Interview with Chinese black metal label, Pest Productions

Pest Productions is one of the few extreme metal labels out of China. With the more prominent black metal bands such as Skeletal Augury and Midwinter being signed onto this label, along with a few other foreign acts, Pest Productions is definitely one of the up and rising labels to look out for. We speak to Deng, founder of Pest Productions about what it is like to own a label in China.

(Interview has been published in both English and Chinese, for the benefit of those who can read Chinese to view the responses in it’s original language.)


HMT: Hi Deng, thank you for granting us this opportunity to conduct this interview with you. First off, give us a brief introduction of yourself.

你好,谢谢你们的采访。简单来说我就是一个乐迷,一个乐手,一个图形设计师,同时还运作2个厂牌。

Hello, thanks for your interview. In brief, I’m a mad music lover, a musician, a graphic designer, and also running 3 labels.

Give us a brief history of Pest Productions.

PEST Prod成立于06年夏天,由我和我的朋友WU(Be Persecuted)创立,在Be Persecuted的Demo出版之后,WU退出了厂牌,于是我决定一个人把PEST进行下去,整个07年对我来说都是异常艰苦的,除了厂牌一直是入不敷出之外,私人工作的情况也让我很疲惫,这一年我有打算结束厂牌的打算,但是通过一些朋友的帮助,我还是坚持了下来,并在07年底发行了一张伟大的唱片: Zuriaake – Afterimage of Autumn,这张唱片是中国黑金属的一个里程碑,也让海外乐迷开始注意到这个来自中国的黑金属厂牌,你知道,这对很多欧美乐迷来说是很不可思议的事情。进入08年之后,我们开始广泛的和世界范围的乐队接触和合作,至今出版了很多高素质和好评的唱片。

Pest Productions was found in the summer of 2006 by my friend WU (Be Persecuted) and I. WU quitted the label after the first demo of Be Persecuted came out, but I decided to continue with it on my own. The whole 2007 was pretty tough for me – got stuck with the personal job and the financial situation of the label was also not optimistic. I intended to close it down, but some help from my friends made me decide to keep it going on and a masterpiece was thereafter released, i.e., Zuriaake – Afterimage of Autumn. This record is regarded as a milestone in the Chinese Black Metal scene and made more people from other countries be aware of Pest Productions, as you may have imagined, this might be inconceivable to some people from the west. A series of cooperation with international bands were initiated after 2008 and we have now released a number of highly-appraised records.

What was it that made you want to start this record label, and what were the initial difficulties that you encountered?

动机其实就是为了发表Be Persecuted的第一张作品,当时并没想太多。最初的困难应该是唱片制作方面,一个是资金的问题,一个是没有制作经验,在中国的地下圈子也没什么可以值得借鉴的,一切都得自己慢慢摸索,为此花了大量的精力。

It was initially to put out the first demo of Be Persecuted and there was not much in our mind. The biggest difficulty back then should be the production of music: lack of funds and experiences. Not too much experience was available from which could be learnt in the scene at that time and we had to figure out everything in the dark. A lot of efforts were put in.

As far as we understand, the media control in China is very strict. So what are some of the difficulties that you still encounter? Are there any legal red tapes that you have to bypass, and how do you go about doing that?

Oh,这个其实西方国家可能并不是太了解中国的实际情况,中国政府确实非常严格对于言论和媒体以及出版物的管制,但是只要不是和政府唱对台戏或者是过度色情的内容,那么他们就不管,无论是地上发行还是地下发行。

It is very likely that western people do not know much about what is really going on here in China. Indeed, governments have extremely control on media, publication and expression of opinions, however, as long as you do not stand in the opposition of authorities and spread prohibited contents such as pornographic stuff, they’d rather leave it as it is, no matter in which way you publish.

Is it possible to give us some insights of your day to day job? What is your day to day routine like?

我每天会查看邮箱接受新的订单和来自乐队的PROMO,和下一阶段发行计划的乐队沟通一下相关事务,然后管理一下针对中国乐迷的分销网店的订单,如果在制作周期的话,还需要设计唱片封套和频繁的来去制作工厂以及很多的宣传工作,除了厂牌事务之外,我还有自己的工作,之前我在学校教课,现在在家里做一些设计工作。

Basically I check new emails and promos from some bands every day, negotiate some affairs with the bands that are about to release their works, and have a look at the webshop targeted at Chinese customer group. If it’s in the period of release schedule then I’d need to design covers and frequently talk with the pressing plant plus loads of advertising works. In addition to these, I also have my own job. Used to be a lecturer in a college and now doing some designing job at home.

We notice that a lot of the bands signed onto Pest Productions are bands of the black metal genre. What is the metal scene in China like?

是的,我们大体上是一个黑金属厂牌,但是偶尔也会出版一些有共同核心的其他风格的唱片。 中国现在金属乐发展比较快,各类风格都有,年轻乐队有很多是金属核和新金属什么的。

Pest productions is a Black Metal label in general but we also once in a while release music in other genres. Metal music is growing very fast in China involving nearly every kind of style, although the young bands are mainly metal-core and nu-metal.

There are also a lot of bands that are not from China that are signed onto Pest Productions. How did these come about, seeing that China is pretty much closed to music from the metal genre?

不客气的说,在PEST成立之前,世界范围对中国的金属确实都很陌生,但是现在已经不一样了,我和一些朋友们做了很多工作努力的把中国的黑金属推广到中国之外,并不断吸引到很多乐队来和PEST合作,我自己也在不断物色优秀的乐队。

In my opinion, the whole world did not have much knowledge about Chinese metal music before the foundation of PEST. Things have changed a lot by now. My friends and I have been doing a lot of work in order to put Chinese Black Metal to the front and let more people know, as well as to attract more good bands to cooperate with PEST. I’m constantly going through some promising bands.

Just a question out of curiosity, how did these overseas bands find out about Pest Productions, and why were they interested to sign onto this label?

我想吸引到他们的是PEST的固有气质和出品惯性,我们发行很多优质的DBM和POST DBM,我想在这个领域中,PEST有着很高的知名度。

The point here is about the particular spirit and release style of Pest Productions. We release a good deal of DBM and POST-DBM albums and EPs. To my knowledge, Pest Production is quite well-known in the realm.

As a record label, what is your take on illegal downloading of music, despite China’s strict take on the internet?

下载是一柄双刃剑,在提升厂牌和乐队知名度方面起到了正面作用,但是另一方面也损害了我们的利益,我只能说,通过下载听到我们出品的乐迷们如果喜欢的话还请购买唱片。中国对于非法下载完全不予管理,当然中国有着其他国家无法相比的特殊性,例如极低的收入(欧美国家的1/10)。

Download is a double-edged sword – it works positively in raising our reputation of the label and related bands. On the other hand, it adversely affects our benefits. I have to say those people who know us by downloading the music released by PEST please purchase records. China does not manage anything related to illegal download, although something is quite incomparable, like low income level (1/10 of the developed countries).

Seeing that most of our readers are pretty much unaware about the scene in China, what are some of China’s favourite metal bands? Any updates regarding bands such as Zuriaake, Midwinter and Dark Fount?

中国的黑金属乐队相比其他风格的金属乐队来说数量较少,你提到的3支乐队都在中国最优秀的黑金属乐队之列,其他的还有DEEP MOUNTAINS / DOPAMINE / Heartless / Skeletal Augury / In The Abyss等等,毫不客气的说,PEST聚集了中国最出色的黑金属军团,以上乐队大多都有MYSPACE,你们可以通过PEST的MYSPACE页面找到他们。

The amount of Black Metal bands in China is relatively less than other styles. The 3 bands you mentioned are some of the best acts in China, plus DEEP MOUNTAINS, DOPAMINE, HEARTLESS, SKELETAL AUGURY, IN THE ABYSS and so forth. I’m quite confident to say that PEST has gathered the best Black Metal bands in China. Most of them have MySpace sites which can be used to reach them.

我自己也有一个Shoegaze BM乐队DOPAMINE,你们有兴趣的话可以听听,虽然很不幸的最近这个计划结束了,但是我准备开始一个新的计划。

I also had a Shoegazing Black Metal band called DOPAMINE. You can take a listen if interested. Unfortunately this project was pretty short-lived; I’m however planning to start another project.

Any means for fans from around the world are able to get hold of the albums on Pest Productions?

如果你们喜欢我们的发行的话,可以发邮件到pest.pro@hotmail.com来购买,或者可以在你们自己那的厂牌/分销搜寻一下,有不少厂牌/分销也在销售我们的出品。我们最新发行的合辑< Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer>是由预言来做官方分销。

If you would like to order our releases please send email to pest.pro@hotmail.com, or you can search through your local distributors and labels – quite a few sell our releases. The latest compilation “Der Wanderer uber dem Nebelmeer” is officially distributed by Prophecy Productions.

Any parting words for aspiring musicians out there?

如果你有好的想法和动机,多花心思慢慢琢磨,急于求成不可取,保持你们的金属之魂!

If you have any good ideas, dig them out carefully and steadily. You get nothing when everything is in a rush. Keep up your Metal soul!

Once again, thank you for taking the time off for this interview with us! We wish you all the best in your future endeavours!

非常感谢你们的采访,这样将有更多乐迷了解我们,你们的工作很出色,希望你们一切顺利! 对新民谣/工业音乐/阴暗氛围感兴趣的朋友也可以关注一下我的另一个厂牌:MidNight Records,我们即将出版Peter Andersson(Raison D’etre) 的新专辑,Belborn的BOX以及The Soil Bleeds Black的BOX。再次感谢HMT!

Thanks very much for your interview – making more people know about PEST. You guys did a nice job and wish everything goes well with you. People who are interested in neo folk/industrial/dark ambient music can check out another label of mine: Midnight Records. We are about to release the new album by Peter Andersson (Raison D’etre), the boxset of Belborn and the box from The Soil Bleeds Black. Thanks again HMT!

Pest Productions official website and MySpace.

Related articles:
Album review: Skeletal Augury – Victory of the Holocaust

©2010 Heavy Metal Tribune | Hong Rui

2 comments

  1. Great Interview. This is surely a big aspiration for upcoming musicians. Termite Inspection Brisbane

  2. Great Interview. This is surely a big aspiration for upcoming musicians. Termite Inspection Brisbane

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