Heart of Steel: Interviews

Interview With Low Frequency Records
Interview By Keith

Low Frequency Records is still a relatively young, somewhat new label that has been grinding out some quality metal since 1999. With a metal roster that includes Downfall, Cadacross, Myon and Requiem, LFR has been making waves not only in Finland, but around the rest of Europe as well. Slowly but surely, their back catalog - ever so important in a label’s growth - has made them a force in the Finnish metal community. I recently had the opportunity to speak with LFR’s label manager Tomi Tekkala who filled me in on what’s been going on at the label. You can check out their website at www.lowfrequencyrecords.fi to get some more information.

How did Low Frequency Records come about?

The company was found in 1999. The first two years were quite inactive, with only two CDs released. Within a few years we have came out with over thirty CD releases and even one DVD.



Who is currently on your metal roster?

As of this writing, our roster holds nine bands. The most amusing thing is that all of them in way or another represents quite different form of metal. Recently I have wondered this, because we haven’t kept any certain musical line for signing bands. I mean we don’t prefer any particular style of metal for example power metal. Our, of course we stay in metal. The roster includes such acts like Cadacross, Downfall, Embraze, Evemaster, Kaliban, Myon, Reverend Bizarre, Silent Voices and Solution 13. I warmly recommend you to pay a visit our recently renewed website to peek deeper what these bands actually are. You might be surprised!



Do your bands tour? How important is touring for their success?

Simple answer to this would yes and no. We have done hard work lately to achieve booking agencies behind our bands, and must say in some cases we have succeeded and in some not. Touring is in my point of view one of the most important aspects of any kind of music. In Finland, metal fans tend to check out a band live before making any moves towards music stores.



Tell us about the Finnish metal market. Is it thriving?

Yes, we could say it is thriving. Recently, Sentenced, Children Of Bodom, Nightwish, Timo Rautiainen have sold gold albums or even platinum in Finland. This is a wonderful achievement for Finnish metal music once again! It’s quite boring when you look music charts and the same million budget artists and bands rules the charts, so some metallish number one placements are refreshing elements to Finnish music in general. Some bigger label bosses has wondered how’s Finnish metal can be Finnish chart number one. I would say... go and figure out!



How did you get involved in music, especially metal?

My history goes way back of early eighties. I use to run a late eighties and early 90’s underground based metal magazine and indie record label called RRR. I released   LOBOTOMY´s "Hymn" EP in beginning of 90´s. I have had serious thoughts to re-release it on CD-format quite long now. I might do it if I find it reasonable.



How receptive is Finnish radio to metal, most importantly LFR artists?

Not so receptive as it should be. Some ballad-like songs are played on major stations and some Finnish tongue heavier tracks (for example, Timo Rautiainen Ja Trio Niskalaukaus ja Maj Karman Kauniit Kuvat, Kotiteollisuus), plus Nightwish of course. Our airplay sadly limits only to some special programs like Metalliliitto, since our sales hasn’t reached amounts to gain chart position Top 20 which also would raise radio station´s interests. They tend to follow music charts and nothing else. Of course there’s some exceptions, but larger audience stands behind "chart radios".



Are any of your releases available in North America, or do you find it very difficult to get anything released over here? What about the rest of the world?

Actually our stuff is available through The End Records and Plastic Head Canada, our wonderful partners. We are putting together some serious plans for beginning of year 2003 as The End Records starts then our Official mail-order.



Is there a difference in the Finnish metal scene compared to the rest of Europe?

Yes! When looking back during the early years of Sentenced, our metal scenery was "way behind" others. A couple of bands made through back then like Amorphis, Sentenced, and Impaled Nazarene. Since those times we now have really pro studios and producers who have a clear picture what to do, when to do it, and how to do a massive metal sound and album. Also long and respective hard working Spinefarm has opened so many doors for bands, labels and most of all Finnish metal. So I could say very comparitive.



Are there many metal labels like LFR in Finland or are there just a few?

No so many actually. A few rising though. Woodcut would be one of them and I would like to count us to that category as well. Also a couple of very interesting labels are starting their activities.



What seems to be the most popular genre right now in Finland?

Tough one... I’ve always disliked labeling metal or music in general. This takes the affect ALWAYS who’s sounding like who and so on. If you don’t mind I´ll pass this on this question.



What advise do you have for an unsigned metal band?

Keep believing in what you do! Practice! Your hard work WILL be rewarded some day for sure! Practice!



Do you accept unsolicited material? Do you receive many demos?

We accept only CDs or CD-Rs - period! The amount of demos fluctuates from time to time, but 10-20 a week would be quite close.



How important is your back catalog? Which sells more, your pop releases or the metal?

Back catalogue are very important to us. It keeps our material rolling all over. Some of our pop compilations have sold very decent numbers, but usually metal wins always!

Label Website: www.lowfrequencyrecords.fi/metal