W: Tell me
something about Nuclear War Now! Productions. What was missing in the metal
scene that needed a label like Nuclear War Now! Productions?
I started out doing tapes
for my shitty black noise project called Erebus. That project didnít last
very long and I was more interested in releasing other peopleís music as Iím
not musically talented. In 2001 I was fortunate enough to witness a live
ritual by the mighty Blasphemy in Vancouver and recorded it with my MD
player. I later got permission from the band to release it on vinyl and
thatís how the label started.
have a complete NWN! discography posted at the end of our chat so we
shouldnít need to list it now, but do give me a break down on some of the
key NWN! releases and whatís special to you about each one. That is,
including your personal favorites.
Some of my personal
favorite releases are ones where the band cooperated fully with the project.
I really enjoyed working on the following in recent years:
Death Yell "morbid rites"
DLP: I met
Andres from Death Yell while traveling in London so it was cool to finally
do this release. I think the release came together perfectly in terms of
music and layout.
Sarcasm "crematory" LP:
I got in touch with these guys about two years ago when I ordered their CD.
I later contacted them again to release their 1989 cassette album on vinyl
format. The band liked the release so much that the drummer sent me his
original tape version as a gift. I really like the way the back cover came
out on this.
VON "satanic blood angel"
DLP: It took a
while to track down KILLís contact information. I was so damn excited when
I heard that he had unreleased stuff to put on the record. Iíll be working
on a repress of the double LP in 2008. I can go on and on about this so
Iíll end it here.
W: Will that Von double LP repress include the
supposed "Lost demo"
that didn't see it on the first pressing?
No there will not be any
additional material. The lost material is really lost forever.
you done a release that youíre now not fond of, or wish you hadnít done
altogether? Why so?
Those damn Erebus demos
suck. I regret doing them.
W: You've experimented with some unique
formats in recent times, including one release with analog grooves cut into
a CD disc for use on a record player. I don't think this will be the end of
your pushing the envelope so what would you like to do next?
This was originally
supposed to come out as a regular 5Ē record, but GZ was not able to press it
as such. They gave me an option to do a CD record and I agreed. The end
result was pretty cool looking. Iím not really looking to do anymore weirdo
releases like this unless I can do it for the same cost as regular LPs or
Sometimes I think you have a factory solely for the production of NWN!
Productions releases because every five seconds there seems to be a new LP
or CD or whatever and the funds to keep pumping these items out would seem
to be astronomical. Do you really make enough money from each release to
keep going like you are? How much do you usually spend on each release
(production, printing/pressing cost) and how much can you make in return?
Time is the only limiting
factor when releasing records these days. I could sell more records if I had
the time to put into promotion and shit like that. I also have a real job
that takes up most of my time. These days Iím able to sell enough records to
release several releases at a time. I also have a bad habit of taking on
increasingly more projects every year, hence the onslaught of NWN releases
in 2007. It looks like 2008 wonít be much different. Most LPs costs about $6
to $8 per copy to press these days and I sell them for $13 to $15 depending
on the final manufacturing cost. This is including band copies and
recording fee. Itís not so bad now that Iím pressing CDs.
W: How many units (CDs, LPs, other) do you
estimate you can move
of a release within the first few weeks or month?
It depends largely on the
release of course. Without counting the copies for the band, I can usually
move about 100 copies the first week if the band is known.
been the best selling, and most popular, NWN! prod release so far? For
instance I heard one of your Blasphemy records has sold for over $200 at
eBay or whatever. Thatís hot.
Toxic Holocaust "hell on
earth" sold really well and so did the Blasphemy LP you mentioned. Some
releases like the Sarcasm LP sold surprisingly well for an unknown band.
Some releases like the Cult of Daath DLP sold really badly despite them
having some roots in the black metal underground already. I donít really
know what makes a record sell well.
W: Is there something trendy or gimmicky
that dictates what people will like and what people won't? For instance do
"scene politics" keep certain bands afloat while keeping others down, even
if they're really good?
Scene politics change all
the time. NSBM was really popular in the late 90ís and now itís religious
black metal. I donít concern myself with whatís popular in the scene. I just
release what I like to listen to.
W: What's been the hardest NWN! release to put
The Root boxset was the
most labor intensive project by far. I had to drive all the way up to
Seattle to pick up the boxes and drive them back in a shitty snow storm. The
booklet also took for eternity to put together.
W: A few
years ago you hosted Sabbat as they toured here in the states. What was it
like meeting this infamous Japanese black metal band and helping to promote
them to the American audience? Are they really as cheesy as a Japanese metal
band should be? Is there anything crazy enough about the experience which
would make for a good story?
That tour was fucking
amazing to say the least. I should clarify though that the tour was
organized by Stan from RIP so he should get most of the credit for his hard
work. I was involved in organizing the San Francisco gig only. Nothing
really crazy happened except not enough people showed up to the Toluca
Mexico gig. It was only the band members and their friends that showed up
to the gig. I think there were only 10 people watching the band!!
W: At some
point in your life you shaved your head, renounced your given birth name and
were inducted into the black metal skinhead cult under the moniker ď666
pieces of raw sushi & tofu induced gastric upheavalĒ, probably inspired by
the band Blasphemy with which you are still friends with today. When did you
first establish contact, and meet up with this legendary Canadian band?
Iíve been a fan of
Blasphemy for years so it was natural for me to shave my head. Besides my
hair gets out of control when itís long. I end up looking like the
Holocausto guys from the back of the Campo LP jacket. Brazilian afro
would we know about Yosuke if we lived with him, slept in the same bed with
him and shared the same toilet with him that we wouldnít know simply by
ordering from NWN! productions? Are you really nothing more than a Jap
national that swam the entire Pacific Ocean just to come to America to rob
rich White youth with your fancy releases?
I am powered by natto for
breakfast and vegan tofu steak for dinner. You would hate hanging out with
me because I smell like natto.
We heard you're recording with Erebus again and doing a tribute album to
PETA. When can we expect to get our hands on this herbivorous masterpiece?
Erebus is dead as it should
be. That shit sucked ass.
W: When and why did you first get into metal?
Did you have a view of life that turned your against mainstream society and
onto the metal subculture?
I heard Napalm Death and
Minor Threat and liked what I heard. I got into punk/hardcore when I was in
6th or 7th grade. I later got into more extreme metal in middle school and
high school when I started hanging out with Mexican metal heads.
W: You have a certain affinity with extremely
harsh sounding bands like Proclamation, Blasphemy, Sarcofago, Von, Sadistik
Exekution + others like them. Is there something that necessarily attracts
you to this variety of violent and primitive music?
I like what I like just
like anyone else right? I tend to like simple, chaotic music that does not
fool around with too much melodies and the like. Maybe it has something to
do with my affinity for old punk/hc.
W: What have been some
highs and lows of your experiences with underground music? Do you have any
regrets or unfulfillments, perhaps something youíre seeking to accomplish
that you havenít done so already?
I am not the type of person
to dwell on things I wish I could do. I usually find ways of doing things
that I want to do and not waste time on shit thatís out of my control. That
said, Iíve experienced a ton of annoying stuff through the label like
getting ripped off every year, losing money, getting fucked up products,
etc. Itís just part of life and I take it as it comes.
W: There's a kind of
triangle in certain parts of the world where packages seem to get lost, or
arrive in completely foul shape. Are there countries that you refuse to ship
to and would recommend people avoid dealing with?
The UK has been my
nightmare in 2007. I also donít like sending anything to South America
because of their corrupt customs agents. I once had a parcel from Colombia
arrive with all Cds scratched up on purpose by the Christian customs
W: I know your ďotherĒ job (that is when
youíre not robbing from the White Man, you sick fuck you) as a CEO for Tofu
Industries of America has take you to some exotic places around the globe,
and so youíve probably seen aspects of metal culture unique to those parts
of the world that we wouldnít know about here. Tell me something about it.
Are South Americans and S.E. Asians really as fanatical about extreme music
as Americans or Europeans are?
Iíve only been to Mexico,
Canada, India, Japan, and some countries in Europe. I would say that Europe
has the best metal scene in the world with Mexico City coming pretty damn
close. The US has the shittiest scene unless youíre in Chicago. That place
is keeping the US from sinking deeper into commercial shit metal.
W: I'm sure like me you have a few holy grails
as far as collecting things; maybe a demo or a recording of some kind that
you've been searching for, or even something that "doesn't" exist but then
again DOES in fact exist if you know what I mean.
VON ďbackskinĒ demo of
course is one of those elusive recordings that will never be found. I still
like to pretend that VON/GOAT will crawl out of the cave one day to present
me with this demo. Iím mostly looking for old death metal demos and 7Ēs
metal is a genre of which I predict will overtake black metal in the future
as the biggest trend in the underground scene. At least now there is a
resurgence of killer, unholy death metal bands playing in the old style from
Incantation to Rotting Christ. What are a few bands people need to hear
about? Is the comeback merely a coincidence or has black metal run itís
Iím not sure if I agree
with you about black
metal losing the trend battle. I do see a resurgence of
interest in old school death metal sound and aesthetics. Labels like Nuclear
Winter, Blood Harvest, and Sepulchral Voice are leading the way with great
death metal vinyl releases. Iím also working on some good death metal stuff
for late 2007 and early 2008 with bands like Ignivomous from Australia,
Martire from Australia, Dead Congregation from Greece, Sacriphyx from
Australia, etc. I would also recommend Anatomia from Japan. These guys play
some of the best Incantation/Autopsy inspired doomy death metal ever. Check
out their CD on Necroharmonic!
W: I've noticed a lot of experimentation in
both death and black metal, namely the mixing of one or both with ambient or
industrial music- while not new- is becoming more prevalent now than it was
several years ago. Why are things changing?
Maybe people are bored and
they want to experiment with non metal elements. I personally hate anything
with anything non metal mixed in except for some punk influence in metal.
W: You're famous for your Zen like
descriptions of proper packing and shipping methods because you know how
people feel when they get an item that doesn't look like it's been belly
flopped on by a sumo wrestler. What do most people do wrong when sending an
item through the mail and what do you do differently than they do?
Most people think Lp mailers
are enough to send LPs across the Atlantic. I fucking hate LP mailers
because they do nothing to protect the LP jackets from getting mangled by
the postal workers. At least double box the damn thing so there is a
bit more protection. I take pride in every single copy of the record I press
and I would hope that other label owners think the same about their
releases. To me each release represents months of preparation and hard work
so they are not a mere commodity to be sold and shipped carelessly.
What bands would you like to work with in the future?
Anatomia would be amazing.
Other than that Iím already working with plenty of great bands so Iím okay
for the moment. I donít think thereís enough hours in a day to take on
W: Are you renting a warehouse to store some
of the NWN! Prod releases?
No I have everything in my
living room and garage that I rent. I hope to buy a house one day with a
proper warehouse attached to it.
going on right now at the NWN! Productions pressing plant that we donít know
These are currently at
Nocturnal Graves LP,
Ignivomous MLP, Damaar MLP and some ildjarn ambient album LPs that Iím doing
with Hearse Records Italy. Next up are Dead Congregation LP/CD,
Blasphemophagher 10", Pagan Rites/Evil Wrath split 10", Exterminate 7",
second album LP, etc.
I always have shitloads of
stuff in the works.
W: Most labels don't know who to turn to to
get what they need for a release so they usually end up going through some
over priced professional printer/plant and end up paying hundreds if not
thousands of dollars more than they really need to. Is there a way to get
good results without having to spend all the money?
You can find plenty of
resources in the underground if you look hard enough. I know this is nerdy,
but there is a thread on my message board that deals with underground
resources for anything label related. You donít have to go to the most
professional print house to get a good looking product. You can also get a
lot of printers to do weird shit if you ask. For example, Imprint is
switching the spot ink color for 200 out of 1000 7Ē covers theyíre printing
for me right now.
know, Iím interviewing you for this raving Gay guy named Dale Roy that keeps asking me for man-to-man Japanese porn, and
since I donít have any of that, because Iím not gay (closet homos always
have to throw that in ďbecause Iím not gayĒ, to over compensate for the
truth ~ Dale), and because I only watch porn with White people in it, I
guess interviewing you for Canadian Assault was the next best thing that
could happen. I hope youíre not gay either because I wouldnít want to hear
about a Yosuke/Dale
film; the worldís first Japanese-on-Jewish gay porn flick would be quite the
scandalous abomination.... donít you think?
Iíll leave that job to you
Wilhelm. Good luck with your AIDS treatments!
Nuclear War Now!
Po Box 7055
Redwood City, CA 94063