Monday, January 16, 2012

Interview - Les Productions Hérétiques

For all the tape and black metal fans out there, Les Productions Hérétiques is a Quebec label that should be paid attention to. They've released a number of outstanding releases including Monarque, Ephemer, Ziel Bevrijd, and Sorcier des Glaces to name a few. All of these releases have been outstanding and continuously played between my tape deck at home, walkman, and in-car tape deck. 

I was able to do some email correspondences and develop a little interview with the label main-man behind the label, and solo artist, Monarque. Here's how it went:

BS: What drove you to develop Les Productions Hérétiques?

LPH: First and foremost, it is a way to support bands that I like, mainly from people close to me, and to support my own projects. I am producing limited runs of tapes for trading/selling/sharing with people interested in my regional bm underground. At the moment, LPH has been releasing exclusively Quebecois Black Metal music, but this could change anytime, since I don't want to limit myself. If I can help promoting a band that I really like even if they are from across the globe, why not?

BS: Have you found any bands that have piqued an interest in releasing for bands outside of the Quebec area?

LPH: At the moment I am focusing on releasing stuff that I am personally related to, and to help out comrades who are not familiar with distribution, releasing their music if it appeals to me in some way. I have interests in some other bands for sure, but have no  planned release with an "international" band right now. Maybe later!

BS: A popular theme among Quebec black metal bands seems to be Quebec Nationalism/Separatism. What are your views on this matter?

LPH: I think that Québec has enough differences from the rest of Canada to be considered as a nation of it's own, but this matter is not connected to Les Productions Hérétiques in any direct way.

BS: You’re in a number of bands yourself (Monarque, Forteresse, & Ephemer), where do you find the time and originality to contribute to so many projects?

LPH: When you have that urge to create, there is always a way to find some time. Either in less sleeping or working. The key is simply to create a schedule and fill it with your priorities I think.
Being surrounded with other motivated musicians helps a lot. I would like to add that I am a session guitarist for Forteresse, so I don't really have to compose/record anything for that band. Also, Ephemer recently became a duo, without me involved. My only active band is Monarque, so time is not an issue at the moment!

BS: What are your views on American/US Black Metal?

LPH: I don't know much of the USBM scene actually. I am sure there is a lot of crap, and also a few gems if you know where to find them. My favorite US band is Judas Iscariot, and it is not even active anymore. I also like some Leviathan/Lurker of Chalice. From what I know, the US is not the best country for BM at all. But like I said, when you know where to look, and how to look, it is always possible to find some really good music!

BS: What was your favorite release to work on, either a personal release or a release for the label?

LPH: Hmmm, I have created the artwork for all of my releases (Monarque stuff), and some others on the LPH roster. I like to have a certain control, and make sure that everything turns out the best possible way similar to how I see it in my mind. Of course, I respect all the other demands an artist/band tells me and need 100% approval before having a layout ready for someone else. My favorite release to work on was probably the Monarque - « La Mort » demo tape, special edition. The artwork was hand-drawn, and I added an apostasy documents for the people of Quebec. Besides that it was released in an over-sized case, which was something new for me, so it was cool to put everything together. I usually take care of everything (besides the tape duplication itself, which is made by a specialized company) including printing and cutting of the artwork. And on the other hand, I think that the latest  Ziel Bevrijd tape is really good looking. Simple, yet very appealing to my eyes, and the music is great too!

BS: I do enjoy the over-sized cases, it allows for larger artwork and space for extra merch (patches, buttons) or booklets of some sort. Do you think the over-sized cases are something you may work with again in the future?

LPH: Sure, I think it is a great way to give a little extra too, like you said. And those "albums" can also hold more than one cassette, so it is cool for double-album, anthologies of some sorts. I will surely use that type of packaging later on, it just depends on the type of artwork/bonuses that fit the music best!

BS: As many people have come to discover, Canadian shipping can be pretty steep (not as much with tapes, mostly with vinyl). What labels do you have a trading or distributing relationship with so that people who shutter at the price of shipping can still obtain some of your releases? 

LPH: In the USA I have traded with Fallen Empire, Seedstock, Rhinocervs and CW prods. I have also done small trades with distros in Germany, Sweden and England. I am waiting for my next releases to be released before we trade again, probably next spring. Meanwhile, American customers can order directly from us, since it is a little cheaper for me to send in the US, than within my own country!

BS: How many, and what bands are on the LPH roster?

LPH: I don't consider like I have bands, it is more of a service I am giving them to have their music released and shared with people who would probably not know them in the first place. I don't have specific contracts with bands, we have a good communication and agree on a deal together, and that's it. Everything is done respectfully, and with a true passion for the music.

Bands I have worked with besides projects I am/was personally involved in includes; Csejthe, Ziel BevrijdSorcier des Glaces , Culte d'Ebola (now re-named to « Au-Dela des Ruines » and Valknacht. And there is more on the way for 2012 that's for sure! Interesting new bands from Quebec, but I don't want to spoil anything, since you never know what can happen! But in due time, you will be able to hear some interesting new stuff! Keep your eyes open, I think the best is on the way!

BS: What draws you to Black Metal, where did you get your “start” in the genre?

LPH: Old Emperor! And also the 2nd wave of Scandinavian BM in general. After hearing a few excellent one-man bands, I knew I would create something on my own someday, and so I did!
BS: Are there any personal favorite bands of yours that you feel everyone reading should know about?

LPH: Lately I discovered PANPHAGE, from Sweden. They have a few demo tapes available though Aetergap. Incredible riffings! Check them out, I know there is a full-length on the way...

BS: Any last words, or further insight for the future of LPH or future in general?

LPH: Lots of good releases coming up, including new Sorcier Des Glaces material, Sui Caedere, and at least 2 excellent new bands from the Quebec area! I'll start the audial propaganda as soon as the bands have finished their mixing/designing duties! Keep your eyes and ears opened! Thanks for the interview!

I'd like to thank Monarque for taking the time out in order to do this interview and for listing off a ton of excellent bands as well as for releasing some of the best tapes in my collection. For more information on any of the bands or labels mentioned in the interview click on any of the names. They should be linked, if the link isn't working, I'm sure you know how to work the Internet. 

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