Hello Michael, thank you for answering my questions.I love that you are giving a platform for all of these artists.
Tell our readers about your label.
Shredguy Records was started in 2008. We are worldwide record label based in Columbus Ohio, USA. We just had our 31st release CLOWNHAMMER on Sept 24th 2016! Whereas many guitar zines, labels, and projects have gone out of business in that time, Shredguy Records is going strong as one of the few guitar labels left. Besides the 31 great releases, we also have a signature guitar, THE SHREDGUY SERIES made by Rick Hanes Guitars in Indonesia.
What was your motivation to start a record label?
I had done about everything in music, but start a record label. I cut my teeth when there were so many great players in Ohio(where I am from)..Ohio was a hotbed of great guitar players…you had Rob Johnson in Columbus, Michael Harris in Dayton, David Chastain in Cincy, Jeff Kollman in Toledo…so many great players..it was a great time. Fast forward to 2008..and I wanted to give a platform to a new generation.. the many great independent players around the world. The opportunity was there to start a label, so with our first release, which was a remaster of a local Columbus, Ohio band from the 90’s…and we launched! The label really began to take off in 2009 when Tracy G(ex Dio guitar player) agreed to do a track for our fourth release. He recruited Ray Luzier(drummer for Korn), and with two names like that we had instant credibility. And the song they did was totally badass. And now here we are 8 years..going on 9, having our artists in the major magazines, and having releases around the world…plus some awesome shirts, though maybe fans like the woman posing in the shirts more than the shirts themselves…lol
Do you plan to keep your label strictly shred,or will you expand it to include other genres.
The label is primarily focused on Shred Guitar…but we have also branched out. Who doesn’t like a good vocal song??.So we have released some killer melodic rock cds with vocals like Chris Bickley-Tapestry Of Souls, that had Mike Vescera(Loudness, Yngwie Malmsteen, Obsession), Kelly Keeling(Baton Rouge, MSG, John Norum, TSO), and Jimmy Kunes(Cactus) on vocals. Our latest release Clownhammer is in the modern metal genre..brutal…heavy…but melodic as hell…catchy vocal songs.
What criteria do you use in deciding to sign a band or artist?
Being unique, being true to yourself, identity in your playing, and good songs….and being willing to work and promote.
What I don’t want is someone sending me videos of themselves playing Yngwie Malmsteen licks. Or showing me how fast they can play. Work on your own songs…and don’t make your songs a series of endless arpeggios. I like guitarist Sean Baker’s approach to writing instrumental songs; which is writing vocal songs, but instead of vocals, he fills up where vocals would be with guitar melodies!! And you see that has been successful for him because his songs are with the prestigious agency called AudioMs, who gets your songs on sports shows, movies, radio show, etc. Remember songs are the way to go…that’s the goal, a great song…not just endless guitar licks.
I would like to mention besides signing and developing artists, we also distribute established artists….one example would be the fabulous band from the Northeast of the U.S…..Shadow Eden. So if bands want distro….get in touch.
Who are some of your bigger and most popular artists?
I have mentioned some already…great singers like Mike Vescera and Kelly Keeling have appeared on our releases. And other guests have been people like Craig Goldy(ex Dio), Tracy G(ex Dio), Carmine Appice, Ray Luzier(Korn), Mark Zonder(Fates Warning), Jason Bittner(Shadows Fall), Matt Garstka(Animals As Leaders), John Macaluso(ex TNT, Ark), Attila Csihar(Mayhem), and so many more. Individual guitar player wise…probably Tore Moren and Toby Knapp. Tore was Jorn Lande’s guitar player for years, and Jorn is one of the biggest hard rock/metal singers out there. Toby was a Shrapnel Records alumni and founder of the classic metal band Onward. Also Mike Guerrero aka “The Tapping Ninja” is getting quite the following with tours in Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, and Hong Kong.
What does the future holds for the label?
Going to keep on putting out good releases in disc and digital format. We still press cds, even though people are more and more going digital. We are pushing the Clownhammer release now, and looking to have new releases from Sean Baker and our latest find from Norway, the great Lars Lind. And we would like to release our first female artist…and we have our sights on a teenager from Indonesia named Divaldi Addina Azar Reza. She has tremendous chops and is working on her songwriting.
And finally aiming to release some instrumental music from yours truly…it will be more hard rock guitar rather than shred…kind of giving a nod to the classic rock era. Been working hard over the past year…so we will see how it turns out.
I really appreciate the time Carole….and hopefully metal fans will visit us at www.shredguyrecords.storeenvy.com and remember…SHRED IS NOT DEAD.
Carole Bonner / Metalheads Forever Magazine