The Maccabees, White Lies, Elbow label boss: 'Guitar music needs a shot in the arm'

Jim Chancellor says record labels are 'scared' of signing guitar bands

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Photo: Dean Chalkley

Fiction Records boss Jim Chancellor, who manages a roster of acts which includes The Maccabees, White Lies, Snow Patrol and Elbow, has said that he believes "guitar music needs a shot in the arm".

Chancellor, who runs the Universal subsidiary label, has said he is of the opinion that record labels are too "scared" to sign guitar bands as they do not produce instant results and need time to develop.

Speaking to BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, Chancellor said: "The problem is everyone is looking for instant results from a new signing. What we've tried to do at Fiction is help bands through those phases. We try and nurture talent. As much as it is difficult to get heard the White Lies record sold really well and so has the Snow Patrol record in a climate where it's been tricky."

Chancellor also said that though there was still a lot of guitar music being released, the standard wasn't especially high. He added: "There's a lot of guitar music out there. But there's a lot of OK guitar music out there. There just haven't been that many great guitar records of late."

The Fiction boss went on to say that he believed labels were backing off signing bands and that guitar music was in need of a rude awakening. He said:

The BBC Sound list reflects that [record labels' reluctance to sign guitar bands] a little bit - the knock-on is that people are trying to do other things. Guitar music does need a shot in the arm. It always does. I do think people are backing off bands because it's difficult.


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