Friday, May 8, 2009

Posted by xCHIPxSEM |
Once again, Jake Jacobs interviews one of the greats and brings us Jordan Cooper, co-founder of Revelation Records. While many can argue that Rev is much more of an 80's piece of hardcore history, Rev did release some great and important records in the 90s including releases from In My Eyes, Better Than a Thousand, Battery, Damnation AD, and Morning Again. I spoke to Jake and hes got some great stuff lined up so continue to check back...until then, heres Jordan Cooper

Let's first discuss the very successful recent Hardcore Reunion benefit s
how that took place at Chain Reaction in Anaheim, California on 3/22/09 and featured No For An Answer, a surprise performance by Carry Nation, A Chorus of Disapproval, Headfirst, Blackspot and ICE. Did you expect there to be such a big and enthusiastic crowd at this show? Why or why not?

That was a great show. I expected it to be a great show but what I didn't expect was that I wouldn't feel like such an old man the way I normally do at Chain Reaction.

Besides No For An Answer being on your Revelation Records label in the late '80s, how much involvement did you and Revelation have with the show?

None really. I think David "Igby" Sattani and Mike Hartsfield put it together, so that was as close as I got besides posting it on our website and going to the show.

Throughout the '90s, Revelation released a very wide variety of music. Besides liking the bands in question, why did you decide to put out records by so many different kinds of bands?

Aside from really liking the band, usually I knew someone in the band who I could talk to about doing a record or I knew one of their friends. Two exceptions to that were Sense Field and Shades Apart. One of them sent us a demo and the other one, I bought their demo and tracked them down to see if they would do a record with us.

You founded Crisis Records in the early '90s. Why did you find it necessary to create a whole other label?

Walter Schreifels from Gorilla Biscuits/Quicksand wanted to put out a record by Farside and another from Outface, so we started a label for them and then I had some other bands that were pretty far from what Rev was doing at that point and it seemed more fitting to put them out on a different label. Later on, Rob Moran from Unbroken was working at Rev and wanted to take the label over and put out some bands that he really liked, so that's when we started working with Shai Hulud and Will Haven and Chinchilla.

Even though Farside are technically not a hardcore band, they were very enthusiastically accepted by the vast majority of the hardcore scene in the '90s. Why do you think that is?

Actually, when their first 7" came out, I didn't think they were a hardcore band but by the time the album came out, I think my definition of hardcore had broadened a bit and they no longer seemed outside the genre. They were a great band, so a lot of people loved them regardless of what style category someone might put them in. We had part of a note that someone mailed to us posted on the wall for years, it said something like "PS: Farside may not be NYHC but they still kick ass! - The Management." We thought that was pretty funny but it does sum up how at least one person saw them.

During your 23 year career as owner and manager of Revelation, you've worked with major labels quite a bit. What has that experience been like?

We haven't quite made it to 23 years but I appreciate your confidence in the label. We actually haven't worked with major labels very much at all. The only real coordination we did with a major was when Sense Field signed to Warner Bros. Although almost everyone we talked to at Warner was cool and friendly, the result was not positive for Rev or the band in my opinion. The band's manager was pushing very heavily for Building to be sold to Warner but I didn't want that to happen. After that, their next album was never released by Warner and there was a long delay before they could get out of that contract and re-record the record for Nettwork. I wasn't involved in any other Rev band that went to a major that I can remember but most of them didn't have great experiences as far as I can remember. The only other thing we did a few times was press the vinyl version of a record that was coming out on CD through a major. Those usually were pretty simple and didn't have any problems.

In the late '90s, Revelation went back to it's roots somewhat and released albums by '80s style hardcore bands with former members of '80s hardcore bands in them (Better Than A Thousand and Speak Seven One Four to name a couple). Why?

Dan O'Mahony and Joe Foster did a band together which later became Speak Seven One Four. I've always liked what those guys did musically and lyrically, so I was interested in putting out their new band's records. Better Than A Thousand was Ray Cappo (who started Revelation with me) along with Ken Olden and some other guys who were great musicians,so that made sense to put out as well. I actually probably wasn't the person who found out about the band or even came up with the idea of putting it out on Rev but once it was presented to me as an option, I said yes.

What Revelation releases are you most proud of and why?

All of them have different things I like about them and different memories that go with them. I'm proud of all the records we've put out and all the bands we've had the honor of working with but since I never had anything to do with the music, it's hard to use that word for any sub-group of the whole. Personally, I'm proud of some of the things I did for these releases: the layout for the Warzone 7" and figuring out all the stuff to get the printing done etc., the final mix for the Slipknot 7" because the band couldn't get back to Don Fury's to do that, so I worked with Don and actually helped mix the record, the layout for Farside's Rigged, Engine Kid's Angel Wings and a few others.

Revelation has reissued many classic hardcore albums and released discographies by many classic hardcore bands. Why do you think that there is still such a demand for hardcore product in general?

Hardcore means a lot to a lot of people and even years later, sometimes a band's impact is still there for people.

It's my understanding that many record labels are ceasing production of CDs and only releasing records in digital and vinyl formats going forward. Are you planning on doing this with Revelation? Why or why not?

We are putting things out at a pretty slow pace these days, so it's hard to predict what people will want the next time we're releasing something.
What are your thoughts on '90s and 2000s hardcore bands not on Revelation?

That's a pretty broad question, so I don't know how I can answer it. There have always been bands that weren't on Rev that I liked a lot. In the past ten years, I haven't listened to a lot of newer hardcore, so it's hard to say anything about bands that have come out since then.

One final question - how do you feel about the most recent Chung King Can Suck It LP eBay auction's reserve price being $4,000?

It's insane to me but I'm not a big record collector. The entire album is on the Judge discography, so anyone who wants to hear it can get it.


Anonymous said...

Dude, no one cares about "the very successful hardcore reunion" show, which wasn't all that successful, by the way.

Quit trying to force it into the hardcore consciousness.

Anonymous said...

^^I agree, raising $1.200 could of been done without a show that probably cost more than that or close to it to put on. It's cool the bands played but from the video I saw they where not into. Atleast NFAA wasn't. And 90's hardcore sucked with the expception of a few bands that hardly constitutes(SP?) a 'scene'. It was pretty much dead by '89 with a few like me holding on for dear life until about '91 when the nails whwere dribven in the coffin.

XXX Kid Hard XXX said...

And 90's hardcore sucked with the expception of a few bands that hardly constitutes(SP?) a 'scene'. It was pretty much dead by '89 with a few like me holding on for dear life until about '91 when the nails whwere dribven in the coffin.So why, pray tell, are you hanging out on a '90s hardcore webzine???