What’s in a Label? // Art As Catharsis & Worlds Within Worlds

If you’ve followed Heavy Blog over the last few years, you’ve likely noticed how much we adore the output of Art As Catharsis. This year alone, we’ve seen phenomenal albums ranging from the nu-jazz-fusion of COAST to the artsy chamber pop of Lack the Low to the blackened, deathly metalcore of Bridge Burner. I’ve long…

Kunal Choksi of Transcending Obscurity Records: The Heavy Blog Is Heavy Interview

It’s difficult to have a discussion about underground extreme metal without mentioning Transcending Obscurity Records. Joining the ranks of labels like Dark Descent, Blood Harvest, and I, Voidhanger as one of the most prolific purveyors of underground metal madness on the planet, the label has very quickly become a go-to…

A Thousand Arms – The Heavy Blog Interview

A few months ago, I received an email about a post-rock compilation. Naturally intrigued, I started to dig deeper. Apparently this compilation was focused on the idea of “global” music, featuring bands from all across the world. As I kept digging, I soon came across A Thousand Arms, the label behind the compilation but also a repository for merch and other album releases from some of my favorite bands including We Lost the Sea among others. Naturally, I was intrigued and I started speaking with C.J who manages the label alongside another partner. What exactly was the motivation for this compilation? What is A Thousand Arms exactly, if not a label in the traditional sense?

These questions led me to finally sending C.J. a few questions over email as an interview, to try and get some answers. His answers are posted below, unedited, and represent an interesting look into a part of the music industry fans might not always get a glimpse of. Read on for musings on post rock, post metal, global communities, live music and much, much more!

What’s In A Label? Middle-Man Records

When many people hear screamo nowadays, their minds tend to jump almost immediately to the Warped Tour sensation bands such as Black Veil Brides. It is a term often abused by metal fans to describe simply anything technically in the realm of “heavy” music that they deem unsuitable to be called metal or hardcore; a derogatory term that is an easy way to say “I don’t like it.” However, this broad, negative view of screamo could not possibly be more wrong, as it is a subgenre within extreme music that many could easily respect. It is the most abrasive, raw, emotional punk out there, yet still melodic at many points, drawing from the post-hardcore/emo sound pioneered just a few years earlier by such acts as Indian Summer, Heroin and Rites of Spring. Sadly, however, after a quick surge in popularity around the time of its inception, screamo took a slight fall from grace within the extreme music community, making it more and more difficult to find new bands that were still popping up in abundance.