Question: devin townshend said in an interview that earache along with roadrunner were the labels that turned strapping young lad down is this true and if it is do you as a label regret this decision now?
Also are there any other artists that earache regret not signing From: Unknown.
Answer: We honestly don't remember getting contacted by Devin about SYL, so it cannot be true.Maybe a cd arrived in the post as a demo, which we didn't pick up on, but we'd remember it, if it was by SYL.Nah- not true.But we would sign em now tho!
As for other bands we did'nt sign in the past, and regret it .. there's not many-we have usually had our pick of the Extreme metal bands without trying too hard, as Earache has its undeniable early 90's putting-extreme-music-on-the-map historical status and catalog behind us.The main band I wish Earache had signed back in the day is DEATH, such a legendary,innovative band, led by a charismatic leader, but chances to sign them never came up sadly.Theres not many acts who have actually approached us at their own demo tape stage, who have since gone on to be huge- Fear Factory and Sepultura being the 2 main ones we stupidly turned down during Earache's very early days 1988-9 or so.D'oh!!
Theres quite a few bands we have approached, usually after a well received debut release, but being a relatively small-medium sized Indie we have lost out in the bidding war many times.Nirvana is one.We offered a huge deal (for us) to Sub Pop to licence the album after "Bleach' for Europe, but Geffen signed the band worldwide and the rest is history, oh well, never mind....You won't believe this, but in late 90's Earache was the first ever label to offer a deal to System Of A Down, having many meetings in LA in with the band and management.It did not come off, they signed to Rick Rubin's American instead., but at least Serj remembers Earache was pretty much the only indie who rated their music and ideas early on.Good on him!
On the underground metal side Burzum is a band we were set on signing, and had personal meetings in Nottingham with Varg in 1992, but we got cold feet on the deal after discovering Vargs shockingly extreme right wing views ( this was a year before the murder).
Cradle of Filth were due to sign with Earache after Cacophonous in mid 90's, we had heavily negotiated contracts for months, which were ready to sign ,but on the day they were due to sign Dani called to say they had opted to sign with MFN instead.Fair enough,they have done brilliantly since. Opeth we made an offer for last year after MFN closed its doors- we lost out to Roadrunner, y'know, we had earlier offered for Opeth in the 90's aswell, so thats twice they turned us down now ,dammit!.Emperor we made offers to when they were inbetween Candlelight deals,again, with no luck.
On the metalcore side,Dillinger Escape Plan on their debut were a band we eyed up to sign, but we declined to make an offer in the end- they have since ended up on Relapse and we do regret not making that move. In recent years we offered to Red Chord and Between the Buried and Me, but lost out to Metal Blade and Victory respectively.
Nowadays, most of the indie metal labels make similar offers to nearly all of the big selling bands who come up out of contract.The bands have the pick of maybe 6-7-8 deals,some of the labels now have major label affiliations- Century Media with EMI, Roadrunner with Universal, Nuclear Blast with East West, Metal Blade with Warners USA- which makes their offers sometimes much more attractive than the others.