Of the many ways one can get involved in a scene as established as the metal community in Calgary, building a record label is arguably the most ambitious. A well-rounded and approachable personality, intimate and immersive knowledge of both the local metal community and the larger global scene for context, general know-how and a substantial amount of funding are all essential to a burgeoning business for slinging records. Calgary has more than its share of bands, venues, publications and promoters for the music we all hold so dear, but we are sorely lacking avenues to release underground music. Fuel Injected Records aims to remedy this.
The origins of the label are traceable to only a few short months ago.
“I had been talking to Dan Neild (vocalist) from Gatekrashör and he was saying how they were looking to release their EP and didn’t really have the funds to do it,” explains Nathan Gareau, founder and owner. “I had some money saved up and decided to invest it in the company and do something I really wanted to do. I came up with the idea and the name and Meghan (Rose) joined in creating the company and now we are the owners.”
The label’s first release is no slouch. Local speed metal enforcers Gatekrashör will be releasing their EP Fear of Attack (2013) through Fuel Injected in March and this appears to be only the beginning.
“At first, Nathan was apprehensive about doing more than just speed metal, but I decided these are the bands I want to work with because I know that they would appreciate the money they can make from it and I know that we would stand to make quite a substantial amount of money, because I know that they would sell,” says Rose, co-owner. Alongside this debut release, the label will be selling the first run of printed T-shirts for the scum-ridden blackened thrashers in Blackrat.
On the business side of things, a precedent for the company is yet to be set. Having said this, the deal with Gatekrashör was a transparent subject of discussion for both the label owners as well as the band. “He basically gave us the guidelines for releasing this vinyl and we were sold,” says guitarist Matt Ries. The band struck up a contract with the label in which Fuel Injected Records would pay for the vinyl and receive half of the profits from the sales.
“The main focus for me wasn’t making money, it wasn’t being fucking popular or any garbage like that. It was supporting my friends and local bands. Supporting people I knew who played awesome music. I think Calgary really needed an independent label that was small and preferred to work with smaller bands. We can really focus on the Calgary market. I think it’s a really great deal because you are going to end up with a lot of awesome vinyl from a lot of awesome bands,” Gareau explains.
2012 was a landmark year for the Calgary and Alberta metal scene as a whole with majorly successful festivals, an explosion of new bands and talent, some bands receiving global recognition (Mares of Thrace, WAKE, Kobra and the Lotus) and a ton of shows with near infinite variety. The inception of Fuel Injected Records and their early strivings in the proving ground mark an important movement for increased opportunity within Calgary’s local metal community.
Contact Fuel Injected Records at their Facebook Page (facebook.com/FuelInjectedRecords) if your band is looking to release music or merchandise. Fuel Injected Records works by contract for all their releases. You may pre-order the Gatekrashör Fear of Attack release online at fuelinjectedrecords.bigcartel.com. Hear one of the band’s tracks “Date With The Devil (Hot in Hades)” below.
Story and photo by Tanner Wolff
[bandcamp track=1335651484 bgcol=FFFFFF linkcol=f65e37 size=venti]AB, Alberta