Midwestern Decline is no more. After the upcoming Close Only Counts and Iceberg releases, which are both excellent, I will no longer be able to maintain this record label. I knew going into this that it would be an uphill fight. It seems that in today’s digital age, the desired price to pay for music is “free”. I’m not going to bash file sharing, or “illegal” downloading of music. As a musician, I think it’s awesome that people have so much access to music.
However, giving away something I had to pay for in the first place makes the situation a win for everyone but me, and I can’t afford to keep it up. I know that when a kid at a show tells me he downloaded something I released that he’s trying to compliment me but it really just shows me where the mindset is right now.
I’ve entertained the notion that music as an actual product is going the way of the dinosaur, and that it’s the collector who is mostly interested now. I think it’s great, more people are going to hear more bands. Those bands are going to have more touring opportunities and a broader audience in general if it’s so easy to hear what they are putting out. Likewise if the band puts together a 7” or hand packaged cassette, those who are interested in collecting have something awesome to hold in their hands and put on their shelves. I just can’t afford to do vinyl and package records the way I would like to.
Aside from the downloading issue, I’ve learned that while I love championing music from the Midwest, I don’t always have the time to run this label right. I haven’t kept lines of communication between myself and the bands as open as they should be. Likewise, I haven’t had the time I need to dedicate to this to do it right. Convincing myself to send promos, inquire about ad rates, and self promote every night after putting in a full day at work can be a gargantuan task. One I’m just not cut out for.
There are many people who would excel at this sort of frantic pace, always working, always keeping busy, and pushing on with their dreams. A lot of them are my friends, and the people in the bands I’ve been fortunate enough to put records out for. I’m just not that person, and as a result Midwestern Decline can’t be the label it should be.
I just wanted to say thank you to everyone who has helped me over the last year as I’d especially like to thank Grey Gordon who has been with me since the start and is my co-conspirator in this matter as well as Nate, Nick, and Eric at the Harrison House who have been kind enough to let me use their home for CD Release shows. I’d also like to thank Dusty Neal, Nate Click, and Adam Sidwell for their outstanding artwork, Rorick from Cloud Rat, Nevin from IFB records, Ty Brinneman from Metavari and 12 Bursts booking and promotion, and most importantly anyone who has bought any of the Midwestern Decline releases.