Metallian has been hearing more and more from the Ukraine-based label Metal Scrap Records. Not only the label and its imprints are issuing a variety of metal releases, but also the man behind the action has been active and responsive seemingly both working hard and caring. This is a good recipe and so it was time to have the man place a call into Metallian Towers so we all find out a little more about the man and the operation. – 15.06.2017
METALLIAN: Could you introduce yourself personally and your background. How did you come to heavy metal?
ANATOLIY: My name is Anatoliy. I am an owner of Metal Scrap Records Inc. that includes three labels, PR and booking agencies as well as a distribution service. I came to heavy metal as fan when I was twelve years old so it’s normal to spend all my life as fan of this great music I think.
METALLIAN: In addition, could you give Metallian’s readers a history of the label, its formation and its subdivisions?
ANATOLIY: We started back in 1993 as a fanzine. Later there was a compilation tape and later first cassette releases. We started to produce CD releases in the new millennium and in a few years became the biggest Ukrainian metal label. The first sub-label, Total Metal Records, was born in 2010. The second one, Another Side Records, was founded in 2013. The Total Metal PR Agency was founded in 2014 and Total Metal Distribution followed in 2015. Total Metal Concerts & Booking was created in 2016.
METALLIAN: It seems that many of the releases of the record company are licenses versus direct signings by the label. Is that correct? How is the general arrangement?
ANATOLIY: No, we only have a few licensed releases. Ninety-nine percent of our releases are exclusively original releases of bands signed by us. Almost all of them are signed for the worldwide territory.
METALLIAN: In that case, what is your signing policy and preference? It seems that there is a large number of bands on the label from a variety of sub-genres.
ANATOLIY: There is not a preference regarding genres. All kinds of metal… just good metal with balls.
METALLIAN: You had earlier mentioned to me that you do not listen to many new releases. That is a strange statement for the owner of a record company and distributor, isn’t it?
ANATOLIY: I meant new releases by famous bands. Maybe it’s strange, but it’s true. Firstly, every day I listen to many underground bands’ releases that were recorded just a few days or a month ago and ninety percent of the material will never be released. And it’s a pity because half of this stuff is very good. So, I just have no time to listen to new albums of mainstream bands. Secondly, I prefer to hear music from CD or vinyl, keeping booklets in my hands and I don’t get any satisfaction from listening the streams or mp3 files. In that case, it happens that by the time I get the CD of the popular bands it’s not such a fresh album anymore.
METALLIAN: Let’s talk about the elephant in the room: lack of record sales, piracy and the Internet. As a record company and distributor, how does this affect you? How do you read the situation?
ANATOLIY: That all sucks, man. These things totally kill labels and the music industry. This is why we created more services that help us survive and keep the labels alive.
METALLIAN: OK, in a similar line of questioning how does being based in Ukraine affect the label? For example, is it an advantage, disadvantage or is it neutral?
ANATOLIY: I don’t know, but I think its sucks, especially nowadays. Fortunately, we’re not from Russia, we’re from Ukraine, which is the geographical centre of Europe.
METALLIAN: Thanks for the correction. Ukraine, what is going on in that part of the world?
ANATOLIY: Firstly, we are at war with Russia for about four years now. They occupied the East and Southern territory of Ukraine and every day kills civilians and our soldiers. More than 10,000 people have died in this war so far. This war will end when the fucking schizophrenic Russian President Putin is shot by a hero of this world. Maybe it’s something new to you or maybe for other people, but it is very strange for us Ukrainians that so many people in the world don’t know what happens in other countries.
As far as other news, Europe has cancelled visa requirements for Ukrainians. So, now it is easier for us to continue our collaboration with the Europe and the world, I hope.
METALLIAN: In fact, Anatoliy, I suspect most people around the world know about the situation there and the Russians. Speaking of which, Pussy Riot? Heroes or criminals?
ANATOLIY: Sure Heroes!
METALLIAN: OK back to the label, could you promote your latest releases and give the readers an indication of what to expect next?
ANATOLIY: (Jokingly) oh, I need too much time for this and I think need to pay much money to you for the ad! Well, we have released an EP by the very good Canadian thrash metal band Dark Ministry. The band was founded by Rik Charron, the ex-Exciter drummer. So, be prepared for their debut full-length very soon. We also welcome the band for shows in Europe this October as they will tour with the cult German band Vendetta.
METALLIAN: OK then as far as bands go, Blind Guardian or Suffocation?
ANATOLIY: Blind Guardian, of course. I had the opportunity to speak personally with Hansi and Andre. I love those guys and their old albums.
METALLIAN: Cryptopsy or Rush?
ANATOLIY: Rush, Progressive music rules!
METALLIAN: You maintain a ‘rip offs’ list with companies like Sleaszy Rider, Russia’s Fono Records and others. Could you elaborate and warn the readers against these scams?
ANATOLIY: Too much time is needed and these scums are not worth it. If somebody really needs information about them just check out https://label.metalscraprecords.com/en/rip-off.html as all the information is there. I can, however, tell you about a new one that is still not on our website. Mihai Eminovicii Eminescu is a promoter from Bucharest. Never work with this scum. He will steal your money for sure, this Gipsy is professional at that.
METALLIAN: Finally, why is Metallian the world’s best source for metal?
ANATOLIY: I think it is a resource with such a great name that is just born to be best.
METALLIAN: Thanks for your time and the answers.
ANATOLIY: Thanks for questions, Ali!
Visit the label’s website at https://www.metalscraprecords.com/.