HUGH GILMOUR – Label Manager of HNE RECORDINGS
1. What’s your background
I’ve been working in the music industry for almost twenty years, primarily as an art director and designer, and more recently as a freelance catalogue consultant; putting together compilations, catalogue reissues, tape research, liner notes and overseeing the mastering process. My client list is quite long now, and I’ve worked with a lot of hard rock and heavy metal giants including Iron Maiden, Whitesnake, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, UFO, Saxon, Thunder… you name it! In 2001 I was a founder member of the band Pig Iron, playing bass guitar, and started the label Sounds Of Caligula in 2005.
2. How did the hook-up with Cherry Red come about?
I’d been producing artwork and design for a number of labels within the Cherry Red family, including Cherry Red, Cherry Pop, Esoteric, Atomhenge and Lemon. Mark and Vicky at Esoteric had always been very supportive of Pig Iron and suggested I take the band to Cherry Red. When I pointed out that they didn’t have a dedicated hard rock or heavy metal label, they said, “Why don’t you start one!?” Cherry Red had every kind of imprint to cover every style of music; all except hard rock. I approached Cherry Red through Steve Hammonds about setting up a hard rock and heavy metal label, and he in turn discussed it with Adam Velasco, and both agreed it was a great idea, and so HNE Recordings was born.
3. What does HNE Recordings bring to the Cherry Red stable?
Back when I first started listening to heavy metal in 1981 I saw it as my duty to promote this music, which seemed so underground at the time, but is far more popular and widespread now. Hard rock fans are some of the most loyal and dedicated music buyers, and it’s important that Cherry Red are able and prepared to cater to this marketplace. The one thing that I think is really crucial for the label is to be artist-friendly, and wherever possible to involve them in every aspect of the product, from the liner notes and compilation, to the artwork and ensuring they are happy with the mastering.
4. How much of your own music tastes are reflected in what you put out?
It’s certainly a “rock” label, and that’s where my tastes, knowledge and interest primarily lie, but I also want HNE Recordings to be open to any new sounds, new bands and new music.
5. What future plans are there for HNE Recordings
We started getting lots of release and product offers as soon as people started hearing about the label. As our first batch of releases we’re putting three long deleted McAuley Schenker Group albums out on the same date as the Pig Iron set, so the label’s off to a strong start. We’ve also got three Uriah Heep CDs coming out in 2013, followed by a series of Thunder related projects too. I’ve had a very good working relationship with Thunder going back to 1996, and Heep probably longer than that. Exciting stuff! Alongside the catalogue reissues, we’re also planning to release new frontline titles too; one of the first releases in the new year will be a new solo album from UFO’s Paul Raymond Project which features guest appearances from Michael Schenker and Reuben Archer. There’s more titles in the pipeline for 2013, and you’ll probably read about them here first.