It's been nine month since we spoke to Derrek from Bitume records. For those that might skiped this interview, Bitume prods is record label that doesn't necessarily has limits but mainly is focused on rock, alternative, metal and grunge bands. Since january, two new releases appeared and some new are in the process. Also, five years ago Bitume released their first release so to celebrate this the shipping costs will be free throughout the label's shop for one month. In this follow-up interview we are talking to Bitume mastermind - Derrek.

The first release after our last conversation was Confort and the „Champ“ album. We are talking about „post-grunge“ and „space metal“ project. It seems like „Champ“ is conceptual album. Can you please introduce it to us and give us a brief history of Confort project since you released their first album as well?

CONFORT project starts in 2015 and plays experimental rock/metal at the beginning. But then it changed to a post-grunge and space metal style.

The first idea was to make an introspective project describing a specific event from composer life. The first album [13/4]25[3]11[20]1 [released in 2016] is about a drug taking. Several people taked part to recording.

Like the first release, Champ is still a concept album. It’s about a 2015 summer night that was decisive for the composer. This time, there is just one contribution from Zoé Vaisset-Louvard [who already appears on first album] singing.

„Champ“ was released on CD and tape. I think this is the first tape you did under Bitume label. What are your expectations, are you satisfied how things are going on right now with the label?

This is indeed the first tape released on the label. I also developed streaming and downloading platforms aspects since the beginning of 2021. Thanks to that, Bitume audience increased and has expended. Financially speaking it remains complicated, but the label takes the artistic side I want to give. I have only good feedbacks about 2021 releases and that’s cool !

Since you released tape, were you thinking about releasing some vinyls as well?

I grew up in the 90’s, I’m naturally attracted by CD or tape: these are the formats of my youth! But my father had a very big vinyl collection, so that’s also an interesting format for me, especially that at this moment vinyl trade is at the best. It’s just a financial problem, it cost a lot to produce and I have to be sure to sell all the production…

As we’re on the subject, some labels do t-shirts and other merch. Were you thinking something about that?

Since June 2021, the label has t-shirts available on Bitume’s shop and bandcamp. About other merch, I’m thinking about it, that depends on next commercial performance.

By your own experience, what today people do more, stream or download? It’s interesting to know their habits.

I would say that people use to listen more streaming music, they make playlists with just one or two song from an album. It can be disturbing for a concept album for example.

Your latest release is Velibor’s single “Paranormala”. For those who don’t know, Velibor is frontman of alternative rock band Brigand, but he was also known from his other name Alvarez. Since you previoslu released his work, can you tell us, in your own oppinion, the difference between his work when he does music under his own name and Alvarez?

The basis of the music of Velibor and Alvarez is pretty similar, it belongs to the 90’s. Nevertheless, Alvarez music is more Lo-Fi while the sounds are a little more advanced under his own name.

Another difference is that Velibor sings almost exclusively in Serbian under his own name, that gives an original touch, even more when you're a foreigner to the Serbia. Serbian tongue goes very well with rock music.

Is “Paranormala” stand-alone single or is it part of something bigger, EP or an album? Have you talked to Velibor about his further plans ‘cause this release to us came out of nowhere, he just posted without previous announcement?

Single release happened very quickly, we talked about it at the beginning of August and Velibor told me that he was finishing a song. Then he asked me if I had the intention to release a compilation with label’s bands so he could integrate that song. But this is not what I planned for the moment, so I proposed him to make a digital release. Then everything went quickly. About an album or EP, we didn’t talked about it yet. But I would be overjoyed to release a new Velibor album if it is possible.

In our last interview you announced and released promised Confort album and Velibor’s single. The unwritten rule is that after summer concert and festival season, comes new releasing season. So, what can we expect from Bitume in the future?

The next release arrives in November: a digipack reissue of the Ambient/Experimental project The Räaouf’s Impressive Orchestra [released in February 2011 on Chabane’s Records], with three bonus tracks.

In 2022, I should release The Velvet Roses second album. It’s an excellent grunge/metal band from north of France. I have others projects but nothing concrete. Maybe we could talk about it in the future…

Thanks Derrek for this interview, and dear readers, jump to Bitume bandcamp and check out some new stuff.