MAY 5th 2016
MASSACRE RECORDS 25TH ANNIVERSARY
Welcome to Metaltitans, Guardians of Metal Entertainment Worldwide, we are here today with Thomas Hertler- Manager, the V.P. of Massacre Records, who celebrates 25 years of existence in Germany. Welcome, and thank you for taking the time to do this interview.
1. The decision came about to form Massacre Records because you were searching for a label for your band at that time, did you ever expect to be in the industry for this long ?
Well, surely we did not expect that at all. It was a try to release some of the albums we had in hand and it turned out to move on and on. But we did not start it to be just a hobby for sure.
2. Had you had previous experience in this kind of field before ?
I was a musician myself and I had a finished on-the-job training as an salesman
3. How was it the first year being a label?
Full of hard work and surprises! I started with only a couple of phone numbers but we also had some help from our distributor at that time Intercord Record Service
4. Since you yourself was a musician, did you know bands that you could bring into Massacre Records?
Well, not much from my musicians side, but I was a huge collector of demo tapes at that time and knew demo distribution people
who send me those bands that I contacted afterwards
5. Do you yourself help choose what bands to bring onto the label ?
Well, it is always a combination of things that matter. Surely to commercial aspect is important, but also things like attitude, live appearances and outfit play a role here
6. How was the name Massacre Records chosen ?
Well, that was a meeting of Torsten Hartmann, me and other guys from my band Baphomet one evening. We needed a name for the label to release our debut and after a couple of beers Massacre was chosen. It was a really funny evening, it lasts until today.
7. What kind of experience did you bring ? Did you take business classes in school ? That sort of thing ?
I know the salesman side as I learned this in my previous job as a sales clerk. Torsten was already in the business as he had a record store and distributed some live CDs - the rest we had to learn from experience.
8. What has been the roughest spot to get through over the years ?
Well, after 2001 the business went down the tough way when internet and illegal downloads started, it took some years to get familiar with this.
9. Since you have been in this industry for awhile now, you have seen a lot of changes, tell us what you think is the best thing that has happened over the years ?
There is a lot of cooperation in the business, especially between the indie labels in Germany - no rivalry or fierce competition at all. People all face the tough market and somehow we are all sitting in the same boat - that's a good thing these days.
10. What has been the worst ?
The change of attitude from people towards music - and the refusal to spend money for it.
11. You must have released so many albums over this span, what do you think, in your opinion was the best album released through Massacre ?
Difficult question - my personal favourites are Saviour Machine "II", The Bronx Casket Co., Eisregen and Totenmond
12. Have you ever regretted signing a band to the label ? If so why ?
No, cannot really say. It was always worth a try even if things didn't work out as they should.
13. I have read that you also have some sub labels under Massacre, can I ask why they are not all put under the one label ?
Blue Rose Records is complete own label under our roof - Edgar runs this label and has his own releases and business. There was only one more sublabel ages ago called Swan Lake. But it was only used for 3 releases which were kinda different from the other Massacre Stuff. In the meantime Massacre has seen so many different kinds of music that we can release almost anything under the name, hahaha.
14. Do you find it hard to manage all the labels, or have you got someone in control of each that you trust?
No, as I said it is only Massacre Records I work with.
15. Tell us what the label does for each of the bands, like if one of your bands goes out on tour, what does the label do for them ?
Well, we surely promote and market the bands' albums and tours as well as anything around the band for a certain period of time around an album release.
16. Do you believe in streaming the new albums, I hear a lot of bands don't like it because there isn't much money made from it.
Yes, there is almost nothing coming in from there. But you also cannot afford not to be there - that is where people are. So you take it as some kind of promotion and hope that people still buy the CD afterwards.
17. What has been the best experience for you over the years with Massacre ?
We have the same people here since more than 15 years, there is a lot of trust and friendship
in that company. That is great and unusual in this business.
18. Has there been anything you regretted over the last 25 years ?
Not making the big money by going to Porsche or Daimler Benz here, hahahaha!
19. Tell us something we might not know about the Label …
Well, maybe that we have 5 people here which are the same since 18 years or
that most of our bands here are part of the Massacre family for more than
a decade also!
20. What do you think you would be doing if Massacre Records was not around ?
Well, I would be a salesman, I almost began working at a paper company before starting
Massacre and maybe would do something with football (soccer, over at yours).
I would like to be in the management of our local hockey team tough.
21. Do you have big plans on celebrating 25 years ? If so what can we expect ?
We are doing a lot of campaigns, there are great new albums coming up so keep
your eyes and ears open.
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview with us here at Metaltitans, and we wish you many more years ahead.
Thanks a lot for giving us the chance to be on Metaltitans and thanks for the wishes!