Alan McGee needs little introduction. Originally a singer and guitarist with the Laughing Apple and then Biff Bang Pow!, he founded Creation Records and met early success with the Jesus and Mary Chain, the House of Love and Primal Scream.

In 1994 he signed Oasis whom shaped Britpop forever and made him a millionaire. After Creation Records folded in 2000, he started another label, Poptones. The biggest name on that label, which he folded in 2007, was the Cosmic Rough Riders.

After a few years break, Alan is back to doing what he does best, and looking for new bands and new talent to introduce to the world. He spoke to Pennyblackmusic abiout his new label, 359 Music. Who knows what he will discover this time around?


PB: The new label, 359 Music, is a joint venture with Cherry Red, After naming Creation Records after a 60's beat band and Poptones after an early track by PiL, why did you choose to call it, 359 Music?

AM: 359 is both one degree before revolution, and it is also Christmas Day. It is the 359th day of the year, and it's also a reference to Aleister Crowley and 'The Book of the Law'.

PB: How did Cherry Red get involved?

AM: I have known Iain McNay, the founder of Cherry Red Records, since 1980. He published the first songs I ever wrote and he still accounts to me. so we have always stayed in touch.

I could have gone with Warners Japan and run 1123 Records for them, but I talked to Iain and he said he would do it with us. The deal he offered was genius. I own half of 359, so it was a no brainer. Iain offered a better deal than Warners.

PB: You had the greatest indie label of all time, but when we spoke to you last time you said that you only listened to the Beatles and the Stones and were not interested in new music. Why the change of heart?

AM: I did a festival in Tokyo called Tokyo Rocks for a friend, Takashi Yano, and had booked Neil Young and Blur. I sort of remembered then that I was quite good at pulling things together with regards to music.

PB: Of the Creation Records stable, only My Bloody Valentine, Primal Scream and The House of Love remain in approximately their original line ups, and Primal Scream are down to just two original members. Is it good to know that something you started is still around and that your influence can still be felt today?

AM: They were always bands that could go on till they were ready to drop. All those bands had legs and real balls. That's why they are all still around.

PB: Is that why you wanted to inject new blood into the industry?

AM: I want to put new blood into music because people are being shit out by the music business gatekeepers, and I see 359 as being a doorway to break through that.

PB: The music industry isn't what it used to be. Vinyl and internet sales are up but HMV almost folded. Is this a good time for a new project?

AM: Sales wise I have been away for five years, so I have no idea what to expect but talent wise it's a very good timr. There is a lot of great unsigned musical talent out there.

PB: How did you find all your new signings?

AM: The first batch I kind of bumped into them. The second and third wave of signings is straight from the internet and MP3 submissions.

PB: Apart from Alex Lowe from Hurricane #1's new band the Gun Club Cemetery, everyone else is a new act. Do you want to find the next Oasis?

AM: I just want to put out records that I personally love. If something blows up, great!

PB: You have also found time to write your autobiography, 'Creation Records'. Did you just want to set the record straight?

AM: No, I just wanted to explain to people who I really am and why I am the way I am. It's all in the book.

PB: Other then that, you are now involved in films. Would you like to tell us what projects your involved with. Is it just a producer?

AM: No, I act in 'Svengali' as myself, which looks like it will do well, and I made 'Kubricks' with Dean Cavanagh, where again I play myself, so itt's another learning curve.

PB: On the subject of films, were you involved in the making of Creation's promo videos?

AM: Yeah, in the Creation days I would get involved with videos. Now I just let our label manager John Reed get on with it. He's better than I am with videos, so I just let him get on with that side of it.

PB: Both the House of Love and My Bloody Valentine spent a lot of your money on their albums. Did the final album justify what they spent in your eyes?

AM: Yeah, at the time we all loved these records, and they are both great records.

PB: Finally, what are your future plans?

AM: I am starting a club night in liverpool on September 6th, and I am always on the look out for new bands. We will be actively looking at new talent next year. For the time being, I am just busy making albums with the bands I am signing.

PB: Thank you.















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