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Ben Bridwell's Band of Horses made two records with Sub Pop. The band released their latest, Infinite Arms , with Columbia.
Earlier this week I

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On the Other Hand, Having a Hit Band Leave Isn't the Worst Thing for a Record Label

Thumbnail image for bandofhorses550.jpg
Ben Bridwell's Band of Horses made two records with Sub Pop. The band released their latest, Infinite Arms, with Columbia.
Earlier this week I spoke to Sub Pop Records VP Megan Jasper about the label's preparations for the release of Fleet Foxes' forthcoming Helplessness Blues, and how it compares to their rev-up for the Shins' 2007 gold-selling Wincing the Night Away. As Wincing was for the Shins, Helplessness Blues is the last record on Fleet Foxes' contract with Sub Pop.

While the Shins are now working with frontman James Mercer's own label, and other Sub Pop heavies like Iron & Wine and Band of Horses left the label in recent years to give major labels a try, Jasper had some interesting things to say about the merits of not holding on desperately to bands with wanderlust. It is, she says, a lot like dating, and a lot like gardening.

Jasper: On how a band/label relationship is like dating:

You don't know what works well in the long term until you go out on a couple dates. It is a true partnership. It's a partnership that matures over time. Sometimes you need to understand what else is out there and how other things work, not by having them explained to you, but by having that experience.

Jasper: On how a band leaving a label can make room for other opportunities:

The thing is, I feel like it's unhealthy to hold on desperately to any of those artists. You can give them every reason in the world . . . to want to work with you, but if their mind is wandering and they want that experience, sometimes it's best to let them have that experience. It's like a garden: When there's room for a new plant to grow, new plants can grow. It's the same at a record label. [A band leaving] makes room for another band to be developed.

That's life, you know? That's how we live our lives.

 
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