Torched Records was started by a group of musicians during the Summer of 2004 in an effort to spread the music of mostly non-touring bands through cross-promoting on various websites. The idea began as a way to give exposure to quality bands and musicians who wouldn’t normally get any attention from most record labels.
What made Torched unique was the way the artist/label relationship was approached. Bands and Artists were not required to sign a contract and were able to leave at anytime and in exchange the label also never collected any revenue. It has never been about making money and it has never really been viewed as a business. Instead, Torched Records has always been a stepping stone or a vine for everyone involved to reach out and find a wider audience without having to sell their soul to the corporate devils of the music industry or go broke trying to expand their horizons.
The first release was the solo release of Joshua Schuler, vocalist/programmer of Conflicted, EndOverEnd, and AntiEsque; under the name Atharva. Released on May 4th, 2004, the album was called “Ivy Day in the Committee Room” and it featured a minimalistic approach towards mellow electronic and acoustic sounds with sparse vocals and sporadically driven beats. Selling over 2,900 copies in the four years since it was released, the album is now out of print and available only through iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, Napster, and eMusic. It features the song “Fetish”, which has been included in several feature films and documentaries. During the year after Ivy Day was released, an album of remixes and outtakes titled “Treatment” was released exclusively through mail only. A live version of Atharva was almost a reality during 2007 with even a small tour being booked at one point, but for various reasons it never came to fruition. A new full length album has been in the works for years but has been pushed back several times.
The next big release for the label was in the works from the very beginning and was finally released on November 15th, 2005. Torched Records : Compilation A was a release that featured 14 different bands and artists including Psycho Plague(Elias Andra from JulienK and Dead by Sunrise),SubNatural, The New Slaves(Tyler from Dr0ne), Halo in Reverse, Prospect, as well as many others. The album featured a wide array of industrial rock music, to electronic dance and post-rock, to trip-hop. The album was never given a proper release, and is almost out of print(check out a SubNatural show for a copy…) but can be found on various sites, mostly for free.
In February of 2006, Winterchylde released the Zealot EP, featuring the single zealot, shine, and seven remixes of zealot from bands and musicians including Melodywhore, Unfactory, Charles Mahan, Celadon, Saemskin, and Skyliber. A full length has been in the works since the release of this EP but as of now there is no release date.
The early part of 2008 introduced the She Bleeds EP from Unfactory. Their first release with Torched Records and their third overall, the EP features the songs Gift(Sunday) and Eletric Tears as well as amazing renditions of Depeche Mode’s “Black Celebration” and Smashing Pumpkins “Love”. The album can be purchased from all of the major online retailers and from the Unfactory.com website.
More recently, Torched has seen the release of new albums by Sunflower Blue and the beginnings of HeavensFell, a new project that includes Joshua Schuler from Atharva, James Reyna from Melodywhore, and Ritch Napierkowski from SubNatural. The debut album from HeavensFell is scheduled for a release early next year.