Volume 92, Issue 73

Friday, February 5, 1999


The Concrete Beat

Rock 'n' roll ain't dead, just needs a Big Wreck

Local artists tread methodical path to fame

Week's up, end is near

Jen McLaren joins the Nettwerk

Space shuttle and Nimoy land at IMAX theatre

Pakistani, Korean cultures raise awareness

A symbol of greatness

Underground Sound

Celebrity sightings

Jen McLaren joins the Nettwerk

©Photo by Kate Slade

DON'T KID YOURSELF, THIS ISN'T CLOSE TO COMFORTABLE. But Jennifer McLaren's Nettwerk contract should help.

By Peter Kapler

Gazette Writer

The relationship between musicians and their record labels is not always a pretty picture. The process can involve a series of trades where the label and artist swamp each other with a multitude of high-priced lawsuits and constantly battle over the control of the earning rights. However, musicians like the recently signed Jennifer McLaren prove otherwise.

"It's like a family. Everyone is very outgoing, they would do anything for you. I really couldn't ask for better people to work with." McLaren is speaking of Nettwerk, where she's been since last November.

Nettwerk, the home of such acts as Sarah McLachlan and Mystery Machine, has always tried to work as an idealistic record label. They take much pride in supporting musicians and their work, instead of pushing for a large number of sales. McLaren, a London local, paints a pretty picture of how the label lives up to its reputation.

"I think they will give me their educated professional and artistic opinion, but they are very interested in how I feel. They're very artist oriented."

The deal came as quite a surprise for both McLaren and her manager. While playing at the North by Northeast festival, she was almost spontaneously signed by Nettwerk's Mark Jowett, the same individual who discovered Sarah McLachlan.

"I was playing at Holy Joe's and we invited all these American record companies up. Nettwerk, who we didn't even know were there, signed me after only 15 minutes."

McLaren has no regrets about signing at the early age of 20. Being a punk rocker in high school, she feels her solo piano accompaniment style is nothing more than a developmental process she has undergone as a musician. She says she is not attempting to appease anyone and has not succumbed to any pressure, which has been created by comparisons between herself and McLachlan.

"If there is any pressure, it's the pressure I put on myself," she responds.

The label is allowing for a co-operative merge of ideas concerning the promotion of McLaren's music, having not been forceful and pushy but rather very sensitive to her needs and expectations.

Her debut album, which is scheduled to be released within the next two years, should be a demonstration of a model cooperative process between an artist and her label. McLaren is not the least bit worried about how it will be promoted, as she has time to find her own niche.

"The music will hopefully speak for itself."

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