, pal.
We're also having a free party at Cobden Chambers on the Record Store Day (Saturday 22 April). There’ll be music from two till ten, good beer, awesome music and lots of surprises and offers from the other businesses in Cobden Chambers, including Forever Records, THiNK, Ideas On Paper and Keisha's Jewellery.
What else is going on in Notts on Record Store Day?
There's gonna be an afterparty at The Angel Microbrewery, and if last year was anything to go by, there'll be queues from the early hours for Rough Trade and Forever Records. The hills of Hockley will be alive with the sound of fist-pumping, sexually-charged, strength-projecting music of all shapes and sizes. It's also going to be incredibly sunny with no problems at all in any way.
Why is Record Store Day important to our local music scene?
Anything that gets people buying and appreciating music and its inherent value is incredibly important for any music scene. It's hard to make a lot nowadays – even at gigs it's difficult for bands to shift merch and records. The amount of people coming into town with disposable income is good for local business, and there'll be lots of gigs happening all over so it's going to be a good party in town that day. The flipside of RSD is that due to only a few record plants existing in the world, there's a backlog on the turnaround of vinyl production. But, for fans and collectors, they get to buy rare, limited edition records from their favourite bands and labels. For us, it was the perfect day to launch our compilation, and it's great to team up with Forever Records to do it.
What else are INFL up to at the moment?
Pat's practicing black magic, is well on his way to full occult wizardom, and is now quite tight with the horny, red fella downstairs which is really helping move things forward for us rock and roll wise. He's building a database to rule all other databases, and for such a beast, we've launched another music company to help bands which we'll be talking more about soon.
Miles' successes with the publishing side of INFL has led to us expanding into production music. Last year, we had over fifty uses of our music on TV, so it seemed like a logical move. He and his wife Louise have also decided they really don't need any more than two hours sleep a night, and at INFL, we're all looking forward to the sound of the patter of a second tiny set of feet from the Clark household.
Among a lot of other people, we were interviewed for a documentary on Nottingham's music scene, which should be aired on the BBC some time in the late summer. They're going to use a lot of the footage that we filmed ten or so years ago for the I'm Not From London Movie. I think it's amazing that that the footage will finally be used for it's original intended purpose to such an audience, and it gives me a bit of personal closure on that project!
Labelwise, we're launching Stacey McMullen's EP I Wait on Wire & Wool Records on Friday 9 June, with a launch gig at The Contemporary on Saturday 10 June. We'll have another release coming soon from our sister-doom band, the brutal, Chambers. We're also in talks to sign our first London-based ‘I'm Not From London’ band.
We've got regular residencies at Sobar with Wire & Wool, Southbank City Bar with Nightfish, the open mic showcase at The Angel Microbrewery and our nights like Bamalamasingsong, Fuzzbox. Our Rough Trade gigs are going strong, though we're really excited to be repeating last year's success of the Black Iris Piss Up In A Brewery gigs. These will all be free entry, and the first of the year will be on Saturday 29 April.
We're also repeating our I'm Not From London Charity Marafun – ten miles, ten bands, ten pubs – on Saturday 6 May. We've moved The Waterfront Festival forward to Saturday 8 July with a killer lineup – all profits from both the INFL Marafun and The Waterfront Festival will be going to The Wolfson Cystic Fibrosis Centre in Notts City Hospital and The Roy Stone Foundation.
Anything else you want to say?
Yes. Support your local venues (like The Maze). Go to small local gigs (like ours). Try to avoid asking promoters for guest list. Give up smoking. Buy more vinyl - (especially ours). Don't vote Tory. Do vote. Try veganism, let me know how it goes. See you on Record Store Day at Forever Records on Saturday 22 April.
INFL and Forever Records’ Record Store Day event link
Piss Up In A Brewery event link
Waterfront Festival event link