A Fond Farewell

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Racer Demo Policy

We are no longer accepting demos.

Since Racer was closed at the end of 2003, we are no longer accepting demos.

One part of our previous policy hasn't changed:

I have enormous respect for the people who create music, and even more respect for those who are brave enough and persistent enough to share their music with the rest of us. To all of you who create the sounds that fill our days, I offer my thanks and my continuing encouragement.

We wish you success and fulfillment with your music.

Our Old, Lost and Lamented Demo Policy

Although we're no longer able to accept unsolicited demos, we thought you might be interested in a glance at our old demo policy ... so here it is.

This file contains some guidelines about submitting demos to Racer Records.

Racer Records is a small independent record label. The company's vision combines the perspective of the music fan on the one hand and the artist on the other. As a result, we encourage artists to send us demos, knowing that lots of very talented musicians have trouble getting their music released and that music fans (like us) are always interested in discovering another great album.

Our Policy

Racer has an open submissions policy. That means you can send us demos without calling to ask permission first. We promise to listen to everything we receive (although it may take a while). We will do our best to respond to a demo within 8 weeks of receiving it.

If we don't decide to hang on to your demo, we will donate it to the San Francisco Public Library's Book Bay so other people can check it out. (The Book Bay makes a bit of money from this, which supports library programs, but Racer does NOT make any money from this donation.) If you would rather we not do this, please either send a self-addressed stamped envelope and ask us to return the package (be sure to include enough postage for everything you want back), or ask us to destroy the tape. 

What We're Looking For

Racer is looking for all kinds of music, but we have a definite tendency toward intelligent rock and pop. We are more likely to be interested in music influenced by jazz, world music, and hybrid forms than in heavy metal or rap. We're especially intrigued by clever or unique lyrics.

At this stage, we're primarily looking for album-length, pressable-quality recordings. If you have rough demos, we'd still be happy to listen, but we probably won't be able to work with you right away.

Your Package

You're welcome to send whatever you want, in whatever form you want. However, our ideal demo package would follow most of these guidelines:
  • Use a recyclable envelope or mailer.
  • Think about the person opening it. Please don't cover your package in nine layers of packing tape. Similarly, please don't use a million staples. My frame of mind will be a little less positive if I've just ripped my hands open trying to get to your tape.
  • Include a letter. Often a nice note makes a tape stand out and gets it in the tape deck sooner. It doesn't have to be long; it's just nice to get a little introduction to the person I'm hearing from.
  • Include lyrics (unless your music is instrumental, of course). I'm a real lyrics person, and I like to know what people are singing about.
  • Put your name, the band's name, your address, and your phone number on EVERYTHING. (Okay, all that info probably won't fit on the cassette shell, but put as much of that on as many pieces as you can.) Don't assume all the parts you send will be kept together - they won't.
  • Feel free to include information, but don't go overboard. If you'd like to send a photo, a bio, some reviews, or other information, please go right ahead. Sometimes it's really useful to me. However, none of this is required.
  • Send a CD or a tape instead of vinyl or DAT.
  • Please DON'T send a computer file (.WAV or .au or whatever). They're big, they're a pain to download, and they provide only a tiny glimpse of your music. I really dislike getting files as demos.
  • Don't feel you have to send extras or gimmicks. Honestly - the couple of t-shirts I've gotten were nice, but they didn't influence my decision in signing an artist, and I'd rather you save your promotional materials for your media contacts and your fans. And I really prefer not to get gimmicky things - they just get thrown away, and I hate throwing things away.

The Address

You can send demo materials to:

Racer Records
2443 Fillmore St., #202
San Francisco, CA 94115

Following Up

You're welcome to call and check on the status of your demo: our number is (415) 931-1614. You're encouraged to check in with us online, as well; in fact, you'll probably get a faster response through CompuServe or the Internet than by phone. Please don't be shy - feel free to call - but try not to overdo it. Once every week or two is probably enough.


We'll let you know if we're interested in releasing your music, but generally speaking, we probably won't give you a lot of other feedback. There's a reason for this: I believe artists know what they're doing and what they want to achieve, and my reaction is merely one person's opinion. However, if you'd like to know what I thought and why, please let me know, and I'll be happy to share my opinion. Please remember, though, that Racer signings are purely subjective - based on whether or not we really like the music. We get tapes all the time that are really good but aren't quite right for Racer.

The Other Guys

Racer operates a little differently than many other labels, and some of these suggestions won't apply for other companies. When submitting your demo to other labels, it's a good idea to find out as much as you can about their preferences (calling is one good way to find out). You may also want to read some books about the music industry for more suggestions about submitting demos to record labels.

One More Thing: Thanks!

I have enormous respect for the people who create music, and even more respect for those who are brave enough and persistent enough to share their music with the rest of us. To all of you who create the sounds that fill our days, I offer my thanks and my continuing encouragement.

This page was last updated on March 3, 2004 by Kristi Wachter.