Industry Spotlight
Hammerheart Records Guido Heijnens

European Label Shows off It's Metal Roster

Interviewed by Keith McDonald

In the never-ending line of metal-ready labels, comes Hammerheart Records. Based in the Netherlands, this label has been making a name for them by signing unique metal and gothic acts to their ever-growing roster that includes Dismember, Sinister, Control Denied and Primordial. They've just recently opened a North American office to handle their metal acts and plan on bringing Europe's best acts to America. I had the opportunity to speak with Guido Heijens who filled me in on what the label's all about. You can check out their website at www.hammerheartamerica.com or www.hammerheart.com.

 

How did you get started in the music business?
I got involved in the more extreme Metal scene around 1988/89...buying Death Metal and soon ordering some demos and 7"'s...Great!!! Then followed tape trading and so I became part of the scene.

 

How did Hammerheart Records start?
As a hobby, by releasing a split-CD by TUMULUS and MOCK, two cool demos on one disc.

 

What made you open up a North American office?
Simply the idea we could do much more in the US if we had people working over there...

 

Who is currently on your roster?
Still around 25 acts are signed... We would like to have 20 but it is tempting to sign new talented acts every now and then...Bigger names are Control Denied, Dismember, Sinister and Ancient Rites, artists we developed are Thyrfing, Aeternus and Primordial...Licensed artists are Monstrosity, Diabolic and the mighty Macabre. New killers are Satariel, Demons of Dirt, Dimesion F3H, Impious, Mercenary...plus ambient bands as Hagalaz' Runedance...a lot !!!!!!!!!

 

What type of artists do you sign?
We need to like it here and we need top keep a commercial aspect in mind (if no one buys the CD the label will end very fast of course). And we stay within the border of Metal and Ambient/Gothic.

 

Do you look for established artists or new ones?
Both! As you can see on the question above we have a cool mix of known artists, our own acts we made known and new acts (with even there a few talented acts we signed after they had done a few albums already).

 

How difficult is it for an indie label to get records into stores and get payment for those records sold?
Difficult! It works now, but it took years (and loads of gray hair hahaha). We get paid "in time" by most right now.

 

How do you find new artists?
In any possible way, demos, reading reviews, listening to anything I can get my hands on.

 

How has the Internet helped?
Yes, e-mail is the greatest invention since humanity developed writing!!!

 

How important is touring for your artists?
It is very important to say the least. It could raise a band up high, but if not good live it can ruin the act as well, so it is kind of risky...

 

Do you sign bands on a worldwide basis or just Europe?
We do worldwide, but we have been licensing bands for Europe as well.

 

How extensive of a back catalog does Hammerheart have?
I think all in all we did 150 CD's...not bad in 6 1/2 years time.

 

How important is a quality back catalog?
It is VERY important, we are fortunate to have already 20 steady sellers by now.

 

Any advise for an unsigned artist?
Yes, take your time, make/create something special please, don't copy, innovate!!! Otherwise you will spend money in a very useless way.

 

Is there any difference between the European and U.S. markets?
The European is a lot bigger for Metal, especially extreme Metal.

 

What's the future for Hammerheart Records?
A quality Metal label with 15-20 killer bands with killer releases...music for Generation Armageddon!!!


From the Hammerheart.com webpage on Oct. 2001

 

Guido Heijnens

Age: 28 years in this life, hundreds of centuries in previous lifes...
E-mail: guido@hammerheart.com
Phone: +31 46 437 3600

Current favourite albums:
Rammstein "Mutter"
A Perfect Circle "Mer de Noms"
Iced Earth "Horror Show"
Ambeon - CD
Tool "Lateralus"

All time favourite albums:
Bathory "Hammerheart" (surprised?)
Death "Leprosy"
Mercyful Fate "Don't Break The Oath"
Judas Priest "Painkiller"
Slayer "Reign in Blood"
At The Gates "Slaughter of The Soul"
Iron Maiden "Seventh Son of a Seventh Son"
Metallica "Ride The Lightning"
Kreator "Pleasure to Kill"
Candlemass "Nightfall"

Other info: formerly known as "Hammerhert Moonchild" ex-vocalist in the "legendary" Bifrost, born again pagan...


2001 Metal Rules!!

Return to top of page

All rights reserved and contents 1995-2001.
Keeping the Metal Faith Since 1995.

This page last updated on:
Saturday, November 17, 2001