2018 marks the 25 Year Anniversary for the independent and influential label, Hopeless Records. Today, the Van Nuys-based team debuts a brand-new logo and will be celebrating throughout the rest of the year with special releases, giveaways and events. Regarded as one of the most iconic and longest standing independent record labels, Hopeless Records has released over 350 albums with sales exceeding eight million albums including a No. 1 Billboard debut and ten additional Billboard top 10 debuts, a No. 1 OCC debut and two additional OCC top 10 debuts in the UK, and three ARIA top 10 debuts in Australia.
On the monumental quarter decade anniversary, label founder and president Louis Posen remarks: "Hopeless is a story that's much more than a personal dream come true. It is an example that our challenges help us stumble upon our strengths. It shows that putting principles before profit results in profit, and it shows that a long-term commitment to artist development works. From being dared to release a 7 inch, 25 years ago, to many top five records, Hopeless has been an amazing journey of learning, laughing, and loving. I am truly lucky, honored, and privileged to be on this journey with such an incredible artist roster, team of people, and wonderful music community."
The first 25 years of Hopeless have been years of constant growth. It has transformed from small beginnings as the punk-centric hobby of founder Louis Posen into one of the largest independent record labels in the world according to market share, while releasing music spread across a variety of genres. Hopeless is much more than one man’s hobby now – it has become one of the most recognizable and important names in independent music.
Hopeless was not started with such lofty goals. It didn’t receive startup funding from a venture capitalist. It was not the offspring of a major record corporation. In fact, its foundation was sparked by nothing more than a dare: When Posen was directing a video for now-legendary punk-rockers Guttermouth, the band asked him to put out their 7-inch despite his limited knowledge of the music industry. Posen had $1,000 to his name and a book titled How To Run An Independent Record Label. He asked friends for tips on how to run a label, read magazines and paid attention to the advertisements in them, visited his local record store and learned everything by simply being a fan.
Named the Paul Newman of Punk Rock by Business Week for his commitment to social entrepreneurship, Louis Posen founded Hopeless Records in 1993. Hopeless first gained recognition in the 1990s with releases from 88 Fingers Louie, Dillinger Four, Atom and His Package, Mustard Plug, The Weakerthans, Samiam, The Queers, Fifteen, the Cinema Beer video compilation series, the Hopelessly Devoted compilation series and more.
The second decade of the label’s history kicked off with early releases from multi-platinum artist Avenged Sevenfold and genre-defining legends Thrice. In 2009, Hopeless Records scored its first gold record with Avenged Sevenfold’s “Waking The Fallen” and its first gold (now platinum) single in 2011 with All Time Low’s popular song “Dear Maria, Count Me In”. To date, Hopeless Records has received over ten platinum, gold, or silver sales certifications in the US, UK, and Canada.
Hopeless Records has developed the careers of up-and-coming bands such as Neck Deep, We Are The In Crowd, Trophy Eyes, With Confidence and many others. The label has released albums from established acts such as Yellowcard, All Time Low, The Used, Tonight Alive and The Wonder Years. Meanwhile, Hopeless continues to attract established artists such as Sum 41, Taking Back Sunday, New Found Glory and Bayside due to their creative, out-of-the-box approach and has worked to sign impressive fresh talent like Trash Boat, WSTR, SYLAR and Oh, Weatherly and throughout the continued success, philanthropy has always played an important role.
Sub City, the 501(c)(3) non-profit arm of Hopeless, donates funds and raises awareness for various non-profit organizations by connecting artists, fans and causes they are passionate about. Sub City has raised over 2.5 million dollars for more than 50 non-profit organizations including Living the Dream, It Gets Better Project, A Place Called Home, DoSomething.org, and New Directions for Youth.
Louis has received awards from the 110th U.S. Congress, The City of Los Angeles, the Foundation Fighting Blindness and A Place Called Home, among others. He has also been featured in the Los Angeles Times, Business Week, Billboard Magazine, Alternative Press Magazine and many other print and online publications. He is also currently a board member for the following organizations: A2IM (American Association of Independent Music/executive committee), WIN (Worldwide Independent Network/board member), Foundation Fighting Blindness (national trustee), New Directions for Youth (advisory council) and Mediators Beyond Borders (founding member).