Who started GSR, when and why? Who’s involved today?
I started Gangstyle back in 2000. I’m Theo, owner of the Noizz Music Company and 38 years old. Gangstyle is a division of the Noizz Music Company. The Noizz Music Company is a company which specializes in Hardcore music and has 3 divisions in total which are; Scum agency, the booking and festival departement which does 3 festivals a year, 2 x European Hardcore Party (1 in March and 1 in November) and a 2 day Summerfestival (June), On Parole Mailorder service and of course Gangstyle Records. I started the label ’cause I found some really good bands who weren’t able to get a label to put their stuff out. Nowadays we are working with 3 people, being myself, Karl Fieldhouse (guitars in Born from Pain) and a trainee. ‘,’
When you released the first GSR CD, did you ever think you’d make it this far, and release so many good CDs?
I had no clue what might happen with the label. It was more or less a kind of “spontanious” thing, but I did have an Idea of how I would like to do things. So I just started and gave the label 2 years to be able to “suvive” businesswise. Things turned out great, and hopefully 2003 will bring Gangstyle another step forward.
I have to say your releases are some of my favourites, what makes you pick a band to work with?
First off I need to like the music and the people in the band. Then I need to be sure that the bands are really willing to work for it, to give the maximum that is possible in a reasonable way. Once I’m convinced about those 2 things, I’m ready to talk with them. If the total schedule gives us space for a release, then we’ll sign them and put their new stuff out. I don’t want to do more than 10 releases a year, so that we can focus on each release and do the maximum for it.
I can’t imagine that you can actually make a living from a hardcore label (or can you?!!), so do the people involved work at other things?
Making a living out of just the label is a hard thing. That’s why we (still) continue with those other divisions as mentioned in the answer of your 1st question. On the other hand; what is “making a living out of the label”?? I mean, it all depends on what one needs. I don’t care for big cars, fancy clothes or useless luxury. i just wanna do what I do, and have something to eat and a small place to live. That’s enough, so who knows, maybe I’ll be able to make a living out of it.
What are the latest releases & upcoming releases?
The most imminent release that we have coming up is the new Born From Pain CD which is titled “Sands Of Time” and its a very important release for both us and the band. With the success they’ve had touring with Hatebreed and on the Resistance Tour we expect this CD to do very well. After that we have a label sampler which will feature songs from all our releases, some exclusive tracks from our bands, some videoclip material and a few tracks from bands that aren’t signed and we want to let them be heard. Its a great opportunity for people to get to know the label full on as it were and hopefully it’ll bring the bands some new fans too. After that we have the new release from Riley (singer for Stigmata) which is a punk/oi/hardcore band called Murderer’s Row. Very catchy stuff and we think it’ll be a big success. Then we don’t really have anything over the summer, but will be releasing the new Knuckledust full length which we’re very excited about as well as releases from Es La Guerilla, Second Chance. There are other releases on the horizon too, but they’re a little too far away at the moment.
You just had the (9th) European Hardcore Party, how did that go?
It was awesome!! Together with the previous summerfestivals, it was the 12th fest I did since 1999. This was the first sold out edition; 2000 people in the venue!! There was a great atmosphere and all kind of kids inside.
Is it a nightmare to organize/run?!
No, it is really cool to do it. Like I said, it was the 12th fest in 4 years, so some routine is there, which makes everything a lot easier. And we have built up a great co-operation with all the people who help us out.
Can you tell us the history of it? And which one has been your favourite?
The original initiative came from a good friend of mine; Onno Cromag, hardcore journalist for Holland’s metal magazine Aardschok. Both of us had the idea of setting up something bigger than the usual gigs. So we came together and talked it over. We also wanted to create an event where smaller, upcoming new bands could perform in front of a bigger audience. And all this combined with a few “bigger” names and an American headliner (since the hardcore Crib stands in the US). Another very important issue was that we set it up in a way that the entrance price remains low as well. So far we never had to ask more than 13 euro’s for the European HC parties and 12 euros (per day) for the summerfestival. This years edition of the summer fest will be a bit more expensive, ’cause we had the opportunity of booking a lot of big names. All editions are favourites, but if I really have to make a choice I would say the first European HC party and the first edition of the summerevent. Emotionally the first editions are always the most special.
You guys took over the Midsummer Festivals in 2000, what can we expect this year?
A lot……. 2 days, June 21 and 22, with bands such as; Exploited, Real McKenzies, Poison Idea, Madball, Hatebreed, Throwdown, Born from Pain, Most Precious Blood, Kickback, Length of Time, GBH, Discipline, NAOP, and a lot more. All together about 26 bands over the 2 days.
Update: Gangstyle now goes by GSR Music https://www.facebook.com/GSRMusic