Based in Palermo, Italy Retro Reverb Records are an Independent Label. If we head over to their website they quote ” We are an Independent Label which focuses on the development of Synthwave/Electro/Alternative artists, through different media solutions, thus keeping a family approach to our artists”.
I like it so far so lets delve in a little deeper shall we 🙂
As you guys know this section is about discovering more information from the people that may potentially represent you or whose services you might decide to use, here’s the thing how well do we know them, well in this segment we do exactly that, let us prepare to deep dive and find out who are Retro Reverb Records?!
Cole, great logo really bounces and tells us all what you’re about! So, the first question and the all-important, where did you get the inspiration to open a Record Label?
To be honest, it was something I was doing before when I was living in Poland, but not seriously. I was working with Timeslave Recordings. Vin there asked me to get involved. However, the distance meant I couldn’t really help as much as needed so we decided to part ways. Then when I arrived here in Italy, Alex Vecchietti asked me if I wanted to do something along those lines and Triple R was born. The main difference was I could shape the label as I saw fit and the ‘welcome to the family’ idea was thought up and that’s how we have been trying to run things ever since.
Retro Reverb Records, Triple R sounds extremely cool, but what inspired you to create that name?
There was this little meme floating around at the time, that for some reason really made me laugh. It was a guy trying to sleep and his brain asked him ‘are you asleep?’ ‘Not now’ he replied looking really wired. The brain said, ‘you should have added more reverb’ and he shot up in bed even more freaked out.
I knew then I wanted reverb in the name, and we liked the idea of 3 Rs like a triangle and it sort of just came about. We tried a few combos and that stuck.
On the website you talk about having a family approach, I like that! Can you give us a flavour of where your journey started and any key moments in your timeline :)?
I think the key moment was deciding what we wanted to stand for. Everything else organically grew from that. The first time we interviewed artists was very cool. Our first release January 4, 2019, with The Goondock Saint. And then the other key moments I mention in Q4. We have a WhatsApp group because of geographical issues. Sometimes that can be great, other times there can be a million messages in there and that can be hard to follow. Mostly I try to be available to answer specific questions, time zone permitting. It’s a balancing act being available and having quite a few artists, but we try not to be corporate, and we want to be people artists can speak to. Having different artists brings a great variety of sounds and ideas and I am happy to have worked with these people even if at times it can be tiring. I wouldn’t have it differently.
I have put our core values here:
Loving the core values, I feel it so important to have something you believe in so that others can understand and connect with you, very cool indeed.
Let me ask you this, What is your most memorable experience in the music industry?
Being threatened with being sued; that was fun, but a few stick out for the right reasons, My first time on radio and on stage were great fun! Our first charity and hard copy releases and finally, our first vinyl release. I know that’s a bit typical, so I guess just meeting some really odd people who have done some really shitty things and also some really lovely things along the way.!
Being threatened with a lawsuit is most definitely a worrying time, and I for one feel your pain on this! Lol Ahh Radio and Stage two of my most favourite places also, and you know I feel everyone should try them both at least once in their lifetime!
Lets up the Anti a little with a little bit of a tougher question, you have some amazing producers that you work with; KARNEAUX, The SubTheory, Kal-Elle Jagger, Daniel Hugh & Le Groupe Fantastique to name just a few (They are all amazing producers) but here’s the question, who’s been the most fun to work with and why?
It’s like most things in life. You meet people, and they have different characters. A lot of our artists live in different countries from us, so we haven’t met them all face to face. Probably on a personal level I connect well with Le Groupe Fantastique, Honeybeard and Kosmic Kiss; they’re the kind of guys I know I would have a drink and a laugh with. In fact, I have met up and done just that on a couple of occasions with LGF. However, you can’t really say until you spend time with someone. I do tend to get on well with the artists. Of course, Alex is here with me in Italy, so we have fun together. But to sort of sidestep the question, it’s not so much about having fun with the producers, rather who is good to work with. Some are more methodical than others and that really helps in terms of my workload and maximizing their potential exposure. I put, Your Friends Esteves, Daniel Hugh, Marc Matthews, Jonny Fallout, Woves and The Subtheory in that bracket.
Absolutely, in this world as a service provider and as a supportive label that has strong core values,, maintaining the focus on professional and mutually productive relationships, leads me so perfectly to this question which artists/producer has been the most awkward to work for and why?
Oh, that is easy: Gaz from Honeybeard. He is an awkward git 😊 but as I mentioned, we get on well. There have been a few artists who have left the label that were not easy to work with for various reasons. I will add that it is always a risk taking on someone new. You are never quite sure if they will fit in or understand the culture. Sometimes I blame myself, as I obviously didn’t get our message across effectively or chose poorly. Managing expectations and personalities is probably one of the hardest things about running a label.
Hahahaha, Honeybeards Gaz, we will be keeping an eye out for you (PS we love Honeybeard). I think you are right when it comes to working with people in general, some people will be the right fit for you some will not, but it’s all about how we deal with those expectations and convey them across that matters. Ok, based on that answer let’s say there is an artist reading this right now, and they were looking for a Record Label to assist them, what words of wisdom would you pass on to them (What should they look for)?
A company that offers fair terms is always a good start. Be realistic about what you’re trying to achieve and the time scale, talk about how you can give yourself a good chance of doing that. Be clear with each other from the start about what will be done and who will do it. Personally, nowadays I think there needs to be more of a collaboration between the label and artists to create a team vibe.
Find a label that wants to help you grow and not just what you can do for them. Look out for inflexibility in the terms or language that blinds you and is impossible to understand. Make sure you know who owns your music and what they are entitled to do with it.
Absolutely spot on! Always read the contracts before signing, I recently went through some contracts for artist friends of mine who didn’t really understand what was being asked or their rights under the contract, and I will say no companies mentioned but there was no way I could morally say to them the contract was in the artists best interest. So, excellent advice, And if they were interested in Retro Reverb Records becoming their Record Label of choice, what do you offer them in the service?
This is contract negotiation material, lol. We offer very fair terms for a start and core values that we really do try to stick to. We try to be available for support and offer help and assistance with mastering, artwork, videos etc. We obviously promote our artists and by joining us we hope you will get some extra exposure and be part of our collective.
Hahahaha Contract Negotiations such excellent fun, but it would seem to me that you can assist with multiple areas where an artist may not be so versed, a definite positive for all parties.
With all successful businesses, the idea must have an end goal and markers so let me ask you this, Where would you like to see Retro Reverb Records in 5 years’ time?
I’d like to see us develop artists over a longer term, especially those that have stuck with us. I hope to be recognized as a place that helps spot talent and nurtures it. I don’t see us sticking to being just Synthwave, though we will always be Synthwave as well, but more an Alternative electronic music record label. Ultimately, we want to start organizing events and getting artists on stage performing because that is what it is about. I hope that in five years we will still be here. That would be very cool!
SLE RADIO & MEDIA hope that you achieve your goals, maybe with SLERADIO alongside you anything can happen, especially with the events that are a most definite interest to us 🙂
Finally, we come to the end of this deep dive into Retro Reverb Records, I would like to say thank you to Cole for taking the time out and speak with us…. wait Cole before we part ways is there anything you want to say to the readers, artists, band members, producers?
Thanks, for the chance to speak freely. As everyone knows, the music industry has changed drastically for better and for worse. The fact that anyone can make, and release music now means we have more music than ever, that we may never have heard otherwise. This might be a good or bad thing 😉 But with self-promotion being largely done on social media, we are in danger of being too involved in the self rather than the scene as a whole. I would say this is specifically relevant in the Synthwave scene, which is full of producers and not so many fans. I think your motivation to make music needs to start from a good place and if benefits arise from that great. We could all remember that a lot of people do this for free and put hours and hours in to help promote the scene. That is why shows, radio stations, labels and artists disappear as they probably feel they can’t justify the output needed to continue. So, my message is, be kind in your communication, don’t assume you know how much effort someone else is putting in or what they get back for that effort. It is way easier to criticize than praise, so get behind good music and causes because it helps us all. Finally, don’t be lazy in support of others or only support those in your circle. Clicking ‘like’ really isn’t supporting an artist much! Comment, watch the video, and buy the track if you like it and have the funds to do so 😊.
Guys that was Cole, from Retro Reverb Records
Head over to Retro Reverb Records and check out what they can do for you and your band. PS let them know you saw them here on SLERADIO.COM!
Written by: Jay
Kasger, Hazan & Overload
Ana Matielo ft. Lucas Rocha, Dessa Ferreira & Idowu Akinruli