The music industry has changed a great deal since we started out. There seems to have been a shift in terms of power – leaning somewhat towards the artist, though ultimately more towards the audience. Although it is still very tricky to earn a sustainable income from the release of your own music, today’s artists do have much more freedom and opportunity in terms of production and distribution.
When we started out, the labels had all the power. The only way to make it in the industry was to get spotted, and then signed and given an advance to record an album. Then the label would do all the work of promoting your band.
There was a tension here though, as there was often mistrust between artists and labels. Would you get conned? Would you be signed yet placed on the shelf? Would you be selling out?
This could well have happened if we had signed to a mid-indie label or a larger one – not because of the label, but ultimately because we had virtually no understanding of the business. We didn’t understand the jargon, the expectations, or even simple things like strategy and knowing our audience. If you don’t thoroughly know your identity or what you stand for, then you can never have a proper conversation with any potential partners – and you will likely feel misunderstood and guided down a path you don’t really want to go. Perhaps that is part of the journey, though; maybe you don’t really know what you need to know until you have to.
We understood roughly what our identity was – creative empowerment, freedom of expression – and although there may have been a desire to get signed and financially supported, we made a conscious, joint decision to take a DIY approach.
“Mooz’s maniacal fixed grins turn out to be clear plastic masks, making their eerie funk sound all the more spooked. Singer Jess has a haunting howl which she uses to unnerving effect over Paula’s minimal guitar chops, Rasha’s slinky bass and Amy’s machine-gun breakbeats. Think The Slits jamming with Gil Scott Heron and then stop, because what Mooz deserve is a record deal, not rubbish analogies.” – Venue review, Sink and Stove’s second birthday party, Thekla, 17th Jan 2002