Chapter Music
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Nexus - Chapter Music
Chapter Music
Guy Blackman is a musician and music fan who moved to Melbourne in the mid nineties. He started his own label, Chapter Music, which today releases new and sometimes long lost music from some of Melbourne's, and Australia's, best musicians.
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GUY BLACKMAN: Well, I run a record label called Chapter Music. I started it when I was 17 years old, growing up in Perth. First of all, I was doing a music fanzine. I was obsessed by the singer from Pink Floyd from the '60s, Syd Barrett. And so I did this 10-page fanzine with pictures of him and little stories. And there was a trend in Perth at the time to put out compilation cassettes of local bands with your fanzine. So I started doing that, and then one thing led to another and I just got caught up.

So my initial intention wasn't to run a label and it just grew gradually, I think. I always had inspirations. Growing up as a kid in Perth in the early '90s, no-one put out records, no-one put out CDs. Cassettes were the medium. And so everything was quite small, you know? My vision was small, starting from, you know, a run of 100 cassettes, you know, for a bunch of friends in Perth to, I mean, still fairly small numbers, but records that reach all around the world, I guess.

Well, one of the most exciting things that I've put out is the 'Can't Stop It' compilation. I'm really into the idea of exposing Australian post-punk music from the late '70s and the early '80s. Bands like the Primitive Calculators really, almost, triggered, like, a revival of interest in Australian musical history. The label's never going to be like a big smash-hit kind of success. I think my aims are always just to put out the best music, the music that I care about, and often that kind of means music that isn't necessarily really, really, commercially, you know, viable or accessible. So, yeah, I don't think I'm gonna sign the next Nirvana or anything like that.

I was always really musical as a kid. Classical music was my first love, and, yeah, I didn't really like practising but I really like playing the music. And I play an electric piano and I play an acoustic guitar, and I sing these very, kind of, melodramatic kind of ballads. Playing in Japan was a total highlight - you know, going up and down the countryside and playing from, like, snowbound Sapporo, up in the north, to Kyoto, down in the bottom. And it was just a fantastic experience.

Each year with Chapter Music, I try to take things up a small step or a tiny, little notch. I'm working on getting better distribution, better promotion, you know? I do this from home. I'm a hobby vanity label boss. New Australian music was my original inspiration and continues to be one of the biggest reasons to do the label - you know, trying to expose and help along young Australian bands. You know, I want my records to be mine for the world. You know, I want to put out records that no-one else is putting out, and doing new things and things that people haven't thought of doing before.
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