Michael Phillips (Escapist Records - owner)
1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2013? (In order 1-5)
- Carcass - Surgical Steel (Nuclear Blast)
- Seizures - The Sanity Universal (Independent)
- Justin Timberlake - The 20/20 Experience (RCA)
- The Dillinger Escape Plan - One Of Us Is The Killer (Sumerian)
- Chelsea Wolfe - Pain Is Beauty (Sargent House)
2. What band did you discover in 2013 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
I discovered Ka right at the tail end of 2012 because I saw his full-length Grief Pedigree on a friend’s list of favorites. Ka is a Brooklyn-based rapper that releases his music through his own record label; his style is very fresh compared to what is popular across hip-hop right now. It’s very honest and dark but not in an over-the-top kind of way. His latest LP, The Night’s Gambit, which was released this year, was my second favorite hip-hop record.
3. How will you remember 2013? (In terms of music)
Every year is the same in a manner of speaking; I come across a lot of new music and try to absorb and appreciate as much as I can. It can be tough since the internet has made things so disposable. This is where the tangible product continues to hold meaning with me. If there is a physical release of a record I like, I’ll seek it out.
4. What can we look forward to from you in 2014?
February will see the My Mouth is the Speaker 7” and Sworn Vengeance 12” dropping, plus we have the re-press of the Light Years 7” that will be out in the same time. There are two other LP’s and two 7” releases currently planned for the year as well. Those will be revealed over time. Outside of that, there are a few other random releases that may happen depending on bands recording timeframes. The one 12” LP that will be released is a reissue of one of my favorite hardcore records ever so I’m extremely excited to announce that.
5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2014?
Withdrawal’s first full-length is at the top of my list. Not only do they write some of the best music but they’re super nice and down to earth guys. I look forward to hearing what will likely be my album of the year from them. Outside of that, if Cave In gets around to doing something new I’d be pretty stoked about that too.
6. There is a lot of debate over streaming sites and royalties, namely with Spotify. What is your stance on the economic policies behind the current streaming services? Do you have a preferred one?
I really don’t use any of those sites. But from a label standpoint, I find it useful to make our releases available on the various streaming services so that individuals can access the music to listen before they hopefully buy the real product and then continue to support the artist(s) by seeing them live and buying merch.