Martin’s Garage record label, Interview with owner: Martin Razpotnik

Posted by Dee-Ann On July - 11 - 2017617 views

Ivan Johnny, send us this great interview with the owner of Martin’s Garage record label from Slovenia

  1. Can you tell us something about yourself?

I’m a music lover in the first place and also a record collector. I got fanaticly into music when I was 9 years old, started with Elvis, but I was also exploring a lot of different genres. The wish of being a record label or manager, DJ was always growing inside me. I was spending all my money on records, tapes and CDs … in the nineties I used my knowledge of music when I started to work for an authors society and a few years later for a publisher and a  record label. In 2004 I started to DJ, so music was always and still is my main focus.

  1. Why did you decide to start your own imprint?

I used to work for a record label at the time and I recieved a lot of material that nobody wanted to releas even though it was great so me and my friends decided to do it on our own. We had the knowledge and the balls to do it.

  1. What was involved in getting the label off the ground?

Martin’s Garage was formely used by me for DJ nights I did in 2009 (?). I played a mixture of rock ‘n’ roll, rockabilly, garage, so Lou (of EightBomb) made a flyer for me. It had a Sin City estetic. At the begining the label was just a logo on our Street13 releases, but I decieded that Martin’s Garage should be a label to push, because I wanted to separate the rock’n’ roll material from the other stuff released on our label. So when I met  The Test Pilots I knew that this is the right moment. The material was great and I decieded to take this step.

  1. How many releases have you put out?

There is some rockabilly/rock’n’roll stuff that wasn’t released officially as Martin’s Garage yet, but I ‘m counting it in, so I would say the first was The Bananas’ To Surf and Protect, three releases of EightBomb (Customized, Daytona Dynamite, Live At DeMelkbus), The Test Pilots (Deadly Rhythms EP, Parachute Party), The Star Time Playboys (It’s Star Time!) , Hipbone Slim & The Kneetremblers (Tombstone Rock EP) and D. D. Kid Combo…

  1. Is it based around a genre?

Yes it is. The label stands for everything rock ‘n’roll, rockabilly, surf music, garage  rock, blues, psychobilly, neorockabilly….

  1. How much time do you spend running the label versus your other works?

Even though it’s a small label and there are not a lot of releases I am still a one-man-band so I do everything all by myself. Planning and promoting, selling and releasing, so there isn’t a day that I don’t do things connected to the label.

  1. How do you look for new artists to sign?

Mostly the bands find me by themselves, really, it’s like that from the start. So I have to decide if something is worth of releasing or not. I can’t „sell“ the band if I don’t like it. I have to have a vision where to go with it. It’s also very important what kind of people are involved. The band has to do their own business also, has to be cooperative.  

  1. Promotion and marketing are key to a successful label, how have you been tackling this?

I mostly advertise my releases on social media, facebook, twitter, tumblr, instagram. The rockin’ scene is still very tight and friendly so we help each other a lot by promoting each others releases. It’s very important to get reviews of the music I release so that the people can hear about it. But nothing can beat personal contact.

  1. Is it important to have physical releases over digital ones or does it not matter?

Of course, I have almost everything on itunes, deezer, spotify, but the shares are very small. You have to do a lot more to make some profit out of it. Streaming is not something that you get a lot of money from, if you don’t have a mainstream artists on the label. From my experience I would say that psychobilly crowd is more into digital than rockabilly crowd. But digital releases are also very important even when you’re not selling a lot. Some people are into vinyl, some into CDs and some only into digital. It’s important to spread the word about the things you love and make it accessable to as many people as possible. I’m a kind of fanatic who has to have all these different formats of the albums I love, so I can listen to them in every situation.

  1. What are the ups and downs of having your own label??

Martin’s Garage was always a label that supported the music I believe is great. I think that this is very important. You have to believe in things you do if you want to promote them well. It takes a lot of time to run the label and a lot of compromises have to be accepted. It’s like going on a date with a girl you really like. You don’t know if you’re gonna be rejected or not. Time and circumstances are very important to present your releases to the people and you have to do it the right way. When it’s success it feels great!

  1. Do you enjoy music as much now as you used to & how has running a label effected how you listen to/hear music?

When I worked for a major label in the area I was also forced to listen to all the music I didn’t like so I knew what’s happening around me, what are the trends etc.With my label it’s different; I have to follow the rocking scene on a daily basis, but the worst band that plays the music you love is still better than the greatest band from the music you dislike, right?

The first impression you get when you listen to something, that’s the most important thing. And I hope it will always stay this way.

  1. What can we expect in near future from Martin’s Garage, and do you have some goals you want to achieve?
    There are at least three future releases scheduled for this year. One are the High Steppers, a lo-fi rockabilly band who’s musicians are from various european countries (Croatia, Checz Republic and Germany). They are prepearing everything for a tour in October. The other two releases I wouldn’t want to disclose for now. But I have the recordings already and I’m very enthusiastic about them. Can’t wait for all these to be released. I love to share my musical taste with people, that’s why I’m also a DJ. When I believe something is good I have to share it and I can’t wait to release and to play these.

I would love to live from music one day. It’s a dream. But as long as the expenses are covered and I love what I release it’s ok with me. And of course … helping to keep a rock ‘n’ roll music alive.

 

Few link where you can find some more informations about Martin’s Garage:
https://www.facebook.com/martins.garage.saturdays

https://martinsgaragerecords.wixsite.com/mysite

 

Ivan Johnny

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