I've been running an Underground Heavy Metal label for around two years now. Last year I held an AMA to answer questions regarding the running of a label.

I had a good time doing the last one so I have returned to once more kneel before the Altar of Reddit.

Link to original - https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/2et9op/i_run_an_underground_metal_label_ama/

Proof - https://twitter.com/UltharRecords/status/645192501364674561

Comments: 66 • Responses: 26  • Date: 

Dragovic10 karma

What is your favorite MANOWAR album?

LordUlthar9 karma

Kings of Metal of course.

Dragovic7 karma

The correct answer is you love them all equally as if they were your children but that's also acceptable. Also a less serious question, for a band what are the advantages of being on a small label compared to just doing everything yourself?

LordUlthar4 karma

It depends. Most bands don't want to DIY everything, as it's a lot of work. The main added value is experience, established relationships, and having another avenue to promote your music through.

electricalnoise2 karma

True story. I live a block away from their guitarist.

pregnantbaby2 karma

My pediatrician is the lead singer's brother in law

LordUlthar1 karma

For those that don't know, Eric has a bowhunting DVD out. Wild life, wild times....


Heat_Induces_Royalty9 karma

Do you hope to be bigger than Deathlike Silence?

LordUlthar14 karma

I hope to not get stabbed to death in my underpants.

Heat_Induces_Royalty4 karma

Solid answer!

For real though, what styles of metal do you have under your label? Bands?

LordUlthar7 karma

Black, Death, Doom, & Thrash. Take a look - www.ultharrecords.com

Heat_Induces_Royalty4 karma

God damn beautiful. Keep up the hard work. Keep me updated on if you get a set shipping rate to the contiguous US

LordUlthar4 karma

We're distributed in the US by Hells Headbangers so you can keep your shipping costs to the bare minimum!


A1BS4 karma

How exactly does a label become underground? Do you have to do a secret knock to get in?

LordUlthar1 karma

You need The Cosmic Keys to My Creations and Times.

mocangiu3 karma

If you had to give just one advice to other that would want to start a record label, how would that advice sound like?

LordUlthar6 karma

Don't expect to get rich doing it. Do it because you want to do it, if anyone else likes what you're putting out it's a bonus. The old adage is true - the customer is always right.

Also, don't do pre-orders. They suck.

greymalken2 karma

Why do pre-orders suck? For you or the costumer?

LordUlthar4 karma

For the consumer. So much can go wrong or be delayed when producing something - I don't think people should be charged for something that doesn't exist yet.

Jack_Hat2 karma

Can you sign me? I dont have any songs and don't have a band, but i sing along to songs sometimes. I'll even sing for free. you just have to provide me a place to live and hire someone to rub my stomach when wake up every few hours screaming at the top of my lungs from night terrors.

LordUlthar5 karma

Most of the stuff I've released sounds like someone screaming from night terrors so sure why not.

Hitty400 karma

Personally, I prefer just screams that sound more like shouting, like what Manowar or Hammerfall does. The screams that those grunge bands and the like make? Fuck those.

LordUlthar1 karma

Not sure I know what you mean. I can't think of any screaming grunge bands?

Shugbug19862 karma

What bands and genres do you listen to when you arent listening to heavy metal? Personally i listen to anything from metalcore, ekectronicore, some stuff closer to deathcore all the way to various electronic genres.

LordUlthar2 karma

I'll listen to most things as long as I like it. I listen to a lot of Hip Hip and Grime, and lots of Folk.

Shugbug19862 karma

Ah cool. Any favorite bands/artists someone might not expect from you?

LordUlthar3 karma

Kendrick is king at the moment.

Phantom19362 karma

What is your opinion on the new Slayer album?

LordUlthar27 karma

It's by far the newest of all the Slayer albums.

OblivionsPrologue2 karma

what are your top 3 metal bands ?

LordUlthar4 karma

Classics - Mercyful Fate, Dissection, Bathory.

This month - Mgła, StarGazer, Magister Templi.

jonteeen2 karma

Storm of the Lights Bane or Bathory s/t?

LordUlthar2 karma

Both. On repeat forever.

AspiringTrucker2 karma

Would you ever collaborate with another small label to put out a few vinyl? If so, I know a guy....

LordUlthar3 karma

Generally, I wouldn't do joint releases with other labels on one format. I prefer to have total mastery over my domain. Never say never though....

liveasalegend2 karma

How deep underground?, and whats the process for getting in are there steps, elevator, or kind of Magic?

LordUlthar6 karma

Various Rites of Darkness and Conspiracies with Satan.

jman42201 karma

What is the business side of a label look like?

Paperwork, taxes, lawyers and everything in between sounds like a fucking nightmare. What's your take on that and is it really as daunting as I imagine?

LordUlthar2 karma

Not as complex as you'd imagine. Doing taxes takes probably about an hour or two a year. No paperwork - all digital! No lawyers needed, I don't hold any bands under my thrall. Only release deals are real.

The most complex and time consuming part is packing and shipping orders.

degausser_231 karma

What practical lesson do you wish you had known going in? I have often dreamed of starting a label, but I'm not fully sure what that looks like.

LordUlthar1 karma

Nothing. Learning is half the fun!

NorbitGorbit1 karma

any tips on which distros are best to work with?

LordUlthar1 karma

Iron Bonehead in Europe, Hells Headbangers in the US.

Lord_Snufkin1 karma

How did you got into Metal?

LordUlthar2 karma

I don't know another way of living, baby, I don't really care. Give me a pair of jeans and a riff that's mean, and girls that love to share...

theMisterBlank1 karma

How are you doing? Everything alright?

LordUlthar1 karma

What, personally, or with the label?

theMisterBlank1 karma

Both, just checking up if your still kicking ass and taking names

LordUlthar1 karma

Names are added to my list constantly.

theMisterBlank1 karma

Nice, I hope you're doing well and everything goes well, take care man

LordUlthar1 karma

Same to thee!

xlakebeachx1 karma

Are you sad that you missed the wings of metal fest like I was?

LordUlthar2 karma

Yup. Angel Witch and Razor would have made a great weekend, and Barrow Wight is a personal favorite.