A Los Angeles-based music label has teamed up with a Newcastle promoter for a series of music showcase events.
On Friday, the first collaboration between the Kill/Hurts label and alternative music night, Alpha played out in front of a rousingly receptive crowd at 02 Academy Newcastle.
If you’re thinking joint efforts between LA labels and Newcastle promoters aren’t often observed in these parts, you’d be correct.
Kill/Hurt Records was founded in 2011 by Chris Jahnle, as a novelty label focusing on LA artists and releasing their material on cassette.
When a former LA music management agent studying in Newcastle spotted talent in the region’s live music scene, the label, which re-launched in 2014, opened up shop in the UK and started signing upcoming bands, three of which hailed from the North East.
Shade Hartline, 27, who is living in Burnopfield, is Kill/Hurt Records’ head UK representative and has signed grunge trio EnterTheLexicon, metal-core troupe North Seasons and Sunderland rockers, 27 Side Effects. The first two of whom were on Friday’s bill alongside metal four–piece Guardian and hotly tipped melodic hardcore group Aurion.
He says: “My involvement with Kill/Hurt all started when I saw EnterTheLexicon play The Head of Steam and I couldn’t understand why a band could be so good and only play local shows.
“The North East has a ‘wall effect’ that people can’t get past and there is always a focus on London and those larger markets.
“We want to expand the Kill/Hurt brand in the UK and my role is in scouting for new bands, helping with releases of the artists and nurturing the talent we already have.”
Before moving to the UK to study at Newcastle University, Shade was an agent at The Collective, a music management company in Beverley Hills, working with artists from Slash and Linkin Park to Eddie Izzard.
He teamed up with Newcastle’s largest alternative club night ‘Alpha’ on Friday, for Kill/Hurt’s first UK showcase.
Anthony Hepburn, 28, of Heaton, Newcastle, says he founded Alpha as a reaction to the “dying alternative scene in Newcastle”. and it now attracts up to 1,300 music fans to its weekly Saturday club night.
In working with Kill/Hurt, Anthony wants people to see bands in a different light, coaxing them away from social media with interesting and unconventional events.
He says: “I feel like a lot of people in Newcastle are uneducated about the music scene here and don’t make the effort to find out about shows.
“You have amazing bands from Holland, Belgium and Manchester coming to Newcastle and regularly playing to seven or eight people and it’s truly embarrassing, especially for a city like Newcastle which has a tradition of an amazing music scene.
“Getting up to 1,300 people to an alternative club night is crazy and my goal is trying to get the Alpha crowd into the frame of mind to support local bands.
“I want to have local bands playing to a thousand people and I won’t rest until it happens.”
Shade adds: “Alpha want Newcastle to be back on the map musically and really these types of events are a collaboration to show the people of Newcastle that there is a scene here and that lots of people are involved in helping it grow and riding the momentum.
“My main goal is to make the bands on the Kill/Hurt roster the biggest, not only in the North East, but in the world.”
For more information on the bands, visit www.killhurt.com
The North East bands on the Kill/Hurts books
In the space of a year Newcastle grunge rock trio EnterTheLexicon have went from playing local shows to receiving exposure from Kerrang and Scuzz TV.
Since being signed by Kill / Hurt in early 2014, their single ‘Do You Feel The Same’ has had national radio play and they just returned from a UK tour in February.
Newcastle melodic hardcore quintet North Seasons were snapped up by Kill/Hurt late last year, and released their debut single ‘Silhouettes’ to rave reviews from Kerrang Radio DJ Alex Baker.
Their debut EP ‘Eyes for the Blind’ was impressively self-recorded in a bedroom and they embarked on their first UK tour last December.
Sunderland-based 27 Side Effects offer a unique blend of punk, funk and rock and call themselves ‘a powerhouse of a three piece.