The Metal Minute Awarded 2009 Best Personal Blog By Metal Hammer Magazine

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Guest Writer: Scott Alisoglu: Label Spotlight: Willowtip Records




Certain established labels that consistently release a quality product often have what can loosely be termed a “sound.” That simply means that more often than not a batch of releases will possess a common set of characteristics usually identified with the label. Remember the Relapse sound?

In the case of Zelienople, PA’s Willowtip Records, the “sound” is defined by death metal and grindcore, often characterized by a technical orientation and/or a precision style of playing. Randomly pick a group of past and present Willowtip bands – let’s say, Misery Index, Necrophagist, Illogicist, Severed Savior, Crowpath, Odious Mortem, Circle of Dead Children, Kill the Client, and Arsis – and you will surely hear it.

“My favorite genre is pretty much technical death metal and grindcore, so that tends to be a lot of the stuff I put out [laughs],” is Chief Jason Tipton’s matter of fact response. “That’s what we’ve become known for. There sort of is a Willowtip sound and I’m proud of that. You’ve got to be passionate about what you’re trying to sell. I’m not going to put out something because a band has 100,000 friends on Myspace and it might sell a million albums, but I think they blow.”

The aforementioned “sound” does not mean that every band on the roster is stylistically interchangeable with every other band or that Tipton will sign only a specific type of band. Take for example Impaled’s The Last Gasp.

“I’ve just always really liked Impaled and we finally got the opportunity where things worked out and we could work with them,” says Tipton. “They don’t necessarily have the ‘Willowtip sound,’ but I’m not going to just put out ‘brutal death metal,’ like some labels.”

Here again, passion for the music was the prime motivator; trends and sales potential never played into it. While still a student at Grove City College, Tipton began his descent into the underground in 1998 by independently releasing albums by Pittsburgh area bands that he liked and counted as friends. A split EP by Fate of Icarus and Creation is Crucifixion was his first release. It wasn’t until graduation in 2000 though that the idea of running a label as a full-time endeavor became a career possibility for Tipton.

“My dad owns this computer business and he was like ‘Well, why don’t you just come down and you can help me with my business’ because I was pretty good with computers ‘and if you want to do this label thing, then just do it and see where it goes; who knows what might happen.’ When I was in college I was pretty much devoting my full time to it anyway. Basically, what it comes down to is I put out albums that it turned out people liked and I sort of got a name. I was a business management major in college and I’ve always had a sense for that too. I always had great support from my parents as well. They’d never tell me ‘This is retarded, this is ridiculous, why are putting out stuff from stupid bands?’ If I wouldn’t have had support from my mom and dad, then I wouldn’t have ever tried. I would have went and got a job with my degree. I wouldn’t have put my focus on trying to make this work.”

What came next was a proverbial rolling up of the sleeves. Tipton jumped in head first and learned by doing, while relying on his business savvy to avoid common startup pitfalls like the debt trap. The old adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know” did not apply to Tipton.

“There are not many labels that I can even think of who have gotten where we are today without being tied into another label or being a person in the scene that knew tons of people.” I didn’t know anybody, except kids that I was friends with in Pittsburgh. I never worked for another label. I know a bunch of other labels that got their start by being given the best distribution and stuff like that and had tie-ins with other labels that were already established. We didn’t have any of that. It was baby steps the whole way to get to learn the business and also become established because we didn’t have anything handed to us.”

That tireless work ethic and shrewd business sense resulted in a well-respected and financially healthy record label. Ask Tipton about the most important part of the packaging and delivery of the Willowtip sound and he will tell you, in not so many words, “It’s the customer, stupid!”

“You’ve got to keep people happy to want to order from you again. When I’m at the office most of the time what I’m doing is packing orders. That has to be the number one thing you have to take care of every day; make sure people get their stuff the same day they order. I want to make sure I’m on top of things with people that are buying our product. I want to make sure I keep them happy because those are the kids that are buying stuff from you. A lot of labels have really screwed up by not doing that. For one thing, kids get ripped off all the time; they don’t even get their stuff sent to them. And two, waiting three to six weeks to get an order? That’s ridiculous! Nobody wants to do that. I treat people the way they’d want to be treated as a customer. There are wholesale orders to send out, there are trades to send out… That takes a lot of time. But if I didn’t have anything to pack it would be real bad [laughs].


Copyright 2009 Scott Alisoglu

57 comments:

Anonymous said...

http://lumerkoz.edu Excellent work, Nice Design http://soundcloud.com/lorazepams hickory http://soundcloud.com/aldactone swam overstate http://www.comicspace.com/amoxil/ kneeling daksarai http://www.lovespeaks.org/profiles/blogs/buy-prilosec torequest studiessocio http://malgorz.com/members/Buy-Augmentin.aspx eroded

nice said...

Search Jobs in Gulf – Apply to jobs in Middle east, Dubai. Post your resume and find your dream job in Middle East Now on Gulfdice.com! Find career openings in top companies in Middle East, Gulf Region, Dubai, UAE, Saudi Arabia,Qatar,Kuwait,Oman,Bahrain.Post your resume, jobs in gulf, job site in middle east, it jobs in Gulf, software jobs middle east, it jobs in gulf, jobs gulf, v jobs, job search in middle east, online jobs in middle east,accounting jobs in gulf, part time jobs in middle east, banking jobs in gulf, finance jobs in middle east, jobs and careers in gulf, call center jobs in middle east, marketing jobs in gulf. Search and apply for jobs in Dubai, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon.
Gulfdice.com Most Simple job site in the Middle East.
www.gulfdice.com

Anonymous said...

Traderbest.com
Traderbest.com is an online firm that offers investment trading ideas, investment opportunity and financial services such as online stock trading newsletters,IRA trading ideas, Roth IRA, mutual funds, stock quotes, stock market research and online investing concepts.
Traderbest.com ,discount brokers, mutual fund, no fee ira, best online trading, stock broker, free stock quotes,stock investing, discount brokerage.

Anonymous said...

Lowermyrtax.org

Lowermyrtax.org #1-rated, Free tax Tips and Information.Easily prepare your tax return and file income taxes online using free tools.

lowermytax, lowermytax.org, tax, taxes, tax software, free tax filing,tax preparation, online taxes, free tax software, tax returns, efile, free efile,e file, e-file, online tax filing, taxes online, income tax software, tax forms,tax deductions,online tax filing, taxes online, income tax software, tax forms,tax deductions.

Anonymous said...

MegaChow.com

MegaChow.com For home cooks hungry for easy family meals: Find thousands of tested recipes, menus,cooking shortcuts, dinner ideas, chef tips, and more at Delish.

megachow.com, recipes, party food, cooking, dinner ideas, grocery coupons, menus, food blogs, holiday recipes

hsn said...

Find and share coupon codes and promo codes for great discounts at thousands of online stores.

http://www.megacouponsite.com

Anonymous said...

buy soma buy soma online yahoo answers - soma 5513 dan

Anonymous said...

soma sale soma usa online pharmacy - buy generic somatropin

Anonymous said...

soma for sale soma drug interactions alcohol - somo 650

Anonymous said...

order soma aura soma online shop - soma cost

Anonymous said...

soma online pharmacy define soma medication - soma watches

Anonymous said...

buy soma online soma drug narcotic - generic soma codeine

Anonymous said...

buy soma order soma mastercard - vampire weekend soma san diego tickets

Anonymous said...

buy soma soma muscle relaxer buy - what is generic soma

Anonymous said...

buy soma online soma medication identification - soma bras in stores

Anonymous said...

buy soma cheap somatropin hgh - soma muscle relaxer usa

Anonymous said...

online soma aura soma 91 - soma embraceable bra

Anonymous said...

buy cheap soma buy soma online from usa - soma pills erowid

Anonymous said...

online soma buy soma hair products - generic soma codeine

Anonymous said...

generic cialis cialis - tadalafil - cheap cialis in sydney

Anonymous said...

buy cialis online buy cialis usa cheap - cialis daily use insurance coverage

Anonymous said...

buy cialis cialis daily mail - cialis once day reviews

Anonymous said...

cialis online pharmacy buy generic viagra cialis online - cialis everyday reviews

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online no prescription cod tramadol hcl ultram 50 mg - tramadol 50 mg norsk

Anonymous said...

buy cialis online cialis sale online usa - cialis 30 day free trial coupon

Anonymous said...

xanax online what does xanax high feel like - xanax 620

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax side effects user reviews - xanax 1 mg and weed

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol 200mg er - high does tramadol get you

Anonymous said...

generic xanax buy alprazolam no prescription - generic xanax xr 3 mg

Anonymous said...

tramadol online tramadol hydrochloride 100mg/2ml - tramadol dosage dogs after surgery

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg buy carisoprodol online no prescription - buy carisoprodol usa

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol withdrawal can't sleep - buy tramadol saturday delivery

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol what does a generic tramadol look like - tramadol 37.5

Anonymous said...

online xanax xanax for anxiety panic - buy xanax online with paypal or money order

Anonymous said...

buy carisoprodol carisoprodol 350 mg generic for - carisoprodol tablets dosage

Anonymous said...

generic xanax xanax withdrawal after one month - 10 panel drug test xanax

Anonymous said...

generic xanax xanax and alcohol long term effects - xanax . 25 mg side effects

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol buy tramadol egypt - tramadol buy online no prescription mastercard

Anonymous said...

xanax online xanax for anxiety and panic - half xanax drug test

Anonymous said...

xanax anxiety cheap 2mg xanax bars - what does xanax high

Anonymous said...

order tramadol online mastercard buy tramadol no prescription usa - tramadol dosage in humans

Anonymous said...

buy cialis online cialis daily use insurance coverage - what does generic cialis look like

Anonymous said...

cialis online buy cialis ebay - buy cialis online malaysia

Anonymous said...

cialis online price for cialis 5mg - buy cheap cialis online no prescription

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol ultram - tramadol hcl get high

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol hcl 50 mg tab street value - tramadol 50mg not working

Anonymous said...

http://landvoicelearning.com/#44827 buy tramadol 180 - tramadol hcl 50 mg tablet high

Anonymous said...

http://buytramadolonlinecool.com/#28875 tramadol 100 mg a day - tramadol hcl nursing implications

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol online where to buy tramadol forum - buy tramadol online us pharmacy

Anonymous said...

http://landvoicelearning.com/#97734 tramadol 50 mg and alcohol - buy tramadol hcl 50 mg

Anonymous said...

http://www.integrativeonc.org/adminsio/buyklonopinonline/#9183 klonopin withdrawal remeron - neurological side effects klonopin

Anonymous said...

http://buytramadolonlinecool.com/#30807 tramadol hcl for headache - tramadol much get high

Anonymous said...

http://landvoicelearning.com/#23561 buy tramadol online bluelight - best place to buy tramadol online reviews

Anonymous said...

buy tramadol tramadol for dogs an 627 - tramadol hcl 50mg street value

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg soma carisoprodol side effects - carisoprodol 350 mg narcotic

Anonymous said...

http://southcarolinaaccidentattorney.com/#77410 carisoprodol and drug test - carisoprodol unrecognized drug abuse

Anonymous said...

carisoprodol 350 mg carisoprodol alternatives - muscle relaxers soma carisoprodol