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Back to Back Records: Doing What They Want.

November 30, 2012

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Neil Patel booked hardcore shows in Atlanta before he came to Philly. That’s how he met Title Fight’s Ned Russin. The duo formed Back to Back Records here in 2009 and since then, they’ve pressed and sold about 5,000 pieces of vinyl, signed one of the West Coast’s biggest hardcore bands, Soul Search, and arranged the recording of Face Reality’s record at Studio 4, the same studio used by Circa Survive. Our Caroline Newton talks to Patel about the label.

What was the process of starting the label?

Ned’s from Wilkes-Barre and I live in Philadelphia. Wilkes-Barre and Philadelphia and Boston have been the hubs for hardcore. Like, kids come from all around the country and the world just for our shows cause we have This Is Hardcore Fest here. As soon as we said we were doing this, kids instantly supported us. We put out the first record. I had finally put out a vinyl. The most exciting part was when we finally did this, Revelation Records, which is probably the most important hardcore label ever, hit us up and said, “We need these records.” They sold out very quickly. Our favorite label ever asked us for more records and then sent us a check.

How did you go about making the records and album art?

Ned drew the album art himself. And that just goes hand in hand with the whole do-it-yourself hardcore ethic. Hardcore all sprung out of a bunch of angry kids not feeling right in the mainstream. For the actual record, we screwed up. We were sending the audio to the wrong places and we got the colors wrong at first. But that’s just the fun in doing your own thing.

Was it expensive to start up?

I got a $1,000 loan from my dad. And Ned got a $1,000 loan from Title Fight, which we paid off immediately so it was fine. I had a bunch of graduation money from high school saved up as well, so with that we started making shirts. Honestly, we had a lot of support.

Back2Back01smallSo you made you money back and more?

Barely more. You make almost no money doing this. It is strictly because we love hardcore. You really don’t make money off of 7-inches. If you’re ever gonna make money it’s off of LP’s and we’ve only put out one LP. But we plan on doing more.

Do you promote and manage bands as well?

Yeah. This label has a lot of hype. I have a lot of followers. I strictly stick to Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter for promotion. That’s enough marketing. People always want to talk about your image and networking but it really doesn’t mean shit. If kids like your stuff, it’s good.

Do you have advice for people who want to go down this path?

Really the best way to do anything is to actually do something you’re involved with already. Start with your friends. All the bands I’ve ever worked with are my friends. Do something within your friendships. If it becomes famous, it gets famous. But that’s not what the goal of anything should be. We’re just doing what we want.

Images by Caroline Newton.

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