Last Ride Records is a hardcore-centric label out of Australia that is home to The Chain, a killer band I recently told you about on the site. Other acts that have released music through the imprint include Primitive Blast, Facile, and Ill Natured. "As far as international labels go, the likes of Revelation, Youngblood, Run for Cover, Lockin’ Out, Bridge 9, Deathwish, React!, Rivalry, 1917, Six Feet Under, Jade Tree, Triple B, Moshers Delight, and many more," says Last Ride's Tom Maddocks when I ask him which labels helped inspire him. He also wanted to give props to some other Aussie labels: "Locally, it would be the likes of Resist, Trial and Error, Common Bond, and Washed Up, who were all the more prominent labels when my interest in this music was first developing. I seem to be attracted to labels that all have a pretty strong aesthetic and feel about them, which is something I have tried to incorporate into what I do." Tom is also a member of the aforementioned Ill Natured.
Tom told me about some of the aspects of running Last Ride that he truly enjoys. "There’s two things that I have found to be the best. One is just working with bands and going through the entire process with them, from recording, to the record being released and out into the world. A lot of effort goes into it from both sides, so it’s cool to be able to work with friends to make all the ideas and plans for a record into reality. The second part kind of ties into that, and it’s when the records arrive and I can actually hold onto it and look at all the detail and give them a play. It’s also great to see the response that the records get once they’re released and have other people hear the songs and enjoy them."
Unfortunately for Tom, as much as we all love hardcore, there isn't much money to go around. "The hardest part is probably just coming up with the funds required to do the releases. The label is entirely run and funded by myself, so I have to just pick and choose pretty carefully what releases I want to do and make sure it’s something that I feel will sell well enough to warrant me doing it. Releases at the moment don’t seem to be selling quite as well as they were a few years ago, so everything is a bit of a risk and you can’t really say for sure how well it will sell. I am always stoked when people approach me about doing a release, but unfortunately I can’t do everything."
I wondered which releases have given Tom the toughest time to date. "The record that was the hardest to pull off was probably the Born Free tape. So many things with that release went wrong, all of which were out of my hands. However, the most rewarding release would be the Ill Natured LP [Twisted Visions]. That was the first LP that I have been involved with for the entire process, from writing, to recording and then releasing. A lot of hard work and time went into that record, so once those records arrived and then it was released into the world, that was probably the release I was the most proud of."
With his track record so far, I had to ask Tom what he had on deck for 2018. "At the moment, I don’t have a hell of a lot planned, to be honest, which is both good and bad. Good as it means I can focus on clearing some of the existing releases to make room for others when they do happen, but also bad because I want to constantly be doing things. There’s a few releases that I have been talking to bands about and beginning to plan, however nothing concrete at the moment. On a different note though, there’s a few touring things that have popped up recently that I’m excited about, so that is something that I will be looking to explore this year during these periods where I don’t have any releases on the calendar."
Head to Last Ride Records' Bandcamp and online store to check out the label's releases. The label is also on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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