In-depth Interview with Will Robinson of I’m Not From London

Will Robinson - I'm Not From London

Tell us about I’m Not From London…

We’re promoters and music publishers, we also run two record labels – I’m Not From London & Wire & Wool. We’re based in Cobden Chambers in Hockley and have a lovely courtyard that’ also home to Kiosk Cafe and Forever Records and a few more really interesting shops. I run the business with two of my best friends Pat Cannon and Miles Clark. We love what we do!

When and how did you get into this line of work? Or when and how did INFL start?

I started promoting about 12 years ago, I’ve always loved music, parties, community and working for myself so promoting became a vocation for me.

I ran a night called Wire & Wool at The Loggerheads and the manager introduced me to his friend’s garage rock band that he was about to join called “Hot Japanese Girl”. I fell in love with them instantly and set about becoming their manager with the intention of starting a label and putting them out on it. Another couple of bands I was working with were also up for being on the label and before I knew it I had 3 bands on the roster signed to me and I was part funding their recordings and videos and trying to tour them across the UK.

The first official incarnation of INFL Records with my sound technician friends didn’t really work but 7 years later I’d found the ideal partners in Patrick Cannon who had also worked at Loggerheads and since passed his Music degree and law conversion course & Miles Clark who was in Captain Dangerous, the first band we’d released on the label!

What is your average day at work like?

Every day is quite different, Miles and I are Dad’s so our schedule works around childcare a lot of the time. Generally the days might involve picking up posters from the printers, meetings with venues and bands, time in the office with our interns working on social media promo and band bookings. Liaising with designers for artwork and sorting out gigs whilst keeping up with our label release campaigns and having meetings with Pat and Miles to catch up about ongoing projects and ideas to improve the business.

Once it gets to the end of the week the gigs start to happen so it’s a case of making sure the bands and sound techs have everything they need and may involve me moving P.A equipment and banners about the city and working the gigs.

What’s the absolute best part about your job/business?

I don’t have a boss. I work with my best mates. It’s a good feeling being able to help people with their musical career be it with gigs, releases or just passing on advice and tips we’ve learned to new bands and musicians and interns just starting out on their journey. It’s also exciting to see our company grow and achieve new things.

What’s the weirdest experience during your time with INFL?

The job’s taken me to lots of places to leading school choirs in Beeston, setting up a silent disco in the market square, bringing a London bus around the city dressed as a wasp and having to get in the ring and take a dive for a boxing match when the pugilist travelers didn’t turn up. I did the full monty striptease on stage for the last band at 3 pm to celebrate the success of our Outstanding Festival as the band were playing a song called The Stripper and I coincidentally had a top hat and cane in my hand, it just seemed like the only thing to do at the time!

The videos normally get me in the oddest situations, with Baby Godzilla now HECK I had the band pulled up and down the canal on a rapidly deflating inflatable dinghy they were blowing on it to keep them up.

And I once dressed in a leather thong and gimp mask while we tortured the band at their request by feeding them maggots, smacking them in the face with baguettes, waterboarding them and shooting them with paintball guns as they were tied to chairs with sacks on their heads.

Most recently it was probably when our video director Dave Lankester made me dress up in a tights, headband and leotard with a flame thrower, and ribbon dance for one third of the video, and writhe around in a ball pit for the No Nothings “Love Majority” video.

Do you have any pet peeves, about any particular aspect of the music scenes/community/business in Nottinghamshire?

OK you asked for it – Here comes the woe is me rant which is biased obviously buuuuutttt I think sometimes people can be a bit tight when it comes to paying for gigs.

A guest list really should be for plus ones of the bands if the promoter has arranged this or for nights that are definitely making enough to pay everyone involved in the gig. I tend to get asked for guest list from anything to charity festivals to gigs that cost £3 have 5 bands on and only have a 50 people capacity. Maybe it’s due to the sheer volume of free entry nights in the city and INFL do a lot of those but it’s kind of seen as OK for people with jobs to ask for a guest list for anything that has a price, God forbid paying £4 for a night that costs about £250 to put on, are you gonna ask the barman for a free drink too because you vaguely know him? Are you gonna help me promote the night? Stick some posters up? Help on the door? Share/attend the bloody Facebook event online? No, well stick your tight fist in your pocket then you cheap bastard.

People who ask to squeeze them in after a gig’s sold out or for tickets after I’ve been shitting it for a month that the gig’s gonna flop can do one too. Also, they could do with buying some merch once in a while too, people wander over, look at the T Shirts and merch pick them up, smile and wander off again. Wankers.

Bands who don’t stick around to see the headline act, people who talk to me/each other while I’m clearly trying to watch a singer songwriter.

Oh and people who call me up when I’m setting up a night to ask me about what time the gig starts when it’s clearly on the FB event. It’s at 8.30. It’s always started at 8.30. It’s ALWAYS GOING TO START AT 8.30!!

Please note this doesn’t mean the gig will actually start at 8.30 but maybe if you stopped texting me it might! 🙂

What do you see as the best things about the world of music in Nottinghamshire?

Forever Records, TV Crime, Sleaford Mods, NUSIC, JT Soar, Hockley Hustle, Stacey McMullen’s new haircut and Confetti College.

Can you give any advice or pointers for anyone considering getting into the same line of work or business as you?

Don’t be a dick.

Start now.

Work hard and good things will happen.

Don’t do drugs.

Get a decent accountant.

Anything new in the pipeline coming from I’m Not From London?

Release wise we recently became full blown hypocrites and signed our first ever London band to I’m Not From London, Arrows of Love, we’ve been friends a long time and we can’t wait for you to hear their album “Product” which has been getting some great press in the UK and America. It will be released digitally on August 11th with the vinyl coming out on 15th Sep!!

Arrows of Love

Our two piece sister doom band from darkest Hull Chambers will be releasing their spiralling punk rock, jackhammer of a track “Down The Rabbit Hole” on the 4th August!

Gig wise, we’re really looking forward to our next Piss Up In A Brewery on Sat 29th July where we’re collaborating with our friends at GRINGO RECORDS to bring you the mighty BILGE PUMP supported by Nottingham veteran heroes GREY HAIRS and JUTLAND SONGS opening! All of this will be free entry too!!

We’re also launching our label services programme this year where we can help get bands digital distribution at no upfront charge and help them get pre order links, cheap vinyl and a whole host of other services that we’ve found over the years that bands need!

Links:

http://www.imnotfromlondon.com
https://www.facebook.com/ImNotFromLondonEvents
https://twitter.com/Imnotfromlondon
https://www.instagram.com/imnotfromlondon

I'm Not From London