Bell X1 left our la­bel, then helped cre­ate a suc­cess­ful char­ity album: Brian Crosby

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - Cover Story -

Brian Crosby is the gui­tarist with Bell X1, whose con­tract with Uni­ver­sal Mu­sic ended at the be­gin­ning of 2007. Crosby is also the in­sti­ga­tor of The Cake Sale, a fundrais­ing album for Ox­fam fea­tur­ing Snow Pa­trol, Lisa Han­ni­gan, Damien Rice, Bell X1, Josh Rit­ter, Glen Hansard, Neil Han­non and oth­ers. The album has sold more than 35,000 copies to date It was a year of change and ex­plo­ration. Look­ing back, it seems like we had a bit of a loose start, but we have ended up in a very solid place.

Bell X1’s re­la­tion­ship with Uni­ver­sal was com­ing to its nat­u­ral con­clu­sion for some time be­fore we parted com­pany. There were some mixed re­ac­tions from friends and fans, but we were re­lieved that the end had come, and saw this as our chance to re­gain con­trol of the sit­u­a­tion.

I sup­pose we had felt stymied over the past few years. We­wanted to tour and re­lease our records out­side of Ire­land and UK. We saw the part­ing of the ways as a breath of fresh air, a time to find an­other la­bel, and to re­lease our records in­ter­na­tion­ally.

The first half of the year was spent work­ing out the fine print of our con­tract with Uni­ver­sal, while also find­ing and ne­go­ti­at­ing new deals with other la­bels. It was a frus­trat­ing start to the year as we were wait­ing for the in­ter­na­tional stuff to get sorted out, but also quite re­ward­ing, as we re­leased a live DVD in Ire­land on our own la­bel.

It was great to do the big home shows over the sum­mer in Malahide Cas­tle and the Mar­quee in Cork. We were re­minded in a very pos­i­tive way just why we all are do­ing this. Just around the same time, we signed li­cens­ing deals with Amer­i­can and Euro­pean la­bels. We were back on track.

At the mo­ment, we’re writ­ing new ma­te­rial and get­ting ready to re­lease Flock in the United States and Europe in Fe­bru­ary.

Get­ting The Cake Sale album re­leased abroad was ex­actly the same as putting any record out in­ter­na­tion­ally. We started off by seek­ing friends in other ter­ri­to­ries, like la­bels and ra­dio plug­gers and press peo­ple. Get­ting peo­ple to lis­ten to the album and be in­ter­ested in it was made eas­ier by virtue of the idea be­hind it, and the artists in­volved. We were lucky be­cause we found a great la­bel, Yep Roc, in the United States.

I had no ex­pec­ta­tions about how it would do in­ter­na­tion­ally. It started out as an Ir­ish-only project with Ox­fam Ire­land, and it was only af­ter it had been so well-re­ceived at home that we thought about re­leas­ing it abroad and get­ting Ox­fam In­ter­na­tional in­volved.

Get­ting Some Sur­prise onto Grey’s Anatomy is just great expo- sure for The Cake Sale. The mu­sic su­per­vi­sor for the show is a fan of Bell X1 and I gave her The Cake Sale CD ear­lier this year. I don’t have any fig­ures yet, but I would hope that this would re­sult in some sig­nif­i­cant sin­gle track down­loads.

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