Tuesday, December 30, 2008

David Vincent's Bullet Belt.

Question: Dig, simple question, I just would like to know why you gave David Vincent a bullet belt when he signed with you in 1989. He recently was arrested for having the belt in Italy, have you read? From:

Answer: Yeah I read that story too...its crazy what you have to do at airports these days.Post 9/11 the list of things you cant take on a plane is huge now, and really annoying- no liquids at all, not even water, no razor blades, no scissors, and certainly no bullet belts.Fair play to David for sticking to his Metal fashion credentials, but I guess he forgot how officious the airport security folks can be these days, especially in Europe.
Modern Irish thrashers Gama Bomb wear bullet belts all the time, and even have a song named in honor to the metalhead's favourite accessory, but they too have abandoned travelling with them now - Bullet Belts cause too much hassle at security borders/airports/ferry ports etc to be worth the effort.I guess the peabrained security assume cos you have some bullets around your waist, you also have a gun too! Dimwits!

To answer your question, yeah, back in the late 80s when I signed Morbid Angel, my label was hardly anything, it had barely released 6 or 7 titles in the UK, and though the early bands like Napalm Death & Carcass were appreciated in the Hc/metal underground, Earache had little distribution outside UK.
At the same time, Morbid Angel were a talented young death metal band based out of Tampa, in Florida.The band had a well-received demo tape which was a must-have on the underground metal tape-traders circuit (much like Mp3 download/swapping now) but no actual album out, which was odd given their underground hero status.Turns out they were being picky about which label they would sign too, having turned down several offers before mine.It was a breakthrough moment when Morbid Angel agreed to sign for the first time to Earache- (they subsequently signed/extended 2 more times during the 90's), it set the label on course to become pretty established, and within 4 years of signing to Earache, Morbid Angel themselves became the first death metal act to ink a major label record deal- with Giant/Warners.

Of course none of us knew this would happen at the time,so in hindsight, when I flew over to Tampa in 89 to meet the band and oversee the recording of the debut album - my first time ever on a plane actually-it was an auspicious meeting of similar 'extreme minds'.I remember Trey's mind was blown when I showed him the Carcass debut LP- he was fascinated and impressed that a label could have the balls to release an LP with such extremely gory artwork-he told me he liked how Earache would not attempt to censor or tone down his art, because Morbid Angel's music and satanic lyrical stance was considered highly 'out there' by other, more established labels of the period ,like NYC's Combat Records, the label which did Death's late 80s LPs for instance.

One thing I noticed about the band was how dedicated they were- living together in a tumbledown house which they shared with a few early fans, the band were dirt-poor, any money they had went into better and more equipment, nothing else mattered 'cept the band, and the punishing rehearsal schedule they went through in the basement of that house- 5-6-7 hours solid, on a daily basis - meant that when I saw them play in rehearsal they absolutely floored me.By contrast a UK band like Napalm Death would barely rehearse maybe 1 time a week, or just whenever a big gig was coming up, this was for logistical reasons, because the ND members lived in different cities- Birmingham, Coventry, Liverpool etc.Morbid Angel were on a whole completely different level.
Spending time in Tampa meant I got to meet Frank at Aces Records - a market stall- which was the only place where underground metal was sold, we struck up a deal so Earache releases would be on sale aswell- Ace's was probably the first store in USA to stock them.At some point I guess David had shown interest in a bullet belt, which were highly prized by metalheads but impossible to get hold of in Tampa, dont forget this was at a time before punk/metal stores sprung up to sell accessories to the masses, as the scene was highly underground at that point, you made your own fashion.So as a signing gift I gave David a bullet belt, it might well have been my own, but i dont recall. Good of him to remember all these years later!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Effect of High Street records shops demise?

Question: Hi, with the demise of the local record shop, and slowly the highstreet stockist (woolworths, Zavi, MVC etc)has Earache suffered with respect to attracting fans to new releases? or has the popularity of Myspace etc compensated? Also what percentage of Earache sales do CDs and downloads make up? thanks From: gethindavies05@aol.com

Answer: Yes, its a time-bomb to all labels - as more record stores go to the wall in the current situation, its not good news for us.Without the High street outlets stocking the Cds, many artists lose their retail visiblity, so fans who like to browse in store are forced to dig deeper - often to specialist record shops or via online - to get their metal, and many fans simply arent accustomed to shopping that way, yet.

Woolworths was mainly stocking Top 40 so that doesnt affect too many Indie metal labels, but Zavvi on the other hand had a massive metal section and used to support the metal labels a LOT, advertising big titles in the metal magazines, so with their demise it only leaves HMV still operating as a UK high street operation selling metal Cds.
Its a strange anomaly that anyone can see that music is immensely popular with fans- every kid you meet has ipod ear buds in, and the world is enjoying music more than ever, BUT not via those shiny round silver discs, which are showing their age, technologically, Mp3 music files are the format of choice, soon to be music streams infact.

A Knock on effect of the chain stores closing down, hardly mentioned in the national media, is the folding of Pinnacle distribution, which closed its doors a few days before Xmas.Pinnacle was a famous UK distributor of indie labels, of 2 decades standing, and naturally carrying some big metal companies, many of which won't be paid for their sales now.Some of the labels have lost all their sales income for last 3 months, and even for the most hardy of record companies, its a hammer blow some wont recover from.

Cds still make up 85% of Earache's sales so its a worrying situation, paid-for downloads and other digital income (ringtones) is growing extremely fast, and major corporations are now paying for use of music- the popularity of the new Nokia 'Comes with Music' mobile phone and advertising revenue from the billions of streamed music tracks from Myspace.com and youtube.com are soon to be shared with the labels (well the ones who sign up to the deals offered), this is big news, but its not yet enough income to replace Cds. Many labels including Earache are diversifying into T-shirt merchandising and licensing music to Video games or movies, some are trying to get a small slice of the live income of its artists aswell.
In the long run, the signs are that paid-for digital music income will actually become the music labels saviour.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The MDP - Alaskan Industrial metal

Question: Sup Dig! Seasons greetings and everything you\'re probably tired of hearing about by now. It\'s been officially a year since I started asking you blog questions on industrial and how to progress as an artist. You\'re fucking awesome dude.

Quick recap: Made a demo, got big on the internet, wanted to know how transition this from bedroom hobby to a possible career. Asked your opinions on the genre, had a nice chat with Al (gave me an address to send stuff in the future), and you tracked down my myspace and said it was \"pretty decent industrial\". Now on to the current:

I\'m not going to make any progress unless I get off my ass and get out and about. I played a few shows this last summer for the first time, and they\'ve gone pretty well. My last gig was at the request of Kynt and Vyxsin (goth TV celebs, check YouTube) when they came here to visit, since Kynt was a fan from my internet success. They put me in touch with the event holders here that run the big events here in state who are dying to get me around, which brings me to my conundrum:

The event folks here love me, maybe because I\'m the only industrial act here trying (or because I only ask for burgers as payment), but they want \"my band\" to play all over state and at thier events starting January, and they\'re even dangling traveling to Seattle to play there over my head. The thing is, the \"events\" here are all electronic/techno/rave-oriented ones as are their connections in the lower 48. I\'m DYING to get out of Alaska, I can\'t take this Russia-Canada sandwich anymore. I don\'t mind the rave atmosphere now, but my fear is if I start doing this whole \"rave techno\" scene stuff for the next 6 months to a year, is that the scene I\'ll be pigeon-holed in to event holders? I\'m worried that even with this experience under my belt, if I try and get involved with rock/metal promoters, they\'ll go \"we don\'t do techno\" which is what all the venues around here said when I tried to get traditional gigs. But this is a fucking-hick state, so my perception may be scewed. Does shit even work that way, or am I over-thinking this too much?

By the time I fly the fuck out of here, I\'ll have an CD of \"great\" songs as opposed to \"pretty decent\" (the stuff on my myspace) that I plan on sending to Al. There\'s a few specific artists in your roster I hold in the highest regard I\'d kill to hear feedback from. Maybe if the material doesn\'t suck that can happen :)

Answer:Simple answer is play anywhere anytime- so many other things spin off from shows, not just the playing on stage part, but simply being visible and networking at events gets you connected to the scene faster than anything.Also blog and tweet your thoughts to the world incessantly, 24-7, and keep your myspace fans updated at least daily with the latest info. Its basic promotion activity all new bands need to undertake.
I visited the myspace again and noticed your cover of Haddaway's early 90's pop-techno hit is the big draw- thats cool, you already figured out A COVER is the simplest and tried and tested way to get heard above the noise, so I reckon you should immediately do a remix of Katy Perry I Kissed a Girl- stick it on MS & YouTube, it'd be huge and make your name. Like this attempt, which has racked up 3 Million plays.. but you'd do it waay better i expect:

To be totally bleeding edge, make sure you put a "donking" techno beat on it, like this beat from UK's Blackout Crew who represent whats mass- appealing to the UK dancefloor pop-rave hordes right now:

Those 2 LA Djs seem like great allies for you, seems a great connection to have- so keep it going..As for rave vs industrial debate..if Rave events are the ones calling, then you certainly are a rave act- you should deal with the prejudices of the industrial rock fraternity later, when you have a full band backing you up onstage.

Y'know this post really makes me wanna hear Ultraviolence track "Strangled" again- this dark, angry, metallic,hi tempo industrialised rave style song from 98 was astonishingly unique for the time, and still sounds totally 'out-there' ten years on- taken from the Killing God album, on Earache:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Confessor & re-isue artwork

Question: Hi Dig,
Was just wondering was Mosh 44 \'Condemned\' ever reissued, or just the initial pressing? I managed to win myself a mint/unplayed cd copy on ebay recently!! While on the subject of re-issues, why is it that some of the earlier stuff (like Entombed\'s \'Clandestine\' appear to have inferior quality sleeve artwork to the original pressings? The Godflesh \'crumbling flesh\' website says a similar thing about the \'Streetcleaner\' sleeve artwork.
Cheers and keep up the good work
Regards Craig From:

Answer: Confessor has never been re-issued by us since the actual 1991 release so its an original you have there.The band were criminally under-appreciated when we did them because the label was mostly doing extreme death metal and grind, so fans ignored them even tho we thought they were killer.
As for the artwork, in many cases it does cause us immense problems when we re-issue early 90's albums because sourcing the original art is hard, the art back then was pre computer, it was all designed by hand, using paste-up and transfered to film for printing the covers by photographic means.Now a decade and a half later, when we come to re-issue an album, while we have a library of archived art in the office, for some titles its not always possible to source the original art, so we use hi res digital scanners to scan in the cover, which is only as good as the printing at the time.Paradoxically the resolution of the film used on the originals is greater than the resolution of digital scanners today, meaning on some occasions the art looks lower quality.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Landmine Marathon on Earache?

Question: is there any reason why earache isnt working with landmine marathon? im wondering because its one of those bands that on paper you should be considering their influences appear to be a whos who of earache bands.

Answer: In short, not just yet.We are following the band's progress, from afar, just like we do with a zillion other promising acts.Its a shame i havent seen em live- they gotta tour UK for that to happen, as my trips to USA lately are few and far between.
After an amazing write-up on my favourite music blog INVISIBLE ORANGES we checked out the myspace and its pretty cool to see them praising the old Earache grind/death metal stuff from the past.We're chuffed with that!
The band also appear in the latest REVOLVER mag aswell, and vokillist Grace posts a highly entertaining blog on Revolvers site too, which makes them stand out from other bands and shows understanding of promotion etc.All in all, yeah I take your point that they have all the ingredients to be on this label, but no offers have been made.I see they already have a label anyways and its not always cool to muscle in on bands who are already happy elsewhere.
Another reason is we are picky and downright snobbish about bands - frankly, they need to blow us away to get signed.I find this a lot with young bands who worship the old Earache style and sound, they sound eerily familiar, but much like an old school pal who you meet again aged 30 or so- they are unrecognisable.To my, admittedly shot-though ears, Landmine Marathon sound like an polite, diminished echo of the past.Grindcore is supposed to be feral, unhinged and fucking off the hook.
The only bands in America who shock me are OCEANO and INSECT WARFARE.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Cult Of Luna DVD in the works & Steve Austin's (TITD) Supernova label.

Question: This is a great section of your website, I always enjoy reading the questions/answers? I have 2 questions:

1. Are you planning to release a Cult of Luna DVD any time soon, I understand a gig in London was recorded earlier this year with the full lineup?

And (totally unrelated)

2. Have you checked out this INTERVIEW (link below) with Steve Austin of Today is the Day, where he discusses in some length his general disdain of the metal music industry? He mentions his label employs someone who used to work for Earache. Just wondered what Earache\'s opinions are of his views?




Answer: Earache will release the first Cult oF Luna DVD entitled "Fire Was Born" on March 23rd 2009.Filmed at a special one hour and a half performance at the Scala in London earlier this year on multiple Hi Def cameras, its currently being edited and having the audio mixed by Johannes Persson.In Sweden it will be released as a standalone DVD, but for everywhere else Earache intends to give it away FREE to fans who purchase a special edition of Eternal Kingdom CD.The CD/DVD edition will be priced as a regular CD so the DVD is genuinely a free bonus.

As for Steve Austins interview- wow, that was one hell of a fascinating read, because I personally know all the folks mentioned in this interview - I gave Gordon and Curran their first music industry jobs, as Earache's Press Officers in NYC, a job they both did very well.Crucially though I've never met Steve himself,our paths somehow never crossed, so I have no insights into the dude at all.First thing to notice is that the purpose of the interview was obviously to hype up his Supernova Records label (Curran will have arranged it)and to do this, Steve goes to great lengths to bash his long term ex-label Relapse.It just reads like he's out for revenge for what he percieves as a lack of support/respect for TITD by the label.
What I find most alarming of all, is his singing the praises of SONY/RED for their generous extended credit line enabling him to manufacture CDs and Lps for the label.Hang on- when did the global corporate behemoth SONY become the Indie music scene's best friend, yet a totally Independent label like Relapse which is run by 2 music fanatics become its worst enemy?Thats just wrong, and vengeful.NO label is whiter than white, because occasionally they have to act in their own self-interests to survive, especailly in tough times, and if that means telling an underperforming band they cant have what they want, the toys go out the pram on a regular basis.
Anyway, hats off to the bloke for having the courage of his convictions, and giving his label a go DIY style.I notice something like 9 out of the first 20 releases are TITD live albums, to me that looks like a vanity label right there, tho its clever to have a proven seller, to even out the risks inherent in new bands.Steve talks a lot of common sense in this, i agree with his views on Mp3s and digital music.
Sinking $150,000 of his own money into it shows real intent,and I wish him every success, but perhaps Steve has never heard that long standing music industry joke.
Q: How do you make a million dollars in the Music Industry? A: Start with 2 million.

Look- heres all you need to know about the music business: When Art meets Commerce, head-butting ensues.
All bands enter the music scene as starry eyed fans, their artistic concerns are paramount, any commercial aspects are downright boring.This is how it is.I've never yet met a new band with a business plan, thats in 20 years, and this is a good thing actually, because if such a spreadsheet-toting band existed you can bet they would be beyond terrible.
However nearly all of them - well 9 out of 10- leave the scene because of financial issues..like when they travel long drives to play to a handful of people, do that enough days and you become seriously in debt.The bottom line is- even if the music is awesome and cutting edge and praised by critics, its the fans at the end of the day who decide the fate of bands.You are the ones who buy the music,buy the T shirts, buy the gig tickets... or don't.You have the power.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What percentage of bands fail?

Question: It says on the Documentry about bands and labels Dig! that 85-90% of records released by labels never recoup and that a label\'s fail rate is 9 out of 10 of bands that they try to break through. In your experience is this really the case with labels or is it just the case with major labels? From:

Answer: Short answer is, and it depends on your definition of making it/failure, but yeah its pretty much true, the odds of a signed band making it to a level of 'success' leading to a long term lucratve career, are 10%-15% or thereabouts.I haven't seen the behind the scenes music documentary "DIG!" but its got a great name, I'll give it that.I checked it on youtube and it seemingly came out in 2004 and followed the careers of 2 newish for the time bands trying to 'make it' during that year, The Dandy Warhols, and Brian Jonestown Massacre.
Now its 2008 almost 2009 , and you could say that since I only recognise one of the bands, the film's own success rate at picking bands, was 50%.Hmmm thats not bad.

All labels operate in the same way Major and Indie- basically we are all at the casino, betting on our bands- the budgets might differ, the majors are congregated at the High roller tables and the Indies are in the cheap seats with the slots ..still,does'nt matter who you are, or most alarmingly, even what you do, the odds are stacked 10 to 1 against a successful outcome.Statistics don't lie-the most common fate of signed bands is failure, and for each one which carves out a successful career, there are approx 9 others who get the dreaded "sorry, you're dropped" letter after an album or 2, which usually results in a flurry of recriminations and accusations of lack of support.Any label which bucks this trend, which is mostly new labels who are enjoying the success of a flurry of new bands coming from a new scene, with a string of hits, these labels are revered in the industry for a while, but over a longer time period after the first flush of their sucess has died away, they too end up at the industry average of 10% rate it seems.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Earache Going Digital & 360 degree deals?

Question: how has earache found the transition to digital music, a lot of labels seem to be going for the 360 approach. From:

Answer:Good question- there is always a lot of online buzz and chatter about this subject, and I read an interesting posting on INVISIBLE ORANGES blog recently, which summed up the current scenario very well, giving a balanced arguement and realistic suggestions for once, rather than the typical "labels = bad, free mp3s = good" stance, which sadly seems to be the consensus among the blogterati.
The internet & the digitisation of music, making it freely available to copy, has driven a huge upsurge in interest in all forms of music.Certain forms of obscure niche music which had been hitherto off the radar to most music buyers, because of lack of instore CD racking space devoted to it, those scenes are now enjoying somewhat of a boom.If you are a fan of Korean pop singers or Peruvian pan pipe/flute music, this is an amazing time for you, as you can download exactly what you want, to your hearts desire.I count Earache's extreme metal catalog as a similar type of niche which is benefitting from exposure via the internet.The hard part for serious labels which have fully staffed offices and a substantial catalogue is to actually try to make money to survive and continue to release decent music, faced with the onslaught of so called fans who seem to be settling more and more for crappy CDr burns off a mate or downlaodable files, instead of the 'real product'.

Our own artist Gama Bomb recently came out in favor and actually encouraging fans to download albums for free- they are a new band so all exposure can only be good for them, but they do admit they'd probably not say that if they were a huge selling act, and had more to personally lose than gain by encouraging it.To test their convictions, and for a laugh, I might suggest Earache gives away their next album for free via the internet, it would save us making Cds and Vinyl anyway, and because we do have a 270 deal with the band, it might actually be the smart thing to do, as we also handle the song publishing and merchandising for the band and receive a small slice of that income aswell, it makes it economically sensible at least.
360 is shorthand for when a label has a stake in and a slice of the income from all possible sources, usually meaning 1) recording,2) song publishing, 3) merchandising and sometimes 4)gig performance fee income aswell.Earache's deals might be accurately termed 270 deals.

The inside scoop is that labels are starting to do very well from digital music,the legal download services, iTunes being the biggest, suprisingly do now actually pay substantial sums to labels, including Earache.I guess all those hundreds of millions of folks who got ipods sooner of later discovered the itunes store itself and now the novelty of ripping cds into it has worn off, they absolutely dont mind now shelling out 99c for a track, knowing its decent quality, no DRM, highly convenient and legal.

Our problem at Earache nowadays is dealing with the multitude of legal download platforms which are follwing in iTunes footsteps, and seem to spring up from nowhere, and all want to include our catalog on their site.We must get one per day who assume that Earache is desperate to launch on their unproven website and will pay for the previlege of being represented there.Its fair to say we dont see eye to eye with these upstart tech guys, just because they developed some nifty sofware that streams and sells mp3s they reckon they're doing us a favor by even offering their services,but we do try to co-operate with them as best we can because we know its the future.
The culture of the upstart,high tech, very fast moving software industry is so alien to the culture of the more measured, long term copyright holding, music industry folks that its a wonder any deals get done at all.This failure of either side to accomodate the other back during the infancy of the net in mid-late 90s is the major reason that legal digital music was so long in coming, leaving the way wide open for the illegal sites like the famous trailblazing Napster, then the later sites likes of Kazzaa/Limewire/Soulseek and other newer p2p torrent sites to claim the territory, and victory.

Realising their mistakes,most of the major labels hired technology experts - EMI hired an ex-Google tech guy for instance- specifically so they can form a closer understanding with the technology companies.Myspace Music also launched in September 2008, which promised to pay the labels for the millions of free streamed songs on which the brand built its fame from 2004 onwards.Sadly the deal to pay for music included only the 4 Majors, and excluded the Indie labels,which was a shock, but that is hopefully being rectified soon we think.
Most of the big online companies making up many of the largest companies in the world have recently concluded deals to pay labels for the use of their music -Google/Amazon/Microsoft/Nokia etc.The explosion in music based video games- Guitar Hero/ Rockband where we have several acts appearing, has undoubtedly helped too.
Shockwaves went around the industry when major label Atlantic Records recently announced 54% of their turnover was derived from digital music, this was amazing, because even as recently as 2006, this figure was commonly around 10%.
All in all- the future for legal digital music is rosier than many pundits think, far from being the death knell for the recording industry, its proving to be a great opportunity for the the smarter labels, those than can manage to cross the cultural divide and embrace the tech revolution, they might yet even end up emerging stronger.
Heres the TV ad campaign which the UK DVD industry is running to dissuade people from downloading bootleg films on DVD:

Monday, December 08, 2008

Earache endorsements for extreme athletes?

Question: Has earache ever considered getting involved in other aspects of counter culture as far as sponsership and endorsements. The best example of another label doing this is deathwish inc sponsering ufc fighers which obvously gets the label name out to a much wider audience. Since earache takes its font from thrasher magazine how about endorsing skaters etc? From:

Answer: It's rare we endorse athletes/sports because its gotta be totally hog-wild and super-extreme for us to take any interest.Earache does get floods of offers all the time to sponsor this skater or endorse that sport, but its fairly tame stuff. Anyway, quite a few of the people in the skateboard industry are our friends- we often give those companies music to use in their DVDs, but never got round to endorsing a skater for some reason.
Years ago I was a huge fan of bareknuckle backyard brawler KIMBO SLICE (see pic above) and we deserately wanted to work with endorsing him, but no luck, he's now a major upcoming draw on ELITE XC.
Heres Kimbo in action:

In the mid-late 90s Earache was one of the first people to pick up on and we did endorse the newly formed Freestyle Motocross team METAL MULITIA
heres a clip of the king of freestyle motocross :

Somthing we'd consider endorseing in the future might be XMA athletes- the Bo staff routine is so fast and intense to watch it freaks me out.
heres why:

Friday, December 05, 2008

Gama Bomb & Bonded BB are on Vinyl LP for Xmas

Question: hi there i was wondering how you decide which albums get a vinyl release.the reason for me asking is that vinyl is my prefered choice and would like to know why evile and sss got a vinyl release but gamma bomb violator and bonded by blood didnt also why was decapitated the negation released on vinyl and not organic hallucinos finally how rare is the green vinyl release of domination by morbid angel would i have to go to ebay to get one thanks simon From: sidav@hotmail.co.uk

Answer: Simple answer is if we are pretty sure we can sell 1000 copies on LP, then we think about printing it.It doesnt sound like a lot, but strangely its actually not always possible for us to sell that amount, for proof, I simply have walk 10 metres and look at the hundreds of unsold EVILE double gatefold 2 x 12inch Black vinyl LPs sitting on our stock storeroom shelf.This is probably the fastest rising Thrash band in UK, and I have unsold vinyl.Anybody want some?

What fans often don't realise is the huge costs involved in making a vinyl LP - the process is so archaic and time consuming,involving dipping the master into vats of steaming hot silver liquid, its positively medieval and wasteful, hence is 10x the cost to making Cds. Its this outrageous cost difference and general lack of interest in the format which prevents us making more vinyl. The good news you want to hear is that yes, Gama Bomb and Bonded By Blood will be available on LP from our webstores soon for sale, hopefully by xmas, and in limited edition colours- out of 1000 made I think 100 are on clear wax, 150 red 250 orange and 500 black.They are made in USA,we dont have them on store yet- so watch out for them.
To be honest we have this discussion- more like heated disagreements, actually- a lot in the earache offices, I can't stand vinyl, cos personally I have not played a vinyl LP for maybe 10 years, I dont even own a vinyl player, or 'record player' as the dratted wind-up belt-driven contraptions were commonly know as.Dan the Uk label manager on the other hand is a Vinyl NUT, and fights the analogue corner hard, insisting on LP releases wherever possible- so you can thank him for your collection, cos if i had my way, ALL vinyl would be banished for ever!! Mwahahaaa!!
But even I can see that the interest in the LP format is booming nowadays- questions I get asked on a daily basis on this very blog the most are like " how many copies were made of blah blah vinyl and err whats it worth?" Ive hate answereing such questions because i'm not a pricing service for ebay sellers. The easiest way is to check our EARACHE COMPLETE CATALOG page- click on the album title to see an informative list with photos of the special editions made back in the 90s.
As for Decapitated- all their albums were on vinyl, i think, but the last one,it slipped by I suppose. Green Morbid angel vinyl is original early 90s vintage so fetches top dollars on ebay.
heres a video explaining how vinyl is made:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Earache Xmas party 2008- all welcome FREE

Question: Hi i was wondering who is playing the xmas party this year, and how do i get a ticket? from: dave.horton65@hotmail.com

Answer: Yes you too can get to hang out with the Earache crew and watch some of our finest up n coming bands- with free jagermeister if the extremely generous Cellar Trends folks will sort us out this year with a case of the stuff!.4 bands are playing at Rescue Rooms, NOTTINGHAM on Thurs 18th December, its FREE to get in as usual and everyone 14+ is welcome.You don't need a ticket, just text the number on the flyer for info and turn up..SEE YOU THERE!

Were NWOBHM band HELL an influence?

Question: Was the band Hell a big influence on earache at all? As from reading interviews with them yourself, andy sneap and the guys from heresy were frequent atendees of their shows. the influence on andy is blatent but im just wondering did it have an influence on you as far as your own bands or starting the label? Also what are the odds of you ever releasing material by your own projects dig as you did mention them in the terroizer interview a few years back. From:

Answer: I'd forgotten all about the local Derby/Notts 80's NWOBHM band HELL until Andy Sneap started to sing their praises in an interview he did for Wicked World/Earache where he mentions how they were a big influence on him- I think they lived in his village, Ripley.As for me, I can't say I was a big fan, as I mostly was listening to and preferred manic Hardcore punk bands, plus the fast, punky, down n dirty early 80's UK metal acts like Motorhead, Vardis and Tank, quickly leading onto the equally speedy big 4 Thrash bands coming out of USA.Slayer is my main influence, always will be, they changed my life, quite literally, as the unspoken aim of my label's early output was to 'Out-Slayer Slayer', which is tough to do, beleive me.
Back in early 80's it was really unusual for HC and metal dues to mix, but Nottingham was luckily quite a close knit and open minded town, I do remember seeing them live,I guess the dudes from Lawnmower Deth dragged me down to see Hydra, the early incarnation of Sabbat, and I would have dragged the Heresy dudes along too.
As for my own bands- theres no need to release anything as they were just hobby, non-serious 'bands' designed to have a blast and a bit of fun, with the aim to make noize and make people think, in the early 80's.Both revelled in short fast blasts of Noize, in many ways they predated and hinted at the style Earache would release later in the decade.You can read about Genocide Association and hear a Skum Dribbluurz gig here.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Brutal Truth re-issues?

Question: OK, I\'ve asked this one a couple of times before, but to no avail..How about a reissue of the Earache-era Brutal Truth material? The ultimate would be a multi-CD box set with the \"Extreme Conditions..\", \"Perpetual Conversion\",\"Need to Control\"(with the extra tracks from the vinyl box set) and perhaps a \"rare tracks\" CD with the \"Ill Neglect\" 7\" and some early live stuff. This would definitly be a money maker given the fact that they recently reformed, and there is a buzz about the band. C\'mon, if you guys can release 5 albums by A.C., then there\'s no reason a classic band like BT should go neglected! It\'s likely a pipe-dream, but let me know the reason why you guys won\'tdo it! Please? Cheers!! From: stephenfeltner@bellsouth.net

Answer: We currently have no plans YET to re-issue any Brutal Truth albums Earache did in the early-mid 90's.Reason is- even though the band don't sell many copies anymore, the main Cds have never been out of print anyway, they are still freely available from Earache webstores.Another reason is because 2 years or so ago we made a special Extreme Conditions Cd with tons of extra rare as hell unreleased tracks as a special edition CD exclusively for sale via Disk Union in japan.
A lot of Earache's bands from the 90's are suddenly reactivating themselves after in many cases a decade or more of silence and inactivity- Carcass, Brutal truth, Massacre with Kam lee, Sleep,Morbid angel with David Vincent back, Mick Harris is looking to get a grindcore band together again, and hell, even Lawnmower Deth reformed!
So we are aware that newer fans would like to get their hands on the original albums- brought suitably up to date with remastering, bonus tracks galore, a live DVD from the era and lavish packaging.At Earache we have to find the right balance between our time and finances being spent on building our new acts careers or repackaging the past.Don't get me wrong we are incredibly proud of our past bands- many are deservedly legends in the extreme metal scene, having been its prime movers in the dim and dark pre-internet, pre email, pre mp3 early 90's- but having so many of them, we have a constant dilemma here about which bands to do, as fans ourselves i'd love nothing better than to instantly re-package our entire back catalog, but its a real labour of love and hella time consuming, and it takes the bands involvement too don't forget- a lot of our bands have moved on to other labels or migrated to completely different scenes since the 90's heyday and frankly some of them we suspect won't want to co-operate with Earache, for whatever reason.So its no easy task.
Our back catalog plans currently revolve around early Cathedral and Morbid Angel.Both bands will receive a series of lavish remasters, with accompanying documentary style DVDs (well dualdiscs) in 2009, much like our highly successful Carcass dual disc series in 2008.


Monday, December 01, 2008

Acid Reign re-issue?

Question: I heard a rumour earache have purchased the rights to re-release Acid Reign\'s fear and moshkinstien albums. As much i want it to be true i doubt it. Good idea though nudge nudge wink wink . TA keep up the good volume!!!! From: jhnstcrr@aol.com

Answer:yeah Acid Reign were actually damn great, and are an under-appreciated band fron the original UK thrash era 85-89 or so.In fact, several of the ex-members went onto record for Earache as cathedral and lawnmower deth in the 90's.BUt as for us doing a re-issue, we dont own the rights, thats MFN, and its highly unlikely they can be bothered as the label folded a few years back, i think its part of Sony/BMG now.

Godflesh- the infamous promo baseball bat?

Question: I saw a godflesh promo baseball bat come up for sale on ebay. Im wondering firstly is this a genuine promo item? also how rare/valuble are they? From:

Answer: At first I thought you were winding me up dude- a GODFLESH Baseball bat- err thats a joke, right?..but yeah you are correct- I'm flabbergasted that such an innappropriate artifact exists and is for sale.Nothing to do with Earache dude, this was made by the bands "other" label, the knobheads at UK label Music For Nations released the final Godflesh album "Hymns", and obviously thought it would be a wizzard promo idea.Actually thinking about it, its probably made by the US label which did Hymns- Koch.Baseball bats are associated with either 1) sports or 2) violence - neither of which are subjects that reflect Godflesh's music, I would have thought.The band split up during the promotion around Hymns, and MFN label folded a year or two later.Koch still exists and is a powerful major-style label, its main sellers are Rap artists and the multi- million selling japanese Pokeman cartoon tie-in Cds.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Toxic Holocaust & Earache?- err nah.

Question: How come earache didnt sign toxic holocaust in the end? I know it seems a silly question but from the outside it looked like it was going to happen being as he was like municipal waste\'s running buddy for ages. was it because of line up problems etc etc. Was this simply a case of people assuming because of who was friends with whom. From:

Answer: Y'know I never made any approaches to Toxic Holocaust (apart from our comp- Joel kindly agreed one song on our Thrashing Like A Maniac comp) cos back in 2006 or so, the Toxic Holocaust line up was pretty unstable and also the songs seemed just too basic generic punky-thrash for our tastes.I also got the impression Joel preferred other labels to Earache, our outlooks differ a lot, and we're just not on his wavelength somehow.The band ended up on Relapse which is a great home for them. I do admire Joels long-term dedication to the cause and immense appetite for touring tho.Being incredibly picky as usual about bands for the label, I would say I like a bit more metallic meat on my thrash really, simple D-beat punky thrash doesnt float my boat much, probably because I am an old bastard who can recall the original bands -Discharge, Venom, Sacrilege- from the 80's, its almost too nostalgic for me.
Recently however Joel recruited the ex-members of the finest Canadian proto-thrash band ever- the mighty and much missed RAMMER. If you don't know RAMMER, Earache loved them from afar for years,but again, never made an official offer.Get a taste of this incredible band with "Uprising Of Death":

Carcass Bookshelf box - Free if you buy 5 Dualdiscs

Question: What does the Carcass box look like? i applied to the adress in the Symphonies Cd, but nothing arrived. from: steven.pryor34@hotmail.com

Answer:Yes the FREE bookshelf box to house all 5 of the Carcass UK edition dualdiscs was finally sent out yesterday, November 27.The actual idea was suggested by a reader of this very blog..so thank them for the concept!
So if you applied via the email addy concealed in the UK Symphonies of sickness CD/Dualdisc, then look out for it, and thank you for buying all 5--we think this box should make you stand out from the other Carcass collectors out there, and is our way to say thanks!
American fans do have to be more patient because this slipcase box is sized to only fit the UK editions which were dualdiscs.The USA fans will have to apply for a different box which is sized to fit the USA editions which were fatter/thicker as they contained a CD and seperate DVD.
SYMPHONIES OF SICKNESS IS RELEASED IN USA on Jan 20 2009. Look for info about the special USA BOX in the packaging.

Friday, November 28, 2008

80's Anarcho-Punk band Sedition?

Question: what was the project that earache was undergoing with Sedition that got shelved? id never heard of it before until i saw it mentioned on wikipedia. From:

Answer: It's vaguely possible but I don't honestly recall too much about this band.According to the bands wikipedia entry, they were an 80's anarcho-punk band, which is a scene I was a massive fan of - so I guess its very likely we were in touch.The wiki says they toured with Government Issue and Antisect, both bands I was heavily into at the time, so we certainly must have crossed paths.
For some reason, the actual timelines dont add up tho-Earache did'nt really get going until 1987 and didnt make a compilation till 1989's GRINDCRUSHER and by then Sedition had long split up.
I can only assume it was idle chat on my part during the mid 80's when I was going to tons of gigs, and planning -more like dreaming- of doing a label, but never had the means or money or confidence to actually do it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Earache offices- what they look like..

Question: Hi earache, ive always wondered what your offices look like, do you have any photos? thanks - andy From: couchslouch_@hotmail.com

Answer: heres a guided tour of our NEW YORK OFFICE.Heres a pic of Nottingham UK office aswell, its basically the same deal- a bunch of folks at desks/macs but we're way messier here in UK,with posters hanging off the walls, and piles upon piles of Cds everywhere, and lacking that Manhattan skyline view.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Musicians we wanna work with?

Question: Youve said before that you would liked to have worked before with chuck from death. My question is which other artist or artists would you have liked to have worked with but missed out on? I know you narrowly missed mike patton twice both with naked city and dillinger escape plan. From:

Answer: Earache likes to work with creative, innovative musicians, ideally big selling ones aswell..but strangely, the 2 do not always mix.Over the years we have worked with many many of the best, most credible extreme metal musicians- and i've often said on this blog that Chuck Schuldiner of Death is pretty much the one person we badly regret missing out on working with, simply because the chances never came up, and after his passing, the legendary status of Chuck is unsurpassable in extreme metal.
Nowadays its not like we are kicking ourselves for not working with anyone at all- we're pretty relaxed about it- mainly because artists these days are no longer tied into lengthy recording contracts, the musicians seem to move around from label to label a lot more than they did even in the recent past, so it seems quite likely that Earache could end up working with anyone- even Mike Patton- at some stage.I personaly wouldn't mind working with Serj from System of a Down and Dino ex Fear Factory- both are good friends of the label and it could easily happen sometime in the future that one or both record stuff for Earache.Time will tell.

Heres a clip of DEATH doing PULL THE PLUG in 1988, the other musicians in the line up- Rick, Bill and Terry formed Massacre who did an album "From Beyond" on Earache.

Hexenhaus Vs Morbid Angel artwork?

Question: Are you aware Morbid Angel used the same artwotk as Hexenhaus with their \'BATS\' album? From:

Answer: yes its pure co-incidence that Swedish thrash band Hexenhaus used the Artwork on their album "Tribute to Insanity" in 1988, and then a good 3 years afterwards, in 1991 Morbid Angel chose the same painting for the cover of Blessed are The Sick. At the time we were aware that it had been used beforehand,and showed the band the album- but it didnt deter Morbid from requesting it.In actual fact when we contacted the museum which held the rights for use of the painting - 1895's Tresor de Satan By Jean Delville- they told us that no other band had requested the image.So we know Hexenhaus did not officially seek to use the image from the rights owner, just copied it from a book we expect. For this reason Morbid Angel had the moral superiority, and indeed legal right to use it, as granted by the museum.I guess its fitting that Hexenhaus LP is no longer in print but Morbid's version has been in constant printing for 17 years now.Funny how two different acts came across the same art eh?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fake Earache A&R guys?

Question: Hi!Jus ot a call from someone who said he was from your company interested in my band the wake here in dublin now i dont know what as p with it if it was a scam or not and i cant remeber the email contact he gave me but one part was \"the george...\"i would be greatful if you could get back to me and put me back in touch with the person if it is lagitimate.Thankss! From: brianbear123@yahoo.o.uk

Answer: It's not legitimate dude, and i'm afraid the person approaching you is a scammer of some kind.Earache does approach bands out-of-the-blue but via a myspace message from our myspace.com/earacherecords or direct email from an email addy ending @earache.com, thats how you can tell its legit.We have no "George" working here, never have.
We are hearing about a few folks now, who are approaching bands pretending to be from Earache, and they usually promise to help the band get a deal, because most new bands are seemingly desperate to get signed, it sounds like they are being helpful- cept one problem, they dont have any contact with Earache..the yarn they spin is a complete lie, and we think it stinks.
In the past we have heard of Earache bands tour managers or merch sellers talking to bands about signing- because they travel around a lot, they meet a ton of hopeful bands face to face, and often collect the demo CDs on the road- again these guys are not Earache A&R guys, their connection is simply they are working for an Earache band on the road, nothing more.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Origin of Carcass' 'Symphonies' Sleeve?

Question: Hi guys, and first up, thanks for the Carcass re-issues! I\'m sure you\'ve heard it all before but the packaging is just fantastic and the bonus tracks and DVD extras make for a formidible collection. I\'ve been collecting them all as they have been released and just recently completed the collection with Symphonies of Sickness, which brings me to my question - I\'m curious about the cover that appears on the Symphonies reissue. I\'d never seen it before the reissue, and although it states on the website that the cover is the original - unused since the first release - I was hoping to find a bit more information about it in the package, perhaps a bit in the DVD, but the mystery remains. So, could you please give a bit of info about the origin of the cover, why it was withdrawn/replaced, and why it has dissapeared for nearly 20 years? Thanks! From: XXXXXXXXXXXXX@hotmail.com

Answer: Thanks for the kind word Gareth and cheers for collecting them..we had fun making them.It's the original b/w image which did indeed adorn the front cover (pic above) of the original edition of Symphonies Of Sickness LP, released in UK around october 1989 from memory.Unlike the debut LP "Reek of Putrefaction" which revelled in the gory sleeve, and for that reason never appeared for sale in a UK mainstream/chain record store, this one was more subtle,the gore was on the inside of the gatefold so that store buyers could not be offended by the sleeve and the store would therefore stock it and rack it.It was the first Carcass 'sell out' if ya like- minor alteration to the bands mindset to acheive a career.The label had done 16 releases up to that point and was begininng to suss how important the main retail outlets were to acheiving big sales numbers, so it was decided the outer sleeve had to be 'toned down' to acheive that aim.The sleeve was meant to resemble a funeral service condolences card -black, sombre, simple- the swirly writing of the title and song listing was meant to allude to classical symphonic orchestras.The image itself looks like a bunch of dots, but conceals a sinister secret which I'll now reveal.It is best viewed upside down,at arms length, and if you squint your eyes you can make out a murder victim.The 2 white dots in the carcass logo are the lapel buttons of a young woman's coat- the dead woman in questions face and top of skull has been axed/bludgeoned repeatedly in the middle.
Ironically, when the record was released a year or two later in USA on Earache/Combat the gore was deemed less a problem for sales and was even racked in CD long-boxes which had gore aplenty.

No Hardcore bands on Earache? Cept SSS?

Question: Is there any reason why earache has avoided the hardcore revival that seems to have sprung up as of late? bands like gallows, the bronx, fucked up, the horror, ghost of a thousand etc seem to be getting loads of media attention(on different levels obviously) and selling records. Im just wondering is earache avoiding the scene because you were a hardcore label to begin with or you just aint found the right band? the closest you have to the scene is SSS who have supported both gallows and fucked up but im wondering why earache havent got their own band of this style. From:

Answer: Sorry dude I have to disagree with you on that one, I beleive you have answered the question, in your question.SSS is a Liverpool-based hardcore crossover-skate-punk band who have played tours with Gallows and Fucked up and are on Earache.SSS is that band you think we dont have! In fact I don't see how you can call them anything other than hardcore, when compared to say the NME cover stars Fucked Up or the Warners label signed Gallows.By comparison, SSS are 1000% for real, true to the roots, lovin' the old school DIY/Indie style HC mate,albeit with a thrashy/skate edge.Beleive me, I know.. I've checked their record collections.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Worldwide Metal 5CD+Game mega-value box

Question: Hi Dig (and the rest of ya), I\'m loving the new compilation boxsets that you guys have been releasing (can\'t wait for Worldwide Metal next week), and I was just wondering who in the office gets to compile them? Also, I was wondering if there were any plans on releasing a compilation album with nothing but exclusive tracks from your current signed bands? That would be something us die-hard Earache fans could really get our teeth into! Cheers, Mark. From: mumblinorange@hotmail.com

Answer: Thanks Mark, glad you like the boxsets, they are undeniably top value eh?I buy similar boxsets myself all the time-like 7CD PUNK on Cherry Red- simply because its easy to feed my ipod with 100 tracks of punk, easier than downloading anyways
The concept for this one came from me, I think sublimally I was influenced by the Olympic Games coverage over the summer!Or the Global Metal film?
The actual sequence was chosen by Dan Tobin the label manager. This one does have unreleased demo tracks by Oceano, The Boy Will Drown and Ignominious Incarceration, you gotta buy it just to hear Oceano on Cd for the first time, they are redefining the term HEAVY dude.
Wherever you look it seems that compilations are given away FREE everywhere- they are attached to every music magazine in WH Smiths, and in Metal Hammer mag sometimes 2 or 3 discs fall out with the mag every month- for this reason we had to really try hard to cram in the content to compete.
Plus the full game Earache Extreme Metal Racing is included - this is currently on sale for £19.99 as PS2, its included for free as a PC game in the box.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Grindcore 2.0 -time for the return?

Question: Is there a potential grindcore return on the cards? being as youve stuck both the narcosis discography and also the insect warfare cd on the site. However rather than reissuing recently defunct bands surely it would be time better spent getting the active ones eg rotten sound or man must die ( who earache turned down aparently) From:

Answer: We know a thing or two about the genre having signed one or two of the main bands early on, but the grindcore scene in general has never really been away, when a scene has its own festivals like Obscene Extreme and Blastonbury, it can hardly be considered as on the wane.I know what you mean tho, if you look at the label, as far as Earache is concerned, apart from a short-lived licence of Watchmaker, we haven't worked with any new grindcore band for at least a decade, merely contenting ourselves with keeping our old 'classics'(ND/ENT/BT/AC/TZ etc) in print, and then - bang! from out of nowhere-2 newish grind acts appear on our schedule within months.By the way,Insect Warfare is not officially announced as I write this, but will be shortly.
The reason is simply that yeah- we appreciate prime grindcore bands again.Took us a while didn't it? The fact they both split up is co-incidence.As for the reasons we picked these 2 bands and not others like Phobia, Rotten Sound or Man Must Die- we think Narcosis and Insect warfare display the essence of pure grind, they convey the same'feeling' to me, that the original bands did way back.Insect warfare sounds ike the album Napalm Death SHOULD have recorded after FETO,if the line up had remained stable and they hadn't decamped to Florida for a Death metal mission.
To be honest grindcore needs to be shocking, the intensity of playing and feeling needs to take your breath away when the CD goes on,most of the grind bands we hear come across as sped up death metal, while we were expecting armageddon of the ears.So many bands are playing 'grind by numbers', most of them they have the affectations of grind- the short songs etc but many miss the reason, the heart behind it all, which is the sheer unmitigated misery of humankinds existence.

Bolt Thrower single sleeve LP?

Question: hi, i asked a few days before if you released the bolt thrower \"realm of chaos\" album also without foldoutcover. and in what amount?
thanks and regards, chris From: christian.haas@konen.de

Answer: Yes Christian the actual single sleeve version of the Realm OF Chaos LP is made by Earache and is the rarest of the 2 original 1989 editions.Because the album used artwork owned by Games Workshop, and the young growing wargaming company was based in Earache's hometown of Nottingham and staffed by plenty of metalheads, they were very keen to sell masses of copies in their GW stores, so the lavish gatefold edition with 8 page lyric booklet was pressed in about 8000 copies from memory? It was the main edition at the time.As an alterntive a single sleeve version was also released, probably in 1000 copies? By the way, are you buying or selling? All ebay valuations are subject to 5% tax, please me @ Earache by paypal!! ha ha

I'm signed- now what happens?

Question: say if we got signed with your record label what would be the first things we would sort out and set up with you guys? Eg... Tour/photoshoot/recording and album? just wanna know how you guys work it really
Cheers!! From: thrash_till_death@hotmail.co.uk

Answer: Thats quite an hypothetical question, but Ok i'll try to answer you...
Firstly in order to get signed in the first place, Earache, which is a bit different from the other labels,because we firstly have to enjoy and actually like your music, plus we also have to see possible signs of impending 'greatness' within the band.
Once signed- the first bit of advice I'd give to the novice band is- you should know that the expectation level and level of intensity of the competition instantly increases by 500%, I'm not kidding.You unsigned bands have it relatively easy, with your regional battle of the bands and occasional gigs in front of the unswervingly loyal local fans and family - its a walk in the park being unsigned, because the weight of expectation is pretty relaxed.You can have a good gig or a bad gig, its no big deal, really, its not the end of the world.
Once signed, however, the entire Music industry has a stake in your success, everyone starts making judgements, and everyone has an expectation to see you become a highly successful act.
When i say everyone, I mean everyone, from the label employees themselves, to the press/pr department working your press, even the folks toiling at the CD distribution centre, to the newstand metal magazine journalists who hopefully will see you as their 'fave new band' - all will be judging you, and expect you to become the new Led Zeppelin, and in record time.The faith all these folks will bestow on you in the early days, is expected to be repaid by the band having a succesful career.Honestly, I cant even begin to describe the pressure you'll be under to perform well, and be brillant, both onstage and off it, day in day out - its intense.
Frankly speaking, the reason for the pressure is because our actual jobs depend on your success, our lives depend on it, we're not hobbyists here.
You should know that all the big bands who are hero worshipped by fans, and sell massive amounts of records and become stars, all are very driven people, and work incredibly hard- rehearsing and thinking 24/7 on their music, onstage and off it.Some of the public's best known and most loved metal musicians are some of the smartest and downright hardest working people I have ever met in my life- knowing this, you can't grudge them their success.
The old adage that success= 10% inspiration, 90% perspiration applies to music industry as well as other industries.

If you're still interested in being signed, then get ready to work hard, which by and large means touring.Some of the hardest working new bands can play 200 shows in a calendar year, and when they're not playing gigs are in the rehearsal rooms for 4 hours a day, every day writing better material and getting tighter.This is actually really standard.If you read the biographies of AC/DC and KISS- 2 of the biggest rock acts of all time- the early chapters are not filled with memories about amazing photoshoots or long recording sessions,or how it felt to be working with producers etc- instead they recount a life spent in a station wagon criss-crossing Australia playing every small town dotted on the map, for 6 week stints at a time, sleeping in the van, eating junk food at truckstops.Same for KISS in USA.
As you can see, its really all about the attitude the band adopts and what Earache does once your signed is pretty much instill in you the knowledge of whats expected to build your career.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dominos or Pizza Hut with bands?

Question: Bit of a silly one really but being as youve brokered bands signing to the label before by taking them to pizza palours. The key question is Dominos or Pizza Hut? From:

Answer: Well its traditional that Labels get to know potential new signees over a meal and a few drinks, the convivial conflab that ensues can often clinch the deal.For Earache we are based in the city centre of Nottingham,UK which during the 90's was hardly a culinary capital of the UK, hence our infamous meeting with Varg of Burzum took place in a Bella Pasta- the actual branch is still there, actually.There is no Dominos in Nottingham and we've never been in Pizza Hut either- we have a bit more class than that dude (!)- its Pizza Express all the way- basically being a greedy twat who loves eating, I can vouch for more or less every restuarant in Nottingham, as I've eaten in them all.
A favourite scoffing hole for many years was curry restuarant Mogul E- Azam, which is visible out our office window, so very handy- and also Anilas curry restuarant,which is practically next door to Rock City- I think every band on Earache has eaten there- Shane Embury always went for the Tandorri Fish- I recommend it. Godflesh would order the hottest curry off the menu, and beg the cook to make it even hotter than the hottest - Justin would be sweating buckets and damping his brow, while we discussed the bands future plans.I think he enjoyed it.Back in the 90's we tried to sign a local band Dai Lo, and they insisted on eating an organic vegan menu, we found one place called simply 'Food' in Hockley - we didn't get the band, but I'll always remember the most gorgeous food.We took Evile to Pizza Express recently and Zizzi and Nandos is always a fave with them.Misery loves Co's managers would insist on Oysters at Loch Fyne, seafood place, that was always a damn pricey meeting!
Lately we have been skipping the food and just heading to the pub for beers and vodkas, there are nowadays a ton of bars within 50 metres of the office,mostly around the 'Cornerhouse' building- or the orange tree which is a block away..we met the Boy Will Drown in local metal pub- Speakeasy, again its close to Rock City, a fave watering hole for metallers in the city.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Godflesh 2 CD & DVD mega-value pack

Question: what will be on the DVD of the Godflesh \"Songs of Love and Hate\" re-release? From: umaskzero@gmail.com

Answer:Its a 2CD +DVD mega value pack- retailing around £10.Containing The 1996 Cd of Songs of Love and hate, the CD of Love and Hate in Dub (remixes) and also the DVD "In All Languages" (containing all the promo clips the band ever made..err 4 of them).All the material has been previously released but hasn't been in print for years.Since the demise of the band we notice a steady trickle of interest in GODFLESH back catalog, we assume by newly fledged fans who are possibly getting into Justin's current band Jesu, and then working backwards investigating Justin Broadricks formidable body of work created during the 90's as GODFLESH.Also with the new Guns n Roses album Chinese Democracy finally out this month, featuring Brian 'Brain' Mantia on drums, we figured it would'nt hurt to point out that Brian (pic above) also drummed on Songs Of love and Hate.
If you are a denizen of the Avalanchers forum you can read ridiculous speculation- like 5.1 DVD-Audio surround sound mixes and the such like- but nah its a rather plain and simple mega-value pack.It did occur to us that the DVD portion of the pack is rather scant,so I emailed Justin to see if he'd be up for being filmed for an interview one afternoon,so it had some new bonus material in the form of in person commentary on the albums creation, or something like that, but no reply yet.

Earache & early UK Doom scene

Question: What are your views on the whole British Death/Doom scene, bands like My Dying Bride or Paradise Lost? Where you aware of them when they were up coming, as they went on to become very big bands on an international scale? From: redear16@hotmail.com

Answer: We were well aware of those bands early on, and actively tried to sign Paradise Lost for their debut, because i had a feeling they could be great,but even though Earache was having massive succes at the time with Napalm Death, they chose the much smaller but local-to-them Yorkshire label Peaceville instead.It hit home when PL's Gothic was released and sold incredibly well across Europe and especially in Germany, where the band regularly charted in the National charts.They were quite probably the UK's biggest-selling extreme metal band for a period spannning most of the early-mid 90's, which not many folks realise.We consoled ourselves because at least we had Cathedral and they scored a US major label deal instead.
My Dying Bride I don't remember making any official approaches to, they signed to Hammy's Peaceville also, where they loyally remain to this day, even tho the label has changed ownership in recent years.
Back in the late 80's Earache and Peaceville were the kingpins of the scene, and we had a friendly rivalry going on for the attentions of new bands- Earache didnt always get the bands we wanted.You gotta remember it's a tricky business signing bands, if the band are good then a ton of labels seem to descend en masse at their door or inbox, so other factors come into play.We don't talk to bands in isolation, a lot of the 'art' of signing bands is being on the same wavelength and having common goals and aspirations,but once the creatve concerns are dealt with, it so often crudely comes down to the acts asking "how large is your chequebook?".
By the mid 90's the soon-to-be-juggernaut German metal labels like Nuclear Blast and Century Media joined the fray,and signing the more extreme bands became a whole lot harder as they would often outbid all other labels, often by huge cash amounts..and bands end up signing where the biggest money if offered, 9 times out of 10.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Evile footage from Xmas party 07?

Question: Hey Earache, just wondering what happened to the footage shot at last years Xmas party at the Purple Turtle? I know the Evile set was filmed, possibly for release as a bonus DVD, but nothing seems to have surfaced. Any chance of that footage being released? From: mward45@yahoo.co.uk

Answer: If you were at our Xmas party in december 07 you'll know that Evile played a storming set to the assembled partygoers, and yes we did film the whole gig,including Gama Bomb & Blood Red Throne as we always do.The footage is shelved for now,same as the footage we shot of the band in Liverpool in August (supporting Muni waste).When we played it back the Xmas party footage is pretty dark on stage so its not really up to release standard.Evile do have a new 2hr DVD out right now - it comes FREE with the redux edition of the Enter the Grave CD, and includes various footage from the bands tour with MEGADETH across europe, plus in the studio with Flemming Rasmussen, and in rehearsal, plus various interviews with the band members.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Early Stoner-Rock scene circa 1992?

Question: would you class earaches involvment with the stoner rock scene of the early to mid 90s as a sucess or a failure? I mean sleep went to london, and there was the aborted signing of clutch? do you think it would have worked better if you concentrated on british bands i mean you had cathedral but maybe you could have expanded the stable maybe by adding acrimony or the then infentile orange goblin! From:

Answer: What Stoner-rock scene are you on about dude? In 1992 when we released CLUTCH and SLEEP the world was in the grip of Grunge Mania...Stoner Rock wasn't a proper named genre, but if there were flagship acts it would have been bands like Kyuss and Nebula and maybe even Monster Magnet=all were mainstream rock bands BUT with a healthy dose of Sabbath-esque heaviness and a stoner-ish mindview.Stoner rock as a scene was more a less a combo of those 2 influences.
Clutch were a Philly based HC band when we signed them, right after their Debut 7inch on Inner Journey records.
SLEEP- again, were formerly HC punkers Asbestos Death, but by the time Al Cisneros approached Earache with their demo (which would became the Holy Mountain CD) they were more or less fully fledged Sabbath worshippers,and heavy stoners aswell. See their letter to me above.From memory we were the first to coin the description Stoner Rock in the press release that accompanied the Sleep CD to journalists. True,that.

Clutch quickly began to see the impact Sleep were having and rather deviously in my view, mutated from a quirky HC band into a grooving Heavy Stoner-ish band aswell- both bands found fame quickly during their short time on Earache and so major label offers poured in.
Clutch left us before we could ink a full album deal, for Atlantic records, while Sleep hired heavyweight manager Lyor Cohen-he's the current boss of Warner Brothers but back then was Rick Rubin's right hand man at Def Jam aswell.The new management removed them from Earache's contract, but at least they had the decency to gave me a cheque as compensation, which was nice- and ended up on London Records, where the resulting album would be shelved for many years.
As for the UK contingent-We had Cathedral throughout the 90's of course, we did the first 7 albums or so.Actually Dorian the singer of Acrimony used to work at Earache for a time, so we knew all about his band- it was decent but we dont sign employees acts usually.Orange Goblin came a lot later in mid 90's I think, and by that time Earache's involvment with 'Stoner-Rock' was over.Labels like Lee Dorrian's Rise Above began to specialise in the more doom-metal scene, and have done it very well, having some measure of success and thriving to this day, by contrast to labels like Hellhound from Germany which also also took up the Doom/Stoner baton, but folded in late 90's.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Reasons for CARCASS reformation?

Question: Was the carcass reunion really inspired by the emperor one? in that mike saw how much emperor made during their reunion jaunt and thought to himself- i want some of that! From:

Answer: Yeah, thats pretty much true I think.I know Jeff Walker kept a close eye on the fees which Emperor made during their short USA reunion jaunt and more relevantly the short-lived Celtic Frost re-union tour of a year or so back.
The gig fees which other reformed 90's extreme metal acts were able to command in recent years is pretty staggering, when compared to the tiny gig fees they could command back in the 90's when the extreme metal scene was pretty much in its infancy.Nowadays the gig and festival circuit is more developed for metal in general and the live circuit and associated industry around it (merchandising/ticketing etc) is hella lucrative.You can't blame the bands for reforming when a fee for a gig in 2008 is 10x the fee the same band could get in 1995- luckily for them, their time away has been kind,and new fans were queuing up to get to see the band, its mainly driven by earache keeping the Cds in print plus the power of the internet and widely file shared mp3's I believe.
I beleive there will be many more acts doing this in the coming months- infact as I write this i'm hearing SLEEP have reformed aswell, for 2 shows at UK alternative festival All Tomorrow's Parties, in May 2009, maybe more gigs at the major Euro festivals will follow, I wouldn't be suprised.
On another note has anyone noticed that 3 of the worlds biggest ever Rock bands - METALLICA, AC/DC & GUNS N' ROSES all have new Cds out within 8 weeks of each other after years- or in some cases decades- without any new material.
Rock is basically back in vogue and in the driving seat of the global music industry right now, driven by the success of RockBand and GUitar hero games etc I don't doubt.

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: joncontino@gmail.com

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: paintyourface@hotmail.co.uk

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 well...so 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: