Music Video of The Week – Protest The Hero – Hair-Trigger

Music:

Protest the Hero are one of my all time favourites when it comes to progressive rock/metal or even music in general. They’re technical when it comes to music, but they also writes with guts, which is a fine balance that too few bands know how to reach these days. They never fail to impress with epically technical and serious riffs that will leave any ‘metal’ guitarist astonished and excited with the urge to want to transcribe. These guys know how to shred-out and know most importantly to stay real, and not to take themselves too seriously. And as far as songwriting goes, this album entitled Scurrilous shows a huge leap in maturity. While they used to throw-in (sick) riffs after (sick) riffs, with odd-time signatures changes that wouldn’t necessarily be related, the Canadian quintet opted for a slightly more discreet style of complexity. Instead, they seem to focus more on re-orchestration of riffs and themes, and their songs seem to have more of a palpable structure to them as well.

Video:

This music video for Hair-Trigger was shot with the signature Protest The Hero touch of humour. These guys just don’t seem to give a care and remain down to earth despite all the success they have encountered through there music. Whether it’s through Luke Hoskin making out with an attractive gal whilst shredding along to the track, or Arif Mirabdolbaghi making out with a dog, or Rody Walker urinating against a tree whilst singing in duet with the feature artist Jadea Kelly, you clearly get the gist of what message Protest the Hero wants to get across.

ROCK LABEL OF THE WEEK: Dine Alone Records

Dine Alone Records

Rock Label of the Week is focused on highlighting some of the biggest – or most obscure- labels that you may – or may not – have ever heard of.

  • Name Of Label: Dine Alone Records
  • Founded: 2005.
  • Location: Toronto, Canada.
  • Label Type: Independent.
  • Distributors: Fontana North
  • Genre of Focus: Everything from Indie Rock-Hardcore.
  • Current Roster: At The Drive-In, City And Colour, Jimmy Eat World, Kate Nash, The Jezabels, The Lumineers, We Are Scientists, Yukon Blonde.
  • Inactive Roster: Alexisonfire, Attack In Black, Children Collide, Hot Hot Heat, Deer Tick, Johnny Truant, Songs From A Room, The End.
  • Website: http://www.dinealonerecords.com

Dine Alone Records all began with Joel Carriere in 2005. Carriere, one of the more ambitious dudes in the industry, was managing Canadian hardcore band Alexisonfire under Bedlam Music Management when the realization hit that the management company could also take care of label duties. Dallas Green (City and Colour, formerly of Alexisonfire) was looking to release some of his solo work, and Carriere took initiative, creating Dine Alone Records and releasing cd’s. The first release would be Dallas Green’s album Sometimes with the moniker City And Colour.

The fact of the matter: Carriere is a man of music. Having been a child in the hardcore music scene, he knew at an early age he wanted to work in music. Before Bedlam Music Management, he worked for PolyGram, and after leaving there founded Bedlam Society, a website dedicated to music exposure in Canada. This is where he would meet lots of bands, including Alexisonfire (arguably one of their biggest successes on the label). Alexisonfire would go on to release 5 successful studio albums before their separation in 2011, leaving their legacy on the label. Alexisonfire (and Dallas Green) would give Bedlam Music the push into the creation of Dine Alone Records.

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Alexisonfire.

Because Bedlam Music Management was already established at the inception of Dine Alone Records, Carriere was able to utilize his contacts to build his roster for the label. Bands that were already signed to Bedlam Music Society were being signed to the new label, giving Dine Alone creative and financial control over the artists (this also meant less interference with other labels). But when it comes to A&R, Carriere explains what’s important when signing a band:

“On the label side, it’s obviously all about the music and that’s something my employees have to love. There have definitely been times where not all of them are feeling a certain artist, and I don’t think it would be fair for me to sign a band that I just love. If they don’t like the bands they work with on a day-to-day basis, then it will seem like I’m putting them into that major label kind of world. I don’t want them to have to work on stuff they don’t like, at least not at this point.” [Blare Magazine Interview]

However, Carriere makes a point to acknowledge that you cannot sign everyone you like:

“There’s always that art-versus-commerce thing you have to play with and being such a big music fan it’s tough. I sign everything because I’m a huge fan of it, I can’t sign everything I’d like to sign because I’d go bankrupt.” [City News Interview] 

Dine Alone has gone on to sign some big, yet diverse, acts. While Alexisonfire was a strictly hardcore act, Dine Alone also signed Jimmy Eat World under the same merit (considered to be more on the rock/alt rock genre). Then there are the super successes, like the Lumineers, who are signed to the label. The folk group has released one self-titled album, which has been nominated for two Grammy Awards and two Billboard awards. Their single, “Ho Hey” would reach platinum in the United States, and is featured in numerous television series.

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The Lumineers.

With the success of Dine Alone, Carriere created a new label this year called New Damage Records (named after a song by Soundgarden). The new label focuses on music in the hardcore/metal realm, with their roster boasting the likes of Architects, Cunter, Hawk Eyes, and Misery Signals. Due to this roster and Carriere’s legacy, the label has gotten the attention of others in the industry, and the outlook for the future of the label is positive. In a statement about the inception of New Damage, Carriere shares his positive outlook:

“Come watch us succeed or fail at building a new brand from the ground up. One thing is we are going to have a ton of fun doing it.” [Sonic More Music] 

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New Damage Records Logo.

Further, what better venture to get into than food? Dine Alone Records has gone on to create a food line too, called Dine Alone Foods. Run by Carriere and Jordan Hastings from Alexisonfire, the food line is made up of sauces, from hot sauce to BBQ. In conjunction with the food line, Dine Alone Records created a game titled Dine Alone Iphone Game in which you fatten up your avatar in order to get access to downloads from City and Colour and Yukon Blonde. On why the conjunction seemed right, as explained by John Higney:

“MuchMusic, MTV, they realized 20 years ago that what they’re involved in is lifestyle marketing, So many people that are into indie music are into food. It becomes one of these ancillary lifestyle things that go along with indie music—like craft beers.” [Canada Interview]

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Dine Alone Iphone Game.

In all, the ventures all add up, and Dine Alone Records has blossomed into one of the youngest success stories in the record label industry. Carriere has his head on straight, and in an end to the article (and my time in artist management class!) Carriere explains the recipe for success:

“I think every company has a different recipe that works for them. Our recipe has always to learn from our mistakes and grow as a company each year. We started with one artist and two staff members and did a great job and continued to develop from there. Every time we saw an honest opportunity to further our collective careers, we went for it. I think we are pretty fearless, ethical and honest. We are a group of people who are massive music nerds and get to live out our dream job, but we’re also aware of the business side of it all – making sure we notice which musicians are actually focused on music and are willing to put their head down, hustle and work really hard. Not taking any of this for granted is very key. The quick ego inflation in this industry is something we see and we don’t want to be a part of. Some bands or peers like how we roll and some don’t.” [Blare Magazine Interview]

 

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Tyler & —- Infinite Playlist : A beginner’s guide to the musical commonwealth.

Alright Wanka’s…As many of you have noted upon entering our kickin’ crib,  we tend to have a pretty decent selection in tunes. So, instead of cracking out SHAZAM on your mobile telephones the next time you’re over, we’ve decided to make your life much, much easier. As a result, it only seemed logical to compile a setlist of our favourite tunes from our native lands in the commonwealth ( God Save the Queen or something like that).Although this is no simple feat, we’ve also decided to  take it even a step further by finding these artists’ playing their crafty beats  in ‘creative’ places ( Don’t worry, all of this music is extremely relevant, so you can BORROW it for your A&R Blogs).Without further adieu and in the infamous words of Carl Pires, ‘Swag, swag, swag’

Enjoy…

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Australia # 1 : Ball Park Music – It’s Nice to Be Alive // Live in a grocery cart

Canada # 1 Lights – Quiet // Complete with a glory hole… enjoy.


Australia # 2 Dune Rats – Fuck it  // Live from atop a firetruck

Canada # 2 Hey Rosetta! – There’s an Arch  – In the hood.

Australia # 3 Jack Dawson // Being August Rush.

Canada # 3

Dan Mangan – Rows of Houses/ Leaves, Trees Forest //  In a River ?

Australia #4 – Vance Joy – Riptide // On a Tram (also, commonly referred to as a train)

Canada # 4- Michael Bernard Fitzgerald – Suzie ( I love you ) //  Barefoot, with an interpretive Dancer, being hip as F#Ck.


Honourable Mentions:

Lights – In the Dark I See // In a cellar ( I feel as though she needs a new location scout…poor girl).

Vance Joy – Riptide //  Technically, this is just a music video, but it might be the most literal of all time – literally ( Sorry, I dislike puns as much as the next person, but I couldn’t help it).

Thanks for reading

ROCK LABEL OF THE WEEK: Victory Records

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Rock Label of the Week is focused on highlighting some of the biggest – or most obscure- labels that you may – or may not – have ever heard of.

  • Name Of Label: Victory Records
  • Founded: 1989.
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois.
  • Label Type: Independent
  • Distributors: RED, ADA, INgrooves, PIAS.
  • Genre of Focus: Hardcome, Emo, Pop-punk.
  • Current Roster: A Day To Remember, Beneath The Sky, Emmure, Ill Nino, Otep, Design The Skyline.
  • Inactive Roster: Atreyu, Baside, Comeback Kid, Hawthorne Heights, Silverstein, Straylight Run, Taking Back Sunday, Thursday.
  • Website: http://www.victoryrecords.com/

Tony Brummel founded Victory Records in 1989, and today it is known as one of the biggest indie rock labels known globally. Brummel started the label at the ripe age of 18, and never looked back. Before the label began, a logo was to be created. Since its inception, Victory has been known for its logo featuring a bulldog. In an Interview with Brummel, he explains the reason for the bulldog:

“It happened before I started Victory I had gotten sick for about a week and I had a dream I started a record label and the logo was a Bulldog. So I’ve never owned a Bulldog, growing up we never owned one, I don’t plan on getting one it was just one of those things where I had a dream and the logo was a Bulldog.” [Absolute Punk Interview]

Some of Brummel’s first conquests included releasing a full length CD (prior to Victory, Brummel only released 7-inch records) and the release of his first CD under the new label, Snapcases album “Lookinglasself” (which would go on to sell 30,000 copies). Originally slated as a hardcore/punk label, as the label grew, so did the types of genre’s Victory would allow onto their roster.

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The Bunny and The Bear at Victory Records Head Quarters.

By 1997, Victory was on the fast path to success. They had secured a distribution deal with RED in the USA, but was also having music distributed to Canada, Belgium, Japan, UK, Australia, etc. Victory also began distributing through major retailers such as Best Buy, Amazon, and (the most important for the business) Hot Topic. Even today, when you walk into a Hot Topic store, you will find listening booth’s with Victory Records albums playing (how I was introduced to A Day To Remember’s “What Separates Me From You”). Victory also worked with Fuse TV to broadcast commercials for upcoming albums on the Victory roster. These marketing strategy’s widened the scale of the label, and in another interview with Brummel, he touches on the importance of marketing:

“At the end of the day, you never know what is going get somebody to buy a record. But it is extremely important to create awareness and hopefully create legitimate excitement. But it is such a fine line. There are so many artists you will read about in Entertainment Weekly, the Los Angles Times, the New York Times, and New York Post. Then their record comes out, and you never hear about that artist again. The main thing for us is trying to create legitimate excitement on the street. So we get music to someone who is a tastemaker and he or she tells 15 or 20 of their friends, ‘Hey, you have to check his out.’ I always wanted to be the guy on the block that knew about band X before everybody else did.” [Industry Profile]

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Positive Imagery of Victory Fans on Victory Records Instagram.

In 2002, Victory would sell a 25% minority interest to MCA Records. However, a little over a year after the sale, Brummel dissolved the relationship with MCA. A few years later, Victory had signed numerous powerhouse bands (Taking Back Sunday, Thursday, Hawthorne Heights, Atreyu, Silverstein, Bayside, etc.) and was being recognized for its star power. Victory also began sub-distributing with Rise Records and Standby Records. All these ventures would create a spotlight on Victory, for better or for worse.

Since the inception of partnerships and big name bands on the Victory roster, the label has been the center of numerous controversies. In 2005, Brummel attacked Apple in an email that went viral. In the email, sent to Alex Luke of Apple, Brummel spoke against ITunes polices (supposedly after a deal to partner didn’t go in Brummel’s favor). One of the email excerpts stated:

“The inflexibility on your side is mind boggling. This is art, if you have not forgotten. Do you think Michelangelo punched in and out when he painted the Sistine Chapel? Music consumers would look at your tactics as worse than those employed by the major record companies. I am surprised that Apple operates in such an authoritarian manner when its public image is that of a company run by creative types.” [Tony Brummel vs. ITunes]

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Brummel has become an online target for angry fans.

Further, Victory has destroyed numerous relationships with some of the biggest bands on their roster. Thursday would leave Victory in the early 2000’s, exposing disheartening problems they suffered while they worked through Victory. In 2006, Hawthorne Heights would go on to sue Victory for loss of royalties and how the band was promoted. A manifesto posted on Hawthorne’s website would go on to describe numerous grievances leading to their decisions to sue Victory. Most recently, A Day To Remember has been in court with Brummel and Victory, suing Victory for breach of contract (they claim loss of royalties, like Hawthorne Heights). As recently as this Monday, ADTR has been in court with Victory after the label filed for an injunction for the band’s newest album release, “Common Courtesies” that was independently released by the band on Monday (you can read more details on the court case in this article here). In all cases, Victory is said to be corrupt, and Brummel targeted for being a manipulative bully (Jeremy McKinnon of ADTR did a recent interview, describing the legal troubles and dealing with Brummel).

While this most recent lawsuit has put Victory in a very ugly light, for whatever reason, the company still stands. While Brummel might be a tyrant, he spots talent where he sees it. In the end, Brummel is still standing (we will check back next year when the ADTR lawsuit really speeds up). For last words, I will let Brummel do damage control:

“I think there are a lot of labels out there that do not work that hard they are not that aggressive and they don’t work 18 hours a day like I do. So, if that makes me a bad guy, then yeah, I’m a bad guy. I love what we do more then I ever have in the history and everyone that works here feels the same way. The whole debate about major labels and indies I don’t care about major labels and I don’t care about indie labels I only care about Victory.” [Absolute Punk Interview]

*Worth noting, if you currently visit any of Victory Records Social Media sites, be prepared for the verbal outcries stemming from their recent legal battle with ADTR. Lots of vulgarity from passionate fans. If you are looking for some juicy material, look no further

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