Thursday, 2 December 2010
Label - Holy Roar Records
Interview with co-founder Alex re-blogged from Stay Ahead
"Can you tell me a bit about how the label begun and how you decided on the direction you wanted to go?
The idea for the label was sown when me and Ellen lived in Birmingham. I formed a label with a couple of friends in Birmingham based around a webzine and we did 3 releases. Me and Ellen then moved to London and decided there was a bunch of bands we wanted to see pushed more in the UK! The first release came out around June/July 2006. As for deciding on a direction - well, essentially, this never happened! We just did, and always have, released exactly what we want. Anything we like that isn't cheesy is certainly up for consideration. We certainly never sat down and went 'lets release whatever is in fashion in the metal world and try and clean up on merch' or anything like that - a look at our catalogue should hopefully reveal that we always have, and always will support some bands that have no commercial prospects at all.
How has it been for you to see the label grow?
Amazing. The most satisfying feeling in the world. But it has certainly been very hard work - far more work than monetary return that is for sure! Which is sometimes hard to swallow when you do it full time, but I cant complain as it is better than working in a soulless office with personality-void drones.
You're the label that brought bands like Gallows, Rolo Tomassi to people's attention. What helps you decide on bands to work with?
I'm sure there are cynical people who think we released those bands to a) make money b) increase our profile, but that has never been the case. Rolo Tomassi we have been with since the start, and every other 'name' band we have worked with has come about organically through real friendships or mutual respect. Generally we just go with gut feeling on who to work with - sometimes we get it wrong, and sometimes with hindsight I'm like 'why did we do that?' - but if we ever got more calculated than that then I would hate myself. All we ask of our bands is that they be fucking amazing and work hard. Not much! Ha.
Do you still take pride in the DIY formula that the UK underground scene stands by?
I'm not sure to be honest. I've felt really burnt by a couple of situations recently that have left me more disillusioned with the complete lack of intelligence and logical thought of a bunch of people. But DIY to me is a personal thing - it stands for 'do it yourself' after all, and we certainly do EVERYTHING to do with Holy Roar ourselves. There is no outside funding, there is no one promoting our bands except us and fans!
What does the future hold for the label?
I'm determined not to becoming a merch company. I want to continue to release a lot of music and continue to try and push our music into new physical territories across the world. The future is trying to strengthen our position whilst remaining 100% independent, making ourselves better known around the world and releasing loads of good music!"