INVICTUS PRODUCTIONS CELEBRATE THEIR 19TH ANNIVERSARY WITH A KILLER SHOW THIS WEEKEND
For those who are a bit long in the tooth, now’s the time to drift back nostalgically at the last 19 years – all the way back to 1999 and the birth of Ireland’s Invictus Productions, an independent record label that still stands tall with its consistently gnarly roster. This weekend sees the label celebrate its 19th anniversary with a special Dublin show, played by Belgium’s Possession and label buddies Inconcessus Lux Lucis and Coscradh. What better time then for a very quick catch-up with the label’s founder Darragh O’Laoghaire to discuss some of the highs and the lows in the label’s history?
“It feels bloody great,” comes Darragh’s reply to how it feels to be celebrating such a milestone. “Coming from a small island on the periphery of Europe, far away from the beating heart of the continental metal scene, I’ve done alright! It has been a roller coaster of a journey but one I would not change for the world all be said and done,” he says. As for high points over the years? “I think that in the early years, putting it all together and organising my first releases and tours stand to me as the most obvious ‘high point’. Almost like the first time you get into metal and the sense of passion, power, energy, enthusiasm and drive that’s there is unparalleled. I’ve gotten to work with a lot of bands I was – first and foremost – a fan of, which is a privilege!”
With highs always come lows – unless you’re really jammy – and Darragh recounts one of the biggest lows in the label’s history, which could be chalked as a result of being slightly ahead of themselves at the time: “Biggest regret, in the sense that it didn’t work out, was our record shop, Into The Void Records folding. I think in hindsight we were ‘too early’ in terms of our overall ability to structure and manage it effectively in terms of what we had at our disposal, compared to now. We started it in February 2011 and closed it (in its second location) in December 2014, so we effectively kept it going for just under four years in two different locations. The first of them being the best given we had enough space for a record shop, tattoo studio with two tattooists plus a basement in which we were able to have small, private, intimate shows with the likes of the Ra-Al-Dee Experience, Patrick Walker and others. Other than that, ya win some, lose some, it’s all the same to me.”
For those working in it, the music industry has changed almost beyond recognition over the past decade, even so, Invictus still lives to tell the tale, so how about the future – will Darragh be celebrating a further 19 years of the label in 2037? “Given the major transformations that have occurred in the last 5-10 years in music, it’s very difficult to see how things might pan out in the next 5-10 let alone 19 years, but one thing’s for sure, there’s a lot yet to be done so Invictus is going nowhere right now.” That’s the spirit, and since it’s your party, will you cry if you want to? “Ha ha. Only if someone spills a drink on my ballgown!”