Ian Grant successfully re-launched Track Records a few years ago and
the label has seen releases by Big Country, Arthur Brown, the Casbah
Club and many more. (www.trackrecords.co.uk)
What got you into music in the first place?
My mother, grandmother and aunt playing the piano. Then I did. Then
I saw The Who and The Cream on same night. Brighton Dome, April 21st
the ticket). That's when everything changed. The mid to late sixties
was a very privileged time to be a teenager.
What was it like working with Hendrix and what are your fondest
memories of him?
I didn't work with Jimi. I wasn't involved with Track back then. I
did see him a few times and I was in awe. I mean what he did with a
guitar and the sounds he got from wood, metal and electricity was
like no-one else. And he looked so wild.
How did Track Records come about and who was the first artist that
you signed to the label?
Don't forget that I only re-launched it. I met Arthur Brown at Midem
in Cannes, circa 1996. HE said he hadn't been paid any royalties for
FIRE and could I help. By the end of the evening you see, he
said "you know more about me than I do". He could see the benefit of
a fan and someone connected in the business.
So, I tracked down Chris Stamp the co-founder. He liked where I was coming from and suggested I start a management led
label. He suggested I use Track name and logo. I was gob smacked.
So, one thing led to another and I met Bill Kenwright. He backed me
and we released Big Country's DRIVING TO DAMASCUS. Sadly, Stuarts
life was falling apart. Also Bill bought Everton FC so we parted and
I have run it on my own since.
How easy/hard is to get Track releases into the shops and reviewed
etc? Do you find it easier to hit the target audience for each
release via the Internet?
Hard. Very hard. Retail is nonsense now. You have to pay them to
stock your releases on a sale and return basis. Most releases have
had reasonable coverage though. The internet has been very good for
me. Without it I wouldn't have survived.
You've got some sterling talent on Track including the Casbah Club
and Deborah Bonham. Who else would you love to sign in a ideal world
and which have been the most successful releases to date?
Big Country always sell well. The biggest surprise in last year has
been Joe Brown. His album keeps selling. I would love to work with
Country Joe and Fish, Nils Lofgren, Love, Peter Green, oh so so
many. Anyone who is talented basically.
Have you noticed your taste in music changing down the years? Any
band/album you raved about in the past that you can't believe you
liked in hindsight?
As I say, anything that's talented. Craftsmen. I wouldn't have
thought I would have signed Joe. I didn't realise how great a guitar
player he is. I thought Mad For The Racket would have done better
since its pedigree was Brian James, Wayne Kramer, Stewart Copeland,
Clem Burke and Duff McGagan.
I am mostly a 60s/70s person taste wise. I love Nirvana and Kula Shaker. Also Big Audio Dynamite and
Dreadzone. Quite liked Dandy Warhol's. But I don't get the Coldplays
of Travis of this world. My son played Coldplay on Sunday night. I
liked it to start with (not knowing who it was) but then it went on
and on and one...boring one dimensional stuff
Who are your musical heroes and why?
The Who, The Stones, The Beatles, John and George solo stuff, Iggy,
MC5,Small Faces and anything with Marriott, Jimi Hendrix Experience,
early Alice Cooper, Eric Burdon, Traffic, early Hawkwind, Neil
Young, Keith Richards, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Doors, Blue
Cheer, Love, Captain Beefheart ...why? Because they were all
unique. Most of all because they moved me.
What have been the best bands you have seen live and why?
All the above in last question and for same reasons (with the
exception of The Beatles who I didn't get to see.)
What have been the highlight(s) so far? Anything else you still
want to achieve?
Too many to mention. Yes, to have a band out do any band I have
already represented in terms of sales. Maybe The Casbah Club?
Your top five albums of all time and why?
I hate doing this as I could name 50 easily.
Sergeant Pepper - The Beatles
Piper At the Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd
Are You Experienced - Jimi Hendrix Experience
Live At Leeds - The Who
Kick Out The Jams - The MC5
Why? Because they all helped shape my life and put me on the rock
and roll trail.
What in your view makes for a good band and what attracts you to a
The ability to move me. Exciting performance (no one touches the
What has been your most embarrassing moment?
Can't remember any obvious ones.
Any good rock 'n' roll tales to tell?
Too many. Please buy my book when its published. Guess one tale is
when Keith Richards said "you should write a book mate".
Who has been the biggest influence on your career?
Interview © 2005