Since we first met up with Manic Kat label owner Peter James back in September, the label has built a bigger family by adding more talented acts and coming out with new releases. We caught back up with James to follow up on Manic Kat’s new successes.
Manic Kat Records has certainly grown over the last year, what is one new addition that you’re excited about?
It’s crazy to think how much we’ve grown in just a year! We’re really excited for the next few months because we’ll be releasing some highly anticipated records as well as announcing some big plans for the Summer in the coming weeks and months
With your label growing rapidly, how has the way you scout talent changed?
It’s odd but the way we scout talent still hasn’t changed. We still look for the same criteria as we always have. The only thing that’s changed is the influx of demo submissions! We love getting demos and listen to every single one that’s submitted through our website.
What’s the most important quality you look for when signing a band?
There really isn’t one key quality, there are many factors that go into signing a band. First, we all need to love the music and the band as people. In addition, their willingness and ability to tour aggressively throughout the year is critical for us to work with a band.
You’ve got a lot of proficient bands on your label such as Wired For Havoc and Hard To Hit, which band were you most thrilled about joining your label?
That’s an extremely difficult question for me to answer. It’s like asking which kid is your favorite child! All the bands on the roster are hand-picked by myself and our team therefore, they are all unique and diverse. Each signing brings something extremely special to our roster.
With Rival Town’s recent EP release, The Anchor’s “Make It Last” hitting spot 19 on Billboard’s Heatseekers chart earlier this month and the signing of Right On, Kid, how do you keep your schedule organized so that dates aren’t clashing and bands are getting the time and attention that they require from you?
I swear by Google Calendar! We use it to organize all our releases, tours, promotion periods, all my meetings, etc. In all seriousness, I always try to schedule time for every band, even if it’s just to catch up and chat. I just remember back when my old band was signed to a label, how horrible the communication was between us and them. I do my very best to always stay in the loop with everything that’s going on for each band.
Your label sampler is sufficiently stocked with rising talent, what’s your favorite track off of it?
Again, that’s a really tough question to answer. Each track on our sampler was hand selected by the team because of their individuality and unique vibe. We wanted to put the sampler together in such a way that you could listen to it from front to back without skipping around. We really hope everyone is enjoying it!
What’s your advice for bands looking to be signed, is there anything they can do more than they already are to get noticed?
Touring. Touring as much as possible on your own definitely catches our attention! It shows us that you are really committed to your dream and art as much as we are. Bands the are “weekend warriors” can only go so far. Despite how much marketing, advertising, and social media presence you think you have, nothing beats face to face interaction. This is what turns followers into actual fans and fans into hardcore fans that will now tell all their friends about your music. So if you’re an aggressively touring band reach out to us!
What should listeners look forward to coming from you label in the near future?
We have three HUGE releases that everyone has been anticipiating for a while now! Wired for Havoc will be dropping their follow-up full length, I Don’t Belong Here, in April and When Thieves are About and Right On, Kid! will be dropping their respective records in early May! We have a few tours planned for our bands as well, most will be out on the road this Summer. We also have a few big label announcements that we’ll be making in the coming months, this Summer is going to be our biggest yet!