1. Hello! How do you do? Introduce your label to the voracious undergrounders!
Hello Gab, I am ok. And you? IRON PEGASUS is holding high the torch of traditional Metal Mayhem since 1998. Those who praise the spirit of the old underground are the maniacs who surely will appreciate most of the releases on IRON PEGASUS.
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...)
The label was
born 1998 when I got a promo from a by that time total unknown Japanese
band called METALUCIFER. I was so impressed by the total old and
authentic but still very fresh NWoBHM sound on their "Heavy
Metal Drill" album that I thought this band needed some more
support here in Europe and beyond. You have to remember that traditional
Heavy Metal was not so popular at that time than it is now with
all the countless new bands.
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?
As said, it was METALUCIFER. I chose them. I did an interview with SABBAT for my magazine, and bandleader Gezol sent me a METALUCIFER promo that really had a big impression on me. It was sent to me for a review, but I thought this band needs a bit more support, especially as Japanese bands at that time had no support at all anyway. So the band was happy that somebody dared to do the step and release their album here in Europe (same with SABBAT who followed later). I remember the first gig SABBAT played in Europe (in Geleen/ Netherlands). Perhaps only 20-25 people were there when SABBAT played with BARATHRUM and COUNTESS. Only the die-hardest were interested then. SABBAT impressed me so much that I really wanted to help them getting more attention. They deserved and I felt sorry for the band that European guys were not so interested in them back then. To me, SABBAT were the incarnation of old VENOM, especially Gezol. Fuckin' great!!!
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?
Well, you don't
have to forget that in the beginning most of the bands were not
so known bands... I mean, only few underground-heads knew bands
like SABBAT, ZEMIAL, PENTACLE, etc., especially at that time were
most people concentrated on Northern Black Metal (or Nordic styled
black Metal) only which was THE selling music back then (and still
today as it seems), with its strong images and actions.
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
It should be
something I would like to buy myself as a fan. That's the simple
answer. Promotion is important, but musical quality is more important
to me. If a band doesn't care about promotion at all, then it is
ok, too. I always think that quality prevails anyway.
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?
All is cool, but it is always a question if a label can afford to do it . I go step by step and see what I can afford and do. Of course it is great for the bands and fans to have all formats available.
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?
To offer value for money! Very simple! Of course freedom is important, too.
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?
Yes, for sure.
Ass suckers are everywhere anyway. So objective criticism is important,
people who are honest with their opinion and not just licking ass
just to be friends of a band or magazine or label or whoever may
be important in their eyes.
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?? ;-)
Perhaps musicians should not listen too much to other people and follow their own instincts instead. First of all the musicians have to like their music themselves before others do, if you don't think commercially. Who is considered a god or not.... who cares? You might think DARKTHRONE are gods while others say it's SABBAT... so ... who is right? It's an individual question. As a band, you always win and lose fans at the same time with every new album. You can never satisfy everybody and you should not really care.
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 examples of bands that would fit well for each. Do you think a talented band is necessarily innovative?
Well, I see it this way: Best thing is if a band both has talent and know-how. And where ends know-how and where starts talent?`A difficult question I think. Perhaps don't think about it too much and let the musical quality speak for itself instead.
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...
Most of the
times it simply happens, in one way or another. You either get a
demo you like or you ask a band you like if they are interested,
etc... Most demos do not really blow me away, but sometimes you
find good new bands. New bands live ? Well, most of the time they
disappoint me I have to say. Most of the time the old ones are the
bands who still kick ass!! But this is because of a better identity
and of course experience.
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 "rotten tapes and CDr" distro are OK, so give us your opinion!
at the moment is that if you run a label and want a band to record
a new album with good sound and not just a noisy rehearsal sound
you, then it is hard to pay the studio recording. Especially nowadays
as nobody really wants to buy and everybody wants to trade only.
Trading sometimes is good, but when it is trading only and nobody
wants to buy anymore, then it gets hard to pay all the bills.
sell quite some CDrs and tapes in your distro, but remember if you
do a label OFFICIALLY you pay taxes and all the shit that sucks
away the money faster than your vacuum cleaner. The monthly costs
for all this shit are very high, believe me.
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?
Tell me, I don't really know. I still hope that peoples (at least some) will find out that quality prevails, no matter for which style.
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?
Well, I play
guitar, but so far you have not heard anything, haha. I think it
wouldn't be helpful for the label, but I don't have this situation
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?
Perfect band? So far I am pretty happy with what I have managed so far I must say. Of course I like stuff like BLACK SABBATH, but hey, let's be realistic, hahaha,
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 am personally not a big tape maniac. But if people want to do an album as a license, why not. Actually I have seen DESASTER tape copies, but to me they are all bootlegs since I did not get a single copy myself. Tapes are cool for countries where the fans don't have so much money. So they have a good and affordable way of getting their share of Metal. CD-Rs have absolutely no value for me. Everybody can make them.
17. Is there a kind of metal labels you hate? Maybe you're able to give us few names?
Sure, especially the ones who only release and sell what is trendy and brings them money...forgetting how and with what kind of music they originally started. but I don't mention any names of course. Fans who are in the scene for long time should know what kind of history and development some labels have.
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?
Perhaps it will be important in future, but I personally don't like it so much. As a fan, if I want an album I buy it! Very simple. And I am just too lazy to be in the Internet all the time. But of course to check out a band MP3s are cool, to get an idea of a sound. But a "CD-R" collection instead of a real collection doesn't sound cool to me. But who knows what the future will bring with all its increasing technical developments.
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?
Well, I try to make some promotion and supply the good magazines with stuff, but there are sooooo many webzines and so many bad ones, it is not worth giving them stuff for free when they don't understand the music's spirit anyway.
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 written when the guy understands what the music is all about, no matter if he likes it or not. But he should have a bit of know how to be able to criticize music. he can say "Sounds like VENOM, but I personally don't like the way they do it anyway"... that would be ok for me instead of a guy praising the stuff while he never heard about VENOM before.
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?
Paper zines are always cool, you can even read it on the toilet (the traditional male way like Al Bundy does). MUTILATING PROCESS is cool, same for MYSTICAL MUSIC or ANCIENT SPIRIT TERROR, etc. Those guys are real dedicated fans and you can feel this when you read the magazines.
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
A Zine? Perhaps
check out the editors' playlists first, so you'll know straight
away what kind of metal maniacs they are... and of course the choice
of bands they interview and reviews they give. I have the feeling
that lots of guys only write for magazines to get free stuff anyway,
especially when they praise everything to satisfy the labels and
hope to get even more free shit. Those "un-critical" guys
23. Do you think some kind of competition between labels is something good? To which extent 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 usually helps to improve and get better, but that's not always the case. I think everybody is free to try something and do their best. only concentrate on yourself. It's better than looking to other labels with jealousy. Problems? Sometimes ... but you always have black sheep in the scene..
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!
No, sorry, I never really read Webzines... I have a bad Internet connection and I prefer real printed magazines instead.
25. What were the last 10 albums you listened to?
Right now?! Rotting Christ "Passage to Arcturo" MLP, Ozzy "Diary of a Madman", Place of Skulls "Love through Blood", VENOM "Buried Alive " Bootleg LP, MSG "Rock will never Die" LP, Blood Storm "Sirian Storm" CD, Necromantia "Ancient Pride" MCD, Saint Vitus "Born Too Late" CD, Massacre (US) Live Tape 1986, Warlord "And the Cannons..." LP, Obituary "Slowly We Rot"
26. What are the last very good or killer bands you discovered? What will be your next releases?
Puhh... hard question. The DEAD TO THIS WORLD demo I liked and we agreed to do a 7"inch now. It is the old guitarist of IMMORTAL. Real cool stuff. I like CULT OF DAATH, but they are not so new, are they?
... and more musical crimes. Time shall tell. First I have to do all this and then I have to see what else is possible. As long as maniacs are interested this metallic crusade will continue. If not, then it's time to say good bye.
This interview is over, you can conclude and say whatever needed to convince more metallers to support you! Thanx for the answers. Greetz!
the opportunity to introduce the label.