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Interview: Ross Landau (Alchemy Entertainment)


Ross (Landau) of Alchemy Entertainment/NMC Music has been involved in all areas of the music business from musician to producer to label executive.

How did you become involved in the music business?

Started off in my teenage years with rock music and played bass with the heavy metal band Janine. Then became involved in production with artists ranging from Joan Armatrading to Kate Bush. Worked for a few jobs before joining NMC in 1996.

How did NMC form? What were the first releases on the label?

I wasn't there at the start but early releases focused on the Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott.

What state do you think the UK rock scene is in at the moment?

There are too many manufactured bands out there - `Pop Idols' and the like. Even rock acts are manufactured now. Look at Busted!, the UK's answer to the pop-punk explosion in the US. I think Radiohead will be the classic rock band of the future having the same appeal as Pink Floyd have now. Supergrass will also make a comeback. It's all about labels developing talent long-term - only EMI seem to be doing this at the moment. Another act to look out for are Temple of Sound.

Any bands/artists that you would like to sign up for NMC?

Well we are promoting our first new band this year. They are a Finish band called the Screaming Stukkas and we have big hopes for them in 2003. We plan to sign more new acts and move away from just being a re-issue label as we have been so far.

What has been the highlight of your career so far? Anything else you still want to achieve?

Seeing AC/DC's Angus Young and producer `Mutt Lange' meeting Princess Margaret - rock 'n' roll!

Any rock 'n' roll tales to tell?

Quite a few but I am not sure they are publishable! One of my favourate quotes has to be from Annie Lennox who said `If Buck's Fizz had not won Eurovision then the Eurythmics would never have got a record deal'.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

Musical wise it has to be Sly Stone, the Beatles, Miles Davis, Phil Lynott and Muddy Waters. Personally it has to be Laurie Wisefield, once of Wishbone Ash (now in the musical `We Will Rock You' house band) who has been a great friend and inspiration to me. Then there is the Masterer Extrordinaire Andy Pearce, who has remastered Lou Reed and Elvis Presley amongst others. He shows you how albums should be remastered and produced.

What plans does Alchemy have for 2003? Any personal highlights eg albums/tours you are looking forward to?

We plan to release four albums each month this year and we have the former Stones guitarist Mick Taylor's new album out in early Feb. Other things to look out for include Killing Joke and Graham Parker - we may bring him over for some dates. There is also some Beatles material in the shape of interviews with Tony Sheridan and other bits `n' pieces. It should be an interesting release.


Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie

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