Independent music couldn’t thrive without the artists, record labels, and creative minds that work every day to push its boundaries a little further. That’s why each year, A2IM celebrates the accomplishments of those in the independent music community with the Libera Awards. This year, A2IM is proud to honor punk rock trailblazer Brett Gurewitz with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Gurewitz kicked off his musical career in 1980 as a founding member of Bad Religion, one of the most influential bands in punk rock history. Still going strong in 2018, the band has unleashed a slew of notable Gurewitz-penned hits – from the religious/political themes of “American Jesus” to “Infected,” which broke through onto modern rock radio stations. Not content for the genre to exist only in back-alley basement clubs, he blew the punk world wide open by founding Epitaph Records, followed by its sister labels, Anti- and Hellcat Records.
With a string of chart-topping albums and songs from Bad Religion as well as the success of Epitaph-backed bands like The Offspring, Rancid, and NOFX, Gurewitz has helped to change the course of punk rock – bringing it out of the underground and into the mainstream, as well as opening up the genre to a more diverse group of artists and sounds.
“I’m humbled and honored to receive a Libera Award from my esteemed colleagues at A2IM and grateful for their advocacy of independent artists and labels,” said Gurewitz.
“At a time when there is much talk about artist-owned labels and DIY, it is fascinating to watch one such label, Brett Gurewitz’s Epitaph Records, evolve from the singular punk vision of an artist/songwriter/producer into one of the most respected and diverse independent label groups,” said Richard James Burgess, Ph.D., CEO of A2IM Brett created and built a powerhouse legendary label, and we are proud to present him with the A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award. “Brett created a powerhouse legendary label, and we are proud to present him with the A2IM Lifetime Achievement Award.”
The Libera Awards will take place on June 21 at NYC’s PlayStation Theater. Presented by SoundExchange in partnership with BuzzAngle, the evening will top off A2IM’s Indie Week – four days of workshops and networking attended and led by independent music’s most influential leaders.
Both Indie Week and the Libera Awards are organized in support of New York Music Month. Taking place every June, the event is a month-long celebration of the past, present, and future of New York’s incredibly diverse and vibrant music scene.
For more information on A2IM’s 2018 Indie Week, please visit:
To learn more about the A2IM Libera Awards or to buy tickets, please visit:
About Brett Gurewitz:
In founding independent labels Epitaph and Anti-, Brett Gurewitz has established a defiantly artist-first model which continues to thrive in today’s ever changing musical landscape. A lifelong technophile, he has continually embraced emerging technologies to innovate new and better methods of music marketing and artist development.
As much as any figure in music, Gurewitz has helped guide the ethos of punk rock out of the underground and into the forefront of modern culture. A founding member and songwriter for the influential band Bad Religion, Gurewitz has penned well over a hundred songs including the hits “Sorrow”, “21st Century (Digital Boy)” and “Infected.”
As an engineer/producer/mixer with more than ten thousand hours behind the recording console, Gurewitz founded West Beach Recorders in the late 80s; the studio provided an affordable haven for a long list of emerging artists including Rancid, NOFX, L7, Rocket From Crypt, Sublime, The Melvins, Blink 182 and others.
The first breakthrough album on Gurewitz’s Epitaph Records was Bad Religion’s 1988 classic Suffer. He subsequently introduced a a number of young underground bands to a worldwide audience. The Offspring’s album “Smash” would go on to sell over eleven million copies, while Rancid’s “And Out Come The Wolves” would go platinum and records by Pennywise and NOFX would be certified gold.
In 1998, Gurewitz signed the iconic artist Tom Waits and subsequently formed Anti -Records, dedicated to serving a more eclectic roster. In recent years, both Epitaph and Anti have continued to flourish, nurturing and developing new artists while releasing Grammy winning works by Mavis Staples, Tinariwen, Tom Waits and others.
A2IM is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit trade organization headquartered in New York City that exists to support and strengthen the independent recorded music sector. Membership currently includes a broad coalition of over 550 independently-owned American music labels. A2IM represents these independently owned small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SMEs) interests in the marketplace, in the media, on Capitol Hill, and as part of the global music community. In doing so, it supports a key segment of America’s creative class that represents America’s diverse musical cultural heritage. Billboard Magazine identified the Independent music label sector as 37.32 percent of the music industry’s U.S. recorded music sales market in 2016 based on copyright ownership, making Independent labels collectively the largest music industry sector.
The organization’s board of directors consists of the following: ATO Vice President Stephanie Alexa, President of Concord Music Group Glen Barros, Redeye Co-Owner Glenn Dicker, INgrooves EVP & General Manager Amy Dietz, Co-President of Mom+Pop Music Thaddeus Rudd, Big Machine COO Andrew Kautz, Beggars Group Founder/CEO Martin Mills, Hopeless Records Owner Louis Posen, Kill Rock Stars President Portia Sabin, Secretly Label Group Co-Owner Darius Van Arman and Razor & Tie President Vic Zaraya.
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