(This story has been revised)
The band that has the strongest candidate for Saving Country Music’s Album of the Year so far has officially left their label. Reno, Nevada’s Hellbound Glory has left Gearhead Records after months of minor spats and disagreement between the two sides, and is now working with Rusty Knuckles, a multi function merchandise company and record label.
“We were afraid that we would get overlooked if we were on a label that wasn’t actively putting out new records,” says lead singer and songwriter Leroy Vrigil.
With the changing music industry, Gearhead Records and owner Michelle Haunold are no longer putting out new releases, and instead are focusing on managing their current 80-album catalog. They will still carry Hellbound’s first album Scumbag Country, but Old Highs & New Lows will go out-of-print through them once the current inventory is sold out.
“I’m very proud of discovering Hellbound Glory and bringing them to the public’s attention,” shares Haunold. “I have no ego about this; it’s just the way things work out sometimes. I couldn’t give them what they needed. . . I have no desire to keep a band on the label that isn’t happy. I wish them success and happiness, and hope they find what they’re looking for.”
According to Haunold, she was disappointed with the sales of Hellbound’s first album, but decided to go ahead with Old Highs because she “really liked it.” Initially she tried to shop it to other labels, but when there were no takers, Gearhead released it themselves.
Meanwhile Hellbound Glory has repackaged and remastered Old Highs and New Lows as I first reported last week.
“We’ve started touring again and think we can find another label that might more aggressively promote us.” says Leroy Virgil.
On Outlaw Radio Episode 109, Virgil talked about being frustrated with Gearhead, how he did not like the Old Highs and New Lows cover, and his search for a new label.
I will be paying very close attention to Hellbound Glory, as I feel they have one of the most promising upcoming country songwriters at the helm, and the stuff to be one of those bands that can create mainstream appeal without compromising their heart and soul. Expect big things from this band in the future.