“There’s no musical direction as such; we just want to put out stuff that we like”.
So speaks Dave Pichilingi, ebullient manager of brand new Liverpool-based label, Robot! Records.
“A lot of people run labels with two eyes on the balance sheet, but we’re in it to release great music. Obviously to keep releasing records we need to sell records, but it isn’t the main motivation. If you just think about making money, then the chances are you will make fuck all. You have to really want to do it.”
No danger of a negative reaction to Robot!’s output however, with bands of the calibre of Sonic Youth-with-melody outfit Ambulance and classy songwriters Former Miss America already inking deals with the label. Ambulance’s debut single will be the first release on Robot! during November, with FMA working on an album mooted for release early in 2003.
In this world of GANTT charts and accountancy-based musical endeavour, and pundits left, right and centre pissing and whinging about the “crisis in the music industry”, why bother getting involved with what is still a high-risk venture?
“Well I was desperate to run a label again, and myself and Simon (Duffy, the co-owner) felt we wanted to get involved and release some stuff by the great musicians and bands that we felt we wanted to work with”.
“If there is a model or an inspiration for Robot!, you could look at the fantastic Postcard label from Glasgow; on their roster they had diverse artists like Orange Juice, Josef K and of course the Fire Engines. That was a great label and its ethos was always simple and direct.”
Liverpool and its acts may be high in the media focus right now, and there are more bands than for years in what has very quickly become a buzzin’ musical maelstrom down in Merseyside.But when the furore dies down and the vultures circle elsewhere, where will Robot! fit in?
“We’ve got about four other bands from the area and further afield that we’re either looking at, or negotiating with, at the moment”, continues Dave, “You’ll always be judged by the records you put out, and I guess you’re only as good a label as people’s perception of the label.
“We just want to put out great albums. But to be honest I couldn’t give a fuck if nobody else likes what we put out -it’s such a subjective industry anyway.”
Robots – get ready to rise…