Sunday, August 31, 2008

Iron Monkey Cds- out of stock?

Question: How can I get Iron Monkey album!!! From:

Answer:The albums aren't in print, and have not been manufactured for many years, because they were never a big seller, especially in USA where they are quite unknown.Here in the Uk the band had a bit of notoriety during the course of 2 albums in late 90's but again they never broke out of the underground, where, being a trailblazing live act,and one of the heaviest bands to ever walk on a stage, they were quite revered by those-in-the-know.The band split in 1999, and formed various offshoot acts, but tragically the Iron Monkey mainman Johnny Morrow passed away due to a kidney complaint, which he'd had from birth, in 2002.
Iron Monkey are legends to those who saw them -especially in our home town of Nottingham which was their base- and the popularity of Iron Monkey shirts at gigs, is making us consider a re-issue of the 2 classic albums in one package.Its about time the new younger fans who have heard about the legend that was Iron Monkey, were able to pick up the music again.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Swedish Death Metal book

Question: Hey! I\'m reading the fantastic \"Swedish Death Metal\" book, and was intrigued upon reading the chapter which discusses the release of \'Left Hand Path\', to hear that you have the unmsatered version of the album without vocals. Since you spoke highly of that version (according to the quote in the book anyways), I wondered if it would ever see the light of day..perhaps as bonus material on some future reissue of LHP? I know I\'d darn well kill to hear it! From:

Answer: I've not had chance to get this book yet, but no doubt its fantastic, Daniel knows his stuff and was there from the beginning so is the perfect person to write this. He is bassist in INSISION if ya didnt know, making 2 albums on Wicked World for Earache.Now its in English language there is no excuse for any respecting Death heads not to grab this tome.
As for Entombed- from memory I think I was raving about the feeling i had when I first received the Left Hand Path rough mix.I can still remember the chills it sent down my spine, the shock of hearing something so radical and new and ultimately a sound that changed the course of the heavier end of metal.Apart from the band in the studio, i was the first to hear it, and the realisation that this, the 'Sunlight Sound' - even without vocals -was undoubtedly going to be a 'game-changer' is what I meant.That album hit me hard, damn hard. The rough version is heavy on the guitars and no vocals, its not a definative or alternate version or anything,its just a rough mix- beleive me, the final CD is much better.

heres a preview video of the book:

Earache's missing catalog numbers

Question: Why have some of the MOSH catalogue numbers got no releases next to them? From:

Answer: I answered this one a while back on this very blog.Use the handy 'search this blog' box at top left of the page- type in missing mosh and the answer is revealed.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Re-locating Earache to Brum/ London..

Question: Did Earache ever consider relocating during the early days? maybe to the anarcho punk hotbed of bristol or to brum considering napalm and alot of the scene were based there, this question came from the fact that i did the nottingham to brum run myself for the supersonic festival and well its not exactly convient, i could imagine it as chaos when your trying to run a business! From:

Answer: Yeah i know what you mean, Earache's early successful bands did spring from Birmingham and the label was founded and still is based in Nottingham, 50 miles away.I became very familiar with the train timetables in the early days when visiting the Mermaid on a weekly basis to watch Napalm Death gigs- the friggin last train back is something like 9pm which means an all-night stopover- y'know, to this day, the sight of New Street station gives me the chills, i have literally spent many grim, freezing nights in that place waiting for the early morning train, its not a pretty situation.If you went to Supersonic festival ( i was gonna see Scotch Egg at that but never went) at Birmingham recently from Nottingham via train you'll know what I mean, but if you drive its really a breeze on M42 to Brum, at night its empty, so you can be back home in 1 hr tops.As the label grew and bands like Napalm, Godflesh, Bolt Thrower became bigger, funnily enough it became a slight blessing being 50 miles away from the bands, as it meant meetings were less ad-hoc and more organized, more formal in a strange way, because a commute was involved.
The idea of re-locating the label to London is one all labels face- you undoubtedly suffer in this industry from being away from London, as its the hub of the music industry in UK, all the important press/TV/ media are there, and most gig agents, managers lawyers-its jam packed with key contacts- but i strongly resisted that pressure to relocate to London as i'm a proud Nottinghamian, and love living where i do- so i did the commute instead. Luckily the train to London is damn fast - 1 and 1/2 hrs - and convenient, you can even catch one back after a gig (just)-it beats the car hands-down, as parking in London is a rip-off nightmare.Again, one of the upsides of being based out of London is you avoid getting caught up in the London mindset and day-to-day whirl, where only things in London matter and everything outside of London is boring, provincial and small-time.
During Earache's explosive years in the early 90's, things really took off in the USA, and i was visiting New York a hell of a lot, if i was going to move the operation it would have been to NYC in the 90's. At one point in late 90's my passport ran out and I decided to count the number of stamps i had for JFK airport in NYC- it was 95 visits-thats in a decade.

Nowadays Earache has a promotional office in London and a staffed branch office in New York, as well as in central Nottingham (see pic, we are on 1st floor)...and all the action takes place online now anyways so it doesnt even matter where you actually live or work any more.

Oceano Pics banned by Myspace- why?

Question: Do you think the fallout surrounding OCEANO having myspace pics pulled has got a bit OTT? I mean regurgitate, cattle decapitation, General Surgery, Naked City have got away with far worse. Is it because american censor groups have a problem with anything that hints at sexual violence, although the pics dont show this, the coments that the guitar player gave about his conversation with the model do? How frequently does earache normally hit problems with fringe groups and promoters over artistic content? the police raid was over ten years ago havent we moved on! From:

Answer: If anyone missed the news, we arranged a photoshoot for our new Chicago heavyweight ultra-brutal deathcore titans OCEANO, and as usual we gave the band free rein to go as gory and brutal in the shoot as they liked..but the resulting pics- see above and below- were actually removed by Myspace as "innappropriate content" from both the bands Myspace page and their personal profiles.They were removed within 24 hours and i can only assume that Myspace must have a team of workers vetting images constantly, as they are no doubt concerned about the site being overrun with porn.
Earache hasn't known anything like this since Carcass gore covers in the 90's for which we had a Police raid but no charges.It needs to be pointed out that the band don't condone violence against women, the pics are a gore-fueled fantasy inspired by movies like Hostel and SAW..trouble is, on the internet, one mans gore-fueled fantasy is anothers "innappropriate content".

As you say, the heat & fallout is beginning to bite now-Heres what a club owner in KETTERING OH had to say about it:
August 23
Hey guys,
I just wanted to touch base with you about tomorrow's show at the Attic. I have been trying to get in touch with Devon who booked this show for a week, but I haven't gotten a response back yet. That being said I thought I would message you directly.

It has been brought to our attention in the past week or so that there were some images of the band that were banned from myspace. Because we are an all ages, family friendly venue we pride ourselves on providing a positive atmosphere for the kids that come in to see shows. Unfortunately, because of those images and the lyrics to the songs we have found there is no way you guys will be able to meet those guidelines. Again, I apologize for the late notice, we have been trying to get in touch with Devon but at this time we will not be able to allow you to take the stage tomorrow night"

I think its easy to forget that the internet is really not the anarchic free-for-all, anything goes place many folks would have you think it is..the mainstream internet is mostly run by Microsoft, Google (who own blogger and Youtube) and the News International Media conglomerate (who own Myspace and Sky TV in UK) these are some of the biggest companies on the planet and adverse publicity or complaints will affect their shareprice badly.
On the otherhand it could be argued that the internet is self-censoring, most of the major sites have a handy button nearby to flag innappropriate content or report abuse (which i agree with btw) but also i can imagine that some clean cut folks love nothing better than to flag up everything they dont agree with. Its quite democratic in some ways, but the sites often dont bother to check the content's offensiveness or otherwise, they just remove it, as a knee jerk reaction.Free speech advocates argue that the internet sees any kind of censorship as 'damage' and simply routes around it...hence the images are viewable on this blog or on many other websites now.
Bottom line is,I think we wont be making any more gore-inspired pics for any bands because they are more trouble than its worth.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Getting A Deal with Earache for your band...

Question: Hello Earache, i\'m here to ask you how to get a deal with you? Have i to send my songs to your email? From:

Answer: Hi yeah, i've answered this one a few times on this blog- use the search term "getting signed" in the top left of the page, to find the answer you looking for.

Earache's recent Japan-only releases

Question: lately i\'ve seen a few earache cds that have been reissued with a host of bonus tracks...exclusively for the Japanese market. what\'s notable is the limited pressing...what i\'ve seen has come in a print run of about 1000 copies or so. i\'ve come across and own a few, including the SORE THROAT \'Disgrace..\', BRUTAL TRUTH \'Extreme Conditions..\', and TERRORIZER \'World Downfall\'. my first question is, why Japan only? i know Japanese fans are some of the most dedicated/hardcore in the world but why not make them available to the rest of the world as well? what is notable is that there seems to be little or no press circling around these reissues (the only thing i can find on the earache website is a listing under the discography section), and it\'s only as a collector that i know about their existence. my second question is, how many Japan reissues have there been to date, and how many more are you planning? as much info as you can shed would be greatly appreciated. From:

Answer: Earache had a great friend and label partner in Japan during the 90's in Toys Factory records- they were the label who represented us in Japan for a decade and during that time released almost the entire label catalog in Japan, totalling hundreds of CDs,and mostly the Toys printings had an extra bonus track or two as is customary in Japanese releases (To combat the way cheaper US and Euro import editions).However the deal ran out in early 2000's and wasn't renewed, leaving our catalog unrepresented and out-of-print in Japan,except via import, so we looked around for a new distro-partner in the country.

Disk Union is a massive record shop in Tokyo which i have visited many times, its simply a must-see for any music fan, they have a floor for every genre- and stock nearly everything thats worth having, its the best store in Japan.They also sell wholesale,so we arranged with them for certain titles from the back catalog to be available again, exclusively through Disk Union.Being of the completist/collectors mentality, they insisted that many bonus songs were included on their highly limited editions.The choice of the titles is theirs and seems to mostly concentrate on the early HC/Grind releases, which I must admit is not what I was thinking of.

So far Disk Union released INTENSE DEGREE CD (first time ever on CD), SORE THROAT (with long out of print debut Unhindered BY Talent album as bonus), BRUTAL TRUTH & TERRORIZER with unreleased tracks.All limited to 1000 copies, only available from Disk Union, not Earache.
The reason they came without publicity is because we leave the promotion of them to Disk Union themselves, they are mostly meant for the Japanese market, and japanese editons are notoriously expensive to buy in the US or UK.
Keep an eye out on the Disk Union website for more exclusive Earache editions.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Justin Broadrick and err Andy Swan in FINAL?

Question: What is the relationship between napalm death and final as this is quite confusing? was it a pre napalm band or a side project as other than andy swan both justin broadrick and nic bullen have both played in earache bands. im wondering as the dates on some of the final cassettes that i have are marked 86-87 surely that is during the same time that justin and nic were in napalm as well as final so surely earache knew of the project\'s existence, is there any reason why you chose not to pick it up? From:

Answer:First of all- who the hell is Andy Swan? never met him, know nothing about him, so to be mentioned in the same question as bona-fide extreme music legends like Nic & Justin, its quite perplexing to say the least.
I think i know the problem: when folks ask about bands and events on this blog from 20+ years ago, most people who weren't there get their historical information from wikipedia or googling the keywords, which is normal and in many cases the pages the search engine throws up are reasonably accurate but they miss the all important context.Facts without accompanying context is just clues to what happened, not the absolute truth.Its hard to tell the driving forces from the peripheral players when presented with wiki bios.Being mentioned as a member of his teenage industrial noise band with Justin, as in this interview gives him a level of acclaim, that frankly he doesnt deserve.I guess if you could find him, and asked, he might even admit this aswell? I think part of the problem is Justin likes to credit everyone he ever collaborated with aswell, which is nice of him.Its true that Nik and Justin met because of a mutual love of early 80's harsh Industrial tape acts,like Con-Dom etc.

In the late 70's a DIY punky-influenced INDUSTRIAL scene began to emerge headed by bands Throbbing Gristle, Whitehouse and SPK.It was quite easy to make your own industrial tape back then- placing a C90 cassette into the oven for 15 minutes made the resulting tape what would be revered as a droning classic nowadays.Try a microwave for modern similar effect.The early teenage Napalmers used to make their own harsh tape loop industrial tapes aswell I believe, while Nic was simultaneously fronting the Anarcho-punk era Napalm Death aswell.
However, by the time I started to hang out with the guys they would often bring up the other industrial tape type bands to me, but i had no interest in them as Earache didnt want to wallow in the past- Industrial was a distinct and popular genre by 1986- so to me it was quite passe- instead the extremely fast metallised HC punk band they developed into was really what interested me the most,because for its time, it was superbly cutting edge and a really futuristically radical form of music, well to my ears anyway, and thats how it turned out.
I guess once Godflesh had run its course, Justin closed the circle and made a FINAL album so he could sell a few copies, which is fair enough.

Heres a rare ND demo song "Abbatoir" :

Thursday, August 21, 2008

New Japanese crust-punk bands

Question: I was going through old ask earache blogs and i found one about the japanease scene and how you said that you thought that the new wave of bands from there were too random for your taste. Im wondering has your opinion changed now that bands like ghallhammer and coffins are popping up bands that seem to have alot in common with the crust punk and early death metal roots of earache? From:

Answer: Yes i agree, for what seemed like for ever the only Japanese bands who got coverage in the UK media were the likes of Boredoms and Melt Banana or the harshest of noise outfits like Merzbow, none of which impressed me too much, and certainly not enough for a record deal.If you didnt delve into the underground, it would appear as if nothing much developed in Japan for a decade.
Things have changed slightly lately with Gallhammer primarily and also Coffins getting loads of publicity.Again, i agree that both have a more crust-punky vibe and less art-sy which is appreciated by me.However both still lack something, and i cant put my finger on it.Both seem average as hell to me.
I reckon a lot of the time, japanese bands receive a heck of a lot of goodwill and extra kudos simply because of where they are from, the exotic and far flung reality of Japan makes the bands automatically trendier than say their UK counterparts.If you actually listen to Gallhammer they are really ropey and average really, their press officer has done a remarkable job actually securing them so much coverage.Coffins are better of course, but again nothing special.Its a Japanese trait to be a facsimile of an established genre, they take copying the details and even the fashion of a scene very seriously and to unbeleivable levels of accuracy.Sadly, I cant say there is a current japanese artist who blows me away, cept DJ SCOTCH EGG of course- hes genius.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Typos on Earache releases?

Question: I bought a tape a few years ago by Brutal Truth called Perpetual Conversion.I guess it was when Brutal truth was on earache, anyways, I was looking at the tape and the spelling was wrong ,it reads Brutal tuRth instead of the traditional spelling. I was wondering if this is a rare tape, limited edition or just simply a bootleg(with an earache label mark on the tape and sleeve)...Any information would be appreciated thanks. From:

Answer:Over the years Earache has put out over 350+ titles, and quite an alarming number of them have a typo mistake somewhere on the much so that its almost our trademark.In fact some of our friends say as a back-handed compliment:"it wouldn't be an Earache release without a spelling mistake somewhere!" So what you have is most certainly an original, lets face it,even a bootlegger would not dare to get the name of the band wrong.
The reasons for the string of spelling mistakes, typos and general bad layout is because we often are under the gun and rushed for time to make release dates, and many times the artists themselves deliver the artwork, which we fail to check or correct.Decapitated sent us the same song lyrics twice which got printed on Organic hallucinosis CD.Also it seems the layout guys Earache uses are almost universally dsylexic (see what i mean?)
Even this year the Carcass Necroticism re-issue CD/DVD came with not one but 2 different typos..the USA edition had INSALUBIOUS the UK had INSALBRIOUS instead of INSALUBRIOUS.See pic with 2 editions in my hand..These kinds of howlers indentify Earaches original printings and are often corrected in the next print run- so they unwittingly can be used to trace original printings.
So what you have is an original tape from 1992 or so.

What happens when bubble/trends burst?

Question: How crippling to a label can a genre bubble burst be? and what is the one that effected earache the most? I find it interesting that when the nu metal bubble burst earache didnt seem to be affected at all although possibly that was because you had bands that were either seen as proto the genre eg godflesh ( i still think justin looses sleep knowing that he influenced korn *shudder*), pitchshifter, dub war or you signed them post the bubble burst like addiction crew or adema.
also do you think if scorn was a new band now do you think they would have been more succesful due to a better record buying public? london duo vex\'d basically took scorn\'s sound and have become comercially successful with it. From:

Answer: Earache has seen many trends and subtrends of metal- thrash metal, death metal,industrial metal, black metal, nu metal, emo/screamo and lately Thrash's resurgence - come and go during 20 years spent releasing records.Depends where in the timeline of the creation of the bubble the label/band is..If a label is the one starting the bubble, and expanding as the trend continues to grow,and decides to ride the trend, then what happens mostly is those bands have been able to generate enough fans, gain momentum and basically had enough success to be able to ride out the wave and continue after the bubble crashes.Its the bands/labels who are 6th, 7th, 8th to the party that lose everything when the bubble bursts.By the same token, often the trailblazers of a scene, the originators and true innovators can get left behind as a bubble expands- they disown the scene too quickly, fail to ride the wave, and more often than not, its the 3rd, 4th 5th band along the timeline who reaps the rewards and by being more commercially savvy, claim the scene as their own.A great example is the Sex Pistols- the inventors of punk, no question about it, but they imploded and only made one proper album, so missed out on the subsequent punk rock shockwave that changed the music landscape, even tho they started it! Sales-wise, Never Mind The Bollocks is still not a platinum album in the UK, and only recently went gold, after 25 years, which is shocking.
This scenario applies to all trends, wether it be stocks/shares/music trends/fashion trends etc..its a universal of human nature, and to do with the psychology of crowd behaviour- there is a whole field of research in this area, and because the phenomenon is mathematically provable, many financial institutions on wall st or in the city use powerful and sophisticated programs to predict the trends in the rise or fall in share prices.Some computer expert has probably tried to apply science to the prediction of music trends i expect, in a lab somewhere...but without much success, so far, but its bound to happen soon. Someday a program that can monitor myspace friend adding trends or myspace playcount trends will be able to see in advance the coming music trend.We do it the old fashioned way by visiting actual clubs and festivals and seeing what style of metal is new and original and exciting.
Regarding Nu metal i really dont think Godflesh had anything to do with it, nu metal came from a whole different ballpark, and regarding vex'd, i think they are just a more watered-down version of Scorn- its arguable that they are any bigger though.judge for yourself here:

Friday, August 15, 2008

New Wave of Thrash -its back and thriving...

Question: has it suprised you how much this new wave of thrash has taken off? nme fodder bands have been photographed wearing new wave of thrash shirts for example gallows ( frank has been photographed in an sss shirt and also he played various warped tour dates wearing a earache thrash is king shirt) and klaxons ( guitar player photographed in an evile shirt), also was it suprising that the new bay area seems to be yorkshire of all places with evile, headless cross and the horror all coming from the area? From:

Answer: No its not a surprise that the bands are doing well - anyone who saw Evile entertain the Bloodstock festival hordes today (15 Aug 08) with continuous huge circle pitting and major moshpit action, even at the ungodly hour of 11.45am, and Muni Waste same thing at Download in June, can see that Thrash is the breath of fresh air people were waiting for.Its been a long time coming actually- in 2004 I signed Municipal Waste and Earache has pretty much been the only label to dare to single-mindedly promote and support any new bands considered 'Thrash' since then.People thought we were crazy, still do in fact, because the style was considered long-dead and was so far removed from the entrenched death-y growly-vocal metal output that has dominated the metal scene for as long as anyone can remember, well at least since early 90's.

The main culprit which got the ball rolling was actually uber-trendy VICE magazine- it gave Muni Waste "Hazardous Mutation" an unprecedented 11/10 mark, which showed their impeccable taste in music, and from then on, with the VICE seal of approval, the other bigger mags slowly but surely picked up on it.
In early 2007 we put out an industry-only sampler CD & shirt called 'thrash is King' featuring Muni waste, Evile & SSS tracks to journalists & NME began to give coverage, and in the case of UK Metal Hammer, that mag went apeshit overboard with spectacular support of what we were trying to do.It was around about that time that Frank from Gallows started to sport a fetching SSS T, and actually at Donington 07 Frank more or less wanted my "Thrash is King' shirt off my back, so I sent him one and he sportingly wore it across USA on that summers warped Tour. He's genuinely into it,a top geezer.
As for Klaxons,for them its more an 80's fashion retro thing i guess, and I thought it was a Slayer shirt he wore,but if its Evile, thats mad eh? Got any pics?
Whats also noteworthy is the well-known social networking site invited SSS to play their launch party in London, and local VICE mag hangout have SSS play seemingly every few months, which is strange as Thrash is by rights not trendy at all.None of the bands set out to to be the hipsters choice, it somehow ended up that way!And when the A-lister to end all A-listers David Beckham wears an EXODUS shirt, then its gone frighteningly too far!

I'll tell you another NME-type band who worship old school thrash- Crystal Castles- so much so that i reckon soon a thrash act could tour with them, would'nt that be a bizarre tour, eh?
Lastly in 2008 we had the 'Earache Thrash Pack' launched on the ROCKBAND game which sealed the deal, and means i can now say: Thrash is certainly back and thriving, tho if you are an diehard fan of the genre its obvious it never really went away.
As for the Yorkshire connection, its weird how so many bands come from that area, i agree- must be sommat in the water up there eh?

Monday, August 11, 2008

where is the Teutonic Thrash?

Question: I think its great tha earache seems to have a representative of all the various styles of thrash bay area, LA, Skate, Brazilian well all except one Teutonic, are you actually looking for a band to fill this hole eg hellish crossfire? or is it the style of thrash thats not appealing to you due to it being less catchy than most of its genre cousions? From:

Answer: actually we tried hard to find a german representative when we did the Thrashing Like A maniac comp- because as you say, german thrash was very important in the original wave- Sodom, Destruction, Kreator are rightly hailed as Teutonic kings of Thrash, and are still going strong.Tankard aswell, they deserve credit for being Germanys most loyal thrash band, never splitting up.Pic right.

Beleive it or not - its very difficult to find decent proper NEW thrash bands in Europe.Having checked out Hellish Crossfire (pic at top) i dont see them as being a true thrash band actually- its more like mid-tempo black metal to me, much like Blood Tsunami or california's Witchaven.The only newish European band which is vaguely decent modern Thrash is Legion Of The Damned who hail from Holland and in the track Warbeast have a totally neck breaking slice of germanic-style thrash, it will blow your mind.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Is Thrash a trend/ flash in the pan?

Question: I see lots going on with thrash metal these days. Do you see this as just a trend or is it something that may continue for years to come? Do you think sites like Thrash Never Dies, Uk Thrash or Thrash Unlimited have actually helped to keep the scene alive? I heard Earache does some promotions with these sites. Have these places actually helped thrash? Thanks! From:

Answer: Thrash has been going for 25 years dude, since Metallica and Exodus started playing sped up Heavy Metal with a punky influence and hitting clubs in the Bay area of SF.In 1983 Kill 'Em All hit the LP racks, and that seminal album pretty much kick started the THRASH scene as we know it...dunno how you can call a two and a half decade-long scene a trend?But i take your point- the original Big 4 bands who invented the style moved on due to commercial pressures, to make less "thrashy" albums, plus the mid 90's was a poor time for the genre,as Death Metal and Black Metal rose to ascendancy with younger Metallers so Thrash became a distant memory, it did look to almost have died out- but it didnt die out, because below the radar there was always an underground thrash scene, always has, always will be.

This latest wave of youngster modern thrash bands was mostly formenting within the underground punk/Hc scene and from what i can tell its mostly the internet and the ease of downloading of obscure thrash albums from the first wave which has caused the resurgence among new Thrash kids.For me, the best of the obscure are: RAZOR and HOBBS ANGEL OF DEATH.I meet 19 yr olds who have an encyclopedic knowledge of obscure Thrash which would be unthinkable without the internet.Forums like you mention have been instrumental in this- though i actually never heard of Thrashneverdies myself- they allowed fans to exchange information and foster a sense of community, but sometimes descend into a bear-pit for unwary newcomers!Thrashmageddon- a file sharing site- might be even more important since thats where kids turn for mp3s to actually hear what the music sounded like.
THRASH TILL DEATH!! - its not a soundbyte, its a mission statement.See "Get Thrashed" movie trailer below:

Monday, August 04, 2008

Carcass-are they taking the piss out of UK?

Question: hey do you see carcass only playing one uk date at a moderatly sized festival as a bit of a pisstake? I do in comparison to the fact that the US gets a full tour and they have played various festivals in europe. From:

Answer: Earache doesn't have anything to do with booking the revitalised Carcass' live shows by the way-we just do their CDs/DVDs- but judging from their upcoming gig list on the CARCASS MYSPACE it certainly looks very strange, and bordering on a piss-take to the UK fans.Like you, I can count 36 gigs upcoming- Full USA tour, New Zealand, Australia,Japan, even South Africa-oh and they also visit most countries in South America- and then the final show is a solitary paltry UK bash- at Leeds Damnation festival on November 22.

The band told me that when they reformed late last year, they approached several leading promoters and bookers because they were intending to play together for one summer only, and really just wanted to maximise income and make seriously decent money this time, because when the band were at their peak in mid-90's the metal scene live was so much smaller and less developed than it is now.They never really got paid their due because the income back then was OK but quite tiny by comparison to todays guarantees.Shockingly, the original band had never once played a festival for instance- Dynamo & Donington being the only regular 90s metal fests- just 2 per year-and some years they didnt run, so would be no festival in the summer at all! just imagine that! Whereas now there are metal fests big and small every weekend throughout the summer and Wacken just had 80,000 folks attend and witness Carcass last week.Nowadays live music is booming and fees paid for a performance are easily 10x the fee paid in the 90's.The internet, Mp3's, P2P and the iPod have made music so much easier to aquire and thousands of those kids will pay top dollar now to witness the live show aswell.Thats why everyone is reforming really.

Also they mentioned they would like to primarily have fun on this tour-to treat it like a summer long holiday jaunt, not as a slog- and part of the fun would be to visit interesting places in the world.The Uk didnt figure in their plans at all- because wheres the fun in playing their own backyard, and i also reckon the band fancied escaping the one place where they will be massively scrutinised and judged by Metal know-it-alls, ie their homeland, because they are hella rusty.
The fact that Leeds is the final show is significant i think- it really will be a final farewell and goodbye from Carcass,probably a massive party, maybe loads of suprises and i expect half the support acts- Napalm death, Pitch Shifter, The berzerker will come onstage as guests.Also I guess its probably the closest they could get to a Liverpool gig.So you could easily say the band are acting selfishly and ignoring the very UK fans who made their name and fame in the first place.But i say lets give the band the benefit of the doubt-its more poetic if they do a single farewell show here, so they can go out as they came in, controversially.
Until next summer when they might just do it all again.

New bands revitalising Old ones?

Question: Is it comon for the sales of a defunct earache band\'s records to rise if one of its former members is in a band or is associated with a band who is currently popular eg have fudge tunnel sales been affected by alex newport being associated with the mars volta as a producer/live guitarist, or dub war records because of the success of skindred, or old lady drivers because of its members being part of the popular with scenesters khanate and Sunn 0))) doom bands. The one i could possibly foresee in the future is godflesh, early napalm and scorn due to the fact that the broadrick, bullen and andy swan line up of Final have hinted at a reunion at the supersonic festival because of the up coming final boxset. which band\'s sales have been most affected by it\'s former members current activites? From:

Answer: Actually what you say sounds fine on paper, but it almost never happens like that, unfortunately.None of the band mentioned have sold any more records because of activities of the new acts,some of the titles are 15+ years old, and are hard to ressurrect, mind you it could be because we havent actually pressed the Cds in decade!New bands that form from the ashes of defunct old ones tend to somehow unwittingly bury their own past- and to be frank, no one likes to celebrate past failure, when your current band is busy celebrating current success.Its human nature.
I recall a big debate online by Music Industry folks when Gwen Stefani became a huge Madonna-esque 2 million selling superstar a few years ago, wether her previous under-the-radar ska-punk band No Doubt's back catalog should be re-issued to cash-in/co-incide. It never was.
However, I think there is some grain of truth in your argument, a smattering of new fans will of course be minded to seek out the downloads of the members' former outfits from a decade previously, but its nothing like a huge new groundswell of sales- far from it! Its hardly worth mentioning.To give you an example- Skindred were a great band who really toured their asses off round USA in 2005 or so, and clicked with US radio, appearing on TV and everything- so ended up selling on their major label debut i think 250,000 copies in the USA.Earache did naturally try to ride the success and did infact reissue Dub Wars debut "Pain" from a decade previously- we sold I think 700 copies.Fans are not fools- Ok Benji is the same singer but its a different band from a different era.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Fudge Tunnel & Radiohead connection?

Question: I think this question needs the back story i was in a club in oxford where the gents had been plasterd with old flyers of gigs that had been held there, one of them was for an all dayer featuring fudge tunnel and a oxford shoegaze band called On a Friday as well as swervedriver, what im wondering is did earache take any interest in the shoegaze scene at all? alot of the bands shared the same influences as FT and Godflesh and were heavy in a coherent sense. btw on a friday are still going they have just added a member and changed their name to radiohead! From:

Answer: Well Fudge Tunnel certainly have a lot of fans on this blog it seems- which even tho the band have been defunct for a decade, aint too shabby is it?Maybe a reformation could be on the cards, who knows, but i doubt it! Anyways- thank you for this enlightening question and great bit of trivia-I am gobsmakked- who knew that Fudge Tunnel played a gig with the pre-Radiohead band 'On A Friday'? I had no idea, I bet the members dont remember that auspicious occasion either.

To answer your question, Earache had no interest in the shoegaze scene- Swervedriver, Ride and all that NME lot were too pretentious & studenty for our tastes, tho the original My Bloody Valentine,being infinitely more raucous,could be considered an influence.It was more the Sub Pop grunge scene, most specifically Nirvana which Earache was picking up on.As for Fudge Tunnel- they were Nottingham-based powerful 3 peice making some proto-grunge heavy sounds, and had come to prominence via their first 2 extremely well received singles which were recorded for London's Pigboy label (sub-label of long standing Portobello Rd store Vinyl Solution, 80's/90's label home of The Stupids, Les Thugs, which since the turn of the millennium has traded as the highly successful Visible Noise label- acts like Lost Prophets, Bullet For My Valentine err and Days Of Worth!)

Fudge Tunnel weren'nt an obvious choice for Earache, we had made our name with extreme Death-metal and Grindcore, but I also yearned for the label to branch out a bit, to try to become a bit more mainstream, and at the time of Bleach, Nirvana was my favourite band.We figured Fudge Tunnel might be the English Nirvana.It helped that the label manager of Earache at the time Johnny Barry was best friends with the guys, which made it easier to sign them, tho the band did have some reservations, and did insist on us using a differnet logo for their releases- hence the 50's Cola logo Earache cropped up, which the label used during that early 90's on 'non-metal'titles.Fudge Tunnel did a lot of touring of the UK playing the small club circuit, until Earache's metal credentials eventually got them out of the UK onto Holland's Dynamo Festival and European-wide Sepultura tours etc, at which point they became more viewed as a alternative leaning Metal band.

Heres Fudge Tunnel covering the Cream classic "Sunshine Of Your Love"- the graveyard crops up in so many Earache bands promo shots and clips, because it was closest to the Earache Offices- corner of Mansfield Rd, Forest Rd, Nottingham, fact fans!