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.


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    September 2008
    M T W T F S S
  • > CELLAR