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Rise Records’ Founder Recalls Humble High School Beginnings

Sean Heydorn

In the late ’00s, Rise Records well, rose to prominence — pun intended — much like Ferret and Trustkill did in the early part of the decade. Rise is the hot boutique label in the metalcore scene, and it was started by founder/president Craig Ericson as a senior in high school.

“I released a seven-inch record of my friend’s band Up to Here,” Ericson told Noisecreep, recalling his company’s humble beginnings. “I was really into the Gilman Street scene from 1989-1992. I would drive three hours to go to shows every weekend. I was lucky enough to witness Jawbreaker, Green Day, Econochrist, Monsula, Fuel and Samiam at their best during that era. I even saw Rancid‘s first show ever at Gilman, though they called the band Generator back then.”

Ericson went off to college, attending Chico State in Northern California and admittedly “kind of dropped out of the scene. Then I graduated and got a boring cartography job. The boredom led me to release more albums.”

Good thing for fans of bands like the Devil Wears Prada that Ericson got bored — and eventually go to where he is now. He continued, “In 2000, I released Rise’s first actual CD, which was One Last Thing, a local Portland, Ore. band. Prior to that, I released only vinyl. It wasn’t until 2006 when things really picked up for Rise. Signing the Devil Wears Prada changed everything.” Ericson quit his day job a year later and has been running his successful, genre-defining label full-time ever since. “Rise now has two additional employees and a pretty cool loft office in downtown Portland,” he said.

2010 is shaping up to be a banner year for the label, with five bands confirmed for this summer’s Warped Tour, which Ericson said, “rules.” Records from Bleeding Through, the Bled, Attack Attack!, Of Mice and Men, From First to Last, Sleeping With Sirens, This Is Hell, Piebald, pmtoday, In Fear and Faith, Emarosa and Miss May I are on the horizon. While other labels are struggling to say solvent, Rise is bucking the trend of downturn and booming! “We have more than 20 albums coming out this year. It’s going to be a lot of work, but we can handle it,” Ericson said.

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