Bickford discusses labels and image

Randy Bickford will never be on a major label — and he’s fine with that.

“I would not … vehemently not want (to be on a major label), but I’d be more suspicious than (other artists),” he said.

His indie band, The Strugglers, is on Tract Records. It consists of Bickford with occasional contributing artists. Bickford said he prefers to write alone so that others can add things to the music and not take away from it.

The Danville, Va., native began making music when he was 13 years old. Heavy metal bands like Metallica inspired Bickford when he was younger, but his musical taste changed to include folk artists like Gram Parsons.

Bickford’s newest CD, “The New Room,” has been labeled alt-country, which is not a term he thinks applies to his music, he said.

“I think that (alt-country) label is really overused and outdated,” he said. “There’s definitely a tinge of country in what I do (but it’s more subtle than) … singing about my grandpa’s whiskey.”

He also likes to keep The Strugglers simple. He does not dance or wear matching outfits like The White Stripes, Bickford said.

“I don’t really have a gimmick of any sort,” he said. “I don’t have an image … the music stands on its own.”

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