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Initial Records was an iconic Louisville based independent record label during the Nineties and early part of the new millennium. Initial released records from hardcore punk to indie rock over its 12-year span. Initial was well known for releasing genre defining records from Falling Forward, Boysetsfire and Ink & Dagger, and creating the annual weekend long music festival, Krazy Fest.
Initial was founded in 1992 in a Dunkin' Donuts in suburban Detroit by three high school friends, Dennis Hepinstall, Carolyn Smith and Andy Rich. That evening the three banded together over coffee and doughnuts to re-release the 7" single from local Detroit based hardcore heroes Pittbull.
Carolyn's interest waned early in the project after her long standing relationship with Dennis ended and she bowed out. Dennis would stick around for another few years while Andy attended the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University and commuted back to suburbia to work on the label on weekends. By 1995 Dennis had enough and ended his tenure with the label as well. After graduating college with a bachelor of business administration in 1996 Andy relocated to Louisville, KY and took the still fledgling label with him.
Over the next few years Initial would blossom into one of independent music's most well known labels. The April 1998 issue of Playboy magazine declared Initial one of the country's ten hottest record labels alongside other notable labels such as P-Diddy owned Bad Boy Entertainment, DE based Jade Tree Records and legendary CA punk label Epitaph Records. The May 1998 issue of Alternative Press Magazine named Initial as one of "Ten independent labels that have helped to change not only the way hardcore sounds, but the way it does business."
Krazy Fest was the brain child of Initial Records President Andy Rich. It was a weekend long music and lifestyle festival that ran annually for six years from 1998 through 2003, with a reprisal in 2011 at Expo5. Over the years Krazy Fest would help introduce music fans to such bands as Dashboard Confessional, AFI, Jimmy Eat World, Alkaline Trio, The Dillinger Escape Plan and several other artists that would go on to platinum selling status.
Initial's last release to date was a posthumous CD from Louisville hardcore legends By The Grace Of God in 2004. It was a benefit to help pay medical bills for local Louisville scenester Adele Collins. The band also played a well attended reunion show in conjunction with the release to help raise funds for Adele, who suffers from a rare ocular disease called Pseudotumor Cerebri.