Nuclear War Now Productions Chat With Yosuke Konishi

When I had a chance to interview label owner Yosuke Konishi of Nuclear War Now Productions I jumped at the chance and here it is:

For those who don’t know, please introduce yourself to how old you are and how long the label has been around.

YK: My name is Yosuke Konishi and I’ve been running Nwn for 24 years now. I’m 48 years old as of 2024.

So how did you come up with the idea to start Nuclear War Now Productions? Did you work for any other labels before the Nuclear War?

YK: The name of the record label is nuclear war now! Productions because it was a nihilistic black humor taken from Throbbing Gristle. I’ve always been a vinyl collector so it made sense that I would eventually transition to releasing records as well. When I got the chance to see Blasphemy live and record their set on July 13th, 2001 I knew that I had to put it out on record. That’s pretty much how the label started and it’s been snowballing from then on

So what are some of the early mistakes you made early on, if any, that made the label stronger in the long run? Were there times the label almost went out of business?

YK: I didn’t take the business side as seriously as I should have at the beginning and as a result I lost some important bands along the way. I was very naive about the meaning of money and as a result, I did not do my job properly and keeping some bands happy. The other thing that I was not doing properly was focusing more on distribution rather than just releasing records on NWN. I should have been carrying what people wanted from day one no matter which label put it out. I was also too focused on trading as the main mode of distribution rather than buying stuff from other labels wholesale. These are small mistakes that I made along the way so other up-and-coming labels should take notes!

How did you come up with the name and were any other labels names considered?

YK: The name of the label has always been Nuclear War Now Productions from day one. The name was taken from a photograph of Genesis of throbbing Gristle where he’s wearing an at-shirt that reads nuclear war now. It’s their nihilistic black humor and aesthetic that appealed to me so I took the name for the label. To this day they are very inspiring to what I do with NWN.

So now how many people work at the label these days I imagine this is your full-time job am I right?

YK: Currently we have two full-time employees that work in the warehouse, but sometimes we have volunteers and my wife also helps out from time to time. Yes, this is now my full-time job but I kept a day job until just last year. I used to work in the Biotech Industry as a tech support manager. My background is in Biochemistry and molecular biology.

Now I like most of the stuff you release on your label. How do you find the bands that you sign? Is it mostly through bands sending you stuff or do you find bands on the internet or is it a combo of both?

YK: It’s not often that I sign bands based on demos that’s only happened maybe five times. I usually find a band through word of mouth from people I trust or other bands that I already work with will form new bands and that’s how I hear about new music. Correct micromat pants I don’t really.

Tell me how an actual release comes together from the time you agree to work with a band. Are their contracts? Do bands get any kind of recording budget?

YK: It depends on the band because we are in the underground. Most of the time it’s just a gentleman’s handshake with an agreement that if they pay for the recording then they own the rights 100%. We only do contracts these days if Nwn pays for the recording. Once the album is recorded and fully mastered then it’s just a matter of finding cover artwork. We can usually turn around a layout in 2 weeks and send it off to the factory to be pressed. These days it takes about 3 to 4 months for the records to come back from the factory fully assembled and ready to be sold. Going forward, once Helios Press, our own vinyl pressing factory is ready, we will be able to shorten the time it takes to release a record by a significant amount. I think a record can be ready in 1 to 2 months easily in the future especially if the packaging is very simple.

What styles of metal music does the label release? What has been the biggest seller so far?

YK: Bring me this metal music of all types. Our biggest seller is probably Blasphemy’s “Fallen Angel of Doom…” LP since it’s a classical and subgenre-defining album.

Do you ever do many demos to CD releases, or out-of-print releases at all?

YK: Yes we have done many of those over the years.

Have you ever seen bootleg stuff of releases you have put out and if you have, I’m sure that pisses you off? Have you caught the bastards?

YK: Yes plenty of boot likes up and done of new bands. It’s annoying but I have better things to do with my life so I just ignore them.

Now I just read you are opening up a record-pressing plant here in the US called Helios Press. What made you come to this idea? Is vinyl that much of a big seller for you? Now I read it is not just for Nuclear War bands, but for other labels too. I think that is great as it will just help the label grow and grow in the long run. Do you agree?

YK: It was a culmination of frustrations I’ve experienced over the years as a label owner and a desire to expand into new, albeit somewhat familiar, territory. In recent years especially, it’s become difficult to receive clear timelines for vinyl production, with frequent delays that throw a wrench into my logistics running the label and as a distributor. A few factors play into this, when everyone was shutting down because of Corona, the supply chain for record production was hit as hard as everything else, creating massive delays in every step of the process and creating a massive backlog of work for pressing plants. Around the same time, there was a major resurgence in the popularity of vinyl records amongst the general public- suddenly major labels were pressing tens of thousands of records, often taking up the entire production capacity of pressing plants. The good news for the factories is not so much independent record labels. Having recently left my corporate job behind to run NWN! full-time, I realized that I had enough capital accrued over the years to jump-start this new endeavor. The opportunity to take full control of my releases, and provide a quality product for others with transparency, was too much for me to pass up.

When do you hope the pressing plant will be open and where will it be located?

YK: We should be open in about 1 year and the factory is located in Grady Texas.

Now how many people will work at this pressing plant? Will this plant also print 7″ records as well as album vinyl?

YK: About eight people will work at the factory. 12-in vinyl LP but our machines can do 7-in and 10-in records.

What advice would you give to someone starting up a label, even a small label, and the printing of 7″ vinyl?

YK: If I was a small label just starting I would save money and do a 12-inch record first. 7 in are harder to sell in today’s economic climate. Just make sure that you choose the right band to work with because not everything has to be put on vinyl. Perhaps do a CD or tape instead since those are cheaper to make especially if you dub the tapes yourself. Concentrate on creating your unique identity as a label because you don’t want to get lost in the sea of releases that are coming out daily.

Now do you sell books and magazines on your label website at all?

YK: Yes we sell magazines and books as well. We have published some magazines and books on our own over the years.

Please plug any sites you have for the label and releases you have going into 2024.

YK: Our website is

and our Instagram page is


and our Helios Press Instagram page is

We have many releases coming in 2024 so it’s best to just follow us on our website or Instagram.

Yosuke, horns up for doing this short chat. Good luck with the label and the opening of your record plant going forward. Any last words the floor is yours.

YK: Thanks for the interview and support!

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