Well…here we are then, turning two. It is both an utter surprise and yet completely obvious that we would get this far and that exactly two years on from meeting for the first time we’d be saying a happy second birthday to our Reckless Yes.
Our second year – much like our first – has been a glorious whirlwind. It’s come with just as many delights, another fistful of releases, and a roster which we’re in love with creatively and have the honour of calling friends. But we’re not going to lie, it’s also come with challenges, and we’ve had to navigate our way through a few small business storms along the way. But here we are, stronger and determined and just as excited as ever for what comes next and still learning about what it means to be a record label in the modern age.
This year we welcomed new artists to our roster at a giddying speed and we’ve totalled six releases in 2017. Pet Crow released their debut album in February and began what has been a great year for them; while Unqualified Nurse Band astonished us with a second long player just a year after their first. We released a couple of digital singles from new roster additions You Want Fox and Mower, as well as debut EPs from Panji and The Buffalo and Dactylion.
Alongside our releases we’ve put on some great shows – including our sold out Desperate Journalist / The Empty Page show, the last Six Impossible Things, and a return to Derby for Nervous Twitch. Our bands performed at festivals including Dot To Dot, Tramlines, Sonder, and Camden Rocks. We had national music press and radio play from 6Music to Radio X. We also made an in-conversation appearance at our favourite festival Indietracks, and released music as ourselves too – Pete with The Hudson Super Six and together we came out as SeiSui. On top of all that Pete wrote a book which we duly published, becoming not just a record label but an independent publishing house too.
Without really realising it we’ve spend quite a bit of time trying to get our heads around what it means to be a record label and publishing house in 2017 (or 2018, or 2019, or…). We’re under no illusion that the bands on our roster could all have chosen to go it alone – they have a solid DIY ethic to match their creative prowess and as we all know the internet has made publishing and distribution available beyond the gatekeepers of majors. So why do they pick us? Why do we still want to be a label and what is it that we think makes us a decent one?
When we started we said we wanted three things: fun, community, and to make things happen. These three things still embody our approach to everything Reckless Yes and we’re still fairly secure in our joint experience (over the last 25 years) of everything from being a professional musician, touring, studio recordings, production, PR, social media, offline and online distribution, royalties and sync, live promotion, and networking. Between us we have direct experience and contacts in all of those areas and that probably gives us as solid a foundation as you could wish for in an independent label. But we don’t just relying on our past experience but on evaluating what that means now, what is the next thing to learn, where should each band focus and where can we support best.
A label is no longer a company to which you hand over control, but the best modern labels (of which we aspire to be) are part of a band’s team. As a label we aim to help band’s keep finding the fun in being creative, link them into a wider community of support and activity, and help them make things happen. The three wishes we made when we recklessly started our label have become a pretty decent mission statement.
So, knowing ourselves a little better and settling into the new rhythm of a record label at two, we’re looking forward to another year of glorious fun, of community and of reckless yesses. We already have releases lined up from Grawl!x and LIINES for the first half of next year and our second book will roll off the presses too. We’ll hopefully be getting back to putting on a few shows – and we fully expect things to go in directions we haven’t even thought of yet.
In the meantime here’s a big THANK YOU to…
- all of the bands who have trusted us to release their music #recklessyesfam <3
- our go to pressing plant DMS for patience and fast, accurate work as well as great advice
- all of the bands who’ve come and played at one of our gigs and made promoting rewarding rather than the thankless slog it can so often be
- the venues and crews who have hosted and supported us
- to Cargo for distro and all the shops who have stocked and sold our records
- bloggers, journalists and broadcasters who’ve been interested in what we do and covered our bands
- every last one of you who now has RY catalogue numbers in your record collection or has come along to a show (not got any yet? Buy them here!).
Our second year has exceeded our expectations and we can’t wait for more – see you in 2018!
- check our current roster here
- buy our records here
- follow us on Twitter here
- and also on Facebook
- listen to our pick of our favourite records from 2017 here
- and if you want to join our family find our demo submission policy here.