Friday, October 31, 2008

December video

Question: What was the video that December had on slight rotation on MuchMusic and MTV (maybe) about 5 years ago? They were in a desert or something and I cannot find it anywhere on the internet. Can you help me out, or is this video lost in space and time forever? From:

Answer: You mean this one?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why No Metalcore on Earache?

Question: Thanks for answering the question on darkest hour, from what i have heard this jorge was pretty on top when it came to the first wave of north eastern metalcore bands overcast, aftershock ( now of course shadows fall and killswitch engage), unearth, the red chord as well as himsa who although from seattle played many shows on the north east due to its over populance of bands, Is there any reason why earache decided to stay away from this scene? as history shows just a few years later the scene exploded and became the metal mainstream. From:

Answer: Thats a great question.. there is a whole slew of US metalcore bands who exploded and, as you say,those bands- Killswitch Engage, Shadows Fall- soon became hugely popular and in effect became the metal mainstream in 2002-3-4 right after the nu metal wave had subsided.
Earache dealt with none of those types of bands, in hindsight,from a commercial point of view especially, it was a massive failing of ours.
Short answer for why is- we didn't understand the scene.It was a genuine crossover of metal and hardcore, hence 'metalcore' BUT they appeared to us at the time, to be 'Hardcore Bands Trying to Play Metal'- and doing it badly, so it wasn't to our taste.They appeared 75% HC and 25% Metal to us.You could say we were snobby about our own past legacy of bands being 'better',this pickiness clouds our judgement of newbies quite a lot.
Earache isn't totally alien to HC though- the label has dabbled in HC bands in the past- releasing Coalesce's second EP, also we have Dillinger Escape Plan under license from their pre-Relapse label,Now or Never.But Metalcore itself passed us by, thats true.
So, we watched from the sidelines as labels like Ferret and to some extent Trustkill embraced the metal+hardcore= metalcore bands and those labels rightly dominated the scene, deservedly becoming huge in the process.Festivals like Ozzfest and Warped played a big part also, it was timely as the scene co-incided with the huge upturn in interest in rock.

From my viewpoint, Hatebreed were the daddies and inventors of Metalcore and I was a big fan of them, still am in fact, we'd sign them anytime, but would need a big cheque.

Red Chord were one band who we thought offered something extra and liked a lot- and they had a deal offer from Earache after the Robotic Empire debut, but the connections to the scene were well established elsewhere and so Metal Blade secured the bands signatures.
In effect we sat things out for a few years - waiting for Death metal + hardcore= Deathcore to come along and then released UK's BRING ME THE HORIZON's debut in USA and signed Chicago's OCEANO instead.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Earache to issue more deluxe packaging Cds?

Question: Hey guys.
I\'m 16 years old and live in the birthplace of metal, Birmingham, and I have a 98 Cd strong Earache collection, spanning Sleep, to Morbid Angel, to Carcass, and newer bands like Evile and Municipal Waste (I have the original, bonus track and green case edition of their latest LP).
Here\'s my question-
Would it be possible , at some point, to do an Earache classics series in a cardboard , multi panel deluxe edition, in a similar way to the Carcass re-issues?
I was thinking that some timeless, 5* star albums need re-introduction to the newer generations, ie. Sleep\'s Holy Mountain, Blessed Are The Sick by Morbid Angel and even undervalued masterworks like From Enslavement To Obliteration by Napalm Death and Wolverine Blues by Entombed.
I think that the Swansong Dualdisc package was a prime example of how special editions needn\'t be chock-full of extras, when the special editions are of solid , timeless albums. I\'d have bought it for the deluxe packaging alone.
To summarise, I just think , in a generation when a classic \"metal\" album is made of the basic chug-squeal formula, there needs to be a modern day appreciation of classic bands, and what better way to do it than fancy, deluxe editions of Earache\'s share of pioneering albums?
Thanks for your time.
Ross. From:

Answer: Well first of all Ross- cheers to you for buying so many Earache cds- we really appreciate your loyalty-I'm glad you like our stuff!.Secondly, you're not wrong about Birmingham being the birthplace of heavy Metal- its a proven fact.You should get yourself down to the 'Home of Metal'events taking place in coming weeks to see original artworks and artifacts from Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, Napalm Death,Led Zep etc being exhibited in various Brum galleries.Its free to get in.

Thanks for your kind words on the packaging of the CARCASS deluxe dualdisc editions...yeah we think they are great, they fold out over and over again don't they?They contain tons of extra artwork and feel lavish as hell- we wanted buyers to feel like they got their money's worth!We have noticed how the fans, like yourself, have appreciated them, because they sold spectacularly you can be sure we are considering doing more back catalog re-issues in the same lavish style, with DVD added. Blessed Are The Sick is on our list to do- we have to interview the band first though.
Heres the greatest heavy metal band of all time playing the best Heavy metal song of all time, which contains the best HM riff ever written:

Monday, October 27, 2008

Darkest Hour on Earache?- Nah..

Question: Did earache really try to sign darkest hour? as the version events i heard was that they were friends with a US label staffer who tried to get them on earache, said staffer left to go to A-F records and so DS went to victory, interestly DH gave A-F their first two eps to reissue in 99 because of their friendship with the guy who worked there who was ex earache. From:

Answer: This sounds pretty true to me.The staffer will be Jorge.He was an Earache employee in late 90's in our NYC office and like most of the staffers, being fans of new heavy music, they would suggest bands all the time to myself as the label boss,I am the one with the ultimate power of veto over signing bands to the label. Darkest Hour I remember - at that time- were just a bad ATG clone to my ears..we are superbly picky at this label about bands we sign, they really have to have something fresh to offer, in my opinion.
Well in hindsight, you could say I was a moron (again!) to pass on Darkest Hour- D'oh!!-that it was a mistake since DH have build up a massive following and sold extremely well for Victory.The bands main influences according to their website are Carcass. ATG and Entombed- all bands we'd done in the 90's, who did it first, and better imho.
So if Jorges label Anti=Flag did the early EP's on CD then thats great, more power to them for picking up a cool band.I wish I had listened to Jorge!

Judge For Yourself - here DH doing Demons.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why Cult Of Luna?

Question: so what drew earache to cult of luna they arnt exactly typical earache affair to be honest sure the root of their sound is justin k broadrick influenced, but its the other influences that throw me off eg radiohead, iceland\'s sigur ros and denmark\'s mew. From:

Answer: When Cult Of Luna's debut came out on Rage of Achilles records it caused a major stir in our office and we felt 'here is a VERY special band'. The debut was heavy but in an entirely original way- the use of sonically head-caving passages with more atmospheric quieter interludes during the often long songs impressed us a lot.They mixed the heaviness of metal with the intelligence of hardcore, and showcased a different way of thinking-We had to work with the band.There's no Radiohead stuff that we can hear on the debut, but I know what you mean, its now their trademark.
During later albums the band expanded the highs and the lows even more, and the Radiohead-isms came to the fore more, but still never more than say 20% of an album. If you hear their side-band Khoma -1 album released on RoadRunner records- you can hear the styles reversed-ie, 80% Radiohead, 20% crushing heaviness.Its this potent combo which makes them a special band.
We like the style of the band, they dont seem too out of place to us-Ok its not Deicide, but if you hear our Godflesh output from the 90's you can hear a similar type of vibe.Also-Try Callisto from Finland is my recommendation- their stuff is often overlooked - the album we released in 2005 is terrific and if you like COL, theres a fair chance you'll love Callisto too.
heres Callisto doing 'Wormwood' live 2007

80's Government 'Enterprise Allowance Scheme' & labels?

Question: Is it possible that without the young enterprise scheme earache wouldnt have existed? ive read in a number of books that it was one of the key reasons why indie labels started to pop up in the 80s. Alan Mcgee of creation records said that without it his label wouldnt have formed as he would have been in the job centre not doing label stuff! From:

Answer: Yep- you can thank UK prime minister Maggie Thatcher for the existence of McGee's Creation Records and Earache Records then, thats a fact! Because it was her Government which introduced the Enterprise Allowance Scheme- basically a way to reduce the shocking UK jobless figures at the time, by encouraging people off the dole and into running their own a business.The jobless figures were a politically sensitive issue back then, as now, and Governments would try anything to reduce the number claiming benefits.
It enabled people to become self-employed and in control of their own destiny- remarkably, The Govermnent even paid your business 40 pounds a week for the first year to help you along..but you had to stump up 1000 pounds of your own money to show it was a legit enterprise and you were slightly commited to actually running a business. The take up was huge- nearly every label i knew in that era was formed that way, COR records, Rise Above etc. It was really successful because it offered a way for many would-be musicians, comics, designers, arists etc to get the jobless tag off their backs and so have time to concentrate on building a was'nt just for budding record label owners, anyone could join.
I don't know if a similar scheme exists right now in UK to give a leg-up to budding entrepreneurs, maybe the lottery funding is the current way for new budding labels owners to get investment, I dunno?

Sleep & Godflesh vinyl on Kreation records?

Question: What\'s the story with the Kreation Records re-releases of some of the classic Earache releases? WIth Sleep\'s Holy Mountian, and now two of the early Godflesh albums, should we expect more? From:

Answer: Well they are new, 100% legitimate limited-run(2000 from memory)Vinyl LP pressings issued by Seattle's Kreation records under license from Earache.It's quite unusual for us to allow anyone to print our records, we keep a tight rein on who is allowed a licence to print our catalog, especially bands as revered as Sleep and Godflesh.
What happened was we noticed a lot of fans asking for vinyl printings of our long out of print back catalog, and since lavish vinyl is quite expensive to make, we do it mainly for our new current bands.A couple of years ago, Earache looked around for reliable partners to have a go at making some of this back catalog on vinyl LP available again, and bringing some vinyl back to life..It was our great vinyl licence give-away prompted by our label manager here in Uk who is a total vinyl NUT and wants our back catalog to be available on LP- err mainly i suspect for his own collection!
So, as well as Kreation, Belgium based Painkiller records also licensed a couple of slabs of wax - doing a lavish Bolt thrower pic LP and lavish Morbid Angel pic LP vinyl under licence.Night of the Vinyl Dead are also slated to do a Cathedral LP from us.
Many new labels it seems are mixing doing new bands with picking off the rights for vinyl for long-lost albums from the bigger labels, so its a thriving scene, driven i suspect by ebay and the hordes of frankly nutty vinyl collectors out there.
Kreation seem to have done the most to promote their Lp's, going as far as contacting the original band members for quotes or extra material for the sleeves, and doing a splurge of different colored waxes for the collectors & ebay market.

Carcass on RoadRunner in the 90s?

Question: Did earache really nearly loose carcass at one point to roadrunner? as jeff mentions it on the necro dvd, how close were you to loosing them? From:

Answer: Yeah as Jeff mentions in the documentary film- and it was complete news to me- Carcass nearly signed with Roadrunner in the early 90s.At that point, Carcass had completed the 2 album deal with us, which covered the debut and 'Symphonies' albums, and as Earache was still a developing label, with a few minor breakthrough extreme acts under its belt, the band looked around for a better home, Roadrunner back then, as now, were THE powerhouse label of metal in the world, I recall they were breaking through with Sepultura and Type O Negative on the USA Billboard charts and scoring gold albums,which was a major acheivement for metal back then, and had even formed a sublabelRoadRacer to cater for the more heavier end of the spectrum. As Jeff mentions in the film, the deal from RR was'nt to their liking -it would'nt be much money and for up to 8 albums in length, which was typical of RR back then I guess.Earache's counter offer would have been for 2 albums on a 50/50 profit share so the band chose to sign to Earache for the 2nd time, and the resulting albums were Necroticism and Heartwork (which Earache licensed to Columbia).After that the band signed direct with Columbia records, a part of SONY, but Carcass had massive disagreements with the label over their sound and direction, so were dropped, and the album shelved.
Now owning the shelved album, The band came back to Earache for a 3rd time,enabling album Swansong to see a release on Earache in 1996, but sadly the band split up before it was even out, and Carcass was dead for the next decade, leaving Earache to keep the records in print and keep the legacy of their great output going.Guitarists Steer and Amott continued in music during this time, former with Firebird and the latter with very successful Arch Enemy.
Seeing the pulling power of reformed bands from the 90s, prompted Carcass to consider a reformation in 2007 - and in summer 2008 the reactivated Carcass toured heavily all over the globe.I personally doubt the band will make a new album, however, even if they were to make a newie, I doubt it will be on Earache, unless they come to us for a 4th time!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The next in line "Classic Re-issues" CD +DVD

Question: what is next in the line of classic re-issues? Are there going to be any scorn or godflesh with extras? From:

Answer: We get loads of emails asking about this series of Earache titles coming out with FREE bonus DVD attached.The Earache "Classic Re-issues" series titles have so far sold incredibly well, so we are glad they are being appreciated and bought by fans.
We definately want to keep the series going but we are rapidly running out of actual pro-shot live onstage footage from back in the day to make into DVDs to include as the bonuses, so the next titles will be ones were we have arranged to interview the members about the making of the albums,kinda like a documentary where the musicians look back at their seminal albums which have appeared on the label,and explain to fans what it was all about, in their own words. The Carcass documentary film "Pathologist's report Parts I-V" was wildly popular because the band had split in the meantime, so it was the first time the members got to explain what was going on back then.

Our current wish-list is Lee Dorrian on camera talking in depth about early Cathedral albums "Forest Of Equilibrium" & "The Ethereal Mirror", and also Morbid Angel including David Vincent discussing on camera "Blessed Are The Sick"- both of which are agreed in principle to take place.We are finding that fans are craving to see and hear the artists of these groundbreaking, genre-defining albums actually talk about the process and the feelings and motivations behind the recordings, in their own words, because its something that wikipedia or scanned-in old interviews can't communicate.

A latter period Napalm Death DVD should really take place, Shane Embury has a story to tell like non other, a story thats quite crucial to the history of Grindcore, also a Godflesh Streetcleaner re-issue should take place also,Justin has a massive story to tell-- maybe also something by Cult Of Luna and Akercocke.Scorn is quite a long-shot, I personally would'nt mind seeing the Evanescence line up of Mick and Nick discussing why and how they made such groundbreaking music, back in 1994.

Earache is rapidly turning out a production line of excellent metal documentaries, and having seen the Get Thrashed film,which is an excellent overview of the 80s Thrash scene, we are making some plans to do a totally in-depth film about the explosion of the 90s Death Metal/Grindcore scene ourselves.Also we are aware of our responsibility to archive and save for posterity the ideas and thoughts of the main players in the scene, as sadly quite a few have passed away now,like Jesse Pintado (Napalm Death) Johnny Morrow (Iron Monkey) & Vitek (Decapitated)so their thoughts are lost forever.

Friday, October 03, 2008

TLAM tour backstage pass in new Metal Hammer?

Question: strange i know! but i brought a metal hammer magazine today and in it was a purple plip which says its a access all areas and venues pass for the euro tour of thrashing like a maniac! i was wondering is this a valid ticket? i know silly question!! From:

Answer: It wont allow you into the club for free, but if you come along to any of the Thrashing Like A Maniac dates and headed for the backstage area, wearing the purple backstage pass, I doubt if anyone will stop you- and the bands will be chuffed to meet you- so see you there!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Japanese Ultragore CLAYMATION?? WTF!!?

Wallace & Gromit was never like this...

How to get work doing bands' album covers?

Question: I\'m a graphic designer, and am interested in knowing how your label, or generally any label (preferably metal) looks for designers to do album artwork or promo stuff for bands. Is it that you have to possess a exceptional portfolio with years of experience or is it sort of if you can do it and have the style, then go for it sort of thing?

Also, within the indie lables like Earache, does the band choose who does the art or does the label decide that? I\'ve read many times in design resource books that in major lables, the lables typically deal with the designer whereas indie labels has the band/artist deal with the designer which usually results in better artwork for the band.

Thanks a bunch in advance. From:

Answer: Earache has released over 400 albums, and for every single one of them the band has had the freedom to design & choose the art for the album.I have heard some horror stories about other labels, even Indie metal ones, who have foisted album covers on bands they they plainly did'nt like.We just don't do that- neither do most Indie labels to be fair.
Generally,the label's role is to take the band's creative vision for an album cover and then its us who gets to work and finds a suitable artist who can execute that vision- Earache's design team will then work with the artist to make sure its up to standard, the artwork copyrights are secured, and also delivered on time and on budget (which is harder than you think) involving the band along the way, to get their approval.
We deal with many debut bands who are pretty naive when it comes to artwork- often they insist a 'best mate' does the album cover whereas we are used to hiring world class artists on a weekly basis. A common fault is also- their sole suggestion can be a quite literal interpretation of the album title - a dead body falling thru a grave for Enter the Grave by Evile springs to mind.
Equally often, bands go to the other end of the scale and want say HR GIGER (Carcass' Heartwork LP above was designed by GIGER) or some Star Wars character in the art, which is not really on, for an unknown band.
Creative artwork ideas and concepts are not a bands strong point usually (we sign them for the music) so we sometimes struggle to get them to tell us what they want, mostly they like the guy who did the cover of another band that caught their eye recently ( Colin Marks is benefiting from this effect right now).
This dilemma is where unknown artists can get their foot in the door, because our fave thing is when we get random artists who supply us by email 4-5-6 complete, ready made album covers, with space cunningly left for logo & title, with price tag attached for use.We love these, because we can pass these ready-made covers to our bands, and you'd be surprised how many bands say they love one of the images and it becomes their album cover.
Another way to catch our attention is on Deviant Art website- many bands scour the site looking for suitable art styles and then let us know who to contact.Good luck with your art!