We caught up with David from Cork Cities Underground Extreme Metal Label "Fomorian Hate Records". Check it out Rodge : Hi David. Can you tell us why did you decide to start a label?
FHR: I am an avid collector of music and immersed in the extreme metal underground. The label is a medium for those passions.
Rodge: What is your main goal for the label?
FHR: The label is dedicated to cassette tapes at the moment, but I am not opposed to CDs in the future. I am not looking to compete with the bigger labels in the country or anything, I just want to put out cool music and build up a nice back catalogue. We have some regulars who are buying anything that comes out without having heard of the band, which I really appreciate and is what I had hoped for.
Rodge: Can you give us the history of the label? First steps, first signings, what it was like to build it up?
FHR: I had a bedroom tape label before that has since dissolved. I was making a fanzine last year and needed a place to sell it and I’ve always used Bandcamp, so I just threw up some music to go with it. I ended up putting out some local acts just as promo and then decided to push it out a bit more. The idea was to coincide it with the fanzine.
Rodge: Can you tell us about any specific moments that really stand out to you? Best moment so far?
FHR: Probably when Sluagh agreed to a tape release. The band consists of many experienced black metal musicians in other bands, so for them to take a shot on a label with no releases was great.
Rodge: What’s the biggest challenge you think the label has overcome?
FHR: Finding releases is tough but doable. You also can’t release what’s not there. It’s probably trying to communicate with some acts, a lot has fallen through for me. I get bogged down some days trying to juggle real life and other priorities, but once the tape is in my hand it’s all worth it. The post office likes to change postage sometimes too, which is annoying. So far though it’s been doable with a bit of patience. With every release I put out, I know the better chance the next one will be on par or more ambitious.
Rodge: If you could sign anyone who would you sign?
FHR: Realistically a local band that sounds great and is passionate to work with me. Demeter was a band in Cork that have since split that I would have liked to push. Unrealistically though, probably Darkthrone.
Rodge: How do you find your acts? Do you find them and approach them, or do you accept submissions, or both?
FHR: I take submissions, but I spend some time searching. I have found some decent ways to find bands, for example I will check Bandcamp’s latest releases in a genre or even at times metal-archives.com will list new bands. The trick is finding something that has yet to be released. There are also some good underground YouTube channels that upload obscure stuff, it’s how I found Sluagh.
Rodge: What perks your ears up musically? Is there a certain criteria you look for in an artist?
FHR: I generally go for black metal or death/black or even crust/speed punk stuff. To me though the artwork is just as important. When I would search for new bands to contact, often I would enjoy the music, but the artwork was not worth putting onto a cassette. It might sound shallow but the whole package matters. Sonically though I tend to lean towards the raw side of things, but atmospherically raw rather than clipping noise.
Rodge: The world of physical release formats seems like a constantly changing landscape. What have you noticed about demand for physical releases? What is your preferred format to release music on and why?
FHR: We mainly do tapes because they are personal and you can do a lot with them, between the tape colour, the tape design, the j-card, etc. Tapes are also easy to make and post and of course easy to collect. But I generally collect every other format. I like the variety at the moment.
Rodge: What are your thoughts on co-releasing with other labels, especially for more expensive formats such as vinyl? Are there any other considerations or bright ideas you’ve had about making higher-investment releases possible?
FHR: It’s definitely a good idea and something I would be up for, but I am not in a position financially or time wise to do so at this time. I also feel I don’t have as much experience to handle to size of vinyl right now, perhaps with more advice and talking to others I could be persuaded.
Rodge: Is there anything you’d like to see more of in the underground scene?
FHR: More bands for sure. Dublin has a lot of bands sharing members and the current Cork scene is close enough. But I think we are approaching a golden age in the next few years.
Rodge: Do you play music yourself? Any projects we should know about?
FHR: Currently I am the vocalist and bass player for Gealach. I also play all the instruments in Cursewielder, which I am looking to release soon. I have a crust/blackened punk thing going for fun in the back too.
Rodge: What are your future plans for the label and are there any releases in the pipeline you’d like to talk about?
FHR: My own music with Cursewielder is the only one I am in the position to talk about. There are also plans to re-release a local Cork bands demo from a few years ago. The current pandemic is delaying things considerably though. We are also halfway through the third issue of our zine.
We just want to say a huge thanks to David for taking the time to talk to us.