Record label giant Warner didn’t like one of pop’s biggest artists, Prince, wanting to release an album every year at the height of his superstar success in the mid to late 1980s. How, then, does respected independent New Zealand label Loop deal with L.A.B. doing the same in 2019, a significantly more challenging music industry climate?
“I think we’ve got a really good relationship with Loop,” says L.A.B. singer/guitarist Joel Shadbolt from a cramped backstage area of Melbourne’s Evelyn Hotel during their Australian tour in October. “They know how hard we want to work, and we know how hard we expect them to work. So, on both sides, it’s sort of like, can you keep up?”
The New Zealand five-piece (its members are spread across the country’s north island) have released three albums in three years, with their latest, L.A.B. III, out today. This frequency is brave, but so far the arrangement seems to be working.
Their first two albums (L.A.B. and L.A.B. II) haven’t left the New Zealand album charts since release and the band, who’ve established a fearsome live reputation, have already sold-out an upcoming run of headline Christmas and new year shows back home, and just completed a similarly sold-out, debut headline tour of Australia.