What's In A Label?

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.