King Baltak talks about the creation of Battlegod Productions, and recalls his memorable moments over the years of the label’s success.
By Mandy Craig.
Battle God Productions is a record label with a lot of power and force, which is symbolised in the name and years it has been creating a fiery metal path in the music scene. Since 1994 the label has promoted Australian and international metal bands, by advertising their music through media organisations such as Metal Hammer, Terrorizer Magazine and Legacy Magazine.
Talking to the Battle God himself, King Baltak, creator of Battlegod Productions, he reveals his favourite memories through the years, how Battle God Productions first started; his love for the metal scene, and what is coming up for the bands under his label for the rest of 2014 and 2015.
Q: King Baltak, you have been working under the name Battlegod Productions, a music label for Australian and international underground metal bands since 1994. What have been some awesome Battlegod moments up till now?
King Baltak: There have been many moments on the Battlegod front, each time I have traveled overseas over the time since 1998, 2002, 2012 and 2013 have been very special and memorable moments. Meeting bands on the label roster hanging out with them and getting to know them has been remarkable. The support Battlegod Productions has had on an international level has been outstanding and very flattering. Going to festivals and being on tours with my bands has been fantastic, I can’t wait for my next journey overseas, it will be even better and bigger. The tour end of 2012 in Norway with Harm and Forgery on the Thrash Till Death tour was awesome; it was a total blast, very epic. Also meeting up with UK Rock/Metal Legend Tony Mills (ex-TNT/SHY/SIAM) who also was guest vocals on the Nergard album, was a great experience, we met for the first time at the Hard Rock Café in Oslo/Norway in 2013. Looking forward to the release of his solo album early next year. During the beginnings of Battlegod Productions it was more of an underground label. As the years have passed by I’ve been doing a lot of activities on a major level such as promotions, advertisements in major media such as Terrorizer Magazine (UK), Metal Hammer (UK), Legacy Magazine (Germany), Orkus Magazine (Germany), Sonic Seducer Magazine (Germany), Doa Magazine (USA) and many more; dealings with Sure Shot Worx from Germany who are my promotional agency for Europe, United Kingdom, and Scandinavia. Alongside myself I think we make an awesome team in spreading Battlegod Productions propaganda.
Q: How did it all start, what were the beginnings for Battlegod Productions?
Just before Battlegod Productions started in the early 90’s I had a project called Gorgoroth which was old school grim Black Metal in the styles of Burzum and other bands in that Black Metal genre. Then end of 1993 I changed the name Gorgoroth to Baltak due to the fact that there was a Norwegian band already known as Gorgoroth. Gorgoroth remained as my stage name since everyone was already calling me Gorgi OR Gorgy for short. Near the end of 1994 the debut Baltak album titled ‘Macedonian Darkness And Evil’ was released. At the time I had heard from numerous bands about labels ripping bands off, so I decided to start my own project and during that time I was distributed by Australian label Warhead Records. The first overseas band on the label was Italian Black/Death Metal horde Mortifier. In 1997 their MCD titled ‘Darkness My Eternal Bride’ was released. Together we started a project called Buio Omega, and from then till now we have three album releases. The Buio Omega albums are: ‘Thy Dark Conquest’ recorded in Italy in 1998 – produced, mixed and mastered in Sydney, “Pandemonium Unleashed’ recorded in Italy; mixed and mastered in Germany 2002, ‘Planet Of Tombs’ Recorded in Italy – Vocals recorded in Sydney, mixed and mastered in Germany 2007. Also in 2002 I did an AC/DC cover track with German band Saxorior ‘For Those About To Rock.’ We all have done an awesome job on it and the track was released on their ‘Never Ending Battles’ CD, which was released in 2004. There have been a number of albums where I have been featured as a special guest on vocals: Temtris ‘Masquerade’ CD, Harkonin ‘Detest’ Digipack CD, Subliritum ‘Downfall’ Digipack CD. In 1997 I started to distribute my own titles through numerous distributors and stores around the world. From that time till now there are numerous bands from numerous countries on the Battlegod Productions roster. Most of the bands these days are from Norway and Australia.
Q: What inspired you to start your own music label?
As stated in the previous question and also to be more in depth, I wanted something all on my own and I love the Metal industry. To deal with major magazines has always been a dream of mine and I never thought I could manage it after all these years. I love METAL so much; if I were anymore METAL I would RUST! (Laughs)
Q: How would you describe what Battlegod Productions does for the metal music scene?
On a international scale Battlegod Productions has become a well known label and I have had people even tell me that to them Battlegod Productions is like Australia’s Nuclear Blast which is a big call and I am flattered people see and compare the label to them. I’m still getting a lot of bands around the world emailing and messaging me to be part of the label roster. Being a one-man label it’s hard to take on everyone but still I manage the best I can do.
Q: There have been a lot of reviews and articles for the bands under your label this year. What are the great achievements for the bands and Battlegod productions so far for 2014?
2014 has been an awesome year so far with only months remaining till the end of the year. There have been three releases this year: Forgery (Norway), Subliritum (Norway), Temtris (Australia) and also the re-pressing from Norwegian thrashers Harm with their second album ‘Demonic Alliance’ Digipack CD/DVD.
Q: Who are some of the bands that you support as Batllegod Productions, in Australia and overseas?
All the bands on the label roster so far, or bands associated with the label are: AEVERON (Germany), ARHONT (Macedonia), BALTAK (Australia), BLACK REIGN (Australia), BUIO OMEGA (Italy/Australia), CYCLOPHONIA (Norway), DARK ORDER (Australia), DOOMED AND DISGUSTING (Australia), FORGERY (Norway), HARM (Norway), HARKONIN (USA), HERRATIK (Australia) were known as ABORUTS in the late 90’s, LAZERHAWK (Australia), MAY RESULT (Serbia), MEDUSA (Macedonia) MORTIFIER (Italy), NERGARD (Norway), NOBODY’S FOOL (Australia), PEGAZUS (Australia), SAXORIOR (Germany), SUBLIRITUM (Norway), TEMTRIS (Australia), THIRTEENTH SIGN (UK), TOMORROW’S OUTLOOK (Norway) TONY MILLS (UK/Norway), TYRANT WRATH (Sweden).
Q: What do you find epic about the metal scene?
There are so many bands out there with so much magazines, distributors, shops etc…it never ends. It’s eternal and it keeps growing on a world scale.
Q: What do you dig most about owning your own music label?
I enjoy it very much and have fun at the same time. I enjoy spending money on promotion and being in control with all activities.
Q: What is in store for Battlegod Productions for the rest of the year?
The re-issue of Norwegian Thrashers Harm’s debut album, which will have bonus demo and unreleased tracks, with a patch included. This will be released as a Digipack CD. Even planning to have Australia’s Lazerhawk. Early next year will see the release of Tomorrow’s Outlook’s ‘A Voice Unheard’ Digipack CD featuring Ralf Scheepers from Primal Fear/ex-Gamma Ray on more than half of the album, and Tony Mills ‘Over My Dead Body’ Digipack CD.
There will be new albums by Harm, Cyclophonia, Tyrant Wrath, Nergard, Arhont, Medusa and maybe a few more others. Let’s see how 2015 will unfold, all in due time. I would say the roster is very much full even for all of next year and possibly the year after with so many albums to release and to re-release.
Q: What album is blasting from your stereo right now?
I am enjoying the demo tracks I have for the upcoming Tony Mills and Tomorrow’s Outlook albums. I’m also blasting the Subliritum, Forgery and Temtris albums; thrashing to Harm as well. I have a few things on my playlist these days. Also listening to classics like Blackmore’s Rainbow, Black Sabbath and early Ozzy Osbourne and Twisted Sister.
Q: What was the first metal album you ever owned?
Deep Purple ‘Machine Head’ on vinyl I have owned since the 80’s, or it could have been AC/DC ‘Powerage’ on vinyl – even Black Sabbath ‘Volume 4’ on vinyl. I have a collection of vinyl’s from back in the day and when I think about it, I don’t know what was the first album that started my collection of steel.
Copyright © Music Mayhem with Mandy 2014