A l'occasion de la sortie de l'album de Damocles, voici une interview de Peter Daub, le créateur du label Les Fils du Metal, un label allemand spécialisé dans les rééditions en vinyl de groupes de Heavy Metal des années 80.
L'interview a été réalisée en anglais, traduction à venir...
Q: Hi Peter, can you talk a bit about you, how old are you, where do you come from ?
I am a quite normal and boring guy and in my main job I am the head librarian of the little university here in black forest in Southern Germany. I am 39 years old and I was born next to the French frontier in the county “Saarland” so this is a reason maybe why I love to talk French and love French Metal. If you live next to the frontier you are not always bilingual but you cannot avoid the mix of the two cultures.
I have a family and my little daughter is the thing that changed my life and robs my time for metal. I am really serious and correct through this. It is cool to have a structure in life that you cannot and do not wanna change and to learn each day to live better with it and to develop better logistics in a human 24 hours—day life.
Q: When did you start listening to heavy metal and more precisely french metal ?
I started listening to metal in 1984 and really got a die-hard metal fan. I collected from the beginning, took part in releasing records, went to concerts like a maniac in the 80’s ( more than 300 gigs) all over Germany and finally released a fanzine called EPITAPH in 1990 if I remember correct. After two issues my private life struck me and I sold my whole collection and due to personal problems lost contact to the metal world. Back then I was not so deep into French metal.
After I got my life sorted again in the mid 90’s I studied and led a regular life until I got back into metal in 2001. By accident saw the Satan Jokers “Les fils du metal” LP and bought it. Listened to it and I was back in metal again with full force! I really freaked out again and spent each minute with it. It was a second youth in the beginning, I felt like 18. Drove through the little villages in France from record store to record store. Visited little concerts with Killers and Mystery Blue, it was just the time all the bands re-united again and a cool time to start again.
Q: What are your favorites french bands ?
Uff. Hard question. VIXEN/JUMPER LACE, DAMOCLES, VULCAIN, VOODOO CHILD, HIGH POWER, DEATH’S ANGELS, AXTON PRYTE, H-BOMB, SORTILEGE, STRATTSON to name a dozen.
Q: Classic question for non-french speakers: do you prefer Sortilege singing in french or english ?
What a question: The best French metal has French lyrics…Ok, one exception: STEEL ANGEL are the only band bringing the English lyrics so good that it is also really a killer album.
Q: How many french records do you own ? Were they hard to find ?
Hard to number: I actually got ALL 12” and LP stuff. In the 7”’s some important ones missing which I stupidly traded/sold again sometimes to get other French 7”’s. Stop! One LP is missing: BLACK SUN “Try another world”. Get back to me if you have it. It is musically seen nothing great but then I can finish the 12” collection. But a number…? 200? 250? Amongst those 6 or 7 different versions of SORTILEGE “Metamorphose” and strange stuff like that. 7”’s less than 100. Yes, some items surely were hard to find. Think of ANTHRACITE’S “Plus precieux…” you have to have a bit of luck in finding those and you have to keep your eyes open 24 hours a day or it is impossible to collect like this. It is hard work.
Q: When and how did you decide to start your own label ?
The idea came when I found JUMPER LACE and Chris. “Beyond the romance” being the last BIG album out of France. It was 1991 already and the good times were over for metal. Chris is a great guy and first listening the CD it killed me cause it is as unbelievable as the history of the band VIXEN/JUMPER LACE is. And I do not like CDs, it was the first thing on CD that impressed me and that I will never throw away although it is a CD. I mailed a lot with Chris, discovered the unreleased album and the Vixen demos and so it started. First released the “The last jump” CD then together with Alain Ricard from BRENNUS RECORDS.
Q: Why LP and not CD's ?
I grew up with vinyls and believe it: CDs and especially digital music like mp3’s are the worst things on this planet. Inventions of Satan ! Do not wanna bore you therewith that vinyls actually sound better than CDs or digital music. It is a fact.
Q: Obvious question, why such a name, les Fils du Metal ?
Because of SATAN JOKERS. “Les fils du metal” is a milestone and was the thing to let me head off back in the world of heavy metal again. And it is a phrase standing for metal in French or “Metal francais”. Surely a feeling you can understand in France as “Les fils du metal”.
Q: How do you work, searching ex-members of bands and tape masters must not be easy ...
Often it is by accident… A French collector friend (Frank) sent me some demos and it was also the HOLSTER-demo. So I listened to Holster and I knew: I must release this. To find the band contact is not so difficult if you know the people in France like Laurent Ramadier who could help me to get in contact with HOLSTER and DAMOCLES for example.
Q: How many copies of each records do you release ?
300-500 copies. In moment everyone is releasing vinyl again so it is getting harder. I mostly lost money in releasing the French stuff. The JUMPER LACE CD was released in 1000 copies and sold bad. The VIXEN LP is sold out, HOLSTER I still got enough copies, same for DEATH DEALER (from French speaking part of Canada)
Q: Why did you choose Vixen for 1st LP, how did you work with Chris Chambers ?
As I mentioned above. I first listened to the CD at a friend and I was caught. Immediately found the contact to Chris Chambers and so it started…
Q: Same question about Holster ?
The same for Holster. Got the demo from Frank and had to release it as vinyl: Although it was very different to the work with VIXEN/JUMPER LACE. I really had a personal connection to Chris. For HOLSTER or other stuff the bands are not so much interested in it. They say “Yes, ok do it” but no passion, no interest for it really. They do not care too much about it.
Q: Same question for your brandnew release, the awesome Damocles from Caen ?
DAMOCLES is somehow something new. I got back again to the point where I make the release really for myself. Do not care if it sells or not honestly said. If I am lucky enough I will have a zero/zero situation in anycase. I do it without pressure of releasing something to sell and that was the success for VIXEN-French Warriors, still the LP I am the most proud of musically seen and regarding the whole work with band and my cover designer.
I got in contact with Damocles through Laurent Ramadier, thanks mate, without him it would not have been possible. The DAMOCLES LP is something really special cause there are only the two tracks from the 7” everybody knows and no other material recorded in studio or same session. They had some more tracks, those are on the LP , the demotape and the live tracks which kill everything. I adore those live tracks on the LP. You will love it if you are into French 80’s metal, believe me. You still can feel the spirit in it, I know cliché what I say but tell me after you listened to it if I were right.
Q: Can you talk about stuff you did with bands from other countries ?
I released 6 records until now:
JUMPER LACE – The last jump CD 2003
VIXEN – French Warriors LP 2004
GRAVEN IMAGE – People in hell still want ice water LP 2006
HOLSTER – same LP 2007
DEATH DEALER – same 2 LP 2008
DAMOCLES-same LP 2008
So the other stuff also was an adventure and VERY difficult. It was a masterpiece of hard work to work together with GRAVEN IMAGE and to re-release their stuff. Was the biggest success and sold out after 4 weeks. Well we all know US metal sells better than French metal.
The DEATH DEALER 2-LP I released together with HHO Records. I still did not find the time to sell my copies and need to do this too. Musically seen an all time masterpiece for everyone. Unbelievable Canadian metal with English lyrics.
Q: Are you alone at Les Fils du Metal or do you work with someone ?
I do it alone. For the cover artworks I occupy some of my students which study design.
Q: What bands would you like to have on your label ?
I still have 3 releases queued maybe too early to talk about. TENEBRES if someone finds the band.. I only wanna release stuff officially in collaboration with the band. And DEATH’S ANGELS LP would be a dream. I am just planning to release a US band with their stuff from 1985 in April 2009.
Q: How and where can we buy records from your label ?
That is the big problem. Mainly at the well-known dealers like HHO-RECORS (http://www.hho-records.de/). As I do the records for myself I do not have too much time to take care about distribution and promotion. I know this sounds ultra strange but it is like this: For Damocles I only made some threads in The Corroseum forum and in Miskatonic Forum. That’s it. I always think: Who wants it will find it and mail me ! No, I have to improve this and then I maybe sell out stuff like DAMOCLES in some months/years. I have no distributor in France. The French distributors say: “Oh no one wants to buy this here, too risky, difficult etc.”. Strange, cause it is French metal and sells better in Germany, Japan or elsewhere.
Q: Anything to add ?
Yes, life sucks, make days with 48 hours so that I can release all stuff I want and have more time for everything. 24 hours for family and 24 hours for metal….
Q: Thanks Peter !
L'album de Vixen est épuisé mais Holster et Damocles sont toujours dispo, la distro française Under Siege Records a quelques exemplaires de Damocles. Sinon vous pouvez m'envoyer un mail pour avoir les coordonnées de Peter.
Je recommande aussi l' excellent album des québécois Death Dealer, du pur Heavy Metal 80's absolument indispensable !