Label Spotlight: Equal Vision

posted July 2, 2008

by Corinne

Equal Vision

Please introduce yourself.

I'm Francesca, I handle PR at Equal Vision.

When and why was the label started?

It was started in 1990-ish by Ray Cappo to put out Krishna hardcore bands. Steve Reddy bought the label in 1992 and expanded the roster to hardcore outside of the Krishna religion.

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

Hardcore, Progressive, Indie, Screamo, Emo, Post-Hardcore, and whatever other names have come up in this genre known as ROCK.

What was the first release? How was it financed?

Shelter No Compromise (7"). From playing shows.

What is the most recent release?

Damiera's Quiet Mouth, Loud Hands - June 24, 2008.

How do you feel about sharing music on the Internet?

For a musician, this is their livelihood, their bread and butter. Some argue that you shouldn't have to pay for music, but you're not just paying for the music. You're paying for the whole package... the artwork, the info, and the music... just as the artist would want you to see, hear, and experience it. I'm not saying this to pocket thousands of dollars... we're not a bunch of suits. No one here drives a fancy car. We all have very moderate houses/apartments. We're not collecting a fat paycheck. Any profit from the bigger bands goes into building up those baby bands that you might hear about right away. If you want to continue to hear new music from your favorite artists and see them live, then something has got to change. Buying a CD isn't the only way to help and artist, though. The best thing you can do is tell a friend about them or bring a friend to a show.

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

It's a lot of work and if you let it, it can lead you hating music. Once you get involved in the business side of things, it's hard to enjoy music the same way. You've got to be EXTREMELY passionate about this. There are so many people in it for the wrong reasons and if you're not careful, you can become one of them. At the same, time, if you are so passionate about it, it can be one of the most rewarding positions to be in. Just don't go into expecting to make a lot of money.

What has been your most successful release?

If you measure success by the amount of money made, well, then I'm not sure. We measure success by the impact the record had on fans and the industry... Converge Jane Doe, Coheed And Cambria Second Stage Turbine Blade, Saves The Day Through Being Cool, Armor For Sleep What To Do When You Are Dead.

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

The best way to get our attention is to play a ton of shows, tour your asses off, and, well, be great musicians... play something we haven't heard before. The worst way is to come to our office and throw flyers all over the parking lot.

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

Drive, determination, the understanding that being signed means the work is just starting. We also look for a unique sound, something that hooks us, and something we enjoy. We only sign bands that we like (musically) and something that has a buzz.

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?

A fantastic staff with a great passion for putting out great music and doing what it takes, working as a team, to release great records.

Thanks for your time!