Please present your label, when and where was it started, who is involved in its activities and what genres are promoted by it.
The Northern Cold as an idea came from the Woods of Ypres song of the same name. "I'm at home in the north, when I'm alone in the northern cold". As a Canadian the song really spoke to me. Seven months of snow makes for great metal music.
I have been running a weekly metal podcast, mix tapes for the internet generation, for several years now. It's a great way to help get a band's message out but as a child of the 1980s I always prefer a physical product. The idea of actually releasing music came from frustration in seeing amazing bands not having something for me to buy. I thought about CDs but they are basically dead. Not many people buy them anymore. Vinyl, while being my favorite format for music, is quite expensive to manufacture. So tapes it is! My first release was in June 2010 and so far have nine releases out!
I mainly focus on the extremes of metal. Doom, death, thrash, black metal.
Tell us a few words on each or the most important releases of your label, and which of them are still available for purchase.
Wow, the most important release? I'd have to say my first release with Abigail (Japan). They are a band I have loved and respected for a long time. On a whim I emailed Yasuyuki to ask if I could release them and he said "Sure!". This boldness came from talking with Yuki of Deathrash Armageddeon after he released Satanic Warmaster. I asked him how the hell a label from Hokkaido, Japan got to release the mighty Satanic Warmaster! "I just asked." was his response. Second most important would probably be Black Pestilence as Valax is a good personal friend. We've killed many beer together!
All my releases are still available with the exception of Battlegoat, Ritual Flame, and Blodfest which are 100% sold out.
What are the most important features you look for in a band that is or has the chance to be signed on your label?
While talent and quality music is important dedication to their craft is more important to me. I've been in contact with some VERY talented bands that, for lack of a better word, were pretentious assholes! Some expected tour support, money to record new music, etc. Crazy stuff to expect from a tiny tape label! I much prefer working with bands like Pathogen (Philippines). While their release was at the manufacturer my inbox was overflowing with people requesting the tape. I hadn't done any promo for it yet ... this was all from the band doing the leg work to get their name out. They are good blue collar metal heads!
How can a band get in touch with you? What should bands know before submitting their promos for your consideration?
The best way to reach me is by email (email@example.com). Before getting in touch with me I humbly request you actually have been playing your instrument for more than 2 weeks. I've had some incredibly bad stuff come across my desk. People who could barely play a note or keep a beat. While I appreciate a kvlt quality recording don't have recordings that are unlistenable! Some bands send me stuff that sounds like it was recorded with a potato. Also, keep in mind I run a very small label! I have a full time job that thankfully keeps this money pit of a label alive. I may not be able to respond for a few days if work's kicking my ass. I don't give a fuck about how kvlt your band is .. or how much your friends love you! If I do a Google search and see you've been doing lots of self-promotion .. you're someone I would want to work with.
What's the most important thing in the relationship between you and your bands? What is your label offering to its bands?
Mutual respect is most important. I may be a very small label but I take things very seriously. Also, don't write emails to me like you're playing Dungeons and Dragons. You can drop the "Infernal hails from the depths of Satan's rotten bowels!" .. "Hey dude" is fine.
What I offer a band is fairly simple. Most importantly I do not take control or own the music. That always remains 100% with the band. I work on a gentleman's agreement of a band giving permission for me to release their music. The band covers recording costs and I cover manufacturing costs. As "payment" the band gets a percentage of the tape (usually 10 on a run of 100). Through trades with other labels I get their release all over the world.
I see my label as a band's stepping stone for bigger and better things.
How does the future looks for your label? Any major projects you would like to share with us?
The future is looking good for my label. As I said my full time job keeps my label afloat so I don't need to worry how I'm going to pay for my next release. haha
I have two releases in the pipe. In the next few weeks I will have Storm Of Darkness (Columbia) available and in the first part of the new year Inverted (Italy) will be out. I am in talks with some Malaysian and Thai black metal bands for possible releases in the spring. Another iron in the fire is the possibility of a vinyl release. Probably a 7" in the later summer of 2013. I'm still hashing out the details for that.
How can anyone get in touch with you? Please list your website, webstore and/or social media links.
Email (firstname.lastname@example.org) is always best for direct contact but feel free to check out:
My home page: http://www.thenortherncoldproductions.com
My distro: http://thenortherncold.bigcartel.com
My podcast: http://thenortherncold.podomatic.com
I'm fucking everywhere!