The fact that (what I think) one of the best hardcore labels has moved to my hometown Tilburg from Arnhem is awesome. (Though my wallet might think otherwise) So why did Reflections Records moved to Tilburg and what can we expect from the label in the near future? Time for labelboss Johan to fill me in. Now I know Johan for quite a long time. I remember Reflections Magazine being one of the first zines I read, and a major inspiration for me to start a zine myself. Which eventually led to a career in journalism. So let's have a word with the man in charge:
You've participated in some big hardcore festivals in Arnhem. Most Reflections band also played a show there? Can I expect the same thing happening in Tilburg?
That's something we will start working on in the future. Tilburg simply has a better climate for loud music and more opportunities than in Arnhem. The coming months we will try and participate with others to get more promotion for hardcore and punk in Tilburg and have more bands play here.
Besides the label you also have an online shop. Do you think you will become a competitor for recordshops in Tilburg?
The online shop is as important as the label. Still I don't think and don't hope we will be a competitor for recordshops. So far too many recordshops had to stop. As a musicfan and self-employed person I think it's a shame. Besides we are very underground and mostly sell vinyl.
The other side is that lots of recordshop owners complain about mailorders and say that internet has taken away their business. Personally I think that has more to do with illegal downloading.
Is doing a recordlabel still relevant these days?
I think it is and I hope it is. I know there are people who say you don't need recordlabels anymore. But a lot of people forget recordlabels have the network, ways of distribution and promotion to push a band to the next level and get more people into them. Labels can help bands get on tour and in touch with promoters. If a band joins a label like ours they immediately get more attention because we are kind of well known in the hardcorepunk scene.
How do you still manage to sell enough records despite all the illegal downloads?
The only thing you can do is release good records that look good as well. We sell enough records to keep our head above water and make the profit we need to release another record. Fact is that where three, four years ago we were able to sell twothousand cd's from one band, nowadays we often sell less than a thousand. Vinyl sales has increased the past few years and that makes up for a large part. But illegal downloads affects us as a label. That is certain.
Why did you move the label from Arnhem to Tilburg?
For a long time we wanted to get out of Arnhem. With the birth of our son Jules it would be more practical to have the label and mailorder in house once again. Tilburg was a logical choice as Suzanne (Johan's wife) got a new job here.
What can we expect from Reflections in the near future?
Though it is not made official yet we're going to release a record by a new US band called Worship. As well as a 12-inch by Stay Hungry from Sweden, they're over thirty and still all about straight edge. We're working on some new things with our sidelabel Monumentum and of course No Turning Back is still playing all over the world and will release some new stuff this year. We will continue for more years. Especially now with a new office in a new town I'm all inspired to do new things.