Richard Hughes of Scylla Records on creating the label, ambitions and achievements

Scylla Records is a name you might have heard in the UK pop punk and emo scene, especially around the South West where the label is based. We sat down in an authentic pub just outside Bath with Richard Hughes, the manager of the label, to discuss how the organisation came about.

Starting off with a whistle-stop history of Scylla Records, Richard explains how he and a friend began the label at university, somewhat by accident. “I was at uni doing a music industry degree, and we were putting on shows actually. We started promoting, me and Ross and a guy called James putting on shows together.”

After talking with a band called Out of Sight, who had just recorded an EP in New York but had nobody to put it out with, Richard and his companion Ross decided to try putting the record out for them. “We spent a long time deciding whether to start the label with them or a band called Haemostatic Picnic Races and obviously we went with Out of Sight. The rest is history! That’s kinda how it started, for a while with friend’s bands.”

Working with Out of Sight, whilst foundational for the label, also opened up a number of challenges for the fledgling Scylla Records. The first EP that the label released was a great success. It was Out of Sight‘s second release that was somewhat exacting.

“We worked with their album though we didn’t put that out – it went to another record label. That was the second part beginning. I wouldn’t say we were inactive but it was quite a difficult period for the label. We lost a lot money and motivation, the whole Out of Sight album was very difficult. That drained us, and Ross left the label completely.”

“Probably about two years ago I started again really seriously, narrowed the music we were putting out a bit from everything we liked to focus a bit more on the pop punk / emo scene. A lot more UK based as well, that’s something we were quite keen on doing. I say we, it’s me now. We worked with The Gospel Youth and You Know The Drill, and Luke [Rainsford] now, High Tides and H_ngm_n. Very much all part of the same scene and I think we’re growing in that scene quite a lot.”

Out of Sight’s album eventually released as a co-release with Slam Dunk Music, with Scylla Records wishing it on with their best blessings. To qualify, there are no hard feelings there at all. “That was a massive challenge and to come back from that took a while. It completely changed the way we were working, really. It’s a very different label really.”

Moving on, we asked Richard about what he feels the biggest achievements and moments are which he has been particularly proud of. “It sounds weird but the biggest achievement we get is putting out records. Every time we get a new record in and we get the vinyl back or the cassettes back, or the CD, that’s always the biggest achievement.”

It’s not all about sales targets for Scylla Records. Richard explains that they’re all well and good because good sales equate to success for the artist, but it doesn’t change how he views the album. If Scylla Records have chosen to support an album, that’s for the sake of the music itself.

What does Richard look for in potential new artists for Scylla Records? I think it has to be music that affects me. It has to be a record I hear and think “that’s amazing”, or demo’s, or even a previous album which is amazing. Luke [Rainsford] for example, I fell in love with his previous album; and the reason I didn’t approach him about a second album was because he only released the first one in June so I thought there’s no way there’ll be another one.”

“It’s about hearing something that I’m just like “wow, that’s amazing, I’d love to work with that band”.

Equally, Richard has to consider what the artist is looking for in a label. On his side, there’s little point in putting out a record that a band are unwilling to tour or put much effort into. “There’s no point anyone being disappointed on either side of the relationship.”

Richard’s goals for Scylla Records are relatively humble. These aren’t dreams of rosters full of huge touring artists. “As simple as it sounds I’d love to be putting out all our releases on vinyl and at least have an initial run sell out. I think I’d love to get to that point of being able to do that every time. Or, not all of them, but if you look at a label like Big Scary Monsters where almost all their releases go straight away. Kev’s worked really hard at that and that’s always seemed like the perfect level for me.”

“I’d just like to build up a roster and be known as that label who’s a great place to start a career.”

To be able to support up-and-coming artists and consistently help their first-run of physicals sell out. “If we get a big album or two that’s great, ultimately that will fund the musicians themselves and also new acts. That’s where I find the fun, working with new artists not necessarily being able to pick up the band who are already established. It’s great but it’s not so interesting to me. I’m all about finding new talent and taking them to a level where a lot more people will be interested then.”

To finish off, we asked Richard if there were any artists out there he’d especially like to work with if he could sign anyone. He mentions Tellison – “Everything they do is awesome, lovely guys as well.” Richard also talks about The Attika State, a band he has “flirted” with on putting out records together but never quite got around to it.

“I was well up for signing Luke [Rainsford]. I put his album on my top ten of last year, something horrendously high like four or three or something.”

Finally, it’s The Hotelier who get the final call, a band that Richard things are incredible all-round.

It’s apparent that Scylla Records have a hugely respectable set of ethics by which they run their label, and they’re becoming a reputable place for up-and-coming artists. Chances are you’ll be seeing a lot more of their name behind some very exciting releases, so make sure to support Scylla and their artists wherever you can!

You can find Scylla Records on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and look at their upcoming releases on their website.

Luke Rainsford

Luke Rainsford on ‘I Feel At Home With You’ and maintaining honesty

Luke Rainsford is a midlands based solo artist about to release his second album I Feel At Home With You. We caught up with Luke on a weekend set of shows before his lengthy album release tour co-headlined with Crater Face.

First off, we wanted to know how much Luke was looking forward to the tour.

Oh yeah, really looking forward to it. The last tour I did was with Layover as part of a band, it’s going to be weird just being with one person for ten days but also really cool.

Luckily, Luke and Dru Lintott of Crater Face get on well. “I think most shows he’s ever played have been with me. We’re really used to playing shows together so it should be fun.”

If anything can test friendships however it’s touring, and the duo have decided to take the whole tour via public transport, which is set to be an interesting venture. “It was a really good idea at the time, and now we’re getting closer to it we’re kind of realising it’s gonna kind of suck but I think it’ll be worth it. We had a driver originally but he pulled out on us, but we didn’t want to cancel the tour.

Moving on to discuss the upcoming album, how has he found the response to the two current singles Ties and Home Safe?

I was a bit scared at first but after the stuff I’ve released has had a really good response and people have actually been learning the words already which is really really cool.”

Speaking of nerves, Luke elaborates he’s been treading a fine line between nervousness and excitement in the lead up to I Feel At Home With You.

Naturally I’m really nervous because the songs are so personal to me, almost uncomfortable in a way because it’s putting a piece of myself out there and if people don’t like it that’ll be quite heart-breaking,” explains Luke, “At the same time I think it’ll be worth it because as long as one person gets something from it or if someone relates to something and it helps them out in some way; even if people don’t like it overall I’m happy with it.

Thus, it’s with nothing but good intentions that Luke bares his soul through music. I Feel At Home With You broached a more dynamic, expanded sound to his debut I’m Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be. How did this come about?

Growing up” is the simplest reason. Luke details that his first album was written over a few years of his late teens, not specifically as an album. This record on the other hand was written over a six-month period in his early twenties in a much more focused sense.

The first album was basically, in essence like a break-up record. It does delve into slightly more mature themes just because I’m older and I’ve had more experience growing up. I’ve gone through loads of different things, it’s different perspectives I guess, and listening to different music.

A move away from pop punk and into the territory of more niche, low-fi musicians inspired Luke greatly. Furthermore, it’s undeniably honesty that Luke believes is the most important element of music. He explains how any song can be musically incredible, yet feel weaker through lack of genuine emotion.

Discussing how difficult it was for Luke to recorded his own anecdotal and exceptionally honest songs, he admits it was incredibly challenging.

“It was really hard. Writing them was really different to my first record, I was trying to make it relatable. I was trying to keep it personal but I was trying to word it in a way that people could hear and relate to really easily. With this one I kind of scrapped that idea, I wanted to make it more so it’s not for people to relate to, but for people to understand ‘this person’. My perspective on the way things happened to me.

It’s not about relating to lyrics it’s about understanding your own emotions and yourself. I think having these songs as a reflection of that might help someone more than just having a lyric which is easy to relate to.”

Luke’s insistence on honest bleeds into his advice for any up-coming solo acts. Primarily to be honest and not worry about imitating bands, even those you love. Equally, to be nice, make friends with everyone possible and don’t let it get too serious to have fun. “If you’re not enjoying it, there’s no reason to do it.

I Feel At Home With You will be releasing through Scylla Records, and we spoke about Luke’s partnership with the label. This began when Richard Hughes, the manager of Scylla Records reached out to Luke for a place on a charity Christmas compilation. Later, inspired by his lack of funds to produce physical releases, Luke asked whether Richard could be interested in helping to release the album.

Having established their partnership, Richard has been helping Luke book shows and “in general making me more professional” with an eye for marketing distribution and helping to make the most of the album.

When asked about his goals, both short and long term, Luke details his ambitions of playing some shows in Europe, and even America, although he reaffirms “I don’t really have anything set in stone, more like ideas.

For the short term it’s just plug my album as much as I can. This record means a lot to me and I want as many people to hear it as possible. If someone needs an honest record like that, because I think sometimes people need some honest music. If one person loved, it and maybe it just helped them out with how they’re feeling that’s me happy. And of course I want as many people to pre-order it as possible. I want it to spread, I want to keep building.

Finally, we asked Luke if there were any solo artists or bands he’s most recommend others listen to. Crater Face of course, as well as Proud Ember as well as James Leese. The bands mentioned were Better Than Never, Coast To Coastespecially”, Pushing Daisies, Tuskens and “any band I’ve ever played with to be honest!”

Essentially, support local bands wherever you might find them.

We’re thankful to Luke Rainsford for taking the time to talk to us and being one of the humblest musicians you could wish to find. I Feel At Home With You releases on February 17th through Scylla Records, and we’ll be catching Luke on tour next month so keep your eyes peeled for all the latest!

High Tides announce a whole array of news!

It’s going to be a veritable smorgasbord of news from the High Tides camp. First off, they have announced a new a mini-album titled ‘I’m Not Giving Up, I’m Just Starting Over‘ which will be released in March. Joining this news is a new single featuring Miles Kent of Catch Fire as well as a UK tour!

You can look at the dates below as well as the new song titled ‘52‘!

 

Luke Rainsford Announces Sophomore Record

This year has already been a huge success for Wolverhampton local Luke Rainsford with the release of his first solo album Nothing Like My Dad Turned Out To Be and the year has only gotten bigger with his signing to Scylla Records and having been in the studio already for his second album. Today Luke Rainsford has officially announced this second album and its release through Scylla Records on the 17th of February next year. This soppomore album, I Feel At Home With You, is now up for pre-order with two varianrts of tape and a CD. Along with pre-ordering you get two tracks from Luke one of which is the first single. Before you do anything else today definitely check this kid out.

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Support Luke Rainsford and pre-order the album HERE

You Know The Drill Announce ‘Losing Streak’

Brummie Pop-Punkers You Know The Drill are set to release debut EP Losing Streak . Recorded with Drew Larson at Sheffield’s Steel City Studios, Losing Streak features artwork by Neck Deep’s Fil Thorpe-Evans, a feast of energy laden guitar riffs, and big-room-ready choruses.

Track Listing:
1. Peer Pressure | 2. Less Than You | 3. Heads Up Master | 4. 411 | 5. Response

Losing Streak is released via Scylla Records on October 28th and you can check out more from the guys in You Know the Drill over on Facebook and Twitter.

Landmarks Release Their New Video “Limb From Limb”

Landmarks release their new video Limb From Limb taken from the bands upcoming EP In Spite Of It All. The band will release their new EP on 12th August via Scylla Records.

The album can pre-ordered below, alongside both a digital and vinyl version.

The tracklisting reads:
1. Translucent
2. Cutting Strings
3. Limb From Limb
4. Friend Of Mine
5. With Clarity

The video can be watched below