Niels Andersen of Hamburg-based Oktober Promotion gives you some pointers on what to consider when coming to Germany as a Metal band
Germany is next to the UK the biggest and most important market in Europe and the third biggest market in the world. So needless to say it`s pretty cool to get a foot in the door if you want to be successful with your band.
German Metal heads still love to buy physical product. Especially the vinyl market has been „exploding“ for the last 2 – 3 years. The digital share is only ca. 25%. Metal fans are collectors – they want to own a part of the band they like.
The Metal scene in Germany is in a very strong and healthy state these days. The underground became bigger and stronger in the last few years. I´d say the scene is almost on a level like in the golden 80s. The competition is way stronger than back then but in my eyes that is a good thing as only the best and most authentic bands will survive the battles of record deals, tours and fans.
Sounds all good to you, I guess, but how to become a part of the German Metal market?
Here are 10 pieces of advice from Niels Andersen for a new foreign band:
- Build up a fan base at home first
- Try to collect as many friends on Facebook as possible. Everybody in the business is checking your Facebook first.
- Don`t think too big in the beginning and be grateful for little things like every new fan
- If you have contact to a German band, try to play gigs together with them to take the first steps on German stages
- Don`t think about managements . DIY is the shit for a new band
- Use Bandcamp and platforms like that
- You need a label and distro company. Without that it will be pretty hard to get the attention from the opinion leading magazines and webzines.
- Find a PR agency/publicist who can spread the word for you in case your label is not Nuclear Blast, Metal Blade, Century Media etc. The promo results help get more gigs or better slots at festivals
- It´s very important to tour every year if that´s possible. Bands which are not visible in Germany have no chance to get a piece of our cake.
- Never give up, never split. Just keep on doing what you love and one day you become a legend like Anvil, Sodom or Voivod – all bands who were never on top, BUT they built their own legacy. That is priceless.
Here’s a guide on who is who in the German Metal scene. All these labels, festivals etc. are Metal compatible and addresses I´d recommend for Metal bands in general:
Nuclear Blast (All kind of Metal)
Metal Blade (All kind of Metal)
Century Media (All kind of Metal)
Another Century (Hard Rock / Rock)
Steamhammer/SPV (Everything but Death/Black/Doom)
FDA Rekotz (Death, Black, Doom)
Violent Creek (Thrash)
Swell Creek (Hardcore)
AFM Records (Heavy, Pagan, Power)
Animate Records (Death /Black/Grind)
High Roller Records (Heavy Metal, NWOBHM,Doom)
Apostatsy Records (Death, Black)
Cyclone Empire (Doom, Death, Black, Thrash)
Insideout (Progressive, Technical)
Iron Bonehead (Death, Thrash, Black, Doom)
Iron Will (Modern, Hard Rock, Stoner, Doom, Thrash)
Lifeforth (Death, Modern, Metalcore, Hardcore)
Massacre Records (Power, Heavy, Pagan, Death, Thrash)
Metalville (Progressive, Power, Heavy, Modern)
People Like You Records (Punk, Hardcore)
Pure Steel Records (Traditional, Heavy, Power)
Redfield (Emo, Screamo, Metalcore)
Rodeostar Records (Hard Rock, Stoner, Psychedelic, Heavy)
Ván Records – (Black, Heavy, Occult, Doom)
War Anthem Records – (Black, Death, Grind)
All Acess Entertainment
Destiny Tour Booking
Wacken Open Air
With Full Force
In Flammen Open Air
Protzen Open Air
Rock Hard Festival
Metal Hammer Paradise
Headbanger`s Open Air
Chronical Moshers Open Air
Bang Your Head
Dong Open Air
Oktober Promotion & Management