Four years after its final breath in 2010 Peter Ahlqvist's genre defining punk-rock and metal/hardcore label Burning Heart Records appears on the scene again. With a new business model, a new artist roster and a new passion on the side of its navigator.
Once a Swedish powerhouse for discovering some of the world's most talented bands, Burning Heart Records helped give rise to legendary acts like Refused, The Hives, Millencolin, Turbonegro and Nasum throughout the 90's and early 00's. Halfway through the last decade the label was hit hard financially as a result of declining album sales and had to shutter its doors.
In 2006 Epitaph Records, majority-owner since 1998, imbibed Burning Heart completely and relocated the label to Amsterdam while Ahlqvist continued work as an A&R from Sweden, signing bands like Parkway Drive, Gallows (for US) or The Ghost Of A Thousand for Epitaph and Burning Heart. After four more years of massive sales decline, the heart stopped beating completely.
Four years later, Ahlqvist has retained full rights to the name and trademark for Burning Heart Records and is proud to announce the resurrection of the label and immediate plans to restore it to its former glory.
"I've had some time to think it over," says Ahlqvist. "Now is really the right time to go for it again. I had a few tough years but now its' all coming back. Sweden was hit hard early, but it's all there again, thanks to Spotify."
Ahlqvist enthuses about his newfound inspiration and vision, which goes far beyond just running a rehashed record label as he explains.
"The new Burning Heart is more than a label, it's a hybrid company that also provides management for the bands. We're doing a different financial model with the bands, and joint ventures on the record side. It's not a record label as it used to be, it's a brand, and a music company that is starting to climb with new found ambitions on new roads."
That new perspective came to Ahlqvist after he left Burning Heart in 2009 and started working at Panic & Action Management where he was inspired by a new generation of bands and fans and a new approach to doing business with them both.
Ahlqvist is about to take things to the next level with the renaissance of Burning Heart. Starting with the existing Panic & Action bands, who will be "transferred" to Burning Heart, this new and enhanced incarnation of Sweden's groundbreaking label is embracing the digital age and ready to evolve within its ever changing landscape.
"I'm Looking forward to getting out there and releasing different kinds of music, be it metal or metalcore or punk rock or whatever, adds Ahlqvist. "Burning Heart had everything from Refused to more standard hardcore, metal oriented to skate-punk to garage or whatever rock. Music that will always be close to me. "
Burning Heart will start with a well-rounded crew of bands which includes post-hardcore band Adept, who will release a new album in the spring of 2015, punk rockers Bombshell Rocks, who recently reunited with original singer Mårten Cedergran to release a new album Generation Tranquilized in November, anthemic rock band Her Bright Skies, who will release their next album next year, hardcore newcomers Walking With Strangers, who are also gearing up for an album next year and finally the legendary punk band Asta Kask, who originally formed in 1978 and went on to influence bands like Refused, Millencolin, Nasum and The Hives.