METAL TAPE LABEL
1. Can you introduce your label and yourself to our humble rotting readers?
Edu: Filthy Cave Records was created in 2009 in Zaragoza, Spain, by the members of the Spanish Death Metal band Ataraxy, to release the band’s first demo tape. The idea was to focus on Ataraxy and other side-projects, but Ataraxy started to work with other labels and we finally couldn’t resist the idea of releasing other bands not formed by the members of Filthy Cave, and that’s it ‘till this day.
2. Tell us more about your label's state of mind! Do you have particular visions, ways to follow, and what makes yours a bit different from other labels?
we’re a pretty humble label, no huge distrolists or lots of releases
per year. We like to release bands we actually would like to see
released and give them a chance to get known by other people, but
I guess most true underground labels have this raison d'être.
We trade our releases with other distros we really like and support,
we are not one of those labels who trade their releases with hundreds
of labels to get rid off their copies as fast as possible and then
find themselves with a huge distro full of crap. First of all we
are underground Metal maniacs, we are our own best “customers” and
we usually end up buying most of the releases we distribute for
our own collection, so we try to sell what we like to listen.
3. Could we say you run a Death metal label, or would you choose other words to describe it?
Edu: Well, why not, everything we have released by now can be labeled as Death Metal, but we will probably release some Black Metal in the future, or even other Metal sounds, if we do like the band.
4. You seem to like the tape format quite well. Why did you choose this one exactly? What are the advantages of tapes compared to other formats in your opinion?
Edu: Sure, we like tapes and buy lots of them, I like demos to be released on tape, but I’m not fond of tape albums to be honest, I prefer to get them on CD or vinyl. We choose this because it’s cheap and it’s hard to afford a CD or vinyl release. CD-R releases are pretty affordable as well, but we don’t like them a lot. And of course, tapes have a special, unique charm you won’t find in any other format, even if it sounds better.
5. Newer labels are more and more attracted by pro tapes... What are the advantages and disadvantages compared to regular tapes in your opinion? Is it rather about having 100-200 tapes ready to use, and not dubbing every tapes yourself, or is it rather about having a "professional" product? Do you make a big difference between pro tapes and "regular tape demos"?
been doing pro tapes since our second release, and I can’t see any
disadvantages. With the Ataraxy demo tape, we bought 100 black tapes
and dubbed them with a crappy stereo and it sounded like shit compared
with the original master, and it was a pain in the ass to dub them
one by one. Fortunately enough, it will be given the proper treatment
with the 12” re-release by Black Mass Records. After that, we have
always released pro-dubbed, silkscreened tapes. The production cost
is the same (or even less) than buying some TDK tapes and dub them
yourself, they sound better, they look better and you don’t have
to dub them so, why not? Anyway, if other labels like to do their
releases in regular tape, it’s ok with us, we don’t make a big difference,
neither as listeners nor as distributors/traders.
6. To which labels would you say you identify yourself the best? Would you feel close to older peoples, older than 30 who run labels for years with their "old ideas", or you feel closer to other younger guys who began at the same time?
Edu: I feel more identified with young people that have similar labels like ours. For example, the first tape releases by labels like Detest Records were one of the inspirations for the birth of Filthy Cave Records. (Editor's note: I'm sorry but I wouldn't put D€T€$T in the same category than you. Ways too much speculation!) And nowadays we are in touch with a lot of people running underground labels, and some of them are doing very interesting releases.
7. Sometimes when I listen to some new old school Death metal bands, I rather feel listening to something like "Morbid thrash metal"... It seems to me they're closer to something like SLAYER "Hell awaits" (With its morbid atmosphere), the first POSSESSED album (With the screams and distorted sound), NECROVORE or eventually the first PESTILENCE album, than the old school Death metal I know (With downtuned guitars, low death growls and more...). Would you say there's something like an evolution in the meaning of "Old school Death metal" for a part of the audience, or is it possible that I'm becoming to become old? (Hu?)
I don’t know, I think there’s a wide variety of sounds and influences
in nowadays Death Metal, I hear lots of new bands with very downtuned
guitars and low death growls. I recently saw Undergang live and
it’s really hard to find a vocalist in any early 90s band with such
low-tuned, brutal (and natural!) vocals. And nowadays there are
lots of bands taking the heavy guitars of bands like Incantation
to a new (or not that new) level. Maybe I didn’t understand the
8. What's the best way to promote your label in your opinion? Is it necessary to use a bit of everything: Emails, forums, facebook, twitter, youtube, youporn, flyers and more... Or did you find a way that works much better than the remaining? Would you say you're rather lazy or quite active in terms of promotion?
Edu: We try to do our best with promotion, even if we still can improve of course, but it’s difficult nowadays with so many labels out there. Internet is a great tool, sure, but we don’t want to be too annoying as there are lots of labels using forums, e-mails, etc with a tiresome insistence that makes you ignore them instead of actually getting informed about their news. We send an e-mail newsletter sometimes (when we actually have news to announce), and we announce those news on some forums and our Facebook site. We also use more traditional methods like putting ads on fanzines or printing flyers. We don’t think that doing a YouPorn video ourselves would help a lot, but if any hot chick is willing to record herself doing her thing while listening to Machetazo “The Maggot Session II”, please get in touch.
9. Do you happen to run "stands" during gigs to sell distro items, or not? Is this something good to distribute your releases?
Edu: We have done it sometimes, but I kind of got tired of it. It’s a pain in the ass to pack everything, put it on the table, pack it again, miss the show... to sell only one or two tapes if you are lucky, specially in our hometown. I prefer to organize the show, play, or just being a plain attendee and enjoy the show properly. I’m sure we will run stands again, it’s also cool to meet people and talking about the distro stuff, but here in Zaragoza we are often also involved in the organization of the shows, so it’s difficult to do everything at the same time!
10. Which one from your releases is your favorite, and why?
Edu: How can
you ask a dad which one of their sons is his fave? Hard question,
every release means something unique to me, but I will say that
the Agonia Pre-Mortem demo is one of the best Death Metal demos
released during the last years in my opinion. It’s a pity that they
are now on hold, another release would have probably make them get
the praise they deserve. I hope they finally record the unreleased
tracks you can check out in the show we uploaded to YouTube.
11. Which releases you did was the most successful in terms of sales and trades? Did you notice some were easier to sell or trade, and if so did you identify why?
Edu: Well, actually it is our latest release (the Necroven demo tape) the one that is selling the fastest (we only have around 30 left, after only a few months). I think it was due to different circumstances. First of all and most importantly, the songs are very good. It also helped our label slowly getting more known within the underground, the great promo Jonathan himself has done, and the fact that great labels like Memento Mori or Satanic Skinhead Propaganda have signed Necroven for their debut full-length. Machetazo was also easy to trade and sell, as they are an already well-known and respected band. Ataraxy “Rotten Shit” was sold out quickly as there were only 100 copies and we traded a lot of them, and we only have about 15 Agonia Pre-Mortem tapes. So, no complaints after all!
12. Generally, how many copies of a tape do you distribute? Do you voluntary limit the amount of copies, or is it something like the kind of release you choose won't need more than 100 or 200 for example?
Edu: We did 100 copies of the Ataraxy demo tape, and 250 of all other releases. More or less it’s the amount of copies people demand, but we would repress a release if we had enough interested people behind. I actually thought about doing a Necroven repress, but SSP is doing an American press and I think that it will be also added as bonus tracks to the CD full-length, so I think that’s enough.
13. Do you think you will stick to the tape format for a long time, or you already have plans to release something on vynil, CD, or else? In other words, is the tape label a finality, or a step towards something else?
Edu: I think it can be kind of a step towards something else. If the label keeps working fine, I would love to release something on vinyl, as we are total vinyl maniacs. I actually hope one of our next releases to be on vinyl. The cost is much higher, but it would also let us trade a lot of interesting releases. Maybe a 7” or a co-released 12” with another label would be a good first step into the black wax void. Time will tell.
14. Your label is focused on old school Death metal, a genre that lived its golden years a long time ago... Some peoples will say it's a bit strange that you follow this path, that in a way you have a deformed vision of it, and it can't be exactly the same... What could you answer to this argument? How would you say you live old school Death metal: In a way very close to the 90's way of life, or in a way adapted to the modern life of 2012? (Notice this is not a personal attack... And when I was younger I often felt listening to a dead genre because I started with Death metal in 1994, when it was dead... So I probably got a quite deformed vision of it)
Edu: Of course I live adapted to the modern life of our days, but I think we are as passionate as any early 90s die-hard. Times have changed, the way people communicate and move through the underground is different, but the music and the dark feeling behind reminds the same.
15. Fanzines... What's your opinion about paper fanzines? Is it something really necessary, or just a good little pleasure everyone could live without? I sometimes feel it's a shame newer zines don't last very long... But it costs money to run one...
Edu: I like fanzines a lot, actually I buy more than I can read, and I have a pile of great pending fanzines haha. We have always supported fanzines in Filthy Cave Records, and we have no problem selling them so I guess that people are still interested. I used to do a newsletter called Mugre, and I have a “full-length” fanzine under that name almost ready to be unleashed, but other activities take me too much time and it’s getting fucking delayed, but I hope to release it one day...
16. How did you discover metal, and Death metal in particular? Was it immediately something quite obscure, or did it evolve gradually from quite mainstream genres, to something a bit more extreme each time? One might wonder how it happens for the younger guys in the new century, because with the Internet it's much easier and faster to get in touch with very extreme music, very fast... When I was a teenager in 1994 it began with hard rock in my father's Lps collection (Alice cooper, Led Zeppelin), then there was some Heavy metal or grunge (Iron maiden, Nirvana (Yes, ouch!)). Then some thrash metal like Sepultura or Slayer... And then some quite famous Death metal bands (Like Death, Carcass, Morbid angel)... Would you say your travelling in the metal world was quite close, or the use of Internet changed a lot the way peoples get in touch with underground metal in the first place?
Edu: Typical story I guess. When I was a kid, my best friend in school had an older brother who was into Metal music and would let us listen to some Priest, Maiden, Slayer, Blind Guardian... and when years passed I discovered Death Metal and Norwegian Black Metal, Carcass was probably one of the bands that meant the most for me at that time as well. Nowadays that old friend is not into Metal and goes to discos full of hot sluts, while I keep going to gigs and pubs full of sweaty, dirty, long-haired bastards. I guess I chose the wrong path...
17. There are more and more bands trying to sound like Swedish Death metal... What are your feelings about it? Do you think it's good, since it's a genre you like very much, or do you feel a bit bored and would need a bit of something else? What could be the next underground trend in your opinion?
Edu: Well, there are some cool nowadays bands playing Swedish Death Metal, but yeah, lately there are too many, and I’m getting a bit tired of the “Boss Heavy Metal” pedal sound, as it’s very limited, specially live where it creates a total mess if you don’t manage to pull it off properly. A few days ago I saw Vallenfyre live in London, and the total Paradise Lost melodies and vocals were great, but the Swedish distortion riffing was totally unnecessary for me, and didn’t fit the band sound at all.
18. What would be your most crazy dreams with the label? (Maybe something like releasing the music of a band in particular?)
Edu: Well, I don’t see Filthy Cave Records releasing a big band or anything like that, so I just hope to keep on releasing new interesting bands. Many people should get rid of their nostalgia for every old band (OLD does not always mean GOOD) and appreciate the great young bands that are now active (and of course, lots of them will be average or not very interesting as well).
19. If you couldn't release Death metal recordings, for an unfortunate reason such as "Death metal doesn't exist"... Which other kinds of music would you choose? In other words, which other kinds of music would you like enough for a personal effort? I guess there could be thrash metal, black metal, heavy metal... But what about old school grindcore? And maybe even Dbeat/ Crustcore? (It's not far from Swedish Death metal)... Would you imagine you could released something like dark ambient, or another kind of extreme/ strange but non-metal music one day?
Edu: Well, Machetazo is pretty much an old school grindcore band, with Death Metal influences of course. And Agonia Pre-Mortem has a strong dbeat/crust influence. I have a few dark ambient albums as well as some industrial records, but it’s not something I would release I think. I don’t know, maybe an underground Heavy Metal label could be pretty cool!
20. Would you say running a tape label helps to get free pussy, or not at all?
Edu: Sure, I fuck lots of playmates every weekend thanks to my tape releases.
21. What’s the craziest thing you ever did with a tape? (I don’t necessarily mean something sexual, but it can be ahah)
Edu: Well, one night, after a random Metal show, we were hanging out totally wasted in the street with a car blasting some Metal, drinking, shouting and whatever. The neighbours finally got pissed off and called the cops, and then one of these large vans full of badass cops arrived, they took our IDs, and searched all we had. I had my pockets full of tapes and had to put them all on the ground. Not an amazing story I guess, but the face of the cop was priceless.
22. This is the free question, feel free to speak about anything you wish... Metal related or not.
Edu: Fuck hipsters, fuck Roadburn reunions, fuck Metal hippies, fuck record flippers and fuck those who collect underground Metal records like fucking stamps!
23. What are your future plans? Tell us more, and feel free to conclude... A morbid way!
Edu: We are now planning our next releases, but we can’t announce anything 100% sure yet. We are also arranging some shows in our city for different bands in the upcoming months. We also play in a Death Metal band called Ataraxy, and after a demo tape and a MLP we have finally recorded our debut full-length. It will be released by Memento Mori (CD) and Me Saco Un Ojo (12”) in a near future. Thanks for your support, cheers! Get in touch for more info at firstname.lastname@example.org or check our website at www.filthycaverecords.com, Metal of Death!