Label 56 Interview
This is an interview we did with Da Wolfman not long ago. It was originally posted on his blog here
Hey thanks for the interview and my apologies for taking so long to get it done. Label 56 is a record label that has been around for a good 10 years or so now in what most people call the White Nationalist music scene. Even though we have that many years behind us I think we`re still not very well known because we don`t abide by most of the stereotypes that mass media uses to characterize WN outlets so we kind of get overlooked. But in that respect I do try to stay away from the negative connotations and shock value when it comes to promoting music. European Americans do in fact have legitimate issues that affect us politically and socially and I feel that we need to address these issues in a way that the average person can relate to.
Let me also say this, mass media creates the image that anyone active in WN politics is an intolerant nazi but personally I`m rather libertarian on a lot of issues. Unlike the left (that call themselves anti fascists yet want to ban everything they don`t agree with) I don`t want to ban anything and I don`t want to force anything on anyone. I believe that people are intelligent enough to come to their own conclusions when presented with actual facts instead of being treated like a kid and having someone telling them what they should think. They do this because most people will agree with us on the majority of our positions but then we shoot ourselves in the foot by taking these things that they agree with and dressing them up in symbols and rhetoric they can`t relate to. So the basis I`d say is to move away from some of the stuff that alienates us and move towards a more appealing avenue.
On a personal note I enjoyed skateboarding when I was younger and I still love the whole atmosphere and scene around that. There was always an Independent DIY type feel to it with the skating, graffiti, and music. I also think physical fitness is important and would like to see more young people choosing sports instead of drugs and alcohol. This is all reflected in the way the Label 56 site as well as the blog and tumblr pages are run. So alongside the music you will find a little bit of politics, athletics (mma, weight training, skateboarding etc) as well as traditional art and architecture that our people can take pride in, to appreciate the beauty of our past and present and want to preserve it. There`s also a lot from the urban DIY scene including stickering and street art that you won`t find anywhere else except the European SAWB sites and the U.S. Be Active Front Pages. So basically we do things a little differently when it comes to promoting music and even ideology and because of this I`ve been told by several people over the years that we are ahead of our time.
2. How did you get into the music business?
Basically I got into it because Nationalist music is ignored by major radio stations and magazines unless it`s portrayed in a negative light. But first let me backtrack a bit-
I`ve always been big into music my entire life and enjoyed seeking out new bands. Growing up my friends and I were all a mixed up combination of metal head skater punks lol. We were all into thrash metal and then later death metal when the originals like Cannibal Corpse and Deicide came on the scene starting in the early 90`s. These were bands that didnt get any radio play and you could only find out about them in a few magazines or by word of mouth. That made me realize there was much more out there then what radio stations wanted you to hear and again that made me seek out the lesser known bands. I used to read the thank you lists on the inlay of cassettes to find out about new bands and loved picking up cassettes from the music store not knowing what to expect until you got home and could listen to them.
I also have to add that I see parallels between the heavy metal days and the Nationalist music scene of today. Back then the media would run tv specials warning parents that if their kids listened to that music they would turn into satan worshipers and would be sacrificing cows while dancing around a fire naked covered in chickens blood or some weird shit. Today they tell you that if you listen to nationalist music you will turn into a nazi that wants to kill 6 million jews. Its nonsense really.
In reality it was thrash metal that really raised my awareness to a lot of political issues. Despite what mass media had you believe there were some really good intelligent and political lyrics in a lot of these bands. Furthermore if you`re a teenager and you like to read books there`s the assumption that you`re a nerd, but when you read an interview with a band like Anthrax who say their songs are based off characters in novels you`re like ‘Woah that’s pretty cool, let me check this book out’ so there was a positive influence there. So again there’s parallels between that and the nationalist music scene in that there really is a lot of intelligent and political content in the lyrics of some of the bands despite what mas media tells you… and this is what I like to promote.
Anyway the thrash and death metal scene died off when the seattle crap took over. I hated it- the music, the dirty fashion style, the heroin junkies etc and started looking around online for new music. I came across hc bands like Earth Crisis and Strife and even though I liked the music the anti white lyrics just never sat right with me, and this was actually before I had developed any kind of solid politics of my own. I felt like it was trying to make me ashamed of who I am and I didn`t like it. It wasn’t long after that i found Tri State Terrors website and was stunned that there were openly pro white bands out there. It was great. Why hadn’t I heard about these bands before? I started buying cd`s and would make compilations to give out to people (this was back before Panzerfaust even did it) because there was literally nowhere else you could find out about them. Later I started getting the actual cd`s in bulk so that people could get them directly from me and from there Label 56 was born.
Before I end I should say that nowadays I am secure enough in my personal outlook that listening to bands that I may not agree with such as Earth Crisis and Strife doesn`t really bother me. Furthermore going back to EC, I think Breed The Killers is a great album musically, and when it comes to lyrics I have to say that aside from the racial aspect there`s really not much difference between our bands and theirs when it comes to the environment, economic issues etc. I`ll just leave that point open right there.
3. Who`s your favorite band?
I know you asked for one but I`m all over the place musically and I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one band. I`m really into the heavier styled music myself so in our particular scene I`d say Painful Awakening, Terrorsphara and Simple Men are some of my current active faves. For the varying styles I have to say Second Class Citizen, Empire Falls, Sober Charge, Fight Tonight, Wellington Arms, Major Disappointment, 96 Brigade, Spirit of the Patriot. They all have a great aggressive sound and get regular play on my ipod. There`s some really good Russian and Ukraine hc bands out now too. I try to highlight a lot of these bands on the Label 56 podcast also.
4. Are there any good deals happening over at Label 56?
I normally run different things at different times. We`ve got some great quality pint glasses on sale atm, also various music and clothing sales. There is a “specials” section in the store category for whats current so check it out and see whats what
5. What new bands in the scene are you excited about?
In the actual openly WP scene I really don`t know of too much going on with new bands here in the states. Ironwill is one that has a good oldschool rac sound. Final Verdict and Survivors Of The Plague are two more projects that sound good as well. I also have to say Hiraeth, who is a new black metal band made up from some pretty well known guys in the NSBM scene. I really like their music. Uprise Direct is releasing a Vinland NSBM compilation coming up with several bands on it shortly too.
6. Are there any bands you really want to work with?
Honestly, I love working with new bands and promoting them. I`m happy to say that most of our releases to date were either debut releases from bands, debut full lengths, or debut promos. We`ve done everything from ambient to RAC to streetpunk, to electronic / techno. So if you have a band or a project contact us at email@example.com It doesn`t matter what style it`s in, the more diverse sometimes I like even more. I`d really like to work with a pro white hip hop artist as well. There’s quite a few of these artists like Mic Revolt and N’Socialist Soundsystem in Germany and parts of Europe but none here in the US yet. It’s a shame because this is a music style many whites are into and I would like to offer them an alternative to the negative lyrics they hear now.
7. If some one wants to set up a white nationalist record company .. What should they expect?
Man I don`t even know. Just expect a lot of negative publicity from the media lol. On that note I thank you for this interview and thank everyone who has supported us at Label56.com over the years. Stay Positive and Be Active