started in 1981 by Roger Shepherd
, New Zealand
Inspired by the DIY ethic of the late-70's punk explosion, Shepherd, a record store worker, relied on friends in other centres - Auckland, Wellington, Dunedin - to distribute records.
For the first few years bands would record onto a portable four-track recorder or use a cheap eight-track studio, delivering the tape -- along with album and poster artwork -- to the label who would release batches of three or four records every few months.
The labels popularity grew, with high demand for its early local releases. Efforts were made to gain exposure overseas and penetrate the UK and Germany markets. The US market proved more elusive but by the mid-80's many college radio stations were drawn to the Flying Nun sound. In 1990, Flying Nun made a deal with Mushroom Records and Festival Records (Mushroom's Australian distributor) forming Flying Nun Australia. In 1996, Shepherd moved to London to oversee northern-hemisphere operations, leaving the south in the hands of Lesley Paris.
Some Flying Nun artists: 3Ds, Bailter Space, Chris Knox, David Kilgour, Garageland, High Dependency Unit, Jean Paul Satre Experience, King Loser, Pavement (-yes, that's right!), Tall Dwarfs (feat. Chrix Knox), Toy Love (what Dunedin band The Enemy became after Chris Knox moved them to Auckland in 1978), The Bats, The Chills, The Clean, The D4, The Subliminals, The Verlaines.