In 2019 we’ve been going 18 years or so, not far off the big 20. I used to promise myself that I'd quit and get a real job. Initially it was ‘As soon as I turn 20, that's it,’ but around that time we signed the horrendously named Hiding With Girls (fun fact: their singer Leander now manages Neck Deep and As It Is), and they got played on the Radio 1 Rock Show, which was enough for me to say ‘OK, fine I'll keep going, but at 21 that really is it.’ But then we signed Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, which dragged me back in for a few more years as things went crazy with TV appearances, massive tours and all sorts. I think I must've been 30 when I finally stopped breaking promises to myself about quitting, knuckled down, hired some more people, and things jumped up a couple of notches.
The Get Cape era definitely opened my eyes to what could be achieved through working hard from a DIY foundation. After that I saw the records we released from Meet Me In St Louis, La Dispute and American Football as pretty big benchmarks for our growth – coincidentally their catalogue numbers are BSM048, 148 and 248, so we're obviously pretty consistent and makes you wonder what 348 is going to bring!
Of course, running a label brings with it both highs and lows. The most exciting moments include releasing a square-shaped 7" single from Andrew W.K. (paid for by some money I won in a fantasy football league, and following a meeting with Andrew where we mostly discussed Mr Bean), seeing Gnarwolves open the main stage at Reading Festival before we'd even released their album, the first time John Peel played one of our bands on Radio 1 (at the wrong speed, of course), the first time I toured with Kevin Devine, signing my all-time favourite band The Get Up Kids, meeting McLovin backstage at a Minus The Bear show right after we'd released their album, Modern Baseball playing our pop-up shop in London... I really could go on. Thankfully the good moments hugely outweigh the bad; otherwise I guess I wouldn't be doing this anymore.