Interview With Lance King
of Nightmare Records
Interview By Keith McDonald
It seems that its not uncommon for metal specific labels to start off as a
mail-order music company that eventually branched out into a record label. Kind of start
small then build on with what you know best - that of course being metal. Nightmare
Records is no different. A label started for his own band, Nightmare Records boasts of a
catalog of titles that is well over a thousand and a roster of metal acts that includes
Balance Of Power, Anthesis, Visionary, Defyance and USM to name a few. I recently had the
opportunity to speak with Lance who gave me the inside track on his label. You can visit
the website at www.nightmare-records.com.
How did you get started in the metal scene?
I started playing cover songs in a band called FREELANCE just out of high school. The
group did pretty well around the upper Midwest and in the rock club scene. When that had
run it's course, I joined another group called GEMINI, doing much the same thing, I was
getting bored with it and needed the band to focus on a goal and the future. I began
writing song with the guitar players and we put out our first album independently in 1990.
How did Nightmare Records come about?
This was actually a name we came up with from the first GEMINI album. We had a song on
there that I was particularly proud of lyrically, so I called my new label NIGHTMARE
RECORDS. The first GEMINI album to be released was the first Nightmare Album. We sold
about 15,000 of the album mostly at our shows right off the stage, and so Nightmare Record
I see you are a singer. How does help you deal with running a label?
Dude I will always be a singer, I'm singing more now than ever! I just left BALANCE OF
POWER, in January 2003. I did the vocals on the new DEFYANCE album TRANSITIONAL FORMS. I
sang on the new MATTSSON album POWER GAMES, just finished the vocals on the new SHINING
STAR album, and have two more albums scheduled for the next 3 months to finish. I'm
playing the field right now, and it's a wonderfully fresh feeling to have this much
musical variety. I love it, it allows me to stretch and do other styles of singing to fit
the band. I think being in a band and coming from that paradigm helps tremendously when
talking to bands and knowing music. Of course it's all about my own tastes at Nightmare,
but you'll find that with any label.
You also sell CDs through your website. How well does that do for you?
Fantastic, the site is doing very well, we get many orders every day. However this is
only about 10% of our business, we are first and foremost a wholesale distributor, then a
label, and a very cool online store that carries titles from everywhere on the planet
thats Metal worthy. Check it out! www.nightmare-records.com
Who is currently on your roster?
BALANCE OF POWER, ANTHESIS, VISIONARY, DEFYANCE, DOMAIN, EMPYRIA, USM, VICIOUS CIRCLE,
PALACE OF BLACK, BRASS KITTEN, CONDITIONED RESPONSE, KINGS MACHINE, GEMINI
Do you sign only metal acts, or other genres as well?
I work with bands that I like from the niche that I'm in, hard rock through technical
thrash is all that we do, we won't sign anything POP, we won't sign anything Country, we
won't sign anything that isn't in our niche. Mostly we are a melodic POWER METAL and
How is the metal scene these days, better or worse?
It's getting better again....for awhile things were on the decline as you know in the
90's, we'll it's been getting stronger again and business is very good!
Who handles your distribution?
WE DO. We work with many other distributors that are our partners.
United States. NIGHTMARE-RECORDS.COM, DREAM DISC, PERRIS RECORDS, DYNASTY MUSIC, TWO
GUYS MUSIC, MOLTEN METAL, IMPULSE MUSIC, ALTA MIRA, MEDUSA RECORDS, AMAZON.COM, ECHO
RIDER, MUSIC WORKS, GENERATIONS UNDERGROUND, LASERS EDGE, CD BABY, OUTER LIMITES,
MOREMETAL.COM, SENTINEL STEEL, RESTLESS & WILD, CD'S AND MORE, AMAZINGCDS.COM, SOUNDS
OF METAL, SEVEN GATES, MUST HAVE MUSIC, OARFIN RECORDS & DISTRIBUTION, SELECT-O-HITS,
NEH RECORDS, PHOENIX RECORDS, METAL MAYHEM MUSIC, CENTURY MEDIA, THE SOUNDS OF METAL,
RASPUTIN MUSIC, LOUD DISTRIBUTION, OF SOUND MIND (USA) VYAGRA MUSIC (USA) LOST & FOUND
REC's (USA) THE PURE ROCK SHOP (USA), GAME TWO RECORDS (USA), G.S. RECORDS (USA) METALDISC
DISTRIBUTORS OUTSIDE THE U.S:
BERTUS DISTRIBUTION (Netherlands), BEE BEE RECORDS / DISTRIBEE (Netherlands), MEGA ROCK
DISTRIBUTION (Sweden), NORDIC METAL (Denmark), R.P.M. RECORDS (United Kingdom) ,
Transatlantic Business Group Inc ( Russia) SCRAPE RECORDS (Canada), HMV (Canada) LAMENT
DISTRIBUTION (Mexico), STEEL GALLERY (Greece), SLEASZY RIDER, (Greece), SUN RECORDS, SOUND
MACHINE (Italy), HEAVENCROSS (Spain), LEYENDA (Spain), THE ROCK SHOP(Spain) JPM MUSIC
(Chile) RISING SUN (Germany), LOBEL MUSIC (Germany), METAL STORM RECORDS (Germany), MUSIC
POINT (Germany), GERMAN UNDERGROUND (Germany), DESTINY RECORDS (U.K), CONCRETE (Germany),
WAR OF HORNS RECORDS (Germany), DISCOS SUN RECORDS (Spain) ROCKHOUSE RECORDS (Holland),
HELLION RECORDS (Germany) HELLION RECORDS - ( Brazil), MEGAHARD RECORDS (Brazil) DSB
(Germany), AOR BASEMENT (U.K.), DISKHEAVEN (Japan), SHEER RECORDS (Czech Republic, MUSIC
HUNTER (Finland), HEAVY SOUND ROCK SHOP (Sweden) Lament Distributions (Mexico)
HOLY ROLLERS(USA) THE CROSSING (USA) CHRISTIAN DEMO CLEARING HOUSE (USA), M8 (USA),
SPRING ARBOR (USA), C.M.P.(Australia), RUGGED CROSS, RAD ROCKERS (USA), BIBLES PLUS (USA),
ULTIMATUM MUSIC (USA), BLAST BEATS MUSIC (USA), NORDIC MISSION (NORWAY) SOMETHING MORE
CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE (USA), ClassicGod.Com (USA), SHAVER AUDIO (USA), THE NEW UNION (USA),
R4 records (USA) FULL SWEEP DISTRO (USA), GOSPEL MAIL ORDER (Finland)
Do you sell other types of merchandise (Shirts, hats, posters, etc.)?
Not really not at the moment, were looking into this for the future!
How many titles do you have in your catalog?
1000's, I've lost count. We have a lot of great music; it's really worth the trip to
our site to see all of the wonderful music available to buy there.
What's the future for Nightmare Records?
To find new and interesting music for the fans, to keep extending our reach out to the
world in as many ways as we can find, to continue to grow, we'll see, there is no doubt
there will be new ways that we want to explore in the future. for now it's all about the
music, that's number one here, come and enjoy!
Label Website: www.nightmare-records.com
with Lance King