Written by Johnny Papan
VANCOUVER – SCRAPE Records was once Vancouver’s go-to shop for everything within the range of hard rock and metal. They sold tickets to all the heaviest shows, stocked their shelves with the grittiest tunes and merch and even went out of their way to bring some of the world’s most notorious thrashers in-store for meet n’ greets as well as intimate performances.
In early 2016 Vancouver’s heavy-metal rock-shop chose to close its East Broadway doors. However, in celebration of SCRAPE’S 20th anniversary in early November, the shop’s owner, simply known to the local music community as J.J., announced that would be reinventing the iconic former record store into a full-fledged independent music label.
“It’s something that’s been percolating in my mind ever since I started the store originally,” J.J. explains. “I just didn’t have the time to make it work well with the effort and commitment of the store itself. Since the store has been closed it’s still something that’s been in my mind as far as wanting to continue working in the music industry, working with bands, promoting shows, that sort of thing.”
SCRAPE Records has already signed its first band as a label, extreme metal outfit Zimmer’s Hole which consists of vocalist Chris Valagao as well as Byron Stroud, Jed Simon and Gene Hoglan from Strapping Young Lad. Hoglan is considered one of metal’s greatest drummers and has also performed in notorious groups such as Death, Dark Angel, Fear Factory, Testament, and cartoon death-metal band Dethklok from Adult Swim’s TV show Metalocalypse. This only scratches the surface of Hoglan’s extensive discography.
J.J. confirms that Zimmer’s Hole is already making demos for their upcoming album, which is aiming for a Fall 2018 release under SCRAPE Records. In the meantime, SCRAPE will be reissuing the band’s first three albums: Bound By Fire, Legion of Flames, and the band’s most notorious record, 2007’s When You Were Shouting at the Devil… We Were in League With Satan.
Currently, SCRAPE has an Indiegogo campaign up and running to help with startup funding. Money will be used towards growing the label, promotions, and signing more talent. Perks include Zimmer’s Hole and SCRAPE merchandise as well as autographed collectables from various artists including the Devin Townsend Project, Hellyeah, Sabaton, Devildriver and many more. Check out SCRAPE’s Indiegogo page to find all the goodies and show your support.
J.J. will be putting together a sampler disc to help promote B.C. bands as well as the growing label. He is looking to extend not only his label’s roster by signing new artists, but also future employees. As of right now, J.J. is running the show on his own, with hopes of changing the label-artist dynamic in a way that will benefit both parties to the fullest.
“I really wanna establish and build new ways of looking outside of the box that a label can work with bands. Looking at things I could do that maybe aren’t done in traditional fashion.” J.J. continues: “There’s a certain structure that I think is still useful to follow, but to me it’s really important to work with the bands. I want them to be involved in the process, I wanna be communicating with them at an even playing field. I want them involved in putting the product together and not feeling that anyone is trapped. I want everything to be comfortable and relaxed and everyone is totally on the same page.”
J.J. concludes: “I reached out to a lot of people I’ve known in the industry for 20-25 years and asked them: ‘Do you think starting this label is a wise idea? Or am I just completely insane?’ There are those moments where I think: ‘Am i making the right decision?’ Then I think of when I opened the store in that respect. I had no idea if that would work or not and it worked out for nearly 20 years. This may not and that’s fine, but you don’t know the outcome until you try.”
For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.orgSCRAPE Records