Founder of Earache Records and a legendary pioneer of extreme metal and modern day blues rock, Digby Pearson remains an independent tour de force in the music industry. With over 25 years of visionary work to his name, the AIM Independent Music Awards are honored to announce him as the very worthy recipient of this year’s Pioneer Award, sponsored by The Orchard.
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.
Staunchly independent after 25 years, Earache’s successes include two Guinness World Records, multiple sync deals with Hollywood blockbusters and chart-busting video games, inspired by the vision and work ethic of their founder. Speaking of Digby’s influence, Julie Weir of the label Visible Noise said: “As I kid I grew up listening to Godflesh and a load of the Earache bands – they were in fact the first label that I discovered that was more extreme and challenging to the mainstream music world. When I first started working in the industry as an inexperienced kid, they were also my first port of call for advice – they were honest, open and very helpful. 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. Making a niche genre into a worldwide success is no mean feat.”
Digby is the fifth recipient of the Pioneer Award following previous winners and industry luminaries Martin Mills (The Beggars Group), Geoff Travis (Rough Trade), Daniel Miller (Mute) and Laurence Bell (Domino). “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.” said ‘Dig’, “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.”
Alison Wenham, AIM CEO welcomed the award, “The rock and heavy music world is often underrepresented in mainstream media and other industry awards, so our judges selecting Digby Pearson as the Pioneer Award recipient this year is a very exciting moment. Digby and Earache’s influence and innovation in the metal world is undeniable, and we so look forward to celebrating his achievements in September.”
Find out more about Earache.
The AIM Independent Music Awards 2015 return to The Brewery in Clerkenwell on September 8th. Tickets are on sale now from www.musicindie.com/awards
Now in its fifth year the Awards move from strength to strength. Shining a spotlight on the abundant success stories of 2015, the media partners and leading sponsors joining forces to deliver this year’s event include; Disc Manufacturing Services, XFM, Amazon Music, DIY, CI, Vevo, Jack Daniel’s, Songkick, Spotify, Believe Digital, The Orchard, Music Week and AIF.
The awards are voted for by an expert panel of judges from across the media and music industry, with representatives from; Radio 1 and 1Xtra, 6Music, XFM, Drowned In Sound, The Quietus, Mixmag, The Independent, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, DIY and FACT Magazine.