It’s the age-old struggle for an underground band trying to stay true to its DIY roots without going broke: How does it handle signing a deal with a record label? While the phrase “selling out” is virtually devoid of meaning now, musicians still must consider to what extent they want to relinquish control over managing themselves.
Take, for example, the path that San Francisco post-rock band Covet took in the lead-up to signing with Triple Crown Records. The so-called “adventure rock” band weighed what mattered most to them with what they were willing to let go.
“We wanted to be DIY for as long as possible, because we felt it was manageable and within our grasp,” bassist David Adamiak says. “We were excited that Triple Crown reached out initially, but we weren’t really fully intending on doing it until we saw the deal they offered.
“They weren’t going to take any of our merch [profits] or our guarantees from shows,” he continued. “So we were like, ‘Woo hoo! That’s sick.’ And album sales are less of a thing these days, with streaming music, so we were willing to sacrifice that.”
While Covet had received offers from “a trickle” of other labels, Triple Crown stood out among the pack, according to Adamiak. Simply put, the band had admiration for the label’s roster, which includes some of Covet’s post-rock brethren.
“I’d be lying to you if I said that being on a label with a band like Caspian or From Indian Lakes didn’t play into [our decision],” the bassist notes. “Those bands hold high esteem for us in the group, and we saw how well they’ve been doing since they’ve been on the label.”
Covet landed the offer after their booking agent––who also handles Triple Crown bands––spread word to label honcho Fred Feldman, Adamiak says. A requisite phone call and lunch ensued, and Feldman allayed the band’s concerns about their remaining DIY despite the signing.
Adamiak underscored that Covet, which is now touring through November with Polyphia, maintains its independence by regularly playing shows and creating their own merch.
Date Signed: October 2017
Label: Triple Crown Records
Band Members: David Adamiak, Forrest Rice, Yvette Young
Type of Music: Math-Rock/Post-Rock
Management: Shawn Carrano - Headphone Management
Booking: John Lashnits / APA
Legal: Bryan Christner
Publicity: Monica Seide-Evenson - Speakeasy PR
A&R: Fred Feldman