Lick My Label


  • Axl Rosenberg


It was back in December of ’08 that my man Vince first observed that E1 (then still called Koch) was signing every fucking metal band in the world. At that point, the label had recently made deals with or released albums by In Flames, Hatebreed, High On Fire, Satyricon, Otep, Throwdown and Straight Line Stitch; now there’s a rumor that they’ve added Black Label Society to their roster, too.

What I find kind of interesting is that, with the exception of Straight Line Stitch, these are all acts that were already established prior to joining the E1 family. That means none of the perks of developing young artists (e.g., 360 deals), but it also means that there’s less work, and less risk, for the label. I’d imagine that bands like these are probably good for roughly X number of units moved pretty much no matter what, because their followings are so fanatical. What do you really need to tell Hatebreed fans other than “There’s a new Hatebreed album coming out on such and such a date?”

Of course, an even wiser business strategy than signing Zakk Wylde to E1 might have been to just purchase an album from BLS’ back catalogue and re-release it with new cover art. No one would have been able to tell the difference anyway. But I’m not a record exec, so what do I know?


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