Saddle Creek's Robb Nansel
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ed and understanding of each other's wants and needs. I don't think we could have gotten where we are today without the friendships, it really has been important in keeping everyone together.
TWEED: Are the varying degrees of fame between the various acts ever a cause for argument or jealousy?
ROBB: No. Everyone has sort of remained true to the collective idea. We sort of started with a communistic approach to growing the label and the group of bands, so any success that one person/group gets is always viewed as beneficial to the whole. It has been key to the success of the label for sure.
TWEED: How do you feel about losing Rilo Kiley? What exactly prompted their abrupt departure? Was it a relief when The Faint decided to stay with Saddle Creek after being courted by virtually every major record label?
ROBB: It would have been great to work on the Rilo Kiley record, but there was just some things that we didn't see eye to eye on. Some things that they were interested in were not of interest to us, and rather than making compromises that inevitably would make one party feel uncomfortable or the other party feel shorted, the decision was made for them to do the record without us. The Faint's decision was quite a bit different. We took a lot of meetings with those guys. They really wanted to explore all their options and were intent on having Saddle Creek involved in whatever route they took. At the end of the day, neither us nor them were comfortable with the options that we saw in front of us, and we decided to stay on the path we had been heading down, and here we are.
TWEED: What were Conor's motivations for starting Team Love? How does the rest of Saddle Creek feel about his separation, both in a business sense as well as personally? How do you feel about it?
ROBB: Conor hears a lot of music, and he would bring us a bunch of bands over the years that he wanted to help out. Most of them are great, and if we had an unlimited amount of time and staff, we would have put out a lot more records than we have. But, due to the amount of effort we put into releasing a record, we have to limit the number of releases we have in a year. We joked quite a bit that he should start his own label if he wanted to put out all these records, and eventually he took it to heart and presented the idea. I think it is great, because it gives him the outlet to release records and doesn't put us in an uncomfortable position regarding the other artists on Saddle Creek. There are significant ties between Saddle Creek and Team Love. We handle all of the manufacturing and distribution for Team Love, however they are responsible for their own marketing. It really doesn't feel like a separation at all. We are glad to be a part of it, and will continue to release Bright Eyes records under the Saddle Creek moniker.
TWEED: What's your reaction to the dealings of Clear Channel, the FCC, and mainstream media in general?
ROBB: We all have fundamental concerns with the actions of many of those organizations. A lot of our bands have made clear strides against Clear Channel, by only playing rooms that have no affiliation. The FCC and mainstream media's strides towards limiting free speech are always a concern and we should all be doing more to voice our opposition towards their goals.
TWEED: What are the social/political ethics of Saddle Creek? Do you affiliate with any mainstream or alternative i
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