With over thirty artists on their current roster, Rise Records has become increasingly popular over the last five or so years, and for good reason. Founded on the idea of securing spotlights on unknown talent, Rise has brought us current scene leaders Drop Dead, Gorgeous, The Devil Wears Prada, Emarosa, and more. Over the past year or so, the label has really taken wind on signing new bands to its roster (Scarlett O’Hara, Tides Of Man, Pmtoday…) , as well as taking in some already established ones (From First To Last, This Is Hell, The Bled…). With many releases and tours this year already, as well as a new imprint label (Velocity Records), it looks like Rise won’t be slowing down any time soon. Just a few months after my AMP interview with him, I recently had the chance to speak with label founder Craig Ericson once again, this time focusing more on what’s to come (including some secrets first divulged to me). Interestingly enough, there’s a lot of the interview that wasn’t included below!
>>Interview w/ Craig Ericson
I imagine it’s been crazy at the office. What’s it like there?
CE: There isn’t like one job title. We kind of do it all, man. It’s busy, though. We’re going to put out like close to thirty records in 2010.
CE: Yeah, it’s been a crazy year. We had planned on maybe doing twenty-three, and a few just came at us. We couldn’t say no, like with Your Demise. That one just came out of blue. We didn’t plan on it. We got the opportunity to do it, so we threw it into the release schedule, so that worked out great. But yes, it’s been busy.
You said Your Demise…is that a new band you guys signed?
CE: Yeah, the band’s from England. They just got done touring with The Devil Wears Prada and Miss May I. They’re a hardcore band. And we weren’t going to announce it until next week, but the band got antsy I guess and announced it on their Facebook page. We’re licensing it from Visible Noise Records out of the United Kingdom, which is Bring Me The Horizon’s home label. So we licensed it for America and we’re stoked. Check it out, man. The official press release will be coming soon, but the band kind of leaked it. (Laughs)
Is this the first time where Rise is actually licensing a release? Because in the past it’s been the other way around.
CE: Yeah, we don’t often license albums. We licensed the Red Shore from Australia last year and just did Your Demise, but that’s pretty much it. That’s all I can think of really. We also licensed the Piebald material from the band, but that was a different situation sort of. So yeah, it’s not too common we do that.
How is it different from a normal release?
CE: Basically, it’s the same. I treat it like the same, except I’m not allowed to ship CD’s or sell product outside of the U.S. So basically Your Demise is just a United States deal, so I wouldn’t advertise it in any foreign magazines. Basically, just focus on the U.S. and treat it like any other release. Licensing it is just owning the masters, so it’s not too far off. I still treat it like one of my bands.
Is that coming out this year, or is it a 2011 thing?
CE: It’s October 26th, so it’s coming out in about a month a half.
Good month. October has a ton of good releases coming out.
CE: No doubt. That’s going to be our last of the year. After that, we’ll be on 2011 stuff.
How was Warped Tour for your bands and Rise this year?
CE: Very good, man. It was an extremely successful Warped Tour for the bands and the label. We had a label booth this year and we had our best year for sure. We sold lots of cheap $5 CD’s, which always helps the wallet there. It was just great. The bands had a great response. Attack Attack! definitely had those big draws every night. Same with Emarosa, Of Mice & Men, and In Fear And Faith. Everyone did very well. The Portland date was awesome. The last day I was there, it was of course a hundred degrees, which happens like once a year in Portland. It just happened to be on the Warped Tour date and it was tough. It was one hell of a long and hot day. Warped Tour is awesome though, man. That’s like our ground zero. That’s where we like to be.
Now, you said October will be the last of Rise releases…
CE: Just for CD’s. We’re doing some digital stuff in November and December, which we haven’t announced yet. I can tell you right now if you want me to.
Is this like digital singles or albums?
CE: Both, both. You want to hear about them real quick? I haven’t told anyone, so this is like breaking news.
That would be cool. Is this something you want off the record or no?
CE: No, tell it man!
(Laughs) Go ahead then!
CE: So we’re doing Ghost Runner On Third, which is Jonny Craig’s first band he was in like five or six years ago, out of Seattle. So it’s like a five song EP that has Jonny on it as a younger gentleman, his first actual recorded album. So he dug up the masters and I’m going to re-release it through Rise just digitally. Making physical CD’s is a commitment and these little, fun things are perfect for digital. So we’re going to throw that up November 9th I believe. Then we’re going to do a Bleeding Through single in December, and a b-side off their record. Then we’re going to do a This Is Hell single as well in December. And we’re going to do a band called My Ticket Home, which I just signed, which we haven’t announced yet, but we’re going to do it next week. So feel free to post it now and let it spread. So My Ticket Home is from Columbus. They’re like Attack Attack!’s little baby brother band. They’re awesome. They have a seven song EP coming out in November that Caleb actually recorded and produced himself, and it sounds phenomenal. In fact, Caleb is going to start a new studio in Columbus. He bought gear and it’s sounding amazing. If anyone wants to book time, hit me up. I think I’m helping him out for a little bit. So we have that coming out. We have My Ticket Home, Ghost Runner On Third, Bleeding Through single, This Is Hell single, and then we have Ten After Two coming in October as well, which is not just digital. It’s an EP CD, and digital as well. Then, of course, Your Demise October 26th, which will round out the year.
Awesome, sounds cool.
CE: Definitely. I’m stoked. The Jonny stuff is awesome. It’s a little rough around the edges, but there are some sweet parts, man.
Is this the first time you guys have gone into something like this, where you’re releasing old material? Like going back and digging up stuff.
CE: Pretty much, except for the Piebald stuff. We dug up everything. The six Piebald CD’s I put out…they’re three double discs. It was like 129 songs or something crazy. Besides the Piebald, we haven’t done a re-release like that in forever, I think.
How is the Velocity imprint doing so far?
CE: Well it’s been going great. We had our first release last Tuesday. Then we have Mswhite coming out September 28th, and Abandon All Ships October 5th. So we’re basically putting all three out within a month of each other, just about. It’s a partnership with Dave Shapiro. He’s a booking agent for a bunch of my bands as well. He’s a great guy to work with. He wanted to start a label, came to me first, we worked out a deal, and here we are.
Is From First To Last broken up or just on a break?
CE: They’re on a break and definitely not breaking up. They’re going to play summer festivals around Europe and America. Matt joined Craig’s new band, and a couple of the dudes joined I Set My Friends On Fire…but definitely not broken up. They’re just going to be a part-time band. They’re not going to play often, but they aren’t going to officially break up. We’re going to do a b-side record for From First To Last next year. They have like twelve unreleased songs from their career, so we’re going to put that out just for fun next year as well for the super die hard fans. They’re still out there. We still like them.
What tours are you most looking forward to?
CE: I’m looking most forward to the Mswhite tour because they’re from Italy. They’re playing with Haste The Day and Sleeping With Sirens, so I have two bands playing on that tour. I’ve never seen Mswhite, and I’m a huge fan. The Attack Attack! Tour with Of Mice & Men and In Fear And Faith is going to be awesome as well. Let’s see…Emarosa, the Alternative Press Tour with Bring Me The Horizon, August Burns Red, and This Is Hell will be amazing. Jonny Craig’s solo tour, even though it’s not coming to Portland – I’m pissed about that. Those are the ones I’m looking most forward to.
Which release are you most looking forward to from the remaining of the year?
CE: I guess Abandon All Ships, because that was Dave and mine’s first signing on Velocity/Rise. It took a little extra time and we had to work hard, because other labels wanted them. We had to really put in extra effort to get them.
We actually edited about 20 minutes from this interview to save space and random discussions we had on some of the bands. I tried to only use the important questions above for our readers. I would like to thank Craig for another great interview and a good chunk of it was friendly “banter” about his artists and what they’re doing. It’s always cool talking to you, dude!