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QRD #59 - Indie Label Interview Series Part IV
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Indie Label Owner Interviews with:
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Label Owner Interview with Carlos Villena of Mantricum Records
March 2013

Name: Carlos Villena
Label: Mantricum Records
City: Barcelona
Artists Roster: Francisco López, Carlos Villena, Jan Kees Helms, Freiband, Z’ev, The.Bänd, Cornucopia, & more.
Websites: www.mantricum.com

QRD – When & why did you start your label?

Carlos – Mantricum started in 2008 to release my works & some records of other artists.

QRD – Where did you get the money to finance your first few releases?

Carlos – From my record shop & previous labels.

QRD – How many releases have you put out?

Carlos – 23, for the moment.

QRD – How many releases would you like to do a year?

Carlos – I prefer quality above quantity. I do not have an idea of how many releases to do in a year.

QRD – How many hours a week do you work on the label & how many would you like to?

Carlos – Now I’m working about 40 hours a week (more or less). I do not like the hours already.

QRD – What are the fun &/or rewarding parts about running a label?

Carlos – The freedom to release anything.

QRD – How have your motivations for having a label changed?

Carlos – I’ll run Mantricum until my own death.

QRD – What do you feel is the biggest waste of your time running the label?

Carlos – Promos, clearance sales, & more things.

QRD – What are some labels you admire or feel a kinship to?

Carlos – Drone Records, Mistery Sea, Unfathomless, ConSouling Sounds, & many more.

QRD – What other work experiences prepared you to have a label?

Carlos – Art in general.

QRD – What makes you label special & unique?

Carlos – Fine releases of quality.

QRD – How has your physical location effected your label?

Carlos – In a store.

QRD – Do you enjoy music as much now as you used to & how has running a label effected how you listen to/hear music?

Carlos – I actually enjoy the music as before.

QRD – What’s your demos policy?

Carlos – It is very simple. Mantricum only releases works from me & with other artists that I like that I contact for a possible release on the label.

QRD – How do you find out about new artists for your label?

Carlos – Playing live & on the internet.

QRD – How do most fans find out about your label?

Carlos – I think online.

QRD – What’s been your biggest selling release & why do you think it was?

Carlos – Ramesses Misanthropic Alchemy 2LP. It was because this band is playing constantly.

QRD – What release that you’ve done was the most important & special to you personally?

Carlos – All releases are important & special to me.

QRD – What are some things that make you want to work with a band?

Carlos – Nice people with culture.

QRD – What are some things that would make you stop working with a band?

Carlos – Politics. No fascists, racists, posers, etc. If I discover any rare thing, I’ll stop immediately.

QRD – What is the thing all releases on your label have in common?

Carlos – My label is eclectic. Things in common & not in common, depends on the release.

QRD – How involved are you with a band for acting as a producer as far as hearing demo ideas or selecting tracks to be on a release or mixing & mastering?

Carlos – Normally I’m not involved in anything from the work of others.

QRD – How involved do you like to be in the artwork design for a release?

Carlos – I’m very involved in the artwork. It is very important for me.

QRD – How long is it from when an artist delivers an album to you until release date & why?

Carlos – Normally I send very quickly all the stuff to the factory. The time depends on the factory.

QRD – If a band breaks up between the recording of a release & the release date, how does that effect what you do?

Carlos – This is not a problem for me, I’ll release the record anyway.

QRD – What do you wish bands on your label would do?

Carlos – Go to a better label.

QRD – What’s a record you’d like to put out that you’ll never be able to?

Carlos – Alvien Lucier collaborating with Asmus Tietchens.

QRD – If you really like a band, but aren’t sure you could sell many copies of their record; what do you do?

Carlos – Not to make a release of this.

QRD – How do you split profits from a release between artists & your label?

Carlos – They get 20% of the copies for free of the total pressing.

QRD – Do you have written contracts with your bands or handshake deals?

Carlos – No.

QRD – Do you take a cut of a band’s publishing?

Carlos – No.

QRD – How important is it to you to have touring acts on your roster & what do you do to encourage it?

Carlos – This aspect, for me, is not important.

QRD – Do you handle promotions in house or hire out & why?

Carlos – I do this in house.

QRD – How do you maintain contact with your fanbase?

Carlos – Internet.