Intro: the voice of the label
A New Standard In Classic Rock. It’s time to sort the wheat from the chaff, the men from the boys. What we have here is a veritable Rolls Royce of a Classic Rock label set amongst a world of Austin Allegros… Ladies and Gentlemen, we give you Majestic Rock.
You know that old cliché about being run for rock fans by rock fans? Yeah, that’s the one. Well, in this instance, it’s actually true. The people directly involved in running the label on a day to day basis have twenty plus years of experience in rock – and by that I mean ROCK, not the soppy nonsense that passes for rock these days! By experience, we mean the real dirt under the fingernails, ears ringing for days afterwards type of experience that you don’t get out of a book or from an informative web site. We’re talking obsession here, a lifetimes worth of obsession…
be releasing classic recordings on CD for the first time (witness the
quartet of Black n’ Blue releases), new albums from great rock artists
(so far we’ve released Michael Schenker and Pete Way’s ‘The Plot’ album
plus a brand new studio album from John Sloman, one of rocks truly great
voices) and plenty besides.
RockUnited - Working as the "A&R" representative at Majestic Rock, you're work is mainly to...? [hey, not everyone out there is familiar with, or know the meaning of the word).
Geoff - A&R or 'Artist & Repertoire' to give it it's full title - is all about signing bands or, in our case, picking up records to re-release. In the case of signing new acts. the A&R man has to oversee getting the record made and approving the mixing, mastering and art work prior to the record actually hitting the shelves. I am the artists main contact at the label.
RU - What have you been up to prior to joining forces with Adrian? [co-partner @ majestic].
Geoff - Immediately prior to Majestic Rock, I co-ran Zoom Club records, and before that I was head of rock promotions at Warner music in London from 1991 - 1996. I had done this job at Phonogram records in London from l989 - 1991. During this time, I had worked with most of the worlds major hard rock acts, from AC/DC to Rush, Metallica to Kiss and all points in between.
RU - Going through your roster you'll end up finding some truly obscure stuff. Would there still be a market out there for dino acts like Big Bertha, or cross-dressers from Wales for that matter? [Tigertailz].
Geoff - Thankfully, yes. The sales on some of these things aren't massive, but that's what makes them worth doing in the first place. The area of the market we work in is very much a niche, but if you keep overheads low, there is definitely money to be made. If we or a label very much like us didn't release this material, then nobody would. That alone is as much justification for doing it as I need!
RU - You're biggest success, release/re-release, would have to be? [so far].
Geoff - It would be Tytan's 'Rough Justice'. This classic NWOBHM release was long overdue a release, and it's proved top be a tremendous title for us, especially in Japan where these rock fans seem to instinctively know the true value of things a little better than their European counterparts - don't know why that is, but it's great!
RU - What about your personal fav(s) of the stuff you've done?
Geoff -John Sloman's 'Dark Matter' album is a pure work of genius and one of the very best releases I have ever been involved with period. John is an incredibly gifted musician but is not always the easiest person to deal with. I would recommend 'Dark Matter' to anybody who likes challenging music. It's not particularly easy listening some of the time, but it's a truly brilliant record.
RU - And your most proudest moment at Majestic [so far].
Geoff - Internationally, it would be being involved in the making of the new Waysted album 'Back From The Dead', the band's comeback album featuring Pete Way, Paul Chapman and original vocalist Fin. Also the new Million album 'Kingsize', which is going to blow people away. In terms of the label's profile here in Japan, we'll be releasing both new Magnum album 'Brand New Morning' and Lionsheart's 'Abyss' records in Japan in August - you have to be proud to work with bands like that, don't you?
RU - Are you looking for new acts to sign at the moment, or will you mostly focus on re-releasing the 70's/80's stuff?
Geoff - Well, we've already released Kick's 'New Horizon' and we're about to release Swedish band Million's new album, so that would answer your question. We'll always be committed to the reissue thing, but if a new or existing band interests us, then we're happy to get involved.
RU - Since you're based in Tokyo/Japan, any Jap-bands worth naming or releasing? [it's the constant struggle with poor singers, I guess?].
Geoff - I'd love to reissue Sniper's mighty 'Open The Attack' album from the early eighties - wonderful metal. In terms of newer acts, I'm sure you will already know about the Tak Matsumoto Group, featuring Eric Martin and Jack Blades. I am interested in making a really heavy album with Bow Wow / Vow Wow guitarist Kyoji Yamamoto, who's a brilliant musician and a really nice guy. We'll have to see what happens....
RU - Name a couple of your upcoming releases and your thoughts about them.
Geoff - As I've mentioned, the new Waysted album is due for a September release and the fifth Million album 'Kingsize' is out in October. Reissue wise, we're just about top put Tobruk's 'Wild On The Run' out - the first official release for this album, as Rip Tide bootlegged it - and a fantastic NWOBHM release from Bitches Sin that contains their very first demo and their Friday Rock Show session. This is the kind of thing that excites me!
RU - If you could re-release any hardrock album from the past [something which obviously have to be either obscure or rare], what would your favorite project be?
Geoff - Great question! It would have to be Storm's debut album for MCA - the one with 'Machine Gun' - or Tantrum's 'Rather Be Rockin'. To be honest, there are so many....
RU - The best thing about running your own label is.
Geoff - Are you kidding...? Where do I start? There's no feeling like holding a copy of a release that you've been trying to get out for so long for the first time. I have been trying for five years to get Waysted's 'Save Your Prayers' released, and finally we've done it. What a feeling that is!
RU - And the worst thing.
- I'll let you know as soon as I know!