Thursday, July 31, 2008

CARCASS- The Pathologist's Report

Question: hi
the carcass re-releases part 3,4 and 5 look great, will there also be a part 1 and 2, reek and symphonies? cause it makes a puzzle when you put them on the shelve, but theres no info anywhere about 1 and 2

Erwin From:

Answer: Reek is sept 6 Symphonies on Oct 20

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The most Hardcore band ever?

Question: Who\'s the most hardcore band you guys have ever signed? From:

Answer: Thats a toughie! Earache has signed a ton of the scenes MOST extreme bands over the years (we pretty much kickstarted the extreme metal genre, and many of the first bands i signed have since become legends like Napalm Death) but it depends what you mean by 'Hardcore'I think -because if you mean traditional HC bands, we didnt sign hardly any of those. In the UK that woud mean DISCHARGE, possibly the originators of the HC scene as it is known here, and we did have proper sit down meetings with the band including Cal & Rainy to sig them to Earache in mid 90's but we didnt hit it off, sadly.
If you are USA based, then original US Old school hardcore bands are names like say Black Flag or Minor Threat from the first cutting-edge wave, then say Sick Of It All, Agnostic Front, Cro Mags from the New York second wave, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, Youth of Today from the straight edge wave, later on more metal-influenced HC bands like Earth Crisis, Hatebreed would be the late 90's wave.Currently the word Hardcore means a lot of different styles from different eras- the very latest extremely brutal style nowadays would be Death-Core which is a hybrid mix of Death-metal and HC- say JFAC, Suicide Silence, Whitechapel, Annotations of an Autopsy and possibly the heaviest and most violent of them all is our new signings OCEANO.
Hardcore can also mean being down with the scene, dedicated to it through good times and lean times too..some of the original HC bands are still going strong, Discharge being a supreme example.I nominate them as the most HC band in the scene, ever.
As for the earache-signed bands our most hardcore band ever would be NAPALM DEATH, also the more sludgy IRON MONKEY were pretty hardcore.


Question: how did John Zorn become involved with earache? as ive heard two different verions of events the first was that he met napalm on tour in japan, the second was that his band was playing a show in london wih the band of british jazz legend ( and radiohead collaberator) Humphrey Lyttelton and it was john peel who took john zorn to the napalm show the night before he played his show, which version of events is the correct one? also is it true that naked city and painkiller are/have reformed for a one off event? From:

Answer:The early Napalm Death gigs 1987-88 or so were -quite bizarrely, looking back- attended by a motley collection of the very hippest of the London A-listers, as well as as the regular kids, the thrash & hardcore freaks moshing down the front,these hipsters would instead crowd the back and the bar.It was strange mix. John Peel's championing of the band on the radio and TV meant that for a year or so, Napalm attracted that hipster crowd, before they moved sheep-like onto the next hipster thing. I recall one gig had Craig Charles and Vic Reeves hanging backstage- both up and coming comics at that time,nowadays both major TV celebrities, and massive Napalm fans to boot.
So the band were quite used to strangers from different scenes hanging out, and being music nuts themselves,and open-minded to new scenes, would be highly interested in other musicians works. My recollection is that Napalm Death first met John Zorn when he attended a ND gig in japan- this would be summer 1989 and included the line up of Lee Dorrian and Bill Steer.I was'nt on that tour but the tour manager was instantly aware of who he was, including his VIP status in the avant garde/jazz scene,he probably invited him to the gig, I expect! So even if the band members didnt know about Zorn himself, they appreciated the fact he was interested in them.I must admit that when word of John Zorn showing interest in Napalm death reached me, I had no clue who he was, and thought it odd that this studious American jazz bloke was dropping hints he wanted to work with Napalm and /or Earache.I confess, I was dead against such collaborations at first, fearing he might blunt the momentum of the young band.
Zorn immediately did the band a massive favor- booking them onto a New York music industry showcase called New Music Seminar, for a really decent fee, which meant they could travel to USA for a debut gig, and perform with no financial loss, which is unheard of. This incredible generosity by someone they'd just met was typical of the man, and blew away any scepticism I had.
What became obvious was that Zorn's interest was sincere and genuine,and he forged a firm friendship with Mick Harris.Over the months he suggested Earache release his upcoming Naked City 'Torture Garden' on LP and Cassette (no CD) in UK and Europe (original discussions were for it to be released on my label managers fledgling sub-label Staindrop - as Sweet Tooth was before it, because both were deemed by me to be too avant garde for Earache proper).The USA CD release was handled by Shimmy Disc, as Earache had no distribution there at that time.Looking back, its one of the most jaw-droppingly intense things we ever did, and we were incredibly privileged to release it on Vinyl.
Painkiller was again an extension of the friendship Zorn forged with Mick and that ensemble recorded 2 albums for Earache.At some stage Zorn moved onto other experimental music and our association fizzled out.
Painkiller did play a show June 23 2008 In Paris, featuring Zorn, Laswell and Harris on grindcore drums in front of the public for the first time in a decade.
View what you missed here:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Ewigkeit on Bonkers techno comp?

Question: Hi, a mate of mine told me that Earache alum Ewigkeit had one of their \'hits\' remixed and featured on one of those hard-house compilation albums with a silly name.


Answer: yes, really! 'Its Not Reality' by Ewigkeit appeared as a Scott Brown Evolution mix on disc 3 of the massively popular UK hardcore techno series - BONKERS 16.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Earache & that dratted 'Techno Music'

Question: you mentioned in the scorn question that you liked \"street\" music im wondering what is earache\'s tips for the top at the moment? you got me into scott brown and i thank you for that! there are a few earache influenced dance acts doing the rounds eg cardiff drum and bass dj high contrast ( who has dropped ultraviolence\'s hardcore motherfucker in his sets in ibiza) and also dub duo vex\'d who are championed by mick harris himself just wondering who earache rates at the moment? From:

Answer: Wow- thanks for the info- Are you kidding? Ultraviolence played in clubs in Ibiza? ha ha thats nuts...that track came out in 1993- so only took 15 years! Main man Johnny Violent has been pretty ill lately and out of action- but heres the latest Ultraviolence tune- hard and abstract..leading the way as always.
Earache doesnt have anything to do with dance music or remix/DJ culture these days, we did a lot of extreme hardcore techno in the early-mid 90's, and I should make it 100% clear for any readers of a closed-minded disposition, we deal exclusively in 'proper' metal bands these days, so rest easy!!

..but since you ask for some cool Techno recommendations here they are -I'm no expert, but if i was playing a Techno DJ set, not that anyones ever asked me- heres what would be in it:

SCOTT BROWN- The godliest DJ and Hardcore Techno producer in the world.From concrete hard nu-style gabba that causes concussion at 10 paces, to UK top 40 hits, Scotty does it all with ease.
DJ SCOTCH EGG - Japanese crazy 8-bit Nintendo grindcore! The liveshow is simply incredible - 4 gameboys with melodies set to stun, plus gabba beats and grindcore screams, it does'nt even begin to describe the madness.
BILLY BUNTER - An Ultraviolence connection here again, as Billy "Daniel" Bunter did an early happy hardcore remix for the UV track 'Heaven is Oblivion in 90's.Lower bpms means he produces some hellishly popular but so pummeling HARD DANCE techno.
CLSM - Billy Bunter's co-conspirator John Doe does some powerful and attention grabbing hardcore, including the famous ode to the only DJ who cared to suppport and play Happy Hardcore on Radio 1-'John Peel Is Not Enough'.Legend.

BASSLINE/GRIME - Top speed-bass producers like EJ- i'm really into lately aswell.

AS you can see I only prefer bangin' techno & bass that hauls ass and fills dancefloors, not any kind of chin stroking ambient polite cerebral electronica..most stuff on Warp kinda bores me..

Finally, to round out the night- I'd close the set with this stormer.

Heres kids busting out their groove to mid-tempo Hard Techno- called 'Shuffling'- its getting enormously popular on the streets!

In France they call it Techtonik- its smoother techno, being French its altogether more sophisticated.

In UK we call it stomping!Nothing sophisticated about it- pure speedy rave! As seen on your local Council estate and heard blaring out of cheap cars everywhere.Brill.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Gama Bomb compared to Onslaught?

Question: i dont know if you accept feedback in this section but hey, I discoverd gamma bomb through an add in terroizer and also interview and reviews where they were being compared to nuclear assult, as much as they are compared to ny thrash for some reason they remind me more of possibly the greatest thrash band britain ever produced Onslaught( how earache didnt get them when they reformed is beyond me) am i missing the point or somthing like earache trying build its own big four maybe or have i just over noticed how one of the hooks on \"sentenced to thrash\" sounds an awful lot like one of the main hooks from onslaught\'s \"killing piece\" From:

Answer: Glad you checked out our fast-rising Irish ThrashersGAMA BOMB, and enjoyed the Thrash vibes! As for the reviews comparing them with the old school acts like Nuclear Assault - i think thats fairly spot on actually- even if the lads in GB are early-mid 20's and werent on the scene when Nuclear were in their pomp.Motorhead were a massive influence on the bomb too.Agent Steel comes to mind on some songs where singer Philly hits the high notes aswell.But Onslaught? Wow i dont see any comparison there, sorry, none at all.I was a bigtime fan of Onslaught in the mega-early days pre-Power from Hell (when they were still a HC punk band- hmmm it could be argued I was the one responsible for 'turning them onto'Thrash actually, but thats another story) sadly, I didnt follow much of their later career.
When Earache started to get involved with the new-school thrash bands, we make a conscious decision to NOT WORK with the old stagers, because we actually prefer working with younger bands with a fresh take on the scene.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Black Metal bands on Earache?

Question: what does earache think of the more urban based black metal bands doing the rounds, as you signed one of them Anaal Nathrakth. Im wondering if you have been paying attention to any of the others eg the axis of predition or the howling wind for example, and do you think is selling point is that people can relate to it more than the corpsepainted masses? From:

Answer: We released Anaal Nathrakh because we are long-time friends with Neil of the label we licensed the titles from, Mordgrimm (and if ya didnt know, he started Cacophonous before that) and also because the 2 members were signed to Earche as their other grindcore band- Mistress -at around that time anyway, so it made sense.We have since stopped working with Mistress.Our releases of AN are available in USA only.
Earache over the years has had a love/hate relationship with the entire genre of Black Metal.We were in early, and had a good look at the original set of bands, Varg from Burzum made his only trip outside Norway to stay at my house even, and then we rather stupidly decided to ignore the genre completely for the next decade, standing by watching it grow into arguably the most extreme and highly popular genre in underground metal.You could say its the label's biggest mistake.
We still watch the BM scene, recent bands that have impressed us are Watain and The Shining, its hard for us to take the plunge and actually sign and work with bands in a scene we have basically shunned all this time.Though we will do so if the right band comes along, corpsepainted or not wouldnt matter to us, if the music was 'right'and contemporary and innovative.
As for Axis of Perdition- we find them a tad pretentious, if undeniably extreme.Any band that records using plastic spoons and mics up Fishfood containers to record eerie sounds - well, you have to applaud eh?
As for The Howling wind same thing.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

BT's Collateral Damage video

Question: Is the Collateral Damage video really not an offical earache vid? Danny said on his interview wth metal injection at maryland deathfest that it was made by a friend of the band who worked in a video editing suite and not by the label? From:

Answer: Not sure what you mean, it IS official in that Earache paid for it, mass produced it and spread it via the TV outlets that played music videos at the time (This was made a decade before YOutube started).The actual idea for making the one-second long clip was not ours though- we were planning on making clips for the longer proper songs, for MTV play etc- and the video just turned up.The idea was the bands not the label's yeah thats correct, but we instantly loved the clip and its turned out to become like Brutal Truth's calling card.We submitted it to the Guinness book and were very happy to see it featured as offically recognised as the world's shortest video in the book, about 5 years ago.The band even had their picture in the Guinness book!

Here it is- its simply made up of about 40 still frames of war/horror scenes- blink and you'll miss it!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Death's demos/out-takes and live CDs

Question: here\'s an interesting one what is earache\'s attitude to bands who self release demos and out takes alongside their offical back catolouge? are they allowed to do it or not? the best example i can think of is chuck of death( who from reading this blog is someone earache wanted to work with), he obviously self released a back catolouge of death out takes, alternative versions, songs that dont fit into the albums and demos for his entire career, what im wondering is if earache had signed him would you have stopped him from doing this? From:

Answer: I'm not sure how much you know of the DEATH HISTORY and the sequence of the band's releases, but I'm fairly certain when Chuck was alive he would never have wanted to release a ton of crappy live albums and demos/outtakes.Most musicians ONLY want their best work on sale, many are quite protective of their outtakes and prefer them hidden out of the public view, Earache generally agrees with this stance, using demos sparingly as japanese extra tracks is common though.
What you are missing is the actual reason for the release of so many outtakes/live CDs. Death made 7 killer, groundbreaking, genre-defining studio albums,on firstly Combat records and later on Nuclear Blast in the 80s-90s.These are some of the best Death metal albums ever recorded, Chuck literally invented the genre, then quite unexpectedly,at the peak of his creative powers, Chuck was cruelly diagnosed with a brain tumor, and passed away in December 2001.
To help pay for substantial medical bills and treatment- a series of live DVDs were quickly released by Nuclear Blast- the motivation was to keep chuck alive, not to showcase his live skills to fans.So the live in LA and Eindhoven DVD's/CDs were understandably shoddy and poor quality, but necessary.After his passing his mother and sister became in control of his estate, and I suspect a few years later arranged the demos/ outtakes of Chuck's other band 'Control Denied' on Hammerheart to again raise money for the Schuldiner family.

Heres Pull The Plug, one Death's Classics!

Fudge Tunnel early 7inch

Wondered if you could shed some light on something that\'s been bugging me for years.

I bought the first pressing of Fudge Tunnels\' \'Hate Songs...\' LP when it was released back in 91. The vinyl came sealed in plastic, with a free 7\" of \'Cat Scratch Fever\' and \'Joined at the dick\'. My copy of the 7\" has the cover spattered with blue\' green and red paint and has \'Blizzard of fudge\' written on the other side in silver marker. I have seen other copies of the 7\" and all of them came in a plain black innersleve.

Any ideas on it\'s origin? Thanks man! From:

Answer: Thanks for reminding me about that, what you have is a copy personalised by the band - they scribbled their words of wisdom on it, just for you! The 7inch only came i think with the first 1000 LP's of the debut, and from memory about 100 of them were personalised.The idea was that you'd have something highly collectible in years to come, err but the band split a few years later, shame that part of the bargain didnt work out eh?
It came about because the band lived in our home town of Nottingham, they would be in the office a lot anyways, and it occured to us geniuses at the label that a cheap/easy/simple marketing idea would be to get the band to personalise some of the records, which they did -albeit reluctantly, because it seemed hella tacky to them.So they trooped into the office weeks before the release,and we gave em an assortment of coloured marker pens- and they went to work marking and scribbling on them. The sleeves were sent to the plant and were inserted into the packaging and shrinkwrapped for shops.
The idea seemed to actually go down well with fans, so this was expanded upon for the next Fudge Tunnel release, the follow up CD Creep Diets was again personalised by the band - from memory about 5000 CD were done this way, the band spent 2 long nights at home marking the white area under the trays with their scribbles.
If you saw a used copy today you'd assume it was graffitied by the owner, not the actual band.Hope this explains what you bought, and why.Guitarist Alex Newport from the band relocated to USA, stayed in music,and is now a respected producer in San Francisco I beleive, and his claim to fame is he produced the demo which got System Of A Down signed.

Friday, July 04, 2008

How many albums til dropped?

Question: monte connor said on the chimaria dvd \"if somthing isnt happening by the second album, that band normally gets the axe\", Is this comon practice around the record industry or just roadrunner, do bands really normally have two albums to prove themselves, or is it different with earache being as you seem to keep hold of bands because of artistic value as opposed to just profit? From:

Answer: What Monte says is true and Roadrunner have to think like that but -being the straight talking good guy that he is- if you think about it, its actually just common sense, at least from a business perspective.Its quite common practise nowadays with labels tightening their belts,some even bail on a band after ONE album, or majors can even lose interest after ONE single!
Its cut-throat at the top.
The cost of launching new bands is astronomical-even if recordings can be done on a budget these days, touring and marketing costs are still sky-high.Eventually the economics are just not viable unless a band is paying its way.
A hell of a lot of goodwill is extended to new bands in the early stages by everyone, fans, promoters, journalists, the label - most people in the industry want bands to succeed.But time after time, if bands do not live up to their promise, then the knives quickly get sharpened and bloodshed ensues. Its not pretty, its a brutal business at times.Bands are often the last to realise theres a problem-obviously their 3rd album will "definately be their masterpeice", but if they dare actually venture out onto the road, they soon learn wether they have any fans or not- if clubs are empty after 2 albums,then something is wrong, and why bother, honestly?
Can you name any bands who created their defining masterpeice album on album 3? I can't!
Bands split up at this stage usually..
Journalists are often the executioners -they queue up to give the underperforming bands abysmal reviews, and reading the reviews is like the last rites.Bands get the picture that everything is not rosy by that stage.

In the 90's Earache kept faith with some of our major bands for albums 5-6-7-8 even when they were treading water, creatively speaking, with latter stage albums, even as their fanbases were dropping precipitiously, and terrible reviews were being printed,but this was the exception in the Industry. We acted through a sort of loyalty to the bands.Nowadays the economics of making records, especially in the torrent/megauploadnazi/rapidsharenazi era, means we cant extend such goodwill much beyond 2 albums ourselves, anymore.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Earache classic CD+DVD series

Question: Hello, my questions concern the Classic Series. There\'s a \"widget\" on Earache\'s myspace that shows Deicide, Mortiis, Cathedral, and Berzerker albums that have yet to be reissued as a part of the Classic Series.
How are those coming along?
Do you plan on continuing with this series of CD/DVD reissues? From:

Answer: Yes- well spotted- the series of a classic Earache back catalog CDs freshly repackaged with a FREE DVD has gone down really well with fans and the shops/retailers alike,i guess you can spot a bargain when you see one!So we are continuing it with the Cathedral, Carnival Bizzare with added "your God has landed" DVD, its in shops in late July.August brings Deicide Scars of the Crucifix with DVD of rare gig featuring the Hoffman brothers on guitar duties.
The Berzerker one we missed the chance to release it around the UK tour, we might rush release it to coincide with summer slaughter UK appearances.
Morbid Angel's Blessed Are The Sick is slated to receive the FREE DVD treatment aswell- DVD will be the band in studio talking about the making of the album and maybe a live show from the period.We would'nt mind doing TERRORIZER's CD or SLEEP or maybe a BOLT THROWER - we have to scour the archives for film footage first though.If you have any suggestions feel free to comment below.