1. Hello San. How are you? Could you introduce yourself to our spiked and armored (?) readers?
Hi Gab! Iím fine, thanks for doing this interview with me. Iím Sandi Mujanovic also known as San (Disintegrator) and I was born 8th of August 1989 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, but my roots lay in ex-Yugoslavia, where my parents are from.
2. You initially used to run an underground label, but I saw it develop into 3 different entities, all releasing underground music. Could you explain the differences between the labels?
I ran Final Punishment Records from 2004 until 2008 (started when I was only 15 years old!), but I ran into some trouble and I did a lot of partying and alcohol/drugs abusing from 2007 and onwards (until I quit with it eventually). In 2013 I went back to running a label, namely Inverted Inhumation Records and in 2019 I started another label named after my band Vulcan Tyrant; Vulcan Tyrant Records. On January 1 2020, new years, I started a parent label for IIR and VTR called Take This Torch Records and on March 6th 2020 I created a mothercompany to them all called MCDT Company. The difference between the labels is that Inverted Inhumation focuses on metal/grind/hcpunk/crust/electronic/noise, TTT and VTR solely metal and MCDT; metal/hardrock/electronic/even some hiphop/rap and everything else.
3. You regularly have new releases, more than myself. What's your drive to always come up with new productions in 2020? Is it to kill boredom, to release great music, to erase the existence of shit music from the planet?
Running a label keeps me motivated in this life, great music is important too of course. I try not to erase any shit music, as it will always be there alongside the great stuff.
4. You often release tapes, but I also saw you come up with CDs or vynils... So what's your favorite format in 2020? Each different format has its advantages and disadvantages, such as the production costs, the weight (It can be tricky for trades), the demand... Sometimes the buyers aren't conscious about it, but for example I see the easiness to trades CDs (It's the more lightweight format, it's also the cheaper once you produce a certain quantity...)
My favourite format are all of them to be honest, but youíre right, with CDs you can trade without jewel cases and spread many copies at once for low shipping costs. I prefer to trade tapes with cases included, but I know some people (like you, haha) that do without.
5. Would you say beer is the best friend, or worst enemy, of a label maker?
In 2013 I still drank alcohol and used drugs and ran Inverted Inhumation Records at the same time, so itís possible, but I made a conscious decision to not do that anymore. If I ever fall back into substance abuse I would feel ashamed to my peers for making a promise I couldnít keep.
6. What about fanzines? I remember you released one years ago (Wasn't it RUGGED RENDEZ VOUS?). Any plans to join the "paper cult' again one day?
Yes I released
one issue of a zine called Rugged Rendezvous, it featured interviews
with Pentacle, Front Beast, Enforcer, Victimizer, Pagan Rites and
Heimdalls Wacht. Was fun to do, but I donít think Iíll make another
zine in the near future as Iím busy enough with all my labels at
7. You also have a couple of musical projects, including a two-guys thrash metal band... I saw your drummer is located in Asia, while you're based in Netherlands, so how do you proceed with rehearsals?
I think the band youíre speaking of is Vulcan Tyrant, and yes it has 2 members, but the drummer lives in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, so you got some faulty information there haha. Besides that I'm also in the band The Nefarious Integration.
Nihil: I think I was misleaded by reading too much of facebook pages AhAh
8. How are the sales for a small label in 2020? From my experience, it's not always "easy", you need to communicate and communicate again (Sometimes it feels a bit harsh, like a second job, and I feel like I will bore my contacts with all this "promo" Ahah)... It seems you often have to find new ideas to keep going... Well, are you always able to come back in your money investment, or some releases are produced at loss for the glory of metal?
Sales are now lower with the corona crisis, but I still get a big order from time to time which is good to invest in new releases and yes some releases donít sell very well, but I manage to trade away a lot of them, so still get good distribution, and some distros have better luck in selling my releases than me myself I have noticed!
9. In 2020, it's harder to decently distribute a release if you don't trade with other labels... It seems to be really needed to trade if you want to distribute more than 50 copies of a tape in one year (Unless you release something "trendy" or that comes with a surprising buzz). On a scale of trade appreciation, would you say you're rather: Trade-friendly, a trade-lover, a trade-addict, of the mighty trade-general? ahah. To sum it up : Are other labels welcome to contact you for a possible trade?
Yes I love
trading and Iím always glad if someone worthwile gets in touch with
me for a trade and vice-versa!
10. I see you use DISCOGS as a webshop. Lately a number of sellers were unhappy because the website forced sellers to set automatic postage calculation... It might be better for the buyer, but I understand it can be harder with vynils (Which can have very different weights). Now I achieved to complete it for tapes & CDs, and it's not that bad (It's the same than if you run your own webshop with automatic postage calculation: Many different items with various weights...). Apparently you still use DISCOGS, so you probably achieved to do the right configuration? Perhaps you have a little tip for those who failed? (Sorry if this turns out to be too technical)
Just check the prices of the postal courier you use with all the weight categories and translate that into Discogsí shipping policy, shouldnít be too hard I guess! Could take a while though.
Nihil: Well some label peoples are afraid of combined shippings: When there's an order of two Lps, one tape, a CD for ex, you might end up with "surprises"...
11. Let's come back to music, which styles of music did you listen to the most the last months? Is it mostly about newer or older recordings? Which albums/ demos/ Eps came back the most often on your player lately?
Lately Iíve listened mostly metal and some electronic music, new bands and old bands. The album that came back most on my player lately is actually one of my own projects; Pierce Thoraxí debut album Machine Control Diagnostic Tool, experimental breakbeat/breakcore.
12. To be more precise and "personal", which albums were the most important for you globally? I mean those that changed your view of music and were very influential on yourself as a person...
I think an
important album for me when I was still a kid is Metallicaís Garage
Inc. Their cover album you know. Through that one I discovered bands
like Mercyful Fate, Discharge, Diamond Head and more.
13. To come back to the label, do you prefer to know the musicians before releasing their music? Did you ever end up releasing a band, then found out you didn't get along that well, or perhaps didn't embrace their ideology?
I donít need to meet the musicians/artists in person before releasing them, a little research beforehand lets me know if I can work with them or not, I never had such problems with conflicts in ideology.
14. In your opinion, how will the future be like for music gigs? Perhaps it will improve in 2021, or even 2022? Do you see yourself going to a gig with a mask and social instantiation (And a straw to drink beer), or prefer to wait until things come back to the normal?
Some say corona will take more than a year from now to end, but the virus can mutate and we donít know what weíre up against until there is a proper vaccination. I donít really see myself going to a gig with a face mask. I went to a record fair recently, but no face mask was required.
15. What are your next projects with the labels? Something juicy to announce to the readers?
The most juicy release that I can announce to your readers is the upcoming Death Metal Power From Beyond compilation CD featuring 16 death metal bands from across the globe all with exclusive material! It will be a co-release between my currently main label MCDT Company with the USA-based Horror Pain Gore Death Productions. Watch out for it in 2021, itís gonna kill!