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|interviewed by robby sumner|
Owner of Cowboy Versus Sailor
|E: Tom, besides being a co-owner of the label Cowboy Versus Sailor, you are also a member of the Kite-Eating Tree, a band that happens to be on the label. What was the original motivation for creating the record label?
Tom: I figured that I love music but can't be in a band forever, so I wanted to stay active in the scene even after I get too old and fat...
E: Is it easier or more difficult to run a label that your own band is on?
Tom: Sometimes it's hard to keep a level head financially. You take risks you might not take if it was another band. The good thing is, if you're smart, you realize what doesn't work and then try not to repeat those mistakes.
E: How serious are your aspirations for the label?
Tom: I would love for the bands to make the label self-sufficient. So far, we've just been doling out the money. Soon it would be nice for the money to come in as well...
E: What are the advantages to having a relatively small roster?
Tom: Well obviously, you can focus on the individual records. There are so many little things to be done.
E: Do you think that you mostly sign bands that sound like TKET?
Tom: Not at all. Kane Hodder sounds nothing like us. But I do like indie rock
E: Do you and Mike, the other owner, do pretty much the same thing in regards to working at the label?
Tom: Mike and his wife Dana have been handling the money. I've been coordinating the marketing stuff.
E: How has the band looked into signing onto another label besides its own?
Tom: TKET only pursued other labels until we decided to start our own. At that point, it seemed silly to start something like that and just give up.
E: So how did you get connected with the bands on your label in the first place?
Tom: we've played with them mostly
E: Who decides what bands to sign?
Tom: Mike and I must both love the band.
E: What sort of commitments do you make to the band when you sign them?
Tom: Depends on the situation: with Hodder, we licensed their first EP and that was contingent upon them letting us put out their first full length. After that, they're free to go wherever they like.
E: How much of the recording process do you oversee?
Tom: None. That's not our business. That's the band's art.
E: How important is the success of this label to you?
Tom: Well if it doesn't work out, I won't cut my wrists or anything. But I feel I have been working hard and committing a lot of resources to it's success.
E: Do you think it will be successful?
Tom: I have no expectations. I will continue to work hard and hope for the best.
E: Well good luck and thanks for the interview.
Tom: You're welcome. Thanks for the support!