Hopeless Records began as a mere pastime for Los Angeles native Louis Posen, nevertheless it has was 25 years of blood, sweat and an entire lot of enjoyable and punk rock music.
Back within the early ’90s, Posen was a movie scholar at Cal State Northridge and had simply shot a music video for punk rock band NOFX when he was launched to Huntington Seashore band Guttermouth. The group principally dared Posen to place out its newest 7-inch, regardless that his solely information of the enterprise aspect of music got here from a guide he picked up titled “How to Run An Independent Label.”
“There was never a business plan. It was just something that started with a dare and then another band, Schlong, asked me to put out a record for them, so it was a hobby until I reached a crossroads in my life where I started to lose my eyesight,” Posen stated throughout a current telephone interview. He was recognized with retinitis pigmentosa at 19 and now, on the age of 47, is legally blind.
“I realized the label thing was going well and the film thing was going to get tougher, but they were similar mediums to what my overall goals were in film school, which was to emotionally connect people with art and to affect their lives with it,” he continued.
Van Nuys-based Hopeless Records has helped launch the careers of bands corresponding to Huntington Seashore metallic quintet Avenged Sevenfold, Irvine rock band Thrice and Maryland pop punk rockers All Time Low. It’s additionally the present residence for bands like Taking Back Sunday, Circa Survive, Bayside, The Marvel Years, Neck Deep, Sum 41, New Discovered Glory, The Used and many, many extra.
Amid reminiscing about 25 years within the music enterprise, the Hopeless Records employees needed to throw a celebration to have fun with music followers, who’re an integral half of his label’s success. A number of early Hopeless bands will come collectively — together with Dillinger 4, 88 Fingers Louie, Guttermouth, Nobodys, Digger, Schlong and extra — for a particular 25th anniversary present on the Regent Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, Jan. 19.
“We’re doing and have done this for the fans,” Posen stated. “They’re the only reason we’re in business. We’re music fans and we know what it’s like for great music to come out and how it affects us, so everything we do is for the fans. It’s their money that pays for everything and we never forget that, even though we’re in the artist development business. There are artists without fans, but there’s no music business without fans. This is really a celebration of them, of the artists and all the partners we’ve worked with going back to the early ’90s … a lot of them will be coming to the show, the people we worked with on production and manufacturing to the people we work with now at streaming services.”
When Posen was 15 he went with a pal and his good friend’s dad to see Los Angeles punk rock staples X on the Reseda Nation Membership and he instantly fell in love with punk rock music and the true sense of group that got here with it.
“I found punk rock and it being different from all other music that I had listened to and I started going to lots of shows,” he recalled. “I saw the Ramones and The Dickies and all of the stuff that was going on and touring through L.A. I didn’t know there was a business behind music.”
The group was very welcoming and Posen made pals and contacts slightly shortly. When he began Hopeless Records, different space unbiased label house owners have been encouraging of his formidable endeavors.
“We’re part of a very specific music community that is super supportive and labels are as much a part of that as any other piece of the puzzle,” he stated. “We’re all doing this together and it isn’t a competition between us in the area of music. It’s like, hey, we’re all doing something different than what’s in the mainstream and we want to support each other. I wouldn’t have started this label if it wasn’t for Fat Mike and Fat Wreck Chords or Brett Gurewitz and Epitaph or any of these other labels that brought me on and said ‘Hey, we’ll show you how to do this.’ It’s been a huge part of the development of the label.”
Back in 1993, Hopeless Records was just about a one-man-show. Posen did recruit his personal mom to assist him individually fold 1,000 inserts for the Guttermouth 7-inch and questioned what she should have thought as she scanned by means of the music titles and lyrics as she stuffed the plastic sleeves. His first worker was Darren Edwards, a scholar at UCLA that had written him a letter praising his work and inquiring if he wanted any assist. Now, the label has a employees of 30, together with many of whom have been there 10-plus years.
As proud as Posen is of gross sales milestones such because the almost platinum success of Avenged’s sophomore launch “Waking the Fallen,” the 2 gold data spawned by All Time Low or Neck Deep charting within the Prime 5 worldwide, he’s equally as proud to have watched the skilled progress of people inside the label, like former interns advancing to run the advertising division.
“This is a family and it’s incredible for me to see the career development of not only our artists but our staff,” he stated. “We’ve had artists start off with 10 people singing their songs and now 5,000 people are signing them, which is incredible. I get that same feeling with someone (advances within the company). It’s equally as rewarding.”
In 1999, Posen began a non-profit charitable department of Hopeless Records dubbed Sub Metropolis Records. The label was behind a number of Take Motion multi-artist compilations and nationwide excursions and general the label has been capable of donate greater than $2.5 million to over 50 totally different non-profit organizations.
Final yr, the label began a brand new venture and compilation referred to as “Songs That Saved My Life” on which bands cowl a track that received them via a troublesome time of their lives and they provide a testimonial about why they picked the track. Artists together with Dance Gavin Dance, Taking Back Sunday, Towards Me!, The Maine and extra all contributed to the continued undertaking, which can proceed to boost funds for psychological well being and suicide prevention charities.
Whereas Neck Deep and The Marvel Years proceed to thrive on the label, Posen stated he and his employees are creating quite a bit of strong expertise that’s shortly on the rise together with Australian pop punk bands Stand Atlantic, Trophy Eyes and With Confidence, in addition to a model new Florida-based metallic band, Afterlife.
“Afterlife has a record coming out and for a debut, it’s amazing,” he stated. “When someone delivers something that good … it usually takes a record or two to get your feet wet and figure out who you are but when a band like Afterlife delivers something where it’s like ‘Wow, you got it on the first one,’ and that’s exciting. We have a lot of good stuff coming up though.”
The Hopeless Records crew have been huge followers of The Used, New Discovered Glory and Sum 41, all of which skilled large main label success within the late ’90s and early ’00s. All of these acts at the moment are on the Hopeless roster, releasing new materials and in some instances, discovering even greater stay audiences than earlier than.
“The first band we signed like that was Yellowcard and it was like ‘Wow, we can sign these bands that are huge and be a better fit for them than their old homes,’” he stated. “We feel so privileged to be working with a lot of these bands that we were just huge fans of and now getting to work alongside them is really cool.”
Hopeless Records 25th Anniversary Present
With: 88 Fingers Louie, Guttermouth, Dillinger 4, Nobodys, Schlong and particular visitors
When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19
The place: The Regent Theater, 448 S. Essential St., Los Angeles
Tickets: $22.50 advance common admission; $30 day-of-show basic admission; $44.50 basic admission + restricted version report