A dialogue with the founder of Debemur Morti Productions on the label’s birth, vision, signing-up criteria, the new label logo and more.
Birth & Vision
Debemur Morti launched itself in the year 2003; what was behind the label’s name and vision at that time?
Back in 2003, my own experience with underground labels and that feeling of “something missing” ignited the idea. The ubiquitous lack of seriousness and amateurism is totally unacceptable for me; “underground” does not mean “mediocrity”.
It is the will to find a structure advocating “Black Metal” as an artistic approach that drove me to materialize the initial idea.
Did Debemur Morti’s vision change during the years since it was launched, if so, in what sense did it change?
The vision is, more or less, still the same nowadays. Debemur Morti Productions (DMP) desire is not to release only (good) music but to offer works with deep content. That is the very essence of this Black Art.
Some of Debemur Morti’s roster artists’ do not perform live; where does the label stand from that?
We respect each band’s decision. I much rather see a band not playing live than ruining the whole aura from their album(s) on stage. Some music is made to enjoy on your own with the proper ritual.
Without revealing so many confidential details, what criteria is Debemur Morti looking for when it comes to artist signing?
It is elemental that the art of bands affiliated with Debemur Morti Productions is authentic, deep and pure – in other words, “True” art (True, in its “non-artificial” meaning) – but it also needs to carry a spiritual dimension. The goal is to offer an opus that can transcend the listener.
A band that does not manage to instil a deeply mystical atmosphere in its music has very little chance of signing with DMP. Mysticism can take many shapes – thus the rather eclectic panel of bands I work with.
How does the artist-label signing process take place? Are there any differences in the process compared to how other labels handle the signing process from beginning to end?
Before offering a deal we discuss several topics as deeply as possible to make sure everything is clear. It can take a while so that all matters are properly discussed. I don’t know how other labels do it but we clearly want to make as sure as possible that we have a mutual vision and understanding of how we approach art.
What would be the most valuable advice to artists looking forward to getting signed up?
Make sure you know on which door you knock. We receive countless submissions of bands that clearly never checked any of our releases before. I’d recommend picking wisely which label you want to work with and making sure your vision aligns with theirs. In the case of Debemur Morti Productions, I want a band to know exactly why Debemur Morti Productions and not another label.
As a label owner, what is the toughest situation Debemur Morti Productions has been into; keeping the global pandemic n mind?
I guess we can say that the year 2021 has been one of the worst years ever so far; shortage of many compounds, increase of prices and manufacturing lead times.
It’s a big mess worldwide.
Order of Outer Sounds
We have noticed that Debemur Morti Productions is offering something new on its web portal named ‘Order of Outer Sounds’; can you tell us more about it?
I’ll start by quoting one of the members thought here: “The Order of Outer Sounds is possibly the closest form to a closed circle of like-minded individuals I have participated — at least when it comes to music/art!” (Nauptre_Reliquaria).
My will was to create a collective of people who share a common interest in the dark arts and offer them a unique experience with exclusive features (exclusive music, exclusive releases, early access to streams etc.). It really is a unique and vibrant community of like-minded music/art-obsessives.
Concerts & Plans
Did Debemur Morti Productions ever consider organizing concerts that feature the label’s artists?
Some years ago I organized three tours but this is a very time-consuming activity and at some point, it was not possible to do it alongside the label so I simply stopped. I also co-organized with Garmonbozia the 30-year anniversary Archgoat gig in Paris in 2019.
I’d still love, at some point, to do a proper label “festival”.
What future plans do you have for Debemur Morti Productions?
Keep on releasing sick Art and offer the best experience to our Artists and supporters alike!
What has owning a label taught you, personally?
Probably that no matter what you do and how much energy and passion you put into it, haters are going to hate!
It also confirmed to me that what should guide any endeavour is the passion for the craft: that’s what will help you in the darkest of the times, and believe me: there are a lot!
Can you explain the reason behind changing the label’s logo and choosing Adrian Baxter to redesign it?
I’ve been a fan of Adrian Baxter’s art for a long while. What he does is brilliant. I have been thinking of a way to work with him for a while.
At some point when I wanted the Debemur Morti Productions logo to highlight what’s important to us I contacted Adrian and it directly “clicked”. I couldn’t be more pleased with the end result, I think it fits perfectly what we do!