Kevin Drew on 10 Years of Arts & Crafts


From Pop Matters:

Drew’s approach to running the label: almost entirely by gut instinct. “I was staying over at Torquil Campbell’s for a few days, and we were listening to promos that Jeffrey [Remedios, A&C’s co-founder] wanted to work with. I heard The Most Serene Republic’s Underwater Cinematrographer and instantly fell in love with it.” The rest, as they say, was history.

“We never had A&R,” Drew explains, bypassing typical label conventions. “If we liked the music, we worked with it.” In fact, being the label’s co-founder, he could sometimes have a whole year of unconventional releases. “It was 2007 I believe when we released discs by Timbre Timbre, Apostle of Hustle, Chikita Violenta. I said to the [label] guys ‘Let’s have an arty year!’ It was my favorite year, but we didn’t make a lot of money. [laughs]”

So while the label didn’t make bank with every release they put out (“I wish some things did better than they did,” he sighs), there was one distinguishing mark to every A&C release: “We’ve never put out anything we haven’t loved.” He talked about how whenever he brought in a new group into the fold, they were taught the same basic philosophy: “Don’t be worried about getting paid: worry about being paid attention to.” He viewed Arts & Crafts as a home for these acts, and when it came to those artists being paid attention to, as a label, Drew notes that “this is a goal that we’ve reached a lot.”

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