Werner – Hageland Hardcore (interview Tilt! #2)

June 20, 2011 at 2:41 pm | Posted in Tilt! # 2 | Leave a comment
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Interview with Werner E. * 1986-87

(translation below)

It’s been about 2 years now that I’m roaming (more or less regularly) the hardcore-scene. During that time I already read quite some fanzines. Most of the time they feature bands and some zines also talk about various other things that are interesting to the people in the scene. Those people that make zines themselves and those that organise concerts or started a record-/ tape-label are rarely given the opportunity to have their say, although they’re definitely a part of the scene. Hence a few questions to Werner Exelmans of Hageland Hardcore.

What kind of things are you upto and what have done so far?

First of all I run HAGELAND RECORDS. This is a small, independent record-label. The intention of it, is to give less known bands the opportunity to put out a record. So far 3 EP’s were released: HH 001 = ‘Colera’ Dé O Fora / HH 002 = ‘Capital Scum’ Clutch The Flag / HH 003 = ‘Disgust’ The Last Blast. This year there will be another 2 records: HH 004: the LP by ‘Heibel’ that is co-released on C.O.R. in the U.K HH 005: that will be an LP by ‘Capital Scum’ with new songs that aren’t available on vinyl yet. I’ve no idea yet what other things I will put out later on, but that I will contunue is certain.

Secondly: I’m organising concerts. I’ve been doing that a few years now and I also intend to go on with that. I’ve organised about 25 concerts by now with small and bigger bands. To name a few: ‘Toxic Reasons’, ‘Raw Power’, ‘Government Issue’, ‘Tension’, ‘D.O.A.’, ‘Scream’, ‘Negazione’, ‘B.G.K.’, ‘Fang’, ‘Kaaos’, ‘Antisect’, ‘Inferno’, ‘Capital Scum’, etc. … Regarding those concerts, I’ld like to say that I try to ask a decent entrance-fee; it’s not my intention to exploit the people that attend them.

I also do the management of ‘Capital Scum’ and lastly I keep busy with selling fanzines, tapes, records and T-shirts, also for a reasonable price.

I also used to do a fanzine (Extreme Noise). I quit that because I didn’t have sufficient time and because Luc Lenaerts, who I used to do it together with, has left the scene in the mean time.

I also have put out a compilation-tape but unfortunately I’m not making extra copies anymore because I now have my record-label. That tape was named This Is Not A Phoney, This Is Real.

How did you start with Extreme Noise and later Hageland Hardcore?

I started with Extreme Noise, that was the name of my fanzine, because I was bored and wanted to have something to do. At the time the concerts I did were also under that name. Later I launched Hageland Records but that has got nothing to do with Extreme Noise. I don’t know myself how I started with it, but it had been a dream of mine for a long time. I started to do the concerts under that name too, to get more publicity and because I’d stopped doing Extreme Noise anyway.

How do you make contacts?

Very simple: by writing people. Somtimes I also join a band who tours abroad and then I get to know new bands and people. For the rest I don’t do anything else to make contacts. When you’re doing things for a while, it all comes naturally.

What records do you distribute and how do you get them?

I only sell records of punk- or hardcore-bands. Some of the records I sell, I’ve traded with other bands but there aren’t many of these. Most of the time I buy them directly from the bands or the labels. That is, off course, rather expenisve, especially when those people want to be payed upfront. Then you only get your money back when all records are sold. There’s of course always the risk that you can’t sell the records but that has never happened to me yet. What did happen, was that the customs confiscated records because I don’t have the right to sell them, and once they also dropped in and also seized records. I lost thousands of Francs then and was only able to pay everyone after a year. In the future I will have more records for sale. If anyone is interested, they can send for my distribution-list. Mind you: I only send stuff by mail in Belgium and The Netherlands, unless it’s records from my own label.

Do you get help from anyone or do you do everything yourself?

During concerts my friends help me. E.g. for the bar, entrance, record-sale, etc. Also with setting up and disassembling the P.A. For all the rest I’m on my own.

What are your plans for the future?

To continue to do as I’m doing now and perhaps soon or later start a fanzine again. A dream of mine is also to have a little venue to do concerts there. I’m sick and tired of having to find new venues to organise concerts all the time. Maybe one day I’ll do a benefit compilation-LP for that.

What do you think of concerts nowadays?

I like it a lot that more and more people start coming to concerts. I’m also glad that things are going well between the hardcore-audience and metal-lovers. But I ask myself if many people still know what they’re doing. I would also like to say something about stage-diving. I used to like it that people were stage-diving at concerts. Now I gradually started to hate it. According to me stage-diving is becoming a fad and if you don’t join in, you’re not a part of it. You sometimes also see so many people on stage that you don’t even get to see the band anymore. There are also people that continue their little game after the band has stopped playing. That prooves once again that they’re only interested in stage-diving in stead of the band. The people that are stage-diving should also be more careful where they’re doing it. Sometimes they jump from the monitors or the speakers but don’t think who’s responsible for possible damage to the equipment. Lately I’ve had to practically always pay for the damage that was inflicted because stage-diving.

Would it be possible in the future to organise your concerts more in the centre of the country or possibly to a second gig in an other place than Scherpenheuvel/Diest?

I organise the concerts in our area because that’s easiest for me. For you people that’s of course far away but if I would organise a concert in your area, then that would be far away for me, d’you understand?

Anything else you want to say?

I would like stay that if there are people who didn’t get an answer to their letter yet, they should be patient a little while longer. I do answer all mail!


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