“i love every second oF our label’s music”
FOUNDER MARKUS STAIGER IS AS PASSIONATE ABOUT AMERICAN NEWBIES SINK THE SHIP AS MESHUGGAH
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