Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Ripple Interview With Gerolamo Lucisano, Known As Gero Argonauta Of Argonauta Records





How long have you been doing this and what got you started running an independent record label?
Actually in September 2016 it will be just two years and a half when ARGONAUTA Records has been structured as a proper label, with press office and a basic distribution network. The original idea was born in 2012, when I took the decision to start up a label only to promote my own band, VAREGO. The first release of my band was in September 2012, under ARGONAUTA Records. I took then the decision to start it as a "real" label, also for other artists, after speaking with my family and valuing with attention many aspects of my previous job. Starting a label was my dream since when I was very young, and now I can say it is something comes true.

What motivated you? Why here, why now?
After releasing the first VAREGO album I received tons of messages by bands, labels and underground distros to cooperate with me. It was something really unexpected and I took my time to decide what to do with this huge amount of contacts. And especially the very first bands I was in touch with gave me a fine motivation to move on and continue with my project. All of them are still part of Argonauta Records actually.

What's your prior history in the music world?
I run a bunch of fanzines at the end of the '90ties/early 2000, managed to have tons of contacts with a lot of bands and labels at that time. I've been then employed as Marketing/Promo/Buying manager into an Italian music distribution company for over ten years. I was one of the so called workers "behind the scene".

What will be your next release?
http://www.argonautarecords.com/shop/197-large_default/suma-the-order-of-things-cd.jpg
At the moment of this interview, I'm working to have the new album by SUMA by mid October, this is a huge and highly anticipated come-back by these Swedish sludgers!

Any special projects planned?
We're still very young and we’ve a lot to do, though we're already working on the third edition of ARGONAUTA Fest, Spring 2017. Also we will start the first edition of a new fest named Skulls from the Sky in Autumn 2016. And more to come.

Are you looking to tap into a particular local scene or were you aiming to capture a sound?
My need is just to realize albums of music I'm totally addicted since years, means Stoner Doom Post Metal and related. I've various types of bands in the label, though all are part of the same project, same attitude.

Tell us about the label Name and logo.
I’m fond on Greek Mythology, where Argonauts came from. Not to mention also “Argonauta” is the scientific name of a kind of Octopus, so something related to the Lovecraftian world, which I’m confident with since I was very young. The logo is done by the Italian artist Marco Castagnetto (who owns also the drone doomster act SHABDA), a “smoking skull”, an image close to the sonorities of the label.

There's so much to learn about running a label, share with us some of the lessons you're learning along the way.
My main standpoint, my main rule with myself, is to not procrastinate anymore. This is a lesson I practice each day in the ordinary life too. Also, doing things by yourself, with your time and your methods. Do accept and appreciate any help by some good friends when they are happy to support you. Enjoying your small “step by step” attitude to realize something bigger in the closest future.

What will you do to stay on top of new and emerging technology?
https://scontent-dft4-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-0/c0.1.206.206/p206x206/1378185_422394837860288_1048379232_n.jpg?oh=347b8b4edcd0af6d9ade650319c47559&oe=5847A3FAWell, as the record label is actually my main job, I keep studying and check all the various situations all around, working with digital, updating the site on a constant basis and so. I'm always looking for new partnership and collaborations when they are reliable. At the same time, I'm not interested to conquer the world, so I just do what is possible within a working day time, haha!

What's the biggest challenge facing you today as an independent label?
To make people know and listen to our releases. There are a lot of albums out on daily basis, magazines are plenty of reviews and shops of new albums, reissues and so. I keep working day by day to say people that "Hey, maybe there's something fine here to be heard and to enjoy".

What do you look for in your bands?
I like humility and hard working, to make the label and all the bands grew up all together. Once a band understand this standpoint, they are ready to be part of Argonauta family.

How do you find your artists? Are you a club rat, constantly searching live venues for cool acts?
I’m actually receiving tons of submission, which is quite exciting! I love all demo/songs I receive, it means a lot that people spend some time to get in touch with me. I am used to listen to everything I receive. Sometime it is hard to get back to everyone, though all is listened to and carefully valued.

What are you looking for now?
Well, always looking for quality music and interesting proposals.

Are you involved in all the creative decisions?
Each artist working with me is free to do whatever he thinks fine with his band. I’m welcomed to give suggestions or more help when asked for. But I prefer to do my very own job (read: promotion and distribution) and keep the band doing its one.

What would you like to see happen for the future of the music industry and your label in particular?
For the music business I’d like there would be more people dedicated to music than just insiders. This is a big problem we have here in Italy for example. It could seems there is a big market here, tons of bands and gigs, a pity all is cared and followed by insiders and not much more “common” people.
For my label, I’d love to see any of my bands recognized as BIG bands by worldwide audience, hehe.

Anything else you'd like to share with the waveriders?
Just want to say a big thank you to all the readers of this interview and to you guys at Ripple, it’s been so much appreciated to have this interview and I just spent some fine minutes by answering it. Cheers!

Best of luck man. Ripple will be there every step of the way to support you in any way we can

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