AIR speaks to Glenn Wright, Label Director at Vitamin Records about their luminous roster of acts.
What’s in a name? Why is your label called what you’re called?
In 1999 I was struggling for a name and singer songwriter and Bondi local David Lane came to the rescue with Vitamin – music for the masses (a joke). We dropped the music for the masses.
A day in the life. What happens in a typical day at Vitamin?
We pack CDs for stores and online sales, list releases on various online platforms, go to the post and pick up a demo or 2. Then maybe talk to a publicist, artist or label. Then the sales guy talks to stores most afternoon. We have multiple projects going at any one time and designers and website guys to brief. There is manufacturing and more mundane things like bar codes, packaging, accounts and maybe we just listen to some music for a bit. There is never enough time in the day.
What release/releases are you most proud of being involved in and why?
I think the latest Tinpan Orange release Over The Sun is really exciting. It’s exciting as we have watched their career grow and been a part of it. Their profile is jumping and sales are growing with each release. This summer will be huge for them.
Other recent releases worth a very special mention:
Jordie Lane ‘Feet Fall’ (taken from latest album ‘Blood Thinner’)
Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel ‘Do Right’ (taken from the self titled release)
Take Something Beautiful – The Songs of Jesse Younan – various artists – www.takesomethingbeautiful.com
What album do you wish you had released and why? Or which artists do you wish were part of your roster?
I guess it was The Necks Sex, but we were not up and running at the time. That’s the best original Australian work I know of. The artist I’d like most on our roster is a tough one. Really I think of a number of artists on our roster as genuine stars. I wish some of them sold better possibly – but I don’t wish for different artists. We do what we believe in and once you start working with an artist you believe in you can’t just jump ship for some other artist because they sell heaps. Artistically I’d change nothing.
What’s the best performance you’ve ever seen live?
Probably the best international was Herbie Hancock solo piano at the Sydney Town Hall. Very funny moment when some stupid audience member heckled – ‘where’s your band’. everybody in the audience cringed and then Herbie calmly stood up and smiled and then held his fingers up and wriggled them. Everybody clapped and it was a brilliant evening.
National tour act was probably The Black Sorrows with Joe and Vika and Linda Bull. It was possibly the best version of the Black Sorrows at their peak, the tour around the launch of Harley & Rose at the Harbourside Brasserie, Sydney – 10 nights straight.
Locally and probably all time best gigs were Jackie Orszacky and the Godmothers at Round Midnight in Kings Cross. Every Saturday night starting at 1am in the late 90’s featuring Chris Abrahams, Tony Buck, Carl Orr and others.
What do you see as the toughest problem facing record labels in the future? (And what would be your solution?)
I think we are coming out of a 10 year restructure and those that survived are setting up for a new business model. The toughest thing will be to determine what we do, who we do it for and how much we invest. These questions have always been the same but the answers are now totally different.
What’s next for your label?
We are winding up for 2012 and looking to new projects for the coming year. There is a restructure coming along with this and it’s exciting. Definitely more releases, a website upgrade and we are looking at some new distribution channels.
Tinpan Orange ‘Barcelona’ (taken from new album ‘Over The Sun’:
Jordie Lane ‘Feet Fall’ (taken from latest album ‘Blood Thinner’:
Sal Kimber & The Rollin’ Wheel ‘Do Right’ (taken from self titled release):
Lucie Thorne ‘’Till the Season’ (taken from latest release ‘Bonfires In Silver City’ 2011: