Interview with Chris and Paul owners of Imperative PR. done by Patrick posted on 3-14-19


Interview with Chris and Paul owners of Imperative PR. done by Patrick

1. Hello Chris and Paul how are you doing this week? Please introduce yourselves to the readers?
C – Hi Patrick, doing fine thank you. Sorry it has taken a while to get these answers back to you. I’m Chris Kee, one half of the Imperative PR team!
 P - Hi - I’m Paul from IPR, and I’m currently working on the launch setup for UK death metal beasts Body Harvest. 

2. When did you first discover rock and metal music and who were some of the first bands and artists you listened to? Who are some of your current favourite bands and artists?
C – Music for me really begins in the early ‘80s with the discovery of Iron Maiden. I had the odd ZZ Top and Meat Loaf single before that, but Maiden changed everything for me. Current favourites are the same as they’ve always been – Iron Maiden, Motörhead, Bathory, Venom, Sodom, Thin Lizzy, Yes. Currently in the CD player is Kimi Karki’s solo stuff though.
P - Similar to Chris, I was drawn to metal a long, long time ago. The first metal band I heard was Iron Maiden and I was hooked. I quickly discovered Venom and from there grew a lifelong taste for the darker side of music. Favourite bands over the early years would also include W.A.S.P., Bathory (I got to meet Quorthon many years back when he was staying in the UK) Celtic Frost etc… and in more recent times 2018 saw De Profundis put out one of the best death metal albums from the UK in recent years. Current favourites would also include Forteresse, Uada, Cantique Lépreux etc…

 3. When did the two of you first meet?
C – This is hidden in a shroud of alcohol...I think it was either a Zyklon listening party or when Paul approached me to have a listen to his latest album. It would have been around 2003 and definitely in the World’s End pub in Camden.
P - Yeah, something like Chris says. Many moons and many beers ago. I think may have been a gig or two before that listening party, but somewhere in that alcohol fuelled ballpark.

4.When did you first discover underground music and who were some of the first bands you listened to? Do you have a favourite genre of music or do you listen to a variety of styles?
 C – We were lucky enough to grow up through the emergence of all the extreme metal sub-genres, so while people might not think of Slayer as underground music now, they were when I first found them. I think it was watching a bootleg video of them live in Holland in ’85 at a record fair in Peterborough. Because of that growing up through the development of metal most of the genres have a place in my heart – death, doom, black, thrash, speed, heavy rock and heavy metal, grindcore, punk, hardcore – to me it’s all part of the same thing.
P - I was heavily involved in the tape trading scene back in the day, picking up demos from all the early black and death bands many of whom have gone on to become household names. It was a great time that had a great influence on me. It was a time when there truly was an underground - no internet, just people picking up demos and sending them on cassette to fellow fans around the world so the music could spread organically. I wouldn’t say I have a favourite style these days though, there is just music I like and music I don’t.

 5. Were either of you gentlemen readers of fanzines back in the 90's and early 00's? If yes what were some of your favourite fanzines that you read?
C – Not really. I remember buying an issue of DRZ in the early ‘90s and I liked the US ‘zine S.O.D. but that was more of a professional affair anyway. 
P - Yes, and I still have boxes of them packed away. I guess the obvious ones were Slayer, Isten etc… but also underground British zines like Nuclear Gore was one of the first British zines writing about Mayhem etc… all those years ago.    

6.What gave you two the idea to start up this PR.business? How did you choose Imperative PR as the name of the agency? And are you happy with how everything is going so far?
 C – Paul came up with the idea originally. We have both worked in print media for years and so have seen a lot of bands presented in a really poor fashion; their press releases badly written and designed, their approaches to the magazines not doing their music justice. Paul spotted a gap in the market for someone to start delivering a really high quality option for bands and invited me on board. We’ve had some difficult times but yes, everything is going really well now and we’re growing every year.
P - Chris has filled in the back story here, but each year we are moving forward, challenging ourselves to always be better, never rest on our laurels and do the very best we can for all our artists. I came up with the name Imperative and ran it by Chris, he really liked it. Because, there is no way around it - these days with so much product out there great PR is absolutely imperative. 

7.What do you feel is the easiest and hardest part of running a public releations business? And how many hours a day would you say you are working on Imperative PR.?
 C – I’m not sure there is an ‘easy’ part to it as such, or even a ‘hard’ one. It’s a constant challenge trying to get the bands you work with the attention you know they deserve – it’s such a crowded market place these days – but every good review you secure, every piece of airplay or press coverage gives a real sense of achievement. As with every part of the music business these days you have to be in it because you love it – the days of huge financial rewards are long gone. There’s really no way to quantify how many hours a day we spend on the business. We manage several bands as well as running the PR campaigns so you try to be available 24 hours a day – except when you’re asleep! The work happens when it happens, you don’t clock on at 9am and off again at 5pm. We enjoy much more flexibility than we would working in a traditional office job, but we don’t get to switch the phone off in the evening.
P - For me the easy part is I really love working with bands, so it makes the long and unpredictable hours worth it. The hardest part - the boring stuff like tax returns. They have to be done - no way around that, 
   
8.Who are some of the current music labels and bands you are currently working with? 
C – We are currently lucky enough to be working with labels like Comatose Music, Pulverised Records, Unmatched Brutality Records, Pitch Black Records and Brute Productions to name a few. We’re managing great bands like Solitary, Forged In Black, Final Coil, The Colony, Oracle, Formicarius, Body Harvest, Maxdmyz and The Drowning. We have current PR campaigns underway for Embludgeonment, Perversor, Prion, Fetal Bleeding, ORO, Osmed and several more.
P - As Chris has provided a list, I’ll add that one of our big strengths is we work with a very rich and diverse variety of bands and labels. We’re equally happy presenting brutal death metal as traditional heavy metal, black metal as dark ambient music, doom as thrash. Our only caveat is the music must be great for a band to join our roster.  

9.If any bands or labels are reading this what styles of music do you promote and where can the labels and bands reach Imperative PR?
 C - The bottom line for us is we work with bands and labels whose music we really like on a personal level. The quality of our bands reflects on us as a company and when we love a band’s music we have the drive and passion to push it with everything we’ve got. We’re really open to working with anyone that falls under that vast umbrella of rock music – from mainstream rock to grindcore, via all those wonderful genres I mentioned before. To get in touch just drop us a line at contact@imperativepr.co.uk
P - Quality is our absolute caveat. If a band doesn’t meet our standards then there is no amount of money they can offer us to join our roster. If it has our brand on it then it needs to be great, and we have worked with many great bands across many great genres. 

10.Do you get the chance to go to very many live shows these days? What have been some of the most memorable concerts you have had the pleasure of witnessing over the years? 
C – Yes I still go to a lot of shows every year. Some of my favourites over the years would be:- Slayer on the South Of Heaven tour at Nottingham Rock City Motörhead at Hammersmith Odeon in ’89. It was their traditional Xmas show and they showcased a few tunes from the upcoming 1916 album. The Clash Of The Titans show at Wembley Arena – Slayer, Megadeth, Testament and Suicidal Tendencies. Savatage at the Marquee Club on the Streets tour Raven at the Derby Assembly Rooms – Bloodstock 2005, before it was an open air extravaganza. I’ll keep it to five or I’ll be going on for pages – I have a list of every gig I’ve been to going back to ’86.
P - The most memorable concert for me was travelling to Paris all the way back in ‘93 to see the Fuck Christ tour (Blasphemy, Rotting Christ and Immortal). Immortal were absolutely incredible on that night, a real eye-opener on how great a band can be live. Though I’ve not been into their music since Pure Holocaust - that was their pinnacle for me. Also, the first Emperor UK tour with Cradle Of Filth, again back in ‘93. There were maybe 70 people at the London show as hardly anyone was aware of black metal back then. At my gig going height I would probably be at 50 shows a year, but these days much less. 

11.When you need to take a break from working on Imperative PR. what do you enjoy doing in your free time?
 C – Music is still my big passion in life so I listen to records that aren’t related to Imperative! Lots of reading as well and some animal activism and visits to animal sanctuaries – I sponsor a particularly wonderful goat!
P - Most things outside of IPR still revolve around music, but I’m also a keen Poker player, am a football fan and am into combat sports.  

12.Paul you and Chris in the UK. What are your thoughts on the metal scene over the years? And do you feel the scene has gotten better or worse over the years? 
C – The advent of digital downloading and the immediacy of modern society has taken a lot of the magic out of the music scene for me. You could never have the sort of mystery that surrounded a band like Bathory these days. I am very conscious though that my view is based on my experience. Nothing for me will ever be as exciting as the ‘80s and discovering all the amazing music – the birth of thrash in particular. However people who grew up through the ‘90s and ‘00s will have their own perceptions on that. I do feel there is still a huge array of fantastic music coming out though – it’s not all doom and gloom.
P - Everything is always a double edged sword. The “record industry” model of the past wasn’t perfect, but neither is the deluge of material the digital era brings free from any constraints of quality control. The bands that changed my life are of course the older bands, but that will be different for people growing up in a different era. However, one immutable fact is that with the sheer amount of product available instantly today, do people listen to things time and time again like I did with Venom or Iron Maiden or W.A.S.P., or is it more just a few listens and then move on to the next instantly available product? Another thing I often talk of over pub tables is would black metal be the same if it was propagated through the medium of YouTube rather than a series of Chinese whispers allowing a cult of mystery to develop? I think not. Essentially though, there are still plenty of great bands out there, and at IPR we help shine a light on them.  

13.Who are your all-time favorite bands coming out of the UK? And are there any new bands you feel the readers should check out soon? 
C – Well I’m always going to fall back on Motörhead, Venom and Iron Maiden when it comes to UK bands, but of course there is great new stuff too. Just looking at our own roster, if you want thrash you can’t get much better than Solitary. We have Formicarius playing some of the most exciting melodic black metal around and then Body Harvest are laying down some of the most intense death metal imaginable. All three will have brilliant new albums out this year.
P - The first two bands I loved as a kid are still my favourite two bands, Venom and Iron Maiden - even though both are many, many years past their prime. Possessed and Seventh Son were the last albums that really hit the spot for me, but hey, great music is timeless. As for more recent bands, it’s definitely checking our website to take a look at some of our management clients. We represent some of the very best from death to post rock via all in between. We have a wealth of talent here for sure.

 14.Thank you for taking the time to fill this interview out do you have any final words for the readers? 
C – Fans are and always will be the life blood of the metal scene. Without support from fans the scene dies. Support means getting out to those gigs, buying the music not stealing it and spreading the word about your favourite bands. And webzines like Ancient Visionz play a vital role in the modern market place, so thank you Patrick for your support. We’re all in this together!
P - Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, and thanks to those taking time out to read about what we do. Our scene is stronger together, fuck the cliques, fuck the divisive bullshit.  
Share on Google Plus

About Winter Torment Web-zine

Gaz Visionz is a writer and Internet Radio DJ with the punk/metal show 'The Wastelands'. He is also a YouTube podcaster/creator, host of Ancient Visionz Talk Radio, co-host of Paradigm Radio with Planet X Films, and a passionate fan of hardcore punk, metal, underground hip hop, movies, science-fiction, comics, and indie film.
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment

Planet X Records CD Baby Store