Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No Earache tracks on Swedish Death Metal CD

Question: So what happened with the Earache contributions to the compilation that was meant to have been a companion cd to the Swedish Death metal book? The author said in terrorizer that there were problems with earache letting them use tracks from at the gates, entombed and carnage. From:

Answer: We were never asked for At The Gates actually. Short answer is we value the bands and songs in the Earache back catalog extremely highly, and basically we could not see eye to eye with Stefan from the German label Prophecy.Stefan was the one who contacted us to obtain the licences for the comp.After some protracted negotiations, which were cordial but pretty strained as he kept mentioning that he 1) wanted the songs for free and 2) could obtain demo tracks instead of the Earache ones anyway - we eventually agreed on a valuation of the 2 songs but the deal fell down due to digital rights for iTunes.

Itunes has an annoying policy that they do not allow albums to be sold as digital bundles, its individual songs all the way, or nothing.Sadly, Stefan has the wrong understanding about this.When Earache released the Thrashing Like A Maniac compilation, we had to remove tracks by Toxic Holocaust, Dekapitator and Fueled By Fire- even tho they are on the CD & LP the owners banned their use on the digital version for this reason, and we were perfectly happy to agree to their wishes and other bands appear on our Digital version.

I guess Stefan probably thought it was to much hassle to make any digital exceptions for us,which is fair enough.Hence demo versions of Entombed and Carnage songs do appear instead.They might even be better versions actually, so the bands are fully represented.

We know Daniel Ekeroth very well - we released 2 albums by his band Insision.I only just read the book actually and its amazingly detailed.Its different from the Choosing Death as its more an in depth encyclopedia of the bands and the music coming out of Sweden from the late 80's onwards.Choosing Death explored the juicy stories behind the scene and delivered less facts.Daniel delivers fact after fact- like demo name, recording date,studio, and tracklisting, its a treasure trove of information. All fans of Death Metal need to snap it up.

Heres Daniel explaining the Swedish Death Metal guitar sound.

Scorn recordings - own label on Earache

Question: Since you\'ve graciously answered a couple of my other questions, I figured I\'d try one more that\'s been nagging at me for more many years. Scorn released their first three full lengths and they all have Mosh catalog numbers and Earache labels, but after Evanescence the next three full lengths say Scorn Recordings marketed by Earache and have a Scorn catalog number. After Gyral then, my copies of White Irises Blind and Deliverance have Mosh catalog numbers. What\'s the story behind that? From: tmeisenheimer@yahoo.com

Answer: Scorn is such a creative and revolutionary band, I can't even find the words to describe their importance- iconoclastic, peerless and visionary is the best i can come up with.The music they created during their formative Earache years predated the coming trends- Dubstep etc- by at least a decade.
But back in the early- mid 90's when they were first a trio of ex-napalm Deathers Broadrick/Harris/Bullen and soon reduced to a core duo of Bullen/Harris they werent always considered so groundbreaking, in fact the predominant viewpoint held by fans at the time was- "Mick, forget this dub crap, get back together and play grindcore!".

This attachment to the past on the part of the fans became a bit of a millstone around the act, and sales for the early Scorn albums were low because of it.At the time Earache was synonymous with extreme metal/death metal and grindcore- so when a band branched out so far from the main sound of the label, it would cause an absolute outcry from the purists and fanatics of the genre.
In various ad-hoc meetings, a sub-label type of scenario would get mentioned, to distance Scorn from Earache, while still being signed to Earache, to give them a fighting chance to break away from the ND past, and on the plus side it was to encourage more open-minded music fans to purchase Scorn.The band had no peers, the closest fanbse we could think of was say, PIL fans, and we basically didnt want them to be put off from buying by the Earache logo, expecting Death Metal when its ambient Dub infact.So we removed the Earache logo and substituted a generic SCORN recordings logo instead.Sales hardly improved, hence stopped the experiment.

Looking back, it was purely cosmetic addition to the sleeve, it was still marketed and distributed and promoted by Earache so it was basically just a vanity thing really.

Scorn- Silver Rain Fell (1994) (fan made clip has Amy Lee images ha ha)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Shortie on Earache - why?

Question: Do you think the problem with shortie was that not just that earache was trying to get into a scene that you werent used to and didnt really understand ( screamo), but also shortie were distintivly second rate when compared to the big boys of the genre Glassjaw Thursday, Funeral for a Friend etc? not saying this as a shot at Earache im just wondering if you wanted to enter a newish genre for the label surely it would have been better to do it with a better band? From:

Answer: Well in hindsight you are exactly right,its true the band failed to catch on so it must be deemed a failure.I agree that death metal and grind are the styles Earache is steeped in mostly, with 2 decades experience in the trenches promoting that stuff.A screamo band like Shortie might be outside our comfort zone, but we are quite open-minded and adaptable, so enjoyed working with them a lot.I dont think that was the reason for lack of success- I just think sometimes you just need the right breaks to go your way. Back in 2000 or so, Shortie seemed to have a decent stab at success because they came from Sacramento, Deftones liked them, and they also had a lot of high profile backers and supporters in the biz, actually.
The Shortie debut "Worthless Smiles" was first released in USA by a group of dudes running a company which placed music in films and videos- GoBig Entertainment- the main guy Tim Riley left during that time to work as music supervisor for Activision- he now heads up the Guitar hero team, he decides what music goes on the game.
Noted LA producer Dave Dominguez who recorded Autonomy for us, and later did Linea 77's Italian top 10 charting album was the one who really befriended the band, he supported and backed them to the max.
By the time of the second album Without A Promise' (all their recordings begin with letter W- even their demos, fact fans ) they had recruited a fast rising management -Eric Rushing's Artery Foundation - he now does bands like A Day TO Remember & Devil wears Prada- but back then was just starting out.

Frankly speaking, part of the reason for failure is the obscene amount of dollars spending thats required to breakthrough into the highly competitive screamo scene, because the pay-off can be spectacular- like say Paramore.Victory records took massive gambles and reaped the rewards with Thursday and many more, because they pretty much invented the screamo genre.Being Indie they did it thru sheer hard work and clever promotion.
Major labels on the other hand, would routinely invest $1,000,000 into hot new acts, and Earache's investment would have been just a fraction of that.If you want to see what a million dollars differnce in marketing budgets looks like on screen, compare the 2 video clips below, both directed by Shane Drake:

Shortie- Truth 2005 (Earache) Directed by Shane Drake ($10,000)

Paramore- Misery Business 2007 (Fueled By Ramen) Directed by Shane Drake ($100,000 est)

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cathedral debut re-issued 18 yrs on

Question: I am writing about the forthcoming re-issue of Cathedral\'s debut album.

It\'s weird to see a re-issue missing the intro title; I guess it\'s there in audio but it\'s a little cheap to let it out, accidently or not. Was it a mistake on the layout?

What about making the DVD available for free for those of us having both the album and following EP? I would like to watch this documentary \"legally\" but I find it useless to buy the album again. I guess it will find its way on various bit tirrent sites for this very reason so considering making it freely available online (youtube) would make things better for everyone, I guess.

I am glad to see the album available again for a new generation of fans who might have missed it first; it\'s a doom classic! Just don\'t forget the old guard which was there first...

Answer; I don't understand your point about the intro- its on the re-issue, obviously its the same tracklisting as the original, with 4 bonus songs (from long deleted EP Soul Sacrifice - which contains some of the best Cathedral tracks).Also includes massive fold out poster of the artwork, containing extra art parts not seen on the original issue, back in 1991.The most important part tho is the 40 minute DVD side of the disc- this is about as in depth a documentary as any fan could wish for, the band got together again for the first time in about 10 years to talk about all aspects of the album.Even the artist Dave patchett explains the meaning behind the artwork.
OK if you already have the originals this is not for you- but try imagining its a 40 minute DVD we are issuing, and the audio comes free. Heres a taster of the DVD :

Friday, March 27, 2009

Ghost releases-Citizen & !T.O.O.H! = W.H.O?

Question: In relation the rejecting art question you forgot to mention !T.O.O.H! but my real question is where do you stand on this topic , why so hard on such a innovative band?? and why was there a need to delete all traces of them off the website?? From:

Answer: We didnt reject their cover art- we rejected everything about them, we wanted to distance ourselves from the band, the album, the label and A&R guy they came from, because it was bad for business.We don't promote bands on the site who are'nt on Earache dude, thats common sense surely? TOOH's timing was unfortunate-they were never technically released by Earache, because they were the last-gasp during the final death-throes of the closing down of the underperforming Elitist sub-label, which was running from 01-05.It's been blogged about HERE and the Elitist plug-pulling explained HERE.Earache has several 'ghost' releases- ones that never saw light of day- but none come back to haunt us as regularly as T.O.O.H.

US grinders CITIZEN had their album 'Manifesto For The New Partiot' canned and shelved too, because we ended and shut down our license with Codebreaker records at the same time as closing Elitist, but since the Codebreaker label boss Duncan is not a drama queen, and understood it was purely business, that ending went un-reported.We even advertising the Citizen release on our Site,and it still often finds its way into our catalog as MOSH325 but its non existant.You'll never be able to find an Earache copy as the deal was scrapped before the printing started, if you do, be sure to sell it on ebay for megabucks as our ghost release.

The rise of the supermarket labels

Question: I remember reading in a terroizer interview that dig once said that unlike century media and a couple of other labels earache avoided becoming a supermarket label. what would you class as a supermarket label? and also do you honesly think that earache has avoided that classification being as a label you have signed a broad section of bands to cater to different metal fans tastes? From:

Answer: The first time I ever heard the phrase "Supermarket Label" was when talking to Robert Kampf, he described the ethos of the label he founded- Century Media- as a supermarket label, ie not being typecast or pigeonholed into one type or metal.Its not a derogatory term, quite the contrary, it meant that CM could from the very outset feel comfortable getting involved with a wide spectrum of metal and rock bands.From brutal deathcore to power metal, thru re-issues of thrash legends to glitzy female fronted rock, even odd encursions into nu metal and screamo, CM do it with aplomb and are hugely successful at it.
Earache started out with no such broadminded aspirations- we were a purists delight, an extreme music label for the first 5 years at any rate, and I'd bet our first 100 releases were as consistently extreme as any other metal label's output you care to compare us to. This singlemindedness of purpose is what defined the early label in many fans eyes. Earache never succumbed to the temptations to branch out- even Peaceville formed a sub label early on, for female pop artist Kay Field, which sunk without trace.We never succumbed to lite alternative rock like say Metal Blade's massive selling Goo Goo Dolls.
Underground labels which are new mostly specialise in one style or another, to gain the attention of the record buying public, so for CM to widen their outlook so early on, was a radical step actually.
Earache nowadays is way more open minded to all forms of Metal & Rock than it was, and the supermarket label idea is the sensible way forward for labels of our size, we embrace the ethos,because 1) we want to stay in business and 2) we realise Century Media were effectively right all along.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Rejecting bands Artwork?

Question: Have you ever told a band that they cant use their requested artwork for whatever reason? From:

Answer: We're not in the habit of rejecting artwork, but many newbie bands on this label need help and guidance in the art department. We follow the artists wishes for artwork on album covers, but oftentimes, new bands make unwise choices, they don't always respect the creator of the artwork, so we have to guide them on whats acceptable and what's not for an album cover.Earache cannot release artwork which we dont own the rights to, or obtain a legal license for, and thats where problems lie.

Mostly we sign bands because of their music - it can be months or years before artwork ideas are needed, the discussion only crops up when the debut album sleeve needs to be printed.We usually try to help new bands choose wisely, because a lot of bands are naive when it comes to rights and copyrights, they think any art found on the interweb is usable, which is wrong.Maybe it is ok in the early days, but there is a world of difference between using other artists artwork for say a gig flyer on the myspace which will be forgotten in a week or two, and using internet artwork on an Album which will be on sale for hopefully 20+ years.

The only example in recent years i can think where we rejected artwork outright was a design submitted by Evile for the T-shirt of their upcoming UK tour in April.We saw the artwork and it looked fishy to us- a familiar look to it, sure enough within 2 clicks we discovered it on google image search page 3.Using other peoples artwork is stealing and its a no no, so we asked them to deliver new artwork instead.

Another example could be Gama Bomb's artwork ideas for recent album Citizen Brain, the band's idea was to use an artist who'd worked on 80's Garbage Pail kids trading cards- they wanted artist John Pound to create the sleeve for Citizen Brain.We thought this an amazing idea and so contacted John himself to do commission him to do it.John was a nice guy and was totally up for doing an album cover, but we pretty much underestimated that the guy had designed cards which sold hundreds of millions in the 80's and his creations have become big business with collectors, some fetch six figure sums at auction routinely.
The price for his artwork was steep but we figured worth it, it was his waiting time which threw us- i think he said it was somehting like 8 months before he could start.Ouch, we needed art in like weeks, not months, so the band had to settle for second choice artist, of comic book fame- Jeff Zornow.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Music on Earache DVDs opening sequence

Question: Dear earache, on your dvd when it comes up with your logo there is music in the background, who and what song is it? Because it sounds amazing and I would like to find out. From: Unholysmoke@hotmail.co.uk

Answer: read HERE.If its a very old DVD, recently re-issued, which has Earache logo flying thru space with stars in the background, its Cathedral. If its newer DVDs which has Earache logo with sparks/lightning coming off it, its Decapitated.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Why Don't You Answer My Question?

Question: Hello Earache, why don't you answer my question, I sent my question in 4 times to your page, but can not see an answer yet.will you reply? thanks. From: bob.stewartweb@gmail.com

Answer: I try to answer most reader questions on here, especially if they seem interesting to me, and hopefully also to the readers of this blog.
Obviously stuff about how the Earache label operates is easiest for me to write about, as thats what I do for a living, and I wanted the blog to give readers a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes at a real, live, working metal label in the music biz.

Stuff I won't answer on here:

1) Will You listen to/sign my band?

This must be half of the questions I get- this is not a A&R blog so stop asking please! But now and again if a band is particularly persistant or annoying, I'll give the new band feedback via this blog, like KILL TO GAIN- its not always pretty.

2) Will you write me a chapter on Earache/Death/Grind/Varg/Doom for a book I'm writing?

Judging by the explosive increase in such requests, I guess there must be a dozen books in the works about extreme metal, and a fair few planned about Burzum, now he's released from prison.The Choosing Death and Swedish Death Metal books spawned a whole new publishing genre it seems.New book-printing websites like Lulu offer custom printed books, so everyone can be a published author now. Good luck to all you budding writers but sorry- even though I'm all for passing on information, I won't write the damn thing for ya.

3) How much is the **** 7inch worth, what quantity and colours pressed?

This blog is not a pricing service for Ebayers.I used to assume that genuine collectors were seeking this info,out of curiosity, until I saw an answer copy/pasted as the listing for an ebay sale.Interested fans can look up variations and limited editions on our catalog page- click the album name to see pics of the versions.

4) Why didn't you answer my question?

It's a fair bet its already been answered, please use the search query field in the top left of this page- theres 5 years worth of questions contained within this blog and many subjects have had comprehensive answers already.Search and you will find!

5) How many copies did ***** sell, how much money did the band make on the release?

Kids on Music Industry Management college courses ask this a lot.Trying to run an open and frank blog about the biz, I nearly answered one of these in great detail, until I realised specific money matters are better left unsaid, its not fair on the band in question,and removed the posting.Its hard the explain how bands can be "unrecouped" without mentioning the actual monetary facts though.Being "unrecouped" remains the root cause of most of the ire between labels and bands.
CD Sales numbers of any band in the USA are avaiable through a system called soundscan.Many sites on the web publish the soundscan numbers so simply Googling soundscan together with the band name can get results.

Mostly the questions on the blog are superb, and oftentimes the insights and depth of knowledge in the questions I receive is quite astounding to me. I thought I was a nerd about extreme metal, but some of you lot know so much detail, its humbling infact.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Dillinger Escape Plan on Earache

Question: What actually happened with earache\'s relationship with the dillinger escape plan? im wondering as it seems a little short term, surely you would have tried to keep hold of the band longer? Especially with whats happening with them now. I mean how many other obscurish experimental metal bands appear on conan o brian\'s show? From:

Answer: On the front of our earache.com website sits the list of the bands we have signed and worked with over the years.Mostly, its bands we signed before their debut records and Earache can take the credit for planning their careers from the absolute beginning, in many cases we worked with those bands on that list for a decade or more.Dillinger Escape Plan is an exception to that- we can't claim to have been involved in the band's phenomenally succesful period around "Calculating Infinity" that was the work of Relapse and the band's own punishing tour schedule and incredibly energetic live shows.Earache was late to the party on this one.

DEP's debut on Now Or Never Records is now hailed as a classic of the 'mathcore' genre but it was not always considered that way. When I first heard it, I wasn't that impressed -I think NON's Matty Beckerman was interning at Earache at the time, it was his first release by a bunch of his friends, and he was incredibly proud of it.It was decent and certainly original- we called it 'stop-start Hardcore' in the office, because there was no such thing as a mathcore scene then.DEP truly were the first band doing that convoluted yet intense stop-on-a-dime HC style.At the time Earache could have signed DEP easily, but- maybe because they were simply a bunch of unassuming HC kids from New Jersey- it did'nt grab me enough to make an offer, so the opportunity passed us by.

However, as the bands momentum began to rise, I quickly realised I was an idiot to let them pass, and went back to Matty to buy up a license for the record. That's how The Dillinger Escape Plan S/T debut record eventually ended up in our catalog anyway - better late than never eh?

Addiction Crew on Earache- why?

Question: What on earth made you sign Addiction Crew? I remember they were featured on a Metal Hammer DVD with that video \"What About\", and it still boggles my mind why you signed them.

I\'m not a fan of the band, but even if I did like them, I\'d still find it odd that you signed them. You had absolutely no record of signing bands of this style (Am I right in saying that Addiction Crew are the only nu-metal band Earache have ever signed, bar maybe Adema?), the band weren\'t even anything out of the ordinary or groundbreaking for nu-metal and they were signed back in 2002, when nu-metal was about as in vogue as a Chinese RnB duo.

Also, they sounded worlds apart from every other band Earache have ever signed. I actually believe to this day that if you were to release a compilation of the greatest Bosnian motown groups around today, it would have more in common with the likes of Terrorizer and Bolt Thrower than Addiction Crew.

Also, how did you go about handling the band? Did you ever put them on tour with other Earache bands such as Akercocke or Deicide, or did they support any big bands more suited to their style? And what are they doing now? Are they still contracted to Earache, or have they split up? SURELY, in the face of all these nu-metal reunions that\'s happening this year, we should expect a triumphant return from Addiction Crew!

Please don\'t take this as a slight on Earache, it\'s running or even Addiction Crew, I just can\'t get my head around what it is that made you think: \"An Italian rap-metal band with male/female duet vocals? YES, this is our new Morbid Angel.\" From: david.forrest@strath.ac.uk

Answer: Yes dude, no offence taken- I agree with your point that the band sounds totally different to 99% of the output of this label.Y'know, sometimes we aren't always looking for the next Morbid Angel.

Heres what happened-By 2002 or so, Earache's Italian band Linea 77- a hardcore band who veered into Deftones territory- had through sheer hard work begun to kick up a serious storm on MTV Italy who played their clips 10 times per day- they were proper TV stars in their home country, and would soon crack the top 10 there.Addiction Crew looked a fair bet to acheive similar success, plus the fabulous looks of singer Marta Innocenti was also a big part in the decision.The reason they got signed was a series of co-incidental factors and some clever marketing by their respected manager which led them to get on Earache's radar and convinced me to release the CD. I paid nothing to sign them and in Italy at the time they seemed to have a decent shot at fame.The record "Break In Life" was never released outside of Italy, it never was intended for release anywhere else, precisely so as not to upset the majority of Earache's death metal and grind fanatics here.Over time, I guess ebay and youtube put paid to that.

The band were not entirely without metal credentials- originally formed as Addiction, a straight up 90's metal band, they had toured with Sepultura, and had Igor Cavalera drum for them on the demo.The band had good connections, they were managed by Emiliano Lanzoni, an ambitious black metal scenester who had founded Code 666 records, signing Ephel Duath and Aborym.As a sideline he also ran Aural records as an offshoot for different styles of acts- Addiction turned into Addiction crew and guitarist/mainman Alex was highly ambitious for success- he chose to mutate the band into a more modern style and he recruited singer Marta for that reason.

Aural Music is the label where Addiction Crew reside today, with Axis of Perdition and Negura Bunget, if you can believe that!
Lastly, the band had a connection with up and coming Italian video director Paolo Doppieri who's video work is simply out of this world, and so all these things considered, we took the plunge on the band.Frankly speaking, another part of our reasoning was that the German labels were enjoying great success with Nightwish and Lacuna Coil so Earache was eager to have a female fronted rock act aswell.

As so often happens, the band did not tour, so the record did not sell as expected, MTV Italy failed to show the video and the band subsequently failed to catch on. At that point our interest faded.

Addiction Crew: What About clip directed by Paolo Doppieri

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Opinion of the Pirate Bay trial?

Question: Do Earache have an opinion on the Pirate Bay trial currently going on?
From: paulscholesmanutd@hotmail.com

Answer: Earache is an Indie metal label, and I should point out, we are not a member of IFPI or member of RIAA, so Earache has taken NO part in the file-sharing lawsuits.However, we certainly have a lot in common with the larger Major labels because we too make a living from promoting bands and selling their music.Simply put-It's not cool to steal our music, we prefer so-called fans buy it at our webstores, and support the artists directly.Prices are damn low so why not?

The Pirate Bay is the latest showdown trial that the music Industry has been looking for, its a bit-torrent tracker, like many others before it, Kazaa,Limewire, Soulseek, but TPB seemingly went out of their way to antagonise any copyright-holders who politely-yet legally- contacted them for removal of their search results from the system.Of all the P2P/Torrent trackers, they provoked the most reaction from the industry because their responses to takedown notices has been downright hostile.

One look at TPB's top audio torrents chart (see pic ) shows that many of the major bands of the world have their whole discography available through the site,and also many of the Earache bands have their entire output available for free download- Carcass, Morbid Angel have 2 decades of work available on one click.The copyright-holder in me is annoyed, but the geek in me is gobsmacked at the ease of use, and the possibilities that it brings.

Just because its technically possible doesnt mean its legal.The problem is the young tech guys attitude to copyright.They cant stand it that someone else, labels, film studios, have a say in this, and seemingly gatecrash their wonderful plans.

We have dealt with tons of these tech guys,and its fair to say, we dont get on.They act like they are masters of the fkn universe, cos they have adapted some code that distributes files efficiently, and rent a server farm somewhere.The only thing they lack is the files to distribute- and that's where us content providers/copyright holders come into the picture.Its fair to say, we don't share the same world-view, we're not teenage hobbyists coding for fun, we would'nt mind the label and the artists getting paid for their music files actually.

One look at The Pirate Bay today confirms its covered in adverts for Poker sites and Dating sites, these are legit sites paying real dollar for the attention of the users.TPB simply have to share the ad revenue with the owners of the files to be legit, but that's seemingly beneath them.From their side, TPB cite their similarity to Google.com, they claim they are simply a torrent search-engine, which serves up the user search results, not the actual files.In many ways the TPB trial is a dress rehearsal for the big one- Record Industry Vs Google, Inc.

Fellow Swedes Spotify.com are using underlying bit-torrent software to distribute music, but they are clever and embraced the Industry.They have a snazzy interface/player and have struck deals with the major labels (and earache) to distribute the songs legally and paid for by occasional advertisments, maybe even a stake in the company itself.Though I imagine over time its the user data itself which has probably the highest value to future data-mining companies.

Too lazy to go out to gigs? Naaaaah!

Question: Hey Dig, simples question: which gigs do you go out to see nowadays? I know you watch your own earache bands, but what are 5 or 6 bands that will make you leave home and watch a gig? I would say probably old bands like Discharge and Celtic Frost with their recent reunions got your attention?

Would you see something like the Stupids and Extreme Noise Terror nowadays?

In my experience, the older you get, the lazier you are to go to a gig! ANY gig! From:

Answer: You score a bullseye with Discharge and Celtic Frost- yup, I was there for those bands' last Nottingham gigs. It might sound strange, but I don't really need any persuading to go see a gig, I'm still totally chuffed to see bands live, it sure beats watching mindless soaps on TV or a crappy movie, err unless there's a top of the table Premier League clash on Sky, of course.

Most of the time, like you say, I'm in the crowd when our signed Earache bands have a gig in Nottingham or London, many of the Earache staffers do go out to support the bands we work with, there can be 3-4-5 of us attending, we're a special case I guess because we all make our living from selling music and promoting the bands, Ali Marr at Earache goes further- he promotes his own shows for local bands to play (see flyer pic). Going to gigs somehow does'nt feel like 'work' to me.

I still get the biggest buzz from seeing new, unknown bands, the main venues that smaller bands play round here are The Old Angel and the newly revamped Seven.Rock City tends to have larger acts who I've seen many times, though their weekend club nights are immense.Birmingham metal bookers Re-animator have some of the best line-ups.

To me, theres nothing better than checking out an all day festival of new bands, ideally a mixture -Metal/Punk/HC/Thrash/Death metal or deathcore- theres bound to be a surprise or two in store. I crave new discoveries, I'm the dude standing at the bar watching new bands play, mostly in front of their mates and a gaggle of fans, usually they have no clue who the stranger lurking in the corner is, watching the proceedings. Plus at larger gigs I'll always check out the openers, in case they turn out to be amazing.I do avoid all "Battle of the Bands" events though- they are so artificial.

In the heart of the music biz in London many of the high-profile agents/managers/ labels in the metal scene attend private afternoon showcases -these are special shows in rented rooms,which are'nt in any gig listings and are by invitation only.Its a bit artificial, but these are popular because many people working in the biz in London have a long commute, and do actually prefer to go home in the evening.Earache however, much prefers to see new bands outside of London and in a normal pub/club setting with the public, I feel it gives us a better perspective of a band when they are away from the capital.

Last 5 gigs for me were Ignominious Incarceration @ Nottingham Old Angel Pub, Metallica @ Ice Arena, Nottingham, Gama Bomb/Cauldron London Old Blue Last Pub, Cannibal Corpse/Bodom @ Nottingham Rock city, in the last couple of weeks or so.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Send More Paramedics on Thrashing LAM Comp?

Question: Do you think that Send More Paramedics could have been as big as the new wave of thrash bands coming through now if they had started a few years later? I\'m guessing you were fans of them as you put them on your Thrashing like a maniac comp, and they were at least as good as any of the newer thrash bands you care to mention. From: redear16@hotmail.com

Answer: I know what you mean, Send More Paramedics were at least 2 years ahead of everyone else, singing about Zombies,and playing punky HC-influenced "thrash".The band were so far ahead of the curve, that by January 2008 when we released our Thrashing Like A Maniac comp, which showcased most of the new school thrash bands,SMP had actually split up for good, and diappeared from the scene. A bit like Deadfall aswell I suppose.

The band were actually the very first band signed up for the comp, aside from the Earache acts, because they were locally based to us, in the Nottingham area.Also the band were included as a favour to their label In At The Deep End, which is a local Nottingham label we take a great deal of interest in.As far as I know members of the band had lucrative jobs and so gave up the rock n roll dream for steady 'normal' employment, which is fair enough.

It's debatable wether the band would be huge in the current climate though, they were great, especially onstage in all the zombie gear, but the songs were actually quite punky and the bands getting huge nowadays are the very metallised thrash bands with guitar solos aplenty, as opposed to the more HC-influenced thrash crews.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

What happened to Janus Stark?

Question: Do you think as a band janus stark were always going to fail? simply because of the involvement in the prodigy of gizz, also from what ive read in interviews with both parties the wildhearts were trying to recruit him at that point as well, so was it outside factors that effectivly killed the band? From:

Answer: In a word- yes.The weight of expectation on Janus Stark was too much, because of his Prodigy connections, the pressure for success on the band, especially in America, where they were licensed to a Major (Trauma/MCA), was much higher than any normal band, and they failed to live up to the hype.

Gizz Butt is a legend in the UK punk & metal scenes, but in the history of the Earache label, Janus Stark barely warrant a footnote, their fame was short-lived and time has not been kind to them over the years.We sell no records, and they only have questions on this blog,I guess by people retrospectively taking an interest in Gizz's Prodigy connection,or getting into his excellent new band The More I See and working backwards, which is fair enough.

In 1997 or so, Earache signed UK punk stalwarts English Dogs, the original punk band were big news in the 80's, first as a brickwall Hardcore punk act then later as a more metallised speed metal band which put out a classic album on Under One Flag/Music For Nations, the UK label which had released Metallica and Anthrax earlier in the decade.

By late 90's English Dogs had mutated once again, now a power trio, and led by Gizz,they were by this point playing extremely catchy hard edged pop-punk, a demo tape caught our attention so we signed the band. Almost as the ink was drying on the contract, Gizz informed us of a phone call he'd received out of the blue from Liam Howlett, who offered him the job as live on-stage guitarist for The Prodigy, I think his first gig was headlining Glastonbury Festival within a few weeks.

Events moved at lightning pace, because we signed the band as an fairly smallish punk band, yet within weeks their leader was onstage with the biggest band in the world, as the Prodigy were selling millions of copies of 'Fat of the Land' album at the time.
No one had any complaints, we all agreed we'd sit it out and record the album later, by sheer chance it semmed a foolproof way to promote the new band we'd signed.
We registered the name of the band, but to our surprise the word "English" cannot be registered unless you are given royal seal of approval, so the band quickly changed their name to Janus Stark - it was also to give them a break from the past, and a stab at a fresh fanbase since thousands of Prodigy fans were getting the buzz about Gizz.

Also catching the buzz was LA label Trauma Records which had had huge success putting out No Doubt and Bush.Trauma was bankrolled by MCA, which meant a very lucrative deal was able to be struck. Trauma's promotion of the band in USA took the driving seat, eclipsing what was happening in the UK- the major scored the band an alternative radio hit in USA and their music was featured heavily in a movie stateside too-in Varsity Blues they shared the soundtrack with heavyweights like AC/DC, Green Day, Van Halen and Offspring.The band gained a level of fame in USA but were unable to seal it with a tour because of Gizz's commitments to the Prodigy, who were busy touring the world's stadiums.

Ultimately when the band did undertake a US tour with Trauma label-mates The Flys, the moment had passed and even though it was a successful tour, it did'nt propell the band into the major leagues, leaving the label disappointed at the poor eventual CD sales.

Trauma suffered legal complications of their own due to Gwen Stefani's solo career taking off, meaning Janus Stark fell off their radar. Trauma declined to pick up the option and at that point Earache's interest faded too.Janus Stark split soon after.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Why Sell The Morbid Angel Master tapes?

Question: It says on Wikipedia that Earache sold the rights to Morbid Angel Blessed Are The Sick Master Tapes on ebay.Don't you now think this is a little bit foolish?
From : mikeholloway435@hotmail.com

Answer: Earache was launching its ebay store and we wanted to create some excitement on the interweb about it. We decided to auction something truly exceptional to catch the attention of folks and create traffic.If folks found their way onto the store to check it out, we figured they might also buy some of the 600 more mundane T-shirts & Cds which are on offer.

Phil who runs the ebay store asked me about selling original test pressings of early Earache releases, but they would have had to come out of my own collection,and as I did'nt want to part with my precious White labels, that was a non starter- so after a bit of thought we came up with something much better.

I remembered some years before that the Beastie Boy-owned Grand Royal label had gone bankrupt and offered itself for sale, including many of its master recordings, which were put up for auction to the public.It seemed quite an ignominious end to what was easily the hippest label of the 90's alternative rock scene.Bankruptcy auctions usually take place behind closed doors, but this was the first do be done online and in full public view, it created a massive stir.A group of fans won the auction and subsequently relaunched the label as G2 Records minus many of the famous names of course.

Earache was not in bankruptcy, neither were Morbid Angel, but technology marches on relentlessly, and in the Earache store-room today are hundreds of vintage "master" SONY PCM 1630 tapes which are quite unplayable, because they are 20+ years old technology, the format is obsolete and the machines to play them are scarce or no longer exist.They gather dust and take up valuable space, each tape is the size of say, half a lap-top, they are frankly bulky and useless.The data on them has long been transferred to CD (which is identical) and other modern formats.NOTE they are not the same as the original multi-track tapes -2 inch analogue Ampex- with each of the original instruments recorded takes- those were not for sale.

Instead of dumping the PCM 1630's we thought maybe they might have some appeal to the crazy collectors out there, they do have a historical antique value after all, as it is the actual tape that the first replication of Blessed Are The Sick Cds came from, with hand written notes and even a song title change written by hand, by me.It might make someone's day.

An Australian fan won the auction, I think he paid $700, and he was ecstatic to own a genuine slice of early Morbid Angel memorabilia, and we were glad to provide it.Naturally, he has no rights in the recording or right to reproduce and copy the tape, this is understood by all parties, except the dimwits at the online news services who assumed wrongly that it was a going -out-of-business fire-sale for the label.To be fair, most highly publicised master tapes auctions are for that reason, like sayTVT records recently, its an easy mistake to make.

In hindsight, if I'd known all the fuss and mis-interpretation it would cause, for a measly 700 bucks, I would'nt have bothered. But our webstore has done great business because of the publicity so its not all bad.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The D in D-Beat stands for Discharge!

Question: you said on a previous blog you see a d beat revival being a big thing what bands do you see doing it? Personally i see tradgedy, drop dead and disfear leading the charge with the newer bands following. I dont know what your opinion on this is From:

Answer: This is a subject dear to me - back in the day I was at many early Discharge gigs including at Derby Ajanta club, where the Decontrol single cover picture was photographed, I'm on that cover in the crowd gawping up at Cal the singer.
Discharge were beyond awesome in the early days, their importance to the punk and metal scene cannot be overstated.Many bands can lay claim to being influential but Discharge were truly monumental, they changed the DNA of the entire punk and metal movements. That's some feat, believe me, maybe only Nirvana have managed it since.

Its scandalous that music history books do not devote entire chapters to the Discharge scene,as the movement they spearheaded continues to this day.If the Earache label story ever gets told in a published book (Albert Mudrian's excellent book Choosing Death covered most of it, now other writers contact me regularly for the full story) you can bet the first chapter will be all about Discharge.

As for the new bands- Discharge have Rainy on bass again, in my eyes he's the star of the show, his basslines are so fluid, he gives the band that all-important drive and momentum.It took me 12 seconds listening to the new 2008 album Disensitise to hear Rainy's trademark bass rumble, at which point I knew they were back on top notch form. The countless Discharge-clone bands never sussed this,except maybe the superb Disfear who are arguably the biggest Dis-band in the world, containing members of major metal acts like Entombed and At The Gates, but Disfear get a bit too rock n roll-y for my liking. Tragedy are killer aswell they perfected that wall of power for sure, but my vote as the best of all the pretenders goes to Aussies Pisschrist.


Tragedy - Deaf & Disbelieving live

Discharge Possibility of life's Destruction CD

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Resistant Culture-LA's Crust-Punk band

Question: What\'s the story on Resistant Culture (Los Angeles). Why are they so mysterious in the metal/grindcore scene? Native American vocalist, female guitarist, former member of Napalm Death, current member of Terrorizer??? Why are they considered a \"well kept secret\"???... From: benaxiom@yahoo.com

Answer: This is my first time checking out Resistant Culture actually, and it seems a pretty cool crusty-punk band. The only mystery is why d'ya pretend you're not actually in the group dude? Anyways, It was a shock to see Jesse Pintado (RIP) in your video, now I understand why you mentioned the Napalm Death and Terrorizer connection.It must have been one of the last video recordings of Jesse before his untimely and tragic death.Rest in Peace, bro.

Back to the band-I think I know why you are off the radar of most metal/grind kids- your message may be very strong and heartfelt but your riffs don't seem 'metallised' enough or the vocal delivery vicious enough, maybe? The native North American chanting has more passion in it then the entire rest of the vocals which seem deadpan in comparison.Wheres the anger gone? I know The LA grind sound which Nausea/ Terrorizer popularised back in the day was deliberately mid-paced to accentuate the power, but even when you go 'fast' your songs sound fairly pedestrian -polite, even- when compared to say Pisschrist for instance, who are my fave crust-punk d-beat band currently.

I was impressed by your website which for a crusty band is incredibly slick, its design and usefulness is one of the best i've ever seen, I take it someone works in web-design for a living? And the flash game is pretty radical, its actually mindblowing and if some well-known major league metal band had released such a game it would be heralded as a major breathrough.So massive props to you for that.

Carcass remix of Bjork

Question: how did the carcass remix of bjork\'s track isobele come about? it seems a bit strange that it exists. From:

Answer: Bjork is absolutely brilliant.She's a bona-fide worldwide star specialising in quirky Pop, and you know what, she genuinely loves Death Metal- in her artful way I guess she considers it highly avant garde, outsider music, which it pretty much is.

Her path has crossed with Earache many times over the years, dating back to the 80's when her first band The Sugarcubes- an Icelandic alternative/post-punk band coming from the anarcho-punk scene- had a surprise UK hit on the fledgling One Little Indian label. Founded by Derek Birkett, the former bassist in UK anarcho-punk stalwarts Flux Of Pink Indians, the tiny OLI label worked out of the Portobello Road premises of record pressing plant Mayking Records. Every early Earache vinyl release was manufactured at that plant- thats why Mayking is etched into the vinyl- so I found myself visiting the plant on a weekly basis, its where his wife worked actually, but Derek himself took me under his wing, as Earache exploded in late 80's he became a sort of ad hoc advisor/mentor for Earache's business dealings, because he had the experience and knowledge of running a successful UK Indie label. Derek has also been Bjorks manager for most of her career.

Bjorks husband is noted NYC artist Matthew Barney who as part of the showing of his famous Cremaster Cycle part 3 performance piece formed an death metal ensemble including Hate Eternal's Derek Roddy on drums.

In recent years I recall watching Slipknots first UK show in London, turned around and there was Bjork in the crowd- she was loving the band's performance.Yes, Bjork is the real deal.

As for Carcass, the band were in their death-throes at the tail-end of the recording process of Swansong, an album they recorded for Columbia Records which was subsequently shelved by the major.Earache wasn't involved in those recording sessions but I guess Jeff Walker was cleverly reaching out to known Carcass supporters in the wider rock world as a means of making the band heard in more mainstream areas, it was a great attempt at self- promotion I reckon but it ultimately failed to save them from splitting up though. Carcass remixed both Bjork "Isobel" from the album Post and a Killing Joke song "Democracy" - the remixing process was basically layer the vocals onto left over riffs/songs from the sessions, the task itself was ably left to producer Colin Richardson to complete.

Bjork- Isobel (Carcass remix)

Killing Joke - Democracy (Carcass remix)

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Is anything shocking anymore?

Question: Why do you think that now extreme metal bands can get away with more profanity than they could back in the day? The most famous cases in Britain are obviously the earache office raid over the john zorn incident and also the police arrest of ollie jones of desecration for their first record due to obsenity because their album featured lyrics about a pedophilic serial killer, other than the oceano incident its been relitivy quiet and do you think there is a way of a band overstepping the mark in regard to gore nowadays? From:

Answer: The early 90s was a different era- it was easier to be shocking because it was pre-internet and life seemed more innocent back then.The internet becoming mainstream in mid-late 90's meant masses of people could view whatever they liked (within reason) on the web.Sites like the trailblazing Ogrish which showed real-life accidents and gory disasters became easily viewable for the curious.As mass slaughter at breakfast time and televised beheadings became part of modern life, so it seems as though life itself has upped the ante on what gore-hounds deem "sick"- Ogrish was basically overthrown by liveleak.com.

The last band I know to suffer censorship was Scalplock who courted controversy by picturing Bin Laden on their CD sleeve, this was barely months after 9/11, and touched a raw nerve with the pressing plants and CD distributors.

Oceano caused controversy by accident when their bog standard stab at a Death metal type "Psycho butcher/girl" set of pics were removed from myspace within 24 hours and the band were threatened with account removal.
Myspaces act of banning the pics made them seem worse than they are, they sowed the seed into people's minds that the band must have done something really bad to deserve a ban, which perpetuates to this day.This episode was a wake up call, because it reminded us that the web space we all routinely use is actually owned by someone else, and they have regulations which we have to abide by, which I think is fair enough.

Bands nowadays have to go the extra mile if they want to shock anybody.Swedish band Syron Vanes have pushed all the PC-alarm buttons far into the red with their "Property of.." album cover.Blatant sexism on a modern-day record sleeve is actually quite shocking.Sophisticated it aint! But being retarded is half of its cheap appeal I think.

Earache itself does like pushing the envelope creatively, the edginess of flirting with taboos is what makes great art exciting, so we encourage our bands to walk that line,then wait and see what happens.One new release is stirring up a hornet's nest right now- Cauldron's album is not even out yet, but the cover for their debut "Chained to the Nite" has already run into trouble with the USA's biggest retailer chain Best Buy refusing to stock the record, forcing us to make a second sleeve available.

Carcass clones & Goregrind scene.

Question: Ive always wondered this being as earache put out the originals. What did you think of the carcass clone bands that have popped up over the years? and have you ever wanted to sign any of them? There were bands like general surgery who were friends with the band from their inception due to tape trading who seemed to work their music as a possible friendly rivalry and now theres obviously the bay area bands like impaled who mix the carcass sound with slightly more humour based lyrics. The end of the line is obviously The County Medical Examiners due to their actual day jobs and from what ive read the singer/guitar player would not be doing his day job if it wasnt for carcass as he was one of those people as mentioned in the 1992 interview on the necro dvd who took a certain root of education because of carcass! From:

Answer: Yeah its been quite amazing to watch the rise of Gore-grind as a genre.Obviously the genre started with Carcass' Reek album in 1987- Reek is heavily downtuned gore-themed speedy grindcore with sick inhuman vocals, topped off by a shoddy production job.I often cited it as my favourite album of all the early gamechangers Earache released, because this album had no links to the past at all,no anarcho-political lyrics, no discharge parts- everything about it was crushing and totally off the hook.It was a new sound, and for many years the record didnt sell many copies (it was banned from shops due to the cover art, and remains the bands poorest seller by a long chalk) but somehow, and to our amazement it caused an outpouring of similar sounding demo bands, they popped up everywhere- like a rash. Normally bands keep an eye on their progress via monitoring record sales, but Carcass had no sales numbers to speak of, so the band could only judge their success by number of their clones.

And there were tons of them- Finlands Xysma was the first Carcass clone out of the blocks, I beleive - I thought about signing them to Earache for a while actually, but never did anything about it, and anyway Xysma within a year or two sort of mutated to a heavy rock n roll act, and never returned to the goregrind. Just like Carcass.

The County Medical Examiners used to inundate us with their slickly packaged demo material, looking for a label, I recall they even had their Cd already recorded, complete with body part cover art, and just needed someone to release it.It was a nice trip down memory lane, and undoubtely they ARE the most faithful clone band to date, but we dounted their claims of authenticity in the medical practitioner field.Sounded like a yarn spun by med students to me- but even if it was true, how could they tour? Relapse did the deed that Earache declined to do.

Heres XYSMA in their grind days:

Dalek on Earache? Err Nah.

Question: Being as godflesh sampled gangstar, benji from dub war\'s obsession with public enemy and you\'ve said you were into music from the street have you ever considered signing any of the heavier underground hip hop acts to earache? for example the experimental hip hop group dalek sounds like someone rapping over scorn. From:

Answer: Nah. Too safe and boring for my tastes.

New thrash bands- will they end up progressing?

Question: Do you think there is a possibility in a few years time some of thease new wave of thrash bands could enter the alt rock arena like the original thrash bands did? admitidly metallica did it out of boredom and through rediscovering a love of sabbath( according to a kirk interview). I know it seems a bit premature to ask but i mean look at cave in then went from a slayer/death influenced sound to a radiohead meets foo fighters sound in the space of just a few years. From:

Answer: It's possible I suppose that this new crop will emulate their Big Four heroes and go more progressive and less thrash 2 or 3 albums down the line, but from where I'm standing, many of them definately appear to be thrashers for life. Most of the new wave of thrash bands are pretty young, mostly only being around a couple of years, and judging from dealing with our own bands, they simply play thrash because they love the genre, and like it or loathe it, you gotta admit its played from the heart.

Thankfully, I don't see any band "progressing" into alternative rock style anytime soon.The 80's Big Four Thrash innovators all "progressed" into markedly different styles, mostly slowing down, and thrash without speed simply stops being thrash, as everyone knows.

Evile do have a tendency to write the odd 6 minute epic- like We Who Are About To Die on their debut album, and their next album will I imagine again have a lengthy epic number (or 2), but having heard some demos, Evile are developing a seemingly more complex kind of Thrash.

Morbid Angel original painting of Blessed art

Hey! I don't have a question for you, but something to share with the readers of the Ask Earache blog, which I find to be very interesting. I'm a huge fan of Blessed Are the Sick, and on a recent European trip with my girlfriend, we had a fun opportunity. After some plans fell through in France, we decided to visit Brussels for the day, and being the bizarro metal fan that I am, something clicked in my brain and I did a little Internet research into something that I'd looked up years before. My lady isn't into metal, really, but supported my fandom by taking the picture I've attached, which is from the Brussels Fine Arts Museum.

Brought my copy of the LP all the way from Chicago just to make it full-circle. Enjoy!


Answer: Thanks Dave, this blew our minds in the office as we've never seen the original painting by Jean Delville It's way larger than we imagined. I think we received the art on transparency or suchlike from the museum at the time we made the album, so had no idea of the huge scale of the art.This is a great pic,I'm happy to share it with the blog readers, cheers for sending dude!

This got me thinking along similar lines, if anyone knows where HR Giger's Life Support sculpture is located, I would'nt mind seeing the original of that too, the sculpture was used for Carcass' Heartwork opus. Click pic to enlarge.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Insect Warfare- how come MOSH68?

Question: I couldn\'t help noticing that the new Insect Warfare disc has the catalogue number of MOSH068..and there\'s a blank space for that number in your catalogue..so what\'s the deal....? Why such an \'old\' catalogue number..? And, is there any intention to release another collectors/limited package in the near future (such as the 400th release)..? I was wondering if there might be scope for another \'Rareache\'-style item. Cheers! From:

Answer: Well spotted my eagle-eyed friend! We wondered if anyone would notice that this new release on Earache has a Mosh 68 Catalog number.The Mosh numbers have been allocated in sequence to each release on the label for the last 20 years,I personally know there's a lot of crazy fans who do collect the complete set of albums on Earache, so now and again we like to tweak things to make the collectors work harder, keep em on their toes. Earache is currently up to Mosh 380-something, yet Insect Warfare cites Mosh 68 on the sleeve, as you point out, which if you follow the label closely means it 'should' have been released in 1991 or so, not 2009.

Its always bugged me that the original Mosh 68 cat number remained unreleased, and our prime early catalog always had a big missing Mosh number in it.Back in the day, avid collectors used to speculate on what it might be,even. In 1991 or so Mosh 68 was due to be the SORE THROAT debut album "Unhindered By Talent" reissue- original label Meantime Records had gone bust and sold me all their tapes - but the record was shelved by me, because Sore Throat at the time specialised in being prime dickheads, Rich Walker still is one, in fact. They spent all their time and energies putting the boot into this label, and Napalm Death especially, dedicating entire albums to the cause like "Never Mind The Napalm".What started as in-joke banter from some fellow HC scenesters, soon turned a lot darker, as they became more motivated by pure jealousy at other's success. Rich even got headbutted for his troubles.It seems petty now, looking back, but when their ire and rhetoric turned solidly towards Earache, I lost interest in Sore Throat pretty damn quick, and shelved the re-issue.

For almost 20 years Earache did not release any grindcore bands, as none seemed up to the mark set by our early trailblazers, to my ears anyways.That was until we heard Texan grinders Insect Warfare who released their truly earth shattering World Extermination album on a small DIY label 625Thrash in 2007.This instantly became my fave grindcore album of recent years, I felt it was up there with Napalm Death's FETO and Terrorizer etc because unlike most other grindcore bands around, most of which captured the sound perfectly OK, only Insect Warfare managed to capture the all-important 'feeling' of the early grindcore scene aswell.

Earache made some moves to license the record from 625, but they had to check with the band themselves, who unknown to me, had split up after returning from a far east tour.So that seemed to be the end of that, we gave up on the idea.
A few months went by, then out of the blue, I heard from Beau the guitarist of Insect Warfare.From talking to Beau it was obvious he's a diehard fan of the Earache early output.On an early 7inch they went a bit ridiculous, and actually thank the Mosh numbers that influenced the band.It came up in email conversation that since the record sounds like the record Napalm Death SHOULD have made after FETO (instead of going all Death Metal) plus World Extermination could easily have been released on Earache in 1990, then why not give it an authentic Mosh flavour in the form of a spare early catalog number.The band loved the idea, hence Mosh 68 was finally released on March 2nd 2009.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

KILL TO GAIN's demo on myspace

Question: after submitting many many demo\'s, im just wondering \"are they actually listening to them?\"
thanks. From: bennybunter@hotmail.co.uk

Answer: Alright dude calm down...we get a zillion bands contacting us all the time to check them out- and we certainly checked out KILL TO GAIN.You submitted your details in the correct way - using our form on the contacts page of earache.com and sure enough your myspace page ended up in my inbox to look at, so you already did better than most bands- YOU ACTUALLY read the instructions! Congrats..Wow, its not difficult really.

Anyways- sorry to disappoint you lot but I don't think your band actually cuts it...the competition to be signed is ferocious, and you sadly are too unrehearsed/ too sloppy in fact.You are simply too new to your instruments, like most demo bands we hear.
Heres how it looked from my end, let me don my best Simon Cowell-type trousers -pulled chest high- and give ya a listen:

The Myspace player played me "Set Free" and within the first 15 seconds I could sense the drums were ponderous and the groove/rhythm of the band was not millisecond tight.In fact its way off,so we automatically pass.I didnt even wait till the vocals or main riff kick in before making up my mind.As it happens I think the sung vocalist was good, the shouty was boring- the 2 together is old fashioned.The song overall was mediocre.

The best bits of your band is the sung vocals, they sound quite heartfelt and mournful, about 2 minutes into "Because of You' is really cool-cos it is reminiscent of System of A Down or Scars on Broadway.You should ditch the shouty vokills because they seem forced and unnatural for the singer-his natural style is singing vocals, the beggining of "Used" is really fine actually- its your best song and should be first in the player and make sure it plays first each time.I know it unheavy but for some reason its your most natural style.

The shredding guitar solo type intro at the beginning of Dreamworld Massacre is frankly poor.And the uptempo shouty 'What did I Say' is your worst song in my opinion, there was nothing catchy about it.I'd remove that one.

So overall, your band is much like many others we hear- you are about as average as they come.You have some promising moments but its let down by overall untogetherness, and lack of tightness in the playing, and lack of direction.

In the rehearsal room or playing to a handful of fans these things can be over-come by the vibes and the energy coming off stage.When it comes to getting the opinion of the larger metal labels- the demo has to instantly grab our attention. Earache is no different to the rest of bigger metal labels, we are all looking for world class, original metal bands.Except in Earache's case we are historically more likely to take a punt on bands which have no fanbase but simply strike us as having a fresh new innovative metal sound-which these days is mostly the new breed of young Traditional Heavy Metal bands coming through at this present time.

Lastly I wish your band all the best, and who knows, if a couple of lucky breaks go your way, then KILL TO GAIN could be the big new breakthrough metal act in a year or two's time.Bands can progress very fast, I've noticed.At the end of the day the best advice I can give you is to tour more,and keep touring, as the bands that play the most shows invariably end up the biggest.