Signing Story: Hopesfall

Charlotte, NC-based post-hardcore outfit Hopesfall haven’t released a record since 2007 (Magnetic North). Back then, the band was pretty unhappy with their contract through Trustkill Records. Things became so volatile, recalls guitarist Joshua Brigham, that the final version of Magnetic North felt nearly unrecognizable to the band—song orders had changed and members weren’t informed that certain tracks were omitted completely. Needless to say, the band left the industry with a sour taste in their mouths.

In late 2016, however, Hopesfall were talked into making a comeback. “Honestly,” says Brigham, “we kind of backed our way into this whole thing. Dustin, Adam and I continued to play together after the band broke up because we all lived in Charlotte. ... We came up with a lot of ideas that we would record on our iPhones just to have.”

“It wasn’t a plan to wait a decade to put out a record.”

Brigham and company would send these tracks to their friend and former producer Mike Watts (Glassjaw, the Dear Hunter) and make jokes about getting a gnarly discount to record at his Voodoo Studios for a weekend—with no plans to sell the tracks, but just to have. At some point, however, the joke became a reality. “After a while, Mike asked if he could show the tracks to some people. It got around to Will Putney [of Graphic Nature] and Dan Vanchaw [of Equal Vision] and then conversations started getting a little more serious. It just kind of happened naturally, it wasn’t a plan to wait a decade to put out a record.”

The band inked a deal with Graphic Nature, a subsidiary of Equal Vision Records, focusing on two primary goals: re-releasing the band’s previous three records on vinyl (in the format they were originally intended), and release new music in 2017. Putney and Vanchaw wasted no time. “They went and researched and found who owned the rights [to the old albums],” Brigham continues. “They went out and got it and were gracious enough to give us the opportunity to put that out so it lives to see another day.”

As for advising other artists from their former post-hardcore scene on how to make a comeback, Brigham laughed, “Each situation is unique: Band members, egos, creativity, lives, children, careers... I’d just say if you still feel inspired and have something to offer that you’re proud of, then by all means pursue it any way you can.”

Hopesfall entered the studio in January to lay down tracks for a 2017 release.