- Q & A with Giles Moorhouse of Armalyte Industries
Please give us a brief bio of the label. How did it start, til today….
Good grief, now we’re going back in time. Way back when, we’re talking the turn of the Millennium here, I was writing for a load of national and international mags and zines, including my own, ‘fashionably UNHIP’. Between myself and David Chapman, from the band Punishment State, we knew a fair few brilliant bands that we felt weren’t getting the exposure that they deserved. Back then there was no Facebook, no Spotify and all that nonsense, so finding out about all these wonderful bands was not easy. There was always Side-Line mag, plus if you were lucky, you’d read ‘Hard Wired’ or ‘Pure Industrial’, or knew about the Cybase23 web resource, and that was about it. Long story short, we thought it would be a fantastic idea to throw together a gig to celebrate some of the awesome talent we were surrounded by, and it felt like the obvious thing to do would be to release a compilation to further celebrate these killer bands; artists like Sulpher, The Pain Machinery, Katscan, The Aggression and more. I think we managed to pull about 350 kids out to our first gig, so it inspired us to keep going, and that was that. The years after were punctuated with the occasional release from acts including Bent USA and Haloblack, but we mainly focused on DJing and putting on various events before real life got in the way, and the label went into hibernation for a few years.
Fast forward to 2009 and Ed Oxime, formerly of Katscan, threw a demo for his new band, Concrete Lung, my way, and I was hooked. ‘Waste Of Flesh’, Concrete Lung’s first official release, came out on Armalyte Industries in 2010, and it brought the label back from the brink. David left to pursue his various projects and I threw myself into all things Armalyte. Since then, Jules Seifert, of UK synthpop legends The Sepia, has signed on as our technical director, and together we’ve spent the last five years transforming Armalyte into the creative powerhouse it is today, home (and temporary home) to some of the alternative scene’s greatest acts. And as much as we would like to claim all the credit for our various endeavors, we really are lucky enough to be surrounded by many talented friends and supporters, who are exceedingly generous with their time and support, and whose contributions are invaluable.
Over the last 15 years we have worked with such an array of amazing bands and artists that I continually have to pinch myself; Cubanate, PIG, Frontline Assembly, Je$us Loves Amerika, Econoline Crush, Cocksure, Kanga, Leaether Strip, K-Nitrate, Flesh Eating Foundation, Judda, New Disease, CTRL ALT DEL, Hydra, Ultraviolence, Gravity Kills, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Officers, Digicore, Dead Animal Assembly Plant…. Our extended family currently stretches to well over 100 killer acts so far. Insane.
Which labels inspired you most to make your own?
Our greatest influences label-wise would have to be WaxTrax and Factory Records. The former for reasons which should be obvious, the latter for their ability to continue to lose money while pursuing honorable artistic intentions. We follow both doctrines to the letter. Also, Warp Records. Just because.
Which is the motto for Armalyte Industries?
Be scene not herd!
Which are the advantages and disadvantages of running a music label today?
The biggest disadvantage is money, or rather the lack thereof. When we started out we thought life was going to be all helicopters and hookers, and it turns out that this, sadly, is not the case. The good news is that the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages; we get to champion some of the greatest new acts on the alternative scene today, as well as granting us the opportunity to work with artists that we have respected and loved for 20+ years.
Getting music out there is simultaneously easier and harder now that at any point in time. Whilst it’s easy to get artists featured on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and so on, the digital revolution has really been a bit of a double-edged sword – it does give literally anyone the platform on which to get their music heard, but with that comes the inherent lack of quality control that accompanies it a lot of the time. Our egos would have us believe that we act as barometers of excellence, but I’m sure many would disagree.
The reality is that beyond the label, both Jules and I hold down full time jobs, we have families, and we even have to occasionally find time to sleep. Running Armalyte is almost a full time job in itself, but we do it because we love it. We do it because we need to do it. As soon as it stops being fun, or we fail to maintain the quality of releases that we’re currently throwing out there, then we will knock it on the head. And that’s an Armalyte promise.
Which are your future plans for the label?
We have releases planned up to and beyond the next six months. We have just put out new EPs from Stereo Juggernaut and Marc Heal, and coming soon we have new releases from Marc Heal, 5LAVE RAC3, Cease2Xist, Khaidian, Paresis, Jensen! and many more. We never stop moving, and I promise you that the best is yet to come.
Eat. Sleep. Armalyte. Repeat.
- Three distinctive Armalyte Industries releases
Another split release, this time featuring the mighty Marc Heal (of Cubanate and C-Tec), and the porcine Raymond Watts (KMFDM, 2-Kut), crashing together in cataclysmic style. The limited edition sold out a month after release, arguably proving that we do know what we’re doing, and it was an absolute honour, as well as a total pleasure, to work with two guys who had proved so pivotal to my musical education during my formative years.
Marc Heal – ‘The Hum‘
The success of ‘Compound Eye Sessions’, was the catalyst for luring Marc out of his musical semi-retirement. Whilst ‘Compound Eye…’ saw him resurrecting tracks recorded some years previously, Marc felt the urge to write something far more personal and affecting. It has been breathtaking to witness the dedication and focus from Marc, as these songs have transformed from the early demos into the glorious anthems that appear on the album.
Curated by: Christos Doukakis