Buddyhead Records

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Buddyhead
Buddyheadlogo600px.png
Founded1998 (1998)
FounderTravis Keller
Defunct2016 (2016)
GenreRock
Country of originUnited States
LocationHollywood, California

Buddyhead was a music webzine and from 2000 to 2010 an independent record label formed by Travis Keller in the summer of 1998 in Hollywood, California. Buddyhead engaged in criticism of popular culture and the music industry. Its gossip column resulted in Buddyhead being sued over a dozen times by numerous celebrities and record labels, including Korn, Courtney Love, Fred Durst, Moby, Drive-Thru Records, and Axl Rose.[1]

History[edit]

Buddyhead Records was an independent record label from Hollywood, California that sprouted from the website of the same name. The label was started in 2000 with the pressing of a seven-inch single from The Icarus Line ("Kill Cupid With A Nail File") and ended almost exactly ten years later with a full length from Dios (We Are Dios) in August 2010. The label released records by a number of bands, including The Cassettes, Shat, Dios (also known as (dios) Malos, Ink & Dagger, The Icarus Line, IS THIS FAKE BLOOD, Burning Brides, The Dillinger Escape Plan, Jubilee, Your Enemies Friends, The Mean Reds, 400 Blows, TEXT (ex-Refused), At the Drive-In, Murder City Devils, Modwheelmood, Wires On Fire, Radio Vago, The Jada Kings and Gayrilla Biscuits.

Buddyhead Records became known for its compilations. First in 2003 came the now out-of-print Buddyhead Suicide Sampler, which featured key tracks from each of the label's releases, rare/live tracks from each band on the label's roster, and prank calls to music-industry luminaries from a secret person who went by the name "Torture Device". Rumors have circulated claiming that Torture Device is everyone from Bill Hicks to Sam Kinison to Chevy Chase, but Buddyhead has never officially commented on the matter.

In 2004, Buddyhead released the major label-funded Gimme Skelter compilation, which was paid for (and distributed by) Netwerk Records. The compilation featured cover art by Raymond Pettibon, who has done cover art for bands like Black Flag, Sonic Youth, Foo Fighters and OFF!). The compilation also contained exclusive and/or rare songs from bands such as Primal Scream, Mudhoney, Iggy Pop, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Wire, Weezer (Pinkerton B-side), Dead Meadow, and Le Tigre.

In addition to CDs, the label released a DVD compilation in 2004 entitled Buddyhead Presents: Punk Is Dead through Image Entertainment, which featured music videos from TV on the Radio, The Jesus Lizard, Singapore Sling, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Turbonegro, The Locust, British Sea Power, The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Fiery Furnaces, and others.

Buddyhead have been part of a number of antics, including vandalizing The Strokes' tour bus,[2] and an incident where they broke into Fred Durst's office at Interscope Records, stole three of his red baseball caps, took photos in front of his Limp Bizkit gold records, and then auctioned the hats off on Ebay (the hats sold for $1700 each),[3][4] donating the money to a rape victim charity (a stab at Durst for the allegations of rape and violence in the mosh pit during their set at Woodstock 99').[5]

Co-founder and co-owner Aaron North ended his association with Buddyhead in late 2008. Following his departure, Buddyhead "re-launched" their website and started publishing a gossip section every Monday. They also signed Los Angeles band Dios, with whom they released the EP Cosmic Rays. Buddyhead released the third Dios full-length, We Are Dios, on February 16, 2010 — their 31st release as a label. This was extremely well received in the press. including LA Weekly, Mojo, Spin, Rolling Stone, and Pitchfork.

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