A guest blog post by Jagjaguwar alum Simon Joyner:
I haven’t participated in the running of a record label since 1997, when Chris Deden and I stopped releasing music on Sing, Eunuchs! Records. We found that the main problem running a small, independent label was that the majority of independent distributors refused to pay us after they sold our records, despite numerous phone calls, faxes, and threatening letters. There was an understood convention of withholding payment on sold goods until the label released another title the distributor wanted to carry. It seemed criminal and against the spirit of the whole independent music ethos but it was how things were done. Bigger independent labels could afford to subsidize their distributors by waiting on funds until the next record came out but we actually needed the money from the previous release just to fund the next record. It was a dispiriting, debt-ridden situation and when we hung up our hats after five years I vowed never to run a record label again unless I could circumvent what I considered an unfair distribution system.