Thursday, May 11, 2006

Earache- the good ol' early days (Part 2,876)

Question: I have a question that was inspired by an answer you gave to one of the questions, Why do you think people cling to the old days of earache as opposed to concentrating on the new stuff. My personal theory is that people get a nostalgic feeling when they listen to old earache in that they know the guys tried to achieve alot with the little and basic equipment they had i mean justin broadrick used to build gear in his shed from what i read in an article.another reason is because during the 80s and 1990s earache was really the only label other than peaceville having the sort of bands that existed on the label at the time
im interested to hear your opinions on this From: Unknown.

Answer: Yeah, looking back, its what 20 years ago now- Earache's early era was explosive and was the fireball that the late 80's-90's metal scene badly needed-you gotta remember the metal scene back then was dominated by mega-selling-but-dire Glam bands, (Def Leppard anyone?) meanwhile we prefered a selection of excellent DIY politico-hardcore bands (Discharge,Disorder,Minor Threat, DRI, LARM etc) who were highly regarded, but who lacked the ambition to break out of the safety of the tightly-knit HC scene, and of course the big 4 Thrash bands too-Slayer and Metallica and even Death had all begun to make serious waves with their debuts, influencing the direction of metal music back towards the heavier end of the spectrum.

Earache's style was a Frankenstein-esque hybrid of all that- a mixture of the most crushing downtuned metal riffs allied to blistering punk/HC drumspeeds, with vocals sung thru the garbage disposal- the whole package was released with OTT artwork, for added extremity.We were literally the first label to do this which such singleminded purpose-so, naturally our stable of acts caught the attention of much wider media not connected to the metal scene, people like the revered DJ John Peel played us constantly on the radio,and the UK's NME music paper even covered Earache's acts,and highly regarded Jazz saxophonist John Zorn helped promote Napalm Death by personally arranging thier debut stateside show too. All those folks embraced the early MOSH catalog, and the effect snowballed until even the average joe in the street became aware of the extreme sounds of the bands coming outta our little office in Nottingham.

The words 'extreme' and 'music' were hardly used together until Earache made it the labels aim to release 'Extreme Music'.We also coined the term Grindcore- that word first appeared in printed form on the sleeve of our 1989 "Grindcrusher" LP.Excess was always an admired attribute in metal but no other label seemed to revel so single-mindedly in making excessive volume, speed and unlistenable noise its whole core and ethos, with no exceptions.

I think fans soon realised Earache's bands really were truly pushing the envelope as far as they could, and i'm certain the fans could relate to that struggle, and supported it for that reason.As Albert Mudrian correctly points out in his magnificent book "Choosing Death" which accurately recounts the birth of the Extreme Metal scene,Earache and its choice of early acts were the catalyst and blueprint for a good percentage of the myriad Extreme Music 'scenes' that exist today, with the notable exceptions of Black Metal and Gothic Metal which we-stupidly, in hindsight-ignored. (Peaceville's Paradise Lost kick-started the latter, after they turned down our offer of a contract)

As for the present set of Earache bands.... we think Akercocke, Decapitated, Mortiis, Municipal Waste, Anata, Ephel Duath,Cult Of Luna, the Berzerker, Biomechanical, et al, all stand up to whatever has gone before.They are all putting their own original stamp on extremity in music in 2006- thats exactly why we signed em..Earache does'nt peddle 20+ variations of Carcass clones or 3rd rate At The Gates wannabees in its catalog- we stick with the originals who were - and those that currently are-the first and the best.

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