MC's Favorite Signings of the Year


Abandoned Pools
Label: Tooth & Nail Records
Contact: [email protected]
A&R: Micah Dean

After a stint on Universal Records, former Eels bassist Tommy Walter was “burnt out” and disappointed. Seven years later, Walter has a new label deal––Tooth & Nail Records. “What I like is that they license the 11 tracks of the album, as opposed to controlling everything else I do,” Walter says. Bottom line, though,  “Just being on [Tooth & Nail] gets Abandoned Pools attention, because the company has its own fan base, and I think it still matters in people’s minds, an artist being signed versus unsigned.”



The Acacia Strain
Label: Rise Records
Contact: [email protected]
A&R: Craig Ericson

After 11 years, the Acacia Strain has been on two drastically different labels. “Never sign a deal for more than two records,” warns Vincent Bennett, the Massachusetts death metallers’ vocalist-songwriter. “When we signed our first deal, we were just excited to be on a record label. But as you grow and evolve as a band, your label needs to grow and evolve with you. If it doesn’t, you need to seek out other options.” The band has signed to Rise Records for one album, and Bennett is excited about the label’s openness to marketing ideas. “Having someone to put out your CD isn’t really enough. You need someone that backs your ideas and will carry out the things you want carried out. … Rise is open for anything.”

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