Exclusive Interviews Only Found Here at MetalCore!
Bestial Invasion Records
Dominik Skrzypczak is the owner of a new label called Bestial Invasion Records
that has been putting out some killer old school stuff and I thought it would
be a cool idea to do an interview with the man behind the label so I emailed
him some questions and here is what he said to them:
MC: Tell me a bit about yourself, like how old you are, what you were like as a kid, did you come from a big family etc?
BIR: Metalized hails, Chris! First of all, thank you very much for the opportunity to present my underground activity in your mighty zine, even though Bestial Invasion Records is a brand new label. This is the very first interview I’ve ever answered and I’m extremely glad it will be featured in the legendary Metal Core zine!
My name is Dominik Skrzypczak, I’m a 30 year old Heavy Metal maniac based in the Scottish Highlands. I remember my childhood as a pleasant and carefree time. I grew up in Poland and I’ve got a brother and a sister.
MC: Were you into music at a young age and what was the first style of music you got into?
BIR: I got into music quite early when I was maybe 8-9 years old. It was the time when my older brother was very much into the punk scene so I got to know such bands as GBH, The Exploited and a few others. However, it wasn’t until I was 11 when I started to discover the music on my own. It was the year 1991 when Heavy Metal was still very popular and there was quite a good choice of the tape releases in my local Metal store. The first styles I got into were mostly Thrash and some Heavy with the bands like Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth, Kreator, Death, Iron Maiden, so the typical stuff when it comes to a beginner.
MC: What was the first metal band that you heard if you can remember and what did you think of the band when you heard them?
BIR: My first favorite band for quite a long time was Metallica. I really loved their first four albums and I could have listened to them constantly (especially “Kill Em All” and “...And Justice for All”). I still like their 80’s efforts while I can’t stand their music since the black album onwards. For me they should’ve changed the name long time ago.
MC: How long have you been into the underground and what are some of your early memories of the scene and what are some classic early shows you saw?
BIR: I’ve found out about a whole the huge underground world of Metal in 1997. At this time Metal was at the weakest condition and the official media promoted bands having hardly anything in common with the real Metal. Maybe, it was the main reason that I started to dig harder and discovered the underground scene. At that time Black Metal and the Scandinavian scene in particular had the biggest impact on me as well as many classic bands of the 80’s and early 90’s unknown to me before.
The first gig I attended was Vader in my hometown – Jastrzebie-Zdrój and this show completely blew me away with its intensity, speed and energy. Next shows I went to, were Judas Priest / Morbid Angel, Slayer, Marduk/Angelcorpse and Iron Maiden in nearby Katowice.
MC: Have you always been based out of Scotland and is there a healthy metal scene there as far as shows, bands and places to find metal product?
BIR: I came to Scotland only 3 years ago. I didn’t know any Scottish bands at the time when I decided to settle in Scotland. In the meantime I discovered some good bands that I would like to mention here such bands as Demonic Cremator, Bonesaw, Ablach, Valrog or Necronoclast. Nevertheless, I think the Scottish scene is rather small compared to most of the European countries which is quite surprising considering the whole grim atmosphere created by nature here. Hopefully more and more Scottish bands will crawl out of the underground dungeons in the future. On the other hand there’s a Polish scene which seems to be one of the strongest in Europe with bands like Throneum, Morbid Execution, Saltus, Thanathron (all 4 have releases on Bestial Invasion Records), Stillborn, Infernal War, Bestial Raids, Cultes des Ghoules, Azarath, Witchmaster, Goat Tyrant, Warfist, Besatt, Anima Damnata, Doombringer, Thunderbolt and many more.
MC: Before you started up Bestial Invasion Records did you work for any other labels and have you ever done any writing for any magazines/fanzines?
BIR: Bestial Invasion Records is my first activity in the underground apart from buying tons of records or zines.
MC: When did you really get into the idea to start up the record label? Did you ask some other record label people for advice and stuff before you started it up?
BIR: I got the idea to start a label in late 2009. I knew some bands from their demo releases which were awesome but out of contract. Two of them were Canadian Skull Fist and Riotor which all agreed for MCD and LP respectively. The actual moment which I treat as the day one of BIR is the agreement with Dungeön Hammer to press a 7” EP split. I couldn’t believe how lucky I was as Dungeön Hammer is really a killer band with very great and honest guys. When I decided to start up the label I asked a few labels to give me recommendations for the best pressing plants around. The other stuff I’m gradually learning myself.
MC: Silly question, but how did you come up with the name for the label and were any other names considered? Do you know if the guys in Destruction approve of the name lol?
BIR: Damn! I actually was hoping nobody would notice the connection of the Bestial Invasion Records name with the famous track by Destruction. To avoid Mr Schmier’s and co. disappointment I guess I have to change the label’s name. How about Infernal Overkill Records?
MC: How many people work at the label or do you pretty much do everything by yourself? If you do things mostly by yourself, do you plan on getting any help?
BIR: Bestial Invasion Records is my own initiative which means I decide which bands to work with, I pay all the expenses and I answer all correspondences. However if not for help of my girlfriend, sister, brother (seems like a family business, eh?) or a few other people with packages, promotion, artwork, design and the likes I wouldn’t be able to launch as many releases as I have now.
MC: How long has the label been around and has doing the label been pretty much what you expected?
BIR: We are actually talking about a brand new label which started up in the very late 2009. The first release by Bestial Invasion Records was Demonic Cremator “My Dying Breath...” in February 2010 so the label has no long story yet. However, the BIR schedule for this year is very busy with at least 15 releases in almost every possible format like 12” LP, 10” MLP, 7” EP, CD, MCD, MC. My expectations concerning the label are not huge money wise. We have to remember there’s not much money in the underground. All that matters is to make high quality releases of the bands I consider valuable which would find their way to the underground Metal manias worldwide.
MC: What has been the worst part about doing the label and the best part?
BIR: The most irritating part about doing the label, are delays that are quite common while dealing with the pressing plants. Some of them might be avoided, some of them not but generally when you acquire some experience it shouldn’t such a frequent problem.
There’s much more satisfaction about having a label. In my case the best part of it is possibility to work with such great bands as Farscape, Riotor, Throneum, Evil Incarnate, Dungeön Hammer and so on.
MC: Do you go to a certain factory to get your LP's and CD's done and how do you decide on how many copies to print up of every release?
BIR: I’ve got some companies I’m happy to work with and there’s one company that will not work with anymore due to their poor service. Generally, I order CD’s, vinyl and tapes in 3 different companies/countries. I always discuss the number of copies of each release with bands. So far I was doing between 333 and 1000 copies. Tapes and vinyl are more likely to be more limited as they’re less popular than CD’s
MC: What do you think of bootlegs and would you ever release a bootleg of something if you ever got the band's permission?
BIR: Even though I’m not much into bootlegs and have just a few I’m not against them as long as the bands get some copies of them. I will rather concentrate on the official releases giving them a proper form instead of cheap bootleg releases.
MC: Do you have any short term or long term goals for the label? Is the label a full time job for you or do you have a regular job as well?
BIR: Of course, I have a regular job and I have to work full time to afford so many releases. I also study the Culture of the Scottish Highlands which takes me quite a lot of time but thankfully I’m getting paid for it quite well. Almost all of my remaining time I sacrifice for the Metal activities.
My goals are to keep my releasing schedule with as few delays as possible and to get better recognition in the underground. I also want to keep on releasing valuable bands only.
MC: How many releases have you put out so far and do you have a favorite release you have put out and have any of them so far been kinda disappointing to you as far as sales go? Is everything you have released so far still for sale?
BIR: At the moment of answering this interview I have put out 7 releases which are:
-Demonic Cremator “My Dying Breath...” 7” EP
-Dungeön Hammer / Rust 7” EP split
-Saltus “Empire of the Sun” LP
-Sadokist “Horrors from Hell” demo tape
-Throneum “The Unholy Ones” 10” MLP
-Morbid Execution “Cadaverous Cult” 7” EP
-Farscape “Killers on the Loose” CD re-release
Next releases will follow up soon. Music-wise I really like all my releases and I can only say which releases I’m most proud of considering packaging. Dungeon Hammer / Rust 7” EP split came out with a nice looking gatefold form. Recently, I have ordered Whipstriker / Iron Fist “Metal Punk’s Not Dead” 7” EP split limited to 500 copies on a yellow vinyl and very soon the long awaited debut of the mighty Canadian Riotor “Beast of Riot” LP with first 100 copies on a red vinyl. During autumn 2010 I’m planning to put out Soul Devour “Apocalyptic Anti-human Annihilation” LP strictly limited to 333 copies coming with amazing artwork in the gatefold jackets.
All releases are still available and it’s kinda too early to say about any disappointment considering the sales but as I said I don’t have any big expectations.
MC: How would a band go about sending something to possibly get signed to your label? When you sign a band is it just for one releases only and then you just go about it as an album by album releases kind of thing and have any bands been difficult to work with at all? Do you get many bands sending you stuff and what sort of stuff do you sign as far as bands go?
BIR: From time to time I receive some promotional materials from bands though not too often. Bands usually contact me via e-mail if I would be interested to release them or if I want to get some of their samples. In some cases I knew the bands and I agreed or not. Sometimes it was me writing to bands I was interested to work with. This is how I got to know bands like Throneum, Riotor, Skull Fist, Dungeön Hammer or Demonic Cremator. At the moment I have so many great releases to come (Evil Incarnate 7”, Farscape 3rd album CD, LP, Atomic Roar 2nd album CD, LP, Grave Desecrator 7”, Throneum 4LP Box, etc.) that I’m not searching for more bands at least for some time. I don’t physically sign bands so it’s mostly 1 release deal.
MC: Now my zine is based out of the US so I must ask what would be the best way a US underground metal fan to obtain your stuff?
BIR: The easiest way to obtain some Vinyl’s, CD’s or tapes (whether the BIR releases or my constantly growing distro list) is to visit the official webshop at www.bestialinvasionrecords.com . Paypal and orders with well-hidden cash will be accepted.
MC: Do you give bands 100% control of what can appear on their release, cover, etc?
BIR: Bestial Invasion Records is an underground label that respects the bands freedom concerning music or artwork. So the bands have total control what music will be featured. I usually have the opportunity to hear at least some samples of the material intended to appear on albums so I can decide if I want to release it or not. What I can sometimes suggest or ask about are some extra tracks but the decision is up to the bands. As for the artwork I don’t have problems with even most extreme ideas. However, I might refuse to pay if the artwork is really weak.
MC: If you had the power, what 5 releases do you wish you put out and is there anything you would like to put out on CD, but can't due to copyrights or a band not wanting to see something of theirs from the past re-issued?
BIR: Just recently, I re-released Farscape “Killers on the Loose” CD which originally came out on Unsilent Records in 2006. But generally, the CD classics re-release series I will rather leave for other labels, like Marquee Records which do a really great job. If I will ever decide for any re-releases they will more likely be done on a vinyl format. Of course I have some dream albums I would love to press on vinyl like Jaguar “Power Games”, Tröjan “Chasing the Storm”, Protector “Urm the Mad”, Vader “Necrolust”, Zemial “Necrolatry”, Kawir any album, Mayhemic Truth “In Memoriam”, Disfear “Everyday Slaughter”, Sadus “Death to Posers” to name just a very few.
MC: Do you ever sell stuff at a show like Wacken and that as crazy as a show as I have heard it is?
BIR: I will certainly sell my stuff on some underground festivals in the future. This year I just want to focus on releasing mostly and expanding my distro list through trading. There is a huge amount of various open airs in Europe (especially in Germany) during the summer-time. Wacken is the biggest of them but I rather prefer smaller underground festivals with mostly killer bands.
MC: Plug any websites you have and do you also sell other label's stuff, t-shirts, etc?
BIR: The official website of Bestial Invasion Records you will find under this link:
Where also you can obtain many great Metal releases from all over the world for good prices. There is also my MySpace profile at:
There are some plans for various merchandises. First t-shirts made by BIR will be the Riotor ones. Some other parts of the true Heavy Metal weapon like patches or badges will appear sometime in the future though the actual releases will always be the priority for Bestial Invasion Records.
MC: Would you ever want to come over to the US one day, maybe to the Maryland Deathfest?
BIR: Even only to see Autopsy, Repulsion, Asphyx, Entombed, Incantation, Portal, Gorguts, Sinister, Pestilence, Nirvana 2002 (!), Possessed, Sadistic Intent, Watain performing in one place like on this year’s Maryland Deathfest would be worth coming over to the States! I spoke about this fest to Gabrihell (Riotor) and he said this year’s festival was total killer. There are some parts of the USA I would love to see but generally I’m much more into visiting colder parts of the World.
MC: Do you feel that there are too many labels nowadays and too many shitty bands making an already overcrowded metal scene worse?
BIR: It is obvious that nowadays so many mediocre bands which would have had no chance for any deal years ago get released because of the quantity of the labels out there. Recently everyone can start a label, find some shitty bands through MySpace and put them on CD-R, tape or CD without caring about the quality of the music. However, I still think there are piles of really great bands in every corner of the fucking Metal World that I prefer to focus on them rather wasting my time complaining about those weak ones. I’m also not a person who considers that all good Metal records are those of the 80’s. Otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered starting the label. I need new Metal releases every week!
MC: I see you put a lot of stuff out on vinyl. Is vinyl a big deal overseas cause it is starting to make a comeback of sorts here in the US?
BIR: Yes, it seems the vinyl format made a big come back after years of exile. Considering larger amount of vinyl releases on many labels’ lists we can certainly say that there is growing interest in this format. Also most bands’ enquiries are about if I’m interested to release them on 7” EP so it shows that even for bands the vinyl appearance is a priority. Even though I like all formats I feel the vinyls are the most proper format for Metal so I see the return of vinyl as a very positive trend.
MC: Do you think the internet is a good thing for labels and smaller bands or does it hurt more in the long run with all the downloads and such that obviously take place?
BIR: It all depends on how the internet is used. It’s a very useful tool when it comes to fast communication and spreading information. On the other hand, it’s a negative thing when so called metal fans don’t bother to buy any physical releases, relying only on downloading, listening to bands only on the MySpace profiles and watching video clips on YouTube all day.
MC: How long would you like to take this journey with the label and where do you see the label at in say 3 years?
BIR: Bestial Invasion Records is a brand new initiative, yet it’s intended as a long run Heavy Metal invasion coming from the Scottish Highlands. Of course, only time will tell how long the label will survive. Although, I just started the label I already know that I will probably never regain the money I keep spending on the Bestial Invasion activities. Even if the sales will be fairly good I will invest more money into great vinyl releases.
In 3 years I would like to see the label being recognizable in the underground for its releases both music-wise and for the way they look. Within the next 3 years I would also love to gather thousands of great Metal albums for my collection through trading, hehe.
MC: What are some things we can expect to be released for the rest of 2010?
BIR: Here is the list of the next planned releases for this year:
Throneum (Poland) “The Unholy Ones” 10” MLP limited to 500 copies – Ancient Death Metal
Morbid Execution (Poland) “Cadaverous Cult” 7” EP limited to 666 copies – Raw and ugly Black Metal
Iron Fist (USA) / Whipstriker (Brazil) “Metal Punk’s Not Dead” 7” EP split limited to 500 copies on a yellow vinyl
Skull Fist (Canada) “Heavier than Metal” MCD – Amazing Heavy Metal assault
Riotor (Canada) “Beast of Riot” Gatefold LP with first 100 copies on a red vinyl – Thrash Metal attack
Thanathron (Poland) “Thanathron” CD - Strong Black Metal debut album
Nekydaimon (Greece) “Blasphemic Shadows Through the Path of God” demo tape limited to 500 copies – Black Metal for the fans of Beherit, Demoncy...
Evil Incarnate (USA) “Christ Eat Shit” 7” EP limited to 500 copies – Cult Death Metal
Soul Devour (Singapore) “Apocalyptic Anti-human Annihilation” Gatefold LP limited to 333 copies – Barbaric Death Metal
Farscape (Brazil) CD – 3rd album
...plus maybe 1 or 2 more.
There are also some plans for 2011 but it’s too early to reveal.
MC: Do you have any rare items in your collection that you don't ever plan on parting with?
BIR: I’ve got very many limited items in my collection and some of them are hard to get. But I’m not paying that much attention if something is really rare or not and it wouldn’t be the main reason why I wouldn’t like to part with any item. Of course the music is what matters the most so I can name 13 LP’s which I’ll take to hell with me:
Master’s Hammer “Jilemnický Okultista / Ritual” 4LP box
Desaster “20 Years of Total Desaster” 4 LP box
Dark Angel “Darkness Descends”
Aura Noir “Black Thrash Attack”
Living Death “Metal Revolution”
Onslaught “Power from Hell”
Repugnant “Epitome of Darkness”
Slayer “Hell Awaits”
Sacrifice “Torment in Fire”
Perversor “Demon Metal”
Iron Maiden “Life After Death” (though still I prefer the Di’Anno era)
Metalucifer “Heavy Metal Drill”
Törr “Kladivo na Carodejnice (Witchhammer)”
MC: Are fanzines still an important part of the underground scene?
BIR: I can’t even imagine the real underground without the paper fanzines. I personally read zines almost every day and it is the best source of heavy metal knowledge whether about the old bands (Snakepit Magazine is my favorite ancient metal zine and others including Metal Core of course!) or about the recent scene. I hardly ever read webzines as for me they haven’t got such a spirit that can be brought only by paper fanzines.
MC: I am out of questions. Horns up for doing this interview any last words? The floor is yours.
BIR: I’m extremely thankful for your interest in Bestial Invasion Records. It’s really an honor to be part of your zine especially as the label is brand new. Keep an eye on BIR as at the moment of writing these words Throneum “The Unholy Ones” 10” MLP, Morbid Execution “Cadaverous Cult” 7” EP and Whipstriker / Iron Fist “Metal punk’s Not Dead” 7” EP split are out and also Riotor “Beast of Riot” LP is ready to press. Tonnes of great releases from all over the world are arriving non-stop so visit www.bestialinvasionrecords.com and get your dose of Metal! Long live the Right Heavy Metal!!!