Please present your label, when and where was it started, who is involved in its activities and what genres are promoted by it.
LEGION OF DEATH Records was born in 2001 in Pictavia (center-west of France). Basically the idea is to support underrated scenes all over the world on vinyl format. A parallel label called ARMEE DE LA MORT Records was created in 2009 to release CD's too, and promote good bands from French regions. I am the only one to take care about everything. I support all Metal genres as long as it's traditional and authentic, it means : Heavy, Thrash, Black, Death, Doom. No stupid modern sub-genres like Nu/Goth/Religious/NS/Atmospheric/Depressive/Suicidal etc... Total boycott!
Tell us a few words on each or the most important releases of your label, and which of them are still available for purchase.
It's difficult to say because I have released 46 records with LEGION OF DEATH and 18 with ARMEE DE LA MORT! Almost all LEGION OF DEATH releases are sold out because they are limited vinyls for maniaks, but I still have copies of MASTER OF CRUELTY (Paraguay) 7"EP and SAVAGE DEITY / GOATCHRIST666 (Thailand) Split 7"EP. Most of the CD's released through ARMEE DE LA MORT are available. As for important releases, I would mention CATACOMB on ARMEE DE LA MORT, it's a double CD with 32 pages booklet which was the first of a successful series, then came MERCYLESS, TORK RAN, NOMED, DISABLED, SHUD. All cult Death or Thrash bands from French regions. With LEGION OF DEATH, I could mention DYING EMBRACE as I released their 7"EP in 2002 and now 10 years ago, I release their anthology album on CD/LP (available around January 2013). Also I was the first to release vinyls by some bands hailing from special countries : WEAPON (Bangladesh), RABBATH AMMON (Jordan), TAARMA (Afghanistan), KUSOOF (Kuwait / Bahrain), FUNERAL IN HEAVEN (Sri Lanka), ORISHA SHAKPANA (Jamaica), SEEDS OF IBLIS (Irak), SKINFLINT (Botswana)... But hey, you know, I'm very proud of all my releases! I could mention them all hehe...
What are the most important features you look for in a band that is or has the chance to be signed on your label?
As I have a special concept with my label, I must admit the geographical situation is important. But it is very far from being enough. The music must be killer, and the ideology / concept of the band is primordial too. I will never sign a band with ideas I boycott even if the music sounds great. And vice versa!
How can a band get in touch with you? What should bands know before submitting their promos for your consideration?
A band can send me an e-mail, it is the most simple way. But first, bands should be aware of what I've said before, so to sum it up : I'm looking for bands from underrated regions in the world, I am into authentic Metal only, and I boycott religious and political bands. You know, I get mails every day from bands that don't fit these criterias at all... This is crazy, this means bands don't give a shit about what the label is all about, they just want to release their stuffs and that's all. Fortunately the true Metal spirit is still alive among many maniaks but I must admit I am very disappointed to see such a situation and so many useless bands polluting the underground. So once again : bands, think twice before writing to me!
What's the most important thing in the relationship between you and your bands? What is your label offering to its bands?
This question about relationship is very good, man. Nowadays labels and bands don't care, it became another capitalist abomination, nothing more, nothing less. But before signing a band, I talk with the "leader" and we exchange a lot of ideas, on various subjects. In all cases, we become Metal brothers! It's all about supporting each other and sharing some similar views. If labels would take care of that instead of signing bands just because the music is good and nothing more, it would be more healthy for the underground. I really believe in a radical selection. Many people involved in the underground should be boycotted but nowadays everyone seems to be so tolerant... Thus the huge saturation that everybody is facing now. About what I offer to the bands, it's a percentage of free copies. I am not rich so I can't pay the studio and such stuffs, but sometimes I can pay for the cover art and work with great artists, it all depends on the project. And the band can be sure that the record will be distributed in any part of the world.
Is there anything you planned with your label and has not yet been completed?
I have many plans, but I can't say that something hasn't been completed yet. I'm simply proud of what I did during the past 12 years with the label and I just hope it will last for long! I could also say that I would like to discover more bands from countries/regions that have no real Metal tradition, Metal warriors emerging from such places and fighting for the ancient Metal spirit! Look at bands like ORATOR (Bangladesh), FUNERAL IN HEAVEN (Sri Lanka), SKINFLINT (Botswana), VALE OF AMONITION (Uganda), they became real examples to follow in their respective countries, more and more bands follow their path and knowing their conditions, I hail and respect such guys, far from the trends and posers polluting the whole western "scene".
How does the future looks for your label? Any major projects you would like to share with us?
Well, I'm pretty broke right now haha but I have many projects and of course I believe in them at 666%. I told you I mainly release 7"EP's and CD's, now from time to time I really want to support bands by releasing CD and LP versions for their album, but it will be pretty rare, I will do this with bands that mean something extremely special to me, real brothers. So I can mention DYING EMBRACE and ORATOR in this category, maybe MANTAK and SURRENDER OF DIVINITY in the future, time will tell! I've played in Asia with my band MANZER, shared the stage and/or met some of the bands I produced or will produce, this is something beyond words for me. I also hope to play in South America, Africa and Oceania in the future so the same may happen with local bands I really want to support out there. You mentioned "major projects" and I think that releasing an album as CD and LP fits into this category!
How can anyone get in touch with you? Please list your website, webstore and/or social media links.
As I've said in question #4, the best way is to drop me an e-mail, I reply to all messages, I'm not like all the rock-stars who avoid replying because they think they are so important and pretend that they have no time for this (then those arrogant assholes should consider stopping their unserious activity). I don't use fukking social bullshit sites though, I prefer honest and direct contact, moreover everything necessary can be read and seen on my websites. I have a webshop with around 1400 articles too! My contacts :
E-mail : email@example.com
LEGION OF DEATH / ARMEE DE LA MORT Records : www.legionofdeathrecords.com
Snail Mail : LOD Records / BP 21 / 86210 Bonneuil-Matours / France.
MANZER Pictavian Black Metal : www.manzer.fr
Oh and I can also add that I've made a Metal shop in my house so anybody wanting to visit Pictavia is welcome here!
All right, thanx a lot for the interview and support.
Shaxul, 27th November 2012.