A talk with
(Initiator Baden Metal Local Scene - Infinite Metal Promotions )
(Questionnaire by Stefan)
A long time, die-hard Metal maniac named Yücel Erol is the mastermind behind the Baden Metal Compilation albums and associated homepage. Released by the motto of “Support Your Local Metal Scene”, these compilation albums consist out of two parts so far but I’m sure that more will follow. What he did and still does for his own local Metal scene is a generous gesture to me. No doubt about all the bands participating on both compilations definitely will be very grateful to Yücel. An example for many others to follow and out of respect I give him permission to tell his story.
Q: Hi Yücel, welcome at MTI webzine - how long have you been devoted to Metal music? Where the passion came from many years ago?
A: In 1983 my brother comes up with some release from this time. Especially KISS, his favourite band. Later I saw the RAMONES Movie “Rock'n Roll Highschool” on TV. I like it. The first time I feel the rebel in me. But it needs 3 years more. In 1986 with 13 years I became a Metal & Hard Rock fan.
Q: Do you still remember which bands you were totally hooked on those days? What appealed to you in their style of Metal?
A: Starting with stuff like BEASTIE BOYS, BON JOVI, EUROPE. My first record was “Inside The Electric Circus” from WASP. In 1987 I became a fan of ANTHRAX, so i'm interested also in familiar bands like S.O.D., M.O.D., Nuclear Assault and other bands with fast and short songs like C.O.C., D.R.I., MUCKY PUP. You know that feeling, when you get in touch with something and you are fire and flame you want more of the same. 1988 was very confusing. I continue the way from 1987. Saw that MUCKY PUP bassman is also playing on HADES debut album “Resisting Success”. I love that album. So I read more about that style of music and bought albums of SIEGES EVEN and WATCHTOWER.
To own the hardest, fastest, sickest album bring me to NAPALM DEATH, CARCASS, MORBID ANGEL, OBITUARY, and in the same year I bought stuff from Hard Rock, Glam & Sleaze Rock like FASTER PUSSYCAT, MÖTLEY CRÜE, WHITE LION. The first 3 years were very intense belonging the different styles. I do not change to listen from one genre to another. I love them all. In 1990 the first PARADISE LOST album brings me to Doom Metal. Later releases of CATHEDRAL, SOLITUDE AETURNUS, ANATHEMA and MY DYING BRIDE follows. Since 1992 MY DYING BRIDE is my favourite band and my favourite music styles beneath Doom Metal is Prog Metal including Technical Death Metal.
All in all I can say I enjoy everything from Hard Rock to Death & Black Metal. You can find everywhere good and interesting bands/musicians. I was even totally open for everything. I love to get surprised.
Q: We’re both experienced the 80s Metal scene ourselves and I’m sure that you will agree with me when I say that the Metal movement back then was totally different than it is right now. What is for you the most striking difference between then and now?
A: Print/Fanzines were our Internet in this time. We get all the information from here. On concerts we collect self printed black & white flyers of demos and live events. Not 4 coloured professional designed flyers/posters like now. It has his special charm. Even if I see bands, organizers who promote themselves and their gigs in the 80s, early 90s tradition I feel myself fantastic. To see bands who released today demo tapes (!!!), 7inch singles, vinyl hold on these flames of yesterday. I enjoyed the times in the 80's, 90's and today.
So I'm not one of these guys who missed the 80s and cursed the time today. You cannot see what all we have today from the 80s when you always look back. We got many good bands in the 80s veins. See SCEPTOR, see STORM WARNING. Not only the style verifies the 80s, also the traditions, the character of the people. Evolution is a thing we have to accept. Without evolution we would never have heavy metal today. Therefore we have to salute to the evolution for bring us heavy metal, our music, and for a lot of fans, our religion, our lifestyle.
Q: Were you a fan of our own Belgian 80s Metal bands like Acid, Ostrogoth, Killer, Crossfire, Cyclone, Asphyxia, Evil Sinner, Ritual, Black Shepherd, Decadence, Hidden among others?
A: From all the bands you list only CYCLONE. I know very poor for the moment. But I will change it. I swear. Other bands I've got releases from Belgium where AGATHOCLES, IN-QUEST, INSANITY REIGNS SUPREME, KELTGAR, PANTHEIST, RHYMES OF DESTRUCTION, RENAISSANCE SERPENTCULT and YOSH.
Q: Give me a few unforgettable moments you have experienced throughout the mighty 80s/90s period?
A: Okay. Every moment begins with the first time. My first concert was in 1987. My brothers band WIZARD (Hard Rock/Karlsruhe) played together with SEVEN WISHES. My first big concert in 1991 with PINK CREAM 69 and POLTERGEIST (CH) playing along with local bands. My first Musicclub I'm Djing in 1992. And the first band I'm working with, ETERNAL CURSE (Prog Death Metal), later changed their name to DESTINY DREAMING (Prog Metal). I made their logo and toured with them here and there.
Q: Later on, you started with your own promotion company Infinite Metal Promotion. What gave you the idea to do this and what were the plans to realize?
A: It was not in my plans. I contacted one time MTM Music when they released in 2006 “Runway To The Gods” from ZENO. I'm a fan of their first album. An epic hard rock release. Then I asked them why do they not own a MySpace page. In 2006 MySpace was the the number one in social media, and a must have for every Band and Label to spread their name. They asked me to do the MySpace page for them. So my work for MTM Music/ArtistWorXX starts. Later in 2009 ArtistWorXX Promotion quit their work and I continue it with INFINITE METAL PROMOTION.
Q: What is mostly expected of a promotion team, can you explain how it actually works?
A: To do the best work you, getting good results and only positive feedback. Spreading the bands name. Get a label/booking deal for the bands, Placing a band on a festival. It sounds too good as you can realise them all. You have to forward the main critics of a release to the band and the label to work on it for the next round. If a release getting good resonance, your goal is to reach enough interviews therefore. At the end of a promo campaign (6 month) a good overviewing map with a list of reviews, interviews, scores, airplay lists for all who is involved in that release.
Q: What you get in return from the record companies?
A: The biggest thank you is to hold the label as your customer. This means the label is satisfied with you. You have constantly watch at the music scene what new promo / marketing posibilities are coming out for a reaction on time. And how you can make your service more perfect.
BADEN METAL CHOIR
Q: The last few years, many bands and labels offer their latest CD's to website editors via a digital download system. At MTI webzine, we do not like to work out our articles this way due to personal reasons. What is your vision across working out reviews by a digital download system?
A: I think the day will come one day where we will have only digital promotion. Actually for not established bands and labels, it is not so easy to make only digital promotion. As an example, for a physical mailout we get around 80-90% feedback in form of reviews and airplay. We tried it with digital promotion to 50% more receivers. The feedback fell to 15-25%, depends on the band. The reviewer spend time on his review, if he like a release really much he spend again extra time for the interview. And I think it is not respectful to thank him only with the digital download. Most of them work for free. What is okay is to send the reviewer an original copy of the album after his job. They deserve it.
Q: While doing this job, you get in contact with a lot of bands… are the bands always grateful or not?
A: Until now I heard not any negative voice. If a band is satisfied I' open for any critis to make it better with the next promo themes. But i'm also critical to me. I always look what I can do better next time. In the last 2 years I slow down my promotional work, because of my partition at the ultra marathon european cup in 2012 and 2013. The training robs you a lot of time. But the work worth at the end. I rank in 2000 with an age of 27 on position 110, in 2013 with 40 I ranked on 57. Now I will concentrate again more to my promotional work. What not means I stop my (ultra) marathon and personal trainer activities.
Q: Infinite Metal Promotion absorbs a lot of your precious time I guess, still a few years ago you started with the release of the “Baden Metal Compilation” albums which even more time consuming. Is 24 hours a day enough for you or not I ask myself?
A: No, I've got enough time for all. I do it with passion. I look that I do not overworking. If you are overworked, you are not fit enough for the next day. So what have you done more, when you are slower the next day ? My way is to do as much as I can within 8 hours as an example.
What I cannot do in 8 hours I do it next day. With the same power and motivation. Don't forget to live your life outside of your work, enjoy your life and regenerate. Our health is the most important thing we have, to work reliable. Save health, deny stress and negative power.
Q: But okay, it’s for the good cause of the Baden Metal scene, right. How did you get the idea doing this?
A: Baden Metal starts in October 2002. Later wie distribute the merch and music of the bands, in 2004 we made our first festival and in 2008 the compilation follows. The idea for the sampler comes one day. Our goal is to support our local bands. And the best way to introduce them is to collect them on a compilation. This is the way we will raise the interest for our underground bands to everyone with a good looking and nice price compilation.
Q: Who are the other people helping you out to realize all this?
A: Christoph Brandes from the Iguana Studios (www.iguana-studio.de) is responsible for Sound Mastering, and the recording of our local anthem “Badnerlied”. He is known for his work for bands like NECROPHAGIST, DEADBORN, FRAGMENTS OF UNBECOMING, IMPERIUM DEKADENZ etc.
Gerd Uwe Geiger is resonsible for all artworks. More info and pictures about his great work you can see on his page www.gugeiger.com
Herr Potz (Mr. Potz) made the Videoclip for the “Badnerlied” song. He got his own page www.trashpopterror.de
Olli Buster of the band ELECTRO BABY (www.electrobaby.de - Stoner Metal) helped me with the layout as editor. He is much more experienced than me. He take look and tell me my mistakes.
It is good to have such involved professional team around me. Cannot thank them enough. One for all, all for one.
As next I will work on a Magazine Team for the Baden Metal page.
Q: How are the bands contacted and what are the conditions before making other agreements?
A: Most of the bands know my work, so we are connected. I wrote a newsletter and publish the news about the 2nd Compilation via BADEN METAL Facebook Group and Homepage. Within 4-5 weeks I collect all songs until end of June 2012. I need 4 weeks more in listening to the songs, choosing the bands, and thinking about the best logical order of the tracklist. Later we announce every week a band.
Every band pays an amount for their partition to finance the pressing. Every band becomes 1 CD pack for it for selling, plus a free copy for every musician. When they sell every CD they got their full money back. So the partition is free at the end. This service including a European wide promotion as well in zines, radio shows, festivals and labels.
YÜCEL & DEW SCENTED
Q: So far there are two parts released, “Rise Of The Griffin” and “Flight Of The Griffin”. Recently I reviewed the last mentioned one, yeah I was satisfied with some of the participating bands. Black Metal, too modern or too extreme forms of Metal aren’t my alley so my preference went out to Storm Warning, Sceptor, Chaossphere, Pessimist, Mission In Black among others. I already did an interview with Storm Warning and am able and willing to offer the rest a list of questions as well. Which bands got your own preference and why Yücel?
A: I don't make and cannot make differences between the bands and styles. I like them all. 34 bands send me their songs and I chose 15 songs.
Q: Do you want to work something out in the future with these bands?
A: Of course. Let's see which band make the first album release on Baden Metal.
Thank you for your interest in some bands of our sampler, reviewing their stuff and interviewing them later after receiving our compilation. And for the interview to introduce my promotion and local scene support work for your readers. Hail to Metal To Infinity Webzine.