COP International Records
Announces The Signing Of
Post-Industrial Project Is The Latest From Prolific
Musician & Artist Steven Archer,
Also Known For His Work In The Darkwave Duo Ego Likeness
Upcoming Stoneburner Album Apex Predator
Will Be Produced By The Legendary John Fryer,
To Be Released In 2021
During COP International’s 30th Anniversary Year
(Photo Credit: Steven Archer)
Indie label COP International Records continues its rapid growth in 2021, proudly announcing the signing of the newest artist to its label roster, Stoneburner. The post-industrial music and art project is the latest from prolific multimedia creative Steven Archer. Baltimore-based Archer is also known for co-founding the darkwave gothic rock duo Ego Likeness (Metropolis Records) with Donna Lynch that formed in 1999 and has successfully released several albums and completed several tours in Europe.
Stoneburner is steeped in sci-fi themes and is inspired by many of the otherworldly fiction Archer likes to read and the accompanying videos for each song that Archer self-produces are mired in these themes as well. The project’s name is taken from a weapon from the science fiction novel Dune; Archer’s once guiding light for the project was seeking to answer the question, “What would dance music on Dune planet Arrakis sound like?”
The new album, Apex Predator, takes a different turn in perspective for Stoneburner, becoming more personal and internalized for Archer. He says, “For this album, I decided to write music that I feel addresses the ways modern industrial music falls short. Focusing not on dance floors and clubs but writing songs with intelligent lyrics that speak to the human condition, both in general and based on my own personal experience.”
Apex Predator is set to be released by COP International Records in 2021 and will be produced by the lauded John Fryer whose production credits include Depeche Mode, Nine Inch Nails and Love & Rockets. Fryer also acts as COP International’s A&R agent. The album will be a follow-up to Stoneburner’s last self-released LP Technology Implies Belligerence. Says Archer of that release, “It was the industrial record that I have been promising myself I would make for my entire life.”
In the past year, the inexhaustible creative has produced 3 EPs, a mini full-length of original Stoneburner material, two records of instrumental soundscape tracks, and three EPs of covers, along with 15 videos—and looks forward to bringing this same level of creative output to his new relationship with COP International.
In addition to his music works, Archer has also made a career in fine art and commission works as well as writing, including crafting an illustrated version of Edgar Allen Poe’s “Masque of the Red Death,” which is on the preliminary ballot for the Stoker Award category for Excellence in a Graphic Novel. As well, he wrote a children’s book called Luna Maris and can be found selling his artwork at shows when on tour.
Stoneburner has toured with Voltaire and Archer has worked with a range of contemporaries on remixes, including Information Society, Primitive Race, The Last Dance, Angelspit, I:Scintilla, The Cruxshadows, Noir, Gentleman Junkie, Lame Immortelle, Helalyn Flowers, Black Tape For A Blue Girl and Inertia. In 2014, he was commissioned by NASA to write a score for a promotional video for their “Bennu” program and his ongoing work has also been used in a number of films and documentaries.
Of the label signing, Archer says, “I am very excited to sign to COP International Records. I’ve been in this game a long time and I really appreciate how forward-thinking the label is — they are running their business exactly the way I would in the current climate, focusing on developing a small group of quality and hand-picked artists. I’m very proud to be among that group!”
COP International Records Founder Christian Petke adds, “I’m so thrilled to have Stoneburner on our roster. Steven inspires me as it feels he has picked up the torch for industrial music’s origins, a time when the genre’s lineage to punk was apparent and bands really took a stand. The events of the last year have brought us full circle and Stoneburner has used that as creative momentum, combining the raw noise and anger of industrial music with lyrics that speak of a world that is rather dark and ever-shifting, real, and sometimes outright scary. There is a burning passion in his heart and music and I find that incredibly attractive. I can’t wait to see what Steven and John Fryer cook up together, but know it will be something that will hit you like a ton of bricks.”
More announcements regarding Stoneburner will be forthcoming in 2021.
(photo credit: Steven Archer)
About COP International
The year 2021 marks COP International’s 30th anniversary with ambitious plans for its expanding roster of artists, already including Stabbing Westward and Azam Ali, as well as Chiasm, Deathline International, Jean Marc-Lederman, Johnny Tupolev, LUNA 13, Sick Jokes, and Suicide Queen. The label reached a turning point in 2019, teaming up with legendary producer John Fryer to form a production company under the COP International umbrella. Fryer is producing and engineering the majority of the forthcoming COP catalog and also working as A&R in helping to select appropriate acts. “The level of craftsmanship, artistic talent and meticulous attention to detail is what sets John’s work a world apart,” says COP International founder Christian Petke. “When we first started talking, I brought up John’s relationship with 4AD where he was the principal engineer and producer. This is exactly what we have in mind for this collaboration. Our philosophy is quite simple: Find exceptional talent, don’t limit ourselves or the artists, and build a tribe based on the excellence of the releases. We have signed a couple bands that have major chart potential based on previous entries, and we are very excited about our projects for this year. Another thing that is rather important to us is a certain level of closeness and mutual appreciation we have as label and artist. It is our responsibility to provide a nurturing environment that allows the artist to focus on their craft. We support and shield them and provide the business machinery that will develop their full potential.”
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