From now on we will dedicate some space over here at Hardboiled to shed some light on hardcore labels that we feel are doing a great job giving quality bands chance to release their material. It will feature interviews with new and established labels from around the world and I think it might be an interesting to find out what folks who are providing us with all these thrilling albums think about the current state of hardcore, record sales etc. This might be also pretty informative for all the folks trying to launch their own label or bands trying to get noticed. We’ll start thing off with a chat with Hiro from Clandestine / Retribution Project.
From now on we will dedicate some space over here at Hardboiled to shed some light on hardcore labels that we feel are doing a great job giving quality bands chance to release their material. It will feature interviews with new and established labels from around the world and I think it might be an interesting to find out what folks who are providing us with all these thrilling albums think about the current state of hardcore, record sales etc. This might be also pretty informative for all the folks trying to launch their own label or bands trying to get noticed. We’ll start thing off with a chat with Hiro from Clandestine / Retribution Project.What made you decide to start your own label? Did you have any initial vision how would it operate and what type of bands you would be putting out?
Yeah I was thinking there are more good bands in the world HxC scene but some of young bands hard to get deal with label. There is too much downloading but I’m sure pressing CD is much better than web site release. (Because of real cd with real booklet) So I started my label and hooked up my close band called DOGGY HOOD$.
What are some of the biggest obstacles you had to face when setting this thing off?
Yeah we are hailing from Japan, some of FOREIGN label or distributers are not interested in Japanese works, that’s bad but we can release great music through clandestine. I know too many bands are releasing in the world all time but hope to people from world gonna see what we are doing.
I don’t care EXACT category for my label if the band is playing METALCORE or DEATHCORE or BEATDOWN or OLD SCHOOL or RAP SHIT but need to put HEAVY/BRUTAL shit through HxC theory. Also I’m big fun of HxC music so I listen to the music at first if we sign with new band.
What advice would you give to the upcoming bands when they’re trying to get labels interested in their shit? What most of them are doing wrong?
Yeah we gonna put VOW OF HATRED mid DEC. that’s will be totality SICK. Heavy as hell. Often we are getting requests from the band that wants put cd on label. Off course I can talk to something but most bands didn’t check my current release or latest band. That’s terrible. I need to know about yourself and you need to know about myself. That’s the most important thing on deal.
So besides your website, where can people find your records?
Yeah Basically I’m doing distribution called RETRIBUTION NETWORK. I have tons young to big bands titles on our store and we can accept worldwide shipping. Especially I’m pushing the bands that haven’t release cd. We want to hook up such young bands on Clandestine but we need to recover pressing cost from current release and the money will be next pressing cost. We should distribute to more international distro but sometimes hard to send to USA distros. We should find more good way for distribution in whole world.
If any distribution or a label would like to carry some of your CDs, what should they do?
Yeah that’s honor thing so we can send to any country. Please contact me. Off course we can accept TRADE things with any label if want. We can spread each other. That’s perfect.
I Think vinyl format is not popular in here. People would love to take CDS. So actually we don’t have any vinyl release on clandestine but if we get good sales of future titles, I would love to release vinyl version too haha.
As someone who puts a lot of his hard work, dedication and money into making those hardcore records see the light of the day, what’s your opinion on mp3 downloading? Do you feel it can benefit you because some of the kids who download your music for free might actually want to support the band and buy the record?
Yeah I knew there are too many free down load on the blog or share wear. I told I thought real cd is better than mp3 format. BUT I see MP# is really useful. Because I also have IPOD and put tons mp3 on my iPod. We can’t stop such an illegal download system so really hard to sell cds in 5-10 years. But I’m trying / thinking what we can do in the best way to spreading CLANDESTINE RELEASE.
So how do you think hardcore labels can benefit from the use of Internet promotion and digital music distribution, things that seem to be shaping the overall music market nowadays?
Yeah I accepted few download deal ever for my other label RETRIBUTION ENTWORK. If I know and trust the person who can hook up this business, I can do something but we need to sell REAL AUDIO cd before starting download system. Its might be 6 to 8 months after release date. Not exactly but yeah I want to sell CDs first and we can do download thing if any people would like to work with me.
What’s happening in the Japan hardcore scene nowadays? Any good bands you would recommend?
Yeah there are good bands in Japan. And some of foreign bands came to here every month. I’m doing the band called LOYAL TO THE GRAVE and there are good bands around us like CRYSTAL LAKE, EXTIGUISH THE FIRE, DOGGYHOOD$, BIRTHPLACE or GENESIS, CANOPUS. Any kinds of music also there are good bands in Japan like NUMB, CREEPOUT, FIGHT IT OUT, AS WE LET GO, SILENCE KILLS THE REVOLUTION, ENDZWECK, SAND, CLOSER, SLAPDOWN and many more.
I’ve seen some show posters from Japan where you could see hardcore bands sharing a stage with some hip hop acts. What’s the relation between hardcore and hip hop scene in Japan and do you think it’s possible that you release a rap album in the future?
Yeah sometimes HARDCORE bands gonna play with HIPHOP unit as a good festival or shows. Some of HIPHOP group has good relationship with HxC bands but most famous HIPHOP group is not interested in kind of HxC music. Its maybe just noisy music haha. So I’m thinking hard to unite both music scenes perfectly. HIPHOP music is one of overground music in here because of Japanese lyric. But most hardcore bands around us are singing in English so stay in underground. But I’m sure there is great huge fes in here like FREESTYLE OUTRO, MURDER THEY FALL etc. I really like HIPHOP and HxC mix style music. So if we get chance to release such music on our label, I do it! Off course if the music would be pure hip-hop too.
Yeah difficult to answer this questions because I’m listening tons music because of my distro. I like any kind of most music off course HxC, METAL, HIPHOP or R/B, and J-pop. But I can tell my current fav music: Buried Alive, Earth Cirisis, Another Victim, All Out War, Section 8(troy), and Conviction. and I like such a current bands Reign Supreme, xRepresentx, Fatality, Bishop, Suicide Pact, Thick As Blood, Recon, Knock Em Dead, Heavy Hitters, Blackout Rage, Ghostxship, xProvidencex etc. also I’m listening current metalcore, deathcore stuff. About HIPHOP I like east coast 90's hip-hop. Especially QUEENS and south BRONX. MOBB DEEP is the rule. Also Kool G Rap, E-Money Bags, Tragedy Khadafi, Big Punisher and Raekwon.
What are some other future plans for the label? Any new bands or records in the working?
Yeah next month, we will release VOW OF HATRED full-length! This will be the heaviest stuff heavy!! Original PAHC style. Please check on myspace. Also we are supporting many hardcore/metalcore bands in the world through RETRIBUTION NETWORK. Please check store and we can shipping to any country if you want. Also we would love to distribute to the world so please contact me if you can help distributing our titles. Trade/wholesale is ok!