The No Label Needed Contest & Series is a collaboration between Metal Insider and Scion to give one unsigned artist an entire DIY music industry education and launch a release without the help of a label. We’ll be posting features and updates on the contest & series periodically on Metal Insider. Find out more about No Label Needed here.
As voting for No Label Needed continues, we’ll be taking a closer look at each of the finalists. Today, we’re featuring Proven.
Formed in 2006 in Portland, OR, the band is comprised of Marc Halverson on vocals, Randy Ross on guitars and vocals, Karl Whinnery on bass, Brett Gadberry on guitars and Kris Gosse on drums. Halverson took some time aside from campaigning for the lead in public votes to answer a few of our questions.
What do you hope to gain from winning this contest, beyond the prizes?
We hope to gain a career in music from this contest. We’re hoping that this sets us up and puts Proven in a position to really make an impact on metal. We feel we have a lot to offer people; we just need the means to really get the music out there. Personally I’d love to take the advice we get from this and the experience we learn and really apply it to Proven, show everyone who helped that we really listened and are doing something with what was taught to us.
What has been your most challenging moment as an unsigned metal band?
Being unsigned is rough and has numerous challenges ranging from financial support to issues around getting music out there so people can buy it. We’ve had lineup changes, venues not pay us while out on tour, tour bus fires, gear stolen but:
The biggest challenge so far would have to be navigating all the people who prey on unsigned bands. We’ve payed thousands of dollars to people who promised to help promote, get our music in the hands of the right people, etc. And we’re not alone – you can see this happen all the time. Every dollar we spend comes out of pocket in way or another and it’s sad and disgusting to see your heros – people you look up too and admire fleecing the most vulnerable people and just preying on their desire to be famous.
Spending all the bands savings and money out of your pocket only to just have that person walk away and do nothing for you… I’m not sure if people know what it takes it to do this. ou have to have unwavering belief in yourself, your band, your music. We put everything we have into this, as I’m sure other bands have done.
What is the local scene like in your home town?
Portland is mainly an “indie” town. Metal is definitely not the city favorite but its still doing pretty good. We played to over 300 people last week at the Hawthorne Theatre. There are some great local bands that we enjoy playing with. We’re trying to help foster less competition between bands and help everyone work together.
What’s the first metal record you ever bought?
Metallica ….And Justice For All. Blew my mind at the time. “Blackened” was about the heaviest thing ever to me at that point. “One” was so epic that it made me pick up the guitar. I learned how to play by downloading tabs for Slayer and Metallica. I have very fond memories of those early days discovering all these new bands.
What metal trend would you like to see end?
The infighting of metal bands and fans, and the dismissive nature of some metal fans. People are so judgemental these days anyway – I don’t like the fact some death metal fans look down up hardcore, or the other way around. We should be helping each other out and learning rather than tearing each other apart.
Public voting for the No Label Needed Contest & Series presented by Scion runs through March 8. Visit the No Label Needed microsite to listen to Proven and the 19 other finalists and cast your vote!