DEFORMED AURAL DECOMPOSITION
1. Can you introduce your label and yourself to our humble rotting readers?
- Festering reekards, G. Thanks for inviting us into your webzine. E.R.R. is an underground Death Metal cassette releasing label and vinyl distribution mail order. So far we’ve focused on glorious cassette tapes as the format of our releases, but the future might hold some vinyl as well. Time will show. I guess I’m the main man behind the decomposing enterprise, some people might know me from my work in the Kill-Town Death Metal militia, Undergang, and some rancid illustrations under the moniker of Torturdød. Besides that, I’m just a dedicated fan of underground death metal and I like putting some of that love into physical formats of deadly hymns.
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?
- I won’t be the one to say what makes us differ from other labels around. I’m sure there are plenty of labels around doing more or less the same as us...And possibly better anyway, ha! I founded the label at first to put something behind the release of a promo tape for the second album for my band Undergang. I’d run a distro some years ago and picked up on that to be able to offer trades to get the promo as spread as widely as possible. Always only focused on vinyl and cassettes, as those formats has always been my favorites. Being a longtime Death Metal enthusiast, it only made sense to me to try out releasing bands of the genre I loved and be able to have control on the releases of some of the projects I myself am involved in and to support the bands of local fiends and friends abroad.
3. Could we say you run a Death metal label, or would you choose other words to describe it?
- Death Metal all the way.
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?
- Well, tapes
are cheap to produce and as for promotion you can always fit several
copies in your pocket and hand out at shows, festivals and whatever.
Also, I sincerely love the format. Having never grown fully away
from it and to this day I still rock my walkman when travelling
and don’t see it happening any time soon that I’ll succumb to the
likes of mp3 players and that sort of evil. As for another part,
the sound from cassettes is pretty perfect when you mainly release
rotten sounding Death Metal, played and recorded the old way.
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"?
- To me
it’s basically the same. Some releases looks better with professional
printed covers and the full package, but then again...It’s a tape,
you don’t have to overdo it! It’s kind of a crude format and I don’t
think one should try to shine it up too much.
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?
- I think we fit somewhere in between, but there’s definitely a lot of labels around today which are probably rather similar minded as me and I know several of them from trades and years of communication. In some way I guess we could be consider a bit in the league of my friend Jesus´ label, Me Saco Un Ojo records, as he also just releases thing that he’s really passionate about and wish to see the release on the format he’d like. For example, the Organismos LP he did a little while ago...Personally, I think its total shit, but there’s no doubt how passionate he is about the release and he doesn’t care if people are going to be all over it, as it’s mainly something he does for himself. And I respect that a lot from people.
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’ll leave the decision of you feeling like being too old, up to
yourself! I hear what you’re saying, but I still think that the
newer bands embracing the older way of Death Metal have a variety
o their sound. From what I’ve experienced on the newer wave of Death
Metal bands there’s both the bands you describe on the thrashier
side of Death and the low tuned death that you’d remember from classic
acts (for me) like Demilich, Grave, Funebre and so on. Depending
on what “scene” the bands drag influences from; I think their music
can vary on that. I’d think that newer bands like Disma, Anatomia,
Dead Congregation, Krytps etc. Should fit in very well with your
craving for low tuned guitars and sounding like tombstones being
dragged across the frozen cemetery ground.
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?
- Sure, I use Youporn all the time for promoting the ERR roster, haha! Nah, but in all seriousness I think it’d be dumb not to take advantage of today’s web platforms when it comes to promoting your label. Personally I try using both the ways of old and still do flyers, both printed and photocopied depending on my economy, and promote on the internet on various national- and international forums, as well as having our own blogspot so people have a place to turn if they want to reach us, besides stumbling across the label from flyers or internet reads. However, I could definitely do a more active job when it comes to promoting, but having a full time job, 4 bands, illustration jobs, co-arranging the Kill-Town Death Fest and at the same time trying to be a good partner for my girlfriend and find time to see friends and go to shows, it’s hard to get everything done the way it fully deserves! When I get smarter I’ll try to slow down a bit and hopefully that could end up with a more dedicated work done in the Extremely Rotten head quarters.
9. Do you happen to run "stands" during gigs to sell distro items, or not? Is this something good to distribute your releases?
- I do it occasionally at local shows here in Copenhagen and I almost also bring along the distro when I’m abroad in Europe playing with my bands. But most of the time it doesn’t really matter if I bring the distro along or not, as sales are usually pretty low. I think a lot of people prefer to order their music online actually and I can see a point in it if you attend a show with the desire to get wasted and you don’t want to risk losing the item you just spend your money on. Often I get asked by people if I can put things aside for them at shows and then they’ll contact me afterwards and either order the things by mail, we meet up somewhere in town on a weekday or they come by my flat, to purchase the titles they’re interested in. It might be the scenery I present my goods at or it might be the change of today...I’m not really sure.
10. Which one from, your releases, is your favorite, and why?
- As we’ve only got 6 releases out as this interview is being answered and I appear on most of them myself, it’s hard to say for me. Hopefully without sounding too selfish, I think that the Wormridden “Infesting the Grave” demo might be my favorite. But it’s probably because the project is something special to me as well, being the international collaboration of Takashi Tanaka of Japanese Doom Death mongers and myself it’s something that we have fun with and both are rather passionate about. We’ve just recorded our second demo in Berlin this past weekend, which will be released on tape by ERR for starters, of course, and we’re talking about trying to do a live show or two when we do the Anatomia / Undergang Scandinavian tour in the summer of 2013. We’ll see if we get it worked out.
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?
we haven’t had a release so far that we had to struggle to get out
there. As the pressings are usually no bigger than 300 copies, it
leaves our head quarters quit fast luckily. But even with re-presses
the Undergang T.D.O.S. promo is still the one sold is the largest
quantity so far. The Womridden demo has gained quite some interest
as well and have just been re-pressed leaving an all over amount
of copies at 500 tapes. Me Saco Un Ojo records also did a 7” version
of this, but I’m actually not sure how big the pressing were. We
got our share of the pressing, but I don’t remember how many that
was either, hahah.
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?
- For all proper
releases we start by doing 300 copies. We’ve recently done 2 times
100 copies of promo tapes for the local band Mold, while we’re waiting
for them to finish the final vocal recordings and mixing of their
entire debut demo. It was mainly done so they had something to offer
at shows however.
13. Do you think you will stick to the tape format for a long time, or you already have plans to release something on vinyl, CD, or else? In other words, is the tape label a finality or a step towards something else?
- ERR is a
tape label for starters, that’s the only thing certain as of now.
We’d like to work on some vinyl releases in the future, but right
now there’s not the economy to produce that from our side. We’ll
never work with CDs, that something I can tell you right away however.
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)
- No offense
taken! Well, what I can I say? I very much discovered Death Metal
in the form that I love when the genre mostly was dead or evolved
into ultra lame core stuff. Being a younger guy, I discovered bands
like Grave and Morbid Angel around the millennium change and it
gave me a whole new vision of how music could sound and visually
look like and I’ve been riding on that wave of fascination ever
since, though also taking in other genres along the way. I’m definitely
not one of those narrow minded baboons who can only listen to one
genre and bashes everything else .Fuck that teen-mentality.
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...
- I love fanzines
and I’d hate to be without out them, quite frankly. I think it’s
really cool to see and read underground zines, done by fans for
other fans. What’s not to like? There’s something really sincere
about it and I respect that. I’m sure it must be a rather ungrateful
job to do at times, but any work done voluntarily out of passion
deserves some sort of credit and support, if I am to judge.
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?
off, there wasn’t internet around at my home when I grew up, nor
started discovering music. Actually I’ve only known of- and taken
advantage of what the internet has to offer for less than half of
my music obsessed life. When growing up, my dad did indeed have
some classic hard rock stuff like Sabbath, Hendrix, Zeppelin and
the likes, but they didn’t do much of an impact on me when I was
getting into music back then. I wanted it somewhat harder, though
not really knowing what I was looking for. It was some older friends
and kids at school in higher grades than me who played metal for
me and I was blown away from the first listen. Before getting that
introduction I was indeed into Grunge, but that’s not something
I’ve grown away from either. I still play my Nirvana albums regularly
to this very date.
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?
- If by
“Swedish Death Metal” you mean the buzz saw, Entombed, Sunlight
sound, then it’s not really my cup of tea from the beginning actually.
When it comes to Swedish Death Metal bands I prefer bands like Crematory,
Eternal Darkness, Traumatic, Carbonized, Grave…You know, the ones
that doesn’t sound all that HM-2 pedal alike.
18. What would be your most crazy dreams with the label? (Maybe something like releasing the music of a band in particular?)
- Basically we already do what we aim to do. But in time it’d be great to reach a wider following in our activities and be able to spread the pestilential winds of the rotten hymns that we release to more and more people. But besides that, of course there’s still some titles out there I’d like to work on getting on the format I’d like to include in my own collection. For example, when I discussed with my friend Daryl Kahan of Morbid Wrath records (amongst several killer bands) about a release of some old extra tracks of Finish masters Funebre, from around the session of their second demo, which Itotlally love, and we wanted to make a split label release of the demos on vinyl with the extra songs and an Autopsy cover song and such, but soon after, and before we get anything more talked through, Xtreem Music published the news of their Funebre demo LP were taking in pre-orders. Well, you snooze you lose. I won’t reveal much more here. Our activities will show if some projects will succeed in time or not. So for now let’s just say our dream will be to afford vinyl releases along with the ERR mandatory, glorious cassette tapes.
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?
- In theory,
yeah I could see that happening, I guess. But as Death Metal has
been my biggest passion for almost all the years I’ve been caring
about music, it’d be something different all together.
20. Would you say running a tape label helps to get free pussy, or not at all?
- Everything done in life is to gain free pussy and running a tape label will definitely help you in your hunt. Besides that it makes you rich, you get more handsome day by day and you will forever keep your potency.
21. What’s the craziest thing you ever did with a tape? (I don’t necessarily mean something sexual, but it can be ahah)
- I’ve once used a tape as a raft and travelled to Australia and back. In two days.
22. This is the free question, feel free to speak about anything you wish... Metal related or not.
- I hate almost all Swedish musicians. There, I said it! Pretentious, self-righteous pricks…
23. What are your future plans? Tell us more, and feel free to conclude... A morbid way!
- We’ll continue
to spread the audio decay as you know it. Got some new releases
scheduled as it is already, so keep your eyes gouged for more filth
from this Danish death dealer. Something new, something old, something
borrowed and something blue…From choking! Only the most foul in