Tuesday 13 May 2014

Interview with Bilocation Records

Aaron recently caught up with the cool folks behind ace record label – Bilocation Records – who have a stunning reputation within the Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal Community.

We are huge fans of them here at Sludgelord HQ. So lets see what Aaron discussed with this great record label.

(SL) What can fans look forward to from your label in 2014? How is your schedule shaping up? Any exclusives you can tell us about?

We had a huge delay at the pressing plant due to the RSD 2014 – so we are a bit behind…next up will be Mexicoma with their second full length. An amazing record, more accessible than their debut, which I think was really outstanding also!

Then we will have the exclusive premiere of the Daily Thompson debut – a German fuzzrock band which everyone should check out. They create a unique fuzzrock style which is hard to describe: fuzzy with catchy refrains and great mid-tempo riffing – and a fantastic sound!

Followed by the ‘Tibetan monk’ double vinyl from french impro-rockers Domadora – they are huge! You have to check out their live footage, simply amazing! Expect long guitar soloing and a heavy fundament made of bass and drums!

We have two handful of further releases you should keep your eye on including Demonauta, Moon Curse, At Devil Dirt, Kayros, Valley of the sun, Space god ritual, Sonora ritual & La chinga.

(SL) For those people who are not familiar with your label, could you tell us a little about yourself, your label and why you decided to start …..Records ?

After running the mailorder for a couple of years we had several band inquiries from time to time. With Lonely Kamel we decided it would be a great idea to try releasing their first two albums on our own as we really loved their music. Well – it worked out fine and we simply continued!

(SL) You’re a music fan first and foremost, right?   Given that music seems to be so disposal at times, do you place more importance on offering a great package to your customers, given the emergence of digital age.  What is the ethos behind what you’re trying to do with the label? 

Yes, I am a vinyl collector since the mid 80ies, went through the vinyl depression in the 90ies and never gave up. I was always angry about those labels who offer cheap made vinyl, especially in the 90ies you could have the impression that the companies tried to destroy the vinyl scene with cheap shit.

So from beginning our aim was to offer the collectors and vinyl-fans high quality products only. All our releases are released on 180g vinyl, manufactured at the in our opinion best pressing plant in Germany. All our releases get a special vinyl mastering for best sound. Our focus is on the quality that you get as a vinyl-collector. All the cash-in we get from a release goes to the next one.

(SL) What, if any bands may have inspired you to start the label or was their a specific reason you felt you wanted to support the bands you have?

We always love the music of the bands that we work with, it has to match with our taste – we never released an album that we would not listen to at home. And of course we wanted to give bands a chance to bring out their music on valuable, well done vinyl.

(SL) Is there a specific person (s) that you looked up to in terms of modelling your label upon?

There have been great labels around when we started, only think of Rise Above and the bands on it or TeePee Records in the US. But we tried to find our own way/style with our label philosophy.
(SL) In your experience, how easy/difficult has it been to get coverage for your releases?
It needs daily and continuous work. Social media gets it easier in some ways but it is always hard with the bigger zines, because most of them want physical copies for reviews – and you cannot send out dozens of vinyl copies from a 300 limited edition. But we try our very best – and everything helps, like this interview for example!
(SL) What do you look for in band, in order for you to get involved in releasing their music?

It is simple: we have to love their music…you cannot really describe it, what makes it magic for us…everything has to fit together…and every one of us has to love the stuff, if not we do not release it.

(SL) Based on your own experience, what do you think is the most important thing for a new label to do in order to promote themselves and their artist (s)?

You have to do it with passion and not with the $ sign in your eyes to make a fast cash-in due to the vinyl-hype that is around at the moment.

(SL) What has been some of your favourite releases so far?

I love everyone, really! Of course the actual releases are more in the focus but in retrospective I do not regret any of our releases! It was a pleasure to work with the artists an every release, everyone was really nice and helpful! Thanks to the bands!

(SL) What are some of the difficulties/frustrations of running a label, because there are many other commitments such as family, work etc that perhaps restrict the amount of time you can dedicate to your label?  Not to mention the financial pressure? 

We can share the work, have really helping relationships and we do not have children who would steal our time, haha! Of course it needs a lot of time to run the label but we love what we do so it is a good investment of time!

(SL) How valuable are blogs and social media? What are your thoughts on changes in the industry over recent years in terms digital versus CD/Vinyl? Some label perhaps do not advocate including DD codes for example?

Blogs and social media help a lot to spread the word in the community/scene. It is great work which is done there by all the bloggers and supporters, thanks for that!

CD seems to lose weight more and more but vinyl is stronger than ever since the revival. But it has turned into overkill since all the big names also bring out tons of unnecessary but expensive reissues. Who shall buy all this? We will see where the vinyl- journey will end in the next year or two…

DD codes are a fine idea, it is an extra bonus for those who love the vinyl and want to hear the album also on their smartphone or in the car. Maybe we will try that also in the future…

(SL) Given that you have a number of releases under your belt, how do you measure the success of each release, are you reliant on selling units in order to release the next one?

Most of our releases went well, so we cannot complain. Of course we are reliant on the cash-flow to bring out the next one. But as I said, we love the bands and their music that we bring release on vinyl so we do not only see the monetary aspect of a release.

(SL) Some labels place a significant importance on the releases having a sense of being a collectable, with Standard and Die Hard Editions.   What do you feel is the significance of releasing such a package (s)?

We also do an exclusive limited version with every release, which is only available through our mailorder so our customers will get a collector’s piece.

Those die-hard or exclusive editions are a nice gratification for the true collectors who keep track with the label’s outputs. It gets a bit too much at the moment, special versions everywhere, but for me as a collector myself it is a lovely thing!

It should not be overdone, because that would kill this idea.

(SL) If you could have released any record past or present, what would it be and why?

Haha, good question! For me personally: I would have loved to release the first Motörhead album because it changed my live forever. So raw and heavy for its time, amazing.

(SL) Has there been any bands you wanted to work with but for whatever reason it did not happen?

Yes there have been some, but maybe someday it will happen?

(SL) What would be your survival tips for longevity?

Stick to your guts! And be attentive, there are many mistakes hidden in every detail!

(SL) Indiegogo or creative no no?

The crowd funding idea is nice for innovative and new ideas. It could help bands to finance a tour or studio but still I would be careful how to spend my money – there are surely many liars on the platforms.

(SL) Finally, do you have any final comments/word of wisdom you’d like to bestow upon us?

It is the music that matters!

And thanks for the interview, Aaron!

Thanks to Bilocation Records for taking the time out to talk to Aaron.

Check This Great Label from the links below.

Written by Aaron Pickford