Greece's Metalzone recently conducted an interview with Nuclear Blast Records (Germany) Head Of Promotion Markus Wosgien. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow:
Metalzone: Tell me a few things about how things are at the moment with Nuclear Blast and what are we expecting for the year 2006?
Markus Wosgien: "Things are really going well. We had another great year 2005 in the company. We are already working on the first releases we have for 2006. The year starts in January with the new studio album of EDGUY. We've got the new studio album of EDGUY, 'Rocket Ride', coming up, which will be out at the 20th of January, followed by DEATHSTARS ('Termination Bliss', January 26), a new band from Sweden. We already did their first album, we expect a lot from them. We will have a live DVD of EKTOMORF (January 6). This comes by shortly enough because EKTOMORF will be the support of CHILDREN OF BODOM in Europe. Then It goes on in February with the new album of IN FLAMES (February 3), 'Come Clarity', the new AMORPHIS record ('Eclipse'), which are finally back to Nuclear Blast after a break, and again in February we'll have a release of KATAKLYSM, a new studio album called 'In The Arms Of Devastation'. These are the first plans. Then our major release in 2006 will be the BLIND GUARDIAN album, which will be out the first week of May. We expect a lot of BLIND GUARDIAN. It will be their first release on Nuclear Blast, and we are really really happy. A band like BLIND GUARDIAN is very popular in Greece."
Metalzone: [Based] on what criteria do you choose the groups you sign to the company?
Markus Wosgien: "Mainly originality. That's what we always have been looking for. Originality — the band should have [their] own vision, they should not copy another band, they have to have their own sound, an own identity. For example when we discovered HAMMERFALL, which was in a time where heavy metal was almost dead because of the grunge stuff that was going on. We got the album of HAMMERFALL and we decided, 'This is great. This is for sure like in the '80s, bands with bands like ACCEPT.' It was the same with DIMMU BORGIR, when we discovered them. There was no other they could be compared with."
Metalzone: Which album has been the best[-selling] that's been released over the last decade and which the worst?
Markus Wosgien: "In Nuclear Blast [history]? Our most successful album is the current NIGHTWISH album, 'Once', which sold platinum in Germany. That's the first time for us. We even got a gold record in Greece. This is definitely the best-selling album we ever had. Besides that, we had very good sales with MANOWAR, with HAMMERFALL, each HAMMERFALL album, each DIMMU BORGIR record, and we have very good sales also with IN FLAMES, SOILWORK... too many bands to be mentioned."
Metalzone: And the worst?
Markus Wosgien: "That's the difficult part. There are bands when we signed we had big expectations and we still love their music but for any reason the sales were not that good as we expected. Bands like PRIME STH, for example, but these are mostly bands which are not playing a typical heavy metal style. It's difficult to get the people to listen to it if they are not in Metal Hammer or Rock Hard magazines [or if you don't see the bands on] heavy metal programs on TV."