We already stumbled many times over Cold Tear Records, an underground record label from Lithuania. We’ve always had the impression, they are doing a professional job just from listening to their music and wondered how they work.
“Is there a professional Netlabel?” We spawned the discussion on Twitter, about what it means, to run a professional Netlabel and wondered, if there is any.
We are convinced, that it is necessary for a sustainable Creative Commons music community, to find ways and concepts, that makes it possible to live from what you love. Otherwise the music just ends up being eaten by search engines, aggregators and platforms, making money instead of supporting the artists live.
Honestly, we didn’t expect to find a label that fulfills some of the criterias and are pleased to present you the interview with Evaldas, who explains, how he is living from his art and explains us how it works. Maybe we have to discuss about Creative Commons and Netlabels.
Hi, please introduce you and your record label to our listeners.
Hello. I am Evaldas Azbukauskas, owner of Cold Tear Records label. We release dub techno, ambient and electronica. We are a combination of a free net-label and a commercial label. I am also an electronic music artist. I make music under these monikers: Giriu Dvasios (dub techno), 101 (braindance, electro), SoulSonic (ambient, electronica).
What’s your focus with your record label?
It’s mostly dub techno, deep techno and ambient music. We focus a lot on the quality of music we release, and also the way we present it to our listeners.
You do not accept demos. How do you choose the artists and releases?
We used to accept demos, but our release schedule became too long. We have accumulated a long list of artists over the years, so we don’t need to look for new one’s that much. But you can’t say no to good talents, so if we come across someone who is good enough, then we will ask him or her to work with us.
You’re no longer using Creative Commons licenses, because you had troubles with your digital distributor. Can you explain this in more detail? What’s exactly the problem?
Our digital distributor is a purely commercial organisation and has purely commercial goals. To be honest, I don’t know why is there a conflict in this, but they asked us to remove the CC license from our music. We are still distributing our stuff in mp3 format for free, though. That’s a part of who we are and I will do everything I can to make it stay that way.
Please pick three albums from your back catalog that are best representing your record label. Why did you choose them? Can you tell us something about the artists?
VA – Heavy Dub
These are three compilations from our back catalog. Dub and dub techno dominate these releases, with a few different tracks. So they represent us stylistically very well. There are a lot of talented guys on these compilations.
You are giving your music away for free and still have a living from it. How does that work? Where does your income come from?
You’d be surprised by how many people are willing to support the artists or labels they like even if they don’t have to, even if they could easily download it for free. People are very kind. You just have to give them a chance to support you. Make it effortless for them, and they will. Because the music they like means a lot to them. If supporting you is a complicated process, then don’t be so naive to think that people are going to spend their precious time to figure out how to give you money. So you have to put in the work to make it as easy as possible for them. As we mentioned before, we also work with a digital distributor, so we sell music on all the online shops (beatport, itunes etc.) so we make some money that way as well.
How are you connected, networked within your country and worldwide?
Our artists are from all over the world. Thus we are known all over the world, and in my country, Lithuania, as well. To some of our artists releasing music under our label was a start, after that they grew and became known artists. We are proud of that.
Do you have new or upcoming works that can be interesting for listeners?
Some really good stuff coming up. I’d mention a new album from me under Giriu Dvasios name, which will come out on June. Also a new album by a russian dub techno artist Heavenchord, on July. A lot more coming up though.
What did we forget to ask?
Maybe why did I start a label at all? Because I got tired of waiting for something good to happen in my life, I took my destiny in my own hands, and built my own success and the life I want. So if you are an artist, or someone who wants to dedicate his/her life to music – do it right now. Don’t wait until someone will notice your talent and then use it for their own benefit. You are responsible for your own success, and it belongs to you. Don’t wait for approval. Approve yourself and go conquer the world!
Strong words. Thank you very much for the interview and good luck with Cold Tear Records. Check it out.