1. Hello! How do you do? Introduce your label to the voracious undergrounders!
Hello there! Iron Fist Productions has released killer CDís/ Lpís/ Epís with following acts: Deceiver, Maze of torment, Earth, Axis Powers, Flesh, Devil lee rot, Harms way, Celestial pain, Skitsystem, and Damnation. Sounds good, doesnít it??
2. When did you create your label and what motivated you to run something like this? Did you consciously decide to create a label, or did it occur as a matter of facts? (As you might have been doing a zine and began a distro little by little... as you received more and more stuffs in trade...)
Iron fist productions
started as a label 1997. In the first era we released the both demo
tapes with Swedish Merciless on 7Ē vynils, the 2nd CD with Maze
of torment and the MCD with Hypnosia.
3. What was the first band you released? Did you choose them or was it the contrary? Was it hard to convince them to work with you, as you were a very new label with no release?
The first stuff I released was the 7Ē epís with Merciless, and no! It wasnít hard to convince them as they are very good friends with us.
4. I think it's currently much easier for you to convince a band to work with you! But is it always so easy? Maybe some have too big expectations or something like that... How does it work most of the time? Is there a contract to be signed with the bands, or is it simply a mutual agreement?
Itís pretty hard to get good bands signed. I usually want to work on mutual agreements, but some acts want to have contract. For me it doesnít matter at all.
5. How do you choose a band you'll work with? Do you care only about the musical aspect, or are the motivation for promotion and the setting of gigs important? Much more numerous are the bands who do a lot of promotion online (spamming and blabbing the boards, always building a newer website) but play few gigs and finally do few promotional work (I mean: the real one! Lots of trades, lots of flyers, lots of promotional items sent everywhere!) Would you work with this kind of bands? Would you share my opinion when I say focusing the promotions on a website is quite illusionary as many guys who visit a website are there by hazard and don't give a shit about the music?!
I choose a band that I love the music, lyrics etc. Not only Death/ Black/ Thrash. Just released the Skitsystem Ė Stigmata CD which is crust/ hardcore Ė But very powerful. The promotion is as you say, very important. But I guess itís more important to have some cool flyers to spread around in the mail than some very flashy website. I usually send out 500 promo CDís and 10000 flyers. Thatís good I guess.
6. Do you like merchandising (tshirts, patches...) and the fast or releasing the same album under various formats? (CD, classic Lp, picture Lp). If so, does it take a lot of time and energy to work on all this shit? Do you consider it as a real plus, or simply a little extra?
Yeah. T-shirts is cool. We shall start to print shirts with our bands. First ou is shirts with FLESH. Price: 12 euros, size: M or L. Also I love vinyl but itís very expensive to print them and expensive to send them by the postal service. There will be vinyl version on all our later releases sooner or later.
7. If your label has a main line of integrity, valours, and principles, tell us about it! Or maybe you're rather free to do whatever feels right?
Iím doing what feels right.
8. Do you think too numerous (sometimes illusionary) positive feedbacks and too long extensive tours might influence a talented band in the decrease of its musical quality? Do you think a band that receives too many good reviews from all these ass-suckers of zine editors might finally get flooded into the "objective positivity", and think everybody loves them and make no effort for their next compositions? Many bands that were killer, once underground and appreciated by a limited audience, lost a lot of their greatness and crushing talent once the success and extensive tours came in the spot! That's why I ask your opinion.
I really donít know. Maybe itís in this kind of wory. I donít really care eitherÖ
9. On the other hand, musicians with a quite good potential might never compose the really great thing they might be able to in the future... if all the cock-suckers already hailz them to death once they're only playing average music! Some musicians might conveniently stay in their musical averageness and get the benefits from the no-effort-status... Why would they shake their minds to compose something great, emotionally deep or outstanding since they're already considered as gods?? ;-)
Again I donít care about it.
10. Since a lot of metallers really seem to confuse "talent" and "know-how" (Many bands who have know-how and passion are often considered as "talented" while it's far from being the case! They only like what they do, and they do it well.) give us your definition of these two words, and give few exemples of bands that would fit well for each. Do you think a talented band is necessarily innovative?
11. What's the best way to find a new band you might work with? Do you listen to all the demos you receive? Do you search on the web? Do you prefer to see some new bands live? Do you think the labels who exclusively listen to (a part) of the CDs they receive in trade with other labels might find THE killer band? I mean: most of the albums released are from bands that are quite known in the scene, or it's always the same bands that release something... but the bash of fresh putrid air comes from the underground and totally unknown bands! Right? So these labels who don't search much might always release the same rehashed stuffs...
I am reading a lot of zines, search the web and the bands is contacting us. Yes, I listen on every single demo that arrives.
12. Is the current situation of labels so hard and painful? Many owners of these full-time job of a label complain a lot about the bad sales of CDs and the fact it's not good to download mp3s... But on the other hand some of these who like to complain never answer when you ask them their list of wholesale prices, some happen to have higher wholesale-prices than consumer-prices (Incredible...but true! And it's a label from my suburb...), some labels don't stress that much their bands when they do not answer interviews, and some even don't hesitate to close the office and go on vacations for 1 month! (If the situation was so hard, there would be no room for vacations! For sure that would be: Work hard and keep it alive!!). I have doubts about all the situation, especially since the sales in my ďrotten tapes and CDrĒ distro are OK, so give us your opinion!
Yeah, itís very painful. The sellings with CDís and Lpís is extremely low at the moment. And the way that there are 1 million labels out there does it very hard. I was also in this business at the year 1992-1995 and then we sold much more than we are doing today. I am running the label in my spare-time. I have a full-time work besides the label. The label is to please me when I am not working on my regular work. I need to have a ďnormalĒ job to get the cash in as the sales of our releases isnít that good.
13. What did you have to do to adapt your label to the current metal situation? Did you have to focus on given styles of metal? To be more selective with traders? To work much more on the web?
I really donít know. Find the new style of death metal. Work much more on the web is a thing that I need to do.
14. Do you or did you play in a band? Do you think it's helpful when you run a label? In a way it could help you to see easily when a band uses void-filling riffs or isn't as serious and motivated as they claim... How many copies of your own releases do you sell each month? Do you sell or trade most of it? How many distro-items do you sell each month, and how many orders do you receive each month?
I have never played in a band. Hard question, maybe we sell between 50-100 copies of all our releases each month! The most, Iím trading. And on the mail-order we have like 5-20 orders each month.
15. What would be the perfect band you secretly dream to release something of? Did you ever release something you had been dreaming of the intense way? So what was it?
Right now Dissection, their new album is fantastic. But I already have released an album with them earlier in my life. So my dream is to release the new album with DAMNATION. But that will be hard.
16. What's your opinion about tapes releases? Apart from the fact it takes time to copy all of this... do you like it, or do you think it's over and from the past? What's your opinion about "labels" who release only tapes and/ or CDr?
I think itís cool with tape labels. But I donít have the time myselfÖ CDĒr labels is shit.
17. Is there a kind of metal labels you hate? Maybe you're able to give us few names?
No. Why should I hate labels that release stuffs with the music I love the most??
18. Since the Internet is becoming always bigger and bigger, I think some strange kind of cybernetic "labels" will take more importance: some websites offering musical downloads (sometimes for free) of stuffs you won't find another way (no CDs, no Lps...)... What are your feelings about it? Do you think this currently microscopic phenomenon will take much more importance in the future?
I guess that in the future there will be no labels putting out CDís, Lpís etc. Maybe in the undergroundÖ The labels will put it out on the Internet instead.
19. Few years ago, when the Internet was even not a dream in the heads of most metallers, many labels of all kinds and sizes used to send promos everywhere to many fanzines... But what about now? Do you send a lot of promotional items to receive reviews? Do you focus on some websites? (maybe the biggest or the most regularly updated?) Do you still happen to send CDs to paper zines?
I still send promo stuffs. 500 promos of each of my releases are sending out to zines, webzines, radiostations and important personsÖ And yes, I still send to paper zinesÖ I love them!!
20. What's a good review in your opinion? Does it need to be totally objective, subjective, or a mix of both? Do you think the reviewer has to bring some personal opinions or deliriums? Do you make a difference when you're the metaller reading reviews of the label-boss reading reviews? The difference of opinion could be very different. ;-)
A good review is when the editor hails the music you have released.
21. What's your opinion about paper zines? Do you still happen to read some, and maybe you have some for sale in your distro? Are there some good current paper zines you could advice us?
I love paper zines. I used to make one myself back in the days. I did run Putrefaction Ďzine some years back. Slayer mag is still with us. The best in the world.
22. How do you detect in few minutes if a zine would please or not your needs for alcoholic metal, objectivity and opinions? Do you rather have a look at the bands they interviewed, the notes given to the albums? ....Or the guestbook? Lol
The lay-out and if the interviews are well done.
23. Do you think somekind of competition between labels is something good? To which extant do you think that should remain? Did you already have problems with other labels who were too greedy or "visionary"? (If so what were the stronger menaces?lol).
Competition: why? I release what I like.. I havenít any competition with no other labelÖ I just do my thing.
24. Did you already read my webzine? If so tell us honestly what's your opinion about it (positive and negative points) as well as what I should change or not to please your tastes!
I have not to this point read your webzine. I shall do it when my time is not as fullbooked as nowÖ
25. What were the last 10 albums you listened to?
Dissection Ė Reinkaos and Skitsystem - Stigmata
26. What are the last very good or killer bands you discovered? What will be your next releases? This interview is over, you can conclude and say whatever needed to convince more metallers to support you! Thanx for the answers. Greetz!
Again I must say that the new album with Dissection has knocked me totally. Itís brillant. Sorry for short an boring answer, I have so fucking much to doÖ Thanx for allÖ