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A389 Recordings Founder on Success, Moshing and Vinyl Collectors

Hope Guzzo

With almost 100 releases under its belt, A389 Recordings will be celebrating its 8th anniversary in grand fashion. On Jan. 21 at The Sonar Compound in Baltimore, MD, A389 will be throwing itself a birthday concert that will feature performances from the likes of Eyehategod, Integrity, Weekend Nachos, and many more artists. Founded by Pulling Teeth guitarist Domenic Romeo, the A389 is one of the most respected indie labels in the hardcore, punk and underground metal communities.

“I started the label in 2004 to help out my friends’ bands out. I was playing in bands that were a lot more active with touring and playing out, so I took advantage of that and tried to get these newer bands’ music out there. Around the time Dwid from Integrity got involved with the label, helping out on layouts and other stuff, that’s when it started getting more serious. From there I just started putting out records I loved, period,” Romeo tells Noisecreep.

Besides Integrity, A389 Recordings has also released must-have records by everyone from Gehenna and Pale Creation to Rot in Hell and Ringworm. “The bands I work with know that their records are being put out by someone who genuinely loves and wants to support what they do. I think them knowing that is an important part of the success.”

Pulling Teeth

Record collectors are fiendish about A389 Recordings and the label’s various limited vinyl pressings, but while he appreciates all of their support, you’re not going to find Romeo on eBay bidding on rare hardcore and metal 12″s. “I’m honestly over all of that stuff. I see so many records on a daily basis that it’s kind of lost its mystique for me. It’s kind of sad in a way.

“I have a friend in Japan that will send me an Electric Light Orchestra 7″ or something like that, and I’ll get excited. But as far as hardcore goes – every record I’ve ever cared about – I’ve owned, sold and bought it again. There’s no holy grail hardcore record out there for me.”

A389 Recordings

“I’ll be turning 35 this year and I look at our annual show like, “Who do I want to see on my birthday and what other bands I like that can play too that would benefit?” At last year’s show, a lot of people saw Seven Sisters of Sleep for the first time, plus Rot in Hell and Haymaker had their only U.S. performances that night. Another thing that I’ve noticed at our annual show is that the crowd really pays attention to the bands.

Watch Rot in Hell’s ‘Dionysian (live from A389 Bash 2011)’ Video

“I’m not a pro-moshing kind of guy. I’m old and I don’t like people touching me [laughs]. While there’s definitely some moshing at our shows, there’s more people just watching the bands. It’s about checking out great music that you love and possibly discovering a newer band you never heard of. It’s not about going on a message board the next day to brag about a band you saw live.”

A389 Recordings Anniversary Bash is happening on Jan. 21 at The Sonar Compound in Baltimore, MD. All of the bands scheduled to perform are listed below and tickets are available now at this link.

Main stage:
Eyehategod
Integrity
Gehenna
Starkweather
Seven Sisters of Sleep
Full of Hell
Junior Bruce (Ex-members of Bloodlet)
Young and in the Way

Side stage:
Pulling Teeth
Weekend Nachos
Pick Your Side (Ex-members of Haymaker/F–k the Facts)
Low Places
Triac
Homewrecker
Hatewaves
Eddie Brock

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