Carnal Records Interview

Greetings!Please explain the aims with which you constructed your label?From what kind of source of inspiration you gave life to your label?

In the middle of the 90’s me and Shamaatae decided to start a distribution under the name of Obscurum. It didn’t last long because of lack of time and inspiration. Later on we started the label Carnal Records but nothing happened with that ether. In 1999 CRAFT needed help with the vocals on the “Total Eclipse” demo, so I put on the vocals. And one thing led to another and I released the tape under the Carnal Records flag. The idea when Carnal Records was spawned was to release some ARCKANUM stuff because of trouble with there label. After this it has just grown.

 

Can you present the bands that dwell under the wings of your label?With which bands you have a current signings at the moment?Do they have all something in common,or are they all different from each other?Can you present the bands on your rooster?

ARCKANUM, SVARTSYN and CRAFT don’t need any long introduction. Shaarimoth is a misanthropic DM band from Norway, fucking brutal shit in the vein of Behemoth. I released a demo and a split EP with Swedish CONTAMINO some time ago. All of the bands I have support a satanic belief in some way. Musically they are rather spread from ARCKANUM’s primitive BM to CRAFT’s almost doom style and death metal from Shaarimoth.At this point I have no longer deals with any of the bands. I don’t want to force any of them into long contract if our relationship doesn’t work out in the future. The only sure thing is that it will be more ARCKANUM stuff (next release the old “Trulen” demo on CD/LP). But I have discussed more releases with SHAARIMOTH, CONTAMINO and SVARTSYN. At this point CRAFT don’t plan to record anything. But I sure hope they change their minds.

 

What is the biggest point that you care about much when signing with a new band?To make the answer more extended and specific,can you mention about the other subjects as well regarding the qualities that you seek in a new band or your current bands?

Of course the bands have to be great with the instruments but they also need some kind of own sound. I’m also trying out promos I get on some of my friends. They also need to have about the same perspective on Satanism as me and the most important thing is that we can have some friendship. Not necessarily in person but over the phone or Internet.

 

How can you define your relationships with your bands?Can we talk about a friendship here or do you just think about the business side of the stuff?

So far I have mostly released stuff from people I know. As I mentioned above it’s important that if I am “friends” with them and I try to be in contact with the bands before I take any decisions. The business part is a great deal of course. If I can’t sell the shit it’s no reason to release it ether. There are too many lousy bands out there with contracts. I don’t want to make the scene more boring.

 

Besides the great extend of scene-knowledge,scene-conciousness,having a label also requires great amounts of dedication.What do you think when you can’t find the required dedication in the bands with whom you have a deal ,eventhough when you are much more interested in the related subjects like promotion,managements etc?Don’t you think that bands should also follow the movements of the label from a close perspective?

Playing in a band with a contract is a job. Band must understand that it is important to promote there music. It’s impossible for the label to everything. Answering interviews, playing gigs and so on is a great deal in the part of having a contract. Bands can’t blame labels for not selling CDs when they don’t do there part of the work.

 

A classic one,what are your plans for your label’s future?

I will try to grow slowly. Only having 4-5 bands. Making about ten releases a year. No plans of getting rich here.

 

What is the meaning of the name of  your label?Or,in other words,what does it stand for?With what motivation have you chosed it?

The name is Shamaatae’s idea. I don’t like it but I have used it for so long so I stick to it. I like my logo though.

 

For you what is the importance of the magazines,fanzines in the scene? Meantime,with frank words,what do you think about the Frost Magazine?

Zines is fucking important. It’s the voice out to all maniacs out there. Frost Magazine rocks!

 

Webzines VS Printed Magazines?

Printed for me as person but webzines is good for promotion.

 

Being a label owner,may i take your opinions about the this free-music thing?Mp3s,file-sharings etc?For you,what forces people to lead in such ways-expensive cds? or what?

Mp3´s is a fucking plague. It has killed the nice hobby of tape trading. A person downloading music is also stealing from the bands. Mp3´s have nothing to do with extreme music. It was meant to be on vinyl.People are not forced to download. They are lazy and not dedicated enough to contact distros and bands for there music. CDs aren’t that expensive in the underground.And all bands out there. Don’t ever send me a mp3. I will delete them!

 

Now i want you to be honest,can you earn enough money from the label?

Don’t make any cash at all. I have a day job and all cash I have from it when I have paid my bills goes to the label. I’m losing (investing) money every month. Perhaps in a year or so I can get some of the invested money back.

 

Can you tell the “normal jop day” of you?How is the daily life with your label?What generally you do in a single “jop day”?

I don’t have much of an ordinary day. My day-job have a varying scheme. Some time I work 25 hour shifts. But as ordinary as I gets I go up at about 7 o’clock start my work at 8. At 5 I end my work and go to the post office to send packages and get stuff from the post office box. In the evening I work with the label for three to five hours. Depending on how much there is to do. I spend most of the time off work with the label.

 

I think that`s all what I wanted to know for now. Thanks for your time and the answers! Finish this interview quoting the words of a man you admire the most, please!

Thanks a lot for the questions and good luck in the future with Frost.”I hate the human race but humans can some time amuse me like insects fighting in a can.” Quote of Björn Pettersson.

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Flood The Earth Records Interview

Greetings!Please explain the aims with which you constructed your label?From what kind of source of inspiration you gave life to your label?

The inspiration for Flood the Earth came from being sick of what I saw going on in the underground. All of the gimmicks, trends, and especially all of the mediocre bands that emerged and contributed nothing new to justify their own existence… all of these factors were driving me away from something that had at one time been special to me. Rather than turn coat I took it upon myself to start a label and release music that I would first and foremost enjoy as a music lover. I find it much more rewarding to release and promote bands that I feel are worthwhile instead of doing nothing and bitching about ‘the scene’.

 

Can you present the bands that dwell under the wings of your label?With which bands you have a current signings at the moment?Do they have all something in common,or are they all different from each other?Can you present the bands on your rooster?

 

All of the bands we have released have been quite different from one another. We do not confine ourselves to any particular genre, though we definitely tend towards the darker side of the music spectrum. Our most extensive dealings so far have been with Vinterriket, having released the US versions of Winterschatten, Der letzte Winter and also a split album with Northaunt. We are big fans of all CZ’s work and he has proven to be a  very honorable and reliable person to work with, so I hope that we can be a home for Vinterriket well into the future. Our most recent release was Karsten Hamre’s Broken Whispers album. The album is very bleak, minimalist dark ambient. Karsten has been a force in the dark ambient/experimental scene for some time with his work as Penitent, Veiled Allusions, Arcane Art and other projects.

 

Some releases we have coming up include:

Hacksaw to the Throat – Excellent Bay Area death/thrash metal. Introspective and morose, meshed with rip your face off intensity.

 

Ordo Tyrannis – Very interesting project that pushes the boundaries of black metal, doom, dark ambience and industrial. The band features Michael Ford of Black Funeral/Valefor notoriety, but Ordo Tyrannis absolutely stands as its own entity.

Until Death Overtakes Me – Symphonic ambient funeral doom, the follow-up to their acclaimed Prelude to Monolith album.

 

Avernus – Hopefully this band does not need introduction as they are semi-legendary in the doom metal scene. Plagued by misfortune and setbacks throughout their career, they are now on track and recording their first true full-length album since 1997(!) for Flood the Earth. I have heard one 10+ minute track and believe this will be the album fans have been waiting for Avernus to record.

We have a lot of other signings in the works, anyone wanting to be kept up to date on our label happenings is encouraged to sign up on the website to receive our newsletters via email.

 

What is the biggest point that you care about much when signing with a new band?To make the answer more extended and specific,can you mention about the other subjects as well regarding the qualities that you seek in a new band or your current bands?

Besides of course enjoying the music, the first thing I notice about a band is whether they really want to be on our label or if they are just trying to squeeze us for all they can get. This becomes apparent very quickly and any band that is not really into being on our label, we do not want to work with. Don’t get me wrong, I expect that a band will be looking out for their own interests, and I do my very best to take care of our bands regarding royalties, promotion, etc. But when some unknown demo-level band starts telling me that I have to front them a studio budget, book them a tour, advance thousands of dollars for said tour, and print up multiple shirt designs for them… some of the requests I get are pretty laughable really. If I had that type of money to throw around I would be trying to sign Katatonia and purchase the Burzum catalog, not fund some teenager’s black metal rockstar fantasies.  

How can you define your relationships with your bands?Can we talk about a friendship here or do you just think about the business side of the stuff?

 

Well, I am a very introverted and private person, so I do not have many people I count as friends, maybe four or five at most. Also most of the bands we work with are not living anywhere near us. Still I get along just fine with all the bands currently on the roster and I would not say it is strictly a business relationship, as I do enjoy discussing politics, music (in general) and other things with some of our artists.

 

Besides the great extend of scene-knowledge,scene-conciousness,having a label also requires great amounts of dedication.What do you think when you can’t find the required dedication in the bands with whom you have a deal ,eventhough when you are much more interested in the related subjects like promotion,managements etc?Don’t you think that bands should also follow the movements of the label from a close perspective?

I do my very best to determine the level of dedication before we sign a band, and if I am not sure I will ask them how they feel about answering interviews, playing shows, etc. These are not necessarily prerequisites, but it is best to have an understanding of how things will work before you get involved. It is pretty obvious if a band is hard working or if they just want things handed to them. I honestly do not have any problems or concerns with any of the bands we are releasing, I think in part because we are working primarily with veteran artists. Karsten Hamre, Michael Ford and Avernus have all been doing this for over a decade, so there is no question that they are dedicated to their art. Also we tend to only sign our artists for one album, so that if either party is unhappy it is a simple thing to part ways. Life is much easier when you surround yourself with motivated, hard-working people and I certainly take this into consideration before signing anyone.

 

A classic one,what are your plans for your label’s future?

Once we have a few more bands on the roster I would like to be more active in organizing and promoting shows. Besides that, I just want to improve and expand on all activities of the label. Flood the Earth is less than two years old and there is still plenty of room to learn and grow.   

 

What is the meaning of the name of  your label?Or,in other words,what does it stand for?With what motivation have you chosed it?

There is certainly some meaning behind it but I prefer to leave it open to interpretation.

 

For you what is the importance of the magazines,fanzines in the scene?Meantime,with frank words,what do you think about the Frost Magazine?

Magazines and fanzines are more important now than ever because there are so many releases, it is really impossible to keep track of them all, let alone to blindly purchase albums to see what is good. Zines have a responsibility to sift through the heaps of bullshit albums and promote the most innovative and worthwhile releases. Many fall short of this ideal and succumb to plugging albums for advertising dollars, but those who are truly passionate and spend countless hours just to support the music they enjoy are very admirable in my view. Of course I only have kind words regarding Frost Magazine, who have shown much interest and support of Flood the Earth. It is refreshing for a zine to really have some substance to it instead of the typical questions and metal idiocy. Also I think there is a great selection of bands interviewed. In many zines I will be interested in one or two bands only, but Frost features many bands which I have an interest in.  

 

Webzines VS Printed Magazines?

I will always prefer printed magazines over webzines. There is something more satisfying about having a real magazine. Material on webzines can be edited or removed, very often they are difficult to navigate or simply disappear. A printed zine is something that is concrete, it is not going to change or vanish, also they typically have more personality and seem more sincere. It requires a lot more effort, dedication and sacrifice to make a real magazine instead of a webzine. There are some advantages to webzines, however. They can be updated instantly, so they are useful for news. They also tend to review material much faster than print zines. The problem that I see with webzines is that any idiot can have one. Perhaps they could have a print zine too, but will they invest the time and money to produce one? In most cases no. So while there are some very good webzines out there with professional reviewers and great interviews, the majority are just crap. Webzines are like CDr labels, there are some good ones but most are done by kids who want to feel important but have nothing of value to offer.

 

Being a label owner,may i take your opinions about the this free-music thing?Mp3s,file-sharings etc?For you,what forces people to lead in such ways-expensive cds? or what?

I have mixed feelings about Mp3s. They are a great promotional tool and expose people to music they may otherwise never hear. I can also understand wanting to hear a few songs before purchasing an album, as there are so many terrible bands around. But there is a world of difference between a label or band offering some Mp3s for people to check out, and people who possess nothing but stolen albums for which the label and artist never receive a dime. This is theft, there is no other way to look at it, and I think these are rather shameful individuals. Maybe Metallica or Slipknot will get by allright with a dip in album sales, but when you are talking about real underground musicians, they are not earning much to begin with. I think a lot of people ‘get it’ and if they like a band they will buy the real thing, regardless if Mp3s are available or not. But I do worry that it will get to the point when it is no longer feasible for underground artists and labels to exist. This is fine if you only enjoy music on major radio stations or MTV, but if you are a fan of innovative, original music it will be a dark day indeed. I do know of some underground labels that have already gone under and blame the rise of Mp3s and the subsequent drop in album sales as the sole reason. So it is the responsibility of real fans to support the labels and artists they care about so they can continue to produce great music. I know as a music lover I always prefer to have a real album. Mp3s and CDrs sound like shit to me and I would rather have the album packaged as it was intended, which is in most cases an extension of the artist’s vision. Plus who wants to be in front of a computer downloading music all day? Fuck that. So I cannot identify at all with these people who only have burned CDrs and Mp3s in their collection. I do not think it is a symptom of overpriced CDs, most mailorders in the U.S. do not sell CDs for more than $10. I think they are just cheap bastards that would rather horde a few dollars than show some support. Pathetic.

 

Now i want you to be honest,can you earn enough money from the label?

 

 There is much more chance to fail than succeed, but certainly it is possible. Even though prices have dropped a bit, there is still a very high markup cost on CDs, so you do not need to sell very many copies to get your money back. If you are asking me personally rather than just in general, Flood the Earth is my full-time work, I do not have any sort of job on the side. We release about one album a month now, sales have increased, distribution has improved, we are gaining more exposure and doing just fine.

 

Can you tell the “normal jop day” of you?How is the daily life with your label?What generally you do in a single “jop day”?

I am a full-time university student so my day is typically balanced between doing label work (shipping orders, answering emails, etc.) and school work. I am studying history so there is a lot of reading and other research involved, it can be very time consuming. Most days I start doing label work as soon as I wake up and will continue throughout the day until 2am or so. The days are long but they go by very quick. When there are no pressing matters to address I will try and seek out new distributors, ask zines to feature our bands, contact radio stations, send promos out everywhere, design an ad, look for new bands to sign… there is always something to be done.  

 

I think that`s all what I wanted to know for now. Thanks for your time and the answers! Finish this interview quoting the words of a man you admire the most, please!

Many thanks to Frost Magazine for supporting Flood the Earth, we surely appreciate it. I admire most those who do not say much at all.

 

 

Schwarzdorn Productions Interview

Greetings!Please explain the aims with which you constructed your label?From what kind of source of inspiration you gave life to your label?

I´ve always been – and still am – a huge fan of music. That´s why my everyday life is all about it, I love playing and to me it´s also great to have the possibility of producing Cds myself. I couldn´t imagine a life without music, another point is that I want to give bands – especially those with an owm style and an own attitude – a realistic chance in the business. The best bands are from the underground and unfortunately a lot of them didn´t get much attention until now. So I see it as my duty to support them, and since I like the organisation and planning of new projects, it all is very interestig for me, too.

 

Can you present the bands that dwell under the wings of your label?With which bands you have a current signings at the moment?Do they have all something in common,or are they all different from each other?Can you present the bands on your rooster?

The bands signed to Schwarzdorn by now are CARVED IN STONE ( Mystical Folk Music), CERBERUS (raw German Black Metal), SOCIUS (raw German Black Metal), TAUNUSHEIM (Pagan Metal) and UHRILEHTO (Black/Death Metal)

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What is the biggest point that you care about much when signing with a new band?To make the answer more extended and specific,can you mention about the other subjects as well regarding the qualities that you seek in a new band or your current bands?

The first thing is that I do not sign bands if their music doesn´t touch me. The spirit and the background of a band is also very important, that´s why you will never find christian bands at Schwarzdorn, for example. It just has to fit with the spirit of the label.

 

How can you define your relationships with your bands?Can we talk about a friendship here or do you just think about the business side of the stuff?

I have a friendship-like contact to all Schwarzdorn bands, and the bands respect one another. There is no competition at all, that´s why you could say that we are one big family. If it´s possible, I try to meet band members from time to time, even if they live pretty far away from me. Last Year I went to Finland to meet the vocalist of UHRILEHTO because the guys arereally cool.  This might give you an idea of the relationship between bands and label.

 

Besides the great extend of scene-knowledge,scene-conciousness,having a label also requires great amounts of dedication.What do you think when you can’t find the required dedication in the bands with whom you have a deal ,eventhough when you are much more interested in the related subjects like promotion,managements etc?Don’t you think that bands should also follow the movements of the label from a close perspective?

There surely is much dedication. As I said, signing a band without liking their music is simply impossible for me. But if I decide to work with a band, I give 100% for it. That´s why I try to promote and manage these bands the best way I can. To me, there is no problem if a band doesn´t follow a label´s movement, because if a band automatically does so, it sells its soulsomehow.  A band should always keep ist own style and if a label cooperates with that, it´s a fine thing for everyone.

 

A classic one,what are your plans for your label’s future?

Well, we´ll try our very best to keep releasing good albums. In 2006, there will be two highlights with the publishing of the new CERBERUS and the new CARVED IN STONE album Besides, it would be great to find one or two more bands to join the Schwarzdorn family.

 

What is the meaning of the name of  your label?Or,in other words,what does it stand for?With what motivation have you chosed it?

Schwarzdorn means in English language “Blackthorn”, and it stands for different things. The name sounds mystical, the plant Schwarzdorn was used by wise women to brew secret drinks in the middle ages. But these are only two examples what the name Schwarzdorn could stand for, because to me, it means a lot more than words can express. But perhaps it´s just the name for a good and honest label :)…

 

For you what is the importance of the magazines,fanzines in the scene?Meantime,with frank words,what do you think about the Frost Magazine?

Magazines are very important to me, and since I read a lot, the Frost magazin is well-known to me, too. :)

Webzines VS Printed Magazines?

Um mal kurz ein Review oder die News zu lesen, reicht wahrscheinlich ein Web-Zine, aber ich persönlich bervorzuge lieber ein gedrucktetes Magazin. Das ist wie mit der Musik. ?ch kaufe mir auch lieber eine CD, als dass ich mir mp3 Songs auf einem mp3 Player anhöre.

To have a quick look at the latest news or reviews, a webzine may be enough, but my personal favourites are the printed magazines. Somehow it´s the same with music, I also prefer to buy a Cd instead of copying it or listen to it from a mp3 player.

 

Being a label owner,may i take your opinions about the this free-music thing?Mp3s,file-sharings etc?For you,what forces people to lead in such ways-expensive cds? or what?

People who download songs or even whole albums from the www. Without paying money for it should think about the fact that bands and producers had to work real hard to create this music. It´s just like Peter Tägtgren once said, it´s like you have been working your ass of and then somebody simply steals your well-earned wage. That´s the way I see it, and I´m sure a lot of producers have the same opinion. It´s just no way to honour your favouritebands, you don´t support them at all by stealing their songs.

 

Now i want you to be honest,can you earn enough money from the label?

I don´t really get much money from my work at Schwarzdorn, usually it´s just enough to pay for the next production. That is one reason why Schwarzdorn doesn´t publish more than two or three albums a year. If I could live from that money, I wouldn´t have to keep my regular job, but unfortunately this is impossible at the moment.

 

Can you tell the “normal jop day” of you?How is the daily life with your label?What generally you do in a single “jop day”?

Every day is busy for me. First I go to my regular work and when I come home in the evening, I usually start to work at Schwarzdorn immediatly – sometimes until late at night. And not to forget, I have an own band, and when we´re working on new material I have to find time for this, too. Soon Swawa from CARVED IN STONE and me will sit together to talk about her new songs for the upcoming album and surely we will meet at least once a week in the coming time. So it is a lot of work, I wish the day had 36 hours…although I wouldn´t mind since I have a lot of energy ;-)

 

I think that`s all what I wanted to know for now. Thanks for your time and the answers! Finish this interview quoting the words of a man you admire the most, please!

Thank you for the interview, I really enjoyed it. Check out our shop at http://www.schwarzdorn.de and keep an eye on the Schwarzdorn family…

Old Temple Records Interview

Greetings! Please explain the aims with which you constructed your label? From what kind of source of inspiration you gave life to your label?
 
Hail! At the beginning I want to notice that my answers are translated by Daro from Soulless so that’s why they will be so short- I don’t want to torture him to much hehehehe I wanted to have my own label from a long time. It was my youthful dream. The final impulse that lead me to create me own label was man called Infamis from Beast of Prey prod. I thought ‘if he can do this I also can’. He helped me a lot and I am grateful for it (hail Infi!). I was also impressed by the way of releasing that Beast of Prey does- I mean non-standard boxes in limited edition etc… I just love Metal music and that why I am releasing it. I release bands I like and which are worth to release. I don’t care about trends. What are my aims? hmmmm – I think my aim is to promote and to help bands which I like and enjoy.
 
Can you present the bands that dwell under the wings of your label?With which bands you have a current signings at the moment?Do they have all something in common,or are they all different from each other?Can you present the bands on your rooster?           
 
The bands I’ve already released have one and the main atribute- I like them a lot. Old Temple is not only into one musical genre. I am listening to many types of music and this rules are also important when I release something.
 
Deception – antichristian death metal, quite technical and intense music
 
Putridity- brutal death in US style
 
Soulless- Pure &satanic death metal
 
Shining Of…- avangarde death metal with keyboards &saxophone – quite strange music for Pan Thy Monium fans.
 
Obscure – old school death metal with antichristian lyrics
 
Pandemic Genocide – satanic death in old vein
 
Vedonist – technical death/thrash
 
Brainwashed – thrash metal – something like in 80-90 times
 
Pogrom 1147– raw black metal- primitive music from 90years- for fans of Darkthrone – Gorgoroth
 
Flagellation – brutal death metal in US style
 
Faeces- technical gutterlike death metal
 
Dened – death/black in mid tempos
 
Bestiar – old school death metal with antichristian lyrics
 
Vinterriket – Uruk-Hai – Nak’Kiga- those 3 projects for fans of dark ambinetu but in metal way
 
Arminius – pure death metal – musically for fans of Deicide, lyrics – war &death etc.
 
Feythland – fast black/ death with keyboard – something like in Dimmu Borgir (but not indentical)
 
North – crushing pagan war metal – the legend of Polish black metal scene
 
Every band has signed the deal with us. Every aspect of release was told earlier to the every band we are fair to the bands. The good of the band is very important for us. If the band is satisfied we are also happy. That’s important for us. We don’t have something like the most important band or ‘number one’ in our catalogue. Every band is important for us on equal. Of course in the moment of premiere of each release that one is our prioritaire so we take care about it’s promotion, we buy advertisements.
 
What is the biggest point that you care about much when signing with a new band?To make the answer more extended and specific,can you mention about the other subjects as well regarding the qualities that you seek in a new band or your current bands?
 
The most important thing is that the band should be engaged in their ‘job’. You know If you want to achieve something when both of sides(band &label) have to give maximum work and energy. Unfortunately sometimes the cooperation like this is impossible. You know when we are signing the new contract the most important thing is that the band has to treat seriously. I don’t want to be boring and to tell you about details.
 
How can you define your relationships with your bands?Can we talk about a friendship here or do you just think about the business side of the stuff?        
 
I am always trying to live on partnership rules with my bands. You know what I mean, the bands are participating in creating cover arts &paintings and whole view of their release. The booklets always includes the information and photos which band is sending to me. We are often contacting by telephone and e-mails. That how it looks about contract signing.  Unfortunately personal contact is often impossible. I don’t have enough time to meet with people from my bands.  Of course sometimes there is a chance to drink some vodka on gigs. The bands now how to contact with me so there is no problem to talk about their things.
 
Besides the great extend of scene-knowledge,scene-conciousness,having a label also requires great amounts of dedication.What do you think when you can’t find the required dedication in the bands with whom you have a deal ,eventhough when you are much more interested in the related subjects like promotion,managements etc?Don’t you think that bands should also follow the movements of the label from a close perspective?          
 
As I wrote earlier for full success we need the cooperation between band and label. You know, label can do a lot but with help of band can do much more. I not saying only about concerts but about many other aspects. Every time I am giving 100% of my power to promote the band I’ve just released. For me it’s normal, if I did not do that in this way it would be pointless. Of course I understand- some bands don’t care about being famous or even well-known but there is a minimum which is necessity. Nowadays I have bigger abilities than 2 years ago. I think this is a king of progress of my label. Of course we are still behind many labels on this market but I don’t care about this and I am happy about this what we did and what we have right now.
 
A classic one,what are your plans for your label’s future?
 
At first we’re going to release 3-way split: SOULLESS- PANDEMIC GENOCIDE- ARMINIUS. It will huge death metal attack! Every band present different view of death, but every is also smashing as well.The next one is (also 3-way split) dark ambient VINTERRIKET – URUK-HAI – NAK’KIGA. Those 3rd is the project from my hometown so that something special about this for me. Of course we have plans for next year and we will start more in black metal style, but it’s too early to talk about details.
 
What is the meaning of the name of your label?Or,in other words,what does it stand for?With what motivation have you chosed it?           
 
When I was choosing that name I known that it should be made of two words. It was because I did not wanted to add ‘records’ or ‘productions’ to our name etc… Under those name there is no special meaning, I only wanted to have an old sounding name because I am not to Young hehehe I think that I’ve done that.
 
For you what is the importance of the magazines,fanzines in the scene?Meantime,with frank words,what do you think about the Frost Magazine?
 
 All those things are closely connected. I can’t imagine metal scene without magzines, webzines which are the effect of technical progress in communication. Frost is young creation on the scene but as I guess it is existing very good and that important. I hope that everything will go in the right way.     
 
Webzines VS Printed Magazines?        
 
I love printed magazines, but sometimes I don’t have enough time to read them. I like them because of my youth past when there was no internet. In last years peaple say that webzines are equal on with shit, but it’s now always truth. In printed magazines and in webzines you can find those shitlike ones. You have to choose which are good and interesting and which are not.
 
Being a label owner,may i take your opinions about the this free-music thing?Mp3s,file-sharings etc?For you,what forces people to lead in such ways-expensive cds? or what?   
 
Well I support that way of promoting each material or a band, I mean when samples from songs are on the web page. But really this is the sickness of present times. You know it depends on choice of fan – original release or mp3. We can not fight with this when huge corporations are promoting their musical equipment which is able to play mp3 format (mp3 players etc…), we can only say how destructive it is for us. That’s schematic: young people download mp3 files and they don’t buy normal original releases and than labels can’t sell any of their products. The conclusion is they don’t have enough cash to produce new releases. Bands are angry that no-one want to release them. That’s easy as a ring.  People are downloading mp3 because that’s possible for free and they can find lots of music in easy way. Many cds are not available now or they prices are very high so those positions are downloaded. Sometimes there are many people who download as much as it’s possible and after some time they even don’t remember what did they downloaded or even they did not listen to this.
 
Now i want you to be honest,can you earn enough money from the label?
 
Hehehehehe, hey man we live in Poland and here is no possibility to earn on this ‘bussines’. It’s very boring and long topic: Poland, youth people, politics, poverty etc.
 
Can you tell the “normal jop day” of you?How is the daily ife with your label?What generally you do in a single “jop day”?   
 
I’m working in small family building company. Grudziadz – the city I am living in is quite small and what is more unemployment is very high. But it’s not so bad, we are going forward and that important. The label it’s a different thing, it takes all my free time. My normal day is: listening to promo materials, correspondence, parceling up the packages etc.
 
I think that`s all what I wanted to know for now. Thanks for your time and the answers! Finish this interview quoting the words of a man you admire the most, please!         
 
Thanx for interview, I hope some people will read those words and will take interest in this what is important here in our country. It’s easy to come to us and contact with label, on our web site you will find necessary information. Send letters, send e-mails we are always answering!
 

 

Long Ago Records Interview

Greetings! Please explain the aims with which you constructed your label? From what kind of source of inspiration you gave life to your label?
 
Hails! Well, the very first idea to establish a label had occured to my mind yet much earlier before the official constitution however  it did not come true due to lack of money. Later then in 1997 I came upon to publish a pure Black Metal zine which we together with my mate Lord Ogronios realised under the sign Eclipse magazine. That time there was a total lack of whatever Czech written publication concerning with Black Metal in the Czech Republic.  Up from the second issue we started to make an English version as well and the last two issues (5th & 6th) were released just in English. The biggest problem after realisation turned out to be a distribution, most of distributions were being interested just in trades only, anyone didn´t prefare to buy for wholesale prices. So, we were actually forced to run a distribution and sell the stuffs (mostly pure black metal) we got from the trades. The autumn 1999 became the time of getting started a regular publishing label under the name Eclipse Productions. The debut product was a T-shirt signed “Slavonic Power” made in a strictly limited edition of 100 copies. Later then we realised under the label Eclipse together 15 CD´s, 6 EP´s, 1 MLP and many T-shirts, stitchers and other merchandise up to now. The bands that worked under our wings were: Algor, Arkona, Astrofaes, Detonator666, Gottlos, Heiden, Immortal Hammer, Inferno, Ogmias, Silva Nigra, Stutthof, The Stone, Trollech and Tundra. In 2002 we stopped to make a magazine due to a lack of time for preparation and realisation from my side. Lord was not able to lead it himself so we tried to engage some new people from abroad to be interested, however we haven´t drafted anyone convenient we were forced to stop this publishing activity. Another important change came in 2005 as I have decided to change the name of label from Eclipse Productions to Long Ago Records. The main reason for this substitution was the existence of many other firms and mag of thesame and/or  similar name “Eclipse” and that we were used to face many confusions and misunderstandings due this fact.
 
Can you present the bands that dwell under the wings of your label? With which bands you have a current signings at the moment? Do they have all something in common,or are they all different from each other? Can you present the bands on your rooster?
 
First of all I have to say that I never have and never will ask a band to subscribe for more albums. I got used to sign a band always just  for one concrete album. Not ever otherwise. I don´t wanna obstruct a band to leave if being not satisfied with my work and activities. And that is the same vice versa. I guess it is a fair conduct. At the moment there are 4 CD´s released out under the sign of Long Ago Rex. The first one has been (finally) the debut album”Ansia” of Italian horde Tundra playing fast and raw Black Metal in a vein of Darktkthrone and Dodheimsgard. Moreover, the vocal parts were screamed out by Barbarud of Maniac Butcher. The second product was re-edition of debut album “Imperium” of Polish Arkona. This already cult band need no comments. Album CD comes with new design and two bonustracks. The third CD of LAR is split of Polish underground hordes Moontower and Taran. Moontower performs classical fast and raw Black metal in the purest ug form. Taran uses influences from Swedish scene a´la Dark Funeral. Well, and the last release till now was Hromovlad from Slovakia with their album “Vladca lesov, skalnych stien”. It is a new band arising from the ashes of Immortal Hammer. The members of another band Algor contributed on the album (Slavfist on drums and Aldaron on additional vocals)l. It is raw fast BM with pagan metal influences.
 
What is the biggest point that you care about much when signing with a new band? To make the answer more extended and specific,can you mention about the other subjects as well regarding the qualities that you seek in a new band or your current bands?
 
I got used to receive a lot of promos with a request for contract, but mostly I haven´t got even a time to listen to all that carefully. I always put the accent on the first sense. So if there´s a free place in my planlist at the moment and band impresses me at the first listening I try to come into cooperation. But I always deal with underground hordes whom I´d like to help to become more visible at the scene. The closest to my heart are the ones of raw and fast black metal a´la early northern style. However, at present I even do not look for any new bands to sign. There are many offers while a few bucks.
 
How can you define your relationships with your bands? Can we talk about a friendship here or do you just think about the business side of the stuff?
 
Hah, hah… Of course, we rae friends with many bands. The closest friendship I suppose is with Inferno, Hromovlad (ex-Immortal Hammer), Arkona, Trollech, Algor. Then obviously I am on friendly terms also with other bands as Heiden, Silva Nigra, Ogmias (RIP), Tundra and many others. We can´t talk about real “friendship” with guys from many bands I release cause we don´t know each other personally, however we can neither talk just about “business”. Of course, I wouldn´t make this job if I haven´t earned some money from it, cause there´s so much work around that the plain interest only is not enough. Moreover, if I liked to make up a bigger money in the scope of “underground” (now I mean in the Czech Republic) I would produce death metal or grind core bands, cause here is very few black metal fans. I mention this fact cause absolute most of the customers is from the Czech Rep., just a very few ones are from abroad.
 
Besides the great extend of scene-knowledge,scene-conciousness,having a label also requires great amounts of dedication.What do you think when you can’t find the required dedication in the bands with whom you have a deal ,eventhough when you are much more interested in the related subjects like promotion,managements etc?Don’t you think that bands should also follow the movements of the label from a close perspective?
 
I have never thought this way. It is a very thing of every band how approaching this problem. I personally make all thing can do and can´t rule if a band fucks on the way.
 
A classic one,what are your plans for your label’s future?
 
A lot of plans. Firs of all I will release CD of Inferno called “old unholy emotion”. It will include their two old demos “Hell on the Earth” and  “Dark Prophecies of Ancient Ancestors” with totally new sound with some additional vocals and supressed keyboards. The other releases that should be follow are new CD of Canadian Funeral Fog – again underground Unholy Black Metal, then Arkona “Nocne Arkonskie Hordy” – the same material as “Nocturnal Arkonian Hordes” but with re-recorded guitars and vocals in Polish language. Maybe you can look forward a live CD of Trollech. The future will show…
 
What is the meaning of the name of  your label? Or,in other words,what does it stand for? With what motivation have you chosed it?
 
I guess the name “Eclipse” is a closed chapter already, so let´s talk just about the new sign. I was looking for new suitable name for a long time, about one year and half. Having a lot of various suggestions I didn´t want to do it with too much haste to choose an one to change after  another month or some cliche one similar to clouds around. One can interpret the name “Long Ago Records” in two means: firstly it means “Long ago…” in the times of our pagan ancestors, secondly it means “Long ago…” in the times when underground used to be of a pure form, not the one of the present (contaminated by commerce, falcity, hypocrisy et cetera.)
 
For you what is the importance of the magazines,fanzines in the scene?Meantime,with frank words,what do you think about the Frost Magazine?
 
Personally I guess mags and zines are still an indivisible and necessary part of the underground scene. How could one read and come to know about various bands we listen to nowadays and through which we got into the deepest underground. For sure they are requisite and needful! Commercial tabloids ignore such bands, at least I have never found the music I like in such papers… I like your mag. The thing I may reproach is the graphics (layout) that could be more mature and the interviews could be more indepth. Besides that, the selection of bands is great as well as other things. Keep up good work.
 
Webzines VS Printed Magazines?
 
Doubtless I prefer printed mags. They rae kind of cult and in a way nostalgia. By the way, I have never read through a web-zine in my life and I dare to say never will. I don´t like to read from a screen. To read a paper is a kind of getting cool. To listen to some background music, to lie on a bad and “learn”. a “studoval”. It´s a kind of relaxation for me, although having not a time for it recently.
 
Being a label owner,may i take your opinions about the this free-music thing? Mp3s, file-sharings etc? For you,what forces people to lead in such ways-expensive cds? or what?
 
Hmm… that´s a problem no. One. I don´t wonder if ones download and copy commercial music, but as concerns the underground scene I guess the distros have very fair prices. But I know a lot of people who buy original cd´s, vinyls and download MP3 files as well. The reason is to get an overview and knowledge about the scene and internet offers you the whole, then you can check out and the better ones to buy as original. 
 
Now I want you to be honest, can you earn enough money from the label?
 
If I take into consideration myself, underground and the space of the Czech Rep. it is not possible. I would have to produce more commercial bands, but that´s not my intention. The pure Black Metal is closest to my heart, so I want to support this one and not any commerce shits. And as mentioned earlier, there is very few black metal fans in the Czechia. Also the purchasing power of people here is not as good, so the mp3 downloading and copying rules. And actually, there is no real underground in our country, just hypocrisy, slanders, denunciations, and making things of others more difficult. I have already a chance to meet it personally as well as Ogmias band (our problems with police some three years ago). In that time I got to know what are my real friends and what are the hypocrites. .
 
Can you tell the “normal jop day” of you?How is the daily life with your label?What generally you do in a single “job day”?
 
In the time I was employing post box (I cancelled this service cause it´s pretty expensive) yet, so I attended a post every morning to take out and send the packets and letters. At the present post deliver all the stuff right to my home. It is every day about 9 a.m. I return home from post office (sending the stuffs – orders, parcels, letters – I settled up previous day) to get new ones which I start to handle at once. It deals about new orders, new products from other labels, promo-packets etc., in the meantime I settle up the e-mails (really lots) which take most of my time. It is really hard to imagine how to handle all the things without internet and manage all the correspondence through traditional post. Then I make some graphic work, web-designs and other things. It is really a lot of various things and most of people is not able to imagine how much time the managing label uses up. In addition to that fact I do it all  myself.
 
I think that`s all what I wanted to know for now. Thanks for your time and the answers! Finish this interview quoting the words of a man you admire the most, please!
 
Thanx for your support and space in your mag. I wish you and your enthusiasm long successful existence. If you are interested in quality products of Black/Death/Thrash Metal underground, get in touch or visit our web-site (www.long-ago-records.com).  Keep the flames of true underground burning forever.

 

 

Ledo Takas Records Interview

Greetings!Please explain the aims with which you constructed your label?From what kind of source of inspiration you gave life to your label?
Well, everything has been evolving step by step. ?t was not like I have woken up one morning and set up everything. That was kind of Metal thing in general that inspired me in the old days, still at school time I got started with a fanzine, then later it was necessary to start distribution in order to spread some copies of zine, and finally I’ve got an idea to evolve even more and release few tapes of close to me bands, since I believed in their expressiveness and original ideas.So, basically aims have come with time, or better said – different, more shaped and generated aims. Till this very moment I believe that label keeps reshaping, getting better realized and structured, or perhaps it will continue like that ahead, as without new ideas it would be boring to continue.
Can you present the bands that dwell under the wings of your label?With which bands you have a current signings at the moment?Do they have all something in common,or are they all different from each other?Can you present the bands on your rooster?
First thing, since label is run by one person [more/less], and just because I have strong belief that good job can be done with much care and dedicaion, my politics are to have just a few but strong bands, and give them as much as I can. It is interest of both parties I guess, and it seems we all understand that, what pleases me much. Beside that, I am sick of so many boring and amateurish records that constantly flood the market, and I have no interest to pollute it with even more bullshit. And so we come to a stage that Ledo Takas have only four signed bands for the time being. I’ll try to present them to your readers:
OBTEST – you may say it was the groundbreaking start for me, their Auka album was the first CD I put out, and goddamn cool album it is! We keep marching together for 5+ years now, and indeed there has happened quite much for us both. Their “Is Kartos I Karta” CD is my latest edition, an it does pretty good – great response, handful of interviews, and far from lack of interest of gig promoters. Right now we are moving to Berlin to play in Knaack club tonight. Oh, and for those unawared, OBTEST is a very original Baltic Pagan Metal band.
DISSIMULATION – another Lithuanian kult band, which also has been started in early 90-ies, and we work together since 1999. Never moved away from old school black metal music, sound, and way of life, these bastards have even turned more old school, adding their thrash influences and thus creating dark and disturbing albums of negativity. Their second full-length “Prakeikimas” was released in May 2005, that keeps surprising those yet unaware of this power trio.
LOITS – Estonian sensation of 2004/2005, shaking the pagan/black metal milieu with their steel catchy flak’n’roll and provoking politically incorrect but damn proud patriotic attitude. I couldn’t believe myself the news it was breaking the records for metal music in Estonia and storming local charts. LOITS have got into the news in major newspapers, got full radio, TV coverage – actually you could hardly expect something more. Not the less, people from other countries paid enough of attention too, so to sum up shortly, “Vere Kutse Kohustab” LP/CD was another great action accomplished by us both.
URSKUMUG – let’s name them the new discovery of Ledo Takas. Just signed in autumn 2005, Latvian guys are finishing up their new yet untitled album in the infamous Phoenix studio in Riga, which I quite promise will be a new surprise from the Baltic scene. They name their music tribal black metal, concepting it on pre-pagan times and philosophy, and musically storming somwhere at intense yet harmonious black metal dominions. I expect myself some new hints involved into their new tracks, let’s wait together!
So you may notice that all Ledo Takas bands come from Baltic area. That’s not the rule though, just that it happened this way. Sure thing, it is easier for us to communicate in between, and most naturally I believe it is very important to support the talentive people from your area. But it does not mean I would not sign a group from some other region, no.
What is the biggest point that you care about much when signing with a new band?To make the answer more extended and specific,can you mention about the other subjects as well regarding the qualities that you seek in a new band or your current bands?
Perhaps I would repeat first that I am not searching that much for new bands, so it is not much to discuss, hehe… But yeah, without a heart-attack like hook that the music MUST strike me with, it is impossible to sign to Ledo Takas. Call it a deadly selection, elite club, whatever… it does not change the point. And I can’t explain it in details, it has something to do with subconscious feeling, perhaps.
How can you define your relationships with your bands?Can we talk about a friendship here or do you just think about the business side of the stuff?
Both. We communicate as often as possible, because we have common things to do beside music, so you may call it a club of like-minded people, but when it comes to business, of course it is important as well. You can’t move on in pofessional way without taking a good care on business.
Besides the great extend of scene-knowledge,scene-conciousness,having a label also requires great amounts of dedication.What do you think when you can’t find the required dedication in the bands with whom you have a deal ,eventhough when you are much more interested in the related subjects like promotion,managements etc?Don’t you think that bands should also follow the movements of the label from a close perspective?
Luckily, I see more than enough dedication in all four bands. At times it is just lack of time what is truly human. Those guys have their jobs, families, and you can’t deny its importance, but as far as they try and have success to combine those things with their bands, I have nothing but respect to them all. Those things like delays with interview answers can’t be so severe reason to claim they have not enough dedication to what they do. ?t would be magical to have everything done in time and in a perfect way, but we are not living in a perfect world, so :]
A classic one,what are your plans for your label’s future?
Release-wise: to finally finish up a vinyl edition of new OBTEST album [right after we return from tour in early February], press URSKUMUG debut for Ledo Takas, make new editions of first two OBTEST records, re-release OBTEST demos on 10”MLP gatefold, and there is one more new excluive release from vinyl series that I would announce a bit later.In general, to keep looking for better distribution, and pushing the pomotional + touring machine forth and forth. No big plans for far reaching future, since I prefer to live today, not tomorow, in spite that I have some good ideas in the back of my head. Time shall answer all questions!
What is the meaning of the name of  your label?Or,in other words,what does it stand for?With what motivation have you chosed it?
It means “icy path”, path of ice. The story with appearance of this name is quite funny. Basically it’s one of my friends has invented it, playing with words, including my and his names, and switching some letters. You see, Tadas, Takas – it’s similar and quite many people mispell it so the fun is still here, hehe. Back then, it was very close to black and pagan concepts I was focused on [winter time, woods, mysticism], and up unil now I am very pleased to use this name. It is quite ambitious to run the thing named in your own tongue, and promote it worldwide.
For you what is the importance of the magazines,fanzines in the scene?Meantime,with frank words,what do you think about the Frost Magazine?
No doubts about it – media is one of those important parts of the whole scene, if not the very important. Back in the days of letter writing, fanzines were like gold in metal world, now we have internet publications which is also cool I think, as soon as you are experienced to find fast the most important and interesting things there. And still, people like you keep the good old tradition of printed media, so I can’t really say more than “you rule!”.About Frost, I told you already my opinion on personal basis: I prefer zines with less but in-depth interviews [like this one, hah!] rather than short chats even if there are tons of them in one isue. But otherwise you dedicate a lot of youself in there, so it’s okay and should pay off, sooner or later.
Webzines VS Printed Magazines?
I won’t say anything new on this one, printed mags are the kult, new media abilities give you much more chances and sort of extend what you could do with and for the [metal] music. “Metalworks” magazine from Eire is worth mentioning – I like the way those guys put together their words. Also, pretty new British rag “Zero Tolerance” looks and reads nice.
Being a label owner,may i take your opinions about the this free-music thing?Mp3s,file-sharings etc?For you,what forces people to lead in such ways-expensive cds? or what?
I can talk only for myself. When i want to check some new band/record i prefer to do it via net and don’t bother looking for CD, but if I like what I hear I will rush to get the original disk, that’s for sure [well, what other answer could you expect from someone involved into CD business?]. Partly I understand those people who never bother buying and paying for music, but to expect that people would not use those opportunities given by internet generation would be a sweet dream.On the other hand, internet downloads is a good way to promote underground, especially when the scene is so huge that you cannot be aware even of 30% bands existing there, so good qualitative music gets a chance to be noticed, this way.
Now I want you to be honest,can you earn enough money from the label?
What is enough for one person, is not enough for another. Basically yeah, I make a living out of it, I do not have any other job, my life is music 24/7, and I am damn glad about it. Without new waves it is impossible to live the same way all life, and what was good 3-4 years ago, is not good anymore for today, so strategically you must think about what can happen and how you should be prepared for that. That’s why I [will keep] put[ting] all the money earned back into business, as far as I have this clear vision.
Can you tell the “normal jop day” of you?How is the daily life with your label? What generally you do in a single “jop day”?
It starts late in the morning with some phone calls that wake me up from the sweet sleep since I prefer to work late nights rather than early mornings. And then the rush starts, non-stop wall of things to do, starting with countless e-mails, packing and shipping of orders and trade packs, fixing some new deals, meeting local clients, checking and updating the lists, internet site, keeping the track of what’s hot in news and discussions in local forums, and not the least – keep checking the new, and enjoying the classic metal records.I can’t name this a normal job day though, since in most part it may vary, but yeah, some routine is noticeable anyway.
I think that`s all what I wanted to know for now. Thanks for your time and the answers! Finish this interview quoting the words of a man you admire the most, please!
Uuh, that’s quite a task to do. I’d better put it in another way, and quote somebody nobody knows but I certainly do and whose words have made a huge impact on me once: “do the impossible and you’ll reach the maximum”.Cheerz for the interview and all the best with your activities.