LABEL LOVE: A Sinnbus story…
BWith the future looking bright, a burgeoning scene in Germany's capital and independent music sounding slicker and more diverse than ever, Sinnbus may just be your new favourite label.
Sinnbus are the classic DIY success story. Starting from humble beginnings, friends translated their passion for music into live shows, which led them down the route of running a label and turning their love into a business. They are based in Berlin and their roster boasts a diverse range of artists from the UK based Anglo-American folk duo Rue Royale to the sumptuous, atmospheric sounds of Hundreds, Me And My Drummer's intelligent alt-pop, instrumentalist Jan Roth, our New Blood tips The/Das and Unmap and many more.
This close knit group of music aficionados seem to have written the blueprint for achieving perfect independence within the scene - sonically and visually their output is always on point without compromising their integrity. Having recently celebrate their 10th birthday, Sinnbus have gone from strength to strength, determined now to spread their love to the UK and beyond. We thought it was about time we found out more.
How did you guys meet and why did you decide to start a record label?
Most of us met in the late 90s, whilst some of us were still in school, we all played in bands and were hanging out in the same places. Before we stumbled across the label thing we decided to set up our own shows, make them more exciting for everyone. We tried to involve the audience as much as possible and break the rules of regular shows and that was actually the starting point of Sinnbus as a community. It was fun but also chaotic and stressful sometimes. We were about 30 to 40 people by then and founding a label was a logic step when things slowly developed. We just wanted to get our own music released somehow. And we realised it's possibly a bit more then having a box of CDs in the office - it was all learning by doing, the classic DIY story, I guess!
Sinnbus just turned 10! What has been the best and worst thing about running a label?
I think besides all the obvious things, running a business with your friends - within the label as well as in bands. These are both the best and worst things they can be great and horrifying at the same time!
How do you choose your bands?
We simply need to be on fire about the music. That's the most important thing. And of course you need a set up and surrounding that works. In the beginning it was simply us, our own bands, no question about it and we were the greatest - ha ha! Now it's mainly people that we are close to and getting recommendations from them.
What's your biggest success story?
Well, making a living of what you think is great and doing it with your best friends is pretty rad, isn't it?
How do you think the scene in the UK compares to Germany?
That's not easy to say from the outside. It feels that UK bands are deeper into it and don't care less about what they will be in a couple of years "after the band". On the other hand the UK seems to be much more on/off than in Germany, it feels like there's more time to develop stuff over here. And if something doesn't work somehow in the beginning you think about it, re-adjust and try again later on. While in the UK it seems as though it all gets burnt out quickly.
If you had to describe Sinnbus in 5 words, what would those words be?
Collective of friends doing stuff!
Will there be any label nights in the UK?
Not for now. But we'll meet on our 20th anniversary at the latest!
What are your plans for Sinnbus going forward?
Continuing to release music that blows us away and get better at doing so. And having a bit more quality time with the people involved.
What hot releases have you planned for 2014?
Hundreds will release their second album in Spring whilst Jan Roth has recorded some thrilling live stuff and we try to convince him to have it released. And we are talking to some cool peeps right now, but it's not fixed yet. Will be exciting times anyway! Plus theres Miss Kenichi, The/Das and another single from Unmap ('Pirates').
For more information about Sinnbus and their bands check out their official website or check them out on Facebook, YouTube and Soundcloud.