Sunday, November 09, 2008
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.