A CONVERSATION WITH PETER CASE (continued)
PM: Is Perales an L.A. guy? I don't know him.
PC: No, he's a San Antonio guy.
PM: Ah. Since Thank You St. Jude was self-released, and both the profit point and the distribution are so different releasing a record yourself, how did that work out? Were you able to get it out there at all, through the website and by word-of-mouth?
PC: It's only available at the gigs and at the website. That's my deal with Vanguard. I don't make it available for stores.
PM: All right.
PC: You can get it at petercase.com, or you can get it at one of my shows.
PM: So then it's a seller at the shows, and it makes better money per disc than the Vanguard releases, of course. And so that was worth it.
PC: Yeah, it was worth it, and it helps me keep going. The way it is for me is that everything I do almost adds up to being able to keep working. I'm putting out my own records, and I'm writing songs and trying to do this and that and the other thing, and touring and the whole thing. And if you add it all up, it all works out. But yeah, I do have to put out some records on my own label.
PM: What about songs? I mean, as great and prolific a songwriter as you've been over the years, have you been lucky with anybody covering tunes, or film using them, or...?
PC: Yeah, we get minor uses. I haven't had anything on the big score yet. But you never know what's going to happen. A lot of people cut songs. Alejandro Escovedo just cut "Two Angels," and we get in different movies and TV shows and stuff.
PM: Really, Alejandro cut a tune?
PC: Yeah, he's great. He put that out. And I've had everybody from the Flamin' Groovies to Marshall Crenshaw to the Goo Goo Dolls cut my stuff. The Goo Goo Dolls just cut "A Million Miles Away," Crenshaw cut "Steel Strings" at one point, and just different things over the years. An Irish group cut "Hidden Love," guys called Four Men and a Dog. They're not very well known here, but they got, like, Roots Rock Record of the Year from the NME for that. [NME is the New Musical Express, England's major music magazine.]
PM: Oh, wow. Not mega cuts, but good action.
PC: And it's good, you know, when you write songs and you feel like people are picking up on it.
PM: Right. So I noticed that Beeline was also available on vinyl. I thought that was pretty cool.
PC: Yeah, it is really cool. One of the guys over at the label came up with that. I like vinyl.
PM: Does it sound like old vinyl did?
PC: It's hard to say. I mean, I didn't really get to master it the way you used to in the old days, where you sit there with a mastering guy. I do that on the CDs. But I thought they did a good job. I think it sounds really good.
PM: Oh, so the mastering guy just took that over himself.
PC: Yeah, you do your mastering of the CD and it goes right off the master.
PM: So it wasn't something you talked Vanguard into--it was their idea, basically.
PC: I didn't talk them into it, no, it was their idea.
PM: Wow, amazing. Are many people doing that, making their releases available on vinyl?
PC: I know that a lot of people who are more into roots and rock 'n' roll, like I am, are doing it. The White Stripes do it. Bob Dylan does it, people like that. But I don't know if everybody is doing it.
PM: I think I gotta get a turntable again.
PC: Yeah, you should check it out. It sounds good. There really is something about vinyl.
PM: I've been dropping over at a friend's house to check out his new vinyl collection. He put on Sly and the Family Stone. I freaked. "Oh, my God. That's night and day." He played the CD and the vinyl back to back. And I said, "Oh, that's sick."
PC: It's frightening, yeah. I mean, we're making these records for CD. We really made a point out of mastering for CD. I work with a guy who's really great--he did the John Hurt record and does all my solo records--Gavin Lurssen. He does a great job of mastering CDs, and they're made for that. Sometimes old records that are getting mastered to CD, they're really getting ruined.
PM: Oh, yeah!
PC: Even the Beatles records and stuff, so many of them sound bad. And the Stones' records. I guess they've re-released them now with a better master. But so many of those things were terrible. By now they've gotten everybody to buy all the records three or four times. [laughs] It's really a rip.
PM: That's an ugly scam. continue