Bad//Dreems’ Alex Cameron talks Endless Recordings, 100, dreaming big, and more
In a year that’s had everything, in seemingly endless supply, Alex Cameron hit upon the perfect name for his new record label.
Their first signing is Sydney-based band 100, led by frontmen Rowen Tucker and Jaryd Lee and whose first release through the label is ‘Psych’, out next Wednesday (18th November).
The Gosford-raised lads aren’t newbies to the rock world. They independently released the Cortisone EP in 2018 and a string of follow-up singles.
Winners of the 2020 Sydney Laneway Unearthed contest, they’ve also been booked for Bad Friday, Party in the Paddock Secret Garden and Splendour in the Grass, and supported the likes of Shame, the Lemonheads, Cold Chisel and Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever.
In time, Endless will build a roster of both new and established artists, and pump out the occasional reissue.
Believe Digital handles digital distribution through its global network, and limited vinyl pressings will accompany all releases.
TIO fired off a handful of questions to Cameron on the new label and the shape of things to come. This is the exchange.
Launching a new label during a pandemic seems counterintuitive. Is it somehow the right time to launch an artist’s career? Michael Chugg recently told me he was grateful for having a label, because it gave him something to do!
I had been wanting to start a label for some time. The pandemic gave me some time away from touring with Bad//Dreems, which allowed me to finally get it up and running.
I don’t think it’s an ideal time for any act trying to build its profile, given the lack of touring opportunities.
There is perhaps some more bandwidth for smaller acts to get exposure given some bigger artists have delayed releases.
With that in mind, what are the big challenges to launching Endless?
An artist places their trust in a label when they agree to work with them. Honouring this trust is a big responsibility. This is the main challenge for me – (we’re) doing this for our very first signing forward, regardless of our fledgling infrastructure or inexperience.
What’s your A&R vision at the label?
Our founding principles are:
– Above all else we value good music and the people that make it.
– We consider it vital that musicians are provided with a place to develop their art and make the best work they can
– Strength of ideas is more important than genre, fad, trends or hype
– Artistic integrity will always come before market related gains
Watch 100’s ‘Just Us’:
Are there any other indie labels you’ve looked at and thought, “hell, I wanna do that?”
There are lots of inspiring labels around. In Australia they would include Chapter, Bedroom Suck, Osbourne Again, Rice is Nice and Farmer and the Owl; and Matador, Drag City, Sacred Bones, Flying Nun and Rough Trade overseas.
I think the prototype for a great contemporary label is XL. I think the originality and diversity of their acts is phenomenal.
They seem to be able to combine a renegade, independent approach while still reaching a lot of people.
Believe is handling digital distribution globally. Are you dreaming big, of international breakthroughs for your signings?
We want to try to provide all of our acts with pathways internationally. I really believe this is a necessity for Australian artists. Unfortunately this will be difficult in the near future due to restrictions on touring.
Will there be, let’s say, crossover opportunities for Endless artists and Bad//Dreems? Perhaps opening slots on tours?
Most of the things I do around music are based on friendships and personal relationships. So yes, I’d say so.
How’s the year ahead looking for the label?
100’s first single is out on 18th November. Their EP will be out in March, with an album later in the year.
I think we will probably release at least three other new LPs next year, as well as three reissues.
It would be remiss of me to not check on yourself and how you’re getting on during this strange year. It’s been a shocker for performers.
I am well! Thank you. I’ve been lucky to still be able to work and not be too badly affected.
The experience has really emphasised how much I enjoy being part of a music community. I’ve really missed seeing my friends in Bad//Dreems and all my friends in other bands and the industry.
I’ve realised how much playing and watching live music informs and inspires my creative process.
Finally, have you any updates on Bad//Dreems? What should we expect for 2021?
We have some great shows lined up for December and we will be recording through that period, with new music out shortly after.
Watch 100’s ‘Weightless’:
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.