Julie Weir and Digby Pearson, who have have helped launch the careers of many legionary heavy rock bands, discuss how they started their record labels, how they find new talent, the changes they have seen in the industry and the way they see it moving forward. They have supported, nurtured and empowered this crucial part of the music industry for decades and share the details of their experience.
Click to listen to a Spotify playlist with the music discussed in this conversation.
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Julie Weir is label head at Music For Nations which is a rock and metal label. Launched as an independent in 1983, Music For Nations established itself, early on, as a European leader in the rock and metal world. It now operates under the Sony Music umbrella. For two decades prior to this she ran her own independent rock labels (Cacophonous and Visible Noise) where she was responsible for breaking bands such as Bullet for my Valentine and Bring me the Horizon. She has run an independent publishing company, worked across events, sync and branding deals and even dabbled in artist management. She has consulted for and advised major labels on emerging talent.
Digby Pearson is a British Indie record label owner born and raised in Nottingham, England. Having dropped out of university to throw himself into the grassroots music scene, as promotor, fanzine writer but first and foremost as a fan, a label seemed a next step. Despite having zero experience of business or any finances, founded Earache from his flat, a DIY shoestring operation which was on a mission to release records by the most extreme bands around, signing Napalm Death, Cathedral, Godflesh, Entombed, Morbid Angel, Bolt Thrower, Carcass.
For 3 decades Digby has navigated all the twists and turns of the evolving music business landscape, anticipating the digital music revolution by signing Apple’s first Indie label deal. In recent years new young bands from the blues-rock scene became Digby’s sole focus, bands like Rival Sons, Blackberry Smoke, The Temperance Movement, Massive Wagons, all seemingly from nowhere gained the label more than a dozen Top 20 UK chart entries. Since 2017 Digby has diversified again, in addition to still being hands-on running the label, now 700+ releases deep, he also runs and curates the first ever heavy/punk/metal stages at Glastonbury and Boomtown festivals.
The background music players on this episode are Joe Schirl on bass guitar and Peter Mayerhofer on hand pan. All other elements of the music was composed, engineered and mixed by Lionel Lodge.
This episode conversation was recorded at The Joint in the Kings Cross area of London, England. Click here for more information on their services.
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