Trendcrusher

Mike Low (The Artisan Era) interview

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The Artisan Era is an American extreme metal label. Started by Mike Low and Malcolm Pugh (Inferi) the label has created a formidable roster of artists like Augury, Inanimate Existence and Dark Matter Secret and put out some eminent releases in the past 4 years.

I spoke to Mike Low about the origins of the label, balancing between bands and the label and more.

You started the label in 2014 How does it feel looking back?

We didn’t really know what we were doing, haha. It has been quite a learning experience and has come a long, long way. There was no planning, no promotion game, and just a less professional feel all around. Fortunately we were only releasing our own bands at the time and didn’t have to subject anyone else to that. As we grew and decided to start taking on other bands, we got our ducks in a row and have everything down to a T now.

How did you decide to start a label? Why did you decide to start a label that releases only extreme metal music?

Extreme metal is about 95% or more of what we listen to, so that wasn’t hard to pick. We originally started the label just to release our own music. Actually way back in the day, we had discussed just releasing one-man (or woman!) bands. Malcolm had ALR and I was working on a solo project after I quit ENFOLD DARKNESS. That project never came to fruition because I joined INFERI and ended up using the songs I was working on for The Path of Apotheosis. It was then that we scrapped the strictly one-man band idea and released INFERI and my other band OUBLIETTE. In summer 2015, we had a meeting with ENFOLD DARKNESS about releasing their second album, and that’s when we decided to expand and start working with other bands.

What has been your most memorable release so far?

The Path of Apotheosis. Without that album, The Artisan Era would probably not be succeeding as we are today.

What do you look for in bands before signing them to your label?

Originality, creativity, and not just a run-of-the-mill extreme band. We have to see something in the band that we don’t see in other bands. We don’t have a certain formula but Malcolm and I have to agree on them 100% before we sign them. We have been approached with some more known bands that we are not into… stuff that would have sold well, but we want to stay true to what we like.

What are the problems that you have faced?

Typos and misprints are the bane of our existence, haha. No, there really aren’t a lot of problems.

You are a part of bands like Inferi and Oubliette. How do you manage between the bands and running the label?

I just have to remember to play guitar as much as possible in between mixing and meeting deadlines. Malcolm is the head honcho of INFERI, so I do what he tells me to do. OUBLIETTE has not toured yet, but I do most of the manager-type work for us, as well as all the audio work too (for both bands).

What are the changes in customers and bands you have noticed?

Vinyl is killing right now!

Do you have advice for anyone planning to start a label now?

Don’t do it.

What is next for The Artisan Era? What are the next releases from the label?

Keep an eye on our page!

Here are some releases from The Artisan Era that you should check out:

 

 

 

Written by trendcrusher

March 28, 2018 at 10:00 am

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