The Best Ways To Support Independent Records Labels (From The Labels Themselves)

Sarah speaks to the owners of small, independent record labels, to understand the best way people can support them and to demystify some preconceptions about small music businesses.

Written by Sarah Williams.

We’re currently running a competition to support small record labels, where you can win a massive bundle of vinyl, CDs and other goodies. Head to our Instagram to enter.

The role of the record label has changed in recent years. Small, independent DIY labels are popping up all the time, but they don’t have the capital to fund recordings or the clout to market bands to a mainstream audience, as a label would have done traditionally.

Instead, many of the record labels we love are started at kitchen tables by keen music lovers,often to help their friends or to release their own band’s music. Nowadays, record labels are a helping hand, a word of advice, financial support and a labour of love.

Outside of Shout Louder, I’m part of a team that keep the cogs turning at Lockjaw Records. Although we’re relatively well established, we’re not doing anything for profit. The reward for our hard work is seeing our bands reach new listeners and play bigger stages. Many label proprietors are passionate punk rockers, who simply want to keep the scene alive.

I spoke to some of the small labels I respect the most, to understand how best to support them. Continue reading “The Best Ways To Support Independent Records Labels (From The Labels Themselves)”

Win A DIY Punk Rock Mega-Bundle!

We’ve teamed up with TNS Records, Lockjaw Records, Charlie’s Big Raygun Records and Less Talk, More Records to give away this huge bundle of vinyl, CDs and other goodies!

Here at Shout Louder, we try our hardest to champion independent record labels. They work hard to support small bands, with no expectation of financial return. Although we’re all for doing-it-yourself, small record labels are an essential cog in our musical machine.

To celebrate some of our favourite labels, we’ve teamed up with TNSRecords, Lockjaw Records, Charlie’s Big Raygun Records and Less Talk, More Records.

We’re offering you a one-off chance to win this huge bundle of vinyl, CDs and other assorted goodies.

To enter head over to our Instagram page. Find the competition post, follow the record label accounts and tag a friend. You have until midnight Saturday 6th October to enter, and we’ll choose a winner on Sunday 7th. Continue reading “Win A DIY Punk Rock Mega-Bundle!”

Shout Louder Print Zine #1: Submission Guidelines

DIY punk rock has created a unique community of open-minded, socially-conscious music lovers. To celebrate this, Shout Louder is making a one-off print zine: a collection of stories about people’s experiences in the community.

Tell us the story of how you first stumbled upon DIY punk rock; the best gig you’ve ever been to; the anecdotes you shared over a smoke between bands; the time someone you’d just met lent you their van to move house; the time you fell in love; the time a gig saved your life.

Continue reading “Shout Louder Print Zine #1: Submission Guidelines”

Exclusive: Fabled Mind premiere new single ‘Entangled’

Be the first to watch the new lyric video from Danish melodic-punks Fabled Mind.

Shout Louder are proud to bring you the second single from new Danish punk rockers Fabled Mind.

Fabled Mind released their first single Before The Slaughter to a great reception in August. The band is the brainchild of frontman Dion Finne, who’s been crafting their exceptional full-length album for months. Although new to the music scene, they bring a modern melodic twist to RX Bandits-style fast punk, using combined experience from their other bands (including Shout Louder favourites Forever Unclean).

Entangled is my attempt to write an uplifting song,” says Dion Finne, on the latest single. “We all face situations and times in our lives where everything seems hopeless and inconsequential. Some people are stuck in a toxic relationship, some hate their work life and 45% of the Danish population feel lonely. Loneliness is a powerful and gripping feeling that can provoke anxiety and force you to avoid social situations in the belief that people don’t need you and that you don’t need them. Continue reading “Exclusive: Fabled Mind premiere new single ‘Entangled’”

News: Do It Together Fest Announced

Shout Louder are teaming up with Be Sharp and Colin’s Punk Rock World to put on a weekend celebrating DIY punk rock in London.

Shout Louder are teaming up with our punk rock pals Be Sharp Promotions and Colin’s Punk Rock World to host Do It Together Fest 2020.

This new weekend event will celebrate the unique DIY music community that’s brought us all together, with live music, a record fair and a print zine especially for the event. We’ll be bringing our favourite artists from the UK and further afield for a friendly, welcoming party, while also fundraising for Mind.

Hosted at New Cross Inn, South East London’s premiere punk venue, we hope that Do It Together Fest will build on the success of 2019’s Shout Louder Fest. It’s a birthday party for all three Aquarian hosts, and it’s an opportunity to get friends from all walks of life in the same place.

Limited £10 Early Bird Weekend Tickets are available from the New Cross Inn website. Continue reading “News: Do It Together Fest Announced”

Bisexuality in Punk Rock: How an open community encourages bi visibility

Joshua Molloy of Animal Byproducts discusses how the punk community has enabled him to be more open and accepting of his bisexuality.

Guest article written by Joshua Molloy of Animal Byproducts, in honour of Bi Visibility Day 2019.
As a bisexual man, I have the power of invisibility. I tried using it for evil, like stealing things, or bringing down society… but it’s not the fun kind of invisibility, more the kind of invisibility that makes you very uncomfortable in a load of different situations. You’re hardly ever mentioned, and people just seem to forget you exist.
When I was younger I didn’t even realise there was a word for it until my sister came out. I knew that “gay” was a thing, and I knew that “straight” was a thing, but I was very aware that I wasn’t either, and I didn’t know what to do with that. When society implicitly teaches you (or explicitly, Section 28 was a real and incredibly harmful thing) that there’s only one way of being, it hurts everyone who sits outside that.
So when I figured it out about myself, I had no real model for how to be, and it was difficult to come to terms with. I told a few people who I trusted and felt safe with, and I didn’t get too many bad reactions. But I still didn’t feel like I was safe letting the whole world know.

Continue reading “Bisexuality in Punk Rock: How an open community encourages bi visibility”

Vanilla Pod: Gone But Not Forgotten [Interview]

After over 20 years together, Kings Lynn’s favourite punks Vanilla Pod called it a day in 2018. We’ve chronicled the history of this classic band with the help of guitarist Steve Pod.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

After twenty three (twenty three!) years as a band, notorious Kings Lynn punks Vanilla Pod decided to call it a day in late 2018. They chose to go out with a bang, completing a long run of live dates around the UK, releasing a final farewell EP Goodbye My Love and hosting one final Podstock event as a hometown send off.

It was quite the fanfare for a band who, while remaining relatively humble, have had a major influence on many people within the UK punk scene (and further afield). One of my earliest punk rock memories was catching Vanilla Pod playing a glorious grotty venue in my seaside hometown at approximately the age of 14, by which time they’d already been going for nearly a decade. I remember finding them on a Rock Sound compilation and being impressed that they were playing down the road for only £3 on-the-door.

Since then there have been many memorable (and some perhaps less memorable!) experiences with Vanilla Pod involved – chaotic club nights, quieter acoustic sets, celebratory, nostalgic weekends at Podstock and that-one-time-at-WonkFest that no one forgets.

Before the split, I spoke to guitarist Steve Pitcher (who, as far as I’m concerned, shall always be known as Steve Pod) to document some of the bands’ history. Continue reading “Vanilla Pod: Gone But Not Forgotten [Interview]”

Punk Rock Coffee: A Hungover Tale of Lockjaw Records’ Latest Creation

Rick Delaney taste tests Lockjaw Records’ Coffee midway through Manchester Punk Festival. The result is this hilarious, hungover story, that’ll resonate even if you don’t have the slightest interest in coffee.

Lockjaw Records (Sarah Shout Louder’s other love) recently teamed up with Sham City Roasters to create their own bespoke Lockjaw Coffee. They challenged Rick Delaney, who usually writes serious stuff for Dying Scene, to take it for a serious taste-test. 

Bravely, Delaney chose to do this early in the morning, halfway through the liver-crippling marathon of Manchester Punk Festival. He’s a true hero; here’s his (inebriated, tangential, absolutely hilarious) story.

In screaming sunshine, I hotfoot across Manchester with a photographer on the verge of alcohol-induced paralysis and a shopping list of accoutrements and crucial equipment for a coffee morning. The goal is a double review – the latest compilation and a custom coffee blend from the hardworking and frankly spectacular bunch at Lockjaw Records.

Surprisingly minimal fucking around in shops later – camera operator Josh Sumner [Shout Louder’s resident photographer] sweats outside – we get the gear and head for an apartment on the North side of town. We call Carly Ashburner – one of many truly magical humans attending Manchester Punk Festival 2019 and literal bench-presser of band members. She meets us on the street in typical high spirits. We head upstairs.

In the swankiest of weekend rentals, overlooking a spectacular Manchester cityscape and the Peak District National Park, I find a scene of absolute mayhem. Continue reading “Punk Rock Coffee: A Hungover Tale of Lockjaw Records’ Latest Creation”

Edward In Venice: Aggressive, Dynamic and Full of Empathy [Interview]

We talk to Italian favourites Edward In Venice about their screaming fast mix of pop-punk, emo, and melodic hardcore.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Edward In Venice are a screaming melodic hardcore band from Pesaro, Italy, with a strong penchant for pop-punk melodies and technical guitar work. In April 2019 they released a new EP Empathy on Lockjaw Records. Empathy is an intricate record, recorded with no deadline to allow full creative freedom.

I first caught Edward In Venice playing Manchester Punk Festival 2015, where I fell in love with their speed, their skill and their energy. Their Howler EP was one of my favourite punk rock releases that year, and I’ve been waiting for a follow up album since.

We spoke to Filippo Greganti about the new records, their inspiration and their future plans.

You’ve recently released a new 6-track EP Empathy. How does it feel to have it out in the world?

It’s out in the world? Really? Hah! It’s so motivating. A lot of our friends and fans were waiting for this EP and now finally they’re happy… Hopefully! Continue reading “Edward In Venice: Aggressive, Dynamic and Full of Empathy [Interview]”

“Thank You, I’m Sorry”: Impostor Syndrome In Music

“Great set, man!” The internal cacophony of anxiety and self-doubt is all too familiar to Lucias from Call Me Malcolm, as he describes in this amusing piece about impostor syndrome.

Written by Lucias Malcolm, of Call Me Malcolm fame. This is part of our #MentallySound series, exploring mental health in music. 

The following is a work of fiction that happened last week. Any similarity to person or persons is entirely likely.

The gig is over. Nothing broke, up to and including equipment and/or bones. The crowd seemed happy, or at least, no one threw anything. But who can really tell? The band rush to pack leads, instruments and sweaty t-shirts into whichever bag is closest. I crouch at the front of the stage fighting a particularly impudent stretch of gaffer tape as a figure approaches.

“Great set man!” he smiles.

Shit. I think to myself. Not now. But it’s too late. I can hear the gavel banging already…

~

Anxiety: “ORDER! ORDER! I call to order the Council of the Inner Monologue.

[Indecipherable murmurs from the countless other voices in Luke’s head]

Anxiety: “I have called this urgent meeting to discuss the most recent and egregious compliment from a stranger, to wit, ‘Great set man’…”

Depression: “Point of order! We are yet to discuss the matter of Something Stupid the Host Body Said When He Was 13.”

[More murmurs and disagreement]

Anxiety: “On the contrary, we went over this in great detail every week for the past 23 years.”

OCD: “Point of order! We can’t start the meeting until we’ve established absentees. Confidence isn’t here.”

Self Hate: “He never is.”  

[More murmurs]

Anxiety: “ORDER! ORDER! Absentee noted. Now, all in favour of replying to the stranger with an inaudible mumble, say ‘Aye’.”

~

I mumble something inaudible in response, offering a smile so lacking in conviction it’s hard to tell if I’m even conscious.

“Yeah man, I really love how much fun you guys have on stage.” He offers with a warm smile.

~

Self Hate: “Point of order! Raising the issue of the errant ‘really’ in the strangers follow up compliment.”  

Anxiety: “Noted and seconded. Too much stress on the word to seem genuine. All in favour of raising the threat level to ‘Suspicious’, say ‘Aye’”

[Cries of ‘Aye’]

Anxiety: “Motion carried. Trigger the Self-Deprecation Clause and instruct the host body to pour scorn on the compliment in principle.”

~

“We’re normally a bit tighter than that.” I stutter. Crisis averted. For a second there, he might’ve gotten away with thinking we were good.

“No seriously, you were so tight. The breakdown in that last song was insane!”

~

Anxiety: “Emergency point of order! Suspicion duly confirmed. Host body was erratic in execution of musical instrument during last song.”

Depression: “Motion to abort Council of the Inner Monologue, quit the band and move to Dieppe to make shoes.”

Anxiety: “I see no other sensible option.”

Self Hate: “Initiate the Cobbler Protocol!”

Anxiety: “Noted and seconded. All in favour say–”

OCD: “Emergency! Emergency! Host body placed the wires ABOVE the foot pedal in the bag. Unacceptable. Motion to–“

~

“I also wanted to say,” the man continues, unaware of the eight-way conversation the voices are currently conducting in my head, “Thank you for talking about mental health. I suffer myself and it means a lot that you bring it up.”

~

Anxiety: “I… well… this is most unexpected.”  

[Door opens]

Empathy: “Sorry I’m late. What did I miss?”

Depression: “We’re moving to France.”

Anxiety: “The host body was presented with an unexpected compliment. We’re trying to establish the root cause of such a breakdown in social protocol.”

Empathy: “Maybe it was genuine? It probably took everything the guy had to come out to the show tonight. Maybe, it took even more for them to walk up to a stranger and start a conversation.”

Self Hate: “He’s right. Motion to discuss this awkward moment in detail at 3am every morning for the next week.”

OCD: “I’ve already made a note.”

Anxiety: “Agreed. Now, I suggest we enshrine in law the Imposter Syndrome Initiative. To wit, from now on, all compliments are met with a genuine ‘thank you’. All in favour?”   

~

Before I can respond, he leaves. I mull over whether I’ll ever feel comfortable in conversations with strangers, moreover ones offering compliments. Either way, I know it’s already on the agenda for a lengthy 3am brooding.

Moments later, I’m packed up and standing by the merch table, offering my best ‘come hither and part with your money’ eyes to people glancing at t-shirts. It works, because a figure approaches.

“I thought you guys were great today,” she offers.

~

Anxiety: “This is it folks, this is everything we’ve trained for. Triggering the Imposter Syndrome Initiative…”

~

“Thank you!” I insist.

~

Anxiety: ““ORDER! ORDER! I call to order the Council of the Inner Monologue. Host body accepted compliment with entirely too much enthusiasm. May be taken as sarcastic. Abort! Abort!”

~

“I’m sorry.” Shit. Baby steps, Luke. Baby steps.

Written by Lucias Malcolm of Call Me Malcolm.  They’re excellent, they’re great live, they talk a lot about mental health, and you should definitely go compliment them after their set. 

If you enjoyed this, read Lucias’ other articles about music and anxiety: There Is A Bear On Stage and Everything Is Probably Fine.