Ginger Wildheart – solo artist and frontman of rockers The Wildhearts – has re-launched his own record label – the label he formed back in 1994.
And to celebrate, Ginger is releasing G*A*S*S* Mk II on double gatefold sleeve vinyl, Compact Disc and Direct Download.
The album features 13 songs recorded as part of Ginger’s 2014 year-long G*A*S*S* project, which saw the prolific songwriter record and release three songs every month direct to fans who subscribed to the project (subscribers also received additional demos, artwork and stories written by Ginger).
After the year was up, Ginger released Year Of The Fanclub on CD and vinyl which featured a collection of songs from the project.
G*A*S*S* Mk II is the second coming.
“Year Of The Fanclub represented some of the popular highlights but omitted some of my very favorite compositions. G*A*S*S* Mk II represents what I consider to be the best of G*A*S*S*, those little gems where planets aligned, musicians excelled and words seem to hit targets.”
The 13-track album is only available direct from Ginger’s website and will be released on CD and double gatefold vinyl. All the tracks have been remastered especially for the compilation by Dave Draper (Ginger Wildheart, Terrorvision, Ryan Hamilton) and the artwork has been realized by Rich Jones (Michael Monroe, The Black Halos, The Loyalties).
The album features handwritten liner notes by Ginger too.
In addition to G*A*S*S* Mk II, Round Records will also be shortly reissuing The Wildhearts’ 2007 self-titled album, as well as a brand new solo album from Ginger.
Read Ginger’s full statement about Round Records here:
“Every musician wants to have their own record label. I’m no different.
“Ever since I was a kid, dragging myself to school while inventing a brand new album in my head to kill the boredom of the 30-minute trek, I’d dream of making totally different types of music. One-off albums, featuring extreme styles of self-expression.
“No label was ever going to sign me up to make commercial sounding stuff back to back with strictly non-commercial, genre-free adventures into aural wonder. I was always going to have to adopt a more DIY approach if I was ever going to get these sounds out of my system and out to the public.
“The dream began modestly, back around 1996 when East West Records, our long-suffering label (neither of us wanted to work with the other, to be fair) relented and allowed me to use what they called an ‘imprint’, a single released on my own label and distributed through their extensive networks. The single, the first release to feature the name Round Records, was “Sick Of Drugs”. It sold well. We got on Top Of The Pops. Still, it didn’t feel as satisfying as I’d hoped.
“I didn’t just want a label to necessarily ‘do well’, in turn creating a benchmark from which all subsequent releases would be commercially compared.
“Some music just doesn’t sell very well.
“This isn’t a cop-out or an excuse to palm the fans off with sub-standard fare. I’d always loved music that wasn’t very popular. Even in private, my friends would openly deride my taste in music, often truly believing that I had little or none to begin with. Why else would I listen to Klaus Nomi over Iron Maiden, Sparks over Scorpions, or Tex & The Horseheads over Def Leppard?
“But to me, squirreled away in my room, absorbed by the jarring sounds of Big Black or the country punk of Jason & the Scorchers, I had no concept of, nor interest in, how many units the band had sold. This music was important to me. Essential. Way more valuable than any amount of generic and clichéd, yet defiantly popular modern metal or pop music.
“To me, popular never necessarily meant good. In fact, I regarded commercial success as merely that. Appealing to the most consumers possible. Like Corn Flakes, McDonalds, brown clothes and shit TV.
“As I continued to fight with every industry standard presented to me, like a perverse rulebook (from the sound and style of the music to the identikit videos that labels loved pouring thousand so of valuable pounds into) I realized that what I’d always wanted to with music was never going to be possible on one label. Not unless it was my own label, that is.
“So in 2004 I officially set up Round Records to release my first solo album, Valor Del Corazon.
“It was an essential stage in learning exactly what a label does. Which is little more than to delegate jobs to various outside departments. Basically, a label’s job was picking up the phone and putting people to work, like studios, engineers, producers, musicians, artists, designers, manufacturers, distributors and advertisement/promo teams. “There’s nothing there that I couldn’t learn and understand, such was my need to make unique sounding records.
“Since then, Round Records has seen albums by The Wildhearts, Mutation, Hey! Hello! and numerous solo guises using variations of my name. It’s been a rocky trail that has been equally educational and heart-breaking, but never boring. You can’t keep a good idea down. And Round Records is a good idea.
“Where else can I release things like the new album I’ve written, entitled Elemental Bleeding, which feels so genre free that I struggle to even describe it?
“Dark, sad, uncomfortable, honest. Brutally honest, actually, in both lyrics and intention. The sound of feelings. Just the way I dreamed of on those long walks to and from school.
“I hope to record Elemental Bleeding with Jase Edwards this year. It’s fully written and just waiting to be given birth to.
“I’d like to make an album a year like this. The musical sum of my struggles, experiences and difficulties. Music designed to leave some listeners cold while setting up permanent residence in the hearts of others.
“In the meantime, Round Records will be making many deleted, rare and out of print albums available to you, on top quality vinyl as well as CD. There will also be a ton of other stuff on offer that you can’t get anywhere else.
“I want to bring you music that has a limited, but very specific appeal. For those of you that savor and digest music in a deeply personal and intensely private way. Like I do.
“I just want to make music for the right people to hear.
“Music isn’t just about sales. Expression is far more important than that.
“So, here’s to a future of classification free independence and sonic wanderlust.”