‘Tracks You Might Have Missed V3’ arrives on Friday 15th June and it promises to be the strongest compilation released to date by popular independent label, Thumbhole Records. We got the chance to talk to the label owner, Dan Allman. Check out the interview below!
Hello Dan, hope that you’re doing great? For those who don’t know who you are, could you please introduce yourself, as well as your record label Thumbhole Records? So I’m Dan. I’m in my early 30s and have loved music my whole life, whether that was being in a band, promoting events, or hitting that DJ button over and over again on a Yamaha keyboard.
I run Thumbhole Records, an independent label set up to help promote and spotlight alternative bands from around the world.
Speaking of your label, what’s the story behind Thumbhole Records? Did you wake up one day, saying “Let’s create my own independent record label”? After my last band disbanded back in 2012, I found myself with a ton of contacts in bands around the world, all of whom were producing amazing music and not necessarily getting it out to the masses. I set up Thumbhole Records (then called Punkalicious Records) and brought out a compilation album of all those bands to see if anyone would be interested in hearing it.
The feedback was pretty awesome, so we started taking submissions for a second one. Now we are just prepping on bringing out our tenth compilation of upcoming artists, and I think it’s our best one yet!
Let’s focus on the compilation you’ve been working on for the past few years. Named ‘Tracks You Might Have Missed’, this compilation is featuring some amazing bands each year. Can you tell us more about it? So the original Punkalicious compilations were very much focused on punk genres, I wanted to expand that out a bit as some of the tracks we received were ska bands, or metal bands, or alternative rock and Punkalicious didn’t quite sum it up properly. Instead we thought about what these albums were, Tracks You Might Have Missed! Does what it says on the tin!
As well as taking submissions from unsigned artists, we’ve also started working with some smaller labels/management teams to help promote their artists too. This is really exciting as it’s a new avenue for us to get music, and also gives an even bigger halo effect of promotion for the bands involved!
The third volume of the compilation will soon be out. How hard was it to pick the bands for this new volume? With such as success, you must have received hundreds of submissions 🙂 We had over 600 submissions this time round. It’s been tough, and taken a lot longer than I’d originally thought to go through them all. I ended up having to create a massive playlist and gradually listen to it at home, at work, in the car, everywhere really!
The tricky bit now is that bands these days have got easy access to amazing recording software so the overall quality of tracks is pretty good. So we can’t judge on that. So we end up creating shortlists of shortlists of shortlists until we’re down to about 50 tracks, and then it’s a case of checking out the bands social pages to see how active they are, as well as making sure we’ve got a nice mix of tracks on there.
The social bit is important here, because for our compilations to work we need all bands to promote all the other bands on the compilation. Otherwise we end up with one band getting a load of promo but not really helping to expand the fan bases of other bands on the album.
But we managed to wittle it down to 24 amazing quality bands for the release. It only JUST fits on a CD (literally by a few seconds) but it’s definitely our best release yet. It doesn’t come out until June 15th but you can stream it on our website here (and even pre-order it if you like!): https://www.thumbholerecords.com/tracks-you-might-have-missed-v3.html
Apart from the release of this new compilation, what else can we expect from Thumbhole Records in 2018? We’re teamed up with RIFF this year to help publicise some big events they’re running in the UK including Pop Punk Pile-Up and Pile Up Festival. These are important to us as it’s giving some smaller musicians an amazing opportunity to showcase themselves at a smaller festival (and if it works it’s going to grow FAST!). Just need to make sure that music fans out there support these sort of events and get some heads down there!
There’s also hopefully going to be TYMHM v4 before the end of the year, and talk of a mini Thumbhole Tour in the UK for a few bands, but more of that to come! We’ve also got physical CDs of our Tracks You Might Have Missed compilations now available to order from our website which is an exciting upgrade for us this year.