Few Southern metal bands churn out a sound as vast and bombastic as the mighty Zoroaster. On its third album, Voice of Saturn, released via the group’s self-run Terminal Doom Records, guitarist/vocalist Will Fiore, drummer Dan Scanlan and bassist Brent Anderson reach new highs in their low-end concoction of drone-laden metal dirges. As their aural palette expands, so, too, does their business model. Voice of Saturn finds the group maintaining absolute control over every aspect of its music — from songwriting to pressing to distribution.
— Chad Radford
In the earlier stages, we signed to a label and it really was a great thing for us. Over the course of the next year, Will and myself were still paying for everything as far as touring, merchandise, recording, etc., and we found out really quickly how the royalty checks work — they don’t! We never got a penny from our album sales, only through touring and promoting ourselves. So we said, “Fuck it. Instead of handing our music over to someone else, let’s start our own label — Terminal Doom Records — and keep control over everything.”
It’s been a learning experience doing everything ourselves. We’re more than willing to work with other labels, but in the end it’s been the right thing for us.
The benefit is that we control all avenues of our music. We don’t rely on someone else. If something doesn’t get done, then it’s our fault. We also don’t have the pressure of someone looking over our shoulder telling us how to record our music. We don’t report to anyone. No one says, “I need this to sound like this, go back in the studio.” Fuck off! It’s our music!
But we also don’t have someone with a shit-ton of money backing us. We pay for everything out of pocket. Even with album sales and merchandise, we never pay ourselves out. It all gets recycled back into the band. When the van or bus breaks down, we pay for it — food, gas, merch, equipment, etc. There’s always something. Regardless of the expenses, playing our music on the road and recording is what we love to do, and without that, everything would fall apart.
— Dan Scanlan of Zoroaster