By Jessica Pace
Date Signed: November 2011
Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Type of Music: Alt-Rock
Band Members: Tommy Walter
Management: Travis Szendrei / Visionary Artist Management
Booking: Last Hope Music, firstname.lastname@example.org
Legal: Bryan K. Christner
Publicity: Jeff Kilgour / Tijuana Gift Shop, email@example.com
A&R: Micah Dean
In the 11 years Tommy Walter invested in solo project Abandoned Pools, he has been signed by labels, both independent and major, produced two full-lengths and an EP, recruited a band for the project and whittled the number back down to one. After a stint on Universal Records, which released 2005’s Armed to the Teeth, the former Eels co-founder/bassist was “burnt out” and disappointed with the label. It had ceased promoting the album, and Abandoned Pools entered a dormant period. Seven years later, Walter came back with a new record and label––Tooth & Nail Records.
Sublime Currency is the fruit of Walter’s rekindled interest, which was in progress by the time his manager ran into Tooth & Nail’s A&R rep, Micah Dean, at SXSW. Dean just happened to be an Abandoned Pools fan and represent a label whose enthusiasm for Walter’s music mirrored that of Extasy Records, which released Abandoned Pools’ debut 10 years ago. That drew Walter to Tooth & Nail, in addition to a good licensing deal.
“What I like about the deal, as opposed to the previous two, is that they license the 11 tracks of the album, as opposed to signing me and controlling everything I do. They just have those 11 songs, which I think is nice and flexible, so I can do other stuff. I have another licensing deal with Hype, the music library that MTV does, so I can license music to them, and Tooth & Nail doesn’t have any claim over that. For all the struggles that the music industry is having, it’s kind of a cool situation,” Walter says.
As with the first AP album, Humanistic, Walter took on Sublime Currency solo, doing preproduction at home and all tracking except drums. Recorded in the artist’s native Southern California, the finished project was dropped into Tooth & Nail’s reputable hands, which went to work promoting it.
“They’re doing a lot of good PR, setting up interviews, like we’re doing now, and reaching out to blogs. They have a bigger reach than I have on my own,” Walter says. “Just being on that label gets Abandoned Pools attention, because the label has its own fan base, and I think it still matters in people’s minds, an artist being signed versus unsigned. That, on a very basic level, helps.”
Sublime Currency dropped on Aug. 28th.