Thursday, October 9, 2008

More with Jordan Cooper of Revelation Records

Gorilla Biscuits at the Safari Club in DC, Photo: Tim Owen

Here's the latest installment of our Revelation Q&A with head honcho Jordan Cooper.

-Gordo DCXX

A lot of numbers have been thrown around over the years regarding which Rev releases have sold the most. Of the early releases (1-25), can you say what the biggest "sellers" were and how many "units" have sold for those particular records? I've always heard it was Start Today that has been the biggest.

Definitely GB Start Today has sold the most over the years. There was a time when Inside Out had overtaken it, but in the years after Rage split up, Start Today took the lead again. I'd have to look at the numbers for all the other early records but most of them were pretty popular. The first few records we did were usually pressings of 500-2000 at first and then we'd order more when those ran out. After the first six releases, our initial pressings were usually between 10 and 15 thousand from what I remember and most records had more than one pressing.

There were a couple of records that only had one pressing - Slipknot and Supertouch - but each of those were still pretty big first pressings compared to the first six records we put out. As far as total units, I'd have to do some research to look all those up, but without going through everything in detail, I'd say that Start Today is probably over 100,000 copies by now.

If you could pick for one defunct HC band to get back together, record a great album, and release it on Rev, who would you want it to be?

Too many to pick one, but, the first one that comes to mind is Violent Children. They were what hardcore was about to me probably because they were the first band I got to see a lot and got to know personally.

What did you think of the GB reunion and the band's reformed status? What are some good memories you recall with the band both back then and today?

It's been great. When they did that CB's benefit, everyone called me to tell me that it was the best show they'd been to in years. The tour out here has been incredible. They played a show out here that was as big as any show I'd ever been to of theirs. It's cool, they get together and play when they have time and feel like it. The band definitely ended too soon so it's good to see them having a good time playing. It gives kids a chance to see them who never did back in the day, but it also gets all the old timers to come out of the woodwork who otherwise rarely go to shows (like me).

Some of the best times I've ever had were on tour with bands and one of those was the first GB tour in Europe. It was a great time. The band had a great sense of humor and even though there was always the chance that they'd get denied entry to any given country since no one had working papers (this was in the days when there were checkpoints between countries), they'd always just make jokes about it and hope for the best.

Statue at Spanky's in Riverside, Cali, Photo: Boiling Point

Rev took a lof of criticism for the bands it signed and released into the early and mid-nineties. Who were some of your favorite bands on the label during this time period, and what releases stand out a decade later?

The early to mid 90's was probably the time I was most personally active in picking the bands because Ray had left the label to do Shelter, focus on his religion and start EVR. Porcell helped out for a few months in '91, but ended up moving back to NY pretty quickly. He was the one who talked to Into Another so that was a big deal for us obviously. I really love pretty much every band we put out during that time. Farside, Iceburn, Statue, Underdog, Sense Field, Shades Apart, Engine Kid, Whirlpool. I spent time with at least a couple of people in all of those bands even if it was just working on their artwork so they all mean something to me. I still put on all of those records somewhat regularly so to me they stand out. Sales wise, most of early 90's releases aren't at the top of the charts these days, but that's the way things work. Not every great record gets appreciated when it's released or remembered later even if it does.

Revelation will be releasing the Mouthpiece discography by the end of the year hopefully. What was your awareness of the band over the years, and what are your feelings on putting this record out on Revelation?

I heard a lot of stuff about all the New Age and Conversion bands because Dennis (Conversion Records) lived in the warehouse and Mike (New Age) worked here and spent a lot of time here as well. To me it looked like Mouthpiece and a lot of the other bands that those guys put out were the hardcore scene of that time at that point. Meanwhilem we were putting out bands like Iceburn, Farside and other bands that came from hardcore but were trying different things musically, so it was cool to have a connection with the younger scene even if it wasn't so direct. Tim has been friends with a lot of people I know over the years but it's been great getting to talk to him and work on their discography. They've put a lot of time and effort into it and the songs sound great and the artwork frames it all really well. I really appreciate the way they've handled everything...they want people to have a great record, but more importantly they want it to be something that documents their music the way they see it themselves.

Mouthpiece at Middlesex County College, Edison NJ


ERIC SXE said...

I'm not surprised that GB - Start Today is their best seller. I remember when that came out and so many people went nuts looking for it. I bought it on cassette at the Wherehouse record store along with Insted - Bonds Of Friendship. I think those were my first SXE music purchases too! That was such a long time ago!

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that the Mouthpiece Discography is finally on its way!

toxik boys said...

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Unfortunately here is very difficult get the vinyls (for example)... and my mission is share my music for all

This site is very great and would be an honor exchange links.

Please visit my blog

I hope don't disturb

Greetings and thanks for all!

pd: my inglish is not very good, escuse me

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