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[english] Jamendo Interview

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The whole interview:

-So you started afmusic in 2006; where are you based? And did you work in music before starting it, perhaps in the conventional music industry?

afmusic started as A&F Music Management in the late 2003 beside my own webradio (www.darkerradio.de). The intention was to help and promote well unknown bands to get more professional. I figured out the music business has changed in the end of the 90s. But my point of view wasn’t influenced of the so called ‘music business’, because I’m a technical and computer freak. Until the start of this two projects I was more a fan than someones who’s in the music business. I just had some expierences in distributing music with a small mailorder in the mid of the 90s.

-How do you find and choose the bands you release? What kind of contract, if any, do you have with them?

At the beginning we only worked together with bands we knew from the radio or personally. all:my:faults, for example, was the second band in our roster and Steve is a good friend of mine. Their release „Secrets“ in early 2006 was a proof of our concept to test, if we can reach more listeners with just free music. Most of my german bands I found trough the work for darkerradio. A first step to contact more and international bands for further work was my own radio show „Free Music Charts“ which was a big step in 2007. There were more than 300 artists I have listened to and spreading their music in my own private blog. I think that’s also much different to the classical business, that we are looking and searching active for good, new - and in our opinion - great music. I also read a lot of music blogs all over the world and get some hints from there. Meanwhile some bands contact us trough our own website/MySpace, and some of our bands even spread the idea and contact of afmusic.

Our Contract? Well, it’s mostly just a handshake. I think it’s much more important to trust than writing down some §§§ on paper. And our artists get the big part of all incomings we get from selling their music.

-How are the albums released? Do you post them on many sites, do you sell the music at all?

Yes, we do sell the music too. We like to spread the music for free on platforms like Jamendo, dogmazic, last.fm and many others. We are also using archive.org for saving the releases. But why shouldn’t have a fan the chance to donate some money for music they like? Creative Commons gives us this flexibility and it seems that many people download their music on iTunes, emusic and other digital download stores just because they think it’s easier and ‘legal’. But for sure, some of the releases are also available on the classical way - on CD. We have a great partnership with Danse Macabre, one of the most important german labels for the gothic scene. The label group helps us to distribute the CDs in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

-How did you hear about Jamendo and since when do you use it as an outlet for your music?

Jamendo was a tip of a good friend of mine. It was in 2005 he recommended me that platform. That was even the time we thought about releasing of all:my:faults’ „Secrets“, and this was the start for me to engage in free culture, Creative Commons and free music. In the early 2006 we finally started spreading music there.

-How many artists do you have on your roster, and how many albums have you produced?

After the great start of afmusic as an official Indie-/Netlabel this year, we have now 22 bands and artists in the roster. We’ve got the 28th release by now and 4 more will follow this year.

-So you say afmusic is now an ‘official label’? What has changed?

Changing the name (jokingly)…The important change for myself is to work now just for the label, it’s my job since march of 2008. We’ve grown up the roster quickly and now looking forward with some new ideas to spread good dark music.

- Is your audience already large, would you like to increase it? What means do you have to reach to more people?

Hmm, what is large…we had more than 150.000 free downloads with our releases in the first 6 month, getting some attention of music mags, radios and listeners and we worked hard to reach the people in a directly way. I think for me it’s just important to create an image for the label, that people can trust us, that we search and find music they could like. And it’s also important to know that our work is the same work a classical record label has to do. The only difference is that we (mostly) don’t press the music on plastic…

-What kind of people enjoy your productions, do you have an idea of the type of audience you have? I imagine you specialized in darkwave, gothic & industrial because of your personal tastes?

Oh yes, the label is an image of my personal taste. And no, I don’t have any idea which people like what we’re doing. We’ve specialized ourselfes in dark guitar music, industrial rock and indie, so I guess people who like that kind of music even could like afmusic. My point of view is more that we can help bands and artists to spread their music trough afmusic. We have the expierience to do that and I think with the help of some platforms we can reach many people as well.

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