Pitch Black Records is a small label from Cyprus which released albums of some Cyprus bands and now seems to sign some international bands, too. Time to learn a bit more about Pitch Black Records and the man behind it - Phivos Papadopoulos.
You are the guitarist of Diphtheria, a band which isn't very active at the moment. When do you had the idea to start Pitch Black Records? Was the initial idea to release your own music?
Basically that's correct, the idea first hit me when we were trying to release our own album. We just didn't feel like going through the whole procedure of finding a label but at the same time felt very strongly about putting out that album. It just HAD to be released. So it seemed very logical at the time to set up the label.
Why the name Pitch Black Records? The name would have suited a label specialized in black metal...
Well, black as a color is often associated (in various forms) with metal, so I wouldn't say that it could only be suited to a label specializing in just black metal. Of course a slight twist is added to the common phrase 'Pitch Black' (associated with sight) referring in this case to pitch as in hearing.
It looks a bit like family business as Nicholas Leptos is not just the singer of Diphtheria, he's also part of Arryan Path and Prodigial Earth. Looks like the scene in Cyprus is small... Or are most just ignorant and looking in the known places for new bands?
The scene is Cyprus is small, first of all because Cyprus is small compared to other countries. There are of course many different quality bands all over the island and we wish we could put out a release by all of them but of course that's impossible. About Nicholas and the various bands he's in; I have full confidence in him and all the projects he and his brother (Socrates) are involved with and I know even before hearing that what they produce will be just great. As a matter of fact Prodigal Earth and Arryan Path were offered a deal way before I checked out their recordings! And I wasn't disappointed after hearing them! Since Cyprus is not really known as a strong 'metal place' it's only bound to happen that you'll have people bypassing releases from Cyprus but hopefully that will change some day and we're hoping to do our part as well in this area!
You have mainly bands from Cyprus on your rooster. When did you decide to sign foreign bands? And how did you get Silent Fall signed? Did they sent you a demo?
One of the label's main aims is to help, support and promote the Cyprus scene. Even bands that are not on our roster. However that does not mean that we only work with local bands. We are an international label and as such always look for new bands from all over the world. With Silent Fall we just happened to come across their MySpace page, saw that they had a new album ready and were looking for a label, we talked, agreed and that was it.
Beside running the label you also organize concerts where quite a few Cypriot bands play, but just a few weeks ago you had a festival where Ross The Boss and Scott Colombus played. How was the Power Of The Night festival?
Yes, we also try to organize concerts here, most of the times with bands from abroad always with local bands supporting. We also support concerts organized by others and offer any help we can. Last year we organized a show with legendary Paul DiAnno, which was a great success and this year we co-organized Power Of The Night Festival which as you said saw Ross The Boss and his band from Germany headline. Scott Columbus also came along as a special guest. It was a fantastic show, the band (and the crowd) had an amazing time and the band is looking forward to coming back. The highlight of the show was when they played an unscheduled (and unrehearsed) Hail To England changing it slightly to 'Hail to Cyprus'! A video of this is available on YouTube by the way for anyone interested to check it out.
And then Rotting Christ played Nicosia... Are you already planning something new?
The Rotting Christ show was not organized by us but we supported it of course. A great band from Greece (among my favorite Greek bands) and a great show of course! We are planning one more show for this year (but can't say much at this point) and of course preparations have begun for next year's Power Of The Night Festival!
Have you come across some interesting newcomers lately? Someone you consider signing? What about new releases? Can you tell us what metal fans can look forward to from Pitch Black Records?
A lot of unsigned great bands are out there and we talk with a lot of them. For now we already have two more releases scheduled to come out by the end of the year, one by a great power metal band from Chile and another one by a somewhat more extreme metal band from Norway. It goes without saying that we're super excited about both of them! More info on those will made available in September. We also have a few releases planned for early next year.
And some metal fans surely would like to know, if there are plans for Diphtheria... Any news about that?
There are some plans for Diphtheria, but the band was never created in order to pursue fame and stardom or make lots of albums. It was just some friends looking to make good music that they like and try to share it with other people. Having said that, fans should not necessarily expect a new album, but they should definitely expect something! Confused?! ;) Well, everyone will just have to be a little bit patient...
Miss a question? Something I should have asked? If so, this is the chance to tell!
Many thanks for this cool interview Claudia and for your support which is much appreciated! Best of luck with Ice Vajal and I hope your readers consider checking out our bands and releases. We invite everyone to stop by our site and to drop us a line, if they have any questions or just to say hi. We always like to meet and make new metal friends from around the world!
Sounds interesting - the new releases and concerts -, and fans of Diphtheria should keep their eyes and ears open! And the Power Of The Night Festival sounds interesting, so why not consider a vacation in Cyprus and checking out some bands live?!