Popboomerang, a Melbourne label specialising in delicious and unbridled indie-pop music, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. Over the past decade, Popboomerang has been home to artists such as Sarah Sarah (click this link to listen to the first song Popboomerang ever released), Skipping Girl Vinegar, Grand Atlantic, Remake Remodel, The Bon Scotts, Georgia Fields and Go-Go Sapien. To celebrate, the label wil be releasing “Aches and Shakes, A Decade Of Popboomerang” and launching it at The Tote on the 18th of November. It’ll be killer.
Popboomerang is a tiny operation with an massive output (85 releases and counting), an inspiring label driven by the passion of Scott Thurling, owner and founder. Scott’s enthusiasm for his local scene is totally inspiring. We interviewed him here:
A day in the life. What happens in a typical day in the life Popboomerang?
I could lie and try to make it sound very glamorous! (But I won’t) My typical week day is to wake up and get myself ready for the day job (essential if you are running a one man indie operation) and my daughter ready for child care when she is with me. During lunch breaks I check and respond to emails/Facebook/Twitter etc. and one day a week I go and empty the post box (I used to call this “demo day” but the amount of CD’s in the mail has diminished as SoundCloud and You Tube links flood my inbox instead.) After hours, I try to sneak in some form of exercise and complete all the domestic duties and if I am not heading out to a gig, then I am packing mail-order orders and plotting Popboomerang world domination.
What release are you most proud of being involved in and why?
The answer to this question would change each week! As we sit here in Melbourne Cup week and I am listening to their much loved track “On the Punt,” I can’t go past the debut album from The Aerial Maps. A unique album in that is truly Australian in lyrical content and in nature as it is actually “spoken” and not sung. Band leader Adam Gibson has a personal, sensitive yet still “blokey” way of Australiana storytelling which has an uncanny knack of bringing grown man to tears.
What album by an Australian artist do you wish you had released and why? Or which artists do you wish were part of your roster?
I am not going to game away and tell you what bands I have my eye on! But thinking retrospectively, now that I have fulfilled my ambitions and re-released The Sugargliders back catalogue, I turn my attention to hopefully re-issuing a double CD set from Ballarat icons The Dead Salesmen. I am still in search for a modern band doing a similar boy/girl vocal, fuzzed out crunchy pop and jangle thing as my heroes The Hummingbirds.
What’s the best performance you’ve ever seen live?
A performance from Robert Forster at the Punters Club (R.I.P.) springs to mind (but again my answer to this question would alter on any given day.) That night he was a star! Smooth, sexy, charming, witty and confident! Take that stage presence and combine it with a blend of solo and Go Betweens songs then what more would you ask for in a show?
What do you see as the toughest problem facing record labels in the future? (And what would be your solution?)
I can only speak for indie labels as I have no real knowledge or sympathy for the problem facing the big fish! From a minnow point of view, the costs of doing business have been pretty static (advertising, manufacturing, artwork etc.) but traditional forms of income such as CD sales have been diminishing. I have a love/hate relationship with streaming services such as “Spotify.” It is an amazing and cheap way for fans to sample and devour music but it is not generating much revenue for the bands and labels and copyright holders.
Going forward some of the more important tools for bands and small labels will be to focus on mail-order sales (with the help of great services such as Bandcamp), merch sales at live performances and also “fan funding/pre sales” campaigns (Kick-starter/Pozible/Pledge Music etc.)
What are the Australian independent labels that you love and why?
As I said somewhere else, … if you grow up as pop geek, who can’t (or is too lazy) to learn an instrument, you start a record label and some of the ones that inspired me where Half A Cow (still going strong), Summershine, Sarah Records, Rampant, Au Go Go, Rubber, Waterfront, Phantom, Flying Nun and Creation. Some of the current labels I admire are Lost and Lonesome, Chapter Music, Ivy League and Laughing Outlaw.
What’s next for Pop Boomerang?
I am currently planning our first vinyl release (with The Livingstone Daisies) and also working towards the soon to be revealed (PB 100) “(The Pop Boom) Box Set. Running a one man show gives me the flexibility to push harder with a number of releases in any year, take a break and slow things down or wind things up (when or if that sad day arrives).