Gold Coast earth-child Karl S Williams has signed to Footstomp Records – an independent label imprint for Warner Music Australia.
The guitar-slinging, banjo-wielding, piano-shredding bard joins Busby Marou, The Medics and Thelma Plum on the Footstomp roster.
Karl could barely contain his excitement when we spoke to him saying it is Foostomp’s first signing in 18 months.
“There’s only four or five artists on the label,” he said. “It’s small.”
Karl released his debut solo album Heartwood indepently in August last year and will now head back into the studio with Mark Meyers and Yanto Browning.
Signing to a label is always a big step for an artist who has worked so hard for creative independence, but Karl is not worried.
“Actually, it will really help,” he said. “For a start, I won’t have to worry bout how I’m going to pay for recording – which is a big deal.”
Karl has accepted the offer to spend a month on the road with labelmates Busby Marou.
“Getting opportunities like that will just keep me going,” he said. “And getting to work with ‘big’ people in the industry I wouldn’t otherwise get to work with.”
After writing a handful of his best songs to date, the idea is to record them and add them to the best parts of Heartwood which will be reimagined and released as a deluxe version.
“I don’t know whether we’re going to do anything with existing songs – maybe remix them somewhat,” he said. “But we’ll be adding some new songs and we’ll repackage it. All those things we didn’t get to do first time around.”
“And vinyl,” he added.
Karl is hoping for a US trip before the year is out, first stop CMJ in New York.
“It’s kind of like SxSW – a music industry conference,” he explained. “I have an application in and Footstomp puts on a party there every year. With luck I’ll be able to go over for that in October and do some shows in New York and Montreal as well. And LA.”
It’s a big deal for a humble Gold Coast lad and it has far reaching impacts.
“It’s fantastic to know that on the Coast, you actually have this opportunity,” Karl said. Asho (Graham Ashton) lives in Tally Valley now – so to have someone running a serious label right here on the Gold Coast – and signing local artists – it’s massive.”
“He definitely has his ear out for other artists on the coast too,” Karl said.
“There’s so much talent here that it’s bound to happen and it’s great that it’s happening from a local base.”
Karl’s other project Tsun only this month signed to Smack Face Records. So it’s a busy time for Karl and his bandmates.
“We had a meeting about that because my management for solo stuff is different to the management for Tsun,” Karl said. “It means that Tsun now is under scrutiny of the label as well.”
“It never hurts to have a few extra connections,”
“Everything that I’ve done, particularly with the solo stuff, I just try to be patient and keep making good music and just know that at the very least there’s good music. And if something comes of it, fantastic,” Karl said.
“I’m very lucky that that seems to be what’s happened this time around.”
– – – – –
Karl will tour nationally with Busby Marou and Darren Middleton in August.
29 August 2014, The Soundlounge
30 August 2014, Eatons Hill Hotel
Listen to Karl here.