Label Profile: Jeepster

"You could describe us as a patron of the arts rather than a label," says Stef D'Andrea, the co-founder and MD of Jeepster. "We're in this for the experience."

They signed Belle & Sebastien and Snow Patrol, but lost both to bigger labels on the cusp of their achieving major success.

Does D'Andrea think they could have done anything differently? "No," he says. "Belle & Sebastian might not even have been a band without Jeepster."

A scout spotted the Scottish indie band at Stow College in Glasgow almost as soon as D'Andrea , Jo, his wife, and Mark Jones, set up the label in 1995.

"Their first two albums were already written and Stuart Murdoch had a plan which included recording them at college using money he'd borrowed from his dad" recalls D'Andrea.

Murdoch couldnt' be persuaded to record in a more professional studio, but did agree to sign to Jeepster. However, the band had a very definite idea of what they wanted to do, and that didn't include single releases, gigs, interviews or photographs.

D'Andrea turned down Radiohead's request that Belle & Sebastian support them on their 1997 tour. And rejected Krispy Kreme's $350,000 (£175,000) syncing deal. "I almost staretd to enjoy saying 'no'," he says.

Enjoyable it might have been, but the money would have come in handy. In 1997, Jeepster signed a new band called Snow Patrol.

"We took the tried and tested route of album production with them, but it cost a lot of money," says D'Andrea. "They sold 10,000 of each of the two albums we produced, but they were capable of more. So we spent more, but the sales didn't rise to match."

It wasn't all doom and gloom. In the late Nineties, Jeepster expanded to take on Salako and Looper. In 1999 Belle & Sebastian won the Brit Award for Best Newcomer for The Boy With The Arab Strap. It put Jeepster firmly on the map.

But by 2002, the label ran out of money. "That coincided with the time when Belle & Sebastian and Snow Patrol were ready to embrace the mainstream," says D'Andrea. "We were honest about the fact we were broke",

Snow Patrol went off to Polydor and Belle & Sebastian to Rough Trade. D'Andrea returned to his job as a metals trader in the City, while his wife continued to keep things ticking over.

As Snow Patrol found success with a top 10 hit "Run" and Belle & Sebastian continued to gather pace, Jeepster put out a DVD and compilation album for Belle & Sebastian, followed in 2006 by releases of th to Snow Patrol albums.

"By 2006 we felt ready to sign again," says D'Andrea. "And through our connections with Worst Case Scenario records we found SixNationState."

Two singles releases have had low-key success and an album, SixNationState, is due out in September. Although D'Andrea was keen to focus on just one band, later last year he spied Parka, again picked up by Worst Case Scenario.

"I had to sign them" says D'Andrea. "They have the punky energy of the Buzzcocks, with a dance feel."

So does the new Jeepster feel like it knows what it's doing this time around?

"Does anyone?" asks D'Andrea. "No one really knows how to do the job anymore. People are willing to spend money on going to concerts, merchandise, food, but not music itself."

So, while D'Andrea is sticking with his day job in the City, leaving his wife to run Jeepster, he is positive about the future.

"The musicality is amazing," he says. "These kids are the MP3 generation; they're mixing up genres and not following any one particular style. When you get someone who does it well, it's incredibly exciting."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Madame Vastra and Jenny Flint kiss in Doctor Who episode 'Deep Breath'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Steve Carell in the poster for new film 'Foxcatcher'
filmExclusive: First look at comic actor in first major serious role
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Kingston Road in Stockton is being filmed for the second series of Benefits Street
arts + entsFilming for Channel 4 has begun despite local complaints
Arts and Entertainment
Led Zeppelin

music
Arts and Entertainment
Radio presenter Scott Mills will be hitting the Strictly Come Dancing ballroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and Clara have their first real heart to heart since he regenerated in 'Deep Breath'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Beyonce performs in front of a Feminist sign at the MTV VMAs 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus has taken home the prize for Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards 2014

music
Arts and Entertainment
Peter Paige and Scott Lowell in Queer as Folk (Season 5)
tvA batch of shows that 'wouldn't get past a US network' could give tofu sales an unexpected lift
Arts and Entertainment
books... but seller will be hoping for more
Arts and Entertainment
John Kearns winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award with last years winners: Bridget Christie and Frank Skinner
comedyJohn Kearns becomes the first Free Fringe act to win the top prize
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Sue Vice
booksAcademic says we should not disregard books because they unexpectedly change genre
Arts and Entertainment
Jamie Muscato performs as Michael Crawford in Stars in Their Eyes

TV
Arts and Entertainment
‘Game of Thrones’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

film
Arts and Entertainment
Miley Cyrus brought her Bangerz tour to London's O2 Arena last night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Loaded weapon: drugs have surprise side effects for Scarlett Johansson in Luc Besson’s ‘Lucy’
film
Arts and Entertainment
Novelist Martin Amis at The Times Cheltenham Literature Festival

books
Arts and Entertainment
Alfred Molina, left, and John Lithgow in a scene from 'Love Is Strange'

After giving gay film R-rating despite no sex or violence

film
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

    Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

    A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
    Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

    The science of herding is cracked

    Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
    Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

    This tyrant doesn’t rule

    It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
    Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

    From strung out to playing strings

    Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
    The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    A big fat surprise about nutrition?

    The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
    Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

    Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

    The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
    On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

    On the road to nowhere

    A Routemaster trip to remember
    Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

    Hotel India

    Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
    10 best pencil cases

    Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

    Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
    Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

    Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

    Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
    Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

    Pete Jenson: A Different League

    Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
    This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

    The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

    Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Britain’s superstar ballerina

    Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    Berlin's Furrie invasion

    2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    ‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

    Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis