And The Hits Just Keep On Comin': April 2008

And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

A Music Journal Collective Effort

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Murderecords Re-Launch (Part 1 of 2)

Murderecords – the label, the myth, the legend. Starting
way back in 1992, it was a dream of Chris Murphy, Jay
Ferguson, Patrick Pentland and Andrew Scott to start up
a label that promoted good independent music and, more
specifically, musical talent within their immediate
community of Halifax. At different times, the label
featured such omni-talented acts as Eric’s Trip, The
Inbreds, Jale, Hardship Post, Thrush Hermit, The Super
Friendz and of course Sloan, themselves. Whilst running
their ‘utopian’ business, however, Sloan came to a few
dastardly realizations:

1. Money wasn’t really coming in…at all.
2. The market was limited to Canada.
3. By giving bands (friends included) the option to leave
your label, they always will.

Even when things were looking up for Sloan and the
Murderecords saga, and Murphy and his men were able to
partner with the American label The Enclave (which released
‘One Chord To Another’ in the U.S.), things went further
downhill as The Enclave was shut down a few short months
later when its parent company decided to sell itself. Post
1997, Sloan decided to keep Murderecords alive only as a
vehicle for Sloan alone. And so it seemed the Murderecords
saga had ended and the book was closed for good.

Over a decade later, Murderecords has decided to
re-launch within Sloan’s new and much larger home field –
Toronto. They have already signed a few friendly and
talented acts to the lonely roster; Will Currie and The
Country French, Pony Da Look and the possibility a
few more (who are apparently ‘in talks’). I write the
word ‘apparently’ because there is limited and somewhat
mysterious information as to why Sloan and friends are
re-attempting to run an active record label. In an
interview with the National Post that can be read here,
Chris Murphy stated "I just want it to be a safe place for
our friends so they don't get ripped off…I want to smash
the guy in his mouth who pats himself on the back in
print about how indie he is. I just think it's going to be
cool-that's all."

Hopefully, a safe place is what the new
Murderecords will be – oh yeah – that and a label that
actually does well at selling, promoting and releasing
its artists. From a skeptic perspective, it could be a dicey
move for Sloan and friends but kudos to them for taking
this new step into somewhat familiar territory with a fresh
perspective. This time around, hopefully they won’t be

I’ll be interviewing Jay Ferguson of Sloan later this
week for Thick Specs about the re-launch of Murderecords.
Hopefully, the interview (which I’m looking forward to)
will help to shed some light on the topic and dispel some
nasty rumours. Stay tuned.

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