Blaze Festival Interviews Rue Morgue Records Lead John Raptis

I was recently interviewed by Blaze Festival about the label side of Rue Morgue Records.

Presented for you below is the interview in full:

Why a record label?

Good question! The label idea kinda happened organically. We evolved into the role and it was quite a spontaneous decision. I was helping a friend of mine with some marketing of his music and whilst we were setting up some of his online assets and getting it all ready for MP3 and CD sales a little light started violently flashing above my head. I know marketing. I know the music industry. Particularly the heavier side of things. I know how to generate sales. And I know that vinyl is fucking booming right now.

Another reason for the label, over the course of my direct involvement with music over the last 11 years as a Rock Photographer, I have been privy to seeing some amazing local bands that are as good as the international scene – if not better. These bands need to be seen and heard by a greater audience and if Rue Morgue Records can get them that little bit more exposure – we’ll all be better for it.

Why now?

Well as stated, vinyl is absolutely dominating music sales at the moment. Having said that, I don’t believe it is a passing fad as it has been happening and growing slowly over the last 10 years or so. A decade ago an artist would sell a vinyl copy of their music as an aside. Over the course of a few years, the vinyl is the first product they are trying to sell you with CD and downloads as a second. It is an amazing turnaround and has given the music industry a much needed jolt because let’s face it… it was dead!

What drove you to this?

An undying passion of getting good quality music into the hands of fans and new fans of the bands we are signing and will sign! Every single band that we have signed so far and will continue to sign will be quality. I am not in this to make a fast buck and sign anyone. If I believe in you and your music, I will back you and do all that I can to help. We have adopted a real old-school approach to this. The artist is and will be responsible for all costs involved in the production of their record. This is not a charity operation at all.

Concerns about vinyl vs digital?

No concern.

Both can co-exist comfortably.

Both server a purpose.

Both have their own individual markets.

If I am plugging away at work or driving my car, the digital realm serves me very well.

If I am at home and REALLY want to enjoy a piece of music, I will slap on a vinyl and let myself get taken away to other worlds of music and art.

What is the biggest difference for an artist to get vinyl pressings? Especially new young bands.

Over the past several years with the domination of the internet and instant gratification, we became the disposable age. There was no need to buy music. We downloaded it. Often times, illegally. Didn’t like this record? Skip to the next. Didn’t have time to fully experience an album? Make playlists of compilations. Didn’t like this song? Skip to the next. And on and on and on it went. Music was disposable. With the rebirth of vinyl – respect for music is returning. Sure downloads and streaming dominate, and that’s fine but in a way, they too are disposable. Vinyl is different. People don’t throw away their vinyl. They treasure it! They keep it. The look after it. They love it. I feel it is much more impressive for a young band to be represented on a vinyl release. It adds prestige to their music. It tells me they are serious, committed, dedicated and passionate about their craft and their music.

The purpose?

The purpose of Rue Morgue Records is to release a limited edition of the band’s best song! If you (or I) can’t sell out those 50 singles then we should both quit! I am looking at collating 10 singles over the course of 2019 and at the end of the year releasing a 12” vinyl of those bands on an annual compilation that (for now) is called “Murders In The Rue Morgue Vol 1”. I have grand ideas! Think different and think big! In a week we signed 3 bands and they are all fucking amazing!

Who do you cater for mostly and why?

I will cater to quality.

If it’s rubbish, I won’t touch it.

We will be signing quality bands of any (heavy) genre on a global scale.

What made you jump from store to Label?

Well this goes back to our original question. It happened organically and it made sense that both the store and the label can successfully co-exist and help each other. All the singles will be available for sale via the band’s personal outlets and Rue Morgue Records. You sign on for a single release and we will promote you and market you until the day you tell me the band is over. All events, gigs etc will be promoted via ALL Rue Morgue Records online platforms. We will look after you!

Why is your focus on heavy music?

Because it is in my blood and who I am. I have been listening to hard rock/metal music since I was ten years old. That is over 4 decades. You can do the math if you want to find out my age! It is music I believe in and ingrained into who I am and who I will be for the rest of my days.

How can people get in touch to find out more?

If a band wants me to hear them with an interest in releasing a single or being part of this, they can email me at – subsequently they can visit

(See the interview over at the Blaze Festival website here)

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