What hides behind your label's name? Did you name it as «Folter Records» simply because it sounds good, or there was some other kind of reasons...?
- Of course I did looking for a name that sounds brutal and fits to the music I want to release on my label. It was also important for me to put an inverted cross and an pentagram in it. So look at the result.
What made you to start your own label? Was it hard in the beginning? What funds were invested to start Folter?
- At first I'm starting with the label in end of 1990. Before I was living in GDR and you know the situation to get music of good Heavy Metal was quite bad in the East-Zone. After the downfall of the wall I got in contact with Nuclear Blast (to this time they are loooking for people who would start a distribution in East-Germany) and I started my distribution. Yes it was hard in the beginning, cos I was totally unknown and my contacts to other labels around the wolrd was like zero. At the beginning I did all by business after my eight to five job. I put all the money in my label to build it up. And the small profit from the sales going back in my label.
First album you ever unleashed was AS DIVINE GRACE's debut MCD, featuring emotional and romantic doom metal, however now we may behold Folter releasing only black metal stuff (ARKONA, ARATHORN, CASTRUM, etc.) And after AS DIVINE GRACE were signed to Avantgarde Music, you seem to lack any non-black metallish bands...
- My first release was DEAD - "Wanted For Kinky Session" a 7"EP (1000 copies, sold out) and this was porno-gore-grind from Germany. The next was MAYHEMIC TRUTH -"Cythraw" 7"EP (500 copies, sold out) and this was my first BM-release ever. You have right AS DIVINE GRACE was my first release on CD-format and the only reason why it was on Folter rec. is very simple, because I like their stuff. The new music of AS DIVINE GRACE is not my cup of tea. I started in the past with hard rock as my favorite music-style but from year to year my taste is getting more aggressive and brutal. Since 4-5 years is black metal for me the ultimate in extreme metal, but I like many other kinds of metal (death, grind). I think in the future I'll release black metal too, maybe other stuff is possible but than I must like it for sure.
Once you there was a couple of truly oustanding bands signed to Folter (ADORNED BROOD, CRYPTIC CARNAGE, AS DIVINE GRACE), however later they left your label. Why? Didn't your work satisfy their needs of what?
- As usual I did with 4 bands contacts over one CD only. You must know, it's very hard to make underground bands well-known. The most of bands want climb the top in short time and after releasing CD on a underground label they look to come forwards (bigger labels, more money for studio, etc). But I think for really small label I give them a good chanche to start the whole thing. We wish all bands the best for the future.
Most of the albums you release(d) possess extremely good (or at least pleasant) sound quality, however there's one exception namely SVARTSYN... «The True Legend» represents incredibly raw production and sometimes it's really hard to get into the music featured on that CD... I'm just wondering how could you release an album with total lack of producership?
- The sound on SVARTSYN's "The True Legend" was wanted from the band themselves. The band recorded their stuff in Sweden and I didn't have no influence at all. All other bands recorded their albums in Germany and it was easier for me to find a good studio. I think you can hear this also on the latest Folter releases.
What is Folter's best-selling act and who disappointed you most of all (talking about the sales)?
- Till now is best selling act is the CD of ADORNED BROOD. Soon I'm sure the CD of CASTRUM will sale a lot of more copies. But also the 7" of MAYHEMIC TRUTH was sold out after three month (500 copies). As for the non-selling bands is without a doubt SICKNESS "Verbrannte Erde".
What considerations are you guided by, signing new band? What does it have to represent in order to get an offer from you?
- Bands send us their music on tape or CD and so we like the music we get back in contact with the bands for possible distribution or to sign them. Also the feeling must between me and the band must be a good level. Are they from Germany is it important for us to meet the bands and to know them personally. It is for me also important they don't use their political attitudes in their lyrics, nor left or right. It's the music what's counts.
Furthermore, it might be interesting to hear whom will you name as your musical favorites...
- All my new releases and this one what will coming out in the near future. Furthermore I listen LORD BELIAL (I want this band on my label!), in the past and still now AC/DC, METALLICA (old), MOTORHEAD, PROTECTOR and a lot more, too much to mention.
Now, after almost four years of work, can you say for sure that running your own label is a profitable business?
- No, I can not say it it a profitable business. I have a minimum of profit and it is for me really hard to survive. Bigger label have a bigger profits and smaller labels almost nothing.
Have you heard anything of my country's black / death / doom / gothic / ambient acts? Is there any possibility of discovering Russian band signed to Folter Records in future?
- I know you want to hear from me NOCTURNAL MORTUM, but that would be easy. I don't know so much bands from Russia but the few that I know sounds ok for me. Here’s an example: THRON’, LAZARET (Ukraine), SHAH, DEATH VOMIT and the older one KUYSS (didn't you mean ‘Kruiz’? – ED).
And what about official distribution in Russia?
- Till now nothing. But maybe it will change in the future. I'm still looking for some one who is honest to distribute my stuff.
What can you counsel to the newcomers in alike business and fans who also want to start a label?
- Have enough contacts (world-wide), a lot of money, to life 24 hours a day for the label and of course you have to sign orginal bands.
What are your nearest plans? I heard that soon we'll have a chance of listening to new CD from Poland's ARKONA, is that right?
- Soon will
be avalaible on Folter Records:
ARKONA - “Zeta Reticuli”
GROND - “Winterkrieger”
SAMMATH - “Striid”
FANGORN - “Poems About Mountains And Forests”
CASTRUM - new CD
Closing words of yours...
- Many thanx
for your interest in my person and Folter rec. and I hope the answers for
your questions will satisfy you. I wish you good luck with your