“i love ev­ery sec­ond oF our la­bel’s mu­sic”

FOUNDER MARKUS STAIGER IS AS PAS­SION­ATE ABOUT AMER­I­CAN NEW­BIES SINK THE SHIP AS MESHUG­GAH

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Nuclear blast records -

But then the Ger­man la­bel is dif­fer­ent to many of its cur­rent and for­mer con­tem­po­raries, in that it has no dis­tinct mu­si­cal iden­tity. Or rather it has many: death metal sits next to met­al­core, sym­phonic metal bands rub shoul­ders with dyed-in-the-wool hard­core, retro-rock shares oxy­gen with doom metal.

s the worst of the storm passes just off to our left at Sum­mer Breeze, leav­ing the crowd drenched but thank­fully not elec­tro­cuted, Markus Staiger con­tin­ues to be the cen­tre of ev­ery­one’s off­stage at­ten­tion.

“I like his pas­sion,” says Jamey Jasta. “Any­body who knows the old bands, the Ex­ploit­eds, the Ag­nos­tic Fronts, the Dis­charges, but then is telling me about fuck­ing Sui­cide Si­lence and We Came As Ro­mans with the same fer­vour and en­thu­si­asm is a real mu­sic guy.”

This much is true. A few hours ear­lier, Ham­mer bumped into Mar­cus at our shared ho­tel. Be­fore in­tro­duc­tions had been prop­erly made, he was al­ready play­ing a song on his iPhone by new US band Sink The Ship, one of the latest sign­ings to Sharp­tone, an NB off­shoot la­bel that fo­cuses on rock and al­ter­na­tive mu­sic

(an­other sub­sidiary la­bel,

Aris­ing Em­pire, is home to up-and-com­ing met­al­core and punk bands).

“It was im­por­tant to open the la­bel to all sub­gen­res,” says Markus.

“Af­ter the death metal boom, it was im­por­tant to have bands like Ham­mer­fall or Pri­mal Fear. To­day, on the one hand you have

Meshug­gah, on the other you have a band like

Thresh­old and on the other you have Sink The Ship.

I love ev­ery sec­ond of it all.”

That, as much as any­thing, is the se­cret of Nu­clear Blast’s suc­cess: like all the best la­bels, NB is run by the fans for the fans. Metal needs its mav­er­icks and its mav­er­ick la­bels.

“It goes against the grain,” says Epica’s Mark Jansen. “Ev­ery time I come in their of­fice, ev­ery­body’s lis­ten­ing to metal. That’s what I want. I don’t want to be with a la­bel where ev­ery­one’s think­ing about money and profit.”

Kreator’s Mille Petrozza knew Markus as a tape trader be­fore he set up Nu­clear Blast Chil­dren Of Bodom

at Blast Bash Blast Bash: the gantry

af­forded a perfect view of the bands… and the

ap­proach­ing storm THE 30 Years Of Nu­clear Blast

AN­NIVER­SARY COM­PI­LA­TION DVD + 4CD SET IS OUT NOW, FEA­TUR­ING BANDS SUCH AS NIGHTWISH, MESHUG­GAH AND CRA­DLE OF FILTH. EPICA PLAY A Ham­mer-SPOn­SOReD

TOUR NEXT APRIL

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