Top 5 Bands I’d Love To Sign w/ Everlasting Spew Records
For this week’s Friday Guest List we sit down with head of Everlasting Spew Records’ Giorgio, to discuss what young bands need to do to get signed, the origins of the label, the Italian scene, merch, and some of the bands he’d love to have on the roster.
Hi Giorgio, how’s things? As Everlasting Spew Records is a fairly young label, would you like to give us a little background into yourself and the label? What made you want to start doing this?
Hi guys! Yep, fairly young label but quite old owner as this is the year of my forty! I’ve approached extreme music relatively late due to the fact I grew up in the middle of nowhere, I think I was 15 or 16 when I started listening to death metal and bands like Entombed, Carcass, and Cannibal Corpse. A couple of years later I was at a concert and the opener was this brutal death metal band named Agonia, actually didn’t know anything about them apart the fact that they were from the area where I live. Well, it was truly love at first sight, the vocals, the sound, the groove, fuck I was in love! That was my first experience with brutal death metal and generally speaking with death metal sub-genres and the underground music.
Later also found out that the singer Carlo was helping his girlfriend Raffaella at that time with a mag called Headfucker, bought this mag (it was my first fanzine) and as a result I was totally sucked into the marvellous world of the death/grind underground in which you were sending foreign cash overseas, in which you had to wait months for the answers, in which bands were releasing even 3 or 4 demos before to debut with an album… a world in which fanzines and flyers were the main and only source of information. Approached also other mags but have to say that Headfucker was probably the best mirror of my tastes (or maybe the mag that imprinted me like if I was a cub), well written, interesting questions, unpredictable reviews and a neat and modern layout. 100% into death (especially brutal death) and grind.
Carlo and Raf were very active and soon Headfucker became also a label/distro and my main source where to buy CDs, I was totally venerating those guys at a point that, when I decided I wanted to be part of that underground and absolutely wanted to be one of those guys who were actin in the shadows, makin all the works that nobody recognizes to give you the final product. Looking at those flyers I did at the time, at the layouts, at the choice of words for the ads and stuff, well… have to be sincere, I was almost a copycat of them! Anyway, with the help of Timo Ketola (you should probably know this name if you are not a death metal novice) I came up with a name and a logo for my first label (actually he came up) and The Spew Records was born!
I was young at that time, was just a lil bit over my twenties and had not a lot of money so the activity had to cope with that but I also had my satisfactions, launched Leng Tch’e who later finished on Relapse and Season Of Mist, worked with Cock And Ball torture, Birdflesh, Splatterhouse, Machetazo, CSSO and more… we made a local fest for 3 years with bands like Spawn Of Possession, Blood Duster, Regurgitate, Pungent Stench, Sinister, Napalm Death… but unfortunately at a certain point, think it was the first years of Myspace, sales were day by day going lower, death/grind concerts were not appealing anymore and so my energy and youth vigor got lost. It was time to pack it up and give it an end.
Some guys were still interested into pickin it up and continue with the label but it didn’t go very well. The label passed few hands more and lately arrived to Corrado from Punishment 18 which is an established Italian label that uses The Spew as a sub-label for his death metal releases. Almost 3 years ago I split with my ex, started again going to concerts more frequently and most of all I incremented drastically the number of music I was buying (probably had to express my love for something) so I had these 4 or 5 months in which I was buying 20/25 titles per week and was jumping from a mailorder to another paying shitloads of postage fees… It wouldn’t have been sustainable for a long period. At that time I was talkin with a much more younger friend of mine who wanted to start her own distro, while I was givin her some advice on how to go and approach labels and stuff, I came out with the idea “what if I can be the mailorder where I can buy ALL the music I want without havin to launch orders to 20 different mailorders all over the world?”
So this is how Everlasting Spew were born almost 2 years ago, recalling the old label but being also something new. Everything that followed was the natural progress of the things. Have also to mention a couple of guys without whom ESR would be a much more smaller and irrelevant thing: Simone, long time friend of mine, who’s helping me with the site and shipments and Tito who’s the greatest promoter you could have out there! He’s simply AMAZING!
We’re cookin up a lot of things! Be prepared!
What are some of the things you look for in a band prior to signing?
Have to be sincere, I look at the proposal of the band both musically and aesthetically. I’m signing only bands in which I’m convinced of both the aspects. Of course, it has to be musically involving, I need to feel hooks, I need to hear a certain work on composition and on arrangements but as I said music is not the only principle, I somehow try to feel which kind of band I’m working with from their choices in terms of logo, promo pics, previous artworks, how they take care of their Bandcamp or Facebook pages… I generally want to work with people who have a taste that could mirror mine. It’s much easier and less painful, more profitable for both the parties.
Do you strive to create diversity within your roster? Or do you think labels with a focus on a specific sub-genre are more important for particular scenes to flourish within?
The Spew Records was more death/grind driven, I was younger and I was more limited in terms of listening, you know how stupid we can be when we are young! Everlasting Spew Records instead, was born since its inception with the purpose to start from the core of the previous label and to enlarge it and enrich it with OSDM, doom, sludge and similar genres. This can be easily noticed both in the mailorder and in the releases we are doing. Think about Naga or Gaerea for example, those are bands I would have never done anything with almost 20 years ago, I was simply not ready for those sounds, while I definitely go crazy for them right now!
Diversity in my opinion is a resource, I can appeal to more people, I can reach more people, I can satisfy more people. I do not pretend to have those loyal fans and customers who buy you everything because it’s brutal death or slam or whatever, in those cases you can release whatever you want and be sure that a certain number of fans will buy it even if it’s shit. I prefer a fan to buy stuff from ESR because he knows we only produce stuff we love, stuff that we truly dig from A to Z, I’m not pretending everyone should have everything we release, I know we touch different styles and not all the people can cope with all of them.
And also a note of pragmatism: I’ve been into this thing for several years now and saw genres go up and down, limiting your activity to just a sub-genre could be risky, and risky means you can arrive at a point in which you have to close. We are not here to close, we are here to stay.
Sound advice! How do you view the current Italian scene?
The situation is pretty vivid and the band quality is higher than in the past! That’s something that can probably be objectively recognized, I see different new bands popping up in all the different shades of extreme metal.
Of course at Everlasting Spew we have taken advantage of this, starting several deals with different Italian bands we firmly believe deserved and deserve more exposure like Maze Of Sothoth, Valgrind, Naga, Voids Of Vomit, Onryō and the upcoming Hellish God. We have more domestic deals already arranged but we still have to announce them, so be patient! It will be worth the wait! And also I will make this public, like a sort of love declaration, one of the Italian bands I’d love to work with is Into Darkness, not really prolific but definitely worth more than a listen. Check ‘em out!
Returning to the word scene you used, to tell the truth, I’m not very kind on using it. As probably some of you already knew, this is something that was ferociously shouted out by the infamous mag Isten #100 and generated tons of opinions about the fact at that time… I think that givin’ the benefit of being part of the scene to everybody could bring a generalized lower quality level, even bands that doesn’t truly deserve support will get some by draining it from those who are really deserving it and most of all, and this is the worst, I don’t see a lot of mutual help, everybody is trying to get today the maximum they can and they don’t give anything back to the “scene”. So, at this point, fuck the scene!
What’s one piece of merch that you think needs to exist/be more of?
Well, to tell the truth I’ve never been a merch guy, I hardly bought band t-shirts in my life because everything had to finish in CDs and LPs! Anyway something I like a lot is patches, posters and stickers, those things referred to music give the word collectable a totally wider dimension. I’d love to do more of them in the future! It’s a promise!
Rad, thanks for spending the time to give us such an in-depth look into your burgeoning label.
Thanx to you guys! It was really an honor and a pleasure!
Stay tuned on our 2018 schedule! It will be juicy!
Ok, before we head off let’s hear 5 of the bands you’d most like to have a new release through Everlasting Spew Records…
Skeleton Of God
(for whatever new material they would like to publish)
(imaginary reunion album)
That’s it for this week. Head on over to Everlasting Spew’s website or their Bandcamp page to check out their always expanding range of killer metal records and merch. They have a cool deal happening nearly every week so make sure to follow them on Facebook to pick yourself up a fresh discount/deal.