#070: Works Progress Administration – Life after the machine

The guys from Works Progress Administration definitely have plenty of label experience under their belt from all their past projects (Toad the Wet Sprocket, Nickel Creek, Lyle Lovette). With WPA’s debut album, they find themselves doing much of the work on their own after choosing an independent path.  The guys recently stopped by the CD Baby offices to record this interview for the Music Discovery Podcast, but since they touched on some of the issues concerning their new career path, we’re posting it here as well for our DIY Musician Podcast listeners.

You can hear their debut album here – http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/worksprogressadministration

  • JP

    Hi Guys.

    I’m a regular listener to the podcast from London, England and it’s usually very useful & informative and I make a point of listening every week.

    However, I’m not sure what the point of this week’s was? They sound like an OK enough band but I couldn’t see any lessons for the DIY musician there apart from it helps if you’ve played in a famous band.

    Anyway, look forward to next weeks and keep up the good work.


  • Sadly, I agree with JP in this case. I cannot say I did not enjoy this episode but, frankly, a bunch of performers dumped by their labels and “choosing” the indie route is hardly useful to those of us who for whatever reason, haven’t the luxury of a label behind them at some point in their careers.

    I mean no offense to the guys in WPA but honestly, their “choice” is much like vanity press to authors who cannot interrest a real world publisher.

  • Michael

    Great podcast as usual. As for its usefulness to the DIY music community, there are some very obvious lessons to be drawn from the conversation and further research into the band can provide more. Artwork – great idea for mining public works to find art that helps define your image and promote your own work. Label v. DIY is something that comes up a lot around here. These guys talk openly about the hard work that comes along with creative freedom. Instead of begrudging WPA for having some members with previous experience in having record deals, listen to their perspective and take heart. These guys love what they are doing and want to support it. Recording process – mostly live and only a handful of overdubs and the recording sounds great. They seem to have a philosophy of the recording capturing what happens live instead of the live show trying to recreate the studio experience. Some of the newer artists here may have not considered the difference. I could go on but it’s here in the interview – go DIY

  • chris

    This episode was produced for the Music Discovery podcast. It focused more on music listeners than musicians for that reason.

    Chris Bolton

  • I think that as a Music Discovery podcast it was excellent. The trouble is, I listened to that first and then moved on to listen to this, only to find that it was the same one! I was kinda hoping for more detail on this podcast.

    That said, I thought it was very interesting to hear what they thought of the indie route – they didn’t seem to like it that much. Although they appreciated the freedom it gave them they seemed to really miss the ‘hand-holding’ aspect of being signed.

    I think maybe there was a lesson though; maybe some ‘proper’ indie artists can do it a lot better than the ‘forced’ indie artist.

    Oh, and one more thing. The second song they played sounds amazingly like one I’ve been playing for about 3 years. It’s never been released publicly so I’m not accusing them of theft but I now feel I’m gonna have to write to them to convince them that I’ve not stolen it from them! My heart sank when I heard it 😀

  • Yes, not my favorite podcast of all time; however, it was nice to know at the minimum that you could be on a major label and yet have to do a lot of work to make it a “success”. Per podcast #69, “getting signed” nowadays just really means you’re a “real” band to the common folk.