Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are you currently signing bands/accepting demos?
We're always accepting demos, however releases and signings are carefully researched and planned out around our schedule. Often, an entire year's release schedule is planned out before it even begins. Also, please use a bit of discretion when sending your demo. We are aware that there are various sub-genres of "hardcore" and "punk" but check out our back catalog and do a tiny bit of research before wasting your money on postage! We're flattered you want to work with us, but we would not know what to do with your jazz influenced acapella band. Accompanying your demo, send us a full tour history of your band. Don't have any tour history? Get in the van, and then contact us. We want bands who get out on the road and who are going to work hard with or without our help. Now that our ego trip is over, send two copies of your demo to:
Think Fast! Records
13561 Troia Drive
Estero, FL 33928
We use to hate receiving EPK's, links to MySpace pages, BandCamp, etc, but we realize it's 2011, so if you'd prefer to email us a link to check out your band, that's fine. But please do not send large attachments...that's annoying. Simply send a link to download or stream your music, and your tour history. I know we just said our ego trip was over, but to bring it back again, please do not be offended if we don't reply to your email/demo submission. For a small label, we get a ton of email/snail mail, and unfortunately there's just no way we'd be able to find time to properly put out records if we had to reply to every single email! Thanks for understanding.
2. Which factors are considered when Think Fast! signs a new band?
Good question, Billy. It definitely takes more than just receiving a demo and/or receiving a link to a Facebook/Bandcamp/etc page. Here are some things we look at or do before signing a band:
• Is the band good? If yes, then that's a pretty good start. We realize that this is hardcore and punk rock, and demos are not supposed to be accompanied with a polished, million dollar recording, but for the love of god, take some pride in your demo. If we hear a recording that sounds like it was recorded in 15 minutes in your garage, chances are your demo is going to end up in the garbage. We're not trying to be egotistical assholes, we're just being honest so that you don't end up wasting your time. Why would we take a chance on a band who can't even manage to make themselves look professional? We're not asking for a lot, but remember that your demo is going to be our only representation of your band...you want to make a good first impression, so spend some time getting your shit together.
• Very Important!! Are the members of the band a bunch of dicks? If yes, forget it. We don't want to deal with anyone who is going to be a problem or potentially screw us over. As you can tell by our catalog, we put out hardcore/punk bands. Unfortunately, putting out hardcore/punk bands means no one is rolling in piles of money, so please leave the rock star egos at the door. Believe us, we ask around and probably know people in your area who we trust and if they say you're a dick, then that's good enough for us. If no, good. We want to work with bands who have something to say, have good attitudes, and love hardcore/punk.
• Does the band promote themselves well? This is important to us because we are an independent label. We do our share of promotion to let people know about ours bands/releases, but Larry is a Republican so that means we want bands to take some initiative in regards to getting their name out there. So, if you're in a band that works hard, goes on tour, and helps spread the word about your band, then that's a definite plus. Seriously, spend some time on the road before you come knocking on our door. If we see a band is willing to take chances with or without a label, it's going to paint us a better picture of your band.
• Note: If you're in a wicked awesome band and you plan on breaking up, please spare us the disappointment. We can't take it anymore.
3. How much are the shipping charges going to be if I order these 5 items from your webstore?
Your shipping charges will automatically be added to your order through the "check out" process. If you're curious how much that amount is going to be before you place your order, don't worry, you are able to find out by going through the check out process before you complete and submit the order. If you're NOT ordering online and would like to order through the regular mail (more info on how to do this on question #5) in order to calculate your shipping charges you'll need to total 10% of your total items cost, and add an additional $4 (in the US)...you'll also need to add the current sales tax if you're a resident of New York. For Canadian/Mexican orders, shipping charges are 10% of your total items cost, plus an additional $7. For all other territories, shipping charges are 10% of your total items cost, plus an additional $12.
4. How long is it going to take to get my order?
Upon checkout, you will be given various options for the price and speed of your shipping (usually with options for both the Post Office and UPS). Typically the faster shipping method you choose, the more expensive it's going to be. Keep in mind orders may take three to five business days to process regardless of your chosen shipping method. Also, PayPal payments and regular checks may take up to 10 days to clear, and your order will not be considered placed until the payment has cleared.
5. I don't have a credit/debit card or PayPal and I am way too punk to order online. Can I send a check, money order or concealed cash through the mail? Can I order by phone?
Oh, you're still actually punk and don't need the simplicities and comforts of ordering via the internet? Well, you're a dying breed but we appreciate you too. Check out this page on MerchNow's website here. It contains all the info you'll need for ordering through the mail. While checks and money orders are welcome, in this day and age it's just too risky to send cash through the mail, so please cough up the 60 cents for a money order, or open a checking account and join the rest of society. Within the U.S. you can order by phone at 1-888-387-3343. Outside the U.S. call 1-518-458-9563. And of course, we also accept major credit cards and PayPal.
6. I want to return/exchange my item. What do I do?
Send the items back to MerchNow at the following address:
Attn Returns and Exchanges
PO Box 38189
Albany, NY 12203
Include an explanation of the return/exchange. Please note that we do not accept returns on clothing that has been washed or worn and music must be unopened. If it's an exchange, shipping charges will be the responsibility of the customer, unless the reason for the exchange is from our mistake. If the item you ordered does not fit or you are not satisfied with the size you ordered and you would like to exchange it for a different size or another item you will be responsible for the cost of shipping it back us and you will also be responsible for any additional shipping costs incurred to reship your item. If you received the wrong item you can send it back to us and we will replace it with the correct one. Please send the item along with a copy of the invoice. Please note on the invoice that you received the wrong item and which item you were supposed to receive. Also note that we need to credit you for the shipping since it was our mistake and not yours. Please return via USPS First Class or Priority Mail as you will only be reimbursed for the cost of these shipping options.
7. Can you guys give me the measurements of the article of clothing I want to order?
You can view this information here.
8. I still have a question about my order from your webstore. Who do I contact?
Think Fast!'s webstore is handled by the folks at MerchNow.com. You can contact MerchNow via phone and email. If you're calling from within the U.S. dial 1-888-387-3343. If you're calling outside the U.S. dial 1-518-458-9563. Alternatively, you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
9. I want to make a wholesale order, what should I do?
Since TF! is exclusively distributed by RevDistribution, we no longer handle wholesale orders. Get in touch with Rev and they will take care of you.
10. I want my local record store to start carrying Think Fast! releases, what do I do?
Simply tell your local record store to start ordering our releases from RevDistribution. Or contact Rev and tell them they should get in touch with the store directly. Keep in mind that stores like Wal-Mart and Target aren't going to order our releases so try to focus on record stores where you can find similar bands/labels to that of Think Fast!.
11. I work for a magazine/zine/website/radio show, and would like to receive free promos for review, can you hook me up?
Maybe. Hit us up and tell us a little bit about yourself. If we like what you're doing, we'll certainly let you know. Please keep in mind that we aren't into sending promos for a "first issue" of a zine. We've been burned too many times. If you think you meet the requirements, email us. Otherwise, be patient and put some time and effort into your publication before hassling us for free stuff!
12. Can you distro my bands/labels releases and/or trade releases?
We do not distro releases that are not ours, and currently do not accept trades. Sorry.
13. I want to book a Think Fast! band to play my show, who do I talk to?
Booking information for our artists can be found under the "general info" section of the band profile pages found on the Think Fast! website. If there's no booking contact listed for the band you're looking for, they are more than likely broken up and no longer taking booking requests.
14. When is (insert Think Fast! band here) coming to my town?
All show listings for our affiliated bands are posted on our shows page. You can also visit our bands websites/Facebook pages which are often more up to date than our shows page. You can find the links for these under each bands profile page on the Think Fast! website. Please note that shows can be cancelled without us being given prior notice, so we always suggest checking with your local venue/promoter to be safe.
15. I am too lazy to buy your records in stores and I don't want to pay the shipping and handling charges to order them online. Should I illegally download your releases?
Yes, please do! As an independent hardcore/punk record label, we drive BMW's and go home to our mansions every day, so please feel free to steal our hard earned work that we AND the bands paid lots of money to produce. For those of you who understand the sarcasm, and want instant access to our catalog without paying for shipping/handling, you can download most of our releases from iTunes. Keep in mind that many of our vinyl releases come with a free digital download coupon, so more often than not, you're better off buying the physical product. Even if you don't have a turn table, you'll have a nice piece of artwork, and a lyric sheet!
If I download your songs on iTunes am I still punk?
16. Can you tell me the pressing info for all of your vinyl releases?
No, but our discography page can.
17. Who manufactures Think Fast!'s CDs and Vinyl? Where do you guys get your merch printed? Who does your artwork?
Woah, woah, woah, slow down, Billy. We've worked with several different companies/artists over the years, but here are some of our favorites. Imprint Indie Printing (based out of Florida) is responsible for our CD duplication and most print work. For all of our vinyl, we go through the fine folks at PiratesPress (based out of San Francisco). As for all clothing items (including t-shirts, sweatshirts, etc) these are printed through MerchNow.com. All buttons/pins are made by Stick It To Me Buttons and stickers are printed by Contagious Graphics. Check out these companies for fast, affordable, reliable services. As far as artists, some of our favorites are Daniel Bressette, JP Flexner, Mike Cortada / MCHC, Raf, and Ryan Eyestone. Contact info for all of these companies/artists can be found on their respective websites...make sure to let them know that Think Fast! referred you. Don't hold your breath, but maybe it'll get you a discount.
18. I want to start up a label of my own. Do you have any tips?
Starting a record label is a good way to get into debt. That is the first thing we make people aware of who tell us they're interested in starting one. If you want to do the label as more of a hobby, and have a few thousand dollars to burn, more power to ya! Very few independent labels end up turning a profit or getting past a first release, especially in this day and age of illegal downloading. Remember, what you put into it, is usually what you'll get out of it. If you plan on making the label your career, you should keep in mind that it's going to require a LOT of motivation, and a little bit of luck. Not only does the economy suck in the U.S., but record sales have been going down long before our crappy economy, so as a business-move, it's not the brightest one. A good starting point would be to do a lot of internet research, asking signed-bands questions (in 2011, most bands are easily approachable on social networks like Twitter and Facebook), asking your local promoter questions, basically anyone who's been in or around the business. Like many things in life, for every question, you'll probably get many different answers/opinion, so keep an open mind and don't take any single answer as the "right" or "wrong" way to do things. Another good way to start, is by getting an internship at a local label. This will get you some hands on experience, and give you an idea of the daily tasks. We can also make some recommendations for the best manufacturers, printers, and artists to help get you started (see question above).
19. I want to help spread the word about the label, what can I do to help? Can I intern?
Think Fast! is a very non-conventional record label, with no real "headquarters". We have a distributor in Huntington Beach, California, we have a warehouse for mailorder in Albany, New York, and label owners, Larry, and Ryan, literally live on opposite ends of the east coast. With that being said, interning directly for the label would be a logistical nightmare, but thank you for the offer. In the mean time, you can do lots of other things to help us out. Here are some ideas:
• Tell your local record stores to start ordering our releases from RevDistribution or call/email Rev and ask them if they're aware of this super awesome record store in your area. If they're not, give them the contact info for the stores manager or buyer. Keep in mind that stores like Wal-Mart and Target aren't going to order our releases, so try to focus on record stores where you can find similar bands/labels to that of Think Fast!. Got it? Good!
• Download our web banners and add them to your blog - make sure you link them to our website!
• Do you have a fanzine? Didn't think so, but incase you decide to start one, download our print ads and put them in your zine.
• "Like" us on Facebook. When you see us posting updates on our wall, re-post them to help spread the word to your friends.
• Follow us on Twitter and re-tweet our Tweets!
• Subscribe to our channel on YouTube.
• Sign up for our newsletter. We only send about 10-15 updates a year and never share your email with anyone.
And perhaps the most important of all - word of mouth! If you like what were doing, tell your friends! Trust us, it helps.
20. I didn't read anything on your web site, even though everything is mapped out for me. Can I ask you a ton of questions that are already answered on the site?
Sure, but let it be known that we're pissed.
Jump to a question
- 1. Are you currently signing bands/accepting demos?
- 2. Which factors are considered when Think Fast! signs a new band?
- 3. How much are the shipping charges going to be if I order these 5 items from your webstore?
- 4. How long is it going to take to get my order?
- 5. I don't have a credit/debit card or PayPal and I am way too punk to order online. Can I send a check, money order or concealed cash through the mail? Can I order by phone?
- 6. I want to return/exchange my item. What do I do?
- 7. Can you guys give me the measurements of the article of clothing I want to order?
- 8. I still have a question about my order from your webstore. Who do I contact?
- 9. I want to make a wholesale order, what should I do?
- 10. I want my local record store to start carrying Think Fast! releases, what do I do?
- 11. I work for a magazine/zine/website/radio show, and would like to receive free promos for review, can you hook me up?
- 12. Can you distro my bands/labels releases and/or trade releases?
- 13. I want to book a Think Fast! band to play my show, who do I talk to?
- 14. When is (insert Think Fast! band here) coming to my town?
- 15. I am too lazy to buy your records in stores and I don't want to pay the shipping and handling charges to order them online. Should I illegally download your releases?
- 16. Can you tell me the pressing info for all of your vinyl releases?
- 17. Who manufactures Think Fast!'s CDs and Vinyl? Where do you guys get your merch printed? Who does your artwork?
- 18. I want to start up a label of my own. Do you have any tips?
- 19. I want to help spread the word about the label, what can I do to help? Can I intern?
- 20. I didn't read anything on your web site, even though everything is mapped out for me. Can I ask you a ton of questions that are already answered on the site?