Profile - Now or Never Records Mathew Beckerman: Label Owner Gives a
Look into His Growing Label
Interview by Keith McDonald
Now or Never Records has been making a lot of headway in the metal
community. The relatively unknown label has been churning out great
material by artists that include Diecast, Brand New Sin, Devil Inside,
Worthless United and All Else Failed. With quality distribution and a
great team behind the scenes, their artists have been selling albums and
getting on some very impressive tours that include Slayer, Prong and
Motorhead. I had the opportunity to speak with the label's owner Mat
Beckerman who filled me in on the label and it's artists. You can check
out their website at www.noworneverrecords.com.
How did you get started in the music business?
When I was around 15 in High School I started promoting local
hardcore shows, and playing in bands around Red Bank NJ. It was an
amazing time in the scene and I was able to put together some great
shows and met a ton of people. It helped me find out that I Absolutely
loved working with bands, It was definitely my first taste of the Music
Business, although back then I had no idea what I was doing, just
learning from experience, jumping right in and doing it, which has been
the basis of this label from day one "Now Or Never". As I got
into College I never considered making music my career, until I started
working at the radio station on campus and met many people in the
business. I then interned for major labels and marketing company's on my
How did Now or Never Records start?
Now Or Never started while I was in college, I played guitar in a
hardcore band in NJ called Arcane. We had gotten a decent following and
it was tough for me because I had to go to school in New Orleans.
Needless to say I could no longer play with the band. Arcane broke up, a
combination of things I guess, as all bands go through. The remaining
band members started another band, as we were all great friends and I
still wanted to be involved I asked to put out their CD. Which they were
in the studio making at the time. The band changed the name and a few
members and called themselves THE DILLINGER ESCAPE PLAN, and that's what
started the NON ball rolling.
Who distributes your label? Do you have a hard time getting your
CDs into stores?
Our current distributor, who we recently started working with, is ADA
(Alternative Distribution Alliance) and at this point I can honestly say
that if you walk into most stores around the country you will find our
releases, from Best Buy to your local Mom & Pop store. ADA has been
amazing, they distribute Sub Pop, Side One Dummy, and tons of other
great indie labels and we have had a great relationship so far.
Are you a management company as well as a label? If so, do you see
NON is strictly a label, however on the side I personally have
managed bands. I started managing bands based on relationships I have
had with them, however its not my main focus and I shy away from it as
much as possible. I recently parted ways with DEP just based on time
constraints. With Now Or Never Records taking off like a rocket it is
nearly impossible for me to adequately pay attention to the day to day
needs of managing bands. As far as conflict, only if I manage a band
that is actually on the label is it an issue, and I have never managed a
band that Now Or Never actively puts out. You should stay away from any
manager that says otherwise, as it can be a shady situation.
Do you sign only hard rock/metal acts or other genres as well?
NO, I try to really keep an open mind. If I love a band I am usually
willing to take the chance on it. People will be shocked with the Now Or
Never releases we have coming this summer. Brand New Sin are far from
anything that we have done in the past, and I hope we can break barriers
with them, and the Postman Syndrome will turn many heads, and Worthless
United are Rancid style punk from NJ.
Who is currently on your roster? Who has been the most successful
Diecast, Brand New Sin, The Postman Syndrome, Devil Inside, Worthless
United, and All Else Failed.
So far Diecast have been the most successful, they are currently on
the road with SLAYER and HATEBREED. Most of our other active bands have
not even released and album yet. So the best is yet to come.
Do you provide tour support for your artists? If so, how expensive
has it gotten?
We always provide tour support, unless the band can support
themselves without it. I am not really at liberty to talk about the
numbers, But I can tell you that most people would be shocked at how
much money it costs to support a band on the road.
I see your bands have hooked up with some big tours, especially
Diecast. How did this come about?
I have relationships with a ton of managers and booking agents and so
do the bands on the label. Sometimes things just fall into place. It's
hard to go through each instance and point out specifically how it comes
about, but I can say it takes many different factors, mainly the larger
acts really liking the band and inviting them to go out on the road. The
Dillinger Escape Plan are out with System of A Down, Diecast are out
with Slayer, Brand New Sin are out with Motorhead and then Prong. So you
can imagine how busy we are.
How important is touring for your artists?
Probably the most important aspect to selling records and creating a
real career. I won't even sign a band unless they are willing to tour
their asses off and are 1000% dedicated to getting on the road and
How difficult is it to get radio airplay when radio is clogged up
with rap/metal and pop?
Commercial radio is a monopoly dominated by a few key companies
within the music industry, It's a tough situation to get your songs
played at commercial level, however if you have the right song anything
is possible. I think we truly have a chance with Brand New Sin.
What advise do you have for an unsigned artist?
Don't wait for anyone to come along and snatch you up, you have to
get out there and do it on your own. Make a record on your own; tour on
your own and build a fan base. And then if you are able to do all those
things and succeed you should find a nice label home to help you do all
the rest of it.
What's the future for Now or Never Records?
Lots of amazing new releases that will turn everyone's heads and
either scare the shit out of them or be their new favorite albums.