The remarkable logo of Anti Records is only part of the long list of reasons Anti Records has found success as an independent Label in the current changing music industry. The Los Angeles based record label got its start in 1999, when the label branched out as a sister label from Epitaph records, but Anti really found a spot in the music industry when it released Tom Waits’ Grammy winning album, Mule Variations, in 1999. After getting their name in the industry with Tom Waits, they began to build their reputation as an Indie by signing more and more artists. Anti Records has found this success modeling their label off of the mission statement found on their website, “Real artists creating great recordings on their own terms.”
While big sister Epitaph is known for its punk roots, Anti has explored a different vein. Anti signed some big buzz worthy bands such as the Swell Season, grinderman, and Dr. Dog to name some very current artists. These artists in general have gained some significant popularity in the last 3 years. The Swell Season first got their big break after starring in the movie, Once. After Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova won an Oscar for their performance in the low budget, independent film, they decided to form a band called the Swell Season. The Swell Season released an album recently on ANTI called Strict Joy in 2009. They recently went on a large sell out tour after this release, but both artists have decided to take a break and pursue their own careers. Glen Hansard is pursuing music in his former band, The Frames, that also happens to be signed to Anti Records as well.
Anti Records does a great job of finding individual marketing tools depending on each artist’s target market. They have found unique ways to build up the indie rock band Dr. Dog. The band released the record, Shame Shame on Anti Records in early 2010. After an intense year of promotion, Dr. Dog is now releasing a double seven-inch deluxe edition of Shame Shame with new tracks to appeal to their vinyl loving hipster crowd that follows the band so closely. They are providing a limited amount of these double seven-inch records in their next fall tour starting in November. They also released a few free singles last month to capture new fans with the price of free on their facebook page. They offered the new songs for free after fans share the Dr. Dog record with their friends through social networking sites.
While catering to the new vinyl movement in Dr. Dog’s fan base; Anti Records has helped promote the band, Lost in The Trees, when they decided to get political on capitol hill with NPR last week. They traveled to Washington to help make a point for NPR’s music mission. Anti records included an article about this on their website last week. The band played 5 songs for the congressional staffers, and NPR made the recording available on their website.
Mavis Staples is one of Anti Record’s artists that has some significant history, but continues to release new material. Mavis released her first album with Anti in 2007. Although Mavis Staples is a more dated artists of the Anti roster, Anti and Mavis have found ways to keep her music current in 2010 . Mavis Staples played with Wilco’s Jeff Tweety on the Colbert Report in early fall of 2010. Jeff Tweety produced her most recent record, “You Are Not Alone” which was released in September of 2010.
Anti Records also has done a great job at creating the label into a brand itself. The label has made an unforgettable logo that speaks volumes on every record it shows up on. Their website shares plenty of all that is going on within the record company along with every artist that is included in the Anti family. They cover the Internet on all the different social networks, and they even include an extensive blog on the website that is filled with articles, pod casts, videos, and more. ANTI BLOG Apart from the lack in availability of information about the history and staff of ANTI, the label has done a decent job in the branding of the record label. This only shows the dedication Anti has for its artists above anything else. Overall Anti is moving in a great direction during this dark time in the music industry, and the hard working label has lots going for them in the near future.
-Written by: Garrett Thomson