Interview by Oscar Lobaton

How are you Paul?

Busier than ever with the digital side of the business

How long has Van Richter been around?

I founded the label in November of 1993 so we are going on our 16th year as an industrial record label.

After all this time running the Van Richter ship definitively somethings have changed at the general level Could you tell us according to your perspective what the good things and bad things have been in short highlights?

I never knew where the industry was headed after founding this label with our first deal for Testify back in 1993. I could not imagine that most all record stores would be gone in 16 years and cds would be going away for the most part. Certainly it was much different and less stressful working for a label in the past then founding a start up and dealing with 100% of all the responsibilities.
It has been a roller coster ride and unfortunately until the last year it has been a financial decline in sales and support for all music in general. Our industrial genre was on the decline from the day I started this label and unfortunately the lack of popularity of the genre has not changed. What has saved us is going digital and no longer being bound by the cost and expense of physical product.

Van Richter has stayed true to the same genre during its entire life time. Has it been difficult to manage a record label solely dedicated to industrial music?

In the early years there was certainly more support by the artists and fans of the genre, most of which have now gone away. For the few that have remained I feel like we are carrying the touch for a genre we believe in. Going digital has helped us stay alive as well as relevant. Also being an artist development driven label is the hardest road to go as we don't just through out releases as our peers have just to generate revenues. The label has always been about artist integrity first.

What is the ideology of Van Richter Records?

Signing and releasing artists in the genre we believe in and also quality not quantity in our releases. That is what the VR moniker stands for as well as a timeless old school industrial sound just like our mentor label of the past Wax Trax in their early days.

How do you choose a band to sign to your label? Do these bands have to meet some criteria in order to sign? How many bands are on your roster?

I can tell you we have only signed seven bands in sixteen years so we are highly selective.
We look for artists that are leading bands in the genre with great material as well as bands we can develop for long term relationships. Most all the bands on the label have been around for over a decade or longer, which shows dedication to their craft. Even though we only have seven bands on the roster- Testify, The Fair Sex, Plastic Noise Experience, Sielwolf, Death and Horror Inc., Girls Under Glass and Underwater, it is musically very diverse including, Aggro , Noise, Dark wave, Gothic. Synth Pop and EBM.

Does Van Richter manage all the marketing and promotion budgets for its artists? What is your secret to success?

Yes we handle all the media servicing and promotion including radio, magazines, video, clubs, online etc... as well as retail marketing and direct to consumers. The most important thing is to keep your costs down by doing everything as grass roots as possible.

Do anything projects outside of Van Richter?

No unfortunately Van Richter is a demanding mistress. I have to wear all the hats here that keep me working most every day. I handle all the promotions and marketing for each release as well as distribution both physical as well as digital, over see our website, work with our sales team and interns and handle the artist needs. Maybe someday I can take a vacation

What is new for Van Richter in 2010?

The beauty of going digital is that we can release titles of our bands that are still in the vault.
We have made an effort to push more of this back content out there. We have also ramped up our aggregation services to other labels and bands to offer digital distribution services for their music without becoming a Van Richter artist This ancillary revenue has allowed us to maintain the VR moniker without selling out. Look for updates on our ward winning website Thank you.