Metal Band Chimaira's Frontman Talks DIY Versus 'Label Hell'

from the outspoken-critic dept

The Metalluminati blog has a great interview with Mark Hunter, frontman of the metal band Chimaira. Hunter is apparently a known critic of record labels, but he has a thoughtful and measured view, and in this interview he discusses the pros and cons of the DIY approach for bands:

Example: For us, leaving Roadrunner in 2006 was necessary for the band to continue. We didn’t feel part of a team, so I simply asked our A&R Monte Conner to let us go. The pro was we got our freedom; the con was our career in the UK suffered drastically. While we paired up with good company after, Nuclear Blast had less of a presence in the country and our sales (both, album sales and live tickets) dwindled in the UK while they went up in the rest of the world.

I can’t recommend what’s right or wrong, I can only guarantee there will be unforeseen consequences to any path you take. Some labels might have a market cornered — like heavy metal in the UK — so you actually might be better suited to stay in that “hell.”

He also addresses the question of piracy and free distribution in general, and the beginning of his comment is very reminiscent of rapper/producer El-P's comments in his recent guest post, which is interesting since the specific question he was answering was about how hip-hop has been faster to embrace these things than metal:

Personally speaking, spending energy yelling at fans of music for their method of intake would be trite, not to mention hypocritical.  Chimaira got popular thanks to Napster, Limewire, and various other file-sharing platforms.  We embraced YouTube in the beginning, and were one of the first metal bands to make webisodes.

The full interview is a good read and includes links to some other great comments from Mark Hunter, who is clearly a guy with a lot of smart stuff to say about the music industry.

Filed Under: chimaira, diy, label hell, mark hunter


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  1. identicon
    Joe Burton, 8 May 2012 @ 3:58pm

    This rings true for many...

    I'm a big metal fan, and I feel that Mark Hunters ideas are shared by many metal artists that are out there today.

    Most metal is not mainstream and never sees the light of day on the radio, or on tv. Its services like Pandora, Spotify, and Last.fm driving new fans to new metal bands, and without it, I don't feel metal would be where it is today. This also is to be said for file sharing and P2P.

    Much of the metal out there would not be heard if it wasn't for these new methods of sharing your music with your social peers.

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