Despite the vitriolic hatred, nihilism, and misanthropy that death and black metal music is known for many artists/fans/labels have a developed a pretty blind system of trust and assumptions. This code of honor stems from a general assumption of a “metal brotherhood” along with the idea that beatings or some other justice would be served in the event anyone acting out of line while also publicly listing their address online. However the extreme metal scene has seen many legendary rip-off artists ranging from Peruvian fat-girl-fucker Christian Felipe Paucar Toledo, Nachmystium’s Blake Judd and his Battlekommand Records (now Ascension Monuments Media), and Blake’s drug addicted sidkick crony Jeff Wilson and his Disorder Recordings/Design. To date, none of these men have been beaten within an inch of their life despite robbing and conning people in droves, and all of them continue to tour and sell music. Therefore, ripping people off appears to carry no penalty, or at least within the boundaries of the metal world.
Many musicians on Bandcamp have reported they are receiving an emails from a “label” calling itself Via Nocturnal Records. The label starts off with an obviously generic message saying they want to release the band’s music on CD. After responding positively indicating interest, the label now sends the bait for a really outrageous and embarrassing metal scam.
The label now sends an email offering to press 500 copies, but only after the band pays them $1,000. The label explains how if the band would do this, it would cost them a shitload of money, and nobody else is going to sign the band. They then break down a ridiculous cost analysis, saying it would cost $1,200 just to press the album. Then they say they’re going to send it to all these magazines and web zines they’re connected to, a PR campaign valued around $200. They act like the band can never get any of this done on their own.
Research indicates that the label is owned by Fabian Filiks, some fatass loser from Poland who is a failed black metal band. Fabian goes by the pseudonym Moloch, named after a character from one of the worst games in the Mortal Kombat series (who weighs about the same amount as Fabian). Fabian plays terrible music, is embarrassing to look at, and is the last human being on the planet you want to represent you.
Anyways, here’s a few pro tips for any losers that are gullible enough to be duped by shit like this:
ProTip #1 Nobody Needs 500 Copies!
Let’s start with the obvious – it’s 2018, and no unsigned/new band needs to print 500 copies. I get it – this was the standard in the early 2000s, before the internet was on every cell phone and before the indie metal landfill was in full force. But now it’s 2018 – the year metal ended, the year Gibson and Gutiar Center went bankrupt, the year even digital sales started to die.
Typically, the maximum number of CDs a small – mid level band will sell in 2018 is about 100 copies – FOR ANY GENRE. Most metal startups are going to sell around 30 unless you’re playing a lot of shows in more than one state. Therefore, it’s highly unlikely you’ll even get through a fifth of your stack. It’s streaming market now, and thus Fabian will probably take the 350 copies he doesn’t give you and set burn them in a big fire he uses to keep warm next to the cardboard box he lives in.
There are some exceptions to this rule… a well established metal distro can certainly make a profit on a 500 copy pressing strictly off trades with other well established metal distros. But Via Nocturna is no well establshed distro… it’s a joke with no real releases under its belt.
ProTip #2 PR is Dead!
With last week’s revelation that no band in the 2010’s is actually popular, we can conclude that Public Relations is dead. Therefore, there’s no longer a need to spend $200 for a PR girl to whore around reviews for you. As someone who as a musician has gotten favorable coverage in CvltNation, Decibel Magazine, Terrorizer, Invisible Oranges, and Angry Metal Guy in the last few years, I can personally vouch for the fact that nobody has rushed over from any of those sites to buy a CD (or even a digital download).
If you’re a whiny wannabe rockstar who needs attention, you can hire FullBlast! PR to do a campaign for $50. They will get you a bunch of reviews in microblogs that nobody has ever read that will all praise your work. Others will do the same. But does it even matter? We’re living in a post-journalism age where not even Pitchfork and Rolling Stone Magazine can create music megastars anymore.
ProTip #3 DIY is the Way!
If you have $1,000 you can do a lot more than feed some Polish fatass for a week. You can press 100 CDs yourself for $100-$500 and keep all profits from the 10-11 copies you’re going to sell. As long as the artwork is good and you post it on Bandcamp, people will buy it and it will look like someone has actually listened. Bandcamp is shitty when it comes to their social justice whining but as a music retailer they are all that an independent band needs in these dark ages.
For $1,000 you can also press your tunes on 7″ vinyl and feel like a real badass. Or lathe cut 10 or 12 inch at limited pressing. Or you can be smart and spend most of it on advertising. In any case, virtually any investment is better than buying yourself onto a shit label like Via Nocturna. You might as well bribe NWN! or some other label first, maybe they would take you up on the offer?
ProTip #4 Pay to Play is Gay!
Unless you are rich you should never, ever try to buy your way into relevance. It just won’t work. If anyone emails out of nowhere saying they just randomly stumbled on your band then it’s a scam. The only time a label would do that is if one of your friends was close with them and they were smoking weed in a limo and just happened to acidently put your music on (This is how a buddy of mine got signed to Metal Blade for an album that was never promoted and never given any real treatment after production).
I’ve heard stories of bands buying their way onto the Milwakee Metalfest bill. None of them were ever remembered. Bands have bought shitloads of their own tickets to win battle of the band contests. None of them were ever remembered. Bands have paid for tour buses just to be the opening act of a seemingly bigger band. None of them were ever remembered.
You can’t buy your way into relevancy. It will never work. Don’t be retarded.
ProTip #5 Never Deal With Anyone from Peru!
This has nothing to do with Via Nocturna, but if someone from Peru contacts you in regards to extreme metal there is a 100% chance that it is Felipe the scammer. Therefore the entire country of Peru must be discarded like the shithole trash it is until somebody ends Felipe’s life. If any metalhead from Peru reaches out to you for every reason, tell him to fuck off.