Exclusive Interview: FHED talk about the highs and lows of promoting bands and releasing cassettes!

Putting on shows and releasing records on Vinyl and Cassette since 2012 are FHED (F*** Hype Endless Disappointment) from Cardiff. The company have been the helping hand to a number of names you’ll recognise (Conan, OHHMS) and some might not (Grim Existence, WitchSorrow). So we figured it would be pretty damn cool to get an insight into what it’s all about…

You’ve spent 7 years promoting some proper Underground Metal bands – what was the inspiration to start it all off?
It became financially unsustainable for me to travel to Bristol or London everytime I wanted to check out a band; there was a band called Dopefight I really wanted to see and it eventually got to the point where it would be cheaper to lose money on a show than travel to go see them elsewhere. Dopefight actually split up before my show could happen but I enjoyed the process of putting on the shows enough that I fancied doing another one. I couldn’t realistically see other promoters in the area put on bands like Bismuth, Ohhms, Opium Lord, Bast and Witchsorrow and ultimately if I wanted to see these bands so badly it shouldn’t be down to anyone else to make it happen. Getting involved in releasing records was largely a fluke; Human Cull were asking around for labels to contribute towards their Stillborn Nation LP, I threw my name into the hat without really thinking it through and the label developed from there.

You’ve helped some bands who are doing incredibly well for themselves at the minute – what has been your biggest success?
I could be running packed-shows and releasing all sorts of cool records but when all is said and done I’m still just a schmuck who’s still trying to find that balance between real-world commitments and blastbeats. I can take positives from all but one of the shows I’ve put on, being a promoter in this day and age any gig where you live to put on another one is a success.

On the subject of big things – what would you say has been the biggest surprise of the 7 years so far?
I once had someone turn up at one of my shows dressed up as the Sea-Captain (Captain McAllister I think his name is), he didn’t break character the whole night, nothing surprises me anymore.
Having released their “Life Is A Phase” EP in March, you must be beyond stoked to have Grief Ritual survive the Metal To The Masses process and get to Bloodstock?
I’m always happy to see bands I like get the recognition and opportunities they deserve, Grief Ritual really have put the work in and it was only a matter of time before they got where they needed to be. I’m happy to see that they don’t clash with anyone of worthy note too, Evil Scarecrow or some poop like that. To go off on a huge tangent though I think journalists and bands get carried away with the idea of playing the New Blood Stage at Bloodstock. Battle-of-the-Bands contests can be a bit of a shortcut to such big shows and ultimately if a band doesn’t put the work in beforehand and have a plan to capitalise on the slot afterwards then it’s no different to any other show. With the notable exception of Agrona, South-Wales winners of the Metal to the Masses competition do tend to squander playing Bloodstock and all those outcomes have taught me that such contests it will never substitute for hard-work.
What does the future hold for FHED? Are there any plans that are starting to come together?
Not really, I got married earlier this year, I’ve got a list of home-improvements longer than my forearm and I’ve got an allotment now which turns into an unmanageable Jungle if I take my eye of it for more than a day or two. I need to get my house figuratively and literally in order before I look to take on anything else. That being said, I’ve had a half-finished concept for a zine for about a year and a half which is finally taking shape, I plan to bring my cassette production in-house which will mean I can flood the market with even more dodgy tapes, I actually have one show booked in for March 2020 of eventually I’ll be dragged back into promoting whether I like it or not, thankfully there are a few other people in Cardiff now that pick up the slack when I’m not putting on shows.

You can check out all the latest FHED releases over at bandcamp and all the latest FHED goings on over on facebook

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