With us today Jan of Lavadome Productions, you're welcome. It 's a pleasure to have you here and be able to exchange some words with you, how are you? We start by presenting the label to those who do not know it.
My pleasure, Gabriele. Thanks for this opportunity. Things are fine, someaudio darkness is pouring into my ears. Let's do it.
What are pushed you to create this label?
Basically I had been playing with an idea of running a small distribution and releasing some Death Metal music for few years. It was just a matter of time to make it happen and when the guys in Brutally Deceased recorded their album and I got the chance to hear the rough, unmastered recording it turned out to be kind of a no-brainer to release their album under the Lavadome productions monicker. Rest is a fresh history kind of.
Lavadome is one of the many labels that moves in the underground, what are your standard for the band selection and what is the logic that you followed in terms of production and support?
In case of Brutally Deceased, the pick have been quite obvious. They have conceived killer material, it sounded to me like an album I was always hoping for Dismember or Entombed to release one day, after they were done with their first, classic albums. Besides, we have been friends with Tomas and Zlababa of the band for quite some time. I knew pretty well who I will be dealing with and so did they I'd like to hope. There has been a lot of Brutally Deceased promos sent out to zines all around the world, many trades were done and I am still pushing the album wherever I can when it makes sense, of course. Generally speaking about the selection of bands. As you have pointed out, Lavadome is one of the many small labels out there and I can be privileged to have my passion for the great Metal art of Death to be the first and foremost indicator of what band to sign/distribute or not. Of course, I do pay attention if the band is any active and capable when it comes to playing live and how they are self-promoting themselves, but that's all secondary. Liking the music hell a lot is the primary option, everything else can be worked out and/or improved.
How should move a label and why?
I have no major goals with the label. I believe that if you are doing something well and honestly it pays off. I want Lavadome to be established as a reliable label in the first place. I prefer quality above quantity. Really, doing the small things well, with devotion and see what it eventually brings, that's all I can think of right now.
How is organized Lavadome Productions? What is your role in it and what do you recommend for people who want to enter in your roster?
It feels like if Lavadome is a one-man band, I do everything on my own and it will stay this way for a while. I hope all the initial chaos will come into shape with future releases since I will have many things (contacts/addresses/e-mails) sorted and I will be able to handle all promotion & trade regarding issues more effectively and easily. At this moment, it's better for me to handle everything myself to know what the label stuff really takes and needs.
How is your relationship with the 'zines, web or printed, and how hard it is to fight with ripp offer that often clog the network causing loss of credibility to these realities?
Seeing how the extreme metal underground works makes me feel proud of such an eruptive life-breathing organism or subculture if you want. It's been more than 20 years since the death/black metal scene has formed and it's still alive and well with its progressions and regressions. Similar with rip-offs, that come and fade away like a disease which can hurt but not completely destroy the organism in its entirety. The word of mouth still exists and it spreads even faster in current internet times. It helps in avoiding potential rip-offs. However, you can imagine, it's truly annoying when you do not get stuff you agreed on with the other side and you are waiting for a bunch of CDs, that are not coming, while you see the other guy selling your CDs and you write mails and receive just some lame promises and excuses if anything at all. As for zines. Personally, I admire any person, collective of people, that is able to run a zine on at least a little bit regular basis, be it weeks, months or even years. I know how much time & discipline-requiring it is and what effort it takes. There's a lot of cool zines and great people behind them, too many to mention. Web or printed zines, that's the question and I don't really care, the form is a matter of preference, the content & quality of the message itself is what matters the most for me. Of course, I completely welcome the revival of printed zines manifesting the total underground feel because that's where I am coming from. This is something I've always felt it has to happen! What is also a pleasure to see these days are the books that have been released. Swedish Death Metal, Encyclopedia of Svensk Dödsmetall or The Glorious Times come to my mind. Those are some stellar works.
The first album released was the debut of Brutally Deceased, there are new productions in the pipeline?
Thank you. There should be a vinyl version of the Brutally Deceased album sooner or later in 2011 and what will be the next band, album or demo released through Lavadome that's still in the works and also a matter of the funds. I can't reveal anything at this time. There are good bands out there I tell you.
What was the first album you bought and which group is your favorite? What made you love the extreme metal or death specifically?
Oh, hard one. Kiss – "Revenge" was the first original album I bought at the age of 12. It was not actually for me but I gave it a try and that was it. Unholy, being the best song there, sparkled something "unholy" in me [laugh]. What made me love the extreme metal? The energy of AC/DC's Razor's Edge, the incredible power of "Master Of Puppets", the insanity and brutality of early Sepultura's works up to "Arise", the extremity of Sarcofago, the inferno of "Hell Awaits", the incredible vocals and heavy tunes from Obituary, the demonic rage of first Deicide, the blaze of "Ugra Karma", the crazed, mad thrashing of death on "Malleus Malleficarum", the vibe of "Blessed Are The Sick", the swamps of "Here In After", the storm of "Battles In The North", the harshness of "Indecent And Obscene", the depths of "From Beyond", the pure metal genius in "Storm Of The Light's Bane", the satanic harshness of "Drowning Down The Moon", the brutality and musicality of "Pierced From Within", the Death Metal crushingness of "Hate", the progressive call of "Obscura", blasting lunacy of "Apocalyptic Revelation", virtuosity of Rebaelliun, the early chaos of Portal, the incredible vibe of "Under the Sign Of Black Mark", the filth of "Mortal Throne Of Nazarene", the precision of "Millenium", the tone of "Dark Endless", the barbarity of Scattered Remnants… I still forgot to mention a lot of bands and great albums. But if you mix this all up, you can see what I am up to even nowadays.
If you could pick three bands to be put under contract now, which would fall on your choice?
Odem, Vahrzaw or Perversity. Killer bands. You ought to check them out.
What is your opinion about file sharing and P2P? Do you think it is ruining metal or to help him reach more people?
It's not black or white for sure. I download a lot and consequently I buy a lot of CDs/vinyls, probably the more I download the more physical mediums I purchase because I still discover lots of great music, old & new, that I want to have on physical medium, usually the CD or LP or both. Those who just download … it's their thing, even they can have good reasons for doing so. I know some guys who just can't afford buying music and this way they manage to track down their beloved metal. Those who just download although they have an option to purchase are more or less posers and sooner or later will disappear into nothingness. I can't care less. And of course, I know guys who buy music although they don't have too much money, that's something honorable. Running a label throws you sort of on the other side and knowing how much effort and time the label takes makes you kind of disappointed if someone just 'steals' your work, that you were dealing with for months, in seconds. It doesn't feel right. But that's label's point of view. On the other hand, it's still fine to me if the man enjoys the downloaded album. Back then, we were recording demos/albums on tapes and trading, that's as "legal" as downloading and sharing mp3s I guess. As for smaller bands, downloading could be helpful if it helps to get the band's name out. And on the contrary it's not good for major bands and labels who'd like to make some profit, obviously.
What do you think about myspace and social networks?
It's something that had to happen in one way or another, these dull, busy and technologically advanced (mentally retarded) times simply ask for it. Anyway, I like Myspace type like networks because having a chance to immediately check how a band sounds is simply incredible, especially just surfing around and discovering some great bands/labels in seconds, that's awesome. In fact it reminds me of checking out flyers. Last Myspace version is crap though. As for Facebook being the greatest social network. I don't really care. I got a personal profile but I am not using it too much. At some point it made me just hate people more. I banned those stupid 'friends' that had nothing to say but still were posting stuff and it's just fine now. Lesson taken. I use the Lavadome profile and I should do it more because looking at Facebook as a promotional tool, it certainly is powerful and it can connect you to the right freaks with whom one can share the passion for the darkness and evil of the extreme metal which is always cool. Maybe people will realize the complete emptiness of Facebook-like networks one day and will start to write ancient letters again, who knows. I mean what's left of you if you die in this age, a mailbox and a social-network profile? Wow. We are still moving in circles and I wonder what the next turn is going to be.
What is the dream that you would like to achieve with your label?
There are no dreams that I want to fulfill or follow with the label. I am glad that I made it happen and enjoy things right here and right now. I do not necessarily look much into the future with any dreamy-objectives to be accomplished. Doing the work well, step by step, keeping the passion for music burning is enough for me. You may call this a dream.
Ok, Jan, the interview is over. The last words is up to you.