Monday, 22 August 2016

Interview with Spain's old-school metal label Memento Mori, by Patrick, 10-22-15


Here  is  a  new  interview  with  Raul  owner  of the  great   metal  label   "Memento  Mori"  that  specializes   in  releasing  obscure   death and some  old-school doom  cd's  and  also  re-releasing  some  obscure  out of  print  early releases  from  various  bands  around the  world  so defintly  give  this  a read  and  check  out   this  awesome  label today


Interview   with  Raul   owner  of  Memento Mori  Productions   done  by   Patrick

1. Hello Raúl, thank you for taking the time to fill out this interview. Please introduce yourself to the readers...

Hey there, Patrick. Thanks for this chance to talk about Memento Mori a bit. My name's Raúl, I'm a handsome 43 year-old man with a grey-ish beard and cool tattoos, and I run a humble underground label/mailorder called Memento Mori along with my partner, Marian, who takes care of everything logistics, and the invaluable aid of our four kitties. I used to growl for a couple of bands in the far past, but it's been so long since those days that it feels like it was somebody else's life instead of my own life, haha.

2. When did you first discover Metal music? Who were some of the first bands you listened to? Who are some of your current favourites?

My father used to play this "best of" type of tape on the car's stereo that featured lots of songs and it was a few of them by bands such as Kiss, The Ramones, AC/DC and Status Quo that I liked the most. Back then I was some 9-10 years old and I had never heard about terms like Heavy Metal, Hard-Rock or Punk-Rock, so I guess it was not until a year later that I properly learnt about Heavy Metal as a music genre, via other bands such as Iron Maiden, Metallica, Accept, Tokyo Blade, Helix, Venom, Twisted Sister, Black Sabbath, W.A.S.P., Judas Priest and tons more. As for favourite bands, I don't feel like I'm loyal to any single band. I'm not the kind of music fan that becomes a blind follower of a band's entire body of work. It's especifical albums that I'm a diehard fan of. Most times it's only about the first few albums of a band that I really dig and don't really give a damn about the rest of their discography for whatever reason.

3. When did you decide to start the label Memento Mori? How did you come up with the name for the label?

It all started like a mere mailorder back in early 2010, but it was such an easy and boring thing to do that I decided to raise the ante and mutate it onto a label / mailorder shortly after. Complication is a beautiful thing, I guess. The name for the label came up naturally as one of my life's motto is the old Latin saying that goes "carpe diem, memento mori". "Carpe diem" didn't sound Death Metal enough, so I went for the second part of the saying: "remember you're gonna die". Now that's definitely Death Metal, aye? Also, it's pretty suitable for a label that especializes in that thing they call "old school Death Metal", you know, slow/mid paced heavy Death Metal with the ocassional fast part and a rotting atmosphere. That's the kind of stuff that I grew and fell in love with 25+ years ago.

4. Raúl, do you have any advice for anyone who might be thinking of starting their own label? What do you look for when signing and releasing a band?

The only legit advice that I could offer is, whatever you do, do it well. I mean, passion is not enough as there's plenty of 3rd parties that might eventually get affected by your endeavours. Yes, throw all your heart into it, but do throw in your brain as well. You don't need to be a professional to act like one, and responsibility is something that should always be an essential part of your modus operandi. Other than that, good luck!
What I look for when signing a band... The main factor is, the bands must be into the old-flavoured brand of extreme Metal (most especially Death Metal, Doom Metal and anything in between) that I grew up with. I tolerate a wee bit of technicality and/or experimentation thrown in for good measure, but riffs must prevail and the songs must have a soul. Otherwise I'm not interested. I tend to be extremely conservative regarding the kind of extreme music that I like and release. Not really interested in shreds, wanking fests and a zillion notes/odd tempo signatures per minute. I leave all that fuzz for those that actually regard music as a science. I for one regard music as a vehicle for emotions: count me out if it doesn't touch me, whether it's Metal or any other music genre. Other than that, I want to work with humble, down to earth people whose goal is far from becoming the new underground hype.

5. Do you run/work on the label by yourself or do you have some friends who help you out?

It's me and Marian, as stated above. Besides her, I usually rely on a couple of friends when it comes to taking care of graphic stuff such as flyers / ads / layout because I'm a computer caveman that can hardly use Microsoft Paint, hehe.

6. What styles of Metal do you release? Are you currently looking for new bands to sign and release or is Memento Mori's roster filled up for now?

This question was partially answered above, but I may add that I wouldn't mind putting out a full-on Thrash Metal album. I could do that any day given if/when I find a band that would really grab me by the balls. In fact I already found a couple of bands whose music I really dig, but they both had a release deal with some other label, so nothing happened in the end.
I'm always on the hunt for new, up and coming bands to support via Memento Mori. But the handicap is timing because I like to plan the releases way ahead of time. This is the reason why it didn't work out with some bands, as they needed an immediate, or relatively fast, release but I just couldn't offer them such thing. Our schedule is usually busy about a year in advance. Right now, our 2016 schedule is full and I just started planning the 2017 releases.

7. What are your current releases? Are there any new releases that the Metal fans should watch out for?

We've put out 43 releases so far. And it'll be 46 of them by the time this interview is published. The most recent ones are the repress of the BURIAL - Relinquished Souls reissue CD, the COFFINCRAFT - In Eerie Slumber CD and the PRAISE THE FLAME - Manifest Rebellion CD. October 31st is the release date for our next three releases: ALDEBARAN - …From Forgotten Tombs I & II CD, DEMENTIA 13 - Ways of Enclosure CD and ABYSSUS - Into the Abyss CD. You can learn about all those releases by taking a look at www.memento-mori.esRegarding the future, we've already gone public about some of the 2016 releases, such as an especial repress of the DELIRIUM - Zzooouhh CD (this time as a 2CD featuring demos and a full 1991 show) that we put out back in 2011, a demos compilation CD of the old Dutch band PYATHROSIS, and the debut full-length CD's from very promising bands like THE FOG (Germany), GORGOSAUR (Sweden), TORTURE RACK (U.S.A.), CARNAL TOMB (Germany) and KURNUGIA (U.S.A.). There's more releases to be announced, so stay tuned

8. Besides current bands you have re-released some classic releases from various underground bands. When did you get the idea to do this? If you had the chance, are there any older bands and releases you would like to release soon?

I always thought it's good to remember the past and give people the chance to own and enjoy a physical copy of something that was released many years ago without spending obscene amounts of cash for a 2nd hand 1st press copy. That's why I thought of putting out some reissues from the very beginning. However, I do believe that the whole thing's getting out of hand in recent times. Reissues are flooding the market, including stuff that doesn't really deserve the reissue treatment in my humble opinion, and there's tons of people out there that only purchase reissues just because it's old stuff that you "must" own and collect, stuff that they never heard of (even most of us, veterans, didn't before the internet era) but they feel like they "have to" have it because, well, because it's old and therefore so damn great, you know. That's something that leaves little room for new bands and current releases to get the attention and support that I think they deserve. Soon there'll barely be any more worthy old stuff to undig. And then what? I do believe it's healthier for us all to support current bands so we can perpetuate this underground thing. And it must be done now instead of waiting for the day most of them will become "hideous gems that need a reissue" in 20 years time. Thus said, yeah, there's a few old releases/recordings that I'd like to reissue. But that's not my #1 priority even though I'm well aware of the fact that they'd sell much better than a current release. I'm more focused on pushing new acts no matter what.

9. Raúl, you live in the great country of Spain. What is your opinion of Spain's Metal scene?

As far as I'm concerned, the current Spanish scene is packed with great bands. They're better musicians, they're more focused and they can certainly display pretty much the same rotten feeling than the bands we had in the past did. I'll definitely keep on pushing and supporting as many of them as I can through Memento Mori. Other than that, we suffer from the same bullshit that you may find in almost any other part of the world: big-mouthed people that claim to be supportive when in fact they support nothing, trendies, liars, scammers, egomaniac imbeciles, stupid internet warriors of all kind, people that spend large sums of cash on pretty t-shirts to show off instead of spending it on gigs or music... Same shit, different country. Also, most proactive people are around or over 40 years old and you can't really foresee a generational relief. Not sure what the future holds for us. We'll see.

10. Who are some of your all-time favourite bands from Spain? Are there any new bands you feel the readers should check out?

Some of my all-time favourite bands from Spain don't even belong in the Metal scene, so excluding those (I don't think it'd be of any interest for your readers to name drop them), I'd definitely say Barón Rojo is my favourite Spanish band ever. Also Leño and the early albums by Barricada, if we expand the range a bit and include Rock / Hard-Rock bands as well. And of course some underground extreme Metal bands too, be them old (Obscure, In Torment, Suffocation / Intoxication, Feretrum, Human Waste, Gutural...) or current (Ataraxy, Oniricous, Bokluk, Graveyard, Decapitated Christ, Mass Burial and projects such as Necroven and Deprive).

11. In your opinion, what is the best and worst thing about the underground scene, and what does underground Metal mean to you?

To me, underground (extreme) Metal is more about a modus operandi, the way you do things and why you do them, more than it is just about music. Music is of course relevant, but there must be something else to it in order to be properly called underground or else it'd become just another product to be marketed. The best thing about the underground scene is to get in touch with other people whose passion for this tiny world of ours is the same that I feel. The worst thing is, regardless how especial some people might feel just because they listen to underground music, any underground scene is a mere reflection of society / mankind. That simple sentence should say a lot.

12. Well Raúl, we have reached the end of the interview. Do you have any final words for the readers?

First, I'd like to thank you again for this interview. I hope it was worth the wait, mate. And to the readers, feel free to visit www.memento-mories (and/or go like if you want to be updated on our activities as a label and mailorder. Alternatively, you can also send e-mail to and request to be added to our mailing list. Cheers to all. In Death, In Doom...

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