Frequently Asked Questions
How did all this start?
McGazz posted the original idea on a bulletin board on the web. Several other people made various suggestions and gradually the idea was kicked into shape.
Who actually put the CD together? Who are The Smoke Organisation?
Paul McGazz from My Legendary Girlfriend compiled the CD contents, liased with the bands, handled with MCPS/copyright issues, did some of the organising for the launch gigs and all manner of admin stuff. Gary Marshall from Kasino did graphic design stuff, both for the CD inlay and the website, did some premastering work on the album and liased with the CD manufacturers. Joe Reeves from Squander Pilots handled the (unsuccessful) application for National Lottery funding, and handled the project's finances.
Why "Smoke" as a title?
Early suggestions for the name had all been along the lines of "Underground Glasgow" or "Alternative Glasgow". However, the title of an album doesn't have to reflect the contents (big labels don't release compilations called "Some singles you liked but didn't buy"), so it was decided something a bit more abstract and snappy would be better. Of all the ideas suggested, "Smoke" was the most popular.
I heard the bands all chipped in to pay for the production of the CD. How come?
Part of the original concept was that each bands would contribute a small amount of money, and between us we'd be able to produce the kind of quality CD that would be financially impossible for any of the bands to get individually. By each band putting in just a small amount, we got a budget of over £1200 together. This was nearly enough cover the cost of getting 1000 CDs professionally mastered, pressed at a high quality plant with full colour artwork and inlay, paying a professional artist to do a front cover (he's doing it at a fraction of his normal rate as a favour), paying MCPS fees and sending out a ton of promo copies. The budget is a bit tight, and we went slightly over budget (McGazz covered the shortfall), but we wanted to strike a balance between producing a very high quality album and keeping the amount that each band has to pay as low as possible.
Why 19 bands?
Originally the plan was to have 20 bands, until someone pointed out that 20 tracks averages out at 3:42 per song, not including spaces between tracks, which isn't an awful lot of time. We'd planned to have around 17 bands, allowing more time per song, but some tracks turned out to be shorter than expected and a few more people managed to talk their way on board!
I thought it was supposed to be Glasgow based? Why are there non-Glasgow bands on it?
Originally we believed that by concentrating on a small area, we could showcase that area better and that each band would promote the other bands whenever they sold a CD (if all the CDs were being sold locally, it's more likely that people who buy a CD from band X will go to band Y's gigs). However, we later realised that there were many good bands in Scotland, but outside Glasgow, and it made sense to get a few of them involved.
Would it not showcase each band better if there was more than one track per band?
Possibly, but the idea was to promote as many bands as possible, with as diverse a range as possible. Also, each band would have to pay a lot more. Part of the thinking behind Smoke was to give bands access to something they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford.
How can I get hold of a copy?
The CD came out in July 2001, so there aren't many floating around. You're best bet would be to contact one of the bands, and try and procure one from them.
Where did you send the promos?
National radio, local radio, student radio, music press, local press, fanzines, e-zines. A few select A&R people.
On what label was "Smoke" released?
Press Hat & Cigar Records PHCR01CD.