Interview with "The Ripper"

1) When & why was the Label started?

1993.Because there were a lot of great bands especially out of Europe who had zero exposure/releases in North America. Also it was at a time when the Wax Trax era was ending and I thought the opportunity was right to make a presence back into the Industrial Scene which was dying in the states overall.

2) Why the name "Van Richter"

The word is Dutch and means on the richter scale. Since we were out of So. Cal but represented european bands I thought the name and image were perfect.

3) Do you know about the vast amount of negative "threads" on RMI regarding your promotional tactics, Any comment on that?

It seems that everyone has a flame to facilitate on RMI. I don't see much constructive activity going on there or several other news group. I believe we undeservatively get a bad rap, but fortunately most of the people who participate on RMI don't support the majority of industrial artists by purchasing their releases. I feel our promotional tactics are ethical and we probably give away more CDS than most indie industrial labels per release.

4) Do you take these "Guerilla Tactics" to generate more publicity for your artists? Even if it's negative?

This is more of an allegation than question.I don't know what you refer to as "Guerilla Tactics" and deny its negative connotations. Again we believe any negative hype is undeserved as we run an ethical company.

5) Did it ever occur to you that you might be actually hurting the coverage/airplay (& in turn record sales,) for your acts by *annoying* the very people who (in most cases) *want* to help you (with coverage & air/club-play)?

Again this is an allegation not a question. Who are these people you allege we are annoying and who are the same people who want to help us? Regarding sales I can state whether you believe it or not that our sales have doubled in the last 12 months overall!

6) Do you think it helps the "industrial scene" to work *against* djs & writers, by getting "on their bad side" the way you do?

More allegations, come on! We work with D.J's and writers who want to promote and support the artists and scene overall, not those with their own personal agenda or refurbishing their CD collection, or making some extra money selling promos.

7) Is this an "image" you are trying to cultivate? A "bad ass - I don't need your support" kind of thing? Like you "owe" my label (Van Richter) more attention than any other label even if "bigger?"

Bad ass? We don't kiss ass! We tell it like it is! We are trying to cultivate an image of a label roster of the best new artists in the genre! We feel we represent both the electro side with The Fair Sex, Plastic Noise Experience to the guitar laden side with Testify, to extreme noise with Sielwolf. Death and Horror Inc falls somewhere in between. Our image is a diversified industrial label and I don't think size should be an issue here only quality not quantity.

8) Do you ever find any success in pushing your product *so hard* on people who have already shown an interest in the style of music you release?

Again an allegation, "so hard" is a relative term. We have aggressive marketing plans because we believe in the bands and music we represent. If all I was interested in was money surely I would not have started an industrial label!

9) Do you realize that this interview could've been a *positive interaction* with the Plastic Noise Experience, but you bugged us so much we started to believe what we'd been reading (for years) on RMI?

As I recall you did not return our email for some time after you agreed to do the feature. You also were complaining about a lack of advertising support, therefore we agreed to run an ad which you never got back to us on. So with all this in mind I think reasonable timeframe replies are in order if you are working on a piece together and your zine has a foreseeable street date. Again with these RMI allegations, I think we addressed this in an earlier question.

10) Do you think you'd ever admit that you're all to pushy with the way you run the label?

Considering the recent sales history I should say we are running the label quite fine. Again we are aggressive because you have to be in this business to survive!

11) Would you ever consider hiring someone else to do promotion in a more "friendly" manner? Is it too late for this?

We are always looking for good people with a good work ethics. It's never too late until you're dead. We are pleased with how the company and artists are progressing overall.

12) Anything else you'd like to add?

I am aware there are a lot of lies being spead by a certain competitor so I want to dispell these rumors. First unlike said person we pay royalities to our bands when due. We have distribution in Canada. We have national exclusive distribution in the USA. Second unlike this person we don't write editorial about our own bands or tell everyone we own the company (this person is an employee). We don't write personal opinions on our website or advertising unlike this person. We give our bands substantial recording advances unlike this person. We service our promos and don't charge for them unlike this person. In 1990 we were involved in putting together an all ages industrial nightclub venue four nights a week which this person refused to sign a petition to support. Now let the public decide who is ethical and who is unethical! In closing I want to give thanks to everyone who has supported our label for the past three years including our staff "Plus1" and "VNA", our Distributor Navarre Corp, all those in the media who have believed in our bands, a special shout out to Tommy T. at KUNM, (one of the few D.J.'s who has the balls to be a leader and break new industrial bands!) and most importantly the fans!