SL. Who is behind Van Richter Records and when did you initiate that project?
I initially funded and formed the label in 1993 We now have over ten people involved in the label to date including myself as Label Manager, Information Systems Network Engineer, Field Representatives, Promotion and Marketing staff, and Street Teams
SL. How did you land on this music scene actually?
I was a D.J. in college both at the University radio station and Nightclubs in San Diego California
SL. What prompted you to begin a record company?
I guess I was an idealistic dreamer....but I wanted to expose people to great music in the Industrial genre as well as have the chance to break a band to the main stream in the states. I saw this vision potential coming from Europe (the third invasion)
SL. Why that name Van Richter Records actually?
Since our focus was overseas (Europe) we wanted a name that reflected this as well as had some relation to California where we do business. "Van Richter" is a dutch name that means "on the Richter scale", hence the California earthquake connection.
SL.What has been the most rewarding thing/experience being a label manager?
Actually the appreciation of our bands that they believe in want we are doing for them. Also fan and peer acknowledgement is always rewarding. Still standing after seven years as an "Industrial label" (after many have fallen) without having to compromise our artistic integrity is probably the greatest reward. The Van Richter machinery is still in place and going strong heading into the millenium!
SL. What do you feel is the most important element to the success of running a label?
I would say being as resouceful on an economic front, working your ass off and putting your work before all else...making the sacrafice of your label being your #1 priority. Most important though is having a good ear for quality music and not compromising the artistic integrity of your bands which includes the best possible production and packaging of your records!
SL. Your label is more or less specialized in licensing recognized European artists? Explain us your methods of work and your strategy?
Actually we started out as a licensing company because we saw the need to get those bands on European labels into the U.S. market. This is how we started with Rough Trade and KK Records. We later have evolved and focused on these same artists but with the worldwide rights to develop them further like TESTIFY. We believe that the best bands in the genre continue to come from Europe, especially Germany. The song structures,lyrics and production are far superior than their U.S. counterparts to date.
SL. What is your current roster of bands? Newest release?
TESTIFY (Germany), THE FAIR SEX (Germany), PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE (Germany), SIELWOLF (Germany), DEATH AND HORROR INC. (Canada), and GIRLS UNDER GLASS (Germany) Our latest release is from Girls Under Glass "Nightmares" which is a very special package of 17 of the best songs they ever recorded which includes new material such as John Carpenter's "Halloween", unreleased tracks, and out of print remastered import singles. It is 74 minutes of great material!
SL. What has been your most successful release to date?
TESTIFY has been our most successful band to date and their release "Ballroom Killer' that had MINISTRY engineers "Fluffy" and Howie Beno doing mixes on the record as well as a cover version of THE SWEET's "Ballroom Blitz". I think TESTIFY has been most successful because they have been able to crossover to other music genre fans ie: metal.
SL. No interest in signing newcomer acts and push them from scratch?
Not so much these days as the worldwide buyers demand for brand new bands is less and less. So our risk is much greater as well as costs involved to get them known. We want to move up to better known acts but they still need to meet our rigid standards of A & R quality. I would never rule out a newcomer but honestly nothing new has met our criteria in the last years.
SL. Have you ever thought of bringing your bands on tour in America?
Yes since we started in 1993! Unfortunately the costs are prohibitive to do it yourself as a label unless you can get a tour package. Also booking agents here ie: Bayridge et al who handle this genre are very narrow minded as well as jaded with respect to bringing new bands to tour the U.S. market. All the big bands like NIN also have a political agenda as to who they take on as tour support. So until we can get a booking agent or on with a big tour the states won't see bands like TESTIFY or GIRLS UNDER GLASS anytime soon. Sorry
SL. Van Richter also recently initiated an on-line shop?
Actually the label always had an online shop which takes all major credit cards as well as a Pearl Script that takes all other forms of payment for our proprietory titles. I believe you might be refering to our MUZIK NON STOP store (like an Amazon.com type shop) but with a focus on more import titles and deep catalog of one million plus titles that launched last August 1999.
SL. What are the plans for 2000 on Van Richter Records?
Staying the course and building up our bands as well as continuing our internet strategy of E Commerce. We have releases from THE FAIR SEX, GIRLS UNDER GLASS and TESTIFY in the pipeline.
SL. How famous are your signed artists in USA now actually?
Actually TESTIFY is much more known here than in their native Germany these days because of the tireless non stop marketing and promotion we have done for the band since 1994! The rest of the bands are growing in acceptance, and our latest signing GIRLS UNDER GLASS is being received well so far by the media and fans of the gothic and industrial genres.
SL. Are you also interested in signing the various side-projects of your artists, I think here of Fair Sex's various side-projects or yet PNE or GUG?
As far as I know all the bands' side projects are already signed. I was actually a big fan of Trauma before ever hearing a GIRLS UNDER GLASS record. The first record "Fractal I" I consider a masterpiece
SL. Please provide our readers with your website address so they can learn more about Van Richter.
Sure, our award winning Van Richter website can be found at http://vr.dv8.net
SL. Is there any other web activities you're involved in that you'd like to share?
We mentioned the MUZIK NON STOP site that runs off our label site which carries more industrial and gothic titles from around the world than all the mailorder companies combined! Also you can't beat the prices because the records come direct to the customer from over 150 distributors from around the world! Again check out http://vrr.globalfufillment.com Also we have our own "net radio station" on our website known as "Radio Moi" which has several channels including one that streams the complete Van Richter catalog of songs. There is our multi genre music resource site "Hellfire" that has links to labels,radio shows, zines,bands etc... from around the net. For you film and TV producers we have a section where you can license cleared Van Richter tracks for your productions. The Van Richter label site itself has the following sections/pages - News,Audio,Van Richter Radio, Video,Reviews, Interviews,Special Events, Chat, Hellfire Links,Muzik Non-Stop Global Music, Store, Purchase online, Digital Store: MP3, LiquidAudio, Custom CD's,Brick & Mortar Stores,Television & Film, Distribution, Feedback, About Us, Submissions, Employment TESTIFY, THE FAIR SEX, PLASTIC NOISE EXPERIENCE, SIELWOLF, DEATH AND HORROR INC and GIRLS UNDER GLASS all have their own interactive band pages
SL. Anything special to add? Closing comments...
We want to thank everyone that has supported Van Richter Records over the years and we look forward to developing and promoting our roster of leading Industrial artists in the next millenium! Please remember that Van Richter Records will always stand for the highest quality music. We are "your aggro - industrial record label!"
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