Wilco guitarist Nels Cline recently let it slip that the Chicago-based rock act has left Nonesuch and is “striking out on our own.”
He told Express Night Out [link via Pitchfork] that the band is brewing a new record label, though he doesn’t know the name of it yet. The group has its own Solid Sound music festival coming in August, but after, “I think our main task… is to work on new material and a new album… [frontman] Jeff [Tweedy] was basically not wanting to be on a record label for a while — he didn’t renew his contract with Nonesuch — so we’re striking out on our own, our own label.”
The band’s publicist told HitFix, “Wilco’s deal is up with Nonesuch Records. While it has not yet been determined who will release the next Wilco record, forming their own label and releasing future albums through it is definitely a potential scenario.”
Which leaves open the possibility of the band opting to sign a traditional label deal. Or a joint venture. Or starting an entirely independent shop to put out more than just their own material.
It’d obviously be to the band’s benefit to release their own and their members’ solo material through their own label outfit, as the proceeds would go directly into their own pockets.
But the latter possibility sounds the most intriguing, since Wilco has shown an interest in touting the talents of other artists (hence Solid Sound). Putting out 7″ records or even full-length sets from unknowns might benefit them financially and as a good will project to propel their name further into the 2010s. A deal with a distributor like Red or a new artist-centered label like French Kiss could provide the machinery to get fresh efforts to the masses.
Which is why the band made a deal with Nonesuch in the first place. When Reprise sat on “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” back in 2001, it was by the grace of Nonesuch that the record finally got it a release date in 2002. Perhaps a Wilco-founded label could be the blessed home to great releases in the future.