Andy Nicholson has said that his new record label has been set-up to help talented new artists from the Sheffield area, but did not rule out working with his former Arctic Monkeys bandmates in the future.
Nicholson is behind new label Card Gang Music, a collective of Sheffield-based musicians led by Nicholson alongside Jamie Shield, a producer who has recently worked with George The Poet among others.
The first release on the label will come from Sticky Blood, a collaboration between Nicholson and Shield. However, the pair did not meet through the Sheffield music scene and actually became friends in a more unusual manner.
“It was a passion for fly fishing. In the last two years ago I have got into fly fishing and we met at a place in Sheffield called Damflask Reservoir,” Nicholson told NME. “We managed to hit it off outside the reservoir fishing and just got the feel.”
Card Gang’s first release will be Sticky Blood’s ‘I.D.’ EP on August 14. Hear new song ‘Professional’, featuring vocalist Hekky, below.
Nicholson says the label will be a home to eclectic new music, promising “electronic to rock to, whatever, bhangra”. However, it is labels with a history in electronic music which inspire him the most. “Warp and XL Recordings. Those are the two main labels who we think rep good music, that let artists do whatever the fuck they want.”
Speaking to NME about his new venture, Nicholson also explained what he meant when he launched the label and criticised the “trust fund kids pretending to be A&R at major labels”.
“There’s always good working class bands coming through, it’s just whether they’re represented,” he said, denying the suggestion that it is harder than ever for bands from working class backgrounds to get a break in the music industry. “If there’s a posh kid making wicked music I will still sign them much as a kid working in a supermarket.”
As for Nicholson’s former bandmates, he maintains that they are all still “very close friends” and adds that the door to his Sheffield studio is “always open” should Alex Turner, Jamie Cook or Matt Helders want to record new music.
Asked if he had plans to work with his former bandmates on something unexpected, Nicholson added cryptically: “Watch this space.”
Nicholson left Arctic Monkeys in 2006 after the release of debut album ‘Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not’. He was replaced by Nick O’Malley who remains in the band today.
In 2008 he formed the band Mongrel with Jon McClure of Reverend And The Makers. He went on to play bass with ex-Milburn frontman Joe Carnall’s band The Book Club in 2009 before leaving to join Reverend And The Makers until 2010.