Wednesday, July 18, 2007

All Hail Records gains momentum

Columbus, Ohio's All Hail Records recently announced the release of two new CDs by experimental pop bands Paper Airplane (out of Cincy) and Take No Damage (Columbus) this week. I think both releases hopefully show that more attention is being paid to bands that can actually write songs. In case anyone doesn't know, it's near impossible for indie pop bands to get any help from labels these days.
I recently talked to Regis Duffy, co-owner of All Hail Records, who provided some insight into what the label's overall plans are.

PWAH: How did All Hail come together and what do you hope the label's focus will be?

Regis: Both of us (editor's note: He and co-owner Tony Clark) played in a god-awful punk band together in high school called Yuri's Fury. Back then, we used to joke around about starting a record label once we got out of school, but it was something we didn't consider seriously. We decided to form the label about a year ago after realizing that we were already dedicating a lot of time to promoting music projects and we might as well take it to the next level. We plan on making our focus GOOD and INTERESTING music, as generic as that sounds. We don't want to get stuck in any genre or mode in particular, we just want to put out records that we find that we like and think people need to hear.

PWAH: In the world of indie pop, it is VERY difficult for bands to get label attention. What drew you to experimental pop bands like Paper Airplane and Take No Damage?

Regis: I'm glad you find the music interesting, that's one thing we hope people can say with every release we put out. We were drawn to those bands because they both stand out on their own. There's not really any other bands around that sound like Paper Airplane or Take No Damage, they both definitely have their own signature style, which is one of the things we look for most in a new band. Paper Airplane had been playing around Ohio for a while, and we were surprised they hadn't been snatched up by a Midwest label sooner, so we were more than happy to be able to release their new record, "Middlemarch." Those guys (and girl) are all great musicians, and all of their songs are incredibly poppy, but end up going in different directions than you'd think they would. Take No Damage is a newer group that started as a studio project and evolved into a full band. Their record, "Mushroom Clouds and Silver Linings" doesn't sound anything like Paper Airplane's, but they're similar in the sense that they are both pop albums in essence, only dressed up in completely different and original ways.

PWAH: How do you hope All Hail Records will stand out as a label in Ohio or in the nation? Where do you hope to take it?

Regis: Our goal is to make All Hail stand out by simply keeping things interesting. People aren't going to check out stuff on our label because they're into garage rock and we're a garage rock label, or because they like Swedish fantasy metal and we're a Swedish fantasy metal label. We want people to want to check our stuff out because they'll know that even if what they hear isn't something they know of or even normally listen to, it's at least something well put together that will hold their attention. We just hope that people will learn to count on us for putting out records that they can tell people really care about and put a lot into. Beyond that, we hope to keep growing and eventually get some larger distribution and see how far we can take this thing. We've got four records out so far, and the new Speak Easy record is going to be put on the All Hail web site for free download in the next month or so, so we just hope to keep the momentum going.

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