Saturday, November 04, 2006

No Black Metal on Earache?

Question: Is there a specific reason that there were none, or a very minumum number of black metal bands signed to Earache records? I notice the only black metal band Earache obtained in sometime is Annal Nathrakh but that\'s about it I can see from the catalog of bands. Is it based on preference (maybe Earache isn\'t too fond of the black metal genre) or is it based on just the idea that Earache is soley for death metal and grindcore? I believe I read that somewhere once... From:

Answer: Yes you are right, there is precious little Black Metal on the Earache label catalog,sure, its deliberate, and its for a variety of reasons.When Black Metal began to break out of Norway, in the early 90's, Earache at the time was enjoying its golden period..we had acts like Entombed appear at number 3 in the Swedish National sales charts for instance, and our Grindcore and Death Metal acts like Napalm Death & Morbid Angel were selling well.I wouldnt say we looked down on the new BM scene but our acts certainly did- due to pure arrogance,bands like Entombed would just laugh at the shambolic playing, the non-existant production of the early recordings, and the 'panda' make up and DIY spike armbands that did admittedly make the early BM acts look and sound kinda cheesy.Little did they know it would usurp them in popularity within a few years.

The world exteme music scene was damn tiny in late 80's so naturally I had known Euronymous, I sold Mayhem's first LP Deathcrush for him in the uk, when I had a mailorder, plus I met him in Oslo on tour with Napalm Death, he was a cool guy who worshipped, and looked a bit like, Cronos from Venom- he seemed to be involved in a cool growing scene in Oslo that was keeping the flame alive to true satanic metal,a style which had died out everywhere else.Later he named the catalog numbers of his newly formed label Deathlike Silence "Anti Mosh" which was a blatant jibe at Earache's then runaway success,so our friendship immediately cooled a lot after that, as was our interest in BM, because it seemed to be anti-us!

Earache was also put off getting involved by the fact that many of my UK friends had formed new fledgling labels to sign the first wave of BM bands and we didnt want to rock the boat of such new start-up labels- Neil(Nihil) started Cacophonous to release Dimmu Borgir and Cradle of Filth,Lee Barrett (tho I didn't know him then) had formed Candlelight to sign Emperor, Hammy at Peaceville had signed Darkthrone (via Deaf records).Earache did not want to encroach on those labels.

However,it was obvious in 1992 or so, we had to sign one of the new Norwegian BM acts tho - and frankly, The ONLY band which Earache wanted to sign was Burzum, because they stood out musically and seemed to offer something very different to the rest.Varg was very interested, so he flew into the UK for a meeting at our Nottingham offices, and a deal was struck, but we had problems with his right wing racist views, so quietly backed out of the deal.You can read that story here in Julys blog.

So for various reasons Earache ended up with NO black metal bands during the 90's.

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