Need To Know: Dave Decision (Dead Invoices Records, Rash Decision, F. Emasculata)

  • March 5th, 2020
  • Written by marcusoz

We caught up with Dave Decision, founder of Dead Invoices Records and punk-business mastermind (if that’s a thing?) behind Rash Decision and F. Emasculata for a little chat about the new Dead Invoices plans, what he hopes to do with the newly-founded record distro service and a little bit about his life in both bands so you can get to know Dave! He’s always been a great asset to the Cornish local music scene and has built up quite a back-catalogue of experience over the years, you definitely want to get to know him and visit the Dead Invoices store for some killer records!

http://www.deadinvoicesrecords.bigcartel.com

 


 

Hi Dave! Thank you so much for getting involved with our ‘Need To Know’ features and sharing some personal details about your journey to becoming a self-made music industry professional. Before we get ahead of ourselves, can you tell us who you are and what you do?

Hi! Sure, I play in two touring hardcore punk bands. The first is Rash Decision which I founded in 2005 and tours quite extensively, and the other is F. Emasculata, an X Files themed hardcore band that my wife fronts, our first record came out in 2012 I think. Nat also plays in Swansong, who are the best grunge/rock band going at the moment. RD has played over 750+ gigs now, and by the time May 2020 has rolled around, we will have played in 21 different countries over the years. We’ve sold out of all our records now so occasionally I have to buy my own records back when I see them in other people’s distros, which I realise is a bit odd. I’m not sure I would call myself a ‘professional’, but RD is now a self-sufficient band which is pretty incredible. Our merch and gig fees cover our recording costs, fuel, pressing costs, van maintenance and practice space costs now. I also work full time at a University and am a husband, and a father to my 7 year old, Eva.

What made you decide to start your own record distro service?

It just seemed like a wasted opportunity NOT to have a distro… I spend so much time hanging around in venues that it only seems right to display and talk about some of the records that my friends have made, and that make music that I think is great. I’m not interested in stocking ‘popular’ releases (although this would make financial sense) but I do want to help people discover some genuinely brilliant underground music. And if it sparks conversations about other bands and new music, then great! It’s early days yet, but if there’s a band that I believe in, I could perhaps co-release some new material too (I may or may not have my first Dead Invoices Records co-release coming out on April 1st 2020!).

When was the first moment you realised you wanted to have an active role in the music industry? Was there a pinnacle ‘turning point’ in your life that you can remember?

Well, we were waiting on a label to upload some Rash Decision and F. Emasculata material to Spotify using various distro accounts, and I got impatient, really. I just thought to myself that I already do the following for Rash Decision and F.Emasculata – I source label contributions to pressings, I arrange and book recording/practice sessions, I write music with my bandmates, I already maintain several online shops, oversee all the merch design and postage costs, van rentals, I act as Tour Manager, I do all the tour bookings… why not sort out the digital distribution side of it too, then just do everything under one umbrella name, and see how it progresses? I suppose in some ways I have been running a distro and label for ages… but I’ve only worked with the bands I play in up to now. So I challenged myself to see if I can get other bands operating at the same sort of level in terms of record sales, using the experience I gathered along the way.

What are the toughest challenges you’re expecting to face with Dead Invoices Records?

I think getting started will be the hardest time for the label/distro. I’ve got some stock right now which I really believe in and am very excited about…but I am aware they aren’t new/upcoming releases, so in some ways the people that already know about the release, will have bought them already. I just hope people check out the artwork and the feel of the record when I am in venues and I can have a chat to them about what they like and see if I can convert someone into a new fan for a band I really believe in.  So at the moment, I’m collecting stock and hoping for the best… if people are up for taking a chance on discovering something new, or at least something that is new to them, that will only help me release more music in the future, or at the very least help me buy in some stock from the bands that they are interested in, as well. The other massive barrier is that I think that people buy primarily from the bands themselves, then their labels, and then maybe from a distro in 3rd place. So I think I’m bottom of the ladder at the moment, but that’ll change, hopefully!

On the flipside – what is the best possible outcome, or, what would you like to happen in the next few years

Well, it’s all dependent on the first couple of months, really. If all goes to plan, I can get some records in, make enough to afford to buy more in, help to release a couple of things… if that goes well, then I could take a punt at maybe providing a tour-booking service for DIY bands. It’s tricky because no one has any money at a DIY level, but it’s also not always easy to book DIY bands if they are unknown, so the pricing structure would have to be worked out. But I figure with all the tours that I’ve booked and the records I’ve sold, I must have done something right… and that counts for something! Fast forward another 5 years and I’m operating as a Social Enterprise, helping young people figure out how to play their instruments, book their first gigs/tours… I’d like to learn how to get screen printing press in-house and teach people how to make their own tees, provide a practice space, get some sound engineers to teach people how to mix live sound… I’d like to essentially run a School for DIY punk rock! All far away dreams for now, but you have to start somewhere.

Tell us about your favourite artists & some of the records you have stocked!

Oh, man. Some of my favourite artists in the underground punk scene are: Jodie Faster, Rotten Foxes (RIP), Pizzatramp, The Domestics, Ona Snop, Famine, Hack Job, Monolithian, Swansong, No Pulse, Petrol Girls, Wolfbeast Destroyer (RIP), Grand Collapse, Poisonous Cunt, Social Experiment, Drunken Marksman, 2 Sick Monkeys, Rat Cage, The Afternoon Gentlemen, Human Cull, Regret (RIP), Incisions… the list goes on.

I have some records stocked by most of these, and I’m sure I will get the rest in at some point! Special shout out to the Dog Eggs / Sheeva Yoga split which I only have two copies of…Dog Eggs shares members with a load of immense grind bands from Leeds (The Afternoon Gentlemen/Famine/Ona Snop) but Dog Eggs have managed to infuse Surf music into their Fastcore/Grind writing style. It’s totally unique, and it works SO well…

Do you have any juicy/funny/insightful stories you can share with us? Good or bad, we love the weird stuff.

That’s a hard one to answer. On the last European tour in 2018 with RD we experienced some incredible countries… we took a Ferry to Finland after our matinee gig in Sweden from Stockholm to Turku. It’ s a 12hr crossing or something, and a fairly small ferry. There’s nothing to do but abuse the buffet bar, which we did, and we ended up all singing along to some weird cabaret act that had a load of Kiss and Twisted Sister as part of the soundtrack. Someone, maybe it was Jochen (Portsmouth Punk Promotions / Hack Job / The SLM) who was with us… came stumbling in to get us up in the morning at 6am or whatever it was, and got increasingly pissed off that we weren’t getting up…. only to find a family behind the door when they eventually opened it, followed by a choice selection of words that we didn’t understand, I think they were speaking Japanese. Got the van out the ferry, and collapsed on the lawn of a service station to try and shake off this hangover which was the worst one we had all experienced… and Kev has seen many, many hangovers in his time. Then we went for a swim in the lake in Tampere, Finland which is where the gig was. Finished the gig at 11pm and it was still bright daylight, then Pekka (Dead Frames) let us crash at his, and his partner made us some salty porridgey pancake Finnish breakfast thing. Then we played the following (a Tuesday) in Tallinn, Estonia, and they picked us up at the end of the night for a crowdsurf… it was a sell-out show and we’d never been there! And the following night in Riga was so crazy the cops tried to shut it down, the gig moved to someone’s living room and the floor collapsed because everyone was jumping around and going nuts. The following night we headlined a place that held maybe 150 people and it was rammed – we had never been to Lithuania, either. I will hold on to those memories for as long as I live. The tour just carried on like that, through Poland, Czech Republic, Belgium, etc. It was amazing.

Do you have any advice for anyone interested in joining this line of work? Is there anything they should be cautious of, or anything they can do to help make their journey easier?

Work hard and work with your passion. Don’t expect any form of payment until you’ve proven yourself over and over for years, or unless you have big financial backing and can afford to invest in things like PR and fancy websites! Listen to your peers and the people playing music around you – learn from their mistakes as well as from their successes. Most importantly – be a decent human being and don’t screw anyone over, be nice and be grateful!

Finally, what are your plans for the future? Is there anything we should be keeping an eye out for? Feel free to promote anything you like!

I’m gonna go tour Europe in May with Rash Decision and play some new countries like Spain, Switzerland and Italy with our best friends 2 Sick Monkeys assuming the Coronavirus hasn’t got the whole lot locked down! Could be the last chance after Brexit ruins European DIY touring… RD and F.Emasculata are both writing new records at the moment, so they should be out by the end of the year, hopefully. We’ve got a huge announcement from RD in terms of a big festival slot that we aren’t allowed to say anything about yet, but until then we’ll keep playing the cosy DIY fests and gigs that we know and love. Keep an eye out for Dead Invoices Records releases… I’m very excited about the one I have planned for April 1st, so just waiting for the nod from the band until I say anything though! There should be a Dead Invoices shirt coming out soon, because that would help me buy more stock and the design is by an amazing artist called Robin Wiberg and deserves to worn… Oh, and keep your ears peeled for more recent Rash Decision tracks and the F.Emasculata discography coming soon to Spotify! Finally a massive thank you for interviewing me, thank you to anyone who took the time to read my ramblings, and thank you to anyone who checks out any of my music or distro as a result. Big love!

 

Also, ‘Falaun’ and their release ‘Fools’ and will be debuted on 1st April through Dead Invoices Records as well as some other partnered labels. Check it out!

 

https://www.facebook.com/falaunhc/

Pre-order NOW LIVE:

www.deadinvoicesrecords.bandcamp.com

 

Written By: Marcus Osborne