Label Spotlight: Fake Chapter Records

posted March 1, 2005

by Corinne

Fake Chapter RecordsPlease introduce yourself.

Hi Plug In, this is Gilligan. I'm 27 and started this label when I was 18. It's taken on many different shapes over years as I've learned the business but mainly as the demands of my "day job" with both indie and major labels has allowed me.

When and why did you start your label?

It was back in 1996 when I was in college. Unfortunately my reason is not only uncool but even bugs some people. The truth is I've always been more attracted to the business side of things than the creative side. I love playing and writing music but I would rather be a label guy than a musician any day. Luckily my talents (and lack of) prevented me from choosing between the two.

What kind(s) of music does your label put out?

My label is open to put out anything but I'm very selective and the band has to be the right fit. So far that has turned out to be mostly rock music but with a good variety of sounds. Everything from power pop to more punkish.

What was your first release? How did you finance it?

It was a split cassette between a internet friend's band (The Pushovers) and my college roommate's younger brother's high school band (Point Blank). Did you follow all that? Since it was a cassette it was pretty cheap and still to this day was the quickest release to make all its money back and then some. Luckily the next 5 releases showed me the real truth.

What is your most recent release?

The Sixfifteens "Let's Not Talk About It" and DMBQ "Esoteric Black Hair" Probably my two most rocking CDs to date.

How do you feel about sharing music on the Internet?

Personally I love sharing music (internet or otherwise) because it is such a great tool and I know I would never abuse it, even if i wasn't in the business. I work for a major label as my day job and for a time almost every meeting mentioned how we might not have jobs anymore because of all this illegal downloading. But they just wanted to sell a million cds at $18 a piece forever. To me there are many more things, some common practice, that steal from artists and companies. If the internet was embraced, downloading would not have been so damaging.

Any words of wisdom for those interested in running their own label?

Every time I read one of these interviews, the person tells the reader not to do it. Yeah it's too much work, you'll never make money, and you'll never get the respect you deserve. But this is what every one said to me when I started my company so how could I ever be anything but encouraging. It's just like every other worth while thing in life. If this is you then do it. But you have to be ready to do it forever, even the days you don't want to anymore. Fake Chapter will be around until the day I die, and if I do a good enough job years later.

What has been your most successful release?

Green To Think "Sundays Were Made For This" but please don't tell them. They are recording the new record and if they see this they'll want more money.

Regardless of genre, what do you look for in the artists and bands you sign?

Pretty simple actually. It just has to be something I want to (and think I can) do positive things for and the band can't be a bunch of assholes. Of course I have to love the music but the above is more important. I learned a long time ago that the bands you love might not be the best ones to work with.

There are a lot of legalities involved in running a label (signing bands, releasing records, everyday work, etc.). How does your label deal with these things?

It's a lot of work and I don't know where I would be without email and other modern forms of communication. Luckily I have some great hard working bands which make things a lot easier. But to give you a simple answer, you deal with it by giving up other things. I've lost a lot of money, weekends, and girlfriends getting this company off the ground.

Anything else you would like to add?

Yes, I just want to say that I love Plug In and love Corinne. You've put together such a great site and community at such a young age. I hope that you'll be in the business 20 years from now. Maybe interviewing me again. THANKS.