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: Rise Records
  • Founded: 1991.
  • Location: Beaverton, Oregon
  • Label Type: Independent
  • Distributors: ADA, INgrooves.
  • Genre of Focus: Metalcore/Post-Hardcore/Pop Punk
  • Current Roster: The Acacia Strain, Dance Gavin Dance, The Early November, Memphis May Fire, Of Mice & Men, Issues.
  • Inactive Roster: Attack Attack!, Drop Dead, Gorgeous, From First To Last, Isles & Glaciers, Small Towns Burn A Little Slower.
  • Website:

Craig Ericson founded rise Records in 1991. The label originated in Nevada City while Ericson was still in school. He sold a few 7” records for bands Up To Here and Slydog before he put Rise on hiatus while he went to college (he would attend Chico State for cartography). Fast-forward 8 years later to 1999, where Ericson relocated to Portland, Oregon. It was here he pulled Rise out of hiatus with the release of One Last Thing’s album The Foster Portfolio in 2000. At this time, they would also release 7” recordings for Tenpin, The Lonely Kings, and The Secludes.

Originally geared as a punk-screamo label, some of the first bands they founded included Anatomy Of A Ghost, Fear Before The March Of Flames, and Drop Dead, Gorgeous. However, things began to really pick up for the label in 2006, after they signed The Devil Wears Prada. Ericson, who had been working a day job as a cartographer, took on Rise full force in 2007, hiring two more people to help with the duties of the growing company. Ericson describes a day in the life of Rise:

“I think there’s a lot to it and there’s a lot of little stuff you need to do. All three of us that work here multi-task. We all pitch in. They do have duties and I have duties, but we all three manage the bands and talk to them and make sure they’re all good. We do all our stuff here. Matthew, our general manager, is a graphic designer, among other things. So we have someone doing graphic design, we have our distributor that we always have to be in contact with. There’s a whole bunch of little stuff. Making sure we don’t miss deadlines on artwork. Getting CD artwork is always a pain in the ass because you can’t put a time limit on art sometimes and we’re like, “We need the cover in two weeks.” We’ll give them a little reminder and it’s tough. We always have to bug people about deadlines, which sucks, but you’ve got to do it.” [Property of Zack Interview]


Dance Gavin Dance filming their new music video through Rise Records.

What many people notice about Rise Records is the diversity within the roster. From the band Man Overboard (pop punk) to Emarosa (post-hardcore) to The Acacia Strain (metalcore), Rise is all over the place. Numerous fans have given Rise a lot of slack for avoiding conforming to a single genre of focus. However, Rise choses this path out of tact. The shelf life for a lot of these bands is short, so by signing many different types of genres, the label allows itself the ability to see what trends are rising or failing. Rise also gives itself more diversity, and whether people like it or not, the focus is on whether a band is good, not what genre it falls into:

We will continue to sign metalcore bands. We will continue to sign rock bands. We will continue to sign Pop-punk bands. We will continue to metal/thrash bands. We will continue to sign hardcore bands. Get my message?? [Limited Run Interview] 


Issues playing around on the streets of Portland, Oregon.

As of this year, Rise Records has relocated from Portland, Oregon to Beaverton, Oregon. For Rise, the move would save them money in taxes that they had been paying in Portland (thought to be somewhere in the hundreds of thousands dollar amount). While many critics say, for a current 5-person team, Rise probably wouldn’t save that much money in the move. However, as of late, 35 bands are signed to Rise Records .As of 2012, Rise was making $3 million in profits and $10 in revenue, which means city taxes are killer. Through a smart move, the relocation to Beaverton will save some money, and will allow Rise to flourish even more than it has. [The Oregonian].

However, no label is without a little controversy (or if you are Victory Records, a ton of controversy). Jonny Craig (former frontman of Dance Gavin Dance and Emarosa), who had been signed to Rise through different bands, was caught in the middle of an internet fraud scandal. Jonny Craig had promised to sell Macbooks to over 16 fans online, and while the fans paid, they never received their computers (it was believed that the money was used for Jonny’s drug addiction). When the story broke, Rise Records and Artery Recordings arranged for Jonny to go to rehab, and reimbursed the people who were subject to the fraud Jonny caused. [Alternative Press Article].


Jonny Craig was the center of controversy at Rise Records.

Rise Records was able to pull themselves from an otherwise crappy situation, and continue to be a desirable label to work for, to this day. And whether your into pop punk or metalcore, Rise will give you something to look forward to. Take it away, Craig Ericson:

We’ve always gone against the grain. We know that word of mouth sells records and spending money on advertising doesn’t necessarily sell records. We’ve worked hard over the years to build a brand that the all-ages music scene can rely on. Whether it’s metalcore or pop-punk, kids can trust that Rise will release great albums from multiple genres. [Limited Run Interview]




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