Labelled: Epitaph Records

Rising from ‘a logo and a P.O. box’ to one of the biggest independent punk/rock labels in the world, Brett Gurewitz’s record label Epitaph has been pushing back boundaries for twenty five years. Here’s how…

  Back in ’82, a twenty year old guy called Brett probably would have laughed until it hurt if you told him that his new label Epitaph, used to put out his band Bad Religion’s self-titled EP and debut album ‘How Could Hell Be Any Worse?’ and named after a King Crimson song, would hit it big in ’94 with an album by The Offspring that would sell eleven million copies worldwide. However, that’s exactly what happened…
“I originally started the label to make a 7-inch record for my band,” explains Mr. Brett: “Back in 1980, you could make a 7-inch if you could scrounge together a few hundred bucks, you know? And then, if you put five songs on that 7-inch, you’ve got an EP. We were a garage band, and we wanted to make an EP, so we did it and that was the whole purpose of the label at that time. One thing led to another, and what started out as a hobby, turned into a whole career – and I consider myself very fortunate in that respect!”
As Bad Religion became mmore popular through the ’80s with their adrenaline-charged punk, Gurewitz’s label also grew and in ’87 he moved Epitaph to his new recording studio and released L7’s self-titled debut album. Bad Religion’s classic album ‘Suffer’, released in ’88, was a first for Epitaph too because it was the first album that was released and distributed through the label. Things were building gradually with bands such as NOFX, No Use For A Name and Down By Law on their roster in the early ’90s, but the punk explosion of the mid ’90s would change everything.
In 1994 The Offspring’s third album ‘Smash’ lived up to its name and, ‘alongside Green Day’s ‘Dookie’, saw punk again erupt into the mainstream. Despite a weakening business relationship which would end bitterly between The Offspring and Epitaph, it would make Epitaph the biggest independent punk label on the planet. The hit single ‘Come Out And Play’ was all over the radio and MTV and ‘Smash’ became the biggest selling independent label album of all time.
“That record (and thank you very much, Offspring) put us on the map,” Mr. Brett admitted to the Washington Post this year: “It opened doors. I could get a meeting with whoever. Up until that time, we had to scratch and claw our way into whatever nooks and crannies we could. It wasn’t easy for an indie to get a record into a chain store. Indies were second-class citizens back then, but from that day forward we could sell any of our titles in any chain in the country. Everything changed.”
’94 was also the year that albums from NOFX (‘Punk In Drublic’) and Rancid (‘Let’s Go’), both of which went gold in the US and ’95 saw Rancid’s ‘…And Out Come The Wolves’ go platinum.
Through the early ’90s, Rancid’s Tim Armstrong and Mr. Brett has become close friends and the label’s recent success allowed for expansion in the form of sister labels. Armstrong has said that “Epitaph is our home” and in ’96 he entered into a partnership with Epitaph to start the sister label Hellcat, to push street punk and ska and launch bands such as the Dropkick Murphys, The Distillers and Tiger Army. ANTI- was another ofshoot of Epitaph that allowed Mr. Brett to expand outside of punk and sign soul, blues, hip hop and country acts, as well as legendary artists such as Tom Waits and Nick Cave. Epitaph itself would start to sign more diverse band in recent years.
With emo and pop punk bands such as Motion City Soundtrack, I Am Ghost and Matchbook Romance, as well as alt. rap acts such as Sage Francis and Atmosphere, Mr. Brett ignored criticism from punk bands on his label to continuing driving Epitaph forward. But that doesn’t mean he’s abandoned punk by any means, having recently put out The Draft’s debut album and another Bouncing Souls record, as well as distributing Watford’s own punk hellraisers Gallows in the US.
Now with the headquarters in Hollywood and offices in Amsterdam and Toronto, Epitaph shows what a punk DIY attitude and one hell of a lot of determination can achieve. Epitaph and Mr. Brett will continue to go against the grain  for some time yet. Thank fuck for that.

Ten Epitaph albums that are punk rock classics…

Bad Religion – Suffer (1988)
The Offspring – Smash (1994)
NOFX – Punk In Drublic (1994)
Rancid – …And Out Come The Wolves (1995)
The Descendents – Everything Sucks (1996)
H20 – F.T.T.W. (1999)
How Water Music – A Flight And A Crash (2001)
Motion City Soundtrack – Commit This To Memory (2005)
The  Bouncing Souls – The Gold Record (2006)
The Draft – In A Million Pieces (2006)

SOURCE: Big Cheese magazine (nº 90)


Everything You Need To Know About… Factory Records

Tony Wilson leaves behind a musical legacy that changed the face of indie forever – and will continue to do so.

  Go look at your record collection right now. See anything with the label Factory down the side? Cool, we like you already. If not, how about something recent from, say, New York? Like Interpol or The Rapture? If so, you’re looking at the children of Joy Division and Happy Mondays right there. What about some Hot Chip, Bloc Party or even Arcade Fire? New Order pretty much invented all that 25 years ago. Whether you realise it or not, your record collection is positively teeming with the sound and spirit of Factory Records.
But the music itself is only the tip of the iceberg. Ever felt inspired to get out and start something? Anything. Regardless of how much money you’d make or how many people you’d impress? Like forming a band. Or starting a clubnight? Or writing a fanzine? That’s the DIY spirit of Factory coursing through your veins.
“All Factory bands have freedom,” founder Tony Wilson declared during the label’s conception in the late ’70s. “The freedom to fuck off.” And it was these punk ideals – an ethos that included splitting all the profits 50/50 with bands, not drawing up proper contracts and losing money on the biggest selling 12-inch of all time (New Order’s ‘Blue Monday’) – that would be their making and, ultimately, their downfall, leading the label to the eventually being declared bankrupt in 1992. But that’s exactly what made Factory Records – which, at last the count, was on to its fourth incarnation before Tony Wilson passed away two weeks ago – so utterly brilliant as a concept, an ideal, and a way to live your life.
And it’s the reason why Tony Wilson’s vision will live on – if not by name, then certainly in the hearts and minds of forward – thinking, DIY-spirited punk droogs everywhere. Fittingly, here’s everything you’ll ever need to know about the label that changed everything…

Pills, thrills and bankruptcy – A history of Factory

May 1978 – Tony Wilson, a news anchor on Granada TV, starts the Factory clubnight at the Russell Club, Hulme, Manchester, with mates Alan Erasmus and Peter Saville. Joy Division and Cabaret Voltaire are on the bill.

January 1979 – Factory Records is set up and based in Erasmus’ flat on Palatine Rd, Withington. Producer Martin Hannett joins, as does fifth man, Joy Division/New Order manager, Rob Gretton.

June 1979 – ‘All Night Party’, a funk cut by A Certain Ratio, is Factory’s first single release. Joy Division snub label giant WEA to release the first LP, ‘Unknown Pleasures’.

June 1980 – In the wake of Ian Curtis’ suicide the month before, ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ becomes the label’s first Top 20 hit.

1981 – Hannet quits the label. Saville also quits as a partner but continues designing sleeves.

1982 –  Factory and New Order open the Haçienda Club together, converting a victorian textile factory. Despite being packed, it loses 10K a month.

1983 – ‘Blue Monday’ is a multi-million-selling hit.

1985 – Happy Mondays release EP ‘Forty Five’.

1989 – Trendy Fac boozer the Dry Bar and record shop opened in the city’s Northern Quarter.

1992 – London Records try to take over Factory. Deal falls through when it emerges that New Order’s back catalogue is owned by the band, not the label.

1994 – Wilson starts up Factory too, for unsigned Manchester bands.

2005 – Wilson continues to back the city’s emerging talent, like grime crew Raw T and prole rockers Young Offenders Institute on new F4 imprint.

2007 – Wilson assigns Happy Monday’s new LP ‘Uncle Dysfunktional’ a FAC number… despite it not actually being released on his label.

10 brilliant Factory FAC-ts

  1. The label was named after a neon sign advertising a factory sale that Erasmus noticed while driving along Manchester’s Deansgate. Not, as often misreported, Andy Warhol’s boho ’60s art studio.
  2. In the 2002 movie 24 Hour People, Tony Wilson “signs” the first Factory cotracts with Joy Division and Durutti Column with his own blood. This was actually a myth started by Wilson himself during the film’s production.
  3. Factory released the only good football song ever, New Order’s ‘World In Motion’ – featurinng a peerless guest rap from footballer John Barnes. And Lily Allen’s peerlessly irritating dad, Keith.
  4. Martin Hannett, auteur of Joy Division’s sparse, eerie, sound, once ordered drummer Stephen Morris to complete his drum sessions on the roof of the studio.
  5. A European imprint, Factory Benelux, was set up in 1990. One release was for Lavolta Lakolta – whose drummer was NME’s Rick Martin’s cousin Mike.
  6. Along with million-selling records such as ‘Blue Monday’, Factory put out useless tat too – the daftest being a menstrual egg-timer.
  7. A vocal version of ’60s garage instrumental ‘Telstar’ – originally by Matt Bellamy’s dad’s band The Tornados – was released in 1984. The band were called Ad Infinitum and included Peter Hook.
  8. Wilson got the idea for the cover art for the first Factory sampler after staring at a Thai import copy of Santana’s ‘Abraxas’ album. He claimed to see the psychedelic sleeve “come alive” when off his tits.
  9. Wilson once said of The Smiths: “They’re the most Factory-like, non-Factory band”. He claimed years earlier that Morrissey was “a woman trapped in a man’s body”. Mozza would retort that Wilson was “a pig trapped in a man’s body”.
  10. Everything made by Factory – records, posters, bars, shops – was given a catalogue number. Even things as vague as ‘concepts’.
The five best things to come out of Tony Wilson’s mouth
  • “Punk was Stalinist. It tore away the dross but all it could say was, ‘Fuck you!’ Joy Division came along and said something much more dark and complex. They said, ‘We are lost!'”
  • “We thought with ‘Blue Monday’: ‘It’s in this new 12-inch format, it’s not going to sell, so it may as well look good.’ It was an utterly contemporary and utterly timeless piece of design, and it was hideously expnsive because excellence always in.”
  • “In its first two years, Factory has this non-promotion thing: ‘We don’t promote. No press officers.’ It was all about not treating the music as a commodity.”
  • “Every two years there’s a producer and a piece of kit and they change the way music sounds. With Martin Hannett, it was the digital delay foomm AMS in Burnley – it made drums sound the way they sound today.”
  • “You learn why you do something by actually doing it.”
How to buy Factory
Essential… Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures (1979)

  Quite simply, the 10 songs that irreeversibly changed the face of music – forever. From Ian Curtis’ apparently Sinatra-inspired baritone vocal delivery, to Hook’s low-slung bass rumble, to Stephen Morris’ sparse, haunting rhythms, Joy Division’s debut is a dark, strangely euphoric record that no music fan should be without.
Follow up… New Order – Substance (1987)
  From the ashes of Joy Division rose the Phoenix of New Order, with Bernard Sumner taking over vocal duties after Ian Curtis’ suicide. This double-album collects the band’s first dozen singles – including dazzling electro freak-outs ‘Blue Monday’ and ‘Temptation’ – and documents how, over the previous half-decade, they changed the direction of music all over again, this time re-inventing dance music.
Recommended… Happy Mondays – Pills’N Thrills And Bellyaches (1990)
  “Son, I’m 30”, rasps Shaun Ryder on opener ‘Kinky Afro’, “I only went with your mother ‘cos she’s dirty”. From the funniest, cockiest couplet to ever open an album, there on in its tight grooves and funk-pop mishmashes inspired a million pilled-up kids to pull their best Bez-style freaky dance moves.
Wild card… Marcel King – Reach For Love (1991)
  Marcel King was the singer in ’70s group Sweet Sensation – the winners of New Faces, a kind of ’70s X-Factor – and this was his one and only solo cut for Factory. It’s a soulful belter too and, apparently, Shaun Ryder’s favourite ever release on the label.
Avoid… Northside – Chicken Rhythms (1991)
  Viewed by many as Factory’s cynical cash-in at the tail end of baggy, this Manc lost lacked the lyrical nous of the Mondays or the tunes of James and The Charlatans. These days cited as a major influence by the Twang, which should tell you everything you need to know.
Burn your own best of
OMD – ‘Electricity’
  They went rubbish later, but this tune shows what a great Kraftwerk-apeing electro-pop band they were at the start.
Joy Division – ‘Transmission’
  Gloriously uplifting and anthemic, especially when Ian Curtis exhorts “Dance, dance, dance to the radio“.
The Durutti Column – ‘Lips That Would Kiss’
  A tribute to Ian Curtis that proves the talent of mainman Vini Reilly.
ESG – ‘You’re No Good’
  The Scroggins sisters fused electro, hip hop and punk for a unique sound.
A Certain Ratio – ‘Shack Up’
  Listen to this scratchy white funk cut and you’ll know instantly where Franz and The Futureheads got their sound.
James – ‘Hymn From A Village’
  Back from when James were a lo-fi indie act clearly in thrall to The Smiths.
New Order – ‘Blue Monday’
  Genuinely revolutionary, and it all came from Stephen Morris fannying around on a drum machine.
Happy Mondays – ‘Hallelujah’
  From the ‘Madchester Rave On’ EP, ehich coined the name for the new indie-dance movement in the city.
Northside – ‘Shall We Take A Trip’
   It’s proper shit, but it is very funny, and encapsulated the hedonistic times.
Joy Division – ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’
   Curtis’ epitaph, voted by NME as the best single of all time in 2002. If anything, its raw, emotive power have grown.
New Order – ‘True Faith’
  New Order at their peak, when everything they did was magnificent.
Electronic – ‘Get The Message’
   They finally managed to get one of The Smiths on Factory. The best of Marr and Sumner’s dance and guitar pop.
Happy Mondays – ‘Kinky Afro’
   A top five hit back in 1990, this is rock at its most keef-indebted sleazy.
Why I love Factory
“What a great legacy of music. A lot of people from the indie world learned a lot from Factory. Including a hell as a lot about how not to do things, because Factory was less than perfect. But Tony was out there having a go.” Mani (The Stone Roses / Primal Scream)
“Tony believed Factory should be not like any other label and believed that the artist should own the music and be able to walk away whenever they wanted. It wasn’t some kind of gimmicky statement. That was how he thought the world should be. And he did have ideas, and he kept having them.” Stephen Morris (New Order)
SOURCE: NME magazine

O que eu quero é … Cantar (por Miguel Somsen)

  Jared Leto, Michael Pitt, Zooey Deschanel, Lukas Haas e Jason Schwartzman. Serão eles apenas "mais uns" na longa lista de "actores-mimados-que-decidiram-fazer-música"?

  Eles podem, querem e cantam – e seus males espantam. Foi assim com Bruce Willis, Steven Seagal, Rupert Everett ou Russell Crowe, actores-artistas que depois sofreram as consequências da sua nobre iniciativa. É que raramente a crítica perdoa a um actor que pense em explorar o seu talento noutra área artística (neste caso, a música). Os argumentos da crítica são tão viperinos como justificados: os meninos mimados estão aborrecidos com os filmes e decidem gravar música? Michael Pitt, protagonista da nova versão de Funny Games (estreia em Julho) tem um grupo chamado Pagoda ( Se a moda pega, é um pagode?
  Felizmente, nove em cada dez situações fracassam. Felizmente, dizemos, porque assim o fracasso geral notabiliza a excepção artística. Um exemplo? Juliette Lewis & The Licks. Não é um grande sucesso, mas sobreviveu como projecto lateral da actriz de Maridos e Mulheres, e chegou a fazer digressão nos festivais internacionais. Pior será a diferença, como o comprovam os case studies das actrizes Minnie Driver, Milla Jovovich ou Maria de Medeiros, todas elas com discos editados. Havia mesmo necessidade ou foi só para afugentar formigas?
  Quando Scarlett Johansson anunciou que iria cantar temas de Tom Waits com o guitarrista dos TV On The Radio, David Sitek, todos torceram o nariz. Agora que Anywhere I Lay My Head foi editado e com óptimas críticas, é levantar as orelhas e baixar a bolinha. Há alguma coisa que Scarlett não faça bem? Não será precipitado exigir que outros actores estejam à sua altura? A maioria não está preocupada. Com a renda da casa garantida, a urgência reduz-se e o génio ganha um novo balão de oxigénio. Talvez ninguém faça música para ganhar dinheiro, mas, a alguns, sai mesmo a lotaria.
  Jared Leto, actor de Sala de Pânico, que será o assassino de John Lennon em Chapter 27 (estreia este mês), é hoje muito mais famoso pelo projecto musical de emo rock que partilha com o irmão Shannon Leto. Os 30 Seconds To Mars estiveram, há uns meses, a visitar o Portugal adolescente e as digressões da banda levaram Jared Leto a recusar um papel no filme de Clint Eastwood, As Bandeiras dos Nossos Pais. Charlotte Gainsbourg, que sobressaiu como actriz, fez, há dois anos, o cross-over com um disco extraordinário, 5:55, fruto de uma cooperativa de luxo, associando os Air a Neil Hannon e Jarvis Cocker. A sociedade é, ao lado da linha recta, o caminho mais curto entre dois pontos: Zooey Deschanel, uma das protagonistas do novo de M. Night Shyamalan, O Acontecimento (que estreou em Junho), juntou-se ao músico M. Ward no delicioso projecto She & Him, que tem Volume One nas lojas. Não será alheio o pormenor de o antigo namorado de Zooey, Jason Schwartzman (primo de Sofia Coppola) ter deixado de ser baterista dos Phantom Planet para lançar-se num projecto a solo chamado Nighttiming ( Há mais e melhor. Uma das protagonistas da série de televisão A Letra L, Leisha Hailey, acabou por estrear o seu novo projecto musical, Uh Huh Her (título de um antigo disco de PJ Harvey). Billy Bob Thornton, ex de Angelina Jolie, vive uma segunda adolescência como artista de country music no seu projecto The Boxmasters (, com novo álbum e digressão no pacote. E Lukas Haas, o eterno menino de A Testemunha, é, hoje, um actor adulto capaz de assumir o risco de diversificar. Tudo começou num projecto chamado Bunny com, pasme-se, Vincent Gallo. Agora, prepara a edição de um disco a solo apadrinhado por dois elementos dos Rilo Kiley, Jenny Lewis e Blake Sennett. Curiosamente, tal como Lukas Haas, ambos os músicos foram actores na infãncia. É que isto de se ser versátil aprende-se logo no berço.

O CANTO DO CISNE: modelos que cantam

  Afinal, quem inventou as supermodelos? A MTV, obviamente. Antes disso, elas não tinham exposição, eram apenas “modelos” ou “manequins” (eufemismo para “bonecas”). Depois, dos anos 80 aos anos 90, a sobre-exposição resultou numa espécie de super-heróis da Moda, as chamadas supermodelos, mulheres capazes de tudo, inclusive de resistir à criptonite (ou aos anos 80). Os autores do excesso? George Michael, Billie Joel (com Christie Brinkley) ou os Duran Duran (de Girls on Film e Save a Prayer). No teledisco de Freedom, George Michael apresentava um “elenco de luxo”: Naomi, Turlington, Evangelista, Crawford. Mulheres sem voz ou à espera da sua vez. Uns anos mais tarde, o vídeo de Too Funky (também George Michael) passava Nadja Auermann, Tyra Banks, Estelle Hallyday ou Beverly Peele. A moda pegou. Bryan Adams trouxe Ana Cristina Oliveira, em The Only Thing That Looks Good On Me Is You; Chris Isaak apresentou Laetitia Casta, em Baby Did a Bad, Bad Thing (depois de eternizar Helena Christensen a preto e branco em Falling in Love). Com o passar do tempo, as modelos também passaram da passerelle para o palco. Ou decidiram apenas ficar-se por lá, a ver a banda passar. Hoje, 25 anos depois, as supermodelos sobrepõem-se em múltiplas tarefas. Umas fazem cinema, outras dão música, outras criam descendência. A ucraniana Milla Jovovich foi das pioneiras neste exercício transversal, aparecendo em filmes de Luc Besson e lançando o álbum Divine Comedy, em 1994. Kate Moss associou-se, primeiro, ao cinema (com Johnny Depp) e, depois, à música (com Pete Doherty), mas, até hoje, ainda não editou nada a solo, apenas colaborou com Bobby Gillespie nos Primal Scream (e fez pool dance num vídeo dos White Stripes). Seja como for, Moss é a prova de que a associação criativa é útil e a colaboração útil é criativa. Três exemplos: o rosto da Burberry, a britânica Agyness Deyn (a “nova Kate Moss”), canta num tema do álbum recente dos americanos Five O’Clock Heroes; a ruiva Karen Elson, que namorou com James Iha (guitarrista dos Smashing Pumpkins) antes de casar, na Amazónia, com Jack White (dos White Stripes), fez dupla com Cat Power na versão Je t’Aime (Moi Non Plus), de Gainsbourg. Pete Doherty será padrinho (e amante) do novo disco que a modelo romena Irina Lazareanu planeia editar até ao final do ano (com produção de Patti Smith e guarda roupa de Balenciaga). O que elas querem? Rock’n’roll, claro. Querem borrar a pintura, desmanchar o penteado, ser patinho feio depois de ter sido cisne. Ou então elas querem ser como Carla Bruni, que foi modelo de excepção à regra. Filha de artistas (padrasto compositor, mãe pianista), Carla foi parar à Moda depois de estudar Arquitectura, mas acabou na casa de partida, a Música, com a acústica dos álbuns a solo Quelqu’un Ma Dit (2003) e No Promises (2007), tudo isto antes de conhecer o Presidente Sarkozy. Quando Carla diz que “a monogamia a aborrece”, todas as colegas a compreendem. Mas apenas as mais inteligentes saberão adaptar essa necessidade de gerir uma “poligamia de actividades” com sucesso.

FONTE: Vogue

Músicos lusos com sites “exclusivos”

 Estúdios,salas de ensaio e concursos estão na rede.Tudo "made in Portugal"
Em Portugal já existem portais especialmente dedicados a quem faz da música profissão.Nestes sites é possivel encontrar todas as informações úteis para a carreira artistica,desde noticiário da especialidade,a links para escolas de música,lojas de instrumentos,estúdios,concursos,rádios,etc.
Em ,por exemplo,a página principal é ocupada por noticias sobre o panorama musical nacional e estrangeiro,mas também é possivel encontrar ligações para sítios como a Associação para a Formação e Defesa da Música Portuguesa,editoras,ofertas de emprego e empresas de agenciamento artistico.
Os utilizadores registados podem ainda trocar as mais variadas ideias e informações através do fórum,e receber periodicamente a ‘newsletter’ do site.Há ainda crónicas sobre os mais variados assuntos de interesse na área,assim como uma secção para aceder directamente a várias estações de rádio.
Nesta morada virtual há ainda links para outros sites do género,como é o caso de .Este,especialmente vocacionado para as chamadas bandas de garagem,disponibiliza páginas de apresentação individuais para os grupos que queiram inscrever-se,dá espaço para ficheiros mp3 e uma completa agenda de concertos das mesmas.Entre os conteúdos de carácter mais lúdico,encontram-se passatempos,opiniões e até anedotas musicais.
Prova de que estes sites acabam por dar sempre jeito é o exemplo dos portugueses You Should Go Ahead,que recrutaram um dos seus elementos (o baixista) através de um anúncio colocado num endereço electrónico.

Broadtexter – Informação na hora (Clube de fãs móvel)

Novo serviço permite contacto directo entre artistas e público! 
Broadtexter é o nome da aplicação que promete aproximar bandas e público como nunca antes acontecera.A ferramenta é igualmente útil a músicos – especialmente os que não têm acesso priveligiado ao circuito mediático – e fãs,já que o conceito passa por enviar informação directamente para o telemóvel dos últimos.
O serviço,para já,resume-se à America do Norte.A utilização é simples: através de uma janela inserida na página de Internet do artista,o fã subscreve o serviço.A partir de então,qualquer informação que os músicos pretendam transmitir será enviada via SMS.
A existência de um computador por perto não é essencial.Mesmo longe de um servidor de Internet,o artista assegura o circuito comunicacional através do próprio telemóvel.Avisos sobre concertos de última hora ou aparições em programas de rádio podem ser comunicados de imediato.
As funcionalidades do Boadtexter permitem ainda enviar mensagens localizadas,já que no processo de subscrição,o fã indica a região em que reside.E os músicos podem criá-las previamente.As mensagens são alojadas no servidor da aplicação e enviadas na data definida.