Saturday, October 07, 2006

Is ANYTHING too extreme for Earache?

Question: I know earache has some vile bands on the roster, but is there such a thing as \"too extreme\" for your taste? If so what would be too much? From:

Answer: hey- don't kid yerself bro, your band is'nt too extreme for us,sadly its just too predictable, and unoriginal.Earache has seen all the gore and guts before,we signed it,released it and promoted it over a decade ago, and still continue to release bands like Severe Torture in 2006, who thankfully back up the ultra-horrific imagery with actual killer music.To quote Alex in A Clockwork Orange its " Real horrorshow".

There are some things we cant sign or promote- mostly illegal or in bad taste- mainly because our distributors will not touch it.Any overtly racist or white power band like the ones on Resistance Records or say Skrewdriver from the UK, (pictured above)could never be signed for instance.Notorious Nazi skinhead band Skrewdriver were actually from a town close by Nottingham, Earache's HQ, and their leader and singer Ian Stuart died in the mid-90's in a car crash coming back from a gig,late at night.10 years later a local record collector dude drops by our office to buy tons of Mortiis vinyls, turns out he was the driver of the car that had Ian Stuart in it that night,which he survived of course.Weird huh?

Friday, October 06, 2006

Earache's video directors

Question: Hi!
I was just wondering who you normaly hire to do your videos?

Emelie From: emelie

Answer: We use a ton of different people to make our video clips and live filmings.None are massive names, we always tend to use up n coming, creative directors, mainly cos they are cheaper!About a year ago we commissioned Shane Drake in USA to make a clip for Shortie, and in 2006 he won an MTV video award for Panic!In The Disco.In the Uk we recently hired the immensely talented Adam Mason make two incredible clips for us- Mortiis and Biomechanical..he has recently become an accomplished film maker in the horror genre.Deicide's recent clip for Homage for satan was directed by Scrambled visual.One video director we are yet to work with is Patric Ullaeus who is notable for his work with In Flames, Lacuna Coil etc but he's incredibly in demand.The director Earache has worked with most in recent years is Nottinghams' own Pete Bridgewater who is nothing short of a legend round here.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

What does the label look for to sign a band?

Question: What type of bands are you guys looking for to sign? Obviously bands that will sell records and be a sound investment on your end, but more than a press pack and good audience; what are you looking for? I see why you signed With Passion , we share a practice studio with them; really good guys and diserve all the credit they can get. My band is hoping to send you a press pack soon after our EP is finished, so i just want to know what you\'re expecting from bands that want to be on a label such as yours. thanks. our myspace and website have songs from over a year ago, we\'ve been writing and preparing for the EP so we havent released anything; so you can expect the EP we\'re relasing in november to sound completely different.

Answer: We get asked this question a LOT.There is no easy answer, but the more work you do to make the labels job easier to sell your music the more chances of being signed.Labels LOVE a no brainer. The more well-known labels are totally swamped with bands,I think Earache must get upwards of 200 approaches per week either directly via our 'submit a demo' link or from recommendations from others/managers/ or cds arriving in the post.We sign maybe 3-4-5 bands a year now so work out the math- its about a 1 in 5000 chance, which is no chance. The wacky thing is- when we get round to playing them,we find most demos are pretty decent, its the final 1% of star quality or orginality (not to mention sheer luck) which seperates the signed acts from the unsigned.With Passion were introduced to us by the manager of another Sacto act on Earache- Shortie- and we were impressed enough by this recommendation and their work ethic, plus their undoubted musicianship,to sign them up right away.

Having upwards of 100,000+ profile views on myspace is gonna make labels stand up and take notice, regardless of your style- but by then you will have a decent fanbase so can really call the shots.Being part of a happening scene is a plus, so being totally unique in sound can be detrimental in many cases.Playing shows is a must, getting in the van and touring is the sure fire way to build a fanbase and you never know who is in the crowd who can help your career- managers, label A&Rs and influential journalists really do hang out at every shitty little gig in their town trying to discover the new hot band, its their job infact, so you can never know who is in the audience,even when the gig is like 30 people, as it so often is in the early days of a career.

I wish you luck and hope the breaks go your way.

Dischord/SST influences on Earache label?

Question: I remember reading that earache was influenced by the old school US hardcore labels such as Dischord and SST, if this is the case which one was the biggest influence on the foundation of Earache? From:

Answer:Both equally I would say.Obviously,Earache's musical output is nothing like the music those labels put out but their commitment to the independent spirit was a major influencing factor on myself as a fan before i started the label.So,yes,sure- Earache was and is most certainly still influenced by those early 80's USA hardcore labels, because they both demonstrated (and continue to do so actually) an immense affinity to the underground scene.Minor Threat, Dagnasty, Rites Of Spring, Black Flag,Descendents, Husker Du- all superb bands, legends of American hardcore all of them.
Dischord and SST are the textbook definitions of "Long-standing Independent label" which Earache itself kinda aspires to be eventually, albeit in a totally different musical scene.In The UK, Crass Records (Crass) and Clay Records (Discharge) were also blueprints for how i imagined the future Earache label to be like.
Earache also had other wildly different influences which affected its style/graphics and type of thinking in the early years of the label.Notably i was massively into Rick Rubin's late 80's hip hop label outta NYC- Def Jam (Run DMC/ LL cool J/Beastie boys)- the acts all seemed to be street-level and larger than life.In terms of style and presentation and graphics, USA Skateboard magazine- Thrasher -was also a major fascination of mine.It might be considered similar to say, Vice mag today, but for the mid-80's it was completely futuristic, everything i know about photography/typography/cutting edge layout comes from avidly reading that magazine back then.
A casual glance at the mag shows that even the Earache records logo itself is a variation on the legendary Thrasher mag logo.Nuff said.

I had no direct involvement with any of the labels or mags in USA- just a wide-eyed, fan-like enthusiasm and appreciation for what they stood for, from afar.

Closer to home, in the UK,for the day to day operations of the fledgling Earache operation, I gained immense moral support and encouragement from a similar one-man operation label-Children Of the Revolution (COR) outta Bristol.COR kindly co-released my debut record by The Accused(Mosh 1) and got Earache going as a proper label.Pusmort in USA and the Vinyl Solution label outta London also showed me that Indie DIY labels could actually release cutting edge new bands,and survive and even thrive.Heros all.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Iron Monkey on vinyl?

Question: Did earache ever issue any Iron Monkey vinyl? From:

Answer: I don't think we ever made any vinyl of Iron Monkey's 2 albums for Earache.This is kinda dissapointing because the band were complete DIY/vinyl HC collectors themselves, as is the label manager at Earache, so i can only assume that back then during IM's short career (96-99) we werent into it.I remember well, Earache during that time had a major downer on vinyl, because it just didnt sell,even for the bigger bands.
Iron Monkey did make - with Earache's blessing- a vinyl 12inch for the USA based Man's Ruin label, but the label is long since defunct. Now that vinyl is king again we often wonder what items in the Earache back catalog deserve to be released on wax, maybe Iron MOnkey albums on LP might appear one day after all.We are planning a major set of LP Picture discs of classic back cat titles soon.