You sell a couple million albums. You’re adored. Then 90% of your fanbase deserts you – and your record label isn’t far behind.
The indie-rave band Klaxons, winner of the Mercury prize, who shifted 350,000 copies of 2007’s Myths of the Near Future, but have sold just 30,000 of album two, Surfing the Void, meaning 92% of their fanbase have decided that, on reflection, they only really need one Klaxons record.
What does it feel like to experience that level of desertion? …
“Well, I’ll tell you precisely what it feels like,” says one major label A&R man. “It feels shit. But the second album by every single band I’ve ever signed has flopped miserably, and no one really understands why. When you sign a band, everyone at the label is very excited, but as soon as it starts going wrong every bastard runs to the hills and the A&R man is the only one left.”