Manchester Orchestra:

The word “indie,” short for independent, is about as easy to define as the music that classifies it. Jeremiah, the twenty-four year-old drummer from the Manchester Orchestra was able to give some insight on what being “indie” or sounding “indie” really means.

The word “indie,” short for independent, is about as easy to define as the music that classifies it. Jeremiah, the twenty-four year-old drummer from the Manchester Orchestra was able to give some insight on what being “indie” or sounding “indie” really means.
The band is from Georgia. They didn’t have their own CD so they released their first EP on their own label, Favorite Gentleman. Since then they have released all of their own CDs on their own label and a few other bands’ too. Oh yeah, and they recently got picked up as one of Sony’s many sub labels.
But who is in charge of the content now? Is it Sony’s stuff or is it Favorite Gentleman’s?
Jeremiah said, “Andy and I own it and Sony is our parent company. Our distribution is through Red Distribution, so we basically run everything independent of Sony. Bands we want… but when a band starts to really succeed, there is a chance we could lose things to one of the labels under the Sony umbrella if we can’t provide the back anymore.”
Jeremiah says that at least some aspect of being indie, should include some kind of do-it-yourself aspect.
Jeremiah describes his idea of indie as, “a mindset and somewhat a way of life. To me, labels like Dischord kind of defined what indie was at the time. Because so many of the bands that were indie and [do-it-yourself] shared the same mindset and way of life, they were also similar in musical styles, or at least their fans were drawn together in a way so it all kind of became intertwined. So then you have people referring to indie as a genre and style of music.”
Though it is such a hard thing to staple a definition to, it has worked for a band like the Manchester Orchestra, who has played close to their goal of 250 shows in a year, not including one in Montreal, though that is in the near future.
Favorite Gentleman is also a success with around ten bands signed to the new label and ties with Sony. They are off to an indie start with many proud moments and accomplishments under their belt as a band and many more to come.
“Playing Letterman was a huge one as were playing Radio City Music Hall and The Fabulous Fox Theatre. Those are all big accomplishments that we will always look back on and be proud of,” said Jeremiah.
Last week they played Conan and made their first visit to Montreal. Come December they are off to the United Kingdom. And the next time I interview them, the topic will no longer be indie.

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