A few years ago, James Endeacott’s 1965 Records looked dead and buried.
The label that brought the world The View – whose first LP remains the UK’s fastest-selling rock/indie debut of the past decade – was shut by parent Sony after the company became impatient for another fast hit.
As Endeacott puts it today, his relationship with the major “fell apart and the label went to sleep”.
But thanks to a slightly boozy agreement concocted with [PIAS]’s Jason Rackham, 1965 is back, fully independent, with Endeacott once more at the helm.
The entrepreneur’s return will be popular news amongst the independent community, who will remember well the highlights of his pre-1965 career – including his time at Rough Trade with Geoff Travis and Jeanette Lee, where he A&R’d the first two Strokes albums and signed a young band called The Libertines. (What ever happened to them, anyway?)
As Endecott recalls: “I was riding the crest of a wave a little bit back then, I thought I could walk on air – I was the don! Then I got the phone call from Sony…”
The Independent Echo caught up with Endecott to ask him if he could teach us a few things about the new 1965. As the man himself says: ‘We are reborn!’
(You can also check out our full video interview with James below.)
1) There’s no such thing as a typical 1965 band
Says Endeacott: “You’re going to get eclecticism, you’re going to get a real array of different sounds – we’re not very genre-specific at all. And you’re going to get a lot of passion; you’re going to get me shouting from the rooftops.
“People often ask me what I look for in a band: I look for a beating heart, I look for a great melody and I look for good shoes.”
2) James is really, really excited about his first two acts
“Lusts are a duo from Leicester with their first single coming out soon, mixed by MJ from Hookworms, who I’m a big fan of.
“They’ve only done two gigs so far; they’re an amazing band, very early ’80s sounding like something from Zoo Records, early Teardrop Explodes, The Bunnymen, Icicle Works… that sort of vibe. Very pounding but really hooky songs.
“They’ve got great crossover potential. They’re lovely lads and I’m really excited about them.
“Man And The Echo are named after a WB Yeats poem and they’re from Warrington in the North West of England. They love Northern Soul – there’s a real element of that to what they do. They’ve got some great harmonies and a kid called Chris in the band is one of the most amazing keyboard players I’ve ever seen. By day he’s a train driver! Mental.
“They’ve been in Paul Weller’s studio at the moment making their first EP.
“There’s a couple of other things in the offing, bubbling away that I can’t talk about. I don’t want to ruin it! I suppose 1965 is technically 50 in the year 2015, so it’s about time I put a record out…”
3) It’s been a long time coming
Endeacott hasn’t never quite felt as much as a natural at a job as he does working at a label. He moved to London in the mid-’80s as to be a comedian, but ended up joining a band called Loop.
They signed to Head Records run by Jeff Barrett – who now runs Heavenly. After that Endeacott worked for Rough Trade in the early ’90s before managing The Tindersticks. Then it was back to Rough Trade before the 1965 journey began.
“The last couple of years I’ve been doing a bit of management but I really missed putting records out,” he says. “I kept hearing records coming out that I wished I was [involved in]. Also, a lot of bands are reforming now, so I thought: ‘Why not a label reforming?’”
4) It will be a bit major, and a lot indie
“I’m glad to be out of working for a major label, but I’m glad to have done it too. I learnt a lot.
“I always felt that people at major labels didn’t really get music, which wasn’t true at all. Some of the best people I’ve ever worked with were at at major labels. It’s just that it’s very bureaucratic; it took a long time to get anything done, everything had to be planned so far in advance.
“I like being reactive – I like being able to just ‘go’. I learnt a lot from Rough Trade as well, and that had its own flaws, it’s not always perfect.
“Personally, being able to take the best from the major label world and the independent world, I can put those together and hopefully make the new 1965 a success. Many fingers crossed.”
5) 1965 finds strength in numbers amongst its fellow independents
“I am optimistic about the future of the music industry, purely because there’s so much good music out there,” says James. “There’s a lot of ways to find and consume music…. a lot of great music gets lost, and that’s hopefully where 1965, Heavenly, Moshi Moshi etc. come in – we help people to find them.
“It’s good to be part of the [PIAS] family. There’s a lot of us here – but that’s a good thing.
“I like the way at [PIAS] that even though we’re all different labels, we’re all in it together and we’re all helping each other out. We’re all propping each other up at the bar.
“When one of us falls over, the others are there to pick us up – literally sometimes.”