'I didn't have massive expectations': Charlie Caplowe on 16 years of Xtra Mile

'I didn't have massive expectations': Charlie Caplowe on 16 years of Xtra Mile

Xtra Mile Recordings boss Charlie Caplowe has discussed the label's international ambitions as it celebrates its 16th anniversary. 

Founded in 2003, the company is home to artists such as Frank Turner, Skinny Lister, Get Cape Wear Cape Fly, Brand New Friend, Seán McGowan, Mull Historical Society and Johnny Lloyd.

Caplowe (pictured) told Music Week he is targeting overseas success through Xtra Mile's deal with Kartel Label Services and Turner's Lost Evenings festival, which launched at London's Roundhouse in 2017 and is expanding to Boston later this year. 

"Germany's a really big market for us," he said. "It's third after UK and the USA and some of our bands can play the same size venues and stream as much music as they can in the UK, which is great. In the US we've obviously got the Lost Evenings night in Boston, I'm hoping to try and do something at Canada Music Week in Toronto in May as well and we had a good night at SXSW last year

"With streaming it feels like you're able to broaden your horizons more easily, see where there are pockets of interest and then try and build on that. Certainly, with Frank, he's been playing headline shows In Mexico and we want to try and move down into South America really. If he's starting to do well down there then we know that there's an amount of people who would hopefully be interested in other acts on the label."

With streaming it feels like you're able to broaden your horizons more easily

Charlie Caplowe

Xtra Mile Recordings

Caplowe's Press Counsel PR firm worked with acts such as Reuben and Turner's post-hardcore band Million Dead prior to founding Xtra Mile. The label's first release was the 2003 Million Dead single Smiling At Strangers On Trains, which was released in conjunction with Integrity Records. 

“I didn’t have any massive expectations other than wanting to further and help out the bands that we, as a press company, had put our faith into at the time," he said. "It was a means to an end of getting more press rather than, ‘Let’s sign [acts] and sell a million records’.

“For the first six years it was very much a side project of the day job, which was the press – that was what paid the wages. But when [Turner’s 2008 single] Long Live The Queen got on the Radio 1 B-list there was a sudden realisation that maybe this could become 100% the day job."

London's Omeara hosted Xtra Mile's 16th birthday party on February 15 as part of BRITs Week, starring Lloyd and a DJ set from Turner. 

“I’m not sure if I could do another 16 years,” added Caplowe. “But I feel really excited about our roster, the releases that we’ve got coming up and the way that we seem to be growing and becoming more of an international label.”

Subscribers can click here to read the full Music Week feature marking 16 years of Xtra Mile Recordings. 

PHOTO: Luke Caps

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