Why would I take time out of my day to talk about an independent record label? It’s probably due to the similar urge that drives me away from big name grocery stores and into small locally managed markets and stores to buy produce – I want to know the people that live around me even better.
To Live A Lie Records (TLAL) is a local Raleigh based record label (and record store) run by Will Butler. They focus on cultivating sounds from the grindcore, fastcore and a variety of other delightful hardcore subgenres.
Now, I wouldn’t want to spread any words about a local business that I found boring, but To Live A Lie harbors a truly unique sound coming from hardcore (HXC) around the world. In an interview, Butler mentions the reason he started this label was to help bands like his own to get their sounds into the wild (CVLT Nation interview).
Who is TLAL?
Will Butler founded TLAL in Raleigh in 2005, which makes it a whopping 18 years old. Butler, as mentioned in an interview, started this label all on his own, working an “adult job” and putting money from that into this business (Idioteq interview).
Some of the big bands that TLAL has worked with or works with are Crom, ACxDC (also known as Antichrist Demoncore) and Fading Signal (local Raleigh band), and their more recent projects include Realize (Arizona industrial metal) and Endless Swarm (blisteringly speedy grindcore). All of these artists and bands can be found on TLAL’s Bandcamp page.
I absolutely love the music this label continues to find and release. Butler has done a wonderful job of finding a niche genre and working with artists to produce high quality products year after year. One of the joys of looking through TLAL’s catalog is noticing where some of these bands come from. There are bands from Michigan, Indonesia, Turkey and more.
What does TLAL offer besides good tunes?
TLAL’s website might be a bit outdated and slow, but the content on there is wonderful. There are release updates and posts regularly by Butler. Sometimes there are touring dates posted. Generally, there’s an abundant wealth of information available to anyone that spends some time digging and pilfering the nuggets of gold littered throughout.
Also, TLAL has a brick and mortar record shop in Raleigh, which I still need to go check out myself. I don’t know how much money I’d be draining out of my wallet if I stepped foot in the store, so I’m a little scared to visit.
Butler’s To Live A Lie records has its place cemented in not only Raleigh HXC history, but also the history of the genres that TLAL releases. Independent record labels like this one support so many deserving artists because they actually care about the art and emotions being put into the records that are produced.
TLAL’s discography spans a deep 18 years, and I cannot wait to swim my way through the slurry of screaming sounds over the next few months. It’ll be like panning for gold when everything glitters and catches my eye.