So, what exactly does the "D" and "S" stand for? “Demos & Schallplatten” (demos & records) What basic information about the label can you provide us with? The label existed from 1984 to 2001. I made around 600 productions. In the beginning a lot of Punk and Funpunk, later more Hardrock and Metal. The probably most well-known production is the Morgoth demo “Blast From The Past” which was later released as a maxi LP on Century Media. Furthermore, some better-known demos for Flaming Anger, Frantic from Bochum, some LPs for Rage Heart and Ninja from Wuppertal. Some more stuff in the White Metal field, the most famous of those was probably Seventh Avenue from Braunschweig whose singer Herbie Langhans sang in Voodoo Circle until last year. Nowadays I only do studio and video productions, sound and rent out material for lighting. But more in the Acoustic and Classic field. I hope this was at least a bit helpful. Am I right in assuming you were also responsible for the Schrägton Records punk label? Yes, of course. “Die Stammelnden Heimkinder“ with and by Bernd Herrmann from Witten, who worked later for the Rough Trade distribution. Great person, great band, I’m still laughing about it today. But it was all only 8-track recordings. Cretin Hoppers… Do you have any personal favorites in the D&S discography? Flaming Anger, Frantic, I love the demos. With Lanzer I produced an LP and a Maxi, they were later sold to another label, I also arranged some gigs for them and mixed them live. Rage Heart (1 LP, 1 single, one tour for Tele 5 (German TV channel), the first version in the end of the 80s / beginning of the 90s). Dorian Gray, great Hardrock from Recklinghausen, I think it was 6 CDs. Age Of Rebelllion, 2 topnotch recorded Prog CDs. Furthermore, a lot of stuff from the Rock and Blues area. Still most bands actually didn’t have any success later and even today most people in the Metal scene don’t know about most of the bands. Do you have any idea why it didn’t work out for them? I only had a one-man company with occasional help. In the 80s there was only a small number of fanzines, so it came down to only 1000 to 3000 copies each. Embargo, Salvage and Dorian Gray were very successful in Japan. Seventh Avenue and Lightmare in South America. Did you care about the later success of the bands or was your interest over for you as soon as the records were done? Yes, of course I did. If you work together for some time, you get attached to it. There are only a few productions that don’t mean anything to me, but I won’t say which productions I mean by that. Did the D&S output reflect your own musical taste? Are/were you a big fan of classic Heavy Metal and Thrash? Mostly yes. I still like Progressive Rock / Metal (Rush, Saga, Genesis, Camel, Queensrÿche and so on), Hardrock / Metal (Pretty Maids (it’s terrible to see how it’s going for Ronnie Atkins with his health problems at the moment), The Tubes, Maiden, Judas Priest, Megadeth, Vengeance (NL) and so on). Thrash (Testament, Anthrax… Today I’m more open to it than before). Newer stuff like Vuur, Nocturnal Rites, Tool (started with that later) Trivium and so on. But I also like Bluesrock like The Answer. I really like most of the songs of the compilations a lot, furthermore I love Ninja and Courage. It seems like you had a lot of luck with good and interesting bands coming to you for recordings (at least in my opinion, I know that some people disagree about that). Was it just a coincidence or did you also actually say no to some bands? If yes, what were the reasons? Courage were great, great guys, they were together with the first singer of Rage Heart. Ninja didn’t work out too well, at least not with the guitarist, that’s why I said no to a second LP. Red Rooster was great Sleaze Rock, the same drummer as Ninja. Unfortunately, he had a serious accident later, very nice person. Embargo, 3 CDs were great guys as well, very nice, we had several parties with them. It just had to feel right somehow if you worked together for several weeks. There seems to be some disagreement about the respective existing amounts of the DS-compilations (Break Out-, Metal Hour-, German Metal Fighters- and The Best Of German Metal Newcomer). Can you tell me anything about it? Actually, the compilations were only meant to be used for promotion. It was 1000 LPs each shared on 5 bands, minus some LPs that I’ve sent away to magazines. I didn’t sell any of them, around that time I didn’t do any distribution yet. Except for “German Metal Fighters NO. 1” und “Metal Hour: German Metal Tracks No.4” all of them were small 8 track productions, later then 24 track productions. The production costs were shared between the bands, there was nothing more. "The bands weren’t able to agree on a cover, so the whole thing took an eternity..." The most controversial discussed releases were the 2 "The Best Of German Metal Newcomer" LPs. Is it actually right that they were released as 2 single LPs and that there was no cover and no additional information? The bands weren’t able to agree on a cover, so the whole thing took an eternity. Instead of making a cover I decided then to make colored vinyl and print double-sided information sheets (it was only meant to be used for promotion anyway). “The Best Of German Metal Newcomer” included only 4 bands each. Does that mean there were less than 1000 copies each? 1000 copies. Every band got a bit more because of the missing cover. Furthermore, there were recordings for an EP for Tempest. In general, I find it to be very interesting to know how you came up with the idea to release those compilations. I assume it can’t have been because of earning big money. As already described above, everything was about promotion. The bands got their promo material, and I had the chance to gain experience in the studio. Back then there were only tapes or vinyl. Singles were too expensive to produce. I placed small ads nationwide and then it started. One of my most urgent questions is about the band Arkham that was published on “Break Out: German Metal Tracks No.2”. There are supposed to exist 2 bands with the same name, one comes from Munich. Meanwhile there’s some kind of agreement that it’s 2 different bands but it’s still not completely clear. Do you have any information about this band? The band should come from South Germany, unfortunately I don’t remember more either. It was so long ago (1986). Are you actually aware, that some of your records are sold for kind of high prices nowadays? Just now you can for example get the Courage EP for 2905 €. Of course, the price is much too high, and the person will have a hard time to sell it for that much, but it was actually sold for 399 € once on Discogs! Also, some of the compilations and other records go easily out for (much) more than 50 € sometimes. Are you surprised about that nowadays? Yes, it actually does surprise me a bit, but I think some of it is nonsense. I also have test pressings of 2 compilations, so LPs with only a white label and the production number on them. They were only played twice, I think. Furthermore, I have some test cuts with songs from several LPs. I wonder what those things would be worth today. So, I assume you’re not owning any secret storage with leftover records? No, unfortunately not. I only own one copy each of “German Metal Tracks 2-4”, “German Metal Fighters No. 1” and “The Best Of German Metal Newcomer” Since there are some unsolved mysteries discussed about D&S, some of them discussed on The Corroseum's D&S Recordings label page, does it happen a lot that you’re contacted because of the label? Rarely I get some questions about old CDs but about the compilations nobody asks. I only saw lately that the first compilation was for sale on ebay for 39,99 €. The first compilations were recorded on an 8-track tape machine, only from the middle of 1986 on I used a big mixing desk with 24 tracks. You can see it to the left. I only had my own label code from 1986 on. Before that there were only ordering numbers from the pressing plant written on the releases. I also had partnerships with other labels and pressed records for them, recorded and so on. So basically, everything is right that’s written there. At The Corroseum we love & adore old, primitive black&white album cover art, so could you tell some about how the sleeve design of the compilations came to be? Was it you or the bands who came up w/ the concepts? The first cover arts were my ideas, and they were made by a former (girl)friend. So, for example, the tiger head and so on were my ideas. Later the bands wanted to have a say which resulted in eternal waiting times (The Best Of German Metal Newcomer for example…) "One band from Berlin had a professional beggar as a singer, he was only able to sing in a dark room which made it very hard to communicate..." Are there any other experiences from the recordings that you particularly remember? If so, would you like to share something about it? Yes, there’s a lot, but I won’t mention the names of the bands. One band from Berlin had a professional beggar as a singer, he was only able to sing in a dark room which made it very hard to communicate. Another band from Berlin had an alcoholic guitarist who was not able to finish any sentences, his band colleagues had to do it for him. The band's alleged producer has worn the same clothes for 14 days, even while sleeping in a sleeping bag (it was impressively demonstrated to me through a photo). A band from Schleswig Holstein had such a dubious guitarist that I had to let a good friend do the recordings, who had to show him every note on the guitar. And so on…
So, done, it’s actually fun to think about the old stuff, especially now during this shitty time we’re going through.