Peter (Pure Impact)

1) Can you introduce yourself a little bit?

There's not much to say, most will become clear through the questions in this interview. One thing that is not being touched yet is my hobbies, and the answer to that is fairly simple; I love travelling and discovering new places.

2) When did you come up with the decision to start the Pure Impact Label?

Pure Impact didn't start out as a label. Pure Impact first saw the light of day in 1984 as a fanzine done by a freind of mine. I then took over from him in 1986, did the fanzine for 10 years and decided to change it into a distro and label at the start of 1996, so also already 10 years ago. There were a lot of fanzines around at that time and not many labels at all, it was a natural evolution for me that change, I was a music lover and record collector and saw there was a lot of good unreleased bands around and I wanted to put out CD's that I would have liked to buy yself, with good artwork and so on.

3) What about your skinhead life? How long have you been a skinhead? Were you a punk before you become a skinhead? Can you compare the scene in 80´s, 90´s and nowadays?

I have been a skinhead since the beginning of 1983 and was a - very young - herbert before that, never really a punk. Comparing the scene over the years is virtually impossible. In the beginning it was a lot more special to be a skinhead, harder and there was no internet or so where you could buy all your gear. You had to be more dedicated to get the music, contacts and to see bands play. In that aspect it's all gotten a lot easier and less exclusive. Another major change is the division within the skinhead scene, actually there is no skinhead scene anymore, but dozens of little scenes split along political lines. In the beginning we were all just skinheads, some more to the left, some more to the right, but that was it and we usually all got along. I find it funny to see young kids claim the "spirit of 69" when they're born in the 80's and were never around in the 60's. Trust me, it wasn't like they claim it to be, same for some RASH or ultra-nazis who have no clue at all anymore, no skinhead culture.

4) Is Pure Impact your full time job or do you have any other job?

Pure Impact is only a full-time job when considering the hours I put into it, but I don't live off it. All the money made is reinvested in new releases and so on. I haven't paid myself at all yet in those 10 years. I have another real job on the side and that's the one that pays my bills. Not easy, working 16 or more hours per day, but it's what I chose to do.

5) Can you shortly describe the evolution of Pure Impact? From the beginning till nowadays?

Well, that was already answered in your second question really. If you just consider the label and distro, I don't think it has changed all that much. It's gotten a bit more professional as far as website and such are concerned, it's easier for the customers now, also with the different payment possibilities. Label-wise nothing has changed, I still release the same kinds of bands, I stick to my roots.

6) I know you have a newsletter, how many people are subscribed to this? You surely receive many mails from all over the world and have contacts worldwide.

About 2000 people are on the mailing list for the newsletter and that's indeed people from all around the world. That's always been typical for Pure Impact. Most distros and labels concentrate on their own country only, whereas Pure Impact has always tried the cover the world scene and also distribute lesser-known bands and bands from more exotic countries. We give everyone a chance.

7) I like almost all bands you have released, how do you chose them? I like it also because of the great booklets with all the stuff.

There's really only 1 criterium on which I select the bands and that is that I have to like them myself. If they'll sell well or not is important of course, but if I really like a band I will release them even when I know that i might not recuperate all my costs and that has happened a few times already. The artwork and booklets that come with a CD are very important to me, it's the one part in which I can put some creativity and ideas, and I always make them as good as possible, I look at it from the buyer's point of view.

8) Do you know anything about the Czech scene? I know you have got Czech bands in your Catalogue, are you in contact with some people from the Czech republic??

I know most bands on the Czech scene, and have some good contacts there, but I have never been to any concerts or so in the Czech Republic. A shame really, because I sometimes work in Prague, but there were never any concerts while I was there.

9) What about politics in the scene, what do you think about it?

THE question... I don't do any politics with Pure Impact, I sell skinhead music and try to restrict it to that. I don't think the scene has to be unpolitical as such, there's always been some politics in the skinhead style: pride in your working class roots, your neighbourhood, your city,... RASH however is a complete anachronism, skinhead was never extreme left-wing but more of a conservative style. I hate people re-inventing the skinhead style or essence and then claim that's the way it always was...

10) Belgium is famous for its skinhead pub De Kastelein, can you tell us something more about that place?

It's a great place to hang out with other skinheads and they put on concerts about once per month. It's a real skinhead pub, where skinheads of different political sides and different countries can socialise without any problems. it's got a very relaxed atmosphere. I don't think there's anything like it anywhere in the world. Definitely a place worth visiting.

11) Plans for the future?

There are of course a couple of releases in the pipeline: Unit Lost from Sweden and The Corps from Australia and I'm also talking to some American bands. We'll see what comes of it.

12) Words on the end?

Thanks for the interview! I wish you good luck with the website, doing a good job. Greetings also to my Czech contacts, past current and future! Keep the faith!