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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 just rock&roll.

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.

update 2001
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.

update 2002
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

Store
Well since 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.

Trades
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!

Distribution
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
  • Snap Records,Madrid,Spain
  • 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.

    Promotional items
    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 the bribe.
    • 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 risks.

    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 doing.

    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 looking for.
      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 (foreign) tours.
      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 bother.
    • 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.

    Questions?
    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.

    Kris Verreth