Friday, 2 December 2016

Non Serviam Records Interview 2016

Non Serviam Records
now and then we see
unique things happen in the world of metal,
especially within the Extreme Metal scene, Dutch label Non Serviam Records is one of the leading names in the scene!
having just being born in 2008 from a  passion of creating 
a label and releasing bands and pushing them to the next level Ricardo himself is 
the one and only man behind this operation  , one might speculate that starting labels is somewhat of a rough decision, and should only be done out of passion, and Ricardo himself shares that its indeed a tough task having already released 15 albums  in the few years but already established a name for himself,
with the recent signing being Wormwood and Zornheym from Sweden, bright days are ahead of him for this young man! 
so we set down with Ricardo to talk about his passion for the label and to get his side of the industry !

Ricardo Gelok - Non serveram Records 

Non Serviam Records Interview 2016

1 Can you give us some brief history of what lead you to start Non Serviam Records?
The label started in 2010, back then we were more into selling used cd’s (we still have a lot in stock…I have to put them into our web-shop as well), in 2011 we released our first release “Grief of Emerald – The Devils Deep”. From there we were always searching for new great bands to sign to the label.

2 what was the main goal that you had when starting non Serviam Records
We wanted to release great music, regardless if a band is well known or underground, if the music is good and we like it…we might consider to release it.

3 Living in today’s scene we all know that CD is not what it used to be worth do you still think there are good ways to distribute and sell records of bands?
Unfortunately the metalheads of today are not into buying physical albums as they use to do. I always enjoy buying albums, and read the lyrics while listening to the music and look at the layout. There are good ways to sell cd’s, for example at live concerts, but it would be cool if fans buy at the label as well, so we can continue releasing new albums and support bands.
4 Diy is getting more and more common around the music scene today, bands have more options what do you think a label can offer bands that they can't do themselves these days... with the internet.
I think the strength of a label is spreading the music wider that a band can do all by themselves. If a band wants to do the whole process by themselves I’m fine with that…..i mean it’s oke to try as a band to explore the possibilities. The downside could be; that the band put out all their music through the digital channels, and also release an album by themselves that labels might loose their interest in releasing that band because there’s nothing new for the label to release.

5 how important role do you think social media is today compared the old ways in promotion vs magazines, radio...
The social media is more important than it was before; we as a label also use social media to reach fans. I think in the end it comes down to the same purpose…and that’s promotion.

About Physical packing
6 Do you find that the digital markets is slowly taking over the physical with free downloads and bandcamp, or do you see it as a more natural way of things evolving in todays scene.
As I said before, fans don’t care as much about physical releases. The digital market is a market to recon with. But if fans don’t buy anymore and get everything for free of the Internet, it is getting harder for bands and labels to release as much albums as they could. This would also mean the labels will not sign bands whom might got signed if there was more money to spend.
Digital (paid) downloads and streams will gain some income, and it could help the band-name get more wide spread…so maybe that could be beneficial in the end.

7 what important aspects does a band need to have or take into account when approaching labels
They should make sure they have some descent material. We often receive emails with the message “we are…. (band name)… we play death metal, are you interested in signing us?”
Then there’s no website and bio attached…in that case we think, “if a band can’t bother to send a descent promo and introduced themselves, why should we bother to listen to the music?”

I’m personally a fan of that bands send a physical promo package. That way we can listen to it on different audio sets. But if you send us a digital promo package…that’s also oke of course….but make sure you send enough material/info so we can get to know the band.

8 What are you thoughts on marketing and retail is it still possible for labels to get their music out on various stores, with less retail in the air and stores cutting down on records. and vinyl slowly taking over?
Do you think it’s just a hype that will die or is the vinyl hype here to stay?
It all comes down to the demand of the metal fans, if they don’t buy anymore, stores will not order as much as they did, and then you will find only the major bands in the stores. Vinyl has never left I think….but it’s getting more popular in the years.

9 what are some of the aspects that you look for when signing bands?
Frist of all and perhaps most important is, we have to like it.
This might sound obvious, but to us it’s more important than commercial success.
Next to that a band has to be serious about what they are doing, we want to feel the passion or whatever you want to call it.

10 Lets talk about your latest singings Zornheym and Wormwood, How did those two
come to your attention?
Zornheym contacted us regarding their upcoming album after they saw a great review of Rimfrost in a Swedish magazine. Zorn (the main man in the band) told us his ideas regarding the new album. We knew instantly that this was a band with a clear vision for the future of their debut….and I knew I want to sign them.
Wormwood came to the attention of a friend of mine “Oliver Dalhbäck” who is also label-boss of Black Lion Records. He told me that he knew a band that might be a band for Non Serviam Records, so after listening to one song of Wormwood I decided to contact the band.

11 Being a family man and label owner how do you balance the time between?
I can manage it well, I start working early in the morning, and at 8:00am the kids go to school, so I have some time to do some work, and when the kids come back from school I try to work as much as I can. And in the evening/night I also try to do some work…sometimes I need more hour in a day.

Lets try some simple yes or no questions do elaborate if needed

12 Record Labels are the only way for bands to put out a record?
No, they can do it themselves, but a label might be easier

13 Record Labels acts as gate keepers?
Yes, sometimes

14 Bands cannot get a proper distribution without labels?
No, if they have a huge fan-base I think they can manage, but a label might have some better contacts for distribution.

15 major distribution still rules the game and is the only way for smaller labels to sell?
No, if you have a good release out, the fans will buy directly from the label instead.

16 with so many labels around the world do you think it has become harder to sign good bands?
No, there are so many good bands out there that are waiting to find a suitable label.

17 You must sign bands before it’s fully developed, in order to beat the other label?
No, that is not necessary.

18 Record labels act as taste makers?
Yes and no, fans might hear new things through a label’s release and develop a taste for some kind of music.

19 what is currently in the works for Non Serviam Any special releases you think we should look closer at?
I am proud of all my releases. And we’re promoting all bands as good as we can.
I’m still listening to all our releases a lot. So I would say, if you have the chance support them at a live gig, and ask your local booker to check the bands of Non Serviam Records and bring them to your area.

20 Before we wrap this interview up do you have last words to all followers?
Support the scene and buy the music at the label or directly from the band.
And do not forget “All you favorite bands started out as local bands, so support you local music scene!”

Ricardo! Thank your for taking the time to answer your questions we are looking forward to hear more from you soon!
Check out Non  Serviam Records
and Ricardo's band

Winter of Sin
Embraced by Darkness

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