This quote, representing similar statements by other German metal label employees, follows the general trend of independent labels to position themselves against the established music industry (see Strachan 2007). Furthermore, similar to Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser engaging independent producers in the krautrock era (Reetze 2020, p. 279), Steamhammer/SPV preferred not to operate recording studios and instead employed freelance specialist rock and metal producers like Kalle Trapp with his Karo recording studio (Herbst 2019).
The motivations for opening these companies are consistent with those described in the literature on independent labels (Messick 2020; Strachan 2007). Many emerged naturally as an extension of a music-related practice like tape trading or distribution, record store retailing or music performing and production. Some arose out of fandom, trying to support the careers of promising artists who could not otherwise find a label. Others like GAMA have been accused of trying to cash in on the metal trend (Neudi 2017) by running a label to utilise their recording studio, but the same has been said about Neat (Tucker 2015, pp. 145, 188, 325), which does not diminish their role for the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. Most labels, including the larger ones like Steamhammer, Century Media and Nuclear Blast, have credibly emphasised their community-oriented principles. Only a few have been able to juggle these communal ideals with their economic necessities, and so over time, most labels closed or were taken over by larger companies. Of the labels studied, only Nuclear Blast is still independent, while Century Media was the last one being merged into Sony Music in 2015. 1e1e36bf2d