Jihad M. Rabah (Owner) Twelve Gauge Records
What is your name and band/label/etc?
Jihad M. Rabah, Twelve Gauge Records.
What are your top five albums that were released in 2012? (In order 1-5)
- Downstaaiirs - Beach Dungeon
- Nick Waterhouse - Time's All Gone
- Converge - All We Love We Leave Behind
- Pig Destroyer - Book Burner
- Black Breath - Sentences To Life
What band did you discover in 2012 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
Without sounding too much like a fan boy, my girlfriend showed me the Nick Waterhouse record amongst many others, and took me to see him perform live at Bimbos 365 in San Francisco. His new record and live performance were inspiring, and such a change of pace for me (made pretty obvious looking at my top 5). Anyway, she has turned me onto a lot of great music, and it just so happens that the Nick Waterhouse record came out in 2012. I choose him.
How will you remember 2012? (In terms of music)
As I grow older, I've been noticing a trend in listening to older music. Not "old people music," but music that was released before my time. You could say my palette is expanding, but it's really just me maturing as a person with both my outlook on life and my interests in music. 2012, for me, brought a lot of new music into my life: some old motown, some soul, country, while expanding on my already existing interests in the heavier side of music. Bands like Converge are continuing to play aggressive music that speaks loud and clear to me, but it's nice to also listen to a new record from my buddies in Downstaaiirs and feel just as inspired by it. So how will I remember 2012, in terms of music? As another year that introduced me to more music that I would have been uncomfortable to listen to, and admit I liked, when I was 16.
What can we look forward to from you in 2013?
I'd like to begin to refine my label's reach and narrow down on some new artists that are doing something different. If you look at the 30+ releases on Twelve Gauge, you'll notice all sorts of different bands and sounds, but they are all part of the same scene(-ish...). I'd like to narrow down on a niche, get comfortable, and make others interested in it as well. I don't think that means I'll be releasing synth-pop, but I will try and focus on active bands, doing something new in their domain, while staying true to the ideals I set forth when I started the label -- helping hard working independent underdogs.
What records are you looking forward to most in 2013?
Let's see what Youth Attack releases -- those records are always fun, ha. Also eager to hear the upcoming Deafheaven record. Not sure what else because I don't really know what's coming in 2013 from me, or others.
Fundraising sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo have made a strong impact on the ability of artists to release music. Do you think this approach is a trend, or will it continue to shape how artists produce their material?
I'm not sure how I feel about these fundraising sites with regards to record labels using them to afford releasing new music. On one hand, they are reaching out to their fanbase, making a commitment to release a record, and delivering on it if enough people are interested. On the other hand, it takes away the challenge of releasing music. I don't want to give my sad story of how I started a label, but I bussed nasty tables at Outback Steakhouse for a few years to save up enough money to waste on putting out my first few releases and each dirty glass and plate had a hand in putting those records out. What did they do?