James Iha, 20 % Owner and Partial Decision-Maker, Scratchie Records
OverByte: Okay, James, tell us who you are and what you do for Scratchie.
James: I am James Iha and I am twenty percent owner of Scratchie. I am an A&R person.
OB: So you just gave [Jeremy and Co.] money and they stuck your name on everything to market it.
J.: [Smiles] Yes...No, no. I'm just kidding. I help find bands and I help with a lot of creative things.
OB: It must be hard to be really involved with Scratchie with all of the other things going on [in your life].
J.: Yeah, it is and I do a lot of promotion for the bands, obviously. I'm just more worried about the bands not being heard. I don't really like using my name just because I'm in a big alternative rock band to get people to listen. If, five years from now, I would have realized that I could've used my name to get people to listen to some of these bands and I didn't do it, I'd feel worse. I don't like just using my rock band thing or whatever to get people to listen to it, but if they listen to it and they like it, or maybe they feel that if I like something myself, it might be good, then I think that's okay. There are worse ways to get people to listen.
OB: That's true.
J.: If me and D'Arcy weren't involved in the label to a certain degree, no one would hear these bands at all. So people who might even like these bands wouldn't get to hear them or want to. It goes both ways.
OB: Did you ever think that you'd do a label?
J.: No, not really. The band, the Smashing Pumpkins have been so busy. There are other things that I've wanted to do that I just don't have the time for.
OB: You can expand on that. Other things that you've wanted to do but don't have the time for.
J.: [smiles] Ice fishing, racquet ball...No. When I was in college, I used to do photography. I used to draw. I'd like to do a record on my own.
J.: In college, I used to act, even. There are a lot of things that I want to do, but [Scratchie] just came up and it seemed like the right thing to do.
OB: Are you happy with how everything at Scratchie is going so far?
J.: Well, I'd like all the bands to sell more records and do better. [laughs] It sounds very money-orientated.
OB: If [muzzle] were in a band, what advice would you give her if she wanted her band to get signed to Scratchie?
J.: Come up with a good band, basically. You know, there's really no formula. We just want good things. We don't care what it is.
OB: Were you surprised at the response you got [tonight at the show]?
J.: The response that the bands got or me?
OB: Well, uhhh...
J.: Because I got my own response, too.
OB: You seemed like you were shrugging it off, wishing it would all just go away.
J.: It's kind-of natural, because I'm in a very big rock band, so it's not really like I don't like it. It just seems silly [to do it at the Scratchie show] because it's more about the [Scratchie] bands.
OB: Yeah, it seemed like some people just came out to see you and D'Arcy.
J.: Yeah, some people did.
OB: We think that the bands did very well, even though Fulflej had some technical difficulties during their set.
J.: Yeah, if [the bands] can win over people, I don't care how I have to get [the crowds] there.