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Huw's DIY Label of the Week: Tough Love

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Huw Stephens Huw Stephens | 13:38 UK time, Thursday, 11 March 2010

From the rumbling depths of new DIY comes Tough Love with a thirst for the new and an appetite for the ferocious, loud and brilliant. They've got split singles and a roster to make the new harder-indie fan salivate!


How, when, where and why was the label set up?
Tough Love is run by a guy called Stephen and his lifelong buddy, Ryan. They started the label in Coventry about 4 and a half years ago, mainly out of boredom and a naïve belief that running a label was simple.

They say it's turned out to be both a constant struggle and the best decision they ever made.

Where did the label's name come from?
Stephen says all the good ones were taken. Tough Love also reflects the founders' personalities - Stephen is a die-hard romantic (the love bit) and Ryan is a big rock (the tough bit).

What's the ethos of the label and which artists are on it?
Stephen: "There's no ethos really - other than that the records we release have to look beautiful, and the bands have to make us want to listen to their songs an unhealthy amount of times in a row."

Tough Love artists past and present include Favours for Sailors (the best band never to release a proper album), Male Bonding, William, Calories, Fair Ohs, Spectrals, Seams, Girls Names, Becoming Real, Honeytrap.

Any releases/gigs coming up?
There's a launch party for the new Fair Ohs/Spectrals split 7" single on 20th March at the Stag's Head, London. There's also a white label 12" by Seams called Nightcycles, and a Girls Names 8-track 12" coming out in May.

If the label could sign any artist past or present, who would it be?
Talking Heads, because David Byrne can get away with anything.

What's the favourite office snack at the label?
Stephen: "Since we're operating out of my bedroom currently, there's a strict 'no eating in bed' policy. Once we get out of here then it'll be all-day breakfasts consisting of loads of sugary cereal and smoothies."

If the label were an animal what would it be and why?
Stephen: "A dog, because of my dad's catchphrase, "Do you like that dog?" which he asks every time we see one. Maybe I could then turn the question around on him, although he'd probably say no, since he's a big Mark Knopfler fan and we're not really channelling that vibe."




Download this week's Huw Stephens podcast to hear tracks by Tough Love's William and Seams.


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