Interview :: Luke & Matt of Yes Please! Records
June 7th 2011
Nick La Rosa
Check out this mesmerising track from Yes Please!'s first signing: Guerre – "River Hymnal"
A bartender and a uni student decide to start a record label. No, it's not the setup to a Surry Hills joke – it really happened. They have no experience and no funding, but somehow, FBi busy-bees Matt Blanchard and Luke Rodely have made it happen. (How? “Who knows? We still don’t know!”) We snuck into some top-secret quarters at FBi HQ to talk about their brand-spanking-new label, Yes Please!
Luke: It started as an idea in late September last year, Matt came to me…“Luke, I have an idea.”
Matt: I had [Sydney artist] Guerre then, and I just thought, "This guy is really good! We should do something with him!" And just being here at FBi and seeing all this great new music coming through from Sydney artists that nobody’s heard of – I suppose we saw the potential to hold them out and do something with them.
Luke: It wasn’t like “Let’s start a record label!”. I mean, it probably was at first, in terms of the romanticism of it, but then again we kept thinking about what a record label is and what we would do.
Matt: And we found it hard at first, figuring out how we’d actually be able to help them. Like what have we done? Nothing. What do we know? Nothing. So let’s do it.
Luke: I think that we came up with a bit of an ethos, that … we have got a whole lot of time on our hands and we are willing to work hard off the back of the music that we really like.
Matt: Because that’s all we can offer them. We can’t offer them a record deal, or shitloads of money.
FBi: So what is the big bad music industry like to these small–time charmers?
Matt: It’s been really good – it’s been surprising, 'cause everyone thinks this industry is just this really cold, I’m-only-out-there-for-myself sort of thing, but it hasn’t been that way for us. It’s been like a little community, everyone’s helping out.
FBi: And what about some advice for youngsters (or oldsters) wondering if they could do the same?
Luke: You’ve gotta have a realistic view, but then again you can’t let that scare you. You’ve gotta really work hard on it, and not just expect it to happen.
Their hard work and not-so-hard cash investments are about to pay off: this Thursday night is the grand opening of the boys’ label, Yes Please! It's also the launch of the first release from the label: Guerre’s debut EP, Darker My Love. Also on the bill are fellow Sydney kids (and Flog faves) Albatross, and duo Fox + Sui (Melbourne producer Andras Fox and Sydney pop sweetheart Sui Zhen). You’ll snag yourself a copy of a very-limited edition Darker My Love remix EP, which features remixes from Collarbones, Fishing, The Townhouses, Wintercoats, Albatross and Naminé – and it's free entry. Yes please, indeed.