Imperial Age / Aor talks Lockdown concert and turning down subsequent label deals

Recorded during quarantine on 25 April 2020, the Imperial Age Lockdown Concert was one of the first such gigs to prove a financial and cultural success. 

Having invested $2,500 of their own money to host the event, the band and crew navigated the Police and Military cordons in Moscow, having obtained (in various ways) the QR codes required for travel and set about staging and recording a three hour special.

The event was watched online by a 38,000 global audience and helped the band to generate $11,477 revenue.

Now the performance is to be released on DVD 23 October 2020.

The band wrote on their facebook page: “In April 2020, Planet Earth looked grim.

“The entire civilized world was paralyzed by an unprecedented wave of fear. People were imprisoned inside their homes, needing special permission for so much as to stick their noses outdoors.

“The strongest economies were hitting all-time lows, and the live music industry collapsed entirely: all concerts were cancelled, venues and promoters were going bankrupt and well-established bands were launching crowdfunding campaigns asking their fans to help them out of debt.”

The concert was such a success, that in the weeks which followed, the band were courted by a number of labels.

For example, Napalm Records asked to hear their next album, while Frontiers Records offered a good deal and Black Lodge Records proposed a personalised license deal.

Aor and Jane respectfully declined all offers.

Aor told MetalTalk: “A couple of years ago we were broke, unknown and desperate to sign anything: we sent our music to all the labels out there, but the industry completely ignored us.

“The only two people who lended a hand when we were nobody were Chris Johnsson (Therion leader) and Henk Mol (now our booking agent) and we are forever grateful to them.

“But where were all the labels when we needed them?

Aor From Imperial Age

“If they thought that our music wasn’t good enough back then, why have they changed their minds now? Everybody is your friend when you are successful, but only those who support you in your darkest hour deserve to stay with you.

“Now – when they have finally noticed the existence of Imperial Age – there is nothing left that they can do for us outside the things we are already successfully accomplishing together with our fans (all while keeping 100% creative control and 100% income).

“I am actually grateful for them not signing us back in the days – their indifference forced us into this DIY strategy which ultimately brought us success.

“The age of the Label is over – the age of the Indie has begun.

“And this online show, together with our music sales, is a bullet-proof argument in favour of this position.”

The DVD has been mixed and mastered by Sergei Lazar of Arkona, with the video edited by Alexander Kadyanov.

Recorded with 5 video cameras and a 32 track audio multitrack, the DVD is presented in immersive 5.1 audio and 1080p (FULL HD).


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