I will start some label features in future. And today we start with FDA REKOTZ and owner Rico. Check him out and share his excellent taste for classic death metal!
What means FDA?
Originally the meaning of it was just a blackout product. Because of this, it was clear, shortly after formation of the label, that FDA patently means FDA, without an deeper sense behind.
What’s your main – goal with FDA?
Most important is, that the job makes fun, that’s the point. I don’t want to stagnate with FDA of course , I try to keep the label growing.
Who has created the logo?
The main – logo is from the American artist Eric Musall (did the artwork for Entrails). From tiome to time I use another logo, for example on the FDA Rekotz shirts. That one is created by Dedy from Badic Art from Indonesia.
What brought you from consumer to producer?
The love to music and the scene, I wanted to be an active part of it and spread my own musically taste. Things started in the early 90ths with 4 issues of Putrid Cadaver zine (PC Zine) and a small label. After a break (1997 – 2004), where I had to care about other things, I came back and in the end of 2006 I formed FDA Rekotz.
Tell me about your roster!
90% of FDA are classical Death Metal Bands. No matter if its Swedish styled (REVEL IN FLESH, REVOLTING), American (SKELETAL REMAINS) or Middle – European (DESERTED FEAR, OBSCURE INFINITY, GOREGAST, SULPHUR AEON…). The style is subordinate, when a band kicks me. With GRUEASOME STUFF RELIS or NECROMORPH I got grindacts in the team too. I´m pretty open minded on that score. If I listen to a Doom Metal band tomorrow for example and they maybe remind me on the first CATHEDRAL album or there is a Death/Doom Band like early PARADISE LOST, I would sign them on the spot.
Are you consequently old school?
Meanwhile I don’t like the words “old school” anymore, because under that banner exists a lot of crap too. I call it just “classic”. I started listening metal 1990, my first album was BOLT THROWERs´”Warmaster”. I started even with the hard stuff, I was and I´m a huge CARCASS fan. I can´t handle with modern metal styles, so I’m consequently old school, ähm…classic.
How do you finance your label?
The label is a full time job, 10-12 hours a day I´m in the office, working for FDA. I do layouts, care about the mail-order, promotion and so on…there are many things to do. Thanks to the mail-order and my main – distributor SOULFOOF I earn money, to finance the next releases and to pay my bills. Apart from that I´m rather modest, I don´t need golden taps privately, to be fortunate.
You have got lots of releases – is it still manageable?
Like I mentioned, it’s a bunch of work, but it makes fun, and 1 or 2 releases per month is not too much for a full time label I think. Every single release gets the same regard, be it promotion or other things. Under these circumstances, all things are manageable very well.
Vinyl – just additional business or the Holy Grail?
For me, vinyl is the real deal. Privately I buy and listen almost only vinyl. Although I get started to collect cd´s recently. But with vinyl I have a 30cm x 30cm thing in my hands, perceive any detail on the cover and have just a better feeling. It’s not about the special sound on vinyl.
What’s behind the idea releasing tapes, and is it actually working?
I release only demos on tape, because for me a demo belonged on tape and never ever on cd or cd-r. People appreciate it, tapes sell well. Look at the CHAPEL OF DISEASE demo, it was sold out within a week after releasing date.
What about the international connections, how important are contacts around the rotten globe?
It’s important, being in contact with other labels on the whole world. Thanks to the internet, it’s no big deal. There are people I´m in touch for years.
Are you a true supporter of your local scene or is quality an more important factor than local support?
Musically quality takes the first position, a band must impress me and correspond with my personally taste. It’s just pure accident that the most of my upcoming releases are from German bands, in fact it empathize the damned good quality of German Death Metal bands. If you regard it global and proportional to the land area, the best Death Metal bands are from Germany currently, no question.
Revenue office and bureaucracy – pesky flies or real hurdles?
Partially annoying, but absolutely necessary.
Where do you have your residence? - And is it a modern office or moldy basement?
It´s either a sinister basement or a modern open space office. I have renovated my old cabinetmakers´ workshop years ago and since 2009 my office and store are in it. Meanwhile it gets pretty poky, but still acceptable.
What kind of deals do you have with your bands usually? Promotion – distribution, production, or the all-inclusive package?
I can’t say anything about contractual details with the bands, only that any band is certainly satisfied.
How do you promote your bands?
I work together with the American promo agency CLAWHAMMER PR. In Europe, especially in Germany. I do a lot by myself. I use social networks, forums, print – media and so on…to spread the glad tidings of joy into the world.
ENTRAILS – one of your interesting bands have a deal with Metal Blade now – are you angry or proud to have pushed something?
Of course I was not really delighted, that ENTRAILS are “migrated”, precisely because I have invested much heart blood into the band. But that’s the usually way of the world, the small labels build the house and the big ones step in…haha…
Tell me about the fests that you organize or that you are involved!
I organize the BLUTSVENTE fest in Berlin, it takes a rest in 2013, because I´m out of the timeline and it was too late for the planning, but in 2014 we will have another edition. 12 bands, one day from Power – Violence till Death Metal. In addition I organize together with Mario Napalm the GRIND THE NAZI SCUM fest in Torgau/Saxony. 2 days with Blast Beats, Death Metal and beer. The next one starts in June 2013. And last but not least there is the NOCTURNUS fest on December 8. In Berlin, club K17. This time with PUTERAEON, CHAPEL OF DISEASE, GOREGAST, REVEL IN FLESH, DECEMBER FLOWER and FUNERAL WHORE.
How long will the run for old school death & grind still work? And have you an plan B?
How I told you, I don’t follow a trend, I release my personally musical taste. Because of that I don’t need a plan B. Classical death Metal or Grindcore will always exist and fans will be still there.
Give me a view through the FDA window into the future!
I have a lot of work, now on November 9. appears “Beyond The Flesh” from SKELETAL REMAINS from California on Cd and vinyl. Than I have “Summoning Black Gods” from CHAPEL OF DISEASE from Cologne on Cd and vinyl out on December 8.. On the same date starts the NOCTURNUS fest in Berlin. On December 28. “Swallowed By Ocean Tide” from SULPER AEON will be released and next year on January 25. comes the new GRUESOME STUFF RELISHE album on Cd and vinyl too. In spring next year the new releases from REVEL IN FLESH, LIFELESS and HARM are planned and we will see, what comes next.