Some years ago when I was just an infant on my journey into the world of metal, I discovered an album called “300 Percent Density” by a band going by the name of Candiria. This came at a time when I was seeking out heavier and heavier music wherever it might lurk in the metal landscape.
I learned very quickly that Candiria were not just heavy, but very unique, incorporating all kinds of unusual rhythms and time signatures, jazz elements, hardcore, and hip-hop. I also found out (as often happens when I’m discovering different music), that there would be all sorts of cross pollination with other interesting bands and musicians. Bands I discovered independently like Dillinger Escape Plan, Made Out of Babies and Neurosis all turned out to be interconnected in a criss-cross of collaborations that featured Candiria too.
One of the key players in all of this is John LaMaccia. As well as being a founding guitarist with Candiria, John is a key collaborator with ex-Made Out of Babies singer Julie Christmas, having co-wrote many of the tracks on her great solo record “The Bad Wife”, while the two have also collaborated on John’s great Spylacopa project (I don’t know how to classify them, check them out).
On top of all of that, John is the founder of Rising Pulse Records, home to releases by Candiria, Spylacopa, Julie Christmas and much else besides. John was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions about the label.
Thanks for agreeing to this interview for Blessed Altar Zine. Tell us a little bit about the story of the label. How did it start and how far do you think you’ve come since that time?
The label was started in 2008. I was initially looking for a home for my solo music project Spylacopa. I had a meeting with a record label with hopes of securing a deal to release a series of EP’s and instead walked out of the meeting with an offer to start my own subsidiary label which would be funded by them. At the time it was something I had very little interest in but the idea took hold in my mind and I started thinking about names for the label. Then did some legal work to make it official and formed Rising Pulse Records LLC. A few months later I had another meeting with the label who made the initial offer and to my dismay they backed out of the deal. I was crushed but at this point I was determined to do this thing so I wound up funding it myself. The label has grown over the past 11 or so years but the methods and the goals are the same. I still handle all operations by myself for the most part. Every now and again I will hire someone for specific tasks but it’s usually short lived.
How do you choose which bands to release? How much are your own tastes (or what you expect your audience’s tastes to be), a part of the decision making process? Do you have some set boundaries of the kind of music you will or won’t release?
The label is more or less a place for me to put out music that I am involved with in one way or another. From time to time I will work with a band or artist such as Vaureen that I just feel is a great fit for the label. I never consider what fans would think. As far as genre goes I am very open minded. As long as I love what I am hearing and have a good feeling about the intentions of the people involved I will put it out.
What does your label have to offer bands that will make them want to release their music with you, rather than with another label? What are your preferences when it comes to deciding on vinyl, CD, cassette or digital formats and what factors are part of your choice?
What my label offers is a very hands on, community based experience. The label is a pretty small operation but we do have some strength when it comes to reach, international distribution and marketing. As far as format goes it’s mostly vinyl unless there is a very particular reason why cassette or CD makes more sense.
Do you think of yourselves as being an ‘underground’ label? Would you want the music you release to one day have more of a mainstream appeal, or do you think that would dilute what you do?
Rising Pulse is most certainly an underground, DIY label. I have very little interest in mainstream appeal but definitely do want my bands and their music to reach as many people as humanly possible.
Can you compare your experiences dealing with other labels from Europe, North America, South America or Asia? Have you found some factors that make one or other more easy or difficult to work with?
My experiences with record labels I have been involved with vary greatly. I think my favorite experience overall was working with Century Media US for one of the Candiria releases. It was all about the people who were there at that time. The label was perfect for us in my opinion.
Do you have anything in the pipeline that you’re excited to mention and do you have any ” dream bands” that you’d love to release something by?
I just reissued a ten year anniversary edition of ‘The Bad Wife’ by Julie Christmas on deluxe colored vinyl. Julie and I are both very happy with it. I am also working on new music for Spylacopa and another music project called Morn with my artist friend, Joseph Milazzo.
Finally, any info for fans or bands to get in touch or follow what’s happening with the label?
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