[kj] Noise founder would prefer to have not signed KJ:

adrianwason at btinternet.com adrianwason at btinternet.com
Fri Dec 20 12:29:32 EST 2013

Still my favourite ever album, 23 years ago to the day I walked into our price in the hope and it was there I found my pot of gold

From: Rheinhold Squeegee <kjlist at live.com>
To: Gathering Gathering <gathering at misera.net>
Sent: Thursday, 19 December 2013, 15:28
Subject: [kj] Noise founder would prefer to have not signed KJ:

Noise Records Founder Karl Walterbach Talks Label Beginnings,
Contract Dispute With HELLOWEEN, Wishing He Never Signed KILLING JOKE In New Interview Which musicians have been the most difficult to deal with, because of their weird personality?
#1 Tom Warrior (strictly nutty)
#2 Michael Weikath (megalomaniac)
# 3 Jazz Coleman (shizophrenic)
#4 Martin Walkier (crybaby)
#5 Mr. Boltendahl (backstabber)

Rockhard.gr has posted an interview with Noise Records founder Karl Walterbach. A portion of the chat below:

Rockhard.gr: In the late '80’s and '90’s, some of your artists left
the company with many complaints. What could have gone different from
your side?

Walterbach: “You are joking here right! On one end we were the most
successful European metal label and on the other end our bands where
complaining? What about? None of these bands complaint when they were
under contract, that's for sure. I tell you a little secret here: rock
'n’ roll is not much liked in Germany by society and rock bands are
usually outcasts. The family, the parents usually like to see their kids
take serious jobs. As 80% all rock musicians from Germany are usually
coming from middle class families they go to university to learn a
well-paid job. So in every case there was this conflict between
education and music.

Sooner or later every single musician had to make this decision. I
knew this and I felt threatened. So I decided the moment a bands sales
picked up to pay regular monthly’s to all key musicians in that band to
just make sure they were leaning towards the music end. At the end of
the '80s I had always five-six bands supported this way. And this was
not a contractual obligation! I did this out of my free will! And that's
the reason why so many bands from the original Noise roster are still
around. These regular payments enabled my bands to make a commitment for
the music. There is probably no label from the '80s with such a high
survival quote of bands as Noise records!”

Rockhard.gr: The biggest battle was between Noise and HELLOWEEN. How
much did this influence the future of your company? It is widely said,
that the contract signed by Helloween, is the “strangest” in heavy metal
history, with the band taking way too little money even for great

Walterbach: “Come on you can't take this nonsense for face-value !
How many bands did Noise sign 150 – 200? Every time we used the same
contract as blueprint we had worked out with professional music biz
lawyers at the start of Noise. Most of the time a band had a lawyer
appointed when they negotiated a deal with us. This blueprint
structurally survived all these negotiations. It was the base for
Sanctuary later purchasing all of Noise, not Inside Out, which they also
intended to buy but due to shitty contracts didn't. When Helloween's
Maiden Management challenged our contracts in court over two years the
band and their management lost on all counts! Read the court decisions,
you can find them on the Internet at Wikipedia, because they were
exemplary! We had even overpaid the band by nearly 350.000 marks. These
Noise contracts where later examined by various US Majors because they
needed to be sure that we had industry standard contracts if they
started doing business with us. This was a matter of securing their
advance payments as they knew full well that some indie labels had
bizarre contracts. Not us! By the way: the original contract we did with
Helloween already was renegotiated by their original manager Limb
Schnoor (later shamelessly fired by Helloween) to very fair terms!”

Rockhard.gr: What bands are you most proud of signing? Which ones do
you think you had the best working relationship with? Which ones you
wish you have never signed?

Walterbach: “KREATOR and Helloween. The first because they have
proven that persistence is so important in this genre of music and the
latter because I have proven that you can do single marketing without
selling out. What came after this huge success is a different story,
which I like to call ‘the story of greed’.

Never Signed: KILLING JOKE – a hot potato, no label, big nor small,
was willing to work with in the UK. And I was teased into working with a trio of madmen: Jazz Coleman, Paul Atkins, Paul Raven (deceased).”

To read the rest of the interview visit Rockhard.gr.
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