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Now & Then: Surviving 15 Years in the Music Industry with Indie Label Reveal Records

From print press to ‘virtual gigs’, Reveal Records have seen it all. Label Founder Tom talked through their 15-year journey.



In 2005, founder Tom Rose started a record label he named Reveal Records. Fifteen years later, and despite many ups and downs and changes within the music industry, the indie label is still going strong. Having reached such a massive milestone, it seemed like a good time to chat with Tom about his thoughts on the changes that have taken place within the music industry and taking a look at Reveal Records over the last 15 years.

Running a Label in 2020 vs. Running a Label in 2005.

Tom Rose: “Things have changed quite considerably in the last 15 years, when we started it was still largely about trying to secure and advertise in the print press and on radio. We started at the dawn of the MySpace generation and I’ve tried to stay in regular, direct contact with our customers and artists and using newsletters and socials. I love being close to great music and sharing it with people directly.”

Physical Releases vs. Digital Streaming…

“I love physical and digital. Both have their place.”

Gigs in 2005 vs. Livestream gigs in 2020.

“I’m not a fan of online shows, I find them very difficult to enjoy. I can’t wait to be safely enjoying live music with others again, but only when it’s safe to do so.”

Music Press in 2005 vs. Music Press in 2020.

“Very little print press remains but there are still incredible people passionately sharing views and knowledge in print. Obviously most of our news is digital, but, as with physical music, there is a place for both in my life.”

Tape Trading vs. Digital Piracy.

“I believe in paying what you can afford for art and the creation of art. That said, I would encourage people to share digitally what they love with others but I would hope most music lovers felt they should support the people making the music with purchases of tickets or merch, and records, etc.”

Promoting a Band in 2005 vs. Social Media Promotion.

“I put everything into starting with world class music and art and then finding where the audience might be, whatever the size. I aim to build real fans or customers from there who stay with the artist for the long term.”

The Music Industry in 2020 vs. The Music Industry in 2005/

“The majority of us still active in 2020 are doing it for love and not to get rich. My experience is I regularly meet enthusiastic music lovers in companies of all sizes, many of whom have worked various different jobs in the industry. A lot has changed for the better with technology and I’m looking forward to what comes next.”

Reveal Records in 2005 vs. Reveal Records in 2020.

“We are still completely independent as a label and management company. I feel fortunate to represent some great people and their music. We are more confident in our own abilities through 15 years of experience in 2020 and are also making a return to non-label music retail in 2021, firstly online having closed our record store back in 2007 to focus on growing the management and label side and travelling/touring. It’s been a great experience so far and I’m looking forward to whatever comes next.”

For more information on Reveal Records, visit their website here.

I have an unhealthy obsession with bad horror movies, the song Wanted Dead Or Alive and crap British game shows. I do this not because of the sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll lifestyle it affords me but more because it gives me an excuse to listen to bands that sound like hippos mating.