Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Deicide & Vital Remains

Question: another question about deicide members, being as ive read before on this blog how earache signs musicans not bands. Id like to know how glen and steve get away with playing in and composing for vital remains because surely thats your investment composing for another label being as steve is the main song writer for deicide. although could this be argued the other way when tony and steve helped out with deicide? thanks

Answer: Nearly every musician we have ever signed always seem to have another band or project on the go, besides their 'main' band.Deicide is no different.Steve has a rock band in the works, Jack is in Adrift, Ralph is in Obituary, but also has a project featuring many famous guitarists underway, Glen helps out on Vital Remains CD when they are recording, even tho VR are signed to Century Media.Dave Suzuki from Vital helped out on a Deicide DVD aswell.Its all done in a friendly way.
Glen also appeared on the Roadrunner United 'All stars" album a couple of years back.None of these things concern us because its really typical of most musicians these days- collaborations and friendships seem to spring up all over the place and members join/help out other acts, on other labels -all the time, especially in the old-school Florida Death Metal scene.We are pretty accomodating about it.Usually the projects provide a little extra quick income to the musician and it doesnt bother Earache so long as the main band is still the major focus.
In all my years, I've yet to see a project band 'take off' and sell more than the main band..tho Vital remains sells well, but its not a project of Deicide, its a functioning touring band in its own right, with glen on guest vokills.
The labels that have exclusive deals with musicians (as Earache does) could prevent such ad-hoc projects, but since we actually encourage people to be creative, we go with the flow.
Actually thinking about it, i think perhaps the ONLY musician we have ever signed who DID NOT have a project band was Trey Azagthoth (Morbid Angel).That shows how singleminded Trey is towards his main band.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Earache's bands going onto Major labels?

Question: Hi, i am doing a dissertion at College on music business management. I would like to know, how many of your bands are on Major Record Companies?

Answer: Right now we only have one band who Earache discovered and released,who are currently on a major record company. That is Linea 77 who are on UNIVERSAL records.
EARACHE has had a pretty remarkable record of our signings going onto Major companies.At the last count, its 13 bands.Out of a total of approx 100 bands signed, thats a better than 1 in 8 chance of progress to a major after a time on Earache.

In the 90's:
MORBID ANGEL- Giant/warners
CATHEDRAL- Columbia Records
CLUTCH- Atlantic Records
SLEEP- London Records
ENTOMBED- East west Records
CARCASS- Columbia Records
FUDGE TUNNEL_ Columbia Records
GODFLESH- Columbia
SKINDRED (DUB WAR)- Beiler Brothers/Warners

Currently on a Major Co:
LINEA 77- Universal

Ralph in Deicide? Nah...not this week.

Question: is ralph santolla a member of deicide or not?

answer: No he's not in Deicide, he's in Obituary, well as far as i know, this week he is...Glen Benton publically fired Ralph from Deicide in early 2007- we dont know the reason but something happened in South America tour - but by late 2007 Ralph had seemingly agreed to appear again, strictly as a guest musician- so consequently he added his riffs and solos to the upcoming Deicide album TILL DEATH DO US PART strictly as a guest guitarist.Ralph also played on the last Deicide album, and had previously lent his undoubted guitar virtuoso skills to DEATH and ICED EARTH, in the 90's.
To be honest Deicide is truly just the duo of Glen Benton and Steve Asheim, as the originators of the group they decide what goes.Every musician 'joins the band' on a project by project basis, with the discussions, financial matters, and the hiring and firing led by Glen Benton as he sees fit.
Ralph got his knickers ina twist when our PR department mistakenly wrote a press release that Ralph has "rejoined Deicide" for this new album. I guess he got annoyed cos it made him look bad to his current outfit Obituary.The truth is.. we have no clue who is in Deicide at any time, their 3 albums and 2 DVD's for us have so far featured no less than 5 different guitarists.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Good idea to form a 100% digital label?

Question: Im looking into forming an anti label called core breach recordings and i wonder if you think its fesible, basically not releasing cds( maybe some in limited runs) but selling 100% through downloads, the band sign to the label for promotion and to pay for the costs of recording, ive been told it could work because i wouldnt have to pay for pressing or shipping, however would people be into a label thats working 100% through downloads.

Answer:I think you will have a REALLY hard time doing it right now. Right now our digital sales are just under 10%, and some major labels have digital sales of 14%,mainly through itunes and amazon Mp3 store- Ok those figures are low, compared to the 90% which STILL comes from Cd's.. but any fool can see, digital is certainly growing, and growing very fast.Industry folks estimate its possibly 5 years until all labels are 100% digital labels, so i agree its only a matter of time, not if.

I think the main question for you in 2008, is wether the fans and especially the bands would be into having no physical release at all?You might well acheive a lot of online praise and support from the Anti-RIAA bloggers - the ones who get all their music free from mega-nazi-upload or media-nazi-fire file hosting sites - BUT I think you will unexpectedly find its the bands themselves who will have the biggest problem with a digital-only label.Most acts expect a label to produce something physical- a CD or Vinyl or maybe some USB-stick artefact- in return for their creative efforts.Even Radiohead, who caused such a media storm with the digital-only release of their 'In rainbows' album, well, within 4 months they also have a regular Cd instores and a special collectors box set aswell, so what does that tell you?

Don't forget also, that Bands themselves can upload their own music onto itunes and many other download sites, without a label being involved.Actually, most bands we deal with these days think uploading 3 songs to myspace is more or less 'a release' of their music.I know what they mean, because fans can hear it instantly, the fans can interact with the band about the songs on the comments section, and the band can tour and play those songs live, and even sell T-shirts aswell.Myspace's popularity with fans is immense, and the huge amount of music being streamed for free from a bands own page,means that where a label actually comes into the picture is becoming increasingly blurry.

Stick with our old band - or go for a new one?

Question: What would you suggest to a band that has actually released three albums, with problems with the three labels they have released them, poor distro, promo, and if they are about to change almost all the lineup for the NEXT big step (total dedication)... Should we really continue with that band (with all the work done and recognition that means) or shall we start with something new and fresh? Do you pay more attention to a NEW boom CD of a new band, or is it the same for you being a 4th album (same album i.e.)? Thanks for any advice.

Answer: I would strongly suggest you fold the old band- and get on with the new band right away ,as its your best chance to succeed.Its very rare for a band to be discovered and get big on album number 4, simply because the whole metal industry, from guys who run labels to the journalists who write the magazines are always quick to judge the merits or otherwise of bands from the debut onwards.If after 3 tries, nothing is happening then its time to try something different.If your band has existed already for 3 albums and didnt make any progress, then i would suggest its the band at fault, not the labels.It will be hard to move away from all the energy and creativity you have already placed into the old band...but the clever tactic is to face the fact its simply not happening with fans for some reason, and start anew, with no mention of your previous band.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

No love for Narcosis then?

Question: Does earache have a policy of not signing bands of staffers or somthing? as this is the only reason that i can think of why you didnt pick up narcosis when they were around ( didnt chris used to work in your offices a while back), I thought their Discordance Axis on steroids sound would be right up earache\'s street.

Answer:Narcosis? they sound more like DX on bad glue, mate! Ha ha! ;-) Actually, the band were barely even going when Chris used to work at Earache, he worked ( well,i say 'worked") at the office for oh, all of 2 months, and we used to mercilessly take the mickey out of his piss-weak grind band, as well as his lightweight drinking behaviour.
This was before the album "Romance" came out...which when we finally heard it - bloody hell, it certainly raised a few eyebrows round these parts, it was fast as hell and evoked the true spirit of grind- we were eating our words, big style.
Some of the other staffers had seen them live and reported good things, so we began to cast a more watchful gaze over the band.Then out of the blue, they quite unexpectedly split up, so with the demise of the band, that seemed to be the end of the matter. However, I can exclusively reveal to you, dear blog-readers, that Earache will release a Narcosis full discography CD in the very near future, so you were right- it was up our street, only we were too stupid to realise it till it was over.
For a taste of prime quality grind fans can expect check this out: ho ho.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Death Metal-The return. Big for 2008?

Question: Being as ask earache is good at prediction trends ( the new wave of thrash etc), do you see 08 as being the return of death metal to popularity, i mean new albums from desecration, gorerotted and cattle decapitation on the way and the return of carcass has to help the profile of the genre a bit right?

Answer: Yeah you might be right actually-but from where we are sitting,quality Death Metal never really went away- have you heard the SEVERE TORTURE and BLOOD RED THRONE albums from 2007- both are as killer as any of the classic DM albums from the 90's.But i agree the scene is nowhere near the size it was when Earache was releasing the first wave during the early 90's.To be honest the new breed of younger DM bands that promote themselves 24/7 by interacting with their fans on myspace, and touring incessantly - think JFAC and Suicide Silence - they are the ones making the scene healthy now- not Desecration or Goreotted (readers of this blog must know by now, we just dont rate those Brit DM bands- they are distinctly second rate-even tho you lot ask about them all the time!).

With Carcass reforming there is a hell of a lot of vibe about them, considering they last performed in 1995, but we think they will not hang around - so grab your chance to see them in 2008.We have the complete catalog to be re-issued with bonus documentary DVDs on every album, containing indepth interviews with the members who explain the whole story of the band from the humble beginnings in 1987 to the split, including a totally rivetting and moving segment where ken recounts how he felt when he was trapped in a coma for 6 months in 1999.Its must-see stuff.

Red Terrorizer T-Shirt?

Question: Hey I have a shirt that was printed by you guys that I wanted to know when it came out. It is a red terrorizer longsleeve and here are direct links to pictures of it. Thank you for the time.

Answer: yeah this shirt is rare, dating from 1989, around the release of the Terrorizer album "World downfall".I think about 100 were made as Red, just to be different from the regular black shirts which were the norm at the time- its never been reprinted by us.The red Terrorizer shirt was famously worn onstage by Jesse Pintado in the NAPALM DEATH live at Salisbury DVD video from 1990.