Interview by Dale Roy with Daan Summer 1999…

DAMNATION RECORDS INTERVIEW with Daan Prinssen (by Dale Roy)…Damnation Records is a small but strong record label that uphold the old metal spirit, they have excellent musical tastes and are huge supporters of vinyl!! I am honored to have this interview and you must all write this label immediately!!



Tell us the history of Dan Prinssen? How have you changed over the years as you have grown up? What is your idea of the perfect woman? What are some foods you really enjoy?

Well the history of D. Prinssen is not too exciting, I am born on 21-03-75 in a town called Hilversum, I have lived here all my life and had a quite average childhood. There haven’t really been any big changes in my personality as I’ve grown up although I was a lot more aggressive when I was younger. The perfect woman for me is a strong personality who’s into metal for herself (not for a boyfriend like 90% of them), if you are talking about the visual aspect I think your homeland’s sex-goddess Jenna Jameson is coming close to perfect heheh. Some food I enjoy is stuff like pizza, hamburgers and other cheap stuff.          

What age did you discover metal? What were some of the first bands you got into? Which was your first live concert and what do you remember from the experience?  

I discovered metal music when I was 14 years old. The first band I liked was Metallica, after that I soon got into bands like Death, Possessed, Morbid Angel and Massacre these are all bands that I can still listen to every day. I remember the first metal record I bought was Death’s “Scream Bloody Gore”. My first live-concert was a gig with some local bands like Korsakov, Insek bv + 2 other bands who’s name I forgot, it was a bit of a boring concert so it didn’t really leave a big impression.           

When did you discover the underground scene? The first demos and fanzines you purchased were? Did you ever tape trade or do your own fanzine? Do you play an instrument? Ever been in a band or had thoughts of forming one?  

I discovered the underground scene in ’91 or ’92 I think through some guys I knew. One of them was always very fanatic with lists of several mailorders who were selling demo’s so in the beginning I didn’t really order much myself, but just taped some great stuff from him, I remember once I got a tape with stuff from Beherit, Master’s Hammer, Impaled Nazerene, Mortem and it really blew me away. I think it wasn’t until ’93 that I started to order for myself, I think the first demo’s I ordered were from Necromantia, Emperor, Countess + a lot more. Some of the mags first mag’s I purchased were Violent Moshground, Master Of Brutality, Mortician, Daemonium Aeternus as you can see all Dutch mag’s. I also have been tape trading for a few years, but when I had approximately 2800 titles it lost it’s magic (Yes I had this happen too! Except I lasted to around 5000 titles and also I had a fanzine to attend to –Dale), because I practically had everything on tape from the bands I like and started trying out unfamiliar bands of which 99% sucked so I had I don’t know how many 90 minute tapes with maybe 5 or 10 minutes of music I like so then I lost interest really fast. I have never had my own magazine, but have done some interviews/reviews for Dutch magazines in the past (e.g. Hell On Earth mag). I must say that I really like to read zines and would like to do one sometime but I don’t have the time for it so maybe in a few years. I don’t play any instrument. A band is too big a word for it but I did some recordings with a friend of mine from ‘94-96. I did the vocals/screams it was something we did to enjoy ourselves. I have no thoughts on forming a band nowadays as I’ll rather release records with bands who can do it a lot better than me and put my time in promoting them.

How did Damnation distribution/Records start and how did you meet your partner(s)? Was Damnation your first underground venture(or business)?

In the first days was Damnation just a distribution service? Are you happy with how the label has grown over the years?   Damnation distr. started somewhere in ’90 I think when Jeroen (owner) and Ron (he’s not with Damnation anymore) who were friends for a long time started doing some distribution of demo’s and 7”s from bands they were in contact with and then they got contacted by more bands and labels and so the distro evolved into what it is nowadays. In ’92 Damnation also became a label because when Jeroen and Ron heard the Corpus Rottus “Rituals Of Silence” cassette they wanted to release it on vinyl and so the label was born. I met the guys at a metal market in ’94 and a few weeks later I ran into Jeroen at a Macabre gig, I got to be one of their regular customers and got to know them a bit better and somewhere in ’95 Jeroen went to Germany to sell cd’s and Ron wasn’t able to join him so he asked if I could maybe join him on the trip which I did and after that I sort of rolled right into the business. Personally I think the label should have been a bit bigger after 7 years, but I think the last two years have been pretty good for Damnation so I think we’re on the right track now.

Describe life in Holland? Is it true that not only pot smoking and pot café’s are legal but also so is prostitution? Do you ever indulge in pot smoking or prostitutes? Did you ever see that Cheech & Chong movie that was made in Holland? Is there much crime or violence in your country? Do they sell “Old Dutch” (very popular brand in Canada)  potato chips in Holland?

Life in Holland is pretty calm, most Dutch people are very down to earth. Well on paper prostitution isn’t legal here but as long as there are no illegal immigrants or underage girls working and they pay their taxes ect it’s tolertated to have a warehouse (did he mean whorehouse? –Dale). Also the bigger city’s have these legal zones where street whores can work and the government puts down these special parking lots for them, it’s completely fucked up. I do smoke pot everyday but I don’t indulge in prostitutes. I don’t like the idea that 20 guys have fucked the girl I am poking just before I came in, know what I mean? (Yes I do and agree –Dale) Yeah I’ve seen that Cheech and Chong in Amsterdam I was watching it with a big joint in my mouth so I had a good laugh heheh. No there isn’t too much violence in Holland, when someone gets killed it’s front page news in all the newspapers, there’s a lot of small crime however. They don’t sell “old dutch” potato chips here in Holland or at least I’ve never heard of it.

Tell us your opinions on Holland’s scene in the past and in the present? Is metal very popular there? Please list for us some of the best labels, distros and fanzines in your land? Does Damnation have a good cooperation with other labels in Holland (i.e. Hammerheart, Displeased ect.)?

I think the Dutch scene used to be a bit better, I think in the past we had more bands here, but there are a lot of concerts and fans here. However most people in Holland are into disco stuff like Dimmu Borgir and Cradle Of Filth. Well most Dutch labels release stuff I don’t like, I think one of the best labels in Europe is Merciless Records from Germany, that guy cares about vinyl and he releases great bands. Some distro’s I like are Soulseller and Northside distro we don’t have many magazines in Holland, I think the best are Master Of Brutality and Stormblast. We don’t have a good cooperation with Displeased or Hammerheart, we order stuff from them for our distro but that’s all. Some Dutch bands who surely deserve some attention are: Pentacle (hehe), Asphyx, Houwitzer, Centurion, Severe Torture, Obtruncation and Thanatos (re-formed) to name a few.

Please list for us a Damnation Records discography and a short description of each release? Are there any Damnation releases that you no longer like with the pass of time? Any layouts and such you wish you could go back and change? Did Damnation ever sign a band and when they recorded new material for the label it had disappointing results?   


CORPUS ROTTUS - “Rituals Of Silence” lp (sold out) brutal US death metal.

DEMONCY – “Faustian Dawn” limited cd (1000 copies) (sold out) impure and chaotic black metal with strong Blasphemy (Hail “Fallen Angel Of Doom”!!!!) influences, this was a co-release with So It Is Done Productions.

CARPATHIAN FOREST – “Through Chasm, Caves And Titan Woods” mlp (sold out) this one was licensed from Avantgarde rec. (Italy) and is limited to 1000 copies.

EINHERJER – Leve Vkinganden” 7” (sold out) epic viking metal, this was a co-release with Necromantic Gallery Prod. (RIP), 1500 copies were made.

ANCIENT – “Trolltar” mlp/mcd (sold out) atmospheric black metal (in fact a lot better as the stuff they release nowadays) the lp-version had an exclusive bonus track and was limited to 1000 copies.

GEHENNA – “First Spell” mlp (sold out) atmospheric black metal again, this one was limited to 666 hand numbered copies and incl. a Din A3 poster and a booklet with all lyrics, it was licensed from Head Not Found recs. (Nor).

TROLL – “Drep De Kristne” cd (sold out) rock star black metal.

PENTACLE – “The Fifth Moon” picture-mlp (sold out) ancient death metal the way it was meant to be, this one was limited to 525 hand numbered copies and had an exclusive bonus track which was a cover of Hellhammer’s classic “The Reaper” this is the first release that I really had something to do with, before I didn’t have much input on the releases but was more busy with mailorder instead of the label.

EMPEROR – “Wrath Of The Tyrant” picture-lp (sold out) their well known demo on vinyl in a limited edition of 525 copies this one was licensed from Head Not Found again.

LIMBONIC ART – “Moon In The Scorpio” double-lp/cd (sold out) atmospheric black metal this one was licensed from Nocturnal Art Productions (Nor) and also had an exclusive bonus track.

PENTACLE – “…Rides The Moonstorm” double lp/cd (the vinyl version is almost sold out, we got 2 copies left) which is still in the typical Pentacle tradition but with a lot stronger production as on the mlp this one is limited to 490 copies to be precise and the cd is still available and has just been released with and new and improved cover.

OBTRUNCATION – “The Callous Concept” cd fast, brutal and technical death metal. (lp coming in September, limited to 500 copies) this one was released after a few years of delay as they were supposed to release it with a French label somewhere in ’94 but were ripped off, as Jeroen really thought it was a shame nothing ever happened with the material so he decided to make them an offer.


WARHAMMER – “”The Winter Of Discontent” lp, Re-live “Apocalyptic Raids”!!! Finally available in August. (I’ll get them tomorrow, already 300+ copies are sold in pre-orders).

RAZOR OF OCCAM – “Diabologue” 7” a new promising Australian attack who will devastate your ears with their cool death/thrash metal forget all the retro shit R.O.O. will kick your ass!

JUDGEMENT DAY – “To Conjure Conjoint Confusion” 7” brutal death metal, this one includes a cover version of Slaughter’s mighty “F.O.D.”.

URN – I Am Your Nightmare” 10” mlp. Very primitive and straight forward black metal for people who still like the real black metal stuff instead of the happy (or should I say faggy) keyboard shit you hear nowadays (I think this one will be available in September)

GOSPEL OF HORNS – “Eve Of The Conqueror” 12” mlp, maybe some of your readers will remember this band from the “The Satanist’s Dream” demo ’94 which has also been released on mcd by some shitty rip-off label from Italy but they really fucked things up with wrong photo’s in cd-booklet and stuff like that, since these days their sound has slightly changed to a really cool black/thrash sound if you’ve heard their “Sinner’s…” demo you’ll know what I mean but since they’ve a new drummer (M. Hellcunt ex-Bestial Warlust) the new stuff sounds even better. After this release they’ll also release their first full length album on our label.

ETERNAL HATRED – t.b.a. I think this band doesn’t need an introduction in this magazine as both their demo’s are great. If all goes well they’ll enter the studio in August or September to record a full length lp/cd for us.

All upcoming vinyl releases will be limited to 500 hand numbered copies. There are 2 Damnation releases that I really don’t like it’s Troll and Limbonic Art, well I think everybody whose in a band or involved with a label whatever will surely know that 99% of the people working at printing factory’s and pressing factory’s (for vinyl/cd’s) surely must be retarded as in the short time I’m involved in this business I’ve seen so many fuck ups with releases. There are a few things I would like to change but that isn’t possible anymore. Like the Limbonic Art both labels (on the vinyl itself) have side A/B on it while I wanted the second lp to have side C/D on it and the cover of the Pentacle album, the guy who did our graphic work back then told us something wasn’t possible and later our new graphic designer told me it was possible, so it has been changed on the cd but it was too late to change  the lp. And I think the photo sheet which was included with the Pentacle picture disc could’ve been scanned a lot better/clearer. And I think it would’ve been a lot cooler if all vinyl releases were hand numbered. We have never been let down by our bands and I hope it won’t happen.

Now could you give me a detailed description with every detail you can think of on my favorite Damnation release “…Rides The Moonstorm” by the mighty band Pentacle? Tell us what attracted the label to Pentacle? How is this album selling? Will Pentacle record their next release again for Damnation?

Pentacle – “…Rides The Moonstorm” is one of my favourite Damnation releases, it contains 7 new Pentacle hymns, one demo track re-recorded and a cover of Pentagram from Chile. It has been released on cd and on a very luxury double-lp including exclusive artwork (from Dutch artist Manuel Tinnemans) two photo sheets, lyrics and other information, it comes in a gatefold cover and is limited to 500 hand numbered copies. The intro for this album consists of Tom Warrior yelling at the crowd at the World War III Fest in Canada in ’85 which is a very cool idea I think. It  has been recorded at Harrow Prod. (Asphyx/Soulburn) and has a heavier sound as their mlp. Well I had the Pentacle 7” for a long time and already knew their demo from tape trading and I always liked what they are doing, but Jeroen wasn’t really into these releases. But when we saw them live for the first time they really blew us (or me at least) away. Then we were at a party where the guys from Reaper mag (RIP) also were present and they had a tape with 2 tracks from “The Fifth Moon” and I was stunned by the progression they made and Jeroen was also very much impressed with this stuff so when Reaper records couldn’t finance the release (they were supposed to release it originally) we made them an offer for the vinyl version which they accepted and then we built a very good relationship with them and decided to make them an offer for a full length album, they will release a 7” with us containing 2 old Death covers and some other stuff, if all goes well this will be a gatefold double 7”, also they’ll release a split mlp with Desaster on Iron Pegazus rec. (Ger) and there are plans by a new label from Holland (Soulseller rec) to re-release their ”Exalted Journey” 7” as a shape picture-disc. We haven’t really discussed things for a new album but of course we are interested it all depends on Pentacle. Well to be honest the first pressing sold really slow but the second one is going surprisingly fast. So far we have sold 1800 copies which is a bit disappointing to me. And of course 483 vinyls.

What qualities does Damnation look for in a potential band? Do you usually pay some or all of the recording costs? Do you use a pressing plant in Holland or outside and are the prices fair? Is the business side of running a label a pain in the ass? Please list the top 5 selling bands from your distribution service overall so far in 1999?

We are looking for bands that kick ass heheh, no seriously. We are looking for bands that have the right attitude and play music that we think is great however it has to be within the realms of black and death metal because we will never release anything else through Damnation. Yeah we usually pay for the recording costs of our bands however we do have a limit concerning this matter. We just have started working with a new pressing plant for the vinyls (in Belgium) but I have to wait for the first release from there before I know for sure that we’ll continue to work with them their prices are pretty reasonable, and the cds are pressed in Holland. The business side of running a label is certainly a pain in the ass, that’s the reason I don’t do that shit, it’s Jeroen’s work, I do some business with some smaller labels/distro’s though but these are dedicated metalheads of which you don’t see too many at the bigger companies. The top 5 selling bands in our mail order this year:

ANGEL CORPSE – “Nuclear Hell(live)” and “Wolflust” 7” ep’s     /     SCEPTER – “I’m Going To Hell” lp/cd   /      EMPEROR – “IX Equilibrium” lp/cd     /     NECROPHAGIA – “Holocausto De La Morte” pic-lp/cd     /     SOULGRIND – “Whitsongs” cd

That’s through our mail order. But as we also go to a lot of fairs and stuff like that there we sell mostly stuff like D. Borgir and stuff like that.   

Daan, I know you do all the promotion duties at Damnation. So tell me which are the best fanzines to deal with? How do you choose which ‘zines to send promos to? How do you choose which ones to advertise in? Do you run across many rip-off ‘zines only doing it for ‘free copies’ of releases!? Will Damnation survive into the new Millenium or will the world come to an end as Nostradamus predicted?  

Well my favourite ‘zines are many, I’ll give you a long list of mag’s I like and support: Tales Of The Macabre (Hail Costa! No.1 ‘zine in the world), Heresy, Canadian Assault, Metal Nightmare, The Grimoire…, Nekrologium, Cadia, Arrows Of Malice, Master Of Brutality, Imhotep, Metal-Core, In Deed Hell, Morpheus, Cerberus, Eternal Darkness, Bite The Bullet, Isten, Ad Erebo, Putrefaction, Chaos, From Beyond and a lot more. I send out promo’s to ‘zines I know and if a flyer looks appealing I’ll send one too. The ‘zines that are chosen for advertisement are chosen on a lot of different factors like; print run, price and contents (is it our “public?”). I must say that most ‘zines are for real, there has been the occasional rip-off, but I think 99% of all promo’s I’ve sent out so far have reached people who are totally dedicated to their mag’s so it doesn’t happen too often that I run into rip-off mag’s. I hope Nostradamus will be proven right as the best thing for this damned earth is total destruction!! However I doubt it will happen and can tell you the next Millenium will be ours, Damnation will release some very strong albums next year and I hope we can expand our distribution channels so Damnation releases will be easily available everywhere around the globe.

You do something I greatly hail and that is release vinyl on a regular basis! I wanted to ask you do you send out vinyl as promos to fanzines? Is vinyl to expensive and limited to send out for promotion? Do you think over the last couple years a bit of a trend has started where most labels also release a picture disc vinyl version? Do you think picture disc vinyls are loosing their prestige because of this?

Yeah vinyl RULES!! No we don’t send out vinyl as promo, I have done it a few times in the past to get our name out but nowadays I don’t do it anymore. The postage is very expensive especially overseas, if I want to send one Pentacle – “…Rides The Moonstorm” lp to the USA it costs me $17 postage so you can probably understand (Yes I do! –Dale) that it’s way too expensive for us to send it out for free. If we have releases that are only available on vinyl I make some promo-tapes (50 copies). Yeah picture-lp’s lost their prestige, I used to like PD’s a lot, but it’s a common thing nowadays, bands that have never cared about vinyl now release a cd and a pic-disc because it looks so nice for their 12 year old fans without a record-player for their wall (I must admit I got some pic-discs on my own wall as well heheh) (Yes but at least you have a record player to spin them on! –Dale).

What do you do in your spare time away from label activities? Do you do the label as a full-time job? Do you enjoy horror/gore movies and if so please list some favorites? Are you a quiet person who sticks to himself or an out-going intense one? Do you know much about the USA or Canada?

Spare time? What is that? I’m doing a normal job for 4 hours a day and the rest of my day is dedicated to Damnation, when I’m not busy I like to listen to my vinyls. I’m not really into horror/gore movies although I like it sometimes. I’m too lazy to go out and rent it, but I prefer stuff like Faces Of Death or movies like Henry: Portrait Of Serial Killer that’s more my style. I’m a quiet person most of the time, although I have my crazy moods sometimes hehe. You should ask Wannes (Pentacle) about the shopping-carts one day heheh. Well I got an impression about America, but it’s very hard for me to form a picture of Canada (I think maybe it would be a cross between Europe and America!? –Dale).

Please tell me your opinions on the greatest band of all-time, the mighty legends Venom!? Did you like their recent album “Cast In Stone”?  

Old Venom is great but after “Possessed/Nightmare” it’s over for me. “Cast In Stone” is pretty bad, I think the 4th song is pretty awful. I do have a very big Venom collection with some stuff I’m extremely proud of, last month I got some great collector’s items like the “Die Hard” pict-7” (lim. to 1000 copies) and the “Japenese Assault” lp (I’m jealous!! J - Dale), I have all their good albums in several pressings and I got a Venom-wall in one of my rooms so I think that says enough about my opinion concerning the masters of mayhem.

I know you have been around the scene for a long time. In your opinion is the underground scene much different now than in the old days and how so?

You have read my last 2 issues, please tell me your opinions and what do you think I should change to make it better?   Well as you can read at the beginning of this interview I’m not that long in the scene, but the scene has drastically changed, it’s more and more getting business and less underground, people do strange things when money is involved. I don’t think it (Canadian Assault) needs any big changes although the review pages would look a bit better if you included logo’s I think but that’s all I can think of as your ‘zine is written in a way that is entertaining and that’s the most important thing in a ‘zine for me. 


Daan infernal hails to you for taking your time for this long interview, I appreciate a LOT!! Please give the C.A. readers some final comments, list Damnation Records close future plans and any recent band signings!?   All hails to you Dale I really appreciate the exposure in your magazine and feel honoured to be part of this issue, I have already mentioned our future plans in the discography question so I won’t waste anymore of your space on it, I hope you and your readers have enjoyed my answers (I know I did!! –Dale), this is the longest interview I have ever done so I hope it is interesting to read. Ok that’s it I think, my last message to all of you is SUPPOR T VINYL AND STAY METAL!!!!!



The Damnation Records Discography 

Well I think Daan actually covered the whole discography for the most part in the interview so there is no point for me to post over again. Just read above...



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