The below interview was conducted in January 2014 by an urban fox with a broken leg. As I passed him and tried not to make eye contact, he started asking me questions about my new label. This is verbatim.
Who are you?
I’m Jed Shepherd (that’s me above). I live in London, England and I like your tail.
Why does this label exist?
I started POST/POP because I missed running a record label. I used to run a label called ‘Pop Will Prevail’ and had some really cool little releases. I wanted to start again with the same ethos, but with a little more heart. Everything that I release on Post/Pop will be something that I’ve fallen in love with. Every song you hear through this site/me is going to mean something much more than just a piece of music.
I’ve noticed that you have a bunch of tapes for sale. Are you just gonna do tapes because thats stupid?
No I’m not just going to do tapes, but I WILL do alot of them.
*Cough* Pretentious *Cough*
Nothing. Next Question. Why tapes? Isn’t CD the better format?
“Better” is such a subjective word. And no, CD is not the better format. CDs are good for makeshift frisbees and low-cost ninja stars, but not as a music format I enjoy.
Are you one of those people that say that tapes have a warmer analogue sound and better bass tone etc?
Sometimes. I think a song on cassette CAN sound better than the same song on MP3 or CD or even vinyl but it is solely based on the dubbing process. If you are starting a tape label and want to go totally DIY and dub your tapes using your old 90s tape deck, then thats cool, but you are honestly not going to get the best sound possible. Getting it professionally dubbed (yes there are still companies out there, even in the UK that do this!) and duplicated will mean the difference between tinny deflated sound and a life-changing glee-style moment of pure pop bliss in your ears.
A simple yes, would have sufficed. Who does the artwork for your releases?
Either the band or myself. Usually they have something they want to use and I make it fit into the right shape and add text/logos/credits. If they haven’t got anything they want to use (and this would surprise me because musicians are usually very arty too) I will just use a stock photo of Ally Sheedy from The Breakfast Club with some hearts around her face.
There’s always going to be MP3s with your releases too right? Cos I haven’t had a Walkman since 1994?
Yes. I guess so. You can actually buy brand new cassette players that convert your tapes into mp3s automatically from Maplins (high street store in the UK) or Amazon. Ebay is also a good place to get original cassette players/decks.
Wow. You sure make it difficult for people to hear your records. Is this on purpose?
Think of cassettes more like merch. Like a Tshirt or a poster. It acts as a way for a fan to own something from the band they love (or will love in the future) and is there as a conduit for saying without words “I like what you are doing, keep doing it”. It’s a little piece of art and if you are anything like me, you collect things, and this is something you can collect and cherish and love AND you have the option to listen to music with it. Everyones a winner. You collect stuff too right Injured Fox?
I collect souls. How do you pick the bands that you release records for?
You will probably notice that alot of the bands have either been on my radio show (98FM) or are friends of mine, or friends of friends. All of them are bands I absolutely love. I’ve always been obsessed with music. I find a song I like, and I listen to it over and over again until the words are meaningless and my brain vibrates independently to the sound of the hook. I look for bands with songs that do that to me. In turn, when I find a band that makes me an OCD earworm-chasing social reject, I put it out on this label to pass on the love.
Why such limited numbers? why don’t you release a record with 5000 units? Then everyone who wants a copy, can have a copy!
A number of reasons! Cost – Even though its alot cheaper to release a tape than it is a CD or vinyl record, there is still a cost. Selling tapes for £3 each only just covers this. Marketing – It’s inbuilt into the human psyche to crave something that nobody else has. If something is limited edition we will want it more than something that isnt. I am a sucker for this. If someone puts “Ltd Edition” on a bag of sick I’d probably buy it, then instagram it and hashtag appropriately so the whole world can see. Practicality – If I limit the number I produce, then I wont be left with boxes of stock in my house. Id rather work with low numbers, so they are basically all sold before I have to use them as a footstool while Im watching ‘Night of the Comet’ on Netflix.
Nice reference. What are your influences with your label and life in general?
I am always influenced by my fellow independent record labels. The tape label community are pretty amazing. I’ve never known a bunch of people more willing to help out with my new label. The people that run tape labels are always the most dedicated people ever, and they have to be because nobody is really making any money out of this, so its a labour of love and I think it shines through with every release you see on tape labels. My main influences though include the above-mentioned 80s horror film ‘Night of the Comet’ which truly is the greatest movie of all time. Everything about it, makes me want to create better things. The Dungeons and Dragons episode “City at the edge of Midnight’; Pugwall (and Pugwall’s Summer), the Futurist Art Movement (if you minus all of the fascist stuff and only look at the beauty of he art and the manifesto to destroy the past – though I know I am being a hypocrite with tapes); Japanese subcultures (pretty much all of them – all the legal ones anyway).
You’re weird. Anything else that made you want to start a label?
I’m weird? You’re a talking fox. I’ve always made mixtapes. Ever since I was little. When I was a little older I would burn the same 20 songs onto mixtapes/mixcds and just changed the name of the girl at the top of the artwork and give them out until someone made me a mixtape back. I feel this is a natural extension of that. Im sending out these records, and I hope to get some back!
Oh so you are sending records out for free now?
No, I didnt mean that. Though if you run a record label, I am happy to do swapsies. Send me something with a chorus though yeah? I know 95% of DIY labels out there like to put out droney stuff, and thats fine, but sometimes I just want to sing a long when I’m on a train.
What else have you done and why should I even bother with your label?
I wrote a horror film which has taken mythical/urban legend status in some people’s minds. It’s called Slashed and features Chris Martin and Johnny from Coldplay as FBI agent on the search for a supernatural serial killer. Also stars, Ash, Dave Grohl, Moby, Ben Kweller, Matt Sharp, James Nesbitt and tons more. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2294256/)
I also Co-Produced Birdemic 2 which is kinda a big deal in some circles. The New York Times liked it, and you’ll like it too if you’re into killer birds, zombies, time-travel, awkward sex and 10 minute dance scenes – http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1674047/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
I am also signed up for Birdemic 3, so that should be fun.
I used to run a popular music site called Audiojunkies where my staff and I interviewed hundreds of bands, reviewed records, and built a community of music fans who basically all got into relationships with each other. I of course remained distanced and when it reached its peak, I closed it down because it had reached a point when I was doing reviews using the blood of my friends (no joke).
I was nominated for an NME award for another music site but came second to NME.COM (yes really).
I put on events sometimes. This one was a biggie and it was called ASH20 as it was the 20th Anniversary of one of my favourite bands ever, ASH – http://www.ash-official.com/details.aspx?categoryid=3n&id=5814dd8d-427a-4389-8951-0b1ed8584b5c
I write books and comics and I am boring you now, but you get the idea.
Sorry have you finished? I am falling asleep now.
You know, for a fox with a broken leg, you’re a bit of a dick.
I know Jed, I know….
And with that he disappeared in a puff of smoke. Minutes later I realised he had stolen my wallet and replaced it with a flyer to his clubnight in Dalston and somebody’s finger.
If you want to contact me, then I’m on twitter @jedshepherd or email me – jedshepherd at gmail dot com.