Press "Enter" to skip to content

Tag: Now that You Asked

Now That You Asked: What’s up with all the label-jumping?

Now That You Asked: What’s up with all the label-jumping?

Just in case you’ve been living under a musical rock for the past year or so, there have been a number of shake-ups in the music industry as big name “indie” bands have left their major labels and gone back to their roots within the indie scene. The most glaring and possibly most spectacular example is that of Poison the Well, who jumped ship at Atlantic Records because of creative differences and landed squarely with Ferret Records where they released Versions, one of the strongest albums of 2007. But other big names have left the mainstream for more fitting spots on smaller labels.

Possibly the most surprising of these is Thursday’s exit from Island Records and their reunion with estranged friends Victory Records. Despite harsh words that were exchanged by both sides after Thursday’s 2002 exit, both sides have reunited to release a CD/DVD combo that features both new material, old demos and live performances of one of independent music’s shining stars. The third big name that has changed labels is Thrice. As they were gearing up for the release of their long awaited Alchemy Index Thrice jumped from Island Records to the somewhat stagnant Vagrant Records. For Thrice it was a move that “just made sense for them as a band.”

What is surprising about all of this is not that three well-known bands in the indie scene jumped ship from large labels, but where those three bands landed. It is particularly interesting in the case of Thrice, whose relationship with Hopeless Records seemed to be one made in heaven four years ago as Thrice kept donating a portion of their record sales from the Artist in an Ambulance album to charity through Hopeless. In some circles there was an expectation that Thrice would end up back at Hopeless and help pull a somewhat silent but well respected member of the indie community back into an active role. The choice to go to Vagrant, though somewhat surprising when announced, makes sense after hearing Thrice’s first two volumes of the Alchemy Index.

The most surprising move was Thursday’s move back to Victory Records. After the 2002 release of the Five Stories Falling EP that was slated as a way to complete a contract with Victory, Thursday spent an entire tour trashing corporate music and encouraging fans to illegally download their Five Stories Falling EP to keep money out of the hands of Victory. Now after two releases with the big boys (Island Records) Thursday has gone back to Victory for the 2007 CD/DVD release Kill the House Lights.

What does this all mean for labels? Hopefully it means that we are seeing a shift away from the need for the large labels and a shift toward smaller labels that are able to more directly work with their bands. At least one can hope…

-Scott Landis

scott@independentclauses.com

Well, Now That You Asked: Who’s the Most Forgotten Band?

Well, Now That You Asked: Who’s the Most Forgotten Band?

Every once and a while when somebody hears that I work for an independent music magazine, they’ll ask me who I think the best band they haven’t heard of is. Of course I go through my usual favorites SleepBellumSonno or The Felix Culpa, but lately I’ve been giving out another name: Hopesfall.

To a lot of people within the scene that seems ridiculous. I’ve been told that they are an established band with a great following. Yet people who know underground post-hardcore still don’t know Hopesfall. Part of that is Trustkill’s fault, as they are one of the feeblest promoting labels in the industry, but part of it is also the fan’s fault. Hopesfall has never been the band to sell-out to the idea of the single and has experienced more line-up changes than the local revolving door punk band, both of which have hurt them. However, each album has been such an experience for the listener that I am really disappointed this band isn’t better known within the indie circles.

Alternative Press commented in their review of Hopesfall’s latest, Magnetic North, “Hopesfall has struck a balance between mainstream and underground.”

While I agree whole-heartedly with this statement, the exact words that are meant to praise Hopesfall describe the damning properties of their existence. Hopesfall has been unable to climb the label-ladder to a more supportive group because of the frequent personnel changes, but has also been successful enough to earn a contract with a label that has forgotten its roots and failed to utilize underground promotion.

Hopesfall has released three albums, all on Trustkill Records. Any of these albums will please the listener. This is one of those bands that deep down I know everyone will like – they just need to be heard.

-Scott Landis

scott@independentclauses.com

Now that You Asked: Emotion?

Now that You Asked: Emotion?

I’m sure I’ve said it somewhere before, but I am a very emotional music listener. Good days will provoke simpler bands such as Rise Against, Billy Talent, and Northstar, while bad days cause me to listen to heavier bands like Poison the Well, Alexisonfire, and Thursday. My girlfriend makes me want to listen to The Beautiful Mistake, The Beloved and Funeral For a Friend. Whatever emotion I’m experiencing, I have a band that I like to listen to. It even goes beyond emotions; it even comes down to what I’m doing. Sleeping, eating, studying, even waking up. Each of these actions has its own playlist.

I have a problem (Zack, Allison, Stephen- don’t even respond to that statement). I can’t sleep without music on. What is even stranger? I like to fall asleep to hardcore. Not just “hardcore” like Saosin or Thursday but bands like Norma Jean and Century- bands that make my friends cringe when they hear them and give pop-punk fans nightmares. It’s odd because this is the same music that makes me want to dance around like a madman during the day.

Now this month has been finals review month, so I haven’t had as much time to focus on new music. Ok, I haven’t listened to anything new this month- but I’ve listened to a lot of my favorites from the past (See my Top 5 of the month). I’ve always enjoyed studying to these albums because they provide a stable background sound that allows me to focus. Now that finals are almost over I can go back to enjoying the new bands that I find every month.

Music is an emotional experience. I believe the best way to enjoy music is to listen to an emotionally charged album that really hits home with your feelings of the moment, then lay down and let it wash over you. When you think about it emotion is really what creates music. Right?

-Scott Landis

redbassist66@comcast.net