Every other day an independent record label is formed while another shuts its operations and goes in the books. Europe is home to some amazing, hard working and prolific independent labels and we’ve been showcasing dozens of them here on IDIOTEQ for years. Today, we introduce you to a newly formed DIY label and booking agency H.806diy., started by Henrik Eriksson, who caught up with us to share his story, instruduce his new project, wrap up 2020, share his perspectives for the new year, unveil his new releases and give us some insights from the Swedish hardcore scene amidst the pandemic.
H.806DIY‘s first release is the debut EP from BITTER BRANCHES, a great post hardcore/ gritty rock band from Tim Singer (Deadguy, Kiss It Goodbye, No Escape), Jeff Tirabassi (Walleye), Matt Ryan (Calvary), Kevin Sommerville (Lighten Up!), and Brian Kantorek (Go! for the Throat, The Curse). The new release of This May Hurt A Bit EP (previously released by Atomic Action Records and Ugly & Proud Records) is pressed on 300 CDs in jewelcase with 4 side booklet. Pre-orders can be picked at this location.
𝑀𝑦 𝑛𝑎𝑚𝑒 𝑖𝑠 𝐻𝑒𝑛𝑟𝑖𝑘 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝐼´𝑚 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑟𝑡𝑦 𝑠𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑜𝑙𝑑.
I´m the youngest of three brothers and I have one of my brothers to thank for getting introduced and not forced into a scene and community that I never really left for all these years. Life happens and some periods I have been less involved but I have never lost it completely. I was about 12 years old when I got my parents permission to follow my brother and his friends to a legendary place in Gävle that was called Café Q.
𝐸𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑢𝑔ℎ 𝑖𝑡 𝑤𝑎𝑠 𝑠𝑜 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑦 𝑦𝑒𝑎𝑟𝑠 𝑎𝑔𝑜 𝐼 𝑠𝑡𝑖𝑙𝑙 𝑐𝑎𝑛 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝐼 𝑓𝑒𝑙𝑡 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑜𝑤 𝐼 𝑙𝑜𝑣𝑒𝑑 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑔𝑙𝑒 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑎𝑏𝑜𝑢𝑡 𝑖𝑡 𝑓𝑟𝑜𝑚 𝑑𝑎𝑦 𝑜𝑛𝑒.
Abhinanda, Refused and 108 were playing and both Robert Fish and Vic Dicara are both still in my life and even if we aren´t texting or calling each other every day we still have contact and share some ideas every now and then. I kept going to these concerts and I got more and more involved in the community. It didn´t take that long before I was playing bassguitar with some older guys in my first hardcoreband. I will never forget my first gig. I was so unbelievable nervous that I couldn´t connect the cable from my bass guitar to the amp but I survived that as well.
Years passed. I was trying to write some zines but I wasn´t that good at it, I made comptapes and even arranged my first hardcoreshow at Café Q. I was out with flyers, posters and all kinds of things but as I got a bit older I found other interests that made me less involved but I kept going to shows.
When I turned 17 and 18 that early emo scene had made it´s entrance (Hot Water Music, Grade etc.) I found a band, Dead Silent Days and they needed a second guitarist. I got myself an audition and that led to some single releases, one fullength album and 3….yes 3 European tours. I loved it but as I got even older I had to get myself a job and it wasn´t possible to work full time 3/4 of a year and then spend the vacations on tours that barely paid for gas to the van so we did split up and I moved to Stockholm etc.
I have always had an idea about a label and booking agency that stands on it´s own two feet. Me and my beloved wife have just registred our company and we aren´t doing it because we have to. We do this thing because we want to. We can choose exactly which bands we want to work with and there isn´t any Boss running around and forcing us to do this. That´s a great feeling. I have arranged shows now and then during all these years but by doing this we will get more opportunities and it feels a bit more serious when contacting other bands and labels talking about tours and such things. The thing was that the company should have been started last year when I was discussing a Scandinavian tour for 108 but we all know what happened.
During Christmas me and Jeff Tirabassi got in touch over internet. I had listened to their EP a few times and I loved it. I just wrote them to ask about if they had talked about releasing it on CD. I got a short mail back. “Rob Fish speaks highly of you so that´s good enough for me”. After discussing things with my wife we did the only right thing and just went with the flow and things feels really good right now.
There isn´t any hidden agenda behind it and all we want to do is release great records, give bands an option to get music released on CD if it only has been released on vinyl or the other way around. We also want to book tours for band´s that won´t cost them too much. That nostalgic side of me is also something that inspires me. People can get to see shows with bands that they never heard of even though these band´s might have been active 20 years ago. I love the 90s hardcore so it´s no secret that I almost got starstrucked when I got in touch with Jeff and Bitter Branches haha. The small amount of money earned on a CD sale or a shirt sale goes to the band, tours or future releases so it keeps the weel rolling.
Release no.1 was just exactly what we needed and wanted. A band with routine and their noisy debut is just perfect. They have taken a natural step into 2020 and without loosing what I have been loving with all their former bands. Pure perfection and I hope we will get to work with them in the future as well.
Release no.2 will be released in February if plans keep working together with us and not against us. I was just surfing on bandcamp. I checked some bands out that I never had heard about. It´s more brutal and probably a bit more metal but I liked it as soon as I heard it. It´s the band Hell To Pay that had members from Jesus Piece etc.
I saw that their 2018 album Bliss never got released on cd so thats what we will do. They won´t tour or anything but it´s a great record that I think that alot of people, including me have missed.
And the third release will be something that was completely new to me. I did see a band name on different pages over and over again. People were talking about them and recommended their pretty new EP. One listen was all that was needed. Easy Prey is the name of the band and their EP is called Relentless Struggle.
CD release here as well and probably this release will give them new audiences and the attention that they deserve. Check it out! It´s really good and it will probably be released in March. Alot of things happens around the label and us at the moment. We are getting new ideas and contacts every day.
Thoughts on 2020
2020 was a bit dissapointing. I missed alot but I also got impressed and blown away by some bands. Amazing debut records from Be Well, Change and Ways away for example. Livestream shows is not 1 percent as fun as real shows. The Suicide Machines, Less Than Jake are veterans but somehow they both made their records interesting and colourful. This year has been awful in general but it ended in happiness and with a newborn energy.
Gävle hardcore scene
Sadly enough the scene feels a bit off in Gävle right now. No shows because of Corona of course but I have had this feeling for quite some time. When I was growing up we had Café Q as I mentioned and a place called Kungen about 30 km from Gävle. On top of this we had all these other center´s for us kids and they also arranged shows. These days are different and the hardcore scene here aren´t that colourful. Let´s see if we can make things happen when life goes back to normal
Bigger cities like Stockholm are different. Some shows are at bars and clubs but at least when I heard last time they had Fryshuset still wich lets the younger audience attend as well.
I think this year will be quite calm as well. I was hoping for festivals this summer, but I´m not so sure about that, When I have been involved in discussions about touring we have talked about spring and summer 2022 but let´s hope it won´t have to wait until then.
The future for H.806DIY
We will keep digging after new (and older) bands that still has their spirit left in them. Much focus have been on American bands so far but we want to work worldwide so try to get in touch with us if you want to discuss something or just say hi. Our homepage isn´t up and running yet but Facebook and h806diy.bigcartel.com are great places if you want to support us or just hang with us.
At least me have always had a fixation for reuniting bands and people that have been in the scene for very long so if you have a band that wants to do a reunion tour just let me know! ;) I have been thinking a bit about touring and start making music again as well but so far it´s all about other talents. Feel free to contact me via [email protected]
Thanks a lot Karol and the work you and everyone involved in IDIOTEQ does is just amazing! Give yourselves plenty of pats over your shoulders and you are very important to me and many of my friends!
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