WeEmptyRooms: A Rant.
WeEmptyRooms is run primarily by myself (jem) with the invaluable help of friends along the way. Calling it a one-man operation would be inaccurate but I guess you could say I am ďin charge.Ē
WeEmptyRooms releases records, books and promotes tours, tries itís best to sell a bit of distro to new ears. This is all done from a bedroom and backyard in Brunswick. It also documents some exceptional music going on, mainly coming from Melbourne, Australia.
The label officially kicked off in 2005 when it released a Fire Witch 3Ē CDR. It came in a run of 100 in a specially folded origami box. And so began a legacy of labour intensive record packaging.I had been independently releasing records in my bands since 2001 as a 14 year old kid but had never considered it to be a label. I thought there was some big secret that labels had and I didnít. Turns out that was bullshit (a recurring theme in the industry it would seem).
The label mainly releases stuff by bands I play in and the occasional record I just have to do my bit to get heard. Most releases are in ltd. runs of between 100-300. This is not for any desire to be exclusive but for the reason there is a high labour element to the production of the records and itís just impractical and unaffordable to do more. The screen printing is done in my bathroom or, if the weather is good, my great big concrete backyard.
Releasing my own records, or being independent, was not a decision but rather I never considered someone else may want to lose their money on my bands. And, generally speaking, they donít.It would appear the WER ethos fits rather well into the DIY label but this definition found WER rather than the other way around. Iíd prefer not to cling to any such labels. It should be fairly obvious this is very much a DIY operation and operates on a grassroots level without the reasons being spelled out.
There are a lot of niche record labels out there. I donít consider this to be one of them. I am interested in releasing music that is good, not music that fits a certain style. In fact most bands on this label are on it because of their rejection of genre.
The extra care taken with packaging only seems right considering the amount of energy that goes into making the music. And since everything can now be downloaded with the click of a button 5 mins after itís release, it kind of seems like taking the piss to ask people to pay for anything that isnít more than special and exciting to hold in your hands. Some say the album is a dying breed but I still think there is a lot to be said for hearing music the way it was designed to by its makers.
Send me an email if you have any questions or want to submit a demo. And no zine is too small to do interviews or reviews.
Thanks for listening.