Interview with Joe of Regimental Records / Open Grave by Patrick Schroeder early March 2011…

OPEN GRAVE started in early 1999. Through the many years there have been some changes, some records released, and some spells cast. We play BLACK METAL because it is in our blood. Thank you for supporting this.

Influences: Burzum, Profanatica, Darkthrone, Sarcófago, Bathory, Bethlehem, Von, Venom, Incantation, etc.

Sounds Like: An enormous door, slamming in the depths of Hell.



Hails my friend! How is life going for you? Please tell the readers a little about yourself. 

Hails Patrick. Thanks for this opportunity. We are used to forwarding interviews on to our bands to complete, so this is a totally different situation for me. A little about myself… I’m a father of two awesome kids (daughter age 6 and son age 4), married, and I work a full-time job in addition to Regimental. Everything is going pretty good, so no complaints from my side.
When did you first start listening to metal? Who were some of the first bands you listened to? Some of your "current" favorites? 

I grew up listening to a lot of my parents’ music, lots of Classic and Southern Rock, ALLMAN BROTHERS, CREEDENCE, LYNYRD SKYNYRD, ZZ TOP, etc. My father was into music so we used to sit at the stereo and play vinyl all day. I remember him putting on BLACK SABBATH “Black Sabbath,” holding the LP jacket and thinking to myself that this was unlike anything I had ever heard before. I feel that was my first introduction to metal. I was probably 5-6 years old then. I used to walk to a big store at the time called Bradlees and I’d buy cassettes: MEGADETH “So Far So Good”, SKID ROW, all the METALLICA releases. My resources were limited being 8 years old, with no job or transportation. My parents never minded what I listened to though, so that was encouraging. Some of my current favorites are SAMAEL, KVIST, KAMPFAR, HATE FOREST, AMORPHIS, and of course, WARLUST.

When did you get the idea to start regimental rec.? Are you happy with how things have been going with the label over the years? How did you come up with name for the label? 

Starting Regimental was an idea from my wife actually. I was manager of an independent record store called Vintage Vinyl here in NJ (A legendary store here in the Northeast US – Dale). I was store manager and metal buyer for 9 years. I bought a CD called WARLUST “The Final War” on a small Dutch label called Happy Holochrist. I heard so many excellent, terrible, and average bands working at the shop, and WARLUST really stood out to me. I remember coming home telling my girlfriend (now wife), a black metal lover too, “You have to hear this!” I couldn’t believe that this band was not better known. I said people needed to hear this. So, my wife, Kim, said, “Send them an e-mail and ask to release it.” A suggestion so simple is what started Regimental. I am happy with the way Regimental has been going over the years.  We started as an attempt to give underground metal bands a chance, and I believe we still do that and are known for that. I have been fascinated with military history for many years, so the name came naturally to me. What I was doing was planning assaults with these releases, these bands were battalions in my eyes, and each release would be a weapon.

Do you own/run the label on your own or do you have some friends/staff that helps with everything? What would you say is the hardest and easiest part about running a label? 

I could never run the label myself. Don’t get me wrong I have tried, but it has grown too quickly, too fast. My wife Kim helps the most with handling most of the shopping cart additions, administrative paperwork and, most importantly, gives me a good kick to the ass when I come home and I am being lazy from my fulltime job. I have made great friends through the label as well. Our main designer, Josh, has been doing layouts since I met him, when I released the XASTHUR “A Gate Through Bloodstained Mirrors” CDr with Ma-Kharu (Profane Productions). We’ve been close friends ever since, even though we live across the county. He is even a member of OPEN GRAVE now as well. Chris (New Jersey) and Cis (Netherlands) are also amazing designers who always help out and give plenty of support. It’s pretty easy running the label. I stand behind every Regimental release 100%, so I only have to speak the truth about the release and people have come to trust our releases. The worst part is the lack of needed time to get everything done that we need to complete.

Do you have any advice to someone reading this who might be thinking about starting up a label? In your eyes what makes a label great? 

The only advice I have is only release what you honestly like. My method is to only release what I only want to listen to and have in my own personal collection. I’ve never followed any hype or trend and it has been working for over 12 years, and over 70 releases.

I know you have released some great releases over the last few months. Please tell the readers a little about them. 

We recently released 3 new CDs, all of which I feel are some of the best stuff we have released. 

IUGULATUS – Call of the Horned God, which is Polish Black Metal, with a slight thrash element.

SAD / SAPTHURAN – Black Winter of Desolation, a Split CD release, by two bands that need no introduction.

FORLIS – Tissue of Life, very dark and haunting music. It’s not exactly Black Metal, but it is extremely dark with Black Metal vocals. FORLIS features members of some very well known bands, who wish to remain unknown.

What do you have in store for the rest of 2011? Any upcoming releases you can tell the readers about?

2011 is booked solid with planned releases. Actually we are booked through 2012. Some releases lined up are, BURIAL HORDES, N.I.L., NOMMAM ERYTZ / PARALLAX, OCTAGON, with Pest of GORGOROTH on vocals, PESTIS, plus some more that we are still working out the details to.

Looking over your web-site and name of your label etc.. You seem very interested in history and past wars. When did you start reading / studying about war / military history? 

I’ve been interested in history since middle school. I always found it interesting, all kinds of history not just military. I actually wish I had gone to college to study more of history, maybe one day I’ll go back. Military history is just fascinating to me.

This might seem like a joke of a question but it's not. Do you believe their will ever be world-peace? Seems like one country gets close then another smaller more pissed-off country does something to fuck it up. 

No, in my opinion there will never be world peace. With our animal instincts, I think it would be impossible. It’s only natural. Religion always helps fuel the fire as well.

Coming back to music / metal for a moment besides running Regimental rec. you also play drums for the mighty open grave. When did you first start playing drums? Is this first band you played drums for? 

Yes, I play drums for OPEN GRAVE and GRAFVOLLUTH currently. I’ve been playing drums since I was 10 years old. I’ve played for several other metal bands as well, KRIEG, THRALLDOM, NIBDEM, HORROBLE.

Are you self-taught or have you taken lessons? Who are some of your influences / favorite drummers?  Do you play any other instruments? 

I am self taught mostly. I taught myself metal drumming and double bass by myself.  I did take lessons early on to learn to read sheet music. In school I played in marching band and jazz bands, nothing that I’m proud of! Haha! My favorite drummer is Stewart Copeland from THE POLICE. He just amazes me when I hear the stuff he came/comes up with, his brain must be wired differently. Other “rock” drummers I like are Chad Wackerman (ZAPPA), Terry Bozzio (ZAPPA), John Bonham (LED ZEPPELIN), and Ian Paice (DEEP PURPLE). I can’t leave out some of the other great jazz drummers, Louis Bellson, Buddy Rich, Gene Krupa, and Joe Morello. I can half-assed play guitar and bass and I mess around on the keyboard, but drums are my main instrument. I usually will write some riffs or ideas and let whoever I am working with perfect it.

You told me once you played drums for the legendary black metal band Krieg. How did you come in contact with the members? How many years did you play with / for them? 

I actually met Imperial of KRIEG when I released the KRIEG / OPEN GRAVE – Resistance is Futile 7” EP. I was not a member of OPEN GRAVE at that time. Imperial lives a few hours South of me, so he needed a drummer for a show, and I filled in, and the rest was history, for something like five or so years. I’ve played numerous shows across the U.S. and Europe with KRIEG, as well as a headlining show in Bordeaux, France.

Coming back to the present you are playing drums in the violent black/thrash/warmetal band Open Grave. When did you and the other members of the band meet? What is the "current" line-up? For the readers who have never heard Open Grave how would you describe the music? 

I replaced the original drummer of OPEN GRAVE. I met God Vomit (Jesse) through a mutual friend. They had met up at a local show and Jesse gave a CD to a friend, who passed it on to me, knowing I was into Black Metal. It was actually a HUMANICIDE release, which Jesse was a member of. Looking back, that was probably about 12 years ago.  

The line-up has gone through many changes, but currently it is: 

Jesse (God Vomit) - Vocals, Guitar
Bill (BH) - Guitar
Jon (MSH) – Guitar

Joe (Flakpanzer 38) - Drums
Josh (Nocturath) – Keyboards 

The new CD “Fear” is exactly what you would expect from OPEN GRAVE, just with a more refined sound. The addition of the keyboards added another level to the music, which I think people will be impressed with.

Please tell the readers a little about each of Open Grave's releases? Are any of them still available? 

All OPEN GRAVE releases are currently Sold Out: 

The Heavens Cry Black Tears MCD / Tape

Grace of the Unholy Demo

KRIEG / OPEN GRAVE - Resistance is Futile 7” EP

3 Song Rehearsal (all new material)

Fear (soon to be released)

Everyone has their own idea/opinion of what black metal stands for. So I was curious of your thoughts. In your eyes what does black metal mean to you?

Black Metal to me is a release, an outlet. Both listening to and playing.

Over the there been some new "sub-genres" in black metal form like suicidal/depressive black metal, drone, even some mixing in old-school rock or punk. I was wondering if you liked or listened to these types of black metal or if you were more like myself and preferred the more primitive, brutal black metal? 

I listen to what I like. Some people only listen to “depressive” or “shoe-gaze”, etc. If I like it, I’ll listen to it. I like Black Metal, sometimes I want something slow and others completely blasting. I’ve never been a fan of genre labels, but maybe I’m not “TRUE” enough.

Well my friend I am finally out of questions haha. I hope it wasn’t to boring for you? Thank you for taking the time to answer the interview. Do you have any final comments for the readers? 

Patrick, of course the interview was not boring for me. These questions really made me think. The hardest part is putting my thoughts into words. I hope your readers think that my answers are interesting enough to read the interview. Thanks again for this great opportunity. Also, thanks to all the people who stop by the Regimental site to say how good they thought one of our releases were and to the mail-order customers, we couldn’t keep releasing music without all of your support! 

Anyone who is interested can find info about our releases and distro at:



The Complete Open Grave Discography 

The Heavens Cry Black Tears Demo, 2000

Grace Of The Unholy Demo, 2002

Open Grace / Krieg Split 7 inch ep, 2003

2 Song Rehearsal Demo, 2004

The Heavens Cry Black Tears re-release on CD, 2004

Fear CD / LP, 2011




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