Here is a new interview with the U.S label Eternal Death Rec. main man Valder. Who is also in the Black metal band "One Master" anyone into black metal or ambient,dark styles should defintly take some time to read this great interview and check out his web-site.
Interview with Valder owner of Eternal Death Rec. and vocalist, guitarist of One Master done by Patrick.
1. Hails Valder. Thank you for taking the time to fill out this interview. Please introduce yourself to the readers.
Thanks for the interest and the interview. I run the underground label Eternal Death and play in the bands One Master, Lustrum, and Fatalism.
2.When did you first get into rock/metal music? Who were some of the early bands you listened to? Who are some of your current favorites?
My first real memory of getting into music is watching the video for “Welcome to the Jungle” when I was 10 years old and feeling like I was doing something wrong... Of course I immediately went out and bought the “Appetite for Destruction” tape and loved it.
There was a strong underground punk / hardcore scene in the area where I was growing up and I got interested in that when I was a teenager. There were a lot of gigs and new bands, an interesting time. I'd say Converge was probably my favorite local band – they're still going strong.
When I got a bit older and went away to college, punk wasn't as interesting to me and I started getting into underground metal. The first underground metal show I went to was Gorguts (right after Obscura came out), Cryptopsy, and Vader. It had a feel / power that I wasn't getting from punk.
Some bands I've been listening to recently:
Charnel House (eerie and creepy)
Gath Smane (filthy death metal)
Youth Code (proper industrial)
Gost (satanic electro-unparty)
3.What gave you the idea to start a label? How did you come up with the name Eternal Death Rec. for the label name?
To be honest, I started a label because I was getting frustrated with trying to find reliable people to release my own bands and decided it was easier to just do it myself. The more I got involved in releasing records I figured out why its so hard for new/small bands to find a label – its quite a leap of faith to dump a thousand dollars or more into a band and just hope that their records will sell. Even if something is good, getting sales is not always easy – there are so many bands around right now, getting recognition can be difficult.
The name Eternal Death is borrowed from the renowned occultist Eliphas Levi. It captures the essence of the label's ideology:
“He who isolates himself is given over to death thereby, and an eternity of isolation would be eternal death.”
4.What are some things you look for when signing and releasing a band? What is the hardest and easiest part of running a label?
First and foremost a band has to write music I find compelling for me to be interested in working with them. I didn't get into the business of releasing underground metal to make money (anyone who does is fooling themselves...) I don't try to ride trends or figure out what the crowd likes – I just want to work with bands who “get it” and see where it can go.
I also want to work with bands with whom I have some kind of personal connection/common point of view. So far, all of the bands I've put out (except for one) I had a personal connection to before the record came out. The only band I didn't meet/know before putting them out (TKNKNTJ from Finland) I've grown to know over time and seen that we have similar ideas/viewpoints and become friends.
The easiest part of running a label is finding bands – there are so many bands forming that it isn't terribly hard to find a project worthy of release to get behind. The hard part is making sure the bands you work with have the drive to follow through. Luckily, the bands I've worked with have mostly stayed together/kept functioning. It can also be hard to get titles in distros and coverage of releases – there are so many labels/bands, trying to stand out can sometimes be difficult. The money aspect can sometimes be difficult as well, but luckily I have somewhat of a penchant for saving and a real job so I can afford to run a label (for now at least...)
5.What are some of your newest releases that the fans should check out? Are their any new releases coming in the next few months/year that the readers should check out?
I have 4 releases coming out in the short-term future (probably May to June) that I'm really excited about:
The Meads of Asphodel / Tjolgtjar split 12”
One Master “Reclusive Blasphemy” 12”
Haxen “s/t” 12”
Vinoristi (ex-TKNKNTJ) CD
Meads/Tjolgtjar is a dream project - my two favorite experimental/bizarre BM bands who both agreed to work with my label.
One Master is my own band and (hopefully people agree...) this is our best recording/songs and takes the band to a new level.
Haxen is a band from New England that has been criminally overlooked. So much aggression and hatred – when they sent me a recent mix of the record I called it “Rhode Island Bay Cult.”
Vinoristi is a new project from the main force behind TKNKNTJ. The recording is absolutely vicious – Finnish BM with a punk in- your-face attitude.
More long-term, I want to do re-presses of the Fatalism and Tare cassettes. Also on the agenda is a new Fatalism EP and a full length from Lustrum (a Venom-worship band I have with some friends). Also looks like a new Bog of the Infidel full length will be on the horizon at some point.
6.Valder you have released bands on cd,cassette and a few vinyl releases. How do you choose which band should be released on which format?
Ideally I would like to put everything out on vinyl, but it is expensive to press and expensive to ship, so I have been judicious about it so far. But I have 3 vinyl releases set up back-to back-to back in the next few months. I have a feeling that they will either make or break the label. It will be so much money to spend in such a short period of time I need to come close to making it back to keep the label going.
7.What does black metal mean to you?
Black metal means being the source of one's own values (essentially what Isaiah 14:12 – 14:14 unintentionally means).
8.I believe you live in Pennsylvania what is your opinion of the U.S Black metal scene?
I split my time between Connecticut and New Hampshire (trying spend more time in NH wandering in the white mountains...)
I'm a bit of a recluse / misanthrope so I'm probably not the best person to comment on the “scene” as such...
9.Who are your all time favorite U.S black metal bands? Are their any new bands you feel the readers should check out?
My personal all-time favorite US black metal band is Nightbringer. They do BM in the proper way – right atmosphere, right image, right riffs, they completely get it.
The US bands that I've worked with so far (Sangus, Bog of the Infidel, Grue, Tare, Abazagorath) absolutely kill and have their own sound.
Other black metal bands from the US who come to mind that really get it: Morgirion, Yellow Eyes, Vorde, Human Bodies, Panopticon, Glass Coffin, and Pact.
10.Besides running the label you are also the vocalist for One Master. When did you all form One Master? What is the current line-up?
I formed One Master as a solo project in 2002. I recorded a demo by myself and figured that would be the end of it. But in 2003, met some people interested in making it a full band and then it started progressing from there. We've been through many different lineups (I went back and counted and its on Mark VIII at this point...)
Right now the lineup is myself on vocals/guitar, Blood Eagle (formerly known as Mahazael) on drums, Black Wolf (formerly known as Hellebore) on bass, and Doctor Messiah on guitar.
11.For the readers who have never heard One Master's music how would you describe it?
I'm probably not the best person to describe my own music (my messed up combination of self-deprecation and arrogance doesn't lead to a necessarily fair perspective on things...)
The only term I could use is black metal and leave the rest to the listener...
12.Beside doing the vocals you also handle the guitars for the band when did you first start playing guitar? Ar you self taught or did you take lessons when first beginning?
I started playing guitar around 13 years old. My uncle had an old hollowbody electric that I found in my grandmother's basement that I claimed as my own and started to play/learn guitar. I have never taken any lessons – everything was self- taught or picked up from people I've played with.
13.Who are some of your influences/favorite guitarists? Besides the guitars and vocals do you currently play any other instruments?
I'd say my favorite guitarists are Adrian Smith and Dave Murray – any guitar player who doesn't hail them just doesn't get it.
I've been slowly trying to learn the drums but I'm still not very good at them...
14.Besides One Master do you currently have any other bands or solo projects you are working with?
I have two side projects I'm working one – Lustrum (venom-worship filled with lust and sleaze) and Fatalism (ethereal gloom). A few friends and I are also putting together a dark ambient project Ledge Dweller.
15.Thank you Valder for taking the time to fill out this interview. Do you have any final comments for the readers?
“...evil is in its essence is a lonely thing, a passion of the solitary, individual soul...”
Eternal Death Records web-sites