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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?

Hahaha, yes, 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.
 

 


4. Why did you choose "Triumph Ov Death" and not "Apocalyptic raids" or "The Third of the Storms" records?

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.
 


7. How do you proceed for the choice of bands? Are the monetary and blow job aspects taken in account during the final choice? Did you initially choose to exclusively release ancient recordings, and perhaps you changed your mind in the middle of the road (I like to release recordings of bands being active, it adds a part of usefulness to the process), or perhaps you take things "as it comes"?

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.
I assume the following: If something kills me and if I have the necessary funds, I release it! But anyway, the recordings of ancient times are prioritary, it is TOD's reason to exist, it should remain so.

 

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.
The 7" Ep format is probably more boring to ship than cassettes, I won't repeat the experience so soon. But one never should say never, that's why I reserve myself the right to release a cassette if I wish to. Let's say for now, this is not a priority!
 


 

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...
Sometimes we could even see an extreme reversal at the ethical level, state of mind, but well... Do you think it is healthy to see everything mingle itselves from the micro label to the "underground major', from the profit maximizer, the recycler of past glories, or the "crepuscular" tape label, the week end suitcase distro, all with very different motivations/ ideologies (Leisure/ Monthly income, passion/ need for profitability, sincere desire/ marketing speculation), the whole roughly gathered in the same tub with shovel knocks, because after all "It is just metal"...?

The "underground" 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.
Many labels proclaim themselves as underground while they sell thousands of copies from their releases that make the buzz (Euuuurk) on social network, for them "underground" is a mean to sell products. The underground, the real one, was always there and it will never die.
The means have change but the spirit is the same. The magazines you're talking about will stop their activity in a few years, same for these fashion labels that capitalize on the trends of the moment...  A great French philosopher from Auxerre once said something like "It is at the end of the show that we count the shits", and it's true!

 

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.
Some spend their spare time mowing the lawn or tinkering, me, I releases records I love and that needs you to fight to be promoted.


 

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.
 


13. What's your opinion about the current French underground metal scene?  What are the bands you appreciate? Those that could really please you with a bit more of infusion/ maceration/ passion? Those that could become "bigger" with some efforts and perseverance?

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.
 

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