A long-time partner and friend of The Orchard, Demon Music Group celebrates their 40th anniversary this year. Founded in 1980 by Andrew Lauder, Jake Riviera and Elvis Costello, Demon was originally founded to deliver one-off singles. Based in the UK, Demon is well known for its classic releases, re-issues and new music alike including catalog from T.Rex, Suede, Belinda Carlisle, and more.
But don’t take our word for it, let’s hear it straight from the source. Demon Music Group recently put together a clip about their history.
Check out their video below, followed by an exclusive interview between The Orchard and Demon Music Group’s Head Of Product & Marketing, Ben Stanley.
Demon emphasizes a love for all things vinyl. When did your love of vinyl begin and what keeps you drawn to the format today?
I’ve always been fascinated by vinyl, as a kid both my parents bought a lot of music and I was always attracted by the spines, learning each of the labels (RCA on my mum’s deep Elvis collection), the smell, the sounds etc. As a teenager I collected 7” singles avidly, before starting to build a collection 10 years ago of my absolute favourite albums. I’ve always been a fan of the tangible physical format. I’m still as excited by vinyl today as I was as a kid; it’s a beautiful thing.
You’re avid supporters of RSD (Record Store Day). How did you support this year across the 3 dates? Anything we should check out on the final date, October 24?
I say this every year, but this year’s RSD releases are the strongest titles Demon have released in the 10 years we’ve supported RSD. There is an excellent blend of classic artists (T. rex, Suede), and some lost classics that were in need of re-appraisal (The Hotrats, Gene, Durutti Column, the Fall). October 24 highlights include the first commercial release of The London Suede on vinyl, and the 25th anniversary re-issue of the Britpop classic ‘Nuisance’ by menswear.
How do you cross-promote to get digital fans interested in vinyl and vice-versa?
Looking at my own listening habits, I listen to music all day long. In the car and out and about I’m on Spotify looking for new music and lost classics. At home I predominantly listen to my vinyl and CD collection. I definitely use Spotify for new discoveries which prompts a vinyl purchase, and we adopt that approach at Demon.
Launching our new titles digitally with a range of singles pre-launch I think definitely enables that, plus marketing all of our releases across all formats. Looking at our recent Suede Best Of which launched October 9, my view is there are lots of levels of Suede fan. We have those who might check out the new official playlist to get their hit of key tracks, those that might want to dip their toe in with a 2LP vinyl edition, then those at the other end of the spectrum who want to buy the 6LP box. I think digital is brilliant as it enables that discovery and allows us to convert the causal or the laggard to a physical purchase.
Are there any specific niche factors (genre, catalog, etc.) you consider when determining whether or not to work with a new label or artist?
In considering new projects, there isn’t a genre we wouldn’t consider really. Even if we weren’t specialists, we would collaborate with a specialist. I think the main factors for us would be to determine the size of the opportunity in terms of fan bases (social numbers and reach), recent releases and sales history… plus the old classic, gut feeling.
How do you select which releases to revive/re-release?
In terms of title selection, we look at what has been made available previously, anniversaries, is there an opportunity to work with the artist and enhance the title, change artwork, new masters etc.
What’s your favorite release you’ve released?
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific release, there have been a lot. I’m incredibly proud to work the Suede catalogue as one of my favourite bands as a teenager.
What about in your own vinyl collection?
Looking at my own collection…. Hard to pick a favourite, somewhere between Manic Street Preachers Holy Bible and Blur Modern Life is Rubbish. But it constantly changes.
What’s next for Demon Music Group?
The next 40 years…. We have an excellent T. Rex 50th anniversary campaign coming soon, and further quality vinyl releases from deeper catalogues. Lots of exciting stuff to come!