Monday, November 03, 2008

Early Stoner-Rock scene circa 1992?

Question: would you class earaches involvment with the stoner rock scene of the early to mid 90s as a sucess or a failure? I mean sleep went to london, and there was the aborted signing of clutch? do you think it would have worked better if you concentrated on british bands i mean you had cathedral but maybe you could have expanded the stable maybe by adding acrimony or the then infentile orange goblin! From:

Answer: What Stoner-rock scene are you on about dude? In 1992 when we released CLUTCH and SLEEP the world was in the grip of Grunge Mania...Stoner Rock wasn't a proper named genre, but if there were flagship acts it would have been bands like Kyuss and Nebula and maybe even Monster Magnet=all were mainstream rock bands BUT with a healthy dose of Sabbath-esque heaviness and a stoner-ish mindview.Stoner rock as a scene was more a less a combo of those 2 influences.
Clutch were a Philly based HC band when we signed them, right after their Debut 7inch on Inner Journey records.
SLEEP- again, were formerly HC punkers Asbestos Death, but by the time Al Cisneros approached Earache with their demo (which would became the Holy Mountain CD) they were more or less fully fledged Sabbath worshippers,and heavy stoners aswell. See their letter to me above.From memory we were the first to coin the description Stoner Rock in the press release that accompanied the Sleep CD to journalists. True,that.

Clutch quickly began to see the impact Sleep were having and rather deviously in my view, mutated from a quirky HC band into a grooving Heavy Stoner-ish band aswell- both bands found fame quickly during their short time on Earache and so major label offers poured in.
Clutch left us before we could ink a full album deal, for Atlantic records, while Sleep hired heavyweight manager Lyor Cohen-he's the current boss of Warner Brothers but back then was Rick Rubin's right hand man at Def Jam aswell.The new management removed them from Earache's contract, but at least they had the decency to gave me a cheque as compensation, which was nice- and ended up on London Records, where the resulting album would be shelved for many years.
As for the UK contingent-We had Cathedral throughout the 90's of course, we did the first 7 albums or so.Actually Dorian the singer of Acrimony used to work at Earache for a time, so we knew all about his band- it was decent but we dont sign employees acts usually.Orange Goblin came a lot later in mid 90's I think, and by that time Earache's involvment with 'Stoner-Rock' was over.Labels like Lee Dorrian's Rise Above began to specialise in the more doom-metal scene, and have done it very well, having some measure of success and thriving to this day, by contrast to labels like Hellhound from Germany which also also took up the Doom/Stoner baton, but folded in late 90's.

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