Earache Records founder and Managing Director Digby Pearson has been selected by the AIM Awards judging panel to receive this year’s Pioneer Award, recognising a visionary independent label founder. The award, sponsored by The Orchard, will be presented to Digby at the ceremony on 8th September in London.
Digby Pearson founded Earache Records in 1986 in Nottingham. Responsible for some of the very first extreme metal recordings ever released, Earache kickstarted a revolution. An unforgettable deafening sound and scene that spread across the globe as Digby launched the careers of leading extreme metal pioneers Napalm Death, Morbid Angel, Carcass, Godflesh, Clutch and more.
With the unflinching passion of a bedroom metalhead, Digby has led Earache’s constant innovation and re-generation, spearheading the expansion of grindcore and death metal, paving the way for the thrash metal and heavy metal resurgence in the late ‘00s and more recently, grooving blues rock of rising superstars Rival Sons, The Temperance Movement and Blackberry Smoke into the Earache family, scoring numerous chart placings worldwide in the process.
Signing some of the best bands around at the moment, the ability of Earache to evolve with an ever changing music taste is key to their success. Being at the forefront of trends and ahead of others in terms of embracing new music platforms, such visionary ideas have helped to propel Earache into being one of the biggest independent record labels in the world.
Staunchly independent after 25 years, Earache’s successes include two Guinness World Records, multiple sync deals with Hollywood blockbusters and chart-busting video games. Digby started the label in his bedroom for the love of it and has managed to translate it into an international business with a US office too.
Digby commented: “It’s an honour to be awarded AIM’s Pioneer award, cheers to all the voting panel. Great news for all up-and-coming Independent Rock & Metal labels out there – if you’re dedicated & tenacious enough, it’s pleasing to know that hard work can pay off in terms of respect from industry peers. Lastly big up to the long suffering Earache staffers, especially Dan Tobin and Al Dawson, without whom nothing much would have been achieved.”
*Photos credit: Mark Leary