Wednesday Elektra [Wednesday]: Hi Paul, I hope things are going well for you and Van Richter these days. Please tell our readers a little bit about your label as well as some of your key artists/bands.
Thanks. We are a niche genre label that focuses on Industrial Music. However many of our bands crossover to more mainstream genres such as metal and dance. The label was founded in 1994 and we have survived (piracy) and are still around now. Van Richter is an artist development label that works with select bands and our objective is to grow them organically long term with hands on attention to all details. To date our roster includes five bands from Germany - TESTIFY, THE FAIR SEX, PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE, GIRLS UNDER GLASS, and from Canada - DEATH AND HORROR INC. We keep a small roster on purpose to keep the quality up as well as give personal attention to each artist.
Wednesday: How long as Van Richter (the label) been around for and what made you decide to start the label in the first place?
Van Richter has been around since 1994 when we opened our first office (actually the first deals were done in late 1993). We saw an opportunity in the early 90's to bring quality artists from Europe exposure in North America as the Industrial scene in Europe was taking off but little or nothing was being released here.
Wednesday: You're based out of Palm Springs, California, but I've noticed some of your artists are based in Germany, what do you find attractive about the Industrial music scene in Germany compared to that of North America?
Over the past decade or more the European bands as a whole just have been more talented than there US counterparts (there are exceptions of course), but the song writing and production has been much stronger for the most part. Also most of these artists in Europe have home studios as well as many are professional engineers. We look for talent worldwide but to date the German scene has been superior overall
Wednesday: Lately it seems a lot of releases are coming out of Van Richter, you had The Fair Sex's "Dark Ages" release, Plastic Noise Experiences "Noised" release, and now the "Mind Ripper II" compilation, what other artists will be releasing albums in the future and when can we expect to see them by?
Yes we are finally back on a normal release schedule after being picked up by Fontana / Universal for North American distribution, something we have not had consistently since 1998(the Navarre years). As you mentioned we have had three new releases this year, plus reissuing our entire catalog at midline pricing to reintroduce fans to the label again which has been a challenge unto itself. In 2006 we have new releases by GIRLS UNDER GLASS, THE FAIR SEX, and TESTIFY, plus some new signings we are working on (hint: one is from your country)
Wednesday: Tell us about the "Mind Ripper" compilation. Will this be an ongoing series of compilations featuring Van Richter artists? Can other artists outside the label get involved in these compilations and if so, how?
Actually this is only the second compilation in ten years we have released. We did not want to be on of those labels that makes cheap comps or get known as one of those labels that releases a ton of watered down or rehashed compilations. The Mind Ripper series is designed to be a mid line release to introduce fans to our roster as well as provide long time fans with a few new tracks that have not been released in our regular catalog. The Mind Ripper releases are dedicated to Van Richter bands. Hopefully it won't be another ten years before Mind Ripper III is released
Wednesday: Where can our readers go online to listen to music from some of your artists and what are some of their official websites?
The best source is the Van Richter records website at www.vanrichter.net where your readers can listen to and down load over 50 low fi mp3 tracks, listen to three Van Richter dedicated radio stations, download music videos, use our interactive chat room, message board and our midi game webdrum. Also we archive every review and interview on each band, as well as bios,pictures, CD art, track lists. lyrics, liner notes etc....Also we have our own music portal called Hellfire which covers several other genres of music. Yes the Van Richter website is the best one stop source which we have been building out since 1995.
Wednesday: What do you have planned for the future of Van Richter?
We are planning on adding and developing more artists to our roster. Also we have really put a focus on developing our new media department. We sell Van Richter music content through Itunes, Musicnet, MSN Music, Sony Connect, Music Now, Emusic, Disclogic and are always looking for more partners. We have also ramped up to subdistribute other labels and artists in the digital space. We believe digital music sales are the wave of the future.
Wednesday: What will you be doing for Halloween this year and what were some of your favorite holiday moments of past Halloween's?
No plans as of yet. As you may know Halloween is a busy time of year to try and sell / expose music in this genre, so Halloween is kind of our Xmas. Most of my favorite Halloween moments of the past were trick or treating when I was a kid growing up in Chicago.
Wednesday: Do you have any spooky stories you can share with our readers in light of the upcoming haunting season?
I have a real one of a death of a good friend but it is probably too spooky to share with your readers. Look for it in my personal memoirs someday;-)
Wednesday: How can our readers get in touch with you for more information about Van Richter Records and where can they find you online?
www.vanrichter.net is the best place to reach us (under feedback)
Wednesday: Thanks Paul for the interview, all the best for 2006! Is there anything you'd like to mention in closing?
Thank you for your help and support of our label and music scene. Please remind your readers that Illegal downloading of music kills not only the labels but artists livelihoods, retailers, magazines and the list goes on. Support the music scene and go buy a CD today or in the future there will be little or no choice of music to listen to.
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