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)”

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]”

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]”

Everyone Knows: Your Deepest Darkest Secrets [Interview]

We learn about the new solo project from Sergio Anello, the bassist of The Early November.

Interview by Alan Corcoran.

After years on the emo circuit with The Early November, Sergio Anello has gone out alone on a bluesy, alternative road with Everyone Knows. When I first heard this record I was transported to a smokey, backroom bar. Metaphorically. And thankfully it’s the vibe he was going for. 

We talked about anxiety, the recording process, and scratched the surface of his experiences on tour. 

When did Everyone Knows begin?

In 2007 when The Early November went on an indefinite hiatus I found myself starting to write songs but never had the intention to ever record or make it any sort of project. It wasn’t until 2014 that I started to get more serious with writing and not until 2016 that I started to demo songs with Joe with the intention to finally go in the studio and record. At the time it wasn’t even a thought to make it a band but just to be able to have something for me to listen to and look back on. The more I dove into it, the more obsessive I became with making it a priority versus a hobby. The band consists of Joseph Sipala on lead guitar, Brendon Gallagher on drums, Dave Donati on guitar and Shane Caroll on bass.

Continue reading “Everyone Knows: Your Deepest Darkest Secrets [Interview]”

The Bennies: Bringing Happiness To The Party [Interview]

Australian party machines The Bennies discuss philosophy, cannibalism, dangers… and they invent their very own party robot.

Interview by Sarah Williams. Cover photo by Nick Manuel.

At El Topo Goes Loco in Belgium last year, I had the opportunity to chat with Anty Horgan and Nick Williams of Australian party-wizards The Bennies. They’re one of the most fun and uplifting bands you’ll have the joy of seeing, churning up punk, rock, reggae, dub and dance music in a cocktail of danceable anthems.

As the party was already in full-swing, and we were all a few beverages in, we took up position on the quiet grass patch outside the festival site. As the mosquitoes descended on us, we shared a couple of Jupilers and a joint, and Anty stretched out on the grass to do some pre-show yoga stretches. 

You guys are current rounding off a long European tour. How’s it feeling?

  • Nick: This our longest tour. It’s been about 30 dates.
  • Anty: It’s the most we’ve ever done. Easily the most in a row. It’s been good! We’re sort of on the knife’s edge at the moment… where everyone’s good, but pretty fragile? It doesn’t take too much to rock the boat, if you know what I mean.

What are you doing to try and stay sane and survive?

  • Nick: I bought a skateboard and I am very stoked about that. That was a total game-changer for me. I got it in Germany. We were playing at the Sonic Ballroom in Cologne. 

Do you skate much back home?

  • Nick: Not really. I used to a lot. The danger element in our band increased ten-fold in one day. I bought a skateboard in the morning and that was awesome. Then we arrived at Steinhagen and there was a tightrope there that we all suddenly decided we wanted to start mastering. 

Continue reading “The Bennies: Bringing Happiness To The Party [Interview]”

DAVES: Spicing Things Up In The Musical Bedroom [Interview]

Leeds’ unique hardcore act Daves are a diamond in the punk rock rough. There’s a Dave in all of us, apparently.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Leeds louts Daves knocked our socks off at Strummercamp earlier this year, so we had to get to know them better. There’s been a rumble in the underground about them recently, and it’s well-deserved. If you’re not a fan of Daves yet, I suggest you get them in your ears immediately.

Mixing up interesting hardcore grooves, stripped-back acoustic segments and classically punk rock vocals, Daves have fostered a unique sound that’s at once lo-fi, lamenting and loud. They’re one of Shout Louder’s top discoveries of 2019, read on to learn more.

Let’s start with the obvious: why are you called Daves? As I understand it, none of you are actually named Dave. Have you ever been accused of false advertising?

  • Drinky: Yeah, it seems to anger people… but mainly by people who aren’t called Dave. We haven’t been taken to court yet, but I’m sure the bastards will come for us one day!

After watching you live recently, I was very impressed. You’ve got a great mix of hardcore and more more melodic, grungy post-hardcore elements. Which bands do you feel have inspired your sound?

  • Drinky: I was raised listening to a lot of protest music really, my dad being quite political, so it came from Billy Bragg to Rage Against The Machine. But now it’s mainly Taylor Swift.
  • Zach: Cliffy Byro, PUP, Green Day, Gallows, Manchester Orchestra, Spice Girls.
  • Jaz: Face To Face, Rancid and Refused.

Continue reading “DAVES: Spicing Things Up In The Musical Bedroom [Interview]”

Brightr: Ebbs and Flows of Emotion [Interview]

We spoke to acoustic melody-master Brightr about his new album, the emotional songwriting process and the supportive punk rock scene that’s helped him along.

Interview by Sarah Williams.

Earlier this year, solo artist Brightr (otherwise known as Laurie Cottingham) released his second album Two Sides. It’s an intricate, moving acoustic record, which launched with a little help from Lockjaw Records, No Reason Records and Penultimate Records.

Although he describes himself as gloomy emo-pop, I consider Laurie to be an expert in weaving bright, hopeful acoustic tunes, in the same family as City & Colour or Newton Faulkner before Radio 2 picked him up. Two Sides is a welcome follow-up to Year One; it’s a beautiful, soulful and positive record.

We had a chat with Laurie to celebrate the release.

You’ve recently released a brand new album Two Sides. How does it feel to finally share it with the world?

It feels great to finally be able to get the record out in to the world. These are songs I’ve been working on and obsessing over for far too long (tweaking and changing… and overthinking) so to finish recording them was a huge emotional purge for me. To release them is an entirely different, more exciting time. Continue reading “Brightr: Ebbs and Flows of Emotion [Interview]”