Over the last 20 years, HIP Video Promo has enjoyed working with some of the most outstanding and iconic record companies within the music industry. Every Tuesday, we’ll go down memory lane and talk about some of our favorite record labels we’ve worked with in the past. On this Record Label Tuesday, we’re continuing with the legendary Fueled By Ramen LLC.
Fueled By Ramen is an American record label owned by Warner Music Group founded by John Janick and Vinnie Fiorello in 1996 in Gainesville, Florida. They’ve signed artists of various music genres, but they’re most known for their pop-punk acts. Fueled By Ramen was the brainchild of John Janick back in high school, but it didn’t come to pass until he attended the University of Florida. There, he met up with Vinnie, and the rest was history. The name came from the famous college meal we all know and love – instant Ramen – which was the only thing John and Vinnie could afford after investing all their money into the label.
FBR’s first massive success came two years after their founding with Jimmy Eat World’s self-titled album. The success of that album helped Fueled by Ramen buy their very first office space in Tampa. By 2004, Pete Wentz from Fall Out Boy introduced the label to fellow Chicago pop-rock band The Academy Is… Their debut album, Almost Here, came a year later, and so did the release of A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, the debut album from Panic! At The Disco. In 2006, Vinnie left the label, feeling as if they were going in a direction he disagreed with and that passion for music was fleeing. If anything, it seemed to have been the opposite.
The following year Fueled By Ramen opened another office in downtown Manhattan and signed Paramore in the process. The next years saw more releases from artists like Panic, Paramore, and others who became huge names within the music industry. Fueled By Ramen also had a few more artists signed under them like Twenty-One Pilots, All Time Low, and fun. In 2018, it was announced that Fueled By Ramen would fall under the new Warner Music Group label Elektra Music, which was launched later that October. Fueled By Ramen remains one of the powerhouse record labels in the music industry, and it’s not very hard to see why.
Back in 2005, HIP Video Promo had the opportunity to work with Kane Hodder. This is one band you won’t be able to put into a box because they’ll just beat it down. You also can’t label them a specific genre because they don’t fall under just one. They’re angry and bitter, and they are no strangers to getting their hands dirty. They also tend to have a sweeter side to them, evident in the melodies they create. They’re a chaotic rollercoaster ride, but that’s what makes them all the more fun. In April 2005, we promoted their video for “I Think Patrick Swayze Is Sexy”, the lead single from The Pleasure To Remain So Heartless. The video takes place in an old school auditorium with the band center stage performing. In the audience is a group of hipsters and cool kids in dark sunglasses who can’t seem to be bothered at first. As the song progresses, the audience goes from unbothered and uninterested to full on crowd mode with jumping and sweating and everything. It’s a high energy dance party that everyone is going to want to be invited to.
Another Fueled By Ramen artist we’ve gotten to work with is Gym Class Heroes. We take a slight turn away from the pop-punk and rock music and go into some hip hop with this band. The group from upstate New York has been a world-class name for some time now, but everyone noticed them even before they were well known. Frontman Travis McCoy utters stories about romance and things of that nature that aren’t commonly found in hip hop. They don’t bow to expectations or refuse to follow any kind of trend. In May of 2005, HIP promoted their video for “Papercuts”, the lead single on The Papercut Chronicles. Director Alan Ferguson gives us an inside look at Travis’s desperation. We watch him fall in love with this dream girl, and everything else becomes a nightmare. The honeymoon phase is short-lived when his dream girl starts fighting him and creating a mess in his apartment. She’s rude, a little bit of a tease, and a little bit of a cheater. Despite all of this drama and Travis still can’t let her go. It’s a wild and dangerous ride, and we wouldn’t want to run into her.
The next Fueled by Ramen artist we’ve worked with is Cobra Starship. When Gabe Saporta was coming up with a name for his new song, somewhere in Hollywood, someone was turning that same name into a movie. Not just any movie, either; this movie was starring Samuel L. Jackson. The coincidence was too good, and Cobra Starship immediately wanted to be on this movie’s soundtrack. After a few phone calls and a killer single, it happened. Gabe takes the soul and the beats of his Midtown roots and turns them into an indie-rock masterpiece. In July 2006, HIP Video Promo promoted their video for “Snakes On A Plane (Bring It)”. The video starts with the man himself, Samuel L. Jackson speaking over the music as the band shows up to the airport in style. The video goes through the entire security process of going on a plane and the never-ending walks through the airport. As they walk through the airport, you might spot some familiar faces: Travis McCoy, Pete Wentz, William Beckett, and Mr. Jackson. This time it’s Cobra Starship who’s sneaking a snake onto the plane, and the movie is just about to begin.
Up next on our list of Fueled By Ramen artists is Cute Is What We Aim For. Before signing to FBR, Cute Is What We Aim For were already an underground sensation. Platforms like Myspace and YouTube helped them gain such a huge following early in their career. In 2005, only two months after their formation, they won the PureVolume Battle Of The Bands. Their sound is classic and angsty pop-punk that takes inspiration from other bands like Fall Out Boy. In August 2006, we promoted their video for “There’s A Class For This”. The clip shows your average summer day at the beach; members of the band play tennis, surf, and check out some beautiful girls. They look just a little out of place, which is the entire point of the video: they go from being invisible during the day and performing in an alleyway to being the star of the show once the sun goes down. It’s a beach party like no other, and the only one we want to go to.
Another Fueled By Ramen artist we’ve had the opportunity to work with is The Academy Is… If it wasn’t for a fellow pop-punk band, who knows where this band might be? Pete Wentz knew they were talented from the moment he saw them. Thanks to him, The Academy Is… signed to FBR, and the band was set. These Chi-Town boys are the kings of pop-punk and have been for an extremely long time. Their albums are one pop-punk anthem after another, and frontman William Beckett has become one of the iconic faces of Fueled by Ramen. Playing multiple dates on the Vans Warped Tour, The Academy Is… had the entire country singing along to their songs. In August 2006, HIP Video Promo promoted their video for “The Phrase That Pays”. In this clip, Beckett takes a break from staring in other music videos and takes the leading role alongside the beautiful Brittany Snow – although it’s not on the best terms, since he’s in a straitjacket and confined to a bright white hospital. Nurse Snow encourages him to get out of his head and to share so everyone can see, only to end up in a straitjacket herself. Wonder what he whispered to her…
Last but not least, we worked with Paramore. This iconic band got its start in Franklin, Tennessee. Like many other artists, they already had a massive internet following before any record label or the music industry noticed. The band is led by fire redhead and killer powerhouse vocalists Hayley Williams. She was only 17 years old when the band got massive. This dynamite girl and her bandmates have regularly toured the country with Vans Warped Tour and have shared the stage with Simple Plan and Halifax. She’s also the reason why so many girls want to dye their hair the same bright color. In August 2006, HIP Video Promo promoted their video for “Emergency”. The clip takes place in an abandoned warehouse with Hayley and the rest of the band bleeding. Dressed in ragged and dirty formal clothes, the band sits motionless in a room with broken furniture. They’re then taken out to the alleyway where their scars are touched up with more blood, and a live performance plays out the rest of the video. One thing is for sure; you’ll never be bored watching a Paramore music video.
Fueled By Ramen is one of the most iconic record labels within the music industry; it’s a record label everybody knows and has some kind of connection to. This label is responsible for many musicians and albums that helped shape so many childhoods and angsty teenage years. The soundtrack to every emo night isn’t complete without someone from Fueled By Ramen. FBR has countless awards under its belt from so many of the awesome albums they’ve released. They’re a record label that won’t be going anywhere anytime soon, and they’ll continue to release and sign memory making artists. It’s no wonder why they’re such a legendary record label.
Written by HIP intern Rebecca Karaman.