By Natalya Jones
By County Grind
By Liz Tracy
By Chris Joseph
By Liz Tracy
By Matt Preira
By Jesse Scheckner
By Michael E. Miller
Rafael Galvez, who is also a painter, has scaled back some of his Space Cadette duties to concentrate on his artwork. Al and bandmate Ulysses Perez handle much of the hands-on work in South Florida while Bruce Crowder (who played drums on the first AKIAV release) actually oversees the mail-order department from Space Cadette Records North, which is based in New Haven, Connecticut.
In effect the band's and record company's Websites act as both online shops and distribution nodes for the label. The Homealbum can be found in record stores and even on amazon.com, but most copies, Al Galvez says, are snatched up at shows.
Swapping his different hats -- bandleader, record-company businessman, promoter, and distributor -- runs Galvez ragged at times, but he's always breathlessly upbeat and positive.
"I love it, I love doing it, and I do it with a smile," he enthuses. "As a musician and label owner, I can actually say now that I can do both relatively well. And promoting the shows is getting easier, too. I genuinely like and respect these bands, and I want to be associated with these bands. And by playing with them, automatically we start being considered in the caliber of these bands."
Cultivating these relationships had better be keeping Galvez content, because he's quick to admit that the business side isn't making anyone rich. However, A Kite Is a Victim does enjoy a pretty sweet profit margin on its CD sales, with the guitarist being the label owner and all. "We make more money per CD than most major-label acts will ever see," he crows. "And we're never going to get dropped."
But he notes that any profit is immediately reabsorbed by Space Cadette. The cash ebb and flow can be stressful to Galvez and company, but somehow they're able to ride along with the bust-andbreak-even cycle.
"I'll wake up broke from the last effort, and I'll say "Shit, this is it! Time to pull down the rope and let it swing. But before I do that, let me check my mailbox.' And there's three checks in there for product. Or there's a phone call or e-mail from somebody important in the business, and that takes me to my next project. I live like a detective -- on clues. I live on leads. A company like this needs all the help it can get.