Published on July 31st, 2011 | by Clara Cullen
PT 2: Hassle Record’s Interview
1)Now you’re obviously very involved in music on a personal level, what was the first band or musician that really sparked your interest in music?
Chris: When I was about 8 years old my brother brought home a record called “Love Gun” by Kiss. Seeing the artwork for that album as an 8 year old kid was just like “ oh my god, what amazing artwork!!” and then I listened to it and it had these amazing riffs. I just remember that being the moment that I consciously became aware of music. So the first band that really turned the switch on for loving music was Kiss!
2)Is there a particular band on Hassle that you have really enjoyed watching evolve and grow?
Chris: Um, you know what, all of them! Each record you work on it differently, but there are different reasons why different record are rewarding. Some records that I’ve worked on have done amazingly well for us, and some unfortunately haven’t, but just because they haven’t done as well doesn’t mean that we haven’t enjoyed the whole process and that we haven’t learnt a lot from it.
3)If you could pick any band (past or present) you would want signed to Hassle, which band would you want?
Chris: Good question. I think it depends on what era your asking me that question. So for example if you were asking the 12/13 year old me it would be Pearl Jam with “Ten” If you were asking the 19/20 year old me it would probably be Jimmy Eat World with “Bleed American”. And if you were asking the modern day 31 year old me, it would be City and Colour’s “Little Hell” or Bobby Long’s “A Winter Tale”.
4)Working within the music industry, what advice would you give to bands who want to sign to a label like Hassle?
Chris: Practice, tour and write! If we’re to be involved with a band, the music has to be great. But you only get that from consistently rehearsing and getting out there to tour. A band has to be great in a live setting because that’s the heart of rock music. If you’re not a great live band than other bands won’t want to take you out on tour, and so through touring you become a better band. So get out on the road, play as many shows as you possibly can, because there’s something that you’ll learn from every single show.
It may sound a strange thing to say, but you really have to look at being in a band as a 9 to 5 job. If you’re working on your band be that working on the website, touring or practicing from 9 in the morning to 5 in the evening then you’re probably in the top 1 or 2 percent of bands across the world, cos not a lot of bands do that. It’s the just the old thing of if you want to be successful you have to work hard. I’m a big believer in the idea that everyone is creative; it’s just the people that want to work hard for it, ultimately become successful. Bands like Metallica had been touring and playing the Bay area for years, you’ve just got to work hard, and that means being out on the road basically.
5)As a label, while you are a “rock” orientated label, you really can’t be pigeon holed. You’ve put out music as diverse as City and Colour’s “Bring Me Your Love” to the Cancer Bat’s “Hail Destroyer” Do you think this diversity is what has helped Hassle grow ?
Chris: I don’t think there are many people out there that just listen to one genre of music. Certainly here at the label we don’t all just listen to metal, everyone’s influences bring something different to the label. Then at the heart of it, there has to be amazing music. If we can release some amazing music then hopefully, people will enjoy the music and go out and buy it. So that will hopefully help us grow and attract some really great bands.
6)Finally, in ten years time what do you hope to see Hassles having achieved?
Chris: Hopefully the bands that we’re working on will get bigger and bigger. We never sign a band with the view that this time next year they will have sold ten million records, we’re realists in the sense that bands take time to develop and grow. Great evidence of that is a band like We Are the Ocean, if you listen to the first EP they released compared to the new album, it’s very very different. it’s essential for people to grow and evolve and when we sign bands, we want to be working with those bands in ten years time, and in twenty years time ya know.
Hopefully in ten years time we’ll still be working with a bunch of those bands as they get bigger, which will impact us as a label. Then hopefully we’ll be able to get bigger and expand across the world and be involved with bands outside of the UK. Are ultimate goal is just to be able to keep releasing great records that we love!
Hassle Records: http://www.hasslerecords.com/
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