Just a few short days ago, the now deposed owner and founder of Defected gave a nearly two hour long interview. Speaking to Lenny Fontana’s intriguing True House Stories series, Simon Dunmore spoke about his whole career – from beginning at Cooltempo in the late 1980s, all the way to why he chose to sell the business that he founded to Wez Saunders last year.
It was a revealing interview – and it’s available to watch in its entirety on YouTube right now. Whilst much in there wasn’t exactly new information, we took particular notice of what Dunmore had to say in regards to his “values”, and also his comments on why he decided to leave Defected in the hands of a new generation.
For instance, he spoke more than once about how he didn’t want to be “the old guy sitting in the corner f***ing moaning about everything” – although this didn’t stop him from playing the part a few times – even going to the extent of repeatedly describing a lot of new music as “s***”.
More interesting, however, was Dunmore discussing why he decided he wanted to get out of Defected. Aside from previous comments about spending more time with his family – explicitly acknowledging wife Janet as “having done a great job of raising my kids”, the first of whom was born in 1999 – he opened up about how the pandemic changed his mindset.
After Covid-19 restrictions in England eased in July 2021, allowing office workers to return en masse, Dunmore faced enquiries from employees asking if they could continue working from home for part of the week – something which he readily admitted he struggled with.
He said “I can’t sit here telling someone that you’ve got the greatest f***ing job in the world – in the music industry – and that one day, an artist or singer could come in through that door… and you know, you get the chance to be close to these people, but you don’t want to? I don’t understand that.”.
Dunmore also pointedly made references throughout the interview to his “values” – which he cited as signing records that “enriched the culture”. By this, he largely meant his 2001 signing of “Finally” by Kings of Tomorrow and Julie McKnight – his decision to licence the song caused a rift between himself and financial backers Ministry of Sound.
Curiously, however, Dunmore had nothing to say on the subject of Defected’s current management – it was the one area where he remained a little tight-lipped. As Ears To The House has previously reported, Wez Saunders’ takeover of Defected was somewhat stage managed – with the company refusing to confirm the change of ownership when we first contacted them about the story.
A source close to Defected tells us that “The plan was for Simon to remain as an A&R consultant on an ongoing basis, and that’s what initially happened. However, we found out in March this year that Simon was no longer going to be involved at all. I don’t know exactly what was behind the decision, but I suspect that Simon and Wez just didn’t see eye to eye on a few things. It wasn’t acrimonious, but it wasn’t pleasant either.”.
We certainly know what Simon Dunmore’s own values are – but one can’t help but wonder whether this was a pointed dig at the current management. Because so far, not much has changed – Defected has taken the plunge and began doing events at the human rights abusing Dubai, hired a head of inclusion, and not much else.
And as for the values that Wez Saunders holds dear? Only time will tell…