January 2, 2007

Music Xtra: A heavy deal - Coliseum signs with Relapse

Coliseum’s new record is expected to be released in August.The heavy rock trio Coliseum is entering a new phase of its career thanks to a three-album deal with Pennsylvania-based Relapse Records. In Relapse, singer and guitarist Ryan Patterson said the band found an ally who can offer constant promotion and support them while Coliseum is out on the road.“We wanted a label that could be behind us at all times when we’re out on tour,” he said. “A handful of really great labels had asked us about signing with them, but nothing felt like the right decision.”Coliseum’s decision to sign with Relapse was made easier thanks to the group’s relationship with Gordon Conrad, who helps run Relapse and is a longtime friend of Patterson’s since his days playing in The National Acrobat, formerly of the local label Initial Records.“Last May, a mutual friend brought up the idea to Gordon, and it turned out that we had a lot of fans and supporters at the Relapse offices,” Patterson said. “They tell me a collective cheer went up when they told the mail-order department that Coliseum might be signing.”The deal is the fruit of two years worth of touring and recording for the band, which features Mike Pascal on bass and Chris Maggio on drums. Coliseum formed in 2003 and played its first show in 2004. Since then, they’ve played roughly 300 shows all over the United States and Europe.“Coliseum has proven ourselves to be very hard workers through touring consistently, and we have supporters around the world that truly believe in us,” Patterson said.Relapse is looking for the kind of bands that work hard. “Relapse has gone through a lot of changes in recent years,” he said. “They’ve been working hard to sign bands that are sincere and have a strong work ethic.”Founded in 1990 in Aurora, Colo., Relapse Records started in a basement. Since the release that year of a seven-inch record by Velcro Overdose, Relapse has gone on to release dozens of critically acclaimed albums by acts like Neurosis, Mastodon, the Dillinger Escape Plan and Zombi.“Relapse is, without a doubt, the very best label for heavy music,” Patterson said. “To be a part of that is not only an honor, it’s incredibly intimidating! Plus, they also have possibly the best worldwide promotion and distribution of any independent label, certainly of any label that puts out truly great heavy music.”Coliseum is halfway into writing its next record. In May, the band travels north to Kurt Ballou’s God City Studios in Salem, Mass. Expect an August 2007 release.To tide you over, the band has posted a demo of the song “Defeater” on its MySpace page, myspace.com/coliseum, and you can also check out the Auxiliary Records site at www.auxiliaryrecords.com or www.coliseumsoundsystem.com. Contact the writer at mherron@leoweekly.com