When Markus Staiger founded the Label Nuclear Blast in 1987 – back then located in his parents’ home – neither he nor anyone else would have thought this would be the foundation for the biggest and most successful independent Label and also a guarantee for the best acts on the metal scene, like the world had never seen then. No one would have believed world-famous bands like Nightwish, Hammerfall, Dimmu Borgir or Edguy would share their success with the Label located in Donzdorf. Nevertheless, it came to be and there is hardly any other label out there, living the metal way of life like NB, with 85 bands signed so far – an icon to metal fans worldwide.
Yet there was something else about to overcome NB. Something neither Sagrath of Dimmu Borgir screeched out in his songs, nor the local press caught attention of. Somewhere in Germany – many, many kilometers away from Donzdorf, something made its way towards Donzdorf on some cold November day, in order to become part of the big NB family and see how things were running
Two Brother of Chaos were given the chance to visit NB and report their adventures to everyone out there – known as Andy and Guido, Administrators of the official Indica Forum.
After quite a long trip, the last few kilometers between Stuttgart and Donzdorf were finally behind us. At last we arrived at the location of our dreams, Felix – from the New Media Department of NB – welcomed us.
Shortly after we put down our jackets, we realized that even though the business itself was a though one, the fun never faltered here. Regarding the entrance to NB, one could only call it metal-haven due to the fact, a large showcase caught our attention, displaying almost every special edition, NB ever released.
Starting the big Tour through the endless offices, all of them an island of metal each, was more than exciting, offering a big amount of fascinating and also weird things to discover. The walls clothed with Posters of all kind of Bands, while the speakers of each office growling with metal music. One could only feel at home
Nonetheless, the doors to even more exciting places were open for us. Like the huge stock, located next to NB´s office section, as well as their very own shop fulfilling every wish the metal-hearted fan had. There were Cds, DVDs, T-Shirts, Posters and all the other merchandise NB had to offer, as far as one could see. If you wouldn´t find what you´re looking for here, you´ll never find anything at all! We definitely were overwhelmed by the huge amount of merchandise that was offered.
Even Felix, due to the fact he works there every day was pretty amazed by some special merchandise, i.e. the weird special edition of Destructions „A savage symphony“, which came with a tin of „Blutwurst“ , because the bands mascot was a butcher.
Another thing to make us smile and wonder the same time was the undisclosed case of the „hung duck“ right in the middle of NB´s Stock, even Felix could explain why it was hung there.
After we had explored the Stock, we entered the shop right next to it. And yeah, here you could by EVERYTHING! Tickets, CD´s and so on. Just imagine it, you´ll get it there.
Next Stop: Owner´s Office – Markus Staigers place. Please keep your jaws in place and cameras ready.
We just entered the office of NB´s owner Markus Staiger, when our jaws dropped to the floor and stayed there for the rest of our visit. The wall of this damn big office made it impossible to not just stand there and stare ´till your eyes popped out. For there we found all the gold and platinum albums of the bands that were signed to NB. As expected, NIGHTWISH definitely dominated this „Wall of fucking fame“ but we definitely know, Indica will find their place on this wall soon.
Markus himself was absent, unfortunately, but being granted the chance to just stay inside this office where so many Heroes of the Metal scene have been before, made it feel even more like a dream, which is why we can only call it a „Shrine of Metal“.
They came, they saw, they stood in awe… and they thought it become any better.
After we had a few moments to realize what we had seen inside the office and hardly imagined what stories the room could tell if it had a mouth to speak, we were taking to another „Sight to see“, that nearly blew our minds and the only words to describe would be „THE highlight of the Tour“.
The so called FUNROOM.
The room itself (imagine it the size of a common apartment) was full of pinball and arcade machines just waiting to be used, next to a cozy bar inviting the visitor to be knocked out of reality. The NB Logo banned to the carpet and a huge Indica banner attached to the wall – yeah this was heaven all right! We were welcomed by several live-size busts of Batman, Lara Croft (and others) and a comfortable couch just waited for us to chill upon it and stare at everything.
The walls were full of signed instruments of many bands, (Jukkas chimbals signed by Nightwish, an Guitar signed by Dimmu Borgir and so on…), one didn´t know where to look first.
Even though our guide Felix considered the room itself as „not so special“, due to the fact it was also being used as a place to have a break for all NB employees, we never saw anything like this before. Felix told us that this room was also used for Pre-Listening sessions, interviews with band members as well as Fotosessions for various artists… that was probably the moment we realized how many artist must have visited this room before us and made our minds go „bye-bye„ for a while.
Now it was time to realize everything we had just seen and take the camera and shoot some pictures in order to give every fan out there a glimpse of what NB looked like. We returned to the Funroom afterwards, and Felix talked to us about NB, metal music and of course Indica, even though it was tough for us to not be distracted by the surroundings.
All in all our visit at the world’s biggest independent label was an adventure beyond anything we had imagined and even though it is hard to find the right words to describe what we saw, we hope we could give you a small impression and hopefully, you will enjoy the pictures we took.
We´d like to say THANK YOU to all the people at NB and especially to Felix who had to „babysit“ us that day (grins) and of course for inviting us to this amazing sightseeing tour thought the „holy halls of metal „– Nuclear Blast. Many, many thanks, Andy and Guido from Indica-Fans.net.
Last but not least:
Donzdorf is Nuclear Blast. Nuclear Blast is Metal. And Metal is forever!!