2. What led you to start a label? Were you influenced by other labels around you, or did it slowly evolve from another underground activity, such as a distro, perhaps a fanzine or something?
M.O.R it was... nothing.
3. Why did you choose this label name, and what does it mean for you?
ha ha ha Malignant
Overthrow evokes the Pest, the insidious disease which will lead
humanity to this end by submerging nations, provoking riots, violence
and the fall of men .
4. Which releases from your catalog are you the most satisfied with? Some releases don't happen how you imagined it to, and some finally look better than expected... Some bands aren't too exciting to work/ communicate with while some have a lot of things to say... Finally satisfaction can appear at various levels !)
I'm very proud of these 3 releases, especially the third which was the european version of Zoldier Noiz/Bestial Nihilism's split. I'm a huge fan of the work of Z.N, a real underground band playing a type of metal that is not very fashionable and driven by a true maniac who fights everyday to keep his band alive. It was a pleasure to work with Z.N, I met TankVinss several times, he's a very friendly guy, totally devoted to his music. It means a lot for me to meet and work with people as passionnate as me. Truly to speak, I'm proud, for the most part, of the work I've done when the band is also satisfied.
5. Do you generally do everything yourself, or you cooperate with other metallers for the layout, some promotion or other activities?
sensitive issue ha ha ha. In the process of release the tape, the
band sends me the artwork almost ready to be processed by the printer.
I adjust some details but I confess asking sometimes for help
to Shaxul (Legions of Death Recs) when I reach the limits of my
graphist habilities. When done, I send the audio files for dubbing
tapes to a pressplant.
6. The fact of starting a label can initially come from dreams, something great you have in mind and you'd like to finally materialize... Even if it's quite private, and I know some labels don't like to talk about it too much, you can perhaps tell us about the craziest dreams you would have in mind for a label... For a couple of minutes we can forget about the material/ financial problems and imagine we are in 2005, everything can be possible and you can talk about it now! AhAh
In a perfect world, I wanna be the next Gene Simmons and sign the most commercial hair metal band ever. I could party eternally with silliconed chicks and snoozing cocaine all night long! It's time to be serious. It would be a great achievement to re-release the first demos of Goatspell on black wax. This is the dream I caress.
7. What's the best way to distribute a release in your opinion? Is it about online sales, trades, sales during gigs, or do you use the services or an official distributor perhaps?
Most of my releases were distributed through trades . This is the best way to spread the disease and to build strong bonds with other labels or metalheads. Working with such passionnate people is the main reason I prefer trading. I mean, speaking and dealing with fellows from Thailand, Malaysia, Poland or Colombia is very pleasant and refreshing. In France we are always yelling and complaining about how the old times were better etc etc etc. The spirit is still alive and essentialy in Asia, South America... But I don't forget the few french labels who keep the fire burning. About selling during gigs, I always bring some tapes with me and harass drunk people until they buy 2 or 3 tapes.
8. Are your releases generally limited to a small amount of copies, or you try to push things a bit further? Sometimes it can take quite some time to distribute more than 200 copies of a tape... But if you limit a release to 50-100 copies it's very few and we can wonder about the use and efficiency of "100 copies only" (Some copies sleep eternally in some distros, some copies are never listened to... So how many copies from the 100 are really listened to?)
100 copies are the best amount of copies to release in my opinion and to my case. I can't deal with a bigger amount of tapes. Too much work and too much risk of losing money. Honestly, this activity is only a matter of passion and pleasure to me. Dealing with more important quantities would probably upset me. I must juggle with my family life, my job and my passion so I'd rather dog things in moderation.
9. Do you believe it's important to support and release bands from your area and/ or country?
This is one of the central ideas behind the creation of MOR. I mean
keeping our national scene alive by releasing new and old bands.
Seriously, I have never understood people who worships foreign scenes
without supporting our local one. Look at all the cult and new acts
from our country who struggle since decades at home but are worshipped
outside our borders. Listen good, listen loca !!! But the winds
of changes are blowing, many metalheads are exhuming our glorious
past and tons of young promising formations are blowing our speakers with
rock'n'roll!!! Per exemple my first release (Goatspell's Alchemy
of Terror) was the demo of a band from my native region. The second
is about a band ( Valuatir ) from the region in which I live now.
As you see, I try to support as much as I can the bands from my
local area. Personally speaking, I buy a lot of local stuffs, old
and new. Mostly by french distros/labels or directly through the
bands. It means a lot for me.
10. Do you only run a label, or are you also involved in other underground activities? Sometimes I realize my distro/ label is only a part of "something bigger" and I would rather see it as a medium of communication/ promotion for underground bands: A small label, a distro, plus a webzine, a youtube channel, a couple of facebook pages, lots of music posts on forums, facebook and other social medias, and other stuffs... In 2017, at the end I rather feel like doing communication than doing a label, and this said label even sometimes seems to become "A reason to communicate" lol
I don't manage others activites. A fanzine is in gestation in collaboration with friends. I'm a lazy guy ha ha ha. Seriously I have a few free time, so I carefully choose how to spend it.
11. I know some peoples are making a living from selling underground metal CDs... Sometimes it's even small underground labels ran by only one guy. In the current situation where it's harder than ever to sell CDs, considering all the compromises one would have to deal with to make a living from running a small label, do you think we can honestly say these guys are still underground? Isn't there too much of compromises and need-for-cash to use the word "UNDERGROUND" anymore? (Underground in the initial meaning of the word, not the modern Nuclear blast/ Century media version...)
If some peoples are making a living from selling discs and running a label who really cares? The most important thing is the passion and the sincerity. To sell the 1000 copies of an obscure patagonian black death record isn't a treason to the underground, and if someone manages to live through that then it's more a way of keeping his activites alive. This said, I do not forget some peoples follow the fashion and release some shitty pseudo UG bands to sell a bit more ( The trend of pseudo old school death metal, Incantation worship or wargoat gasmask black death metal is really annoying me). I prefer to focus on the quality of the releases from these labels rather than on the money they earn.
12. To dig deeper in the underground, do you believe "Do it yourself" releases still have a future? Once again I'm using a word in its initial meaning, and I see fewer labels release and produce tapes all by themselves (Dubbing tapes, printing and cutting covers), as almost everyone seems to choose the pro tape format (Sometimes it's not better than carefully made DIY tapes), and the old CDr release seems to be bashed by many, while it's not that bad sometimes...
question. As a metalhead I'm still buying tapes, pro and DIY but
I must confess that I'd rather purchase pro ones. Nowadays to release
pro tapes isn't more expensive than the homemade ones, especially
for an amount of 100 or 200 pieces, and I don't see myself dubbing
tapes all night long. Maybe i'm too lazy or too gentrified ha ha
14. Vynil, vynil, but is it so good to release vynil? Personally I prefer to stick to tapes and pro CDs, because vynil is more expensive to ship (I even don't want to imagine the postage for trades lol) and this would create too much stress around the monetary problem, so the state of mind would be less relaxed and not too underground anymore... (You know, money, money, money...)
Uggggghhhh vinyl....... It is only business. 15 years ago, vinyl was litteraly dead and buried, and now this is the new trend and then prices are more expensive than ever. It's a noble format but I'm asking myself about the pertinence of the big quantity of vinyl releases, because a lot of nerds are enjoying this as collectible items. Passion not fashion !!!!
15. Do you send promos for reviews? Due to smaller incomes, labels rarely do physical promos anymore, and there are more and more digital mp3 promos... But most of the time digital promos aren't reviewed (When it's about small labels that release unknown bands... Most of peoples will naturally choose what they know, or what seems quite "in"...) So what should we do?
I sent only one promo... Not even physical. Awards of the shortest answer.
16. Which bands/ albums/ demos did you listen to the most the last months? Are you only into metal, or also dig other genres of music?
Pfuuuu I listen to tons of records, old ones, new ones. My favorite records these days are IRON BIRD's Into the Evil (heavy speed), PESTILENCE's Hadeon, A.S.S 's first demos (Crossover), the TENTATION/IRON SLAUGHT split, the ANAL VOMIT/GOAT SEMEN split, CADAVERIC INCUBATOR and my daily dose of MERCYFUL FATE/ KING DIAMOND/ MANOWAR.
17. What are the next plans for your label? Do you make a lot of plans, or do things "as they come" with not too many expectations on more than 6 months?
I do the job without scheduling or planning things, but I'm currently working to release the two demos of an obscure french band on tape (à la Venom/ Celtic frost), it's known only by few people in Bordeaux. Maybe in late summer 2019.
18. This is the last question, feel free to add what you want, and conclude with underground power! :)
First I want
to thank you for this interesting interview Gabriel.