SOLITUDE PRODUCTIONS – Leverandør av supreme russisk doom
Solitude Productions is a label based in Orel, a city in Russia that has and are releasing music for those into the sad and melancholic. All of the releases are of bands playing some form of Doom, most of them are from Russia and the releases comes rapidly. I have heard several of the releases from Solitude and I must say that many of them are good. So, a few questions is in order to find out a bit more about this label!
Hi there. First of all, can you inform our readers what Solitude Productions (for those who not know) is all about? Who runs it, when did you bring Solitude to life etc…
Our label was founded in July 2005 for promotion of mainly Russian doom metal varying within wide range from traditional to funeral doom. The reason for label foundation lies behind the fact that many underground bands within doom metal frames create excellent music, but experience problems with finding the label, because no so many labels are interested in the style. Besides that, a significant part of material issued under "doom metal" trade mark actually is not (offering variations of gothic metal and melodic death metal), and the label aims for providing correct information about the style as it is.
As far as I know SP is the only label focusing on the Russian Doom-scene, and honestly, I don’t know if I knew about any Russian Doom-bands before I got my first promos from you. Was there many bands playing Doom in Russia before you started up? Where you tired by seeing good bands being overlooked and neglected and wanted to do something about it? And then, how did you get to release so many albums so fast?
Well, we started up when there were only a few bands around; many of bands have had material but still didn’t record it etc. When they’ve seen the label who can release their music they became work harder and for now we have good doom catalogue. About releases speed – we really work very hard, and the main problem that we can’t reject good bands as many other labels do…..
Doom isn’t and never will be a musical style one can get rich by, so I wouldn’t come to the conclusion that you do this for the money. How is the market for selling Doom these days? I see that you sell most of your records for 8$ a piece so I guess when it comes to it all you don’t earn very much per sold record. So my question is, can you make a living from SP solely? Do you press a limited amount of your CDs or do you press in a large scale?
Sure we don’t get any big money. Everything what we earn we spend on new releases and bands promotion that’s why we have many releases at a short time. About price of 8$ – we think that CD must be reachable for people from different countries who can’t pay a big price for CD! About sales – really we see small sales now. I think it’s because many people prefer to download music than to buy a CD.
I can’t see that you have pressed any of your releases on vinyl. Do you licence them to others? Nowadays vinyl is getting more and more popular, so, don’t you see the market for it nor is it based on financial issues?
We made a vinyl pressing of Heavy Lord – From Cosmos To Chaos album, but I didn’t seen big sales there anyway the main problem because we don’t make vinyl is that we simply don’t have a factory in Russia and press in other countries and import that is very expensive. I’ve heard that soon such factory will be opened and after that we’ll be able to make vinyl releases
Among my favourite releases on SP I must name EA and Evoken, two great bands in my ears. What about yourself, what release do you prefer? And at the same time I would like to thank you for sending out full versions of your CDs as promos, that’s rare these days and its always more fun to get the "whole pack" instead of cardboard promo without lyrics and artwork. So again, thanks!
Yeah Ea and Evoken are great bands. Also I like The Morningside, Abstract Spirit, Nox Aurea (now signed to Napalm!), S:T Erik. I should say I like all our releases J. You’ll see many interesting releases in future. I must say that we just made 2 interesting deals with Funeral and Desire. We’ll release lost Funeral album from 1997 "To Mourn Is A Virtue" and we’ll release box set with Desire’s 3 first album. Box will be called "The Trilogy Of Melancholy"
Besides you main label you also have two sub labels, namely BadMoodMan Music and Art of Silence. What is the difference between these labels? Is it problematic to find out which band belongs where sometimes? How come you decided to create two sub labels, isn’t one enough work for you?
In the end of 2006 the BadMoodMan Music sub-label was found for promotion of the bands which do not exactly fit the style of the mother label. After this division the label was actively asked about the difference between the mother label and the sub-label which in fact both promoted similar music featured doom elements. Finally the bands playing doom metal, doom-death, funeral doom or sludge doom were associated with mother label Solitude Productions, while the bands playing in other styles (for example, melodic death, gothic "doom"), featuring, doom metal elements were associated with BadMoodMan Music.
However, the activity of BadMoodMan Music was not limited by the promotion of doom metal related bands, expanding to the area of ambient, dark folk and depressive black metal styles.
Now we started another division for different music in "post metal" genre. It’s called Slow Burn Records
How much work do you put into your labels? And how do you go forth when you find a band interesting?
All of us have the main work (we need money for living J ) and label takes all free time. When we found band interesting we look our plans and see is it possible to release it after that we offer this band to make a release. Everything is simple.
What bands besides the ones you release yourself do you appreciate?
Many bands. We can’t release everything we want physically. We don’t list only doom metal but various rock and metal variations.
What advice would you give to others wanting to start a label and release music? What’s important in the beginning?
I’m not sure I’ll give any advises not. It’s getting harder everyday to start a label because as I said earlier people prefer to download MP3. Think only one advice – there should be something special in your label. In the beginning it’s important to send more promos and spread info about label and release quality bands.
What does the future behold for Solitude Productions? What can we expect?
I really don’t know myself. If people will by CDs we’ll live if no that we’ll have to close our activity. I believe that always will be people who prefer to get music with artwork, booklets etc. than just to download MP3. Vinyl is live and CD will live to, just there will press CDs with smaller copies.
Well, that’s all I have for now and thanks for taking your time answering!!! The last words are yours!
Thanks for the interview. I hope it was interesting for all people who read it. To get more info about our label please visit out site www.solitude-prod.com.