1. Hello. Can you introduce Triumph Ov Death records for those who aren't familiar with it?
TOD is a "micro-label"
if we can say so, this is not really a label since I'm not searching
for artists and since I'm doing no promotion. The idea was born
in 2010 following a discussion with Michel, ex-MUTILATED. I created
TOD especially to rerelease the works of MUTILATED and provide the
band a decent burial. Since then I released other recordings, such
as IMPERIAL (CD) or WE ARE FRENCH, FUCK YPU! on CD as well.
2. You re-released almost every recordings of MUTILATED, a cult French Death metal band (For those who didn't follow), after a few efforts and difficulties. Which conclusion would you draw concerning this adventure now all the stock is gone? The best moments, the passages to be remembered?
The key parts are the first 7# Ep, the feeling of having succeeded in giving the band the exposure they deserved. It's also the fact of getting in touch again with contacts that disappeared since more than twenty years. Finally it's the reaction of metallers who were only waiting for it: Serious re-releases, with interesting material.
3. You have recently released a compilation gathering French bands, entitled "We are French fuck you". Isn't it a bit suicidal to release this format in 2015, while metallic washing powder magazines sold in newsstands come with a gift/ malus under the form of a CD? You have a taste for risk?
I have a taste for risk. Many peoples thought I was going to fail
and finally, they were wrong: This release was a success. Everyone
was waiting for a compilation of this kind and no one bothered to
release it. You were talking about risk, I'm not sure if we can
say so since most of the bands have some kind of serious reputation
in the underground.
Good question! In fact it's as much an homage to the band you have in mind than to the sumptuous painting of Pieter Brueghel. It's also a wink to an epoch when most of the bands had a moniker finishing with "OF DEATH"!
5. You said you were doing no promotion, apart from Facebook and a few flyers, you said you're throwing a few bottles in the sea waiting until the information spreads... Isn't it a quite risky bet in 2015 when bank accounts aren't overflowed anymore (lol) and the underground seems to be subject to a quite good flu?
Facebook is the only modern aspect of the label, but it represents an enormous percentage of my sales, I have to admit! With the few promotion I'm doing (It's almost absent!) I came back on investments for 99% of my releases. I'm doing releases little by little: If something works well, the following one can follow shortly, otherwise I have to wait until money comes back.
6. You told me you didn't consider to run a label. This said, other peoples commonly use this word but they distribute releases to a more limited amount of copies... So, in your opinion what are the necessary prerequisites to reasonably be able to use the "label" word? What are the differences between a label, a mini label, a demi label and a micro label?
I don't proclaim
myself as a label for the reasons quoted before; I have no other
pretention than the satisfaction to release what I love. A label
tries "deals" on bands while the label- headers do not
necessarily listen to these bands. This is not my case, I only release
what I like. My communication budget is null, I'm not working hard
on social networks, I have no financial/ profitability objectives,
I don't listen to CDs, streaming links or Mp3s, all of this is unbearable
to me. I'm only a guy in his garage pleasing himself, I don't pretend
a single minute to be a "real" label, even if I sometimes
use this overused word for convenience.
At the beginning
I expected to be specialized only in "auditory necromancy",
as I often say, this means to exhume dead recordings of bands that
didn't benefit the exposure they deserved, according to me. Then
I decided to do a few gaps, always releasing music that takes you
in the guts, even if I was driving straight in the wall at full
speed in matter of sales.
8. You have mostly released vinyl. Do you think you could releases tapes one day? Pro tapes aren't too restrictive, and are easier to ship than 7" Eps or 12" Lps.
I order cassettes,
but I was never too interested in releasing some, paradoxically.
9. The meaning
of the "underground" word has changed quite a lot the
last years, we now can find some labels or magazines, pro and semi
pro, who didn't give a shit about it (Or more) and are now forced
to adapt to what remains of "customers" to survive...
word was always the case of an infinite debate. Yes, some magazines
give one or two pages, some labels create an "UG" subdivision...
You donít suddenly wake up underground minded one day in the morning,
it is a state of mind you acquire little by little.
10. What do you find to be the coolest, and the most tiring in the fact of selling records in 2015?
I use a crazy
energy for a turnover that would bring tears to each real label,
each 10 euros banknote matters, here is the boring side, but is
it largely a minority compared to the pleasure it brings. As you
saw it, my releases are quite focused, it is mostly for the older
peoples, who are all serious guys, and so it's a leasure to move
your ass for this kind of peoples. I fight for each release, to
have the needed budget; Sometimes I find it to be horribly boring
and tiring, but globally this challenge excites me.
11. Can you tell us more concerning your activities preceding T.O.D? You played in a band, was doing a distro? I think there was a paper zine in the 90's...
Yes, I began a fanzine in the summer of 1991, up to the summer of 1993, a great time, totally different from what a zine is in 2015. I also played in a few metal bands posterity choose to ignore in a burst of lucidity. I had a very small distro set up in 1992, a ridiculous thing, but I had no other fund than my pocket money, it was complicated haha.
12. Since the beginning of the label, did you have the surprise to find back contacts of friends from the early 90's? Perhaps some were doing a zine at the time, and hu, next to an order of a MUTILATED record you notice the guy who runs "BROCOLI Records" used to be a frequent contact at the time?
Yes, I got
in touch again with a whole lot of peoples from the time, and I
realize that in the immense majority of cases, these peoples never
changed, never disowned their tastes.
You'll find the bands that caught my attention on the compilation! For the bands that weren't a part of it, I could also quote ZOLDIER NOIZ, NECROWRETCH or VENEFIXION. Those lasts could even become "big", they even have the approval of Fenriz, the Philippe Manoeuvre of UG metal haha. I particularly like a lot TEMPLE OF BAAL and RITUALIZATION.
14. What came back in your play list the most often during the last months? Can you, if possible, answer in two categories: The old "cult" albums (And not the ridicult ones please huhu), and the newer recordings?
What is often played? EXCITER "Heavy metal maniac", JUDAS PRIEST "Killing machine", SARCOFAGO "INRI", VEKTOR "Black Future", SCORPIONS "Virgin killer"... Concerning the news, VENEFIXION, CHAOS ECHOES, the last SATAN and more.
15. What are the future projects of T.O.D? Something special to announce, or patience... The readers will see what comes out from the cauldron when the time is right?
On the official
list, there's the 12"Ep of ABYSSALS' demo'94, then the 2xCD
of "In memoriam" because peoples harass me for a CD version.
I have other plans in mind, but since I hate to talk about things
before having the records in the hands, I shut up.