T: Hi my best friend Tony. ¿How are you? Salute Records was born in 2008. What I take to create it? Why Salute Records as a name?
SLR: The idea behind starting a label was born around autumn 2007 already and in december 2007 it was born for real and a plan for some first release was started. And in march/april the year after came the first production (a compilation cd) called "Black Pagan Death Salute Vol.1" included bands like Black Empire, Blood of Kingu, Hyperial, Hellfist, Virtues of The Beast, Akral Necrosis, Viking Throne, Wasted Land, Grom and many more. It was never really my plan that things would go the way it went. In fact did I just thought of doing some few compilations to show my support in the underground scene of extreme metal & sub genres, but the story took another path. The name for the label just felt right then, an easy and simple name I thought.
T: At that time you cast a Compilation "BLACK PAGAN DEATH SALUTE I". Maybe that gave you the idea of the creation of the Records?
SLR: In some way, yes as the plan was to just do some compilation and give as many bands as possible out there to be on it as I thought needed to be more explored for people. So in some way it was. An idea have been circulated in my mind of doing a exclusive re-release of that compilation some day..hmm maybe when the label celebrates 10 years of existence (who knows).
T: As every human being there were some personal problems and also some issues with a couple of bands that are not like the re-release and your way of working. And all that accumulated almost a step to close the Label. I remember we talked for almost an entire day that do not. I told you not re-edit bands. Launch new bands of rare countries and much more. Now that Salute Records has grown greatly improved their professionalism. Do you regret having continued?
SLR: Yes that is true, I rememeber a bit of that story and the journey since start have been long and fun, but also filled with lots of trouble and soem sad moments, even some smaller dispute between me as a label between other bands. Not many, but a few ones. I do not regret what I have done and I also think I found my true reason of do something positive in life. The truth is that I was not really new in my work with salute records as I already back in 1985 had a small little undergound tape label that was back then consentrated on just punk/Oi & hardcore music as that was my thing back then.
T: How many bands done until now on CD / TAPE / DVD?
SLR: Holy shit, that was a hard question to respond and give a really good answer too. But I think that bands that I have released so far if I keep some out that have appeared on svereal compilation CD´s and bands that was planned, but got cancelled. It is at least over 150 bands til´today. And the truth is that it is even much more, but these are the bands that I have been more in touch with than others. And during the long time I have also came in touch with lots of bands and persons that many out there only could dream of talking too or getting touch with.
T: Can you name bands countries that nobody knew anything about the metal scene or prohibited by religion do metal and was produced by Salute Records?
SLR: Many other labels have released bands from some of the hard/distant areas that I also have produced bands from. But I am also proud to say that I have given a lot of my support in bands coming from the middle east areas and that is not so many other labels so much in for. Countries that is a bit out of the normal standard is Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco, Tunisia, China, Syria and Pakistan and from those places have it been several bands that have been produced by me. And plenty of those countries are very hard on their own people that even plays regular pop/rock and melodic heavy metal so I guess it is not easy to play liek black metal or death metal and living in a country like that.
T: Now Salute Records bands not only performed but strips distributed material already known. Did I can name a few?
SLR: Yes some bands have not only been produced by me and some releases have been like co-released and some have first been done by Salute Records and then by some other label as well. The only bad or kind of negative thing about that I can say from my own side of it is that if you are like a second or the third label that releases the same production again it can be really be hard to sell/distribute it.
T: The cost of postal mail is expensive and many do not know. How many shipments get paid? I guess I will leave more to consider when selling in quantity.
SLR: In the beginnig did I had much more trouble of sending ordered stuff in time and often things could be a lot delayed, but during the years it have become easier and easier. Of course it is not cheap at all to send cd´s, tapes or else across the world. But the time have also made me wiser so I try to plan things better now days so not too much delays or problems will emerge. The thing that cost me most is to send the final production to the bands I produces, but since 2012 have the stability grown and got a lot better in the label so today is everything easier than it was before.
T: Do you currently there is a promotion Salute Records? So readers are encouraged to place orders.
SLR: If you mean promotion for the label is it so good it can be I think. I does not so often promote on lots of various places or so for Salute Records as the reputation of the labels existence spreads much by people that orders from us and all bands that is on the label + all labels that distributes our releases of course. So the truth is that I don´t have to promote so much anymore as it goes much by itself, mouth to mouth. And from time to time over a year I sends out news letters to people (mostly to returning customers or interested people) or if someone ask for it. As some have complained before that they thought my mails was like spamming so I tried also to minimize it. The thing is that the label is pretty known today in many countries so often does those things go automatic and lots of people finds their way to us.
T: Currently you use all networks to promote Salute Records. But you also have exchanges with other Labels world. What countries are the products of Salute Records?
SLR: Other countries where productions from us can be found in is for example and mostly USA, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Thailand, Japan, India, Ecuador, France, Turkey, Russia, Hungary, Serbia, Chile, Peru, Mexico, Germany, Bangladesh, Italy to mention some.
T: If a new and good sounding band would make some with your CD Label. How is the percentage that has given the band in terms of CD's?
SLR: It is mostly just needed that the band gets in contact, writes a short biography and include some shorter sample or full track for listening. But since start does I prefer if a band sends a CD, master record, promo or else as I gets too many mails from bands asking me to produce them and yes I would like to produce and help a lot more bands than I do, but that is also on the other hand totally impossible. As I am alone in this is it too hard both economically, with time, possibilty to do it for all bands. If someone would be nice to donate me a couple of millions I can promise that much more bands would be helped out from me and then I could also grow as a label and climb over all filthy, profit hungry labels that is only in it for the money. I do it for the love of music and I see it as my goal to help other bands out there that have hard to get anywhere or does not get the respond they really could need. Even if I often do very limited pressings for bands does it seems that many of them have been more discovered by other labels after I have discovered and helped
T: Have great musical career that began with many bands from the '80s and ´90 like Demorian, Doomsday Prophet, Fleshcrawler, Wintercold, Tragic Serenade, ex-Affliction, former Camazotz, Corpestor ex-, ex-Cryptic Death, ex-Equinox, ex-Killteam , ex-Curse, ex-Obey. What can you tell us?
SLR: Yeah I started my own musical career or what to call it back in 1981 and early 1982, some of the first bands I was involved in was a punkband called Teenage Suicide and around ´83 and ´84 also a band claled The Boot Boys, but that is history now. The very first metal band I played in was Equinox that was active only like a year from ´86 - ´87 that also was my citys very first black metal band ever. After that have it rolled on with a lot of other bands like a heavy metal band called Tales, Secession, Kollaps, Lingonsylters, Exotic Flower & many more. Today I figure in bands like Luciferian Blood, Dawn of Apocalypse (new), Demorian, Wintercold, Curse of Wotan, Magiska Krafter and Darkness Finder.
T: Now all you have many bands as Demorian, Wintercold, Luciferian Blood, and more... How you spread your time to rehearse, record, family and manage Label?
SLR: A damn good question, haha...hard to answer...I mean I am also now grandfather to two kids so the time is even more less than before with a family of six kids already. But in a strange and sick way I manage to fix it all. Guess it falls naturally when you burns for something so much. I am today closer 50 than 40 so that have also made me thinking of the time that is too short in life so therefore I want to do so much I can with things I love in this life. I am a very dark & aberrant person in some way as I will always believe that I am born in a wrong time and often think humanity is lost in itself, but I want to live it for full in my own way and music is a big part of it.
T: Please tell us more about your bands and musical productions so far. What new productions going to make with your bands?
SLR: Ohh..we have a new coming album/mini album with Demorian that we have worked on for some time now. Also the quite new band Luciferian Blood that was set up by me, Invisus (Terra Australis) & Martin (Prayer of The Dying) last summer working on a new release to come out later this year. Luciferian Blood have become very popular in a very short time and I can only say that next chapter will be much harder & evil. Then the new band project Dawn of Apocalypse with my own wife on the vocal works on new tracks, both for some new release, ep, split or demo. New material is also started up with the indian/swedish band Magiska Krafter that I am also involved in and it have been silent since our debut album from 2012 so it is a bout time now. More to come.
T: Is Demorian your main band? I see that you spend a long time and have many productions. They fuse many styles of Metal?
SLR: Yeah, guess that is or was, hehe as today I am very much consentrated also in my one man project Wintercold + my other bands Dawn of Apocalypse & Luciferian Blood too as the respond for those have been more than positive. Demorian was from the very first beginning more rooted in pagan/folk black metal, but during the time more and more genres have influenced us and specially Alltears that since over a year back writes all music as I have not time for it. Today is it more goth/black/industry/experimental metal even if some people calls it metalcore and that is nothing that we think it is or want to be compared too, haha...Demorian will always keep the roots in black metal even if we have much goth rock sound in our song nowdays. Luciferian Blood is pure black metal, Dawn of Apocalypse more occult black/thrash/death metal & Wintercold is more atmospheric blackened/doom/neofolk metal.
T: What are your 10 favorite bands for ever?
SLR: Mad cow!!! Damn hard to say that my friend, but to be fast and say 10 bands without much thinking I would then say Bathory, Venom, Hellhammer, Celtic Frost, Motorhead, Black Sabbath, Sodom, Marduk, Nokturnal Mortum and Plasmatics (Wendy o Williams).
T: Your remember very well the old Swedish scene? Beginning with its inception and Bathory. Is there any anecdote? Were you Quorthon friend?
SLR: I came in touch with the music of Bathory around late 1984 or early 1985 so the band have became a big part for me and his music have really touched my heart and soul forever in eternity. I have never had the honor of meeting Quorthon myself when he was alive. Sad as it would have been so great. Bathory is in my opinion the absolutely first band in sweden that played real black metal and I mean it were not many others that had that sound, energy and atmosphere back then. It were others....but not like Bathory.
T: What do you remember of your band Equinox? Why is there only 1 year?
SLR: Back then (here comes a secret) was I into the skinhead period and I played in both several punk/Oi and hardcore bands, mostly local acts was it. But both me and a old friend back then were so influenced by metal too and after a year of lots of listening to Bathory, Hellhammer and also old Sodom, we decided finally to set up a band/project for fun. As we wanted to try out playing some hard metal in the same veins as Bathory and Venom too. I must also confess and say that back then was I really bad on guitar, I could only handle a few good riffs/chords and as I was not so good it had to be very punk inspired metal so therefore was it easy to try a own way of creating that kick ass good black/death metal as Bathory & Venom did it. We also did a half gig with Equinox, but the guy behind the mixer bord thought we sounded too terrible so he shutted down the power for us, haha. We did only one real recording in our rehearsal room in 1986 and one more shorter in 1987 with a bit different sound and after that the band was buried.
T: In the '80s there were also some great bands I had the opportunity to interview as Carbonized, Therion (T: Hi Chris), Entombed, Carnage, Edge of Insanity (T: Hi Dan), Nihilist, and a ton more that had at that time. Sweden was known for having many Death Metal bands. Is there something like that today? I mean the roots. I had the opportunity to wrote by letters, ship Tapes, Zines many. A good season. Your contact with any band tapeworms living in Sweden?
SLR: I guess the roots from the past always will be there, otherwise would not the scene be much at all today. And there is also a lot of the bands from the 80´s and the 90´s still active or have re-united today. Many bands have that old fire and true feeling for real underground metal, but sad to say does it feel to much today that many bands seems to have some sort of contend between eachother, which one is most evil, raw and satanic...and so on. And that is a bit wrong I think as I believe choosing that kind of way often ends up bad.
T: I met you when I was The Legion Of TchorT Compilation and Zine. And The Legion Of TchorT Compilation beam produced from # 1 to # 13. What I thanks infinitely because you do it selflessly supporting more than 250 underground bands thanks to the Swedish edition of Salute Records reach the most remote corners of the world. Remember the numbers that came out in one of your bands and songs? How's it going now with the market New Compilation # 13? Know this number was very difficult to do so could not support my column for the operation, but it was worth the effort and the wait. You think so?
SLR: The Legion of Tchort have got my fully support since day one (almost), think it must have been around late 2008 or early 2009. And most of the compilation volumes have sold good and still does, volume 13 have not came up to so much yet, but I also guess that not all reflects about my label distribution of Legion of Tchort. But from time to time there is a lot of people out there that wants a copy and that is brilliant. Yeah I know that I in this way supports even much more bands beside of those who gets officially released under the banner of Salute Records
T: Well I thank you for answering this interview, a sincere friendship for years and especially support the work of many underground bands of the world. Some words for readers The Legion Of TchorT Zine & Compilation and where they can get material Salute Records and your bands?
SLR: First of all a big thanks for the interview that I believe is the very first one made to the label I runs. A big thanks to you all out there that in some way or another really gives their truly support to the real underground metal scene. Cause the small scene always need your support. So let it be just a simple promotion banner maybe, a demo track of a band, links or else. All this means that you doing something and keep on doing that. And the biggest thing also, buy the music from bands instead of downloading except when there is not other alternative of course. Because in that way you both supports the band and the label. People that is interested of purchasing various volumes of The Legion of Tchort and of course productions made under Salute Records + lots of distributed stuff can visit these places. www.saluterecords.yolasite.com, saluterecords.bandcamp.com or facebook.com/saluterecords