Former Creation Records Boss Alan McGee Launches 359 Music Label with Cherry Red's Iain McNay
Published Sep 03, 2013Alan McGee is one of the most iconic record execs ever, having previously run Creation Records and Poptones, helping bring the world bands like My Bloody Valentine, Oasis, the Jesus and Mary Chain, and Primal Scream. Now, he's looking in to usher in the next wave of classic bands with another imprint, 359 Music, which is a partnership between him and Iain McNay of the esteemed Cherry Red Records.
So far, the label has confirmed release details for albums from three new signings, each of whom will unveil a full-length CD, plus a 7-inch vinyl single, on November 5. Chris Grant will release It's Not About War, plus "It's You"; John Lennon McCullagh (his real name) will drop North South Divide, along with a single for the title track (which comes backed with a cover of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War"); and Mineral will put out Plastic Ekphrastic and "Serial Monkey." Hear songs from those three acts at the bottom of this page.
Additional signings include Gun Club Cemetery, Pete MacLeod and Tess Parks. Expect releases from those artists sometime in November.
Here's the good news for aspiring bands: McGee is still looking for artists for future releases and has put out an open call for submissions.
North American distribution will be handled by MVD. Head to the label's website to learn more. We'll leave you with a lengthy statement from McGee about the new venture:
Recently I found myself reinvigorated by new music again after being 5 years away from music living in rural Wales, and from which there has been much talk about how I will return to music. As recently talked about in the press, my original plan was to do a deal with major label backing in Japan. But when it came down to it I realized that I didn't want to come back to music through a major music label - that's not what I want to be part of. That's when I had a chat with Iain McNay from Cherry Red and we quite quickly put our heads together and developed between us a much better deal for 359 Music which will be a joint venture with Cherry Red.
The first ever person to ever approach me about music when I was 19 was Iain McNay from Cherry Red. That was 1980 and 33 years later Cherry Red still continues to send me publishing cheques for songs I wrote then. To me that just proves nothing but honesty and diligence. To me it makes sense and it excites me - it's where it all started and where I will have my, more than likely, last record label.
My vision for 359 Music is a launch pad for new talent and some ignored older talent. We intend to release on average a dozen new bands per year every year — maybe more if I find a lot of new talent I like. Hopefully some of the artists will stick around and make numerous albums with 359 but some will go on to other things and that is just nature of the musical beast.
Due to technology the world is much smaller these days and 359 Music will be run from rural Wales by phone and computer and the day to day engine room will be run by the Cherry Red team in London. So basically the day to day logistics of 359 Music will be handled by Cherry Red Records and the A&R signing policy and creative decisions will be my domain.
There is no agenda of "let's be the biggest like Creation Records'"— if in 5 years' time people who I respect and who love music can turn round to me and say 359 Music has put out some great music then that to me will be success. There really needs to be an outlet for new music artists that have been shut out by the system and I hope 359 Music will be that outlet.
So there you have it — 359 Music. I am extremely happy to be working again with my friend Iain McNay and to be again involved in the Cherry Red family after 33 years.