Internet Blogger and Death Metal Band Collapse From Halifax, Canada.
St. Francis Xavier University
Death Metal Record Label Forward Regression Records and the author of Space Command (in production).
Check out this blog for updates on my Albums/Books etc.
Friday, May 3, 2019
Working In Death Metal Music
The Old CD Plus On Barrington St. Halifax
Heavy Metal music and Death Metal music is not all just running around with your sword and shield fighting Christians during The Crusades, there are all kinds of other things going on there. A common theme in "metal" is Scandinavia folk lore like in Black Metal in Norway and also places like Finland are there Celtic heritage.
A lot of Heavy Metal from the region is Viking influenced with swords and shields and Norse god folklore like Odin and similarly in Finland with their Celtic heritage. Something like that, and also includes places like Sweden.
Many of these bands and topics may not be known or popular in North America because we have a different culture and not as old like with the Viking topics in Northern Europe. They are singing about the days before Santa Claus, Christianity and the Crusades. Just remember though, all heavy metal is not about the Norse Vikings following the god Odin and fighting the Christian Crusaders. Or at least Viking descendants during that time period.
What I'm saying is people might not get a lot of topics in Heavy Metal and not like the music because they don't have a real connection to their Viking heritage and other folk music influences that they grew up with from Europe, people in North America might not have been exposed to flutes and stuff like that like in Europe and don't really get the Heavy Metal aspects those musicians are using.
That may make a heavy metal band huge in Italy and no one in North America because kids don't get any of that here. Maybe.
That is the essential theme of Black Metal, Norse god's, pagan's which worship nature and Viking topics. Europe is totally different than North America in those aspects for example Italy has no Copyright laws or something and bootlegging is rampant or it used to be, however you're not allowed importing those albums, the Netherlands is also rampant with Bootleggers.
Today I would have to pinpoint the Netherlands as being the top region for bootlegging maybe along with Tokyo, Japan who has expert bootleggers that create counterfeit collectable albums for one cent and sell at $500 right on eBay.
Of course you can't prove that, that's up to Interpol to stop. Just be careful collecting these expensive albums, today those could be almost exact duplications of original versions. Also if it wasn't for bootleggers from the Netherlands my Johnny Cash collection would look pathetic. They are the ones pressing all those rare recordings and stuff. I'm starting to think Johnny Cash is the number one bootlegged artist coming from Scandinavia, I've gotten tons of awesome records of Johnny Cash coming out of there.
North America has mainly "standard" heavy metal which is mainly pop culture influenced by horror movies, partying or political influences. The American and Canadian Death Metal sound is mostly gore, horror and political while Europe also has all that it is Viking and Norse influenced with many different instruments and "sounds" in their records.
Germany is one of my favorite metal scenes anyway, which a lot of people don't get over here and Black Metal from Norway which is Viking influenced. I'm also a large fan of Quebec Heavy Metal in Canada in the regular music scene not the poser scene of wanna be artists spamming everyone.
Why am I saying all this? Well I'm working on my business and setting up a retail store setup which will be online only for now with my Heavy Metal record label Forward Regression Records, if that gets big enough I'm not opposed to opening a retail outlet at the mall or something if I had all kinds of inventory just sitting there people tell me I should just put it in a shop at the mall just to make extra money.
Well I wouldn't be working in it, I've have to hire someone to set that up and run it for me from the music business and let them do it, like someone who has experience running record stores and retail outlets at the mall, then I'm just the owner and I'm busy doing something else. On top of that I'll have no liability if something happens at the store at the mall since I'd have someone else at the mall running the store or stores for me.
These are just topics that are coming up when I'm doing my business planning and talking about financials and stuff and how to manage my money when my business is setup like for investments and stuff, putting some of my inventory at the mall might help turn over some of my savings money by selling cds and stuff at the mall.
No that's not CD Plus people because I get asked that because I used to work there. I used to work in the "A&A Records" group of people with Records on Wheels and CD Plus but that all closed years ago so no, I'm not trying to reopen CD Plus because people ask me that from my old store at the mall. Mine is brand new, and not CD Plus reopening. People think I'm CD Plus for some reason, I have to tell them no, I only just used to work there.
The picture above is the old CD Plus main store in Atlantic Canada on Barrington Street in Halifax, that store was the old Urban Sound Exchange mixed with A&A Records, hence...CD Plus. That's not totally accurate but it's good for hype.
Upstairs there it used to be a Club for bands that I used to play at when I was like 20 and probably invented Death Metal there in like 1996. They also used to have the old multi story Sam the Record Man Store just beside that back then and I even met Sam himself down there once in the cassette tape days just before Cd's came out.
My story of Sam the Record Man himself when I met him is he was down on Barrington street when he was pretty elderly yelling at everyone to get the store cleaned up when I was there shopping for heavy metal cassette tapes, he seemed pretty mad that day but I'm sure he wasn't always like that.
Why I'm saying about the differences between European and North American heavy metal is some albums might be a failure in North American Record Stores and huge in Europe because of cultural differences and the same goes there for bands from North America.
So when I hear a record as a music guy I might say "yeah man, this is the most awesome record I ever heard in my life" but they have no sales because no one knows what they are talking about. When I hear it I know it's a huge metal hit album, but other people just don't get it.
My advice is, I would sign it even with no sales because if people actually hear it that band will be huge. A few albums later after years of no sales that band could be the next Razor or someone, a gold selling band in Canada on an independent label in the 1980's but you never know what album will take off.
I'm trying not to take on loans and investments to fund my record label however I'm still doing all the steps to do that just to see what the bank and financial lenders say about my business plans, then there may be something there that I want so I'm doing all that just incase I get a good offer.
My audience right now is mainly United States and Los Angeles for my music which means all that stuff I am promoting is huge in Los Angeles and California in Heavy Metal, meaning that will catch on other places later when I get promoting longer and larger, later that will break out in the German and England metal scene later, for now my main audience and market is LA and California.
When people ask me about getting your band signed the short answer is you can't because all the bands suck to real labels. To be the next Motley Crue or Venom or someone and like Iron Maiden for example is a rare occurrence in music, even Black Metal like Mayhem or Emperor. It's generally impossible to get to that level.
That means there are ten million demos and bad albums per second out there and no one will sign it and it doesn't sell at all. In that pile there might be a few good bands that would maybe be the next Razor or someone. That's what I'm listening to and looking for, not the crap but the good ones like Razor from Toronto.
So no probably you can't get your band signed in that pile of demos unless your Dave Carlo and Razor, I'm not saying give up but the odds are against you. Quebec Death Metal is one of my favorite "genre's" of music - that means category.
However, the scene is overpopulated with crap, posers and scams and is not going anywhere. Montreal for example is or was the top Death Metal scene in the world however that also comes with the worst crowd of people I ever met in my life and all terrible bands, scams and rip offs.
When they say Montreal or Quebec Death metal they mean Nuclear Blast Records artists not local bands scamming everyone and can't play. That area has produced several huge death metal bands that made the "category" so huge anyway. That's Nuclear Blast Records and Sony and them not the local metal scene, that's all posers.
The real scene there is it's a large venue with several large bands on Nuclear Blast or Sony or something like Carcass and Napalm Death were for ten minutes, they are what all heading back to BMG and Sony these days.
That's a popular venue with large concerts for Sony in heavy metal like Iron Maiden and them with tons of FANS going to concerts, that's what makes Montreal a huge heavy metal city. That of course comes with the worst crowd of posers, bootleggers, scams and ripoff's in all of metal that I ever met.
I'm saying those small artists with their demos and independent albums are not the Montreal or Quebec scene it's large bands like Kataklysm and them that make the scene and concert tours from Sony. That has nothing to do with local cd shops and small labels pressing demo albums that would never be signed by Sony or BMG.
So no you can't get signed in Heavy Metal unless you're the rare exception, the rest is just crap in a sea of shitty demo albums just like it always was.
Those are just some thoughts of the day I had to share on the internet about things I'm dealing with and the current topics I'm talking about right now in music. That's what people are talking about and asking me when I show them my business plans and financial forecast plans etc. when they start grilling you about the music business from the bank loan manager and investment firms and them, that's just stuff you need to know about operating in the music business in the "Heavy Metal Landscape" they call it.