To me, United Edge Records was one of the record labels that I could pickup anything from and know that it was going to be quality metalcore. Same thing for the post-hardcore fad during the mid-2000’s that was practically held up with Textbook Music in the forefront. It was always quality material. The person responsible for that was Andrea “Edge” Goonan. A native Canadian from Saskatchewan, she moved to Calgary, Alberta and then to New York City in 2002 , where she continued the record label operations there. Andrea has moved on to other things and I wanted to interview her before all those memories faded.
United Edge Records complete discography:
- UXE001 One Voice Defiant – One Voice Defiant (Tape)
- UXE002 In Your Face – Positive Youth (7″)
- UXE003 Black Studded Swingset – Today, Tomorrow, Forever (CD)
- UXE004 Kill the Famous – Kill the Famous (Tape)
- UXE005 Endure – Endure (CD)
- UXE006 Black Studded Swingset – United the Children (CD)
- UXE010 Forthcoming – Forthcoming (CD, 2000)
- UXE011 True Until Death compilation (CD, 2000)
- UXE012 Fallout – Live and Learn (CD, 2000)
- UXE013 True Until Death 2 compilation (CD, 2001)
- UXE014 Finer Truth – Embrace the Day (CD, 2001)
- UXE015 One of these Days – One of These Days (CD, 2002)
- UXE016 Die Young – Songs for the Converted 7″ (CD, March 2003)
- UXE017 Last Perfection – Violent Solutions for a Violent World (CD, 2003)
- UXE018 Fate Thirteen – Things Will Never Be the Way They Were Before (CD, October 2003)
- UXE019 For You compilation (CD, January 2004)
- UXE020 Caligula – We Burn Bridges (CD, 2004)
- UXE021 The Rescue – Phone Numbers (CD, 2004)
- UXE022 Comity – The Deus Ex-Machina As a Forgotten Genius (Andy Warhol Sucks) (CD, November 2004)
- UXE023 Last Perfection – Drawing Conclusions (CD, 2004)
- UXE024 none (possibly Set to Flames)
- UXE025 Bitter Tongues – Clovis (CD, 2005)
Textbook Music complete discography
- TBM001 Renee Heartfelt – Magdalene (2004, North Sea Records)
- TBM002 Renee Heartfelt – Death of the Ghost (2005)
- TBM003 Solea – Solea (2004)
- TBM004 Marigold – Audible to Animals (October 2005)
- TBM005 William – Surface the Vessel (July 2006)
- TBM006 Juniper Sky – dont.forget (May 2006)
- TBM007 Christopher Kincaid – Learning to Walk Alone (never released, 2007)
-You started the label in Dalmeny, Saskatchewan I believe? Were you living with your parents at the time? What was the hardcore scene like in Saskatoon during the late 1990s and early 2000s?
Yes I was living with my parents in small town Saskatchewan. The hardcore/punk rock scene back then was fantastic. Set Aside, Oswalds Walking Connection, Juno, etc. I could go on for hours about the scene there, it was a very tightly knit group of people.
-Prior to starting the label, had you been involved in the hardcore scene promotion? Did you put up shows, distribute merch, create merch, print a zine, or make mixtapes?
Nope, none of the above. In fact I hardly knew anyone in the scene at all at that point. Just loved the music.
-Were you a musician yourself? If so what band(s) did you play in?
I played a little guitar and bass and jammed with a bunch of people but never had a legit band. My musical talent was minimal.
-What made you decide to start a record label? What other labels influenced you to start this up?
Purely for the love of music and to promote positivity. I’m not musically talented myself so I figured a label was a good way to participate in the scene.
-Explain the ideology behind the name “United Edge”.
Honestly it was just a name I thought of when I started it. I think I was only eighteen at the time so there was no real profound meaning behind it.
-What were your views on straight edge back then? What are they now?
I was very much straight edge back then. I still think it’s great and more or less follow the lifestyle, exempt for a bunch of legitimately prescribed medications.
-Did bands have to be straight-edge to be signed to United Edge Records?
It started out that way but in the end, no.
-The first release by United Edge was with a band from Florida, Forthcoming. How was it working with a band not only from a different country, but also on the other end of the continent? How did you come in contact with them and how did this end up being very first release?
I honestly don’t remember how I got hooked up with them.
-What kind of deal did you set up with Forthcoming? Were you paying for the studio time or just for the release of the album?
I believe we split the cost of studio time. It was a really low budget release.
-When did this CD come out and how many copies were pressed?
1000 copies and I’m not sure of the year, my guess would be approx in 2000.
-In what year did you move to Calgary and for what reason?
I moved to Calgary in 1999 or 2000 for university.
-The label’s second release was a massive compilation, “True Until Death”, which is still worshiped as homage to Canadian hardcore, though it did feature a few bands from the states. Did you initially start working on this compilation prior to releasing Forthcoming’s album?
Yes I had started getting the bands together before the Forthcoming release but it came out after it just due to the logistics involved in getting all those bands together for the combo.
-The bands on this release include: Burden, Contender for the Crown, Day of Mourning, Disciple, Dissent, Edge of Morality, Engage, Fallout, Finer Truth, Forthcoming, Hoods, I Refuse, In Dying Days, Path Less Taken, Set Aside, Souls Emancipated Into Eternal Defiance (S.E.E.D.), The Witness Protection Program and This Day Forth. How did you advertise that you were putting together this compilation? How did you end up having such an impressive list of bands? Did you pay for any of the bands to record or did they send in whatever song they wanted?
I didn’t pay for any bands. It basically started out as bands that were friends with the bands I had already signed. Some of the bands I just liked though so I reached out to them to see if they’d want to participate. Shockingly to me at the time, pretty much everyone said yes.
-How did you come to have Dave Quiggle do the artwork for “True Until Death”? Was this planned before having a Disciple song on it?
Yes. I include Disciple because Dave asked me to.
-United Edge’s third release, again you worked with a band from the states. Fallout was from California. Were they known in Canada at all?
No. I don’t think they were known in Canada but they got a great reaction once the record came out.
-How did you deal with them, as compared to Forthcoming? Did you pay for studio time or just to release the album?
Same thing, split recording costs.
-When did this CD come out and how many copies were pressed?
Again not sure the year but I’m pretty sure we pressed 1000.
-Were most of the United Edge releases selling in the states at this point?
Yeah that compilation was selling like crazy at the time!!
-At the time you listed on the United Edge website I Refuse’s album “New Found Hope”, yet it wasn’t actually released by United Edge? Was this a special distribution deal you had made with them?
Yes we had planned to re release it but it never happened.
-You actually signed I Refuse to United Edge, but apart from having a song on “True Until Death”, they never released anything else on the label. What were some of the discussions and plans that went on between the band and United Edge as far as a release was concerned?
They sort of fizzled out right after signing.
-“True Until Death” must have done extremely well, because a year later you released “True Until Death 2”. Same concept, same layout designer (Dave Quiggle) and again an all-star roster of bands. How early on did you plan to make a “sequel”?
I didn’t plan it until after the first record did so well.
-This time the lineup featured: All State Champion, Brother’s Keeper, Burden (again), Compromise, Fallout (again) Filmmaker, Finer Truth, Forthcoming (again), Harvest, Just Short of Living, Nakatomi Plaza, One of These Days, Our Mercury, Poison the Well, Set Aside (again), Seven Days of Eternity, Shockwave, The Martyr Index, The Preshure Point and Three Fine Days. How did you contact all these bands this time?
Most of them were just cold contacts. Everyone was really excited to be a part of it though.
-How would you compare the making of this compilation to the original?
Pretty similar but bigger and better bands and more original material.
-United Edge then released the only album by the Texas band Finer Truth, who had previously appeared on “True Until Death”. How did you first come to hear about this band?
I believe they contacted me.
-Did they ever play or tour anywhere in Canada?
No they didn’t.
–When did you first come in contact with One Of These Days? Had you seen them live prior to featuring them on “True Until Death 2”?
Yes I saw them play a show and was completely blown away. To this day I maintain that they were one of the best live bands I’ve ever seen.
-This was actually the first and only release by United Edge Records for a Canadian band. How would you describe what the label was like at the time? Did the release do well in the states as well?
The release did pretty well in the states but it was definitely more difficult to promote a Canadian band.
-In the summer of 2002 you moved from Alberta to Brooklyn, New York. What was the reason for this move? How did this affect the label? You ended up not releasing anything until March of 2003. How long after that did you relocate to Middle Village, NY?
I had been living in Calgary for a few years, eventually I just got bored and decided to check out NYC. I liked it so I stayed. Middle Village is in Queens which is right beside Brooklyn, I moved there around the time Chris and I got engaged (early 2004).
-You had setup a distribution deal with West Coast World Wide Records? Do you remember how that happened?
I had been working with Fallout who were good friends with Mike from WCWW.
-After Finer Truth broke up, they formed Die Young in late 2002. They had released their demo on CD-r at their first show in November of 2002, and you ended up re-releasing it on 7″ vinyl in March of 2003. Had the band contacted you about releasing this or was this your own idea?
This was an idea we came up with together.
-This was the only release by United Edge that wasn’t on CD. What made you want to expand this to 7″ vinyl?
The band wanted vinyl.
-The pressing of this record was 500 copies on clear vinyl. How long did it take to sell out, and was it ever repressed? Had you any idea that Die Young would get as big as they were?
It was repressed one time. Honestly I did not think that they would do much but I’m happy for them that they did.
-In February of 2004, only a year after the Die Young 7″ came out, you posted this “Well, it’s been an extremely frustrating couple of days, but Die Young’s “Songs for the Converted” 7-inch will remain exclusively a United Edge Records release. However, Die Young will be re-recording some, or all, of those songs for a release on Immigrant Sun later on this spring”. Can you explain what that was all about?
Just a hard time settling what was fair with the band and Immigrant Sun.
-Right after this you released Last Perfection’s EP “Violent Solutions for a Violent World”, but they lost their bassist right at the time of the release I believe? Did this affect the promotion for the release? Was the band signed to a multiple album release contract this early on?
Yeah I had them for a few records from the beginning. This was actually mostly a re-release of their demo. It was sad to see Dan go but there wasn’t any bad blood and they didn’t have too hard of a time finding a replacement.
-In September of 2003 you signed Fate Thirteen and only a month later you released their album “Things Will Never Be the Way They Were Before”. Was this already recorded and ready to be released when you came in contact with the band?
Yes it was.
-Apparently when you signed the band, you posted an mp3 for download on the United Edge website. If I remember correctly, the band made a big fuss because it wasn’t the final mix? How big of an issue had they raised? Was the album remixed in the end before it got released?
It can’t have been that big of a deal because I actually don’t remember that happening. Haha.
-After getting the label back on its feet in New York, how would you compare the situation the label was in?
The label did great once I moved to NYC. Last Perfection definitely had a role in that.
-In 2003 you also started putting together “True Until Death 3”. At what point did you decide to change the title to “For You”, a dedication to Daniel Langlois and Jordan Wodehouse, who had passed away on June 13th 2002? Had the songs already been collected at this point or did the bands know this would be a dedication?
The bands knew. I don’t remember what exactly sparked the change of name but basically I didn’t want it to just be another in a series, I wanted it to really be for Jordan.
-Had Compromise been considered as a band to be signed on United Edge Records? Did you know them personally?
Yes. I was close friends with Jordan.
-Was this compilation initially supposed to feature exclusive songs or did you not mind bands using their songs on their albums?
I didn’t mind using old songs. There were a few written specifically for Jordan also.
-“For You – Dedicated to the Memory of Jordan Wodehouse and Daniel Langlois” was originally slated to come out in 2003, but was delayed until 2004 because of “drama”, as stated on the United Edge website. What was this drama?
Just disagreements between myself and Jesse [Zaraska] from Compromise who was helping with the release.
-The final line-up of bands included: Comeback Kid, Compromise, Die Young, Farewell Hope, Fate Thirteen, Fordirelifesake, From a Second Story Window, Last Perfection, Misery Signals, One of These Days, Radical Attack, Sleeping Girl, Still Crossed, Savannah, The Human Condition, The Judas Cradle, The Number Twelve Looks Like You, The Preshure Point, The Promise, The Stars Wept, Throwdown and Undying. Even with such an impressive line-up, some of the bands decided to pull out? Some include Boys Night Out, The Separation Suicide and One Nation Under. Can you remember why?
Things just weren’t ready in time and the release was already super late as it was. [Rich Thurston actually told me that by the time the compilation was put together, One Nation Under had broken up. Even though he had sent in a new, exclusive song, he decided to change it for his more recent band, Still Crossed, for which he sent a song from the demo].
-United Edge also made t-shirts for the compilation “For You”. Did the proceeds from the shirts and CDs go anywhere?
By the time all was said and done there was no real profits from this after paying the bands.
-In 2004, United Edge was rumored to have major label backing and a slew of new bands were announced as part of the new roster. Was there in fact a major helping out? If so how did this come to happen? How did this change the way you were signing the bands to the label?
No major label backing, just distribution deals.
-Caligula was signed to United Edge Records in February of 2004 and in the summer you released their EP “We Burn Bridges”. Their noisecore/mathcore music was spectacular and I think a lot of people thought they would go places. But they lost their signer shortly after the release of the album and broke up a few months later. How do you look back on this band and the investment that you put in their release?
Caligula was really great but things took an unfortunate turn when they started losing members.
-Following this, United Edge signed The Rescue, a genre-crossing band that was filled with drama. They lost members, weren’t able to tour, and eventually United Edge publicly announced that they were dropped from the label. Can you elaborate on the issues and happenings during this time and what led to this final decision? Was their album “Phone Numbers” well received?
Their album did alright. Not as good as I was hoping. They were really young and as you said, there was a lot of drama.
-Set to Flames’ album “Buried in a Nameless Grave” was supposed to come out in March of 2004. The artwork was even made, but the news section on the United Edge website just kept pushing back the release. Can you remember why it was ready but just never got released?
I honestly don’t remember the details of this.
-In March of 2004 United Edge Records signed the French band Comity to a North American deal. The label right away re-issued “The Deus Ex-Machina as a Forgotten Genius”, with the band actually going back in studio, just to record two additional songs for it. A completely new, mind blowing artwork was designed as well. At the time of Comity’s signing to United Edge, the label announced that it would be releasing Comity’s second album, an EP/DVD, shortly after the release of “The Deus Ex-Machina”, but this fell through. Unfortunately, Andrea had little memory of this collaboration.
-Last Perfection was actually the only band that United Edge release more than one record from. While recording this second album, they lost their bassist and one of their guitarist. How would you compare working with the band on their second album?
It was interesting. They were very talented but I was also dating/eventually married their drummer so there were some issues there.
-Was it around this same time that you got married to their drummer Chris? You two are no longer together, but did being married to a band on your label give them a sort of exclusivity?
Chris and I got married in 2004. So yes it was around the same time. I like to think there was no exclusivity but I’m sure some haters would disagree.
-The Rescue, Last Perfection and Comity, among others, were signed to multiple album contracts. At this point, did you sign all new bands for long term contracts? Did United Edge pay for the recording of the albums at this point as well? What type of commitments were the bands required to fulfill for United Edge?
The deals were different for every band. Generally part of the recording was paid for by me and the band committed to x number of tour dates per year.
-United Edge’s final release was Bitter Tongues’ album “Clovis”. There was even a music video shot for the song “I Don’t Miss You, I Miss My Erection”. Did you have anything to do with the video or was this on the bands own account? Was this the first band on the label to have a music video?
This band was barely even on the label, haha. Most of what they did was on their own but that was the deal at the time.
– In 2005, you had signed multiple bands to long term contracts but a lot of them ended up being dropped. How was the label doing? Was it self-sufficient?
Yes it was self sufficient.
-United Edge was always known for being a metalcore label, however bands like The Rescue and Bitter Tongues were along the lines of post-hardcore. Was this the direction you wanted to go, as you did with your next label Textbook Music?
-I’ve collected a list of bands that were publicly announced to be signed to United Edge Records, but that never got to release anything while signed to the label. Can you remember why these didn’t happen? Burden/This Day Forth split, A New Beginning, Engage, Lye By Mistake, The Nine Orders of Angels, The Hostage Heart, Her Candane, Juniper Sky.
Most of the bands broke up before the albums came out, some switched to Textbook, and some just didn’t make it out before the label dissolved.
-You actually worked for Relapse Records! That’s quite a thing to brag about! How did you land this job, what was your position and from what years did you work there?
Hah yes I worked for Relapse as their Production Manager from about 2005-2007. Before that I was working at Bravado/Blue Grape and a friend/coworker knew the Relapse crew and told me about the job – I was looking to leave Bravado right then so it all worked out.
-In 2005 you formed a new label, Textbook Music, with Sean Rhorer. What was the reason for forming this new label? Was United Edge over at this time, or was it planned as a side label?
Technically United Edge was still around but it was basically done. The new label was a completely different genre and I didn’t necessarily want the straight-edge connotations crossing over into the new label (the bands on Textbook were not very much straight-edge)
-How had you met Sean Rhorer?
Sean had a promotion company called Invisible Youth whom had worked with a couple of United Edge bands.
-Was Textbook Music backed by a major label?
No it wasn’t. We had distro deals with some decent sized distributors but it was in no way financially backed by anyone else.
-The majority of the bands that were signed to Textbook Music were considered “all-star” post-hardcore bands made up of metalcore musicians. Was this the theme and type of bands you were going for with Textbook Music or just a coincidence?
That was the intention.
-The first band to be signed to Textbook was Renee Heartfelt. How did you end up getting this band to sign with Textbook, especially being a brand new label?
Sean actually brought them around, he lived in Richmond, Virginia, as did the band, so they knew each other from the scene down there.
-Textbook’s and Renee Heartfelt’s first release was the “Magdalene” EP. How did you handle the promotion?
Sean handled the majority of the promotion.
-“Magdalene” was actually co-released with North Sea Records? Why did you collaborate with North Sea?
North Sea owned the record before we approached [Renee Heartfelt].
-A music video was made for “Melodramatic”. Did Textbook have any implication in that?
-This was followed by Renee Heartfelt’s album “Death of the Ghost”. How were the EP and album received in the hardcore community? Was it selling well for the new label?
Both of those releases did awesome.
-Textbook’s third output was the Solea self-titled album. The band is famous for featuring members of Sensefield and Texas is the Reason. How did you get them signed to Textbook?
Sergie was a friend of a friend of mine and put me in touch. They are the sweetest guys…
-The Solea album ended up being released on CD in Europe by Golf Records and on vinyl by Defiance Records. Was this an agreement the band made or that Textbook made?
Both. They were signed up Defiance in Europe before I even knew they existed.
-Now for Marigold, the This Day Forward related band. It must have been amazing to work with them! What can you tell us about this collaboration and their album “Audible to Animals” which Textbook released?
This record was amazing. They did such a good job and worked really hard.
-But Marigold dropped out of the Textbook music roster. Was this a mutual parting? What was the story behind that?
It was a mutual parting, kind of the usual band/label spats that often happen, unfortunately.
-In July of 2006, William Goodyear’s album “Surface the Vessel” was released. How was it working with an ex member of Between the Buried and Me, Hopesfall and Prayer for Cleansing?
Will Goodyear was really fun to work with. It was really difficult to promote this record though as his live shows were very limited due to the fact he had a family and the difficulties that come with being a solo musician.
-Did the release do as well as was anticipated?
No, unfortunately it didn’t do as well as I was hoping for the reasons stated above.
-Juniper Sky, was originally signed to United Edge Records, but were re-signed with Textbook Music, under the “Paper Back Series”. The band featured Chris Goonan’s (of Last Perfection), brother Cory, on drums. How long in the making had their album “dont.forget” been? How did it do on Textbook Music?
Juniper Sky was sort of a last minute thing. Cory, the drummer, was my brother in law so I pretty much released it to help them out.
-In June of 2006, Textbook music signed Christopher Kincaid, previously of Hopesfall, Laurelei and One Amazin’ Kid. Was his album “Learning to Walk Alone” actually released through Textbook Music or did the label fold before it came out in 2007?
We folded after the recording, before the release.
-What can you say of Textbook’s signing of the Shai Hulud/Dark Day Dawning side project The Twilight Collective in August of 2005? What was the label’s plan for the band and why did this collaboration eventually fall through?
There was some drama in involved here that I would rather not get into.
-Textbook had also signed Currents. A band that I was following at the time, the band had evolved from As Friends Rust, into Salem, and finally into Currents. The band had a massive promotional package ready for Textbook to release: a five song EP “Happily Divided”, three music videos and a making-of the videos and recording session. Currents was signed to Textbook in September of 2006 and slated the EP release for January of 2007. But it never came out? How come?
I wish it would have. But this was the end of the label and it just didn’t happen before we were done.
-There was a lot of drama between Textbook Music and Jade Tree Records. What exactly happened between the two labels?
Jade Tree wanted Renee Heartfelt…
-When and why did Textbook Music cease to exist?
I believe it was 2007 or 2008 that we stopped putting out records. Sean and I had parted ways long before this and it was all just too much. I kept things up for awhile with represses etc until about 2007 when my son was born. I was also working full time at Relapse Records so it was all way too much to handle. Since that was around the time that people were really starting to not buy records, Textbook was much more of an expensive hobby than anything else so it was the thing that had to go, unfortunately.
-After the labels folded, what happened with and the label inventory?
Some went in the trash, some went to the bands to sell at shows.
-Who currently handles the digital distribution of the United Edge and Textbook catalogs? I’ve seen some of the releases for sell on iTunes.
I think Revelation was handling the iTunes stuff.