In 2001, I started helping out in mail order from time to time (when I wasn't on tour with my old band Vangard). The label and I happen to move from Gainesville to Tampa, FL at the exact same time in 2004. That is when I founded the FBR Street Team as we know it today.
Over the past 10 years, I have seen the label grow and develop, add more amazing bands to its roster, but the family vibe has always been there. I'm always excited for what the future holds...
Fueled By Ramen takes a lot of pride in our street and online promotion which makes me extremely happy to be a part of it.
Since its official inception in 1996, Fueled By Ramen Records has been less of a record label than it has been a brand for the evergrowing community that has embraced what the label stands for. The label has become the nucleus for today’s best and brightest punk-inspired rock/pop bands. Originally based in the college town of Gainesville, Florida, Fueled By Ramen now calls New York City home.
With The label was founded by John Janick and Vinnie Fiorello, the lyricist and drummer for Less Than Jake. “We were really passionate about the independent rock scene, but record labels didn't really seem to be taking notice of what was happening in it.” Janick explains. “We said, ‘We like these bands, these bands all work hard, why not try and get this music out to people?’” Kicking off with the now highly sought-after Chinese takeout sampler cassette compilation, Fueled By Ramen began unleashing a series of limited edition 7-inch singles as well as fulllengths from indie combos like The Hippos and The Impossibles. Headquartered in Janick’s dorm room, the label spread the word in classic grassroots fashion: via hard-working bands and mail-order sales.
In 1998, Fueled By Ramen released a self-titled EP from Jimmy Eat World, a five-song collection that proved a breakthrough for both the label and the Arizona-based band. With increased distribution demands and a rise in radio play, Fueled By Ramen set up its first real office space that same year. In 2002 the label experienced yet another turning point when it released Yellowcard’s The Underdog EP, a seminal release that’s widely regarded as the artistic breakthrough that preceded the Jacksonville band’s mainstream success. The following year, Fueled By Ramen released Fall Out Boy’s Take This To Your Grave. “I instantly knew there was something special about that record and knew that everyone would love it if we could just get it into their hands,” Janick says.
“For two years we pounded the pavement, selling the record,” he adds. “Most labels would’ve given up, but we just kept on pushing it. We went from selling 500 records a week, to 1000, to 1500 to 3000 records a week. By the time we put out the next Fall Out Boy record, we were at 225,000 records. We had built this great base for the band, helping to launch what’s now a multi-platinum career.” At the heart of Fueled By Ramen is the close relationship between the artists and the label; Janick has long viewed the label as an integral part of the creative process, making Fueled By Ramen a fully collaborative environment where bands participate in all aspects of their identity, every step of the way from recording to marketing.
“Our job is to help bands get their creative vision out there,” he says, “We try to be involved in every step of the process in order to help them express their vision and make sure that we can get that across to the fans.” As a result, Fueled By Ramen has become more than just a record label; it has spawned an integrated community where the lines between artists, employees and fans are difficult to discern. The www.fueledbyramen.com site has become a hub for the label’s online community, directing fans to sites like YouTube, Tumblr and Facebook, where their bands have an active presence. “It was the kids that really helped build this into a community,” Janick says. “The cool thing about our fans is that they feel a real connection with what we do, and really want to support our bands and the label.”
In 2004, Fall Out Boy’s Pete Wentz introduced Fueled By Ramen to fellow Chicago rock outfit The Academy Is… who released their acclaimed debut album Almost Here, the following year. Soon thereafter, Janick joined forces with Wentz to create Decaydance Records and released a series of albums from a disparate-sounding group of acts ranging from the alternative hip-hop of Gym Class Heroes to the indie-pop combo The Hush Sound. In September 2005, Decaydance and Fueled By Ramen released A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, the RIAA platinum-certified debut album from Las Vegas’ Panic! At The Disco.
Correspondingly, 2006 proved to be the most extraordinary year of Fueled By Ramen’s 10-year history: Among the high-water marks were Panic! At The Disco’s international rise to stardom; the label’s then biggest-ever first week sales with Cute Is What We Aim For’s debut album The Same Old Blood Rush With A New Touch; popular breakthroughs from Paramore and Gym Class Heroes and the #1 Top New Artist debut from Cobra Starship.
In 2007 the label opened an office in midtown Manhattan and that same year Paramore’s album RIOT! debuted in the Billboard Top 20, was certified gold and is currently nearing platinum status. Even more recently, the band participated in a co-headlining tour with Jimmy Eat World, bringing the label’s history full-circle. “Paramore is a very important band to me and the label,” Janick explains. “They had the time to find out who they were and we helped amplify this to the kids naturally,” he adds. “We worked together paying attention to every detail and taking the right steps at the right time. They have become very successful and we are very proud of them.”
The same can be said of Panic! At The Disco’s sophomore effort Pretty. Odd., which debuted at number #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart, selling over 139,000 copies its first week and making it the fastest-selling album in the label’s history. “Panic is a phenomenon; we knew the debut was going to do very well, but it moved a lot quicker than expected,” Janick admits. “I think we have built an amazing home for artists and the people who work at the label are remarkably creative. We want to continue to break new artists and take our current artists to new levels. My goal is to always make Fueled By Ramen a better company and to continue to find new ways for fans to connect with our artists and label.”
2008 saw a #1 Top New Artist debut for The Cab, full-length releases by superstars such as Cute Is What We Aim For, Gym Class Heroes and The Academy Is... as well as the incredibly ambitious Razia’s Shadow: A Musical – the 13-song musical written by Thomas Dutton of Forgive Durden featuring a cast of special guests including Brendon Urie of Panic! At The Disco, Max Bemis of Say Anything, Chris Conley of Saves The Day and Greta Salpeter of The Hush Sound.
In 2009, Fueled By Ramen released albums from This Providence, The Friday Night Boys and Cobra Starship, Paramore, The Swellers and A Rocket To The Moon along with EPs from VersaEmerge and The Cab. Fueled By Ramen’s first soundtrack was released in August. The music counterpart to the film starring Megan Fox, Jennifer’s Body features new music from Panic! At The Disco, Cobra Starship, All Time Low and Dashboard Confessional.
VersaEmerge and Travie McCoy released full-length albums in 2010 and A Rocket To The Moon and Paramore both released EPs. In 2011 Fueled By Ramen released music from Panic! At The Disco, Cobra Starship and The Swellers along with the debut album from Sublime With Rome. Paramore released three songs to their newly formed Singles Club giving fans access to a new download each month for 3 months. In September of 2011, Fueled By Ramen celebrated its 15th anniversary with a 2-night concert at Terminal 5 in New York City. The shows included Paramore, Cobra Starship, Gym Class Heroes and more. Fueled By Ramen ended the 15th Anniversary year by releasing a 100-page book detailing the 15-year history of the label including a special DVD featuring live footage from the anniversary concert.
2012 was the year of Fun. with their single 'We Are Young' reaching RIAA-certified 6x Platinum level and helping propel their album Some Nights to Platinum sales in early 2013. In 2013, we've already released the debut album from twenty | one | pilots and the soundtrack to the Golden Globe award winning HBO series Girls featuring new music from Fun., Tegan and Sara, Grouplove and Santigold. More new music is expected this year from Rome, VersaEmerge, A Rocket To The Moon and Panic! At The Disco.
Fueled By Ramen
1290 Avenue of the Americas, 28th Floor
New York, NY 10104
To get in touch with us via e-mail, please use the following directory. Do not email about demo submissions.
Webstore - for questions about orders or anything related to The Fueled By Ramen Webstore
Street Team - to find out how you can join The Fueled By Ramen Street Team
Internships - for more information on interning at Fueled By Ramen in New York City
When will my favorite FBR band come to my town?Keep checking your favorite FBR band's facebook and fueledbyramen.com to see all the latest tour dates. We post the dates on there as soon as we can and also often announce new tours and ticket presales in The Weekly Dish so be sure you subscribe to that.
I saw an awesome FBR band shirt at a show. Where do I get one?A lot of the latest band merchandise can be found in our webstore. The bands like to have exclusive merchandise on their tours, but usually everything that doesn't get sold on tour ends up in the webstore at some point. And check stores like Hot Topic who often will carry exclusive items for our bands.
How does a band get signed to Fueled By Ramen?We get this question on a daily basis and the answer varies greatly. To be honest, each one of our bands have been signed for different reasons, and there are numerous things that we always look for – from your music, to your work ethic, to your personalities, to everything in between. The most important thing you can do is to work hard and accomplish as much as you can for your band before trying to get signed to a label. Develop a local following, tour the country, record an EP, start a street team, get interviewed by your local publications, etc. – we look for bands that are creating their own buzz and aren’t depending on somebody else to do it for them. Putting all you can into your band will attract labels wishing to do the same.
My band wants to send in a demo. What should it be like?A demo is basically your bands resume, so present it that way – make sure there’s a bio, contact information, touring information, and more. Your music will speak for itself, but the packaging is our first impression of your band. We get a ton of demos and listen to as many as we can, so put yourself in our shoes and really try to create something that stands out. There is no bigger frustration than opening a package and seeing a demo that looks like it was sent without even trying.
What does Fueled By Ramen do for the bands?We work closely with the bands, their managers, booking agents and publicists to make sure we're doing as much as possible to get our bands and their music out to as many potential fans as possible. We help with everything from album and tour promotion to merchandising. Our bands are our family and we help them in any way we can.
What is it like to work at Fueled By Ramen?From Thom: For me, it’s what I always imagined what working at a record label would be like. We have a lot of fun throughout the day while also working extremely hard for our bands. There’s no greater feeling than seeing a band you’re passionate about get a great opportunity, and we strive on a day-to-day basis to accomplish that for our artists. We love discussing music and having brainstorm sessions where we come up with new ideas for our artists and to continue to build the Fueled By Ramen brand. Everybody that works for Fueled By Ramen has a great sense of humor and a ton of energy, and we’re always trying to outdo each other – but at the same time, we know when to be serious and really buckle down. This is a label that I – along with the rest of my coworkers – have loved for a long time, even before we worked here, and we take so much pride in continuing to build it.
How can I help promote the bands on Fueled By Ramen?The easiest and most powerful thing you can do is tell your friends. If you see a band play an amazing show or hear a great song, tell your friend to check it out, too. You can also join our street team and help promote with stickers, posters, flyers and samplers or putting up banners on your myspace pages. There is so much you can do and signing up HERE is just the beginning!
How can I get involved in the music business?From Thom: The best way to get involved with the music business is to start INVOLVING YOURSELF with the music business! Whether it’s by supporting a local band, running shows in your hometown, creating a webzine, joining a street team, or getting involved with your school’s radio station – do anything you can to make yourself a part of the music business. If you work hard and treat people the right way, the industry around you will take notice. Don’t be ashamed to start at the bottom, because everybody was there at one point and it’s important to learn and grow on your way up. Most members of FBR started out small and made their way here after years of making connections and working hard to prove themselves. Just always keep a positive attitude, stay passionate, and work hard – good things will come in time.
How do I get an internship at Fueled By Ramen?Email your resume to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know a little about yourself, when you'd be available to start and what you'd be interested in doing here. Before you do that you should know that internships are always unpaid and you will be responsible for finding a place to live during your internship. Our office in New York City is always looking for bright individuals who are motivated to work in the music industry.
How do I get in touch with a band for publicity purposes?Check the bands' individual pages to get in touch with their publicists. Submit your request for photo passes, show reviews and interviews to them.
I'm a graphic designer... how do I get to design some shirts for FBR bands?First create some samples for us to review and send us links to them to us at email@example.com. If you've done work for other artists, let us know that, too. If we check out your stuff and we like it, we'll definitely be in touch.