Signing Story: Wicked Bears

Date Signed: July 2022

Label: Wiretap Records

Type of Music: Punk/Pop-Punk

Management: N/A

Booking: N/A

Legal: N/A

Publicity: Mike Cubillos - Earshot Media

Web: wickedbears.com 

A&R: Rob Castellon / Wiretap Records

The music industry’s definition of DIY’s is at peak inversion. Previous generations considered releasing music sans-label as being DIY. You know, sticking it to the man! Punk rock, brah! Today, however, even punk labels expect a completed album attached with your EPK submissions! Which is exactly what Wicked Bears delivered when reaching out to Wiretap Records.

“Rob [Costello of Wiretap Records] has been awesome,” confesses guitarist Nick Fleming. “He had already thrown some of our songs on compilations and he once asked us to play a [showcase] out in California.” It was no surprise, then, when Costello made Wicked Bears an offer. There was just one catch…

“Rob was like, ‘I love [the new record]. The caveat is the release date is gonna be at the top of 2023,’” explains Fleming. Initially this was a tough pill to swallow, so the SLC punks asked Wiretap to clarify why a delayed release. “Rob sent a release schedule breakdown with detailed explanations, which all made sense. … He's very kind and very open, and it’s clear he's in this for the love of it, which we are too.”  Once Wiretap revealed a detailed plan, the band realized this is exactly what they were looking for: someone who knew how to play the game.

Sticking to their DIY roots, Fleming shot, edited, and directed a music video for the upcoming record’s first single. “We got all this green screen footage in my living room,” chuckles Fleming. “I wanted to make this crazy dynamic video. …  to capture this [vibe] of an editor with ADD who just learned how to use transitions in PowerPoint (laughs).” Fleming confided that he filled the green-screen void with media that matched his feelings when first listening to singer Casey Keele’s lyrics on the track. 

When asked how to stand out from a crowded underground punk scene, Fleming kept the advice simple: “Stick to what you love and people will see that you're doing something you wanna do, and will be drawn to it.”

Wicked Bears’ Wiretap Records debut is due for a 2023 release, while the band is on tour this fall.

– Andy Mesecher