Anton Newcombe tells us why Brian Jonestown Massacre aren’t on that huge shoegaze compilation


A few weeks ago we wrote about Still In A Dream: A Story of Shoegaze 1988 to 1995, a massive, 87-track compilation issued last week by Cherry Red Records. It’s a pretty comprehensive collection, featuring tracks by Ride, Lush, Jesus & Mary Chain, Spiritualized, Chapterhouse and others, as well as New England bands like the Swirlies, Drop Nineteens, Curtain Society and Galaxie 500.

One notable omission was pioneering shoegaze band My Bloody Valentine, whose 1998 track “(When you wake) You’re still in a dream” lends its name to the compilation. In our November post, we noted the lack of My Bloody Valentine among the 87 tracks, but chalked it up to the usual business side of things.

This morning, we awoke to a few tweets from Brian Jonestown Massacre’s Anton Newcombe, who explains why his band, and Kevin Shields’, aren’t present on Still In A Dream. And it’s because Cherry Red allegedly offered them £25 to license a song. That’s about $36. Newcombe’s tweets are below.


We reached out to Cherry Red this morning, and operations manager John Reed tells us that while My Bloody Valentine simply “don’t license for compilations”, an effort to secure Brian Jonestown Massacre was made to Newcombe’s label, A Records.

“The first thing for people to understand is that track licensing for box sets like this are on the basis of a royalty percentage,” Reed writes in an email. “Any money paid upfront is an advance against that percentage. Most if not all bands who we licensed from directly were happy to allow us to use their track for no advance. Many of the labels we deal with are also happy with this arrangement. Ultimately, the licensing party receives the same royalties eventually, whether or not they are paid an advance, unless the advance doesn’t recoup.”

Reed adds: “Now, we did approach Anton’s label A Records. They made it clear they wouldn’t accept no advance as they’d been stung by such deals in the past (i.e. the labels hadn’t accounted to them). We mentioned an example of what another label (an established/big label) was charging us by way of an advance, which was £50 per track. At that point, A Records declined. When you think about how many tracks are on box sets like Still In A Dream, clearly, it isn’t feasible to offer huge sums for each track as an advance.”


Brian Jonestown Massacre play Boston’s Paradise Rock Club on May 7. Tickets are on sale now.