Hi there Ice Cream For Crow Records! Great to have you guys registered with us, especially as we are looking for more of an unusual range of music in the shop these days, and some of the acts on your label most certainly fit that bill! Start us off then by telling us a wee bit about yourself, how long have you been a label for, and how did it develop from the idea to the reality?
Gav: Howdy, great to be a part of what you do and we’re glad to bring some slightly unusual acts with us!
I used to run a small label called Zoghurt Records with my pal Stew from Aberdeen-based band (and fellow ICFC artist) Depeche Choad back in the Myspace days, but it was short lived and I stopped doing music for almost 10 years.
Out of the blue, I decided I wanted to make music again and figured no label would touch my stuff due to its silly humor and lack of fitting into a genre, so I thought I’d try starting up my own label again. Ice Cream For Crow Records began in January 2016 with the first Casper Heyzeus album, so it’s just over 2 years old now.
Let’s get right to the name then, as it’s a peach as far as monikers go! Where did that come from? Drunken idea from nowhere, or well thought out decision?
Gav: I was bouncing various ideas for the name off my partner at the time, and the only one she liked was Ice Cream For Crow - if she never liked that, it would have been called “DUDE, WHAT? Records”.
As for the name itself, it’s a song and album by Captain Beefheart. This was the album that changed my perception on what music could be, and it inspired me to be in a band and write music.
Tell us a bit about some of the releases on the label then, how do you choose bands to release, especially considering there are so many new acts out there? Do you go for a specific sound?
Gav: I never aim for a specific sound, but it has to be something I would buy myself.
S.R. Woodward is an artist I met through SoundClick (it was like Soundcloud but back in the olden days). We reconnected through Youtube, and he was kind enough to let me publish a cassette release for a collection of demos he had recorded.
Depeche Choad and Before Stories (the latter describing themselves as “post-everything” - songs about making bad decisions) are two local bands who I have worked with and are friends of mine. They definitely add something different to the local scene.
fig. and Stayknyfe are two awesome producer/composer/beatmakers I found through Reddit. I tend to use various music subreddits and Soundcloud to find artists and bands to promote, but I’d say Soundcloud is my favourite site next to Bandcamp.
Did you guys aim to solely release on tapes rather than CD and Vinyl? Was this just a personal choice rather than a business one, or was it a bit of both? Do you think the market is pretty good for cassette tape nostalgia at the moment?
Gav: My friend John suggested cassettes and I instantly loved the idea. I’ve worked with him on his “outsider” rap (think Wesley Willis meets the Beastie Boys).
I used to collect CDs, but over the years all I would do is burn them to my PC, play them on shuffle or on my MP3 player and never really looked at them again. The ritual of listening to a release from start to finish is (almost) unavoidable with a record or tape. Vinyl is a path I’d love to go down one day for the label, but its a huge investment and I wouldn’t like to be lumped with around 80 unsold records.
With cassette tapes, you can make any amount from 1 to double digits instead of 100+ minimum, and people like to buy them for the sake of having something physical to go along with the download.
There's a big market for Vaporwave cassettes, and I think a large portion of the people buying those never grew up when tapes were common (just like vinyl), so the nostalgia thing is real but there’s also a new generation that just seems to get a kick out of owning old audio formats.
What new releases do you already have planned for 2018? Is there a few more on the cards already?
We have more stuff in the works for later in the year and beyond. Please check out a few of those artists and if you like what you hear, give us a follow on social media for news of any upcoming releases.
Do you have a favourite release yourselves yet? Was there one specific track that kind of left you amazed when you heard it for the first time?
Gav: “Home Demonstrations” by S.R. Woodward is maybe my favourite. The song “Feeling Useless” is just so catchy and it gets stuck in your head. Also, just the fact we lost touch almost a decade ago and bumped into one another online again through a YouTube comments section makes it all that more special to me i guess!
Any gigs coming up we should know about, and who is on the bills?
Stu: We’ve previously been involved in co-organising a couple small gigs in our Aberdeen studio space in conjunction with local promo collective HITSWGF, however the next event we’re putting on will be a dedicated Ice Cream For Crow night. As Casper Heyzeus, we have wanted to play Edinburgh for a while, so we’ve booked out Henry’s Cellar Bar on Friday 25th May and invited local lovelies Little Love and the Friendly Vibes (LLFV) and Edinburgh-based electronic pop/funk duo Romarzs to play too.
I stumbled across LLFV thanks to someone I contacted on Soundcloud who promotes up and coming gigs in Edinburgh, and they were name-dropped. Gav and myself have known Martyn from Romarzs for a long time as we were in a couple Aberdeen-based bands many years ago, and have remained in contact with him since.
I thought both acts would fit the bill quite nicely, and they thankfully accepted the invites!
One other thing I was keen on was to keep the door entry price low, so it’s a mere 3 quid on the night.
We also have another evening booked for Friday 20th July at the Tunnels in Aberdeen. Bands are still being announced, and I think many people will recognise the headliner as a familiar name that’s been out of action for quite some time, so we’re looking forward to finally getting all the details out there!