Void Wanderer Productions is a young label which slowly builds its reputation in the underground circles. As the whole music world seems to grind to a halt, this Netherlands based label has never been more active. Let’s see what the Void Wanderer himself has to say about his label, local (and international) scene and other matters of today.
Hello Void Wanderer and welcome to the pages of Abaddon Magazine! For starters, let me know what was your idea for starting a record label? It is 21st century and the “industry” is constantly complaining about the low sales and lack of support. So where does the motivation come from?
Hello, our motivation to start a label was the fact that we saw that the things we liked were not released in physical format. So we release the things we like ourselves. In the first place, therefore, for ourselves, now there also seems to be a group that understands what we do and starts to support us.
Following on the first question, you come from the Netherlands. What is the situation like there? Is there a place for a new label on your home ground? Perhaps there are some record stores interested in placing underground releases on their shelves?
The scene in the Netherlands is not very big, yet enough things continue to be organized. At least before the Coronavirus broke out.
We also see that the Dutch black metal fans are very supportive, especially focus their own scene. NLBM!
We have not yet found a store that is interested in selling our items.
There are a couple of Dutch record labels operating in the same or similar field as you are. Is there some cooperation between you? Or a level of mutual support or even friendship?
Yes, the Netherlands has some very cool black metal labels. They all have their own clientele. Actually we only have had a trade with Heidenshart every now and then and together we released Asgrauw’s third album on vinyl.
What about the bands? Or the fans for that matter? Do you get a lot of requests from the local bands who want to be on your label? And are there local fans purchasing your releases?
Yes we see that the NLBM releases sell better than the other releases. Mainly Asgrauw, we released a bunch of Asgrauw shirts and a vinyl. What it also makes that they sell better is that they took all our releases with them to their shows to sell them as distro items.
And we got the new Adversarius 6-panel digipack as a future release, we see that the Dutch supporters pre-order the Dutch releases way easier than other releases. Thanks to all of them who supports us.
It’s not that we receive more Dutch than non-Dutch submissions. Like the Adversarius album came to us through the guys of Meslamtaea (we did their logo patch, last year). Maybe we are hard to find for people but like you said, we have enough labels to choose in the Netherlands.
There are a number of your latest releases done in cooperation with War Records from Portugal. How did that come to fruition? As you are coming from different countries, not even neighboring ones, how does it work? Does it make pressing releases more difficult? And who makes the deals with the bands? How do you share obligations?
We came to contact with War Productions through trading. At one point I wanted to release Eternal Abyss, then we contacted War Productions again. This is where the collaboration started.
After our opinion it is good that we are not neighbors, so we are not in each other’s clientele and we immediately have a wider distribution.
It’s not that either of us make the deals with the bands. We make deals with bands and so does War Productions, then we ask each other if we want to share the deal. This is between War Productions and Void Wanderer Productions, and we are not going further into details about it.
Is there a chance you might be collaborating with other labels too? And what does a label need to possess in order for you to find it worthy of your support and partnership?
Yes, we have worked with other labels before. Heidenshart and Goatlordth Records.
But also recently we have collaborated with a lot of labels:
Vox Project, Dead Red Queen Records, Grains of Sand Records, Xenomorph Delivery, Manchika and Here is Nowhere Records. To release Offret’s latest album on vinyl and CD.
Also, another vinyl will be released in conspiracy this year.
What makes a label worthy of entering into a partnership is:
That we should have confidence in the other label at all times and which bands they bring with them.
On the other hand, what does a band need to possess in order to get your attention? Is it about music, message, people behind it, or all of those together?
We are mainly concerned with the music. Hard, tough, fast and aggressive. In the right balance.
Black metal and blackened crust mainly.
The people behind it don’t really interest us. We may also have developed some allergy to this. Because, after our opinion, bands with popular members are easily released everywhere, while other bands with sometimes better quality albums fail to surface. Is it still about the music with the audience or is it just behind the tough guys?
While I’m at the subject of bands and their intent on finding a label, I guess most of the promos you receive are in digital form. Does it even happen at all that a band submits a physical demo to your label? If so, does it get more attention from yourself, or you just don’t care that much?
Please keep it digital. Preferably a hidden stream via e.g. Soundcloud. But a cloud / digital drive is also fine.
But we have a little dislike list:
-We prefer no re-release, also if it’s only been released on YouTube or Bandcamp.
-We don’t prefer a 3 song album / less than 35 minutes album.
We don’t say we will never release this, it depends on the music.
Never heard of a label with this kind of attitude, so let me explore it deeper. Do you think there is nowadays a place for a regular, old school demo recording? It wasn’t long ago since the bands used to put out demo tapes and send them out to labels and fanzines. Do you think there is still a need for something like that? Or is it just a waste of money?
Ah yes there is still place for that in modern times. But like everyone else we have some very busy lives too and digital albums are just easier we can stream or download it and listen to it wherever we want. Most of the times we listen to it during our days, in the car or at the gym. Of course we also listen to it in a special listening session but. Also another plus about digital is that whenever we don’t like what we hear. We just don’t stream it anymore or just delete the download. We know there are a lot of collectors (especially in the reviewer’s world) but we don’t need our closets filled with demos/album submissions that are not interesting for us.
Of course we prefer physical albums more than digital, otherwise we didn’t release them. But it has to be a pro edition and music we really want to listen too.
Furthermore, do you find a lot of bands lacking effort while presenting themselves to a label? What I want to say is, do they even bother to include a band photo in the promo package? Or a biography? Does it make you wander about the fact that they expect you to put an effort, while they don’t do it themselves?
It would be better if bands indeed send a band photo, short bio and album description and preferably also the artwork. Bands should not expect that we have the time to look everything up, we receive multiple requests per week and will therefore have to make choices. A band gives away the big picture is preferred when listening first.
Important matter when presenting a label to potential partners is the promotion it offers to the bands. What do you do to help spread the word about the bands you signed? Also, do you keep your promotion digital too, or you try and spread the word through printed media (fanzines, magazines…) too?
We mostly promote digital through Facebook, Instagram, e-zines and our newsletters. If people want to subscribe to it, go to voidwanderer.com (in the right bottom you can sign up) or mail is through our contact form. We also have a newsletter for reviewers, here they find our upcoming albums and can take a listen to it. Also reviewers can sign up for this through our contact form at our website.
But yes we are also looking into physical promotion, se we planned to print some of the flyers to spread them at Dutch and German black metal concerts who we attend or one of our bands, but then came corona…
And we are open to have our promotion featured in printed media, they can also seek contact through our contact form.
On to the ideological issues… Does a band need to follow a certain ideology, similar to your own (whatever it may be is your personal choice and I’m not getting into that), to get signed to Void Wanderer? Are there boundaries, regarding that, you will not cross?
The label represents hatred of everyday life, humanity in general and all forms of oppression of the mind. Only NSBM goes too far for us!
As you primarily deal with black metal, what is your stance on the genre today? You have in your roster a number of differently oriented bands. I have been coming across opinions that doing the old school, Scandinavian style is useless these days and bands need to progress into other dimension of the genre. Meanwhile, you have bands on Void Wanderer, such as Dommedag, who make genuine music using nothing but standards of the genre.
We think it is now clear that we are more concerned with what we experience (hatred, aggression and toughness). Also we don’t have that much going on with the whole sub and sub-sub-genre. Yes we release different types of black metal. You will indeed find old school black metal but also things like DSBM, yet you will not find DSBM with a victim / pathetic purpose. Dejected and evil is probably the combining factor within Void wanderer.
Still, the preference for the filthy crusty black metal remains. Somehow this remains something that we would like to focus more on in the future.
Also, when it comes to lyrics, do they need to be deeply thought recipes for self-indulgence, personal growth, anti-cosmic ideas or the basic, primal anti-Christianity still has its place within?
Personal growth and aversion to humanity are paramount to us. We even think anti-Christianity is too small a box, we prefer to pull it over the whole anti-oppression of the mind. What basically every religion does, when you are free from this you can work on your personal growth.
And for the very end, the one that is usually the first to be asked. Present your label to the ones who got curious reading all of the above. A place for the marketing sector. Promote yourself as best as you can.
We are Void Wanderer Productions!
A young Dutch underground Black Metal label with a focus on quality music with sincere hatred. We have already released CDs, Vinyl and other merchandise, and since this year we are also active in the audio tapes.
So if you are looking for good music with honest anger, go check out voidwanderer.com
Quality above popularity!
We also have a 200+ item distro section.
Thank you for the interview! All the best in your future endeavors!
Thank you for having us!