Andrew Andrade has been heading up the team at Rise or Die Records and Promotions for four years. By creating compilations that are free to pop punk and metalcore fans they have developed quite a following. Rise or Die is one of the few companies who put an emphasis on physical distribution. With the help of bands, a street team, and dedication they have handed out thousands of CDs throughout the United States. The company is about to tackle the Vans Warped Tour with its biggest compilation yet so we asked Rise or Die CEO Andrew Andrade to share some info about the upcoming release of Unveiling The Underground. Check out all the details in the interview below.
What led you down the distribution/promotion path instead of focusing on a normal label release structure?
Andrew Andrade: The path I decided to carve with Rise or Die was really targeted towards people such as myself. The way we promote physically and free of charge to the public is not “just because.” I used to torrent all of my music when I was getting into the scene in 7th and 8th grade. We didn’t have things like Spotify or other streaming sources and I didn’t have an income from my parents so I couldn’t buy albums. I was a firm believer in having a go at some tunes and then deciding if I wanted to be a diehard fan and maybe save up some allowance to buy a shirt or something. I have decided to structure my distribution in that method. Some people want to hear new music but they might not want to take the gamble and buy it. Our compilations give you a taste of 20 new bands that are specific to the genre of music you’re most into! It’s a win-win situation if you think about it! The bands are getting promotion physically and the fans are having a taste of something they might fall in love with.
What were some of the unexpected challenges you ran into with Rise or Die?
Andrew Andrade: The biggest challenge I have faced is the team-building aspect. We are a very small core team because not just anyone can play the parts we need. It needs to be a natural fit and while there are so many inspired and passionate music lovers out there, they might not understand the business side of things.
Rise Or Die exclusively works with unsigned bands who often do not have a promotional budget. What’s the best way you have discovered to find new talent?
Andrew Andrade: Facebook! Man it’s such a big place out there. There are so many bands that are just trying to get themselves out there on a bigger level. I feel for them. I have been in there shoes before and I know how tough it is with the internet being such a big place. Things get lost and people eventually stop caring if there isn’t a big enough momentum for the band. I’m so glad I offer bands another step in their journey of gaining true fans.
Was there something super gratifying that people may not necessarily see at first glance?
Andrew Andrade: The connections are really the most gratifying piece to this puzzle. I just got back from a 4 night trip down to Lafayette, Louisiana all the way from Boston, Massachusetts to attend the Secondborn CD release show. I mean, how many people do you know meet people on the internet and travel to see them and create a brotherhood? By the way, if you haven’t checked out the Secondborn album that just dropped on June 2nd, please go download it from CDBaby!
What sets your Warped Tour compilation apart from your previous releases?
Andrew Andrade: The Unveiling The Underground Compilation is so much different than anything else we have ever released because of a few different elements. First off, we have never released a jewel case packaged CD and this time it’s a double disc set inside of a jewel case. Also at the same time we have a 16 page booklet describing each of the bands and their links inside the Jewel Case so this is really a collector’s item for underground music fans. Another really cool thing I have decided to do for this compilation is advertise it in Alternative Press magazine! This is so exciting for me because I remember first hearing about AP at Warped back in ’07 and I always dreamed of being part of it so this was huge for me. The last point that separates this compilation aside from all the others is that while we are giving the compilation album away for free at the tour, we are accepting donations in which we will be bringing to the MusiCare nonprofit organization.
You’re selling posters and plaques for your Warped Compilation. Can you tell us a little more about that?
Andrew Andrade: I really wanted this compilation to stick out a bit. It was important for me to be able to offer something that hasn’t been offered before because of the people that want a little extra and if that means throwing some cash as a donation, it’s an all-around help. We are going to be creating a limited run of 11×17 inch posters and plaques that you will be able to find through our website in just a few weeks!
Your Unveiling The Underground compilation will be distributed to many more states than your previous releases. Do you plan on spreading the distribution network this far out for future compilations?
Andrew Andrade: As of right now we have had CDs handed out in most states across the country. I’m super lucky to have the support I do from people out in the scene that want to see this work. With this compilation being distributed to 25 different dates, I’m really hoping that it catches people’s attention and is inviting to them to check us out online and see what else we have brewing.
Bandcamp has proven to be a great way to put all your releases together and spread music from the bands you support internationally. Where was a location that had a response that surprised you?
Andrew Andrade: Surprisingly someone from South Africa had reached out to one of the bands I was working with and let them know they are a diehard fan because of the compilation on Bandcamp so I thought that was really rad.
Is there anything else you want to say to the readers of By the Barricade?
Andrew Andrade: I do want to let the readers of By The Barricade know that I support By The Barricade and everything you guys do. The prize pack giveaways are awesome and such a cool idea for people invested into the scene. Rise or Die is going through a small rebrand behind the scenes while The Warped tour compilation is being released so big surprises coming at the end of the summer. Thanks for checking this out!