Thursday, June 28, 2007

Main players in UK extreme metal scene?

Question: I want to ask, who are the main talent agents and companies that earache deals with, I mean with indie and rock you have creation managment (alan mcgee) and hall or nothing( martin hall). Are there less managers working in extreme metal or somthing? From:

Answer:Extreme metal has its main movers and shakers, much like any scene- but because the whole metal scene is quietly shunned by,and exists pretty much under the radar of the music industry as a whole, these people are hardly household names.The scale of operations in extreme metal are basically smaller, as are the financial rewards,which makes the folks toiling away to grow and cultivate the bands more or less have to be fans first and foremost, making a financial 'killing' is the last thing on their minds usually.For example, A huge selling breakthrough extreme metal act-Shadows Fall, say, might sell 250,000 copies of an album in USA, 250,000 in UK&Europe-BUT this is not even in the same league as many of the leading UK indie bands- Kaiser Chiefs sell upwards of 1,000,000 in the UK alone, Kasabian also, Snow Patrol also sell a million here, Coldplay 3 Million.

To answer your question; After the USA heavyweights like Q-Prime (Metallica) and the UK equivalents like Sharon Osbourne(Ozzy) and Rod Smallwood (Iron Maiden) arguably, Craig Jennings (pic above) might be the most important Artist manager in the UK metal scene, handling acts like Bullet for My valentine, Funeral For A friend & Gallows.Andy Farrow in Yorkshire manages a stellar roster of Paradise Lost, Opeth and Skindred.Cradle of filth are managed by Faye Woolven.Many of these managers have grown with the acts after they made their sales breakthroughs.For promotions- many of the labels releasing extreme metal rely on their own in-house promo teams, as its such a specific type of music and you have to be steeped in the scene 24/7 to be respected within it.As freelance tho, Kaz Mercer at Mercenary handles Metallica and Lostprophets,so thats a pretty powerful roster! Owen at hero PR is also freelance, and does FFAF some bigger bands (he used to work at Earache ha ha).Anton Brookes at Bad Moon handles Foo Fighters and is open minded to work with newer acts too.

By and large, being an Independent minded and smallish scene- most people just work the bands they have an affinity with.

Viewing Earache bands tour dates

Question: hi in the uk we have a website called ENTS2 which after search i can find whats happening in any town in the uk. 2 things,is there a website which does simaliar in europe,of are yourselves thinking of doing one. save logging onto individial bands websites. thanks. From:

Answer: Earache offers fans to check our bands gigs ina calendar view. go to our front page and you'll see a map of the world.Clicking any continent, or UK graphic, brings up a calendar view of gigs by date/town.Now you can plan your gig viewing in advance..see you down the front!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Earache & Sub Pop ( how we nearly signed Nirvana!)

Question: It has been said before about how earache had negotiated with sub pop to release nivarna material, however im wondering why are godflesh listed as a sub pop artist on their wikipedia page and also in a book about the label\'s history, did earache license the material to them ( perhaps to sweeten the deal for getting nivarna or something) From:

Answer:Earache in the late 80's was making waves in the Uk Indie scene, supported by John Peel etc, and selling a lot of grindcore and Death Metal records.Our UK distributor was Revolver Distro based in Bristol, and working at the distro was an amiable American chap named Gary Held, who ran a DIY one-man label called Tupelo, with i think 4 or 5 releases out(including Sleep's debut).Meanwhile the Uk press were beginning to fawn over the coming Sub Pop-led Seattle grunge scene, most of which i thought was garbage, with one exception- Nirvana- who quickly became my favourite band on the planet, mainly thru the heaviness of the guitars and the sense that they were an intense band.
Meanwhile,Gary Held had pulled off a major coup for his label by licensing the debut Nirvana album for the UK- the story goes that he flew up to the Sub Pop office armed with $1000 in cash and said he's not leaving until they license Bleach to him for UK!
By the end of the day, he had the album! A genius move by any standards..
Tupelo quickly sold out of its first pressing of "Bleach" and The guy hired to do publicity for Tupelo/Nirvana in the UK (Anton of Bad Moon) was also doing Earache's publicity for a short while.Earache and Tupelo quickly became the biggest selling labels thru Revolver distro- so i had a front row seat to witness the Nirvana bandwagon starting to roll in the UK.
You gotta remember tho Nirvana on the debut were deemed very cool by the media,but the band were still quite underground and merely a promising US band among thousands of promising bands, and far from the superstars they(albeit reluctantly)later became.
Earache wanted to license the next album by Nirvana badly- and offered a whopping $13,000 to Sub Pop in order to license the next Nirvana album.It was a fortune for us at the time, but was never even considered, as events began to snowball and Nirvana quickly left Sub Pop to sign to DGC/Geffen.Oh well, - nevermind.

As for Godflesh- Earache licensed a couple of Godflesh tracks to Sub Pop for their 7 inch series, which became their Slateman single.Earache released it on CD for Europe.

Another piece of trivia- The second guitarist on the cover of Bleach is actually Jason Everman, who joined Nirvana briefly as a live guitarist, but did not feature on the recording.Later he joined the band OLD signed to Earache and appears on the lo flux tube album by them.