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J*R/Kill Yourself split
Format: 7-inch black vinyl, hand stamped with 7" x 7" 12-page comic
Band(s): J*R (Doncaster/Leeds), Kill Yourself (Leeds)
Release date: June 2002
Run: 300 copies
Notes: 'The initial decision to release this, our first record, came about, predictably, as a way to help out our own band, Kill Yourself. We wanted a record with us on it – we’d done some recordings in Stoke-On-Trent in early 2002 – and were preparing for our first tour, going out on the road with our most favouritest of bands J*R who we’d also built up a fairly solid friendship with. As such we decided to make a split 7inch with them and - in an unabashed aping of Skin Graft records – house it inside a short comic. Getting the record out was a process that we all chipped in to. If I remember rightly James and Graham had a bit more experience and contacts with self-manufacturing records, particularly vinyl, and we got some initial contacts through other DIY labels in Leeds. Tim Boothe – a friend of ours from art college – did the artwork for the comic and James took care of mastering and putting the recordings we had on to a CD. I then sent this to GZCD who were at that time the cheapest place to get vinyl records done and as such the defacto choice for bedroom record labels. We decided to press 300 because that was the minimum cost-effective run you could do.
Without romanticising our early forays into record-manufacture I do find it quite cute that me and my girlfriend at the time spent an evening using her work’s photocopier to put the master-copy of the booklet together before sending it to print. We weren’t at that time competent with scanners or image-processing software, as you might be able to tell from some of the flyers I used to make. The aesthetic was somewhere between punk cut-and-paste and Microsoft Word prefab: a peculiar mix.
As is the norm the records and covers arrived back only just in time for the first date of the ‘tour’ J*R and Kill Yourself embarked on that had by that point been reduced to a meagre three dates. We assembled the records in the van on the way to the first gig – hand stamping the labels and hand numbering each copy, vinyl fetishists and geeky collectors that we were. We sold quite a number of the records at gigs and shifted the rest reasonably quickly. Hopefully this was due to fact that the bands were good but it may also have had something to do with our quite aggressive sales technique which would involve us going round with a bag of records after the performances and asking each person if they’d like a copy and if not why not. Also, more people bought records in the early 2000’s as it was just prior to consumption of nonphysical music being the norm and what seemed like a renaissance for owning vinyl after the novelty-spark had had plenty of time to wear off of CDs. In addition, a bag full of the 7-inches were stolen when Kill Yourself were playing a gig at Fibbers in York in a spot of opportunistic car-park smash and grabbery.'