Labels of Love: Wise Blood Industries
In The List’s conception of utopia, every good record label is inspired by shrunken cadavers and cardinal sin. In the real world, there is only one – Glasgow’s fearless Wise Blood Industries – named after Flannery O’Connor’s great American novel, and founded in April 2009 by local pop polymath Adam Stafford (musician, label boss, photographer, video director, you name it...)
What artists have you released to date? ‘Radio Trees, Size of Kansas, Burnt Island, Jamie Sturrock, Paws, The Kays Lavelle, Jocky Venkataraman, Y’all is Fantasy Island and yours truly.’ (In addition to performing with YIFI, Stafford records under his own name and recently issued an ace compendium of covers: we gave it five stars).
Do you have a manifesto? Or an anti-manifesto? ‘I’d say ‘anti-manifesto’ defiantly sums up the workings of Wise Blood Industries. Ninety-nine per cent of the releases are offered on the website for free download, all artists retain copyright of their music and there is little commerce involved in running the label. The artistry is the most important thing.’
Will music fans still pay for recorded artefacts, in your experience? ‘I think aficionados will always want the product with the artwork – vinyl, for instance, will never die. I prefer buying records to downloading them, but it’s convenient for some people to access music via the web. If I had more money, I’d endeavour to make Wise Blood a commercial enterprise: I have huge respect for what I deem to be proper labels – like Dust-to-Digital and Constellation – who make every release an event and who package their music in an almost fetishistic way.’
How important is Wise Blood’s visual identity? ‘I’ve tried to retain a certain type of minimalism, just because that’s my taste. A lot of the artwork is found-photos: I’m an absolute sucker for pictures of odd-looking children holding massive cats.’
What Wise Blood treats approach? ‘Jamie Sturrock’s new EP is released in September, we’ve a forthcoming EP by Bobby Womb, YiFI are recording a new album, and the amazing RM Hubbert invited me to collaborate with him. I’d love to take him up on the offer.’