Warlord Records is the brainchild of Alessandro Viccini (call him Alex in that sense), who started along way back in the '80s - as Extreme Noise Distro or Alex himself working somewhere in any Music store or what?! Time passes by even faster than the wind, it's 2003 already, and look at how Alex came up with his label now. It's a point where such a strong discipline and vigorous dedication collide and came out with such extreme results!
At the moment, Warlord Records is busy signing bands here and there, but of course… these are worthy bands of the old selected audiences. Warlord Rex, did released Marduk and Acheron already. Amazing. Even very amazing when Alex himself couldn't believe such a situation would take place - but it does anyway. This interview was kind of a short one, but it doesn't mean a useless one, ha! After reading, Warlord Records is about to set a new war upon Earth. However, I hope that there will be no Cradle of Filth vinyl to came out from this label… certainly, that is NOT what Alex want to achieve with this weaponry!
Bruno: I think you are more of pushing Warlord Records to the top now, but did you erase the existence of your distro, Extreme Noise, and proceed seriously as a label and distro both on Warlord?
Alex: Yes, let’s say it was this way. Extreme Noise was started in 1983 as a small distro but it was mainly a ‘zine back then. My main job at the time was at a record company (from 1984 to 1999) so EN distro/zine was just done in the spare time, basically it was the zine first and then the distro, but as I said it was a small thing – mainly it was trading to get what was missing in my collection!….In 1999 I decided it was time to “walk alone” and try something more “serious” and everything started from there.
Bruno: You've been hooking 2 other persons (also busy figures of the underground) to work for Warlord. How come for the given trust? Are they long-time contact of yours? I think both of them do their own excellent job for Warlord, isn't it?
Alex: Right now we’re in 2 (me and Marco) as Morbid got quite busy with some personal things and kind a laid back for a while so it’s mainly Marco taking care of the website, graphic and so on…Morbid will be back when he settle down with his things of course but Marco is a “man-machine” concerning work…I cannot keep the pace with him sometimes, he’s too fast! Hahaha! Well, I got to know Marco and Morbid about 2 years through Mirko from VII Arcano as they’re his friends (Marco also plays for VII Arcano) and it developed all from there. I tend to trust people for usually but with Marco it all clicked straight away and I’m totally happy for this and yes, they both do an excellent work for Warlord…maybe is time that I pay them more!?!?!?
Bruno: Your site are visually extravagant, are you really aware that you've made one of the most excellent websites Metal audience all over the world have seen?
Alex: Thanx for the cool words about the site…well, of course most of the graphics and “hard work” are on the 2 guys’ shoulders…they really did a good job as far as I see but I don’t think it’s the best metal website all over, maybe I’m too demanding but I know there’s quite a lot of things to be improved in the next few months and that is gonna be MP3, visitors’ polls, forum and what not…you’ll see later on…
Bruno: Marduk went out some vinyl on your label too. Was it a big honour to release their material or would you consider that release to be plainly natural for Warlord? I mean, you deserve to release Marduk anyway.
Alex: It has been a GREAT honour to have the band on Warlord and for this I have to thank my friend Per Gyllenback/Regain who made all this possible! I still can’t believe it sometimes! Thanx for telling me that we deserve to have such bands on the label but we’re still very small so it amazes me that we did it!
Bruno: Short question: What should a band have in order for them to get signed by Warlord Records?
Alex: Nothing really special! The MAIN ingredient is that I have to LIKE them at first hearing…it happened with all the bands we did so far but don’t count the Bulldozer tributes 7” for this as it’s a “different” thing…I like the loud “roar” of a band when you put them in the stereo, usually it happens in the very first 20/30 seconds!
Bruno: Following was the fact that there are too many bands now. Is this some of your reasons why that we can only see known bands rather than the newer and younger bands having no established name yet? No offense Alex, but are you playing it safe?
Alex: Yes, I agree there’s just TOO MANY bands around now and sometimes the music “suffers” from it. I think that right now there’s just no time for bands to explore things and develop a certain musical approach. There’s just hurry to get something out and then you have copycats flying all over the world…I appreciate the efforts that all musicians put in their music but you cannot say “yes” to everyone…
I’m up to get new bands going, further from me that Warlord will only do established bands and I don’t even care about the “distribution” fact concerning 7” as more or less they get sold in a very short time even if the band is not so well known, and needless to say that of course it helps to have a Marduk or an Acheron in your releases, it just helps the distro/sales of the other stuff too.
As for playing it safe…well, I don’t get any offense from it (you bastards!!!! How you dare? Hahaha) and it’s a natural question that you’re entitled to have but personally I don’t feel I’m playing it safe right now and, knowing how I am, I don’t think I’ll play it safe in the foreseeable future. To me “playing is safe” means that you’re going into that “pit” where you have to get out Power Metal stuff (I respect the music and like some bands too!) or the latest fad in music just to sell more, THAT is playing it safe…just take all this fake “nu-metal” shit, most labels are just getting into that….but what the fuck! That’s not even FUCKIN’ METAL to me, and what does it means “new-metal” anyway!?!?
Bruno: I think Warlord is more of releasing vinyls rather than CDs. Do you think you can resurrect vinyl with your "vinyl-only-campaign"? Do you believe that some parts in North America and Asia prefer to collect CDs than the bulky vinyl? What is your stand regarding this matter?
Alex: I have nothing against CD, in fact I’m doing some right now too but vinyl has that “something” special when you handle it and furthermore. I started with buying vinyl when I was a young snotty teen and still haven’t stopped now so it has been a natural thing to do vinyl. I can understand that some parts of North America and Asia are more into the CD format but I really can’t help it! I’m a fuckin’ vinyl junkie so…jokes aside, vinyl will always be VERY important with Warlord but CD releases are coming out too in the next months…
Bruno: I remember seeing that small xeroxed flyer from Extreme Noise, but now I've seen so many chromium flyers from Warlord. Is this a matter of technology - where a lot of people are so attracted receiving glossy flyers now? What about bands having xeroxed flyers then? Do you think the bands future lies on their flyers?
Alex: Oh yes, those cool xeroxed flyers!!! Yes, now there’s lots of “chrome” in Warlord but not done in purpose…it’s just that we had a chance to have thousands of flyers printed for a very cool price so we went for it BUT I’m still into the xeroxed flyers, they’re the soul of what we’ve been doing so far. As for bands, I don’t think it relies on how the flyer is printed, most of the time it’s xeroxed flyers that get my attention at first glance – and then with the technology there’s now a xeroxed flyer can look gorgeous even if not pro-printed.
Bruno: At most point, your distro list includes other styles out on the boundaries of Metal, such as Punk, Crust and Hardcore - and they are not few but many too. Would you've been able to add more titles (of these styles) in the future and make us conclude that Warlord is an open-minded label in terms of music?
Alex: I’m TOTALLY open-minded for that! Lately I haven’t been taking in that much hardcore stuff like in the past but still get a few things here and there. And also Extreme Noise started back in ’83 as a small distro carrying mainly HC/crustcore so whenever I can I try to get some of that stuff too for the mail-order but, at the moment, I don’t see Warlord doing anything HC/crust labelwise.
Anyway, you never know so there could be a band hidden somewhere that could get me into releasing something…I would sign a band which would have the feeling and music of godly bands like Amebix, Antisect, Discharge, Siege, Anti-Cimex, GISM and the list could go on forever but, you know, the style would be this…
Bruno: I see your fave list, it includes there NWA. That's no longer Metal, but how come? I also see that you are a big football fan. What is the triumphant feeling that you have when you see your team winning if you compare it when you are listening to your favorite Metal song? Do they have any similarities, or?
Alex: Yes, you’re right I’ve listed N.W.A. as a fave band… Well, it all comes down to the fact that I practically listen to EVERYTHING except Jazz and Classical. I’ve started with the Ramones in 1976 as my father bought that record and as family background I had my father into Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley, Iggy Pop, Sex Pistols so there was NO Italian fake pop shit, or lovely mellow melodies et all there at home. After that I got heavily into Punk and HC but still was into my “past” things so, for example, BAD BRAINS were incarnating the PERFECT band for me as they were playing furious HC and reggae tracks too.
I could tell you 1000s bands I’m into from Dread Zone to NWA to Booyaa Tribe to Devo and also GODLY 70’s disco music! I’m not ashamed of that and I happen to appreciate MORE my metal as it gives me a big rush when I put on “Reign in Blood” or “Into the crypt of rays”…. Right, I’m a huge football fan and even play as a semi-pro in 9th division here, I’m manager of the team too and that’s cool but we’re a team formed by friends so we just get some fun out of it but, of course, winning is cool and we hope to get promoted this year, hahaha…
My best score as a manager has been a suspension for 5 months as during a match I left the bench to get into the field and kick the shit out of the other team’s player… Well, I think football and metal share some emotions (at least for me) so well, the adrenaline of seeing your team scoring can be compared with the “big bang” of a song like “Angel of death” or “Chapel of ghouls”, this is what I think and I can understand if someone has different opinions about what I stated, otherwise how boring life would be!?!?!
Bruno: What makes Warlord grow as big as what it is now? I think consistent dedication and over years of service makes you gather the sympathy of Metal heads all over the world. In which country you receive orders the most?
Alex: Thanx for the cool words and well, I wouldn’t say that it grew big as I don’t want to sound bigheaded or something but I like to think that it’s the Dedication that grew…the more the days goes by the more I’m into in and I’m lucky that I have some cool friends helping out when things get totally busy. Oh well, having a marked joking-side to your character helps out a lot too, seldom I get angry and I don’t treat people like shit UNLESS they’re looking for troubles.
As for countries, besides Italy, I think it would be Germany, France, Greece, whole Scandinavia, Australia – of course there are other places too but this is were we get the most orders from. I mean, Germany is FULL of metal maniacs…It’s the biggest European market for metal…
Bruno: Of course, last thing to ask was: Wounded Love and Avantgarde Records. Both of these labels releases were licensed (here in the Philippines) to be out in MC format. I can't help but think, because those tapes were displayed on a commercial bar on any Jewish malls down here. How would you react on this kind of agreement? (Since I remember that you and these labels were in good contact too.)
Alex: (SORRY…. I DON’T CARE ABOUT THEM)
by Bruno Zamora