About the labels...
Demolition Derby was started in 1993 (shortly after I also started the Pit'sbull label)
& since then it has entirely been a one man operation. From March of
1994 on I'm actually trying to make a living out of this, which ain't
exactly easy if you decide to run a rock&roll singles only label in
the country of techno & mediocrity, where the word "vinyl" has been
removed from the dictionary.
So Demolition Derby is a rock&roll
label cos that's what I'd like to call the music released on the label
(now my definition might seriously differ from others you might find on
the web or elsewhere), definitely not alternative or whatever other
meaningless term. I've done surf, instrumental, garagerock, 60's punk,
some rockabilly, punkrock, cowbilly, country ... but basically it's all
Demolition Derby has artists from all over the
world : USA, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, France, Germany, England,
Holland, Italy, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland & yes, even a
couple from Belgium. In 1995 I had enough experience & know how to try
my hand at a full length (+ found a couple of local bands that I thought
had the potential for a good full length in them). So Sin Alley was in
fact the first release on sublabel Nitro!, lp only cos I took it in
licence from Count Orlok who did the Cd version. The first complete Nitro!
product was the Apemen lp/cd, shortly followed by the Vice Barons 10"/Cd.
All these releases got rave reviews all over & they turned out to
outsell the singlesreleases, so this set the direction for the future...
At the end of 1995 it was time for the first non local band on
Nitro!, New Jersey's Electric Frankenstein (who had previously done a 7"
on Demolition Derby, I didn't have to hear much to realise this was a band
I needed to sign for a full length right away). This record is on its way
to become the biggest thing yet on Nitro! with total rave reviews all over
the place & particularly in the USA (Flipside gave it a half page
review, other mags have called them America's best punkrock band of the
moment & though ignored by most everybody else here, it scored high
with the Metalopolis radioshow on National Radio - I'll be the first to
admit when there IS someone here with some good taste!).Now it's 1999
& it seems the rest of the world (including Belgium) is now finally
ready for Electric Frankenstein. They signed with Victory,are touring
Europe for the first time & people are still asking for their
Demolition Derby album.
As you can notice I haven't really
released too many 7"s lately, the main reason being that the singles
market seems to have collapsed (why? maybe just cos too many people are
releasing too much crap 7"s so it's getting harder & harder for you
the consumer to tell what's worth it & what not). It used to be pretty
easy to sell 1000 copies of about any garage or punkrock 7", these days you
can consider yourself happy if you manage to get rid of 500 copies &
500 copies means barely breaking even. So to do a 7" with a band, I need a
good reason, one which could be to see if the band would have the potential
for a full length & to check if there'd be enough interest from the
public for such an album.
Since the previous update
(1999) I have not released any new singles. Just looking at the huge stack
of old singles still in stock & how slow they sell, didn't really
inspire me to venture into any new 7" projects. There have been three new
album releases (all vinyl-just replace 'singles' by 'cd's' in the above
sentence & you know why I'm now strictly sticking with lp's) & I'm
gonna try to put out at least that many this year. And yes, the Demolition
Derby recordstore is still around as well. It's open on wednesdays now
too, so if you find yourself in the (wide) neighbourhood (& that
includes Antwerp & Brussels), feel free to drop by.
2002 is gonna be the busiest year since long in
regards of releases, no less than 3 album releases
are planned. The Chronics & the Jewws are already available (& both doing
pretty well, a welcome relief) & in the early fall the second
album by the Mighty Gordinis will see the light of day.
Other activities & info
september 1998 there's been a new activity, the Demolition Derby
recordstore. I'm carrying punkrock (old & new), garage, 60's,
surf/instro, rock&roll, 50's, hardcore, sXe, poppunk, exotica
etc.Lotsa vinyl (lp & 7"), cd's, fanzines...new & secondhand.
You'll find more stuff in the store than you will find in the mailordercatalog
(secondhand stuff for instance is only sold via the store). The store is
easy to reach by car & train (500 m from Nekkerspoeltrainstation)
& is located 4 houses from the Toy Museum (Speelgoed-museum) for which
you'll find signs all over town. Mechelen is about 20-30 km from both
Brussels & Antwerp so if you're really craving for all those hard to
find records,despair no longer,just drop by at the store.
The store is
at : Nekkerspoelstr 29, 2800 Mechelen, Belgium t/f 32 15 55 40 63
Labels : if you'd like me to carry your stuff in the store, see the
next ('trades') section.
Yes, I do trade with other labels, but here's a couple of things you should
take into account when you get in touch for trades
- trades are with EEC-based labels only. Overseas postage & the nasty
Belgian customs are a pain in the ass, so it's usually more interesting to
buy American releases from one of the US distributors I deal with.
- trades will obviously only be for my own releases, not for other stuff
out of the regular mailorderlist.
- With the opening of the store I am carrying a wider range of music, ao
it now also includes hardcore, skatepunk etc, so even if your labelstuff
isn't exactly similar to what I have but you might be interested in some of
my releases, get in touch! I'm willing to try out almost anything that is
remotely rock&roll as long as we can trade it. Finally, if we agree on a
trade & you're going to send me non shrinkwrapped lp's, please take them out
of their sleeves before you box them. Ever been pissed off cos that new
record you just got from your favorite store/mailorder had a big split in
the sleeve? Well,that was cos someone didn't follow up the above advice cos
if you send non shrinkwrapped lp's & leave the vinyl inside, it's very
likely that during the transport the vinyl is gonna rub against the inside
of the sleeve & split it right open. There's a simple way to avoid that :
take the vinyl out of the sleeve before you box!
If you have a store/mailorder & would like to stock my releases, you can
either order direct or in Europe order via Bertus & Abraxas distribution, in
the USA via Subterranean or Cargo San Diego & in Canada via Scratch.
Mailorder for the USA is handled by Underground Medicine, Dave Hill
Distributrion & Dionysus ao. Also note that I distribute other stuff
besides just the Demolition Derby label. Take a look at the general
catalog, a lot of the stuff on European labels is also available at wholesale
prices. If you want to get the most recent distribution updates, just mail. At
the moment I'm already handling direct distribution of European releases to
several Japanese accounts, so don't hesitate to contact me if you are
interested in carrying European releases in your store or mailorder.
Word of warning (mainly for other people running a label) : in the 9+ years
of releasing records, there have been a number of people who turned out to
be dead-beats who didn't pay what they owed or suddenly went
bankrupt,leaving me (& other labels) in the cold. Apparently some of them
have pulled the same trick several times, magically resurfacing a couple
months later under a different name or with the new business registered on
their wife/girlfriend's name. So here are the names of some who still
haven't paid me what they owe :
Ima Hitt, New Zealand
Mike Roe/Dune Distro, Fort Dodge Iowa,USA
Darren Ross/Weed, somewhere in France or the UK
Max Picou records, Genève,Switserland
Sonically Speaking/Bad Boy Direct UK
Safety Pin Records/Kike Turmix,Madrid,Spain
With the money they (especially the latter) owe me, I could easily have
released 2 albums. If you find your name on this list & want to get off,
simply send me the money or records that you owe me.
Well, like every label, I do send out a number of promo's, either direct or
through my distributors, but this is Demolition Derby not some big indie
label with stacks of $, so if you're a dj or you write for a zine & you're
really THAT anxious to get my records to review or play, there's a quite
simple solution : buy them, yeah really, buy them. I've been a dj & a
recordreviewer too & I know it's nice to get some free records, but 95 % of
the stuff I played or reviewed was always stuff I bought myself. But if
you'd still like me to change my mind & send you some stuff for free, here
are a couple of things that would help :
- send me a copy of your magazine first, preferably one where you've
already reviewed some of my records that you bought.
- I will give preference to on-line zines, preferably in a language that
will reach a wide audience.
- offer me an interview or a label special in your next issue.
- when you review my records, include my address /website.
- a large bribe, but then you also can just buy the damn records & save
- humor me & pretend that you know at least something about my label. My
last cd release was the vice barons "steel blue moods" & that was in 1997.
So allow me to ignore mails that pretend to be very interested in my label &
requesting a copy of my latest cd releases for review. All the vinyl that
was released since that Vice Barons cd, has had a cd release on a different
label, so you're clearly contacting the wrong label!
How to get your band on Demolition Derby...
Well my first advice would be, don't even bother. From the nr of tapes,
e-mails & what more I get, it looks like there's definitely more people out
there who would like to have Demolition Derby release their record, than
actually be prepared to purchase one of the Demolition Derby records. There
just hasn't been too much interest in Demolition Derby records the last
couple of years & there certainly are no (financial) means to take any
My second advice would be to actually read the following guidelines, cos I
get stuff from people who've obviously been to this page & still continue to
ignore anything that I've written here. If you'd read the text, you'd know
you could save yourself the effort & money to send me some stuff, cos it's
clear from these guidelines that I am not gonna be interested in what you're
The main criterion is still that I have to like your band, but what also
might help :
- you're familiar with D. Derby & the kinda records I release. Sending
me an e-mail with 'can you please mail me your contact cos I got a band
here that I think is just what you are looking for', makes me wonder how
come you don't have my contact since it's on every record I put out. If you
don't have a single DD record, I sincerly doubt you would know what I'm
My address has changed twice in the last couple of years, I've now been
located in Mechelen for 4 years and there have been 9 albums which have had
my new address,still ,a quote from this band that shall remain unnamed that
sent a tape to my previous address last week "...as well as enjoying our
respect for the records that you have published under you(r) label....'.Some
respect that is,if you haven't found one single new demolition derby release
worthy of your attention in the last 4 years.Allow me to return that favour
in the same way.
- As it's been harder & harder to get distributors interested in small
bands in such non popular genres as garage or (real!) punkrock, I will
expect the band to help with the distribution of their record, by purchasing
a number of copies that they will sell at their gigs. This of course means
that the band actually needs to play live regularly & by preference do
This may not sound easy or very appealing, but remember, the first thing I
said was 'don't even bother', plus I'm not forcing anyone to comply with
these rules, you're free to say 'no' & contact whatever other label of your
choice to do your release. In the last year I have only contacted one band
myself to ask them for a tape. I liked what I heard,explained them the above
conditions,we agreed, did a 7" & as a further result a full album,so you see
if it is not a completely impossible situation. But let it be clear that I
will be demanding some input from the band itself too, your job won't end
with just sending me the DAT & artwork.
- I'm looking for bands that do something original or try to change
things a bit, I know there's a million garagelabels out there that really
dig bands with a retro sound, well you better get in touch with them then
cos Demolition Derby is not such a label, I do not like purist surf or
garage bands nor the current hardrock/metal crop posing as punk, so don't
- The 2 releases I did with the Lewd & the Accident have been 2 of the
more succesfull D.Derby releases, so I'd be interested to get in touch with
other original punkbands to check the possibility on either a vinyl licence
or a new exclusive release (PS it helps if your band has been on one of the
KBD's or Bloodstains comps)
- the (only) address to send anything to is : Nekkerspoelstr 29, 2800 Mechelen,
Belgium & if you really want a reply (also if I chose not to do anything
with yr band) remember to add an IRC or yr e-mail address.
- Finally for all of you who have gotten frustrated after reading these
guidelines, there is one sure way to guarantee that I will at least listen
to your tape/cd/record. Since 1993 I've roughly released some 80 records or
cd's on my various labels,so if,along with your tape etc you send me a photo
of one of the members of your band among a display of at least 10 different
releases on my various labels,I guarantee you that I will listen to it.
Owing 10 records I've released, inclines me to think you might have some
idea what kind of band I'm looking for. If you don't send such a photo, I
can't guarantee you anything. The label/store/mailorder/distro etc is still
strictly a one man operation, so my priorities don't exactly lie with
checking out unsollicited mail.
If after reading all this, you're still convinced that you are the biggest Demolition Derby fan ever & your band desperately needs to be on Demolition Derby, you can plug your band via the comments section on
myspace , the order e-mail address is just for what is says, ordering not for plugging your band.
I can't promise that I am going to answer all mails that are sent to me,but
if you contact me to order something,you will get a reply.If you don't hear
back from me within 7 days on an order, please mail again cos that means
there might have been a problem with my incoming mail. For a printed version
of the catalog you need to send an IRC/$ 1.
Letters/requests without IRC/$1 will not be answered & if you think you need
to ask me first if I would be interested in getting your demo, the answer
most likely will be 'no'. Do not send any foreign stamps! Don't send me any
soundfiles or long attachments (I will bounce them back!), thanks!
Finally, do these pages sound arrogant? They probably do, but I prefer to
tell it like it is & not waste both of our time or give anyone false hopes.