Turning an all-consuming love of good music into round the clock hard graft, Full Time Hobby is the independent record label inspired by the original work of imprint forefathers Elektra.
Listen to the exclusive i-D online Full Time Hobby mixtape here.
Sourcing, signing and releasing music from artists and bands that they really believe in, the ethos of D.I.Y label Full Time Hobby is to provide a positive platform for fresh music and new talent. Specialising in no specific genre and open to anything that sounds decent and accomplished, the label has worked with the new folk/electronica of Tunng, the motorik charms of Fujiya & Miyagi and the psych/garage/funk/croon of White Denim. Currently pushing albums out from Timbre timbre, Let’s wrestle, Erland and The Carnival and Diagram and The Leisure Society, this six-year-old music portal is ambitious, entrepreneurial and inspiring. There is no such thing as a typical day at the label’s west London digs; the hunt for lesser-known artists is never ending and the support Full Time Hobby provides prepares them for a successful career in the industry. i-D online caught up with the busy bees behind the hobby to find out how they make things work.
What distinguishes Full Time Hobby from other record labels? We don’t compare or contrast ourselves with other current labels too much, we just get on and try and do what we do the best we can and get the head and heart balance right.
Who are your strongest musical influences and references? Label-wise we were really inspired by the original Elektra label – the one that ran up to ’73 before being bought out by Warner Bros, as set up by Jac Holzman. Any label that had The Stooges, MC5, Tim Buckley, Love and Fred Neil had to be doing something right. Then on a more contemporary level the classic indie labels set up in the ‘80s & ‘90s: Creation, Rough Trade, Sub Pop.
How do you discover the majority of the new music you sign? All sorts of places. We hear about bands through acts we work with, managers we know, PR people we work with or through blogs, gigs – a really varied range. Definitely think it’s important to be open to hearing music from lots of different places.
How do you define what you consider to be good music? Initially it’s a really instinctive feeling – if the new music we’re hearing excites us, intrigues us on a very basic level initially then that’s a good sign. Then all the other bits and pieces that put the full picture together – getting into the lyrics, standing up to repeated listening, is it original and different enough to stand apart from other music? Is it played as well live as the recorded music we’ve heard and does it take on another life in a live setting?
What is the strongest band or artist you have signed to the label? We wouldn’t want to pick out any one act really as we really believe in everyone we sign. Some of the better known bands we’ve worked with include White Denim, The Hold Steady, School Of Seven Bells and Tunng.
What are some of the up and coming D.I.Y record labels you tip for 2011? There are the blog labels like Transparent and Tri-Angle that are doing some really interesting stuff, love what I’ve heard of Balam Acab on Tri-Angle. Blood & Biscuits is a cracker, set up by a good friend of ours and always interested to see what Stolen are working on.
What have you got coming up for the label in 2011? Let’s see. All our stock got burnt down last night as part of the fire at SONY DADC. We have new acts coming up like Diagrams and Pinkunoizu that we are really excited about and we’ll have debut albums from both of those next year, with debut EPs in ’11.
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