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Urvesh Vasani

  • Interview by: Vilasini Muralidhar
  • Date: April 7, 2010

Heard of a 13 year old with a well chalked out business plan, and with a record label of his own? Well, here’s introducing Urvesh Vasani- the man… oops, boy behind Six Inch Nails Records.

HB: You were just 13 when you started Six Inch Nails Records. What gave you the idea, (and the guts) to start off something like this?

Urvesh: Well, to be honest I have always been enterprising, right from setting up my own lemonade stall when I was 9 to being the founder of Six Inch Nails Records. The idea actually hit me when I recorded my first song on my own. I thought that I could put it on a CD and give it to my friends so that they could appreciate metal as nobody seemed to like that genre of music! But, I thought it would be too un-professional to sell a CD which has 10 hastily recorded songs and a top which is covered with smudged felt-tip pen! So then I thought of getting a record deal. I did not really know what record labels did for artistes at that time. All I knew was that they will make a professional looking CD for me and help me record my songs better. As always I chose the DIY way. I thought, instead of me going to labels and asking for help. Why don’t I start my own label, and help other musicians. Since there was no label promoting music particularly of my choice that is Death Metal, Metalcore and Deathcore, I thought it would be great if I could get this done properly. And also, I would make some money too! That’s when Six Inch Nails was born. Talking about guts, I really did not feel afraid of this venture. I just went for it.

HB: Weren’t you ever worried about feasibility problems? Did you have a business plan worked out or were you going to take it as came to you?

Urvesh: Not really. I was worried about nothing. I just did what I felt like, and with lots of help from my very supportive father who is himself quite a big businessman, I felt quite confident.
I did not really have an actual business plan but I was not completely shooting in the dark. I did know what I had to do, all I had to do was to learn how to go about it. That was my plan. The only thing which was left was the successful execution of each of my actions. Nothing can be done without planning.

HB: it’s been less than a year and you already have some international names signed on. How did you manage to do that?

Urvesh: The aim of my label is not only to support Indian music; moreover it is to make original international music available to the Indian audience at an affordable rate. I really want my label to be spread across the globe, and not just in India. The first international band that I had signed under was Hydraulacost, a metalcore band from the United States. I already knew about the band before I even started the company. As the vocalist of the band is very famous on a video sharing website, I have always been a fan of the band. Just when I saw that they are unsigned, I thought that I could get them to sign under me. This was the first time I actually thought that it would be difficult and I had to plan my actions very carefully, which actually resulted in me reading my e-mails a number of times before sending them! But I did receive quite a positive response from them, they were in-fact very enthusiastic and pumped that they have been offered a deal all the way from India.
I then used the “Record-Release proposal” designed with the help of my father and got the paper work done. They are currently in the process of recording in the studio, and the album should be hopefully out soon.

HB: Getting a deal with Nuclear Blast Records was awesome. You made music that was previously inaccessible to a lot of us, affordable and reachable! How did this entire thing come about?

Urvesh: The Nuclear Blast deal really helped the label a lot. It made more people aware of what is Six Inch Nails and more about the label.
The idea of getting Nuclear Blast to India was of course because of my label’s aim that is to make international music available to the Indian audience. And since no other label has put up such a big sale of famous international band, I thought this would be like an Indian metal-head’s delight. So I sent Nuclear Blast an e-mail and with a lot of questions and answers exchanged, the deal was done. And there it was, the NUCLEAR BLAST SALE – INDIA.

HB: How has the response been so far?

Urvesh: The response has been quite good so far. Sales of the Nuclear Blast Deal have been fine. My label has not yet released any CDs I do not really expect any huge sums of revenue. But it does seem that my label has made a place for itself quite quickly in the Indian Metal Scene and has been accepted by metalheads across the country.

HB: You’re in the process of setting up a Street Team as well, right? Are people coming forward to help? What’s the strength of the team so far?

Urvesh: Yes, I am in the process of setting up a Street Team for my label. It is a very effective way of marketing and promotion and it also gives metalheads around the world an opportunity to make some money as well as get some free goodies from us! And people are definitely coming forward to help. There have been a LOT of applicants for the street team, but I am keeping the size of the team in control, as I don’t really want to lose control over the company. I require metalheads who are regularly attending gigs, have quite a bit of good contacts and are after all willing to help the label. It’s not just in India that I’m looking for street team members, it is metalheads from around the world that can join the team, help the label and get some free stuff. So if there is anyone out there interested in applying for the street team, they can just send us an e-mail at – [email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

HB: What if a non-metal band was to approach you? Are you ok with any genre or strictly only for metal?

Urvesh: Well, for now it is only going to be metal. That is because there are a number of companies out there; signing artistes from any genre but there are very few who have metal as their preference, especially in our country. I am willing to sign artistes from any metal sub-genre but I would have my own preferences, keeping the market and my own tastes in to consideration. The sub-genres I usually look for would be:
•    Metalcore
•    Groove Metal
•    Deathcore
•    Death Metal
•    Brutal Death Metal
•    Grindcore
•    Slam Brutal Death Metal

HB: What are your plans for the label in the future? Any other bands you’re planning to sign on, any other ventures you’re looking at going into?

Urvesh: I have been receiving demos and proposals from quite a lot of bands till now.  I have signed the bands taking the market into consideration, music which will sell. Sometimes I even have to manage with 4 to 5 demos in a day just want to apologize to the bands out there, that we are listening, but I just can’t reply to everyone immediately as I have other things to handle like… SCHOOL! My other plans would be known to everyone when the final product is out, I would not want to disclose anything more.

HB: We appreciate your support for the metal scene. Any “words of wisdom” for all metalheads out there?

Urvesh: Thank you, all I can say is do what you are good at. Just as I may be was not really good at making and recording music, but I feel confident about business, in the same way do what you are good at not by being influenced by something else. And if you do get into something, ask yourself, are you ready to do this for the rest of your life? I never wanted to be a musician, when I asked myself that do I want to be a businessman for the rest of my life, and the answer was – YES.

HB: Thanks for the interview, and good luck with Six Inch Nails Records!