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Published on October 2nd, 1997 | by Gerry Galipault

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Insulated sets apart from the pack

It’s hard to get noticed in a multigenre, image-conscious, rapped up, “Tubthumping”/”Butta Love” world.

With its debut Frozen Hound Recordings album, “Fence” (released Sept. 16 and distributed nationally through Navarre), the Los Angeles-based ambient-influenced pop trio Insulated is taking matters into its own hands. They have so much faith in “Fence,” they’re willing to man the label’s phones, making cold calls to the media to drum up support.

“People say it’s one-in-a-million, right?” singer-bassist Gabriel Careful said recently. “You move to L.A., you want to get into a band, you want to go national. Even if that happens, you have to go into the studio with some producer who’s going to make you sound like what the major label wants you to sound. Then it’s a one-in-a-million shot that you’re going to be happy and everything works out.

“If you do it this way, with an indie label, it’s a matter of perseverance. We’re pretty much in control of our sound and we’re open to ideas from our label. It pretty much works because we all love it. We’re hungry, you know, we’re pretty hungry.”

“Fence” offers a steady diet of ambitious, edgy pop hooks, from “Find Your Sugar” (the first single) to “Bound to Be.” It’s not ground breaking (what is anymore?), but it has enough fetching detail to warrant attention.

“We’re aiming for longevity. That’s my thing,” drummer Ty Dennis said. “We want to be around for a while. There’s something like 20,000 to 30,000 releases a year, from what I hear, and I’m realistic enough to know it’s tough with those odds, but we really believe in the record.”

Careful said he, Dennis and guitarist Val Gaina, who produced “Fence,” already have won half the battle.

“From an artistic view, I think it’s already doing well, from the fact that we have it out,” he said. “From a business point of view, if we were to go on a major label, they’d charge us like a $80,000 recording budget and also pay the engineer and producer. On an indie label, if we sell like 20,000 records, we’re going to break even. We’re going to have enough to make another one. We won’t always have this overhead that the label has to recoup. That’s what is ideal about this.”

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About the Author

Gerry Galipault debuted Pause & Play online in October 1997. Since then, it has become the definitive place for CD-release dates — with a worldwide audience.



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