Digital Top Stories

King Creosote shuns the digital world

By | Published on Friday 18 June 2010

Scottish folkster King Creosote, aka Kenny Anderson, has announced that the record label he owns, Fence, is withdrawing from releasing music in digital forms, and will now press everything on vinyl only, in a bid to get fans to engage more with the music they buy.

Explaining the move, he told Glasgow’s Evening Times: “I have a bad feeling about the whole thing [ie digital music] – it’s something I don’t feel comfortable with. I am retiring from anything online, and digital music entirely. If you download 1000 songs, how can you value them? I think there is a malaise at the moment – people see music as some sort of service you get when you get broadband and everything around music has been devalued as a result”.

He continued: “We [Fence] are looking to sell fewer units, but to people who are willing to buy items of higher value. It is a case of admitting that if you do not support us, we are gone. The bands that have already done well, your Radioheads and the like, which have used the industry to get an audience, can give their music away all they like. That audience is big and will probably buy tickets to see them live. But I really despair for Fence acts, for new bands – how can they find the money to promote themselves?”
Partly answering that question, and revealing that he’s not entirely averse to giving music away for free, Anderson also discussed his latest project. Earlier this year he performed his new album, ‘My Nth Bit Of Strange In Umpteen Years’, to a number of small audiences as part of Fence’s Homegame festival, held in his home town of Anstruther each year.

The only condition for people attending any of the shows was that they had to record it. There are currently no plans to release the album commercially (although Anderson says he’s toying with the idea), instead fans are left to share the bootlegs amongst themselves, hopefully building a sense of community and ownership around his music.

Anderson said: “It’s teasing people along to my live shows because if you miss one version of it, you have missed it entirely. I would like to think small labels can survive by being more creative. We have tried to do various stunts that build in value to our albums and gigs”.