As the latest installment of our features on local independent record labels we have chosen to feature Clue Records. The Leeds based DIY outfit have been responsible for releases from the likes of Trash, Forever Cult, Avalanche Party, Narcs and Team Picture. We met up with label boss Scott Lewis and Steven Langton, who helps Scott run the label, at Hyde Park Book Club ahead of their new monthly DJ night at the venue.
The interview began with Scott explaining how Clue Records came about. “I had been in bands for years, me and Steven were in a band together at college, so we have always been into music and involved in the music scene. Then I started doing Oxjam music festival, in aid of Oxfam, that was a six-month thing over a summer in, I think, 2012. We got together shortly after that, we had always spoke about it, so we sat down and decided to do it. It was a back of a fag packet idea and then that was it.”
Scott then talked us through the ethos and vision behind the label. “It’s very DIY, we look after everything ourselves as much as we can. Particularly from the start we would do everything. Now it has grown and the bands have got bigger expectations of releases have got bigger, so we involve things like press companies now, but even when it comes to merch we look after everything to the point of delivering to the door instead of posting our Clue Club zine. Our biggest ethos is to try and get bands out to a bigger audience, we try to take the pressure off them in the things that either they are not so good at or stuff that they don’t have time for. Whether it’s social media or getting people involved and letting them know that they are there or looking after the merch or the recording, we try to be a bit of an arranger as well. We are getting a bit busier, we tried adding more stuff, so we do a monthly radio show, we have started our monthly DJ night, the Clue Club is a monthly thing so that’s quite intensive and there is a podcast with that.”
Clue Records are a rapidly expanding label and Steven told us how this is affecting the variety of genres they work with. “I think with Clue Club particularly we have started getting quite a few different genres. Over the next few months we are going to have allsorts of music. We have both got quite varied music backgrounds, we always thought we would work with bands that we both actually would want to buy stuff from, and love, and want to listen to, and that we feel like they should be more noticed than they currently are.”
In the last month they have released two EPs from artists they have previously developed and promoted, Scott gave us some insight on these releases and how that fits alongside their hectic schedule. “The new Forever Cult EP and the new Trash EP are the ones we have been working on. We have been waiting about a year to do the Forever Cult one but it’s ridiculously good, and the Trash one is as well. We have had the first singles out from both of them so far and they have gone down ace. The singles club is a constant thing too because it is a monthly zine. So whoevers month it is they get to contribute whatever they want to it, whether it’s recipe’s, stories, poems, lyrics. It’s a sixteen page zine.”
As with all independent labels Clue is reliant on the support it receives from the listening public, I asked Scott how people can continue to be supportive of the fine work the label is producing. “Listen to the bands and if you like them support them and be champions for them. That’s the biggest thing, we want the bands to get the attention more than anything so we have got playlists on everything, Spotify, YouTube, Soundcloud, everywhere, so just check them out and see if you like them. Just be supportive, go out and see them, we are obviously biased but they are all proper proper dead good. They put a load of effort in and we do too so just having people listen to it to see if they like it is massive for us.”
You can check out the Clue back-catalogue on Bandcamp and iTunes and they are hosting a monthly DJ night at Hyde Park Book Club on the third Wednesday of each month. Check out their website if you want to subscribe to Clue Club or join the mailing list.