By: Andrew Burton
History: Louis Posen and Hopeless Records
Three years after Louis Posen left California State University-Northridge from studying film, he had been doing assistant work as a director. In 1993, he directed a NOFX music video and was dared by the California band called Guttermouth into opening up his own record label. As he was pondering the thought of this new idea, he went out and bought a book called “How to Run an Independent Record Label.” He took $1,000 and gave it a shot with no set or solid plan. Louis Posen opened Hopeless Records in 1995 and made it his full time job. He hired his first team member Darren Edwards and they signed 88 Fingers Louie, Funeral Oration, The Nobodys, Falling Sickness, and Digger.In 1997, after having some success with previous bands, Hopeless Records signed Mustard Pig who was the labels first 50,000 unit sale. Starting in 1999, Hopeless Records began giving their artists an opportunity to release their music with another label called Sub City Records (also ran by Louis Posen) and a portion of their revenue would be given to charity. Sub City has raised over 2 million dollars for 50 different charities due to them releasing 35 albums and running the Take Action! Tour. After all the success they had in the 90’s, they were very excited about the new millennium. They signed both Thrice and Avenged Sevenfold in 2001 which turned out to be a major success. In 2003, Avenged Sevenfold released their second album titled “Waking the Fallen” under Hopeless Records and it sold over 500,000 units and was certified Gold by the RIAA.
Overall, 2009 was Hopeless Records breakout year.In 2009, pop-punk band All Time Low released their second album named “Nothing Personal” which debuted at number 4 on the Billboard Top 200. This release gave the label major recognition because “Nothing Personal” was a hit. The band was in magazines and on TV shows. It was great for the band and the company. Hopeless Records and All Time Low just recently celebrated the success of the song “Dear Maria Count Me In” from their earlier album “So Wrong, It’s Right” selling 500,000 downloads and certified Gold by the RIAA. With the breakout success of All Time Low, the label was given great opportunities to sign well established artists. In 2010, the label signed The Used and released the album “Artwork” later that year. All Time Low’s album “Nothing Personal” reached high levels proving that their is nothing Hopeless Records cannot reach. Hopeless Records remains in the top 10 of today’s independent record labels and I do not see them going anywhere anytime soon.
Written by Andrew Burton