I recently spoke with Sara and Steve, the evil geniuses behind Heavy Friends Records. This new metal label is the home of Destroyer of Light, who appeared on the first Bong Hits From the Astral Basement comp. We talked about their future plans, their need for bands, and the worst possible scenario for heavy metal.
Heavy Planet (HP): Talk a little about the process of forming your own record label. What is the most difficult part?
Heavy Friends Records (HFR): Well, we are heavily involved in our metal scenes, both in Denver and Austin, and we share a common love of doom, sludge, stoner, thrash, and black metal. So, we decided to form a record label to help support the killer bands in our respective locations. The most difficult part is getting all the finances together, but equally as well, taking care of all the legal stuff.
HP: What formats are you going to release (tapes, vinyl, cds, digital)? Is there any format you won't put out?
HFR: We have a couple future projects that will be released on vinyl, and have plans to work with all formats. But as record collectors, we are leaning more towards the vinyl.
HP: Besides your roster, what will set Heavy Friends apart from other metal labels? Are you going to release colored or otherwise limited edition vinyl?
HFR: As a start, will focus primarily on the bands from Austin, TX and Denver, CO , which is the one thing that may set us apart. And yes, we do plan on doing some limited edition vinyl because everyone loves cool artwork, packages, and etc.
HP: What is your current roster and how many bands do you hope to add?
HFR: As of right now, Destroyer of Light from Austin, TX is our first band, but also, we have a few different projects with a couple bands for 2014, exciting news coming soon!
HP: Are you taking demos and how can bands submit their tunes to you?
HFR: Yes, we will gladly listen to any demos sent our way. Our requirements are you must be in the sub-genres of doom, sludge, stoner, thrash, or black metal. We accept demos and bandcamp links, and you can send them to email@example.com.
HP: What type of bands are you looking for, soundwise? What would the "lightest" band on Heavy Friends sound like?
HFR: Like I stated above, mainly stoner, doom, sludge, thrash, and black metal. The “lightest” band would sound like Purson/Witchcraft.
HP: Are you going to focus on putting out music or do you have ideas for other types of media you'd like to release? Any ambition to be the next Apple Records?
HFR: We have discussed working with artists that do artwork for metal bands because they deserve as much attention as the bands themselves. Their visions should be promoted and publicized. Also, we are planning to film and distribute a couple mini-documentaries, details coming soon. Haha, no, we don’t want to be the next Apple Records.
HP: If you could sign one band, from any era, who would it be and why?
HFR (Steve): Man, that’s a tough one. Well, I would have signed Pentagram in the 70s because, that material is so killer, and I wish it would have seen the light of day back then.
HFR (Sara)- Hawkwind from 1972, when they released Doremi Fasol Latido.
HP: What would the world sound like if Tony Iommi had ALL his fingers cut off in that accident?
HFR (Steve) - The world would sound like a bunch of whiny grown music nerds wondering why there isn’t a song called “Into the Void.”
HFR(Sara) - A lot of sad kittens…meowing all the time.
HP: You both hail from different scenes Denver and Austin, respectively, who are the best bands in your scenes?
HFR: As far as Austin, we got Widower, The Unmothered, Communion, The Well, Lions of Tsavo, The Blood Royale, Ditch Witch, Sans Soleil, Sabbath Crow, etc. and etc. For Denver, there’s Speedwolf, In the Company of Serpents, Low Gravity, Khemmis, Deer Creek, Weaponizer, We haven’t nearly touched on all the killer bands in our individual scenes, but these are the ones that stick out at the moment.