Saturday 3 November 2012

Wax Comes Home!

This is the second of my recent label features and focuses on Irish label, Hell Comes Home, who are doing things a little differently. The label has been putting out awesome split 7"s, each featuring special tracks from the some extreme bands from across the globe and a subscription offer to boot.

HCH are currently on the first volume of splits and as I'll go through later, they are pretty special, especially if you're familiar with the bands included, but even if you're not and are just a fan of heavy music, you'll find something rewarding amongst them. I caught up with project creator Joel, to find out about HCH's beginnings, what inspires him and what his dream split 7" line up would be:-

It seems that you've settled on a great idea with Hell Comes Home. Can you explain how it came to be and what influenced you?

As far as I can remember I have always been involved in a way or another in music. I played in bands, organised shows, published a zine, and managed a label, some of these until I emigrated from Switzerland to Ireland. That was a few years ago. My experience running a label had taken a lot out of me, and left me with a lot of frustrations and I didn't want to reproduce the same experience. On top of that it'd been a few years that all you could hear was that the "music industry" is not what it used to be with people's listening changing dramatically. So if I was going to start another label (which was kind of impossible to avoid) I was going to try to do things a little bit differently. I have always been a huge fan of vinyl records, and I somehow got the idea to create some kind of a hybrid of the Sub Pop singles club and the Cry Now, Cry Later double 7" compilations released by Pessimiser. It seemed like a great idea at the time. An opportunity to collaborate with bands I love and to discover other bands full of potential. By subscribing people would come across some bands they most likely didn’t know, and hopefully they would start following them… I don't really consider Hell Comes Home as a label, even though it is one. It's more like an umbrella for one off projects and I'd like to keep things as open as possible as to what I will do with it.

I like labels/bands that carry a single aesthetic and don't alter it, building an aura of mystery and integrity. Is that something that you feel is important, or do you just let the music and bands shape that for you?

I agree with you. I think the key is to find the right balance between complete control of what you release and taking risks with bands or graphic designers/illustrators, or people in general that you will collaborate with. As long as you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, it's easier to make sure everything is going in the right direction. At the end of the day, music is what matters the most, everything around has to highlight it and not distract from it.

You've managed to release a lot of split 7"s, featuring some cult bands. How did you manage to get them on board with the idea?

The idea was to start with a series of 12 splits 7" compiled in a box set. I wrote down a list of bands including some bigger names, that of course didn't even get back to me, or that politely declined due to bad timing, etc. Once I had the first few bands on board it got easier to complete the line-up. Other bands also recommended some bands. For example Unearthly Trance where one of the first band I contacted and they were super quick to agree to take part, and they offered to do the split with Coffinworm, which I wasn't familiar with at the time. I love their music now. Unfortunately Unearthly Trance had to cancel because they were taking a break/splitting, I'm not really sure… After informing Carl from Coffinworm, he proposed to do the split with Fistula. Corey accepted quicker than lightning. In all I think this took 24 hours, from the moment I received the email from Ryan of Unearthly Trance. And the split turned out class! This pretty much sums up how much convincing I had to do. Either the bands were into or not, and that was it. Every band has been great to work with! I'll definitely appreciate their patience forever, because I was probably the only one struggling to keep up with the project, but that's another story.

What would you say has been your proudest achievement since starting Hell Comes Home?

That's an easy one! Having released 12 splits with 24 bands from all over the world. Which was pretty much a 2 years long project, so it's a great achievement to see the end of it. And all of this so far, without compromising on anything. It was all well worth the time, effort and money put into it, considering all the bands took the project seriously and provided some amazing songs.

Do you have any future plans for the label (that you can talk about)?

No, not at the moment. I'm contemplating doing a second series of splits or something of the like. I don't know yet for sure. I will be a daddy soon, so that will be the priority for a good while. But who knows…

The packaging for each record looks stunning. Can you explain a bit about the process that goes into creating it?

Kuba Sokolski ( created the artwork for the 12 splits - he is an amazing artist from Poland. I came across his work while I was looking for someone to design the records. If I remember well, all I wanted is a similar theme that would link all the records together and make them part of a whole, with no information on the front in order to give the art the full spotlight. And I think he did an amazing job.

If you could put a split out for any two bands, who would they be and why?

Oh man, I would definitely have Kiss It Goodbye on one side. Actually I would have them on both sides, because I don't see any other band that could match with them. Kiss It Goodbye is THE band that got me into heavier, darker, more intense, more everything side of hardcore and music in general. Before that I was mostly into fast stuff (back then, that was my main criteria to like a band). Their album is the must powerful thing I have heard to this day. Every time I listen to it I get shivers down my spine, and I can't do anything but sit and listen and get immersed in their music. They're just unreal. Best band ever!

If I really have to pick a second band, I would say Meatjack, because they were completely overlooked and their album "Days Of Fire" kicked my ass. Amazing.

I'm eager to hear what you think about the current metal/hardcore scene and which bands are inspiring you at the moment?

That's a tough one. I think there is an incredible amount of great bands out there, the problem is that there is so much stuff available that it sometime takes a bit (by that I mean, a lot) of digging before you get to the gem you were looking for or were hoping to find. I'm always curious to check out new bands or new albums by bands that have been active for a while. But I have to admit that out of everything I give a listen there is only a small portion of it that I will keep listening to and that will strike a chord.

What inspires me at the moment ? Eagle Twin for the heavy side of the things and Pig Destroyer for the brutality. Both bands released impressive albums this year. Otherwise I'm looking forward to the new KEN Mode album, and I'm sad to hear that Knut split.

Ireland has a pretty strong scene. Are there any local bands that we should pay attention to?

Yep, I could definitely recommend you give a listen to Rites, Bacchus, Them Martyrs, Rest, Drainland and Trenches. That's a good start I think, but don't get me wrong, there are it all plenty more!

Now, as I mentioned in the opening section of this feature, the first volume features 12 split 7", each featuring two bands and thanks to the artwork by Kuba Sokolski, it all fits an aesthetic theme. Below, I thought I'd list the splits in the order the released to give you an idea of what I mean:-

HCH001 - Kowloon Walled City/Thou
HCH002 - Suma/Ultraphallus
HCH003 - Dephosphorus / Great Falls
HCH004 - Akaname / Lesbian’s Fungal Abyss
HCH005 - Pyramido / Union Of Sleep
HCH006 - Burning Love / Fight Amp
HCH007 - Coffinworm / Fistula
HCH008 - The Swan King / Tellusian
HCH009 - Dukatalon / Rites
HCH010 - Black Sun / Throat
HCH011 - Dopefight / The Fucking Wrath
HCH012 - Dead Elephant / Rabbits

The subscription box set that is available featuring all 12 7" has been limited to 250, as have the individual copies of each one. You can purchase both the subscription pack or the record singularly from the Hell Comes Home online store at

As well as that, you can stream every single one of the above 7"s over at I've been informed that it would take 2 hours for you to listen to them all back-to-back. I've also linked the latest release below for you to listen to, via their Bandcamp page:-

Dead Elephants/Rabbits - Split 7 "

Also, You can keep up to date with Hell Comes Home on Facebook at

So there you have it, a project more than a label, which prides itself in releasing really collectable, exciting records featuring some of the best underground bands while maintaining an image of integrity and mystique. There should be more like this!

1 comment: