Trustkill Records is an American record label that started as a hardcore punk fanzine in April of 1993. It started releasing hardcore, metal and rock records in 1994.
On January 9
, Trustkill signed a deal for exclusive distribution in North America with Fontana
, which is under the Universal Music Group
umbrella. Trustkill is also distributed by SPV (Europe), Shock (Australia), JVC/Howling Bull (Japan), David Gresham (South Africa), and Liberation (Brazil).
After their breakup at the beginning of 2008, Hopesfall
began releasing negative comments about Trustkill including "I hate Trustkill and its owner. Hahahaha. He's not the reason we broke up but I (we) do hate him." The band claimed to be $20,000 in debt due to Trustkill's President, Josh Grabelle, and also claimed that Trustkill "ripped off the band" by removing songs from their final album Magnetic North
without discussing it with the band first. The album was recorded, mastered, and ready to be released when the songs were removed by Trustkill. Hopesfall later released a downloadable file containing b-sides and demos from Magnetic North
. In an interview on Ryans Rockshow, drummer Jason Trabue stated that Grabelle added Hopesfall to Warped tour
in 2005, then two weeks into the tour Grabelle stopped paying for the bus. The band had to take out a loan to pay the driver and get home. In the same interview, Trabue stated that Grabelle "pretty much owed every band on that label money."
In response to these issues, Grabelle stated that, "[Trabue] does not speak a shred of truth... I heard those guys got into some pretty hardcore drugs... and they are just miserable."
In 2007 Bleeding Through
suggested to Trustkill that they would like to release a reissue of their 2006 release The Truth
but the idea was rejected for various reasons. In 2008 Trustkill reissued The Truth
with bonus tracks and a bonus DVD of which the band had no knowledge of. Bleeding Through believes that the reissue is a "fast and overt attempt to pay some bills." Bleeding Through also had issues with Trustkill and their upcoming new album Declaration
. Trustkill violated the band's contract by letting them enter the studio in March 2008 and only funding less than 25% of the recording costs, the rest was paid via loans from the lead singer's father and the band's management. Bleeding Through commented on the current state of the label, "Trustkill no longer employs his sales guy, his art director or his publicist. 'Trustkill' is now Josh and one employee in his basement, as far as we can tell."
ended their three album contract with Trustkill Records in 2007 with their release of Venom and Tears
. Nearly a year after the release, the band felt it was necessary to "air out years of dirty laundry with Josh Grabelle of Trustkill Records, or publicly release their feelings about the label. On March 31, 2008 Trustkill breached the band's contract, and as of July 2008 despite sending the label a notice of breach, nothing was resolved. The label owes Throwdown "tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid royalties for CDs sold" and has a history of not paying the band their royalties on time. The band expressed that the start of their contract with Trustkill was "very positive," however numerous issues over the years changed their minds. They had to drop off of several dates of Warped Tour in 2006 when Trustkill failed to pay the bus driver on time, and also failed to make payments on time while recording Venom and Tears
President Josh Grabelle dismissed the band's concerns by continuously saying that Throwdown "was never happy with anything [I] do." The band left the label with hopes that Trustkill could fix itself and stated, "we hope that by making this situation public, Josh will be motivated to get his business in order and set things right with Throwdown and everyone else who has been burned by the increasingly difficult situation."
Currently signed artists
Formerly signed artist