Recently I had a chat with Matt Favazza of Chicago-based indie record label Pravda Records (home to the Sleepers, one of my all time favourite bands) and asked him what Pravda is all about and what the heck is behind that name!
Here is what we talked about:
The Rock and Roll Report: How long has the label been around? How did it get started? Why the name “Pravda”?
Matt Favazza: Pravda Records was started in 1984 by Kenn Goodman who wanted to put out a record by his band The Service. After putting out other records by the Hollowmen, Shy Strangers, Claude Pate and Green, the label was officially up and running. In 1986 the Pravda retail store was opened in Chicago to help fund the label and sell other independent and import music. Other releases such as 13 Nightmares, The Farmers, and the first installment of the K-Tel tribute series were released and some of them actually started selling!
As you probably know, Pravda means “The Truth” in Russian. We only speak the truth and never lie (Oh well, I just lied).
RRR: What kind of music does the label release?
MF: The philosophy of the label has always been to release different styles of music for people with open minds. That’s why we have a diverse roster of talented artists, and not one label sound.
RRR: How many bands call Pravda home? Name some of the bands on the label.
MF: “The Black Godfather” Andre Williams, New Duncan Imperials, Glenn Mercer (ex-Feelies), Cheer-Accident, Diplomats Of Solid Sound featuring The Diplomettes, The Sleepers & The Goldstars etc.
RRR: What are some of the current releases being promoted right now by the label? What releases are going to be released in the near future?
MF: Right now we just released a fantastic new album by The New Duncan Imperials titled ‘End Of Phase One” It’s the first release by the band in 8 years! Another hot title is the new self-titled release by Diplomats Of Solid Sound featuring The Diplomettes. Oh yeah, let’s not forget the The Sleepers new one called “Comeback Special” & I’d also like your readers to be aware of Glenn Mercer’s (ex-Feelies) first ever solo CD “Wheels In Motion” released last year.
Please keep an eye out for a new Goldstars CD early 2009!
RRR: How does the label release its music (music formats)?
MF: We still release CDs & also offer our albums digitally (for the kids).
RRR: Biggest plans for the future of the label?
MF: Keep plugging away baby! Still waiting for the day to pop the cork on that campaign bottle that’s been chilling in the mini-fridge since the mid-nineties.
RRR: The industry is going through some trying times with CD sales dropping. How does Pravda deal with this?
MF: Well, for the past 5-10 years we’ve focused more and more on placing music on TV & Film and have been pretty successful. We’ve also been more selective about what and how many albums we release a year.
RRR: What sets Pravda Records apart from other labels? What should rock and roll fans know when checking out your bands?
MF: As I mentioned earlier, our label doesn’t have one “label sound”, but instead we have a very diverse catalog with many musical styles such as: rock, soul/r&b, alt. country, ambient/noise, alternative, rockabilly, garage, pop rock, swing and others. Although this diversity can sometimes confuse people a bit, it does set us apart. There is definitely something for everyone in our catalog!
RRR: Do you accept demo submissions from bands?
MF: Of course.
RRR: Anything you want to add?
MF: Thanks for talking to us Mark, we really appreciate you helping further spread the good word of Pravda Records. Bless you my child.
You can check out the Pravda Records website at http://www.pravdamusic.com/
And courtesy of Matt and the fine folks at Pravda records here is a free download of the brand new New Duncan Imperials track The Mother Ship (for the kids!).