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Canary and Cut and Paste Records
Interview Michial Farmer
“It functions well in Luxury,” says Jamey Bozeman, sitting at the computer terminal in his recording studio, The ‘Lectric Co. “We’ve got this pyramidal sort of thing, where Lee brings in the songs, and we work on them. This (Canary) is more of a square.”
Yes, please don’t call them Luxury. The band, although it includes Luxury members Bozeman and guitarist/bassist/Orthodox deacon Chris Foley, is distinct from its glam rock second cousin, and it is, Bozeman insists, as it should be.
The other members of Canary, although less verbose than Foley and Bozeman, are certainly no less important to the group’s sound. Toto-loving bassist Doug Andrews is sitting across the room, and the band’s intense drummer, Aaron Baber is sprawled out on the floor near my feet.
“The very first time we played out,” Bozeman continues, “it was just Aaron and Chris and I playing at the time. We played at the Pterodactyl, and we played with Lugsole. We get there, and they advertised it as ‘Lee Bozeman’s side project’ mistakenly. So we kinda laughed. And so several Luxury fans come in, and they’re all dressed up in the Luxury fan style, and they looked up and they saw us up there, and they saw me singing, and we did the first song, and they left. It took no time at all.”
“With Luxury,” adds Foley, “There’s two different kinds of fans. There’s the fans of the slower, loungier stuff, and then there’s the people who really like the rocking stuff. And I think the people who would like the edgier, rocking energy of Luxury would dig Canary, but the people that like the slower, quieter songs might not be into it.”
I ask them about their goals for the band, and when Baber brings up Radiohead, his contemporaries nod their heads in agreement. “We don’t want to emulate Radiohead,” Bozeman quickly clarifies, “but obviously any smart band now with any head knowledge is gonna look at that band and realize that what they’re doing is incredible. And if we could have even a modicum of their success doing the same sort of thing on our own level…”
That same philosophy goes for the band’s new record label, Cut and Paste Collective, shared with Nashville’s Viva Voce and Seattle’s Lackthereof. Bozeman repeatedly refers to it as their “anti-label.”
“We keep calling ourselves “Cut and Paste East,” he remarks. “There’s the Toccoa-based Cut and Paste, the Cut and Paste in Nashville, and the Cut and Paste in Portland. And possibly in England, too. It’s widespread. It’s a collective. There’s a core group of bands that run the label, that are responsible for their own recordings. If Canary puts out a record, Canary puts out a record. The other bands in Nashville and Portland don’t have anything to do with that record, though they will support it. They’ll help with ads. They’ll help with contacts.”
Foley continues. “The collective is an umbrella that we all share. Each band is responsible for putting out their own stuff. But we’re pooling our resources together to push each other’s bands. So Canary will be paying to put out their own stuff, and hopefully when the album comes out, we’ll push Canary, Luxury, Viva Voce all these other bands in our market, as well as they push our bands in their market. That’s how it’s a collective, it benefits everybody involved. That’s opposed to a record label, where the label is centralized. We’re more about the people.”
“The press kit mentions something about Canary being art over marketing,” concludes Bozeman, “and I think that’s pretty applicable to Cut and Paste, because, like we said before, we’re trying to present things first as a free output. From a Christian perspective, we see God as Creator, and we’re created beings, and in doing our best job in reflecting his image, we show that creativity. So that becomes a prime motivator for us in whatever we’re doing, and specifically that comes out in Cut and Paste. “And with that in mind, what we’re trying to do is not only just do music, and not only just do bands, and not only just be a record label, but to be a cooperative media collective, where we’re putting out music, and we’re putting out film, and we’re gonna do some publishing.”
Cut and Paste was formed from the ashes of the Atlanta-based Bulletproof Music, Bozeman notes. “They were pretty much failing…floundering…dying, and they had the last Luxury record, and we wanted to get the rights to that.”
“The Annie record, too,” Foley notes. “There’s a lot of Annie records and Luxury records sitting in a warehouse somewhere.”
“So we pursued that a bit,” Bozeman continues. “And then we kinda came to the realization, through talking to Kevin from Viva Voce, that that wasn’t really the best route. The best route was to take his efforts, which were at the time Viva! Recordings, and basically drop that name and merge our efforts. In the process, we came up with the name ‘The Collective.’
“Part of it is to protect ourselves. We feel like if we make a go at this, and it is successful, the band’s gonna be better off, because it’s a 50/50 deal, the bands and the label, whatever profits we make. That’s almost unheard of in the industry, other than, like, Touch and Go Industries.”
“It wasn’t really reactionary, I don’t think,” adds Foley. “Basically, we had something we wanted to put out, and we knew a lot of bands, so why don’t we do it ourselves? We started reading some books and talking to a lot of people. That’s really the trend right now, in the industry. You have a lot more control over everything.”
“Cut and Paste lets us break away from this label-attaching nonsense, and gives us some more freedom,” concludes Jamey. “A lot more artistic control.”
Cut and Paste bands Luxury,
Canary and Viva Voce will be playing back-to-back at Cornerstone Festival,
Friday, July 6, on the Label Showcase Stage, beginning at 2 pm. This will
be Luxury’s last performance, as the band is breaking up to concentrate
on their side projects, including Canary and the Lee Bozeman solo outfit
All Things Bright and Beautiful.