Label Spotlight: Candlelight Records USA

posted December 1, 2006

by Corinne

Candlelight Records USAPlease introduce yourself.

My name is Paula Hogan. I'm the General Manager for Candlelight's US office. Our headquarters is in London.

When and why did you start your label?

The US division started January 2001. Up till that time the only Candlelight artists to see US release were via licenses to other labels (Opeth, Emperor). The owners of the label wanted to expand opportunities for the rest of the artists on the label and the US division allowed these benefits.

What kind(s) of music does your label put out?

Candlelight is known mostly for extreme (black/death metal) but we also work with artists that are from other styles in the metal genre as well (melodic death/hardcore/progressive/power/etc).

What was your first release? How did you finance it?

The first US release was Zyklon's World ov Worms. As Candlelight had been a label many years throughout Europe we were able to finance the entire US set up directly and have been growing the American division ever since.

What is your most recent release?

In our first 5 years we have actually come to release well over 200 albums from a variety of bands. Our most recent releases include new albums from France's Blut Aus Nord, Finland's Insomnium and the debut from England's To-Mera. We also have just reissued in digipak format (with bonus tracks) catalog from Electric Wizard as well the new album from Firebird.

How do you feel about sharing music on the Internet?

As an information outlet the internet is great. It gets news out about bands and allows fans access to music they may not have been able to before due to money. Obviously everything has its limits to where it is good and bad but as long as fans realize for the bands that this is their way of earning an income to support their music and still look to support them by purchasing CDs or mp3s that's all anyone in the music business can hope for.

Any words of wisdom for those interested in running their own label?

Roll up the sleeves and expect little to no sleep for many years. Seriously, its a lot of work and dedication not only on the part of those working at the label but the bands themselves. If everyone works cooperatively and understands what each has to do then its a great job and a lot of fun for everyone. But one has to be prepared for a lot of long hours and not always a lot of financial rewards.

What has been your most successful release?

Obviously Emperor and Opeth catalog does very well for us. We are excited about the growing bands we work with (Insomnium, Daylight Dies, 1349, etc).

What's the best way and the worst way to get a label's attention?

Best way for anything to get attention is being honest and sincere in your work. We do the best we can for every band we work with. Sometimes we are more successful with certain bands than with others but if you try for everyone that's all anyone can ask for.

Regardless of genre, what do you look for in the artists and bands you sign?

Dedication, focus and a good work ethic.

There are a lot of legalities involved in running a label (signing bands, releasing records, everyday work, etc.). How does your label deal with these things?

Candlelight is a proper label with business affairs, accounting and overall management personnel on a worldwide basis.

What upcoming releases can we expect from Candlelight Records?

In the new year we have a lot of great things planned - a new DVD from Crowbar, debut EP & album from Abigail Williams, we have many great new signings, a lot of tours planned for next year (Dark Funeral & Enslaved kick things off in January with Destruction returning to the US in February). Just visit our website for regularly updated news.

Anything else you would like to add?

Thanks for this opportunity and many thanks to the bands and fans we work with and talk to daily.