INFO-BLACK/ISO666 is a ripoff and bootlegger - an official letter from FOREST band
Kaldrad of FOREST, BRANIKALD, NITBERG, BlazeBirth Hall here. With this official letter we would like to inform everyone who consider themselves as our comrades and all those who deal with dishonorable thief, notorious ripoff and bootlegger Leonidas Yallas of INFO-BLACK Records, ISO666 Distro, CHAOS ebay webshop etc. that up from September 2007 we (FOREST band) take away all the rights of re-releasing, selling, trading et c. all FOREST albums from INFO-BLACK Records and all the virtual "structures" affiliated to this person. Currently we're going to find a trustworthy and professional label with true attitude and ability to re-release all 4 early FOREST albums in CD format with original and enriched designs in the nearest future, in order to completely remove INFO-BLACK's bootlegged shit from the scene.
All the FOREST CD's you may buy or trade from Leonidas Yallas and INFO-BLACK Records up from now on are considered as bootlegs by the band itself. This means that if you buy or trade any FOREST CD from INFO-BLACK or Iso666 you support dishonourable attitude, cowardice, thievery, bootlegging and shameless rip-off attitude, by getting those CD's you help Leonidas to steal from the real Creators of these albums further on. Thus, we have to warn all the individuals who consider themselves as a honest and real supporters of underground Black Metal in general and FOREST in particular:
DO NOT BUY OR TRADE ANY FOREST CD's FROM INFO-BLACK / ISO666.
Thanks for your attention. Any bands, labels or distros ripped off by Leonidas Yallas of INFO-BLACK Records / ISO666 feel encouraged to get in touch with us as we're forming a small website dedicated to exposure of the true attitude and real activities of this ripoff rat. If you support FOREST in their intention to cleanse the scumbags who cowardly steal from the bands out of Black Metal scene, feel free to spread this official letter.
For those interested in detailed reasons of this situations, everything is provided below.
Although we verbally (without any kind of contract) agreed on re-releasing 4 first albums of FOREST (namely "Forest" '96, "Like a Blaze Above the Ashes" '97, "Foredooming the Hope to Eternity" '98, "As a Song in the Harvest of Grief" '98) on INFO-BLACK Records back 5 years ago (in 2002), as some time passed, it turned out that the label's owner Leonidas Yallas never intended to deal with us honestly during all this time.
The first serious problem we got with Leonidas was, when back in 2005, he was supposed to print our 3rd and 4th albums ("Foredooming..." and "As a Song..."). Once we sent him the full layouts forth both booklets and traycards, he started to whine that they have too many pages (16 pages are "too much" for Info-Black) and are all in fullcolour, so he can't afford printing "such expensive layouts".
Thus, completely without our agreement he "designed" solely by himself and printed shitty small 4-pages black/white layouts with different frontcovers and as a money-grabbing pig already started to announce those albums as available for sale and trade. So we had to confront him with our demands to burn his shitty and unappropriate self-made booklets and print the real ones with lyrics and all images et c. as the band provided, but Leonidas continued to whine that he can't afford it and still tried to sell and trade those versions. He didn't said he doesn't agree to work with us and stop releasing our albums, he actually offered nothing to us, just complained about his expences and the need to sell those CD. Only due to the compromise (which we regret now) reached due to the help of our trusted contact we "solved" this problem in a way, so Leonidas had to print
half-ass small cards with the true frontcovers for both albums and put them inside of his shitty selfmade 4-pages booklets and spread these CD's that way.
During all these years Leonidas were printing uncounted copies of all 4 FOREST albums and were sending us 60 CD's out of each 500 _officially_ printed as the only kind of "payment". Of course, as we discovered later INFO-BLACK was printing much more than officially stated. For example, if to trust Leonidas' words and calculations, during whole 5 years of our collaboration he printed (and sent us our "share" of copies for) only 1000 or 1500 FOREST "Forest" CD's. These Cd's are being on and off in alot of distros during these 5 years since it was released and now many distros are getting this album again and again. Just for your information 1500 copies of FOREST "In a Flame of Glory" were released by Stellar Winter less than 2 years ago and 1200 copies of it were sold out / traded within 3 months after the release date, now you could rarely run into a distro which still have this CD available. Thus, learning about the demand in the underground and distributional dynamics of FOREST albums while comparing 3 months it took SW to spread the same amount which _allegedly_ took INFO-BLACK 5 years to spread, we clearly understood that Leonidas rips us off by printing at least 2 times more CD's than this thief openly declares to us.
A few times already, we also ocassionally ran into the info that he bootlegs the CD's of other bands and prints more copies, do more represses than he officially declares. He does so to give less copies for his bands (it's what some other bands who were formerly on Info-Black said in the private).
Be it true or not with the others (we still have to find out the direct proofs to expose even more facts about Leonidas), it is the exact dishonest and ripoff way he dealed with FOREST.
We could inform everyone officially that during the last 1,5 years or so Leonidas didn't sent a single CD to FOREST, although all 4 FOREST albums released on Info-Black are constantly available for wholesale and trades even now (which means he contantly represses them without our agreement and without providing anything to the band).
Even when warned by us and our comrades, he continued to ripoff and bootleg FOREST CD's for a couple of years already by violating and ignoring all the demands from us. So, I, being the main person behind FOREST, passed my demands and the new terms of a possible collaboration between FOREST and INFO-BLACK to Leonidas through a trusted contact a few times - 1 year ago (Autumn 2006), last Winter (2006/2007), 2 months ago (July 2007) et c. and I warned him that if he will not follow our demands we are going to act accordingly. We gave him time till 15th of September 2007. Leonidas firstly gave some excuses, when turned off, he didn't said he doesn't want to work with us anymore, he agreed on our terms and asked for more time to fullfill our demands (it was 1 year ago), then just openly ignored everything and stopped to answer the emails or sending us even our copies due to our old agreements, those he owes us for more than 1 year already. During this year he re-released again all 4 FOREST albums in A5 Digi-pack format solely on himself again, without any agreement with us and without sending us even a single copy of it. We still havn't even seen with our own eyes how these shitty bootlegs look.
Ignoring us and ripping us off never prevented Leonidas from getting money on our music. In the first decade of September INFO-BLACK sent a mass email to all his contacts proposing them his new releases and reprints, incl. all FOREST albums of course. I got informed about it and asked the trusted contact to write to Leonidas and tell him that we (FOREST) take away all the rights for all 4 FOREST albums from Info-Black, so until 15th of September Leonidas must trade or sell all his "remaining" FOREST CD's he has on his label/distro/shop and stop releasing/repressing/selling/trading anything from FOREST once and for all. Leonidas wrote us ridiculous reply claiming he doesn't care for what our contact passes to him and he wants to speak with FOREST directly. Actually Leonidas tries to invent everything just not to admit his faults, lies and stealing. So, INFO BLACK demanded to hear from us, thus my wife Katya (who is also FOREST/BBH member and painter) wrote Leonidas an official email from the behalf FOREST and send it from both our official email firstname.lastname@example.org as well as carbon copy from her private email. This was our letter to Leonidas:
This is Katya of BlazeBirth Hall / FOREST, Kaldrad's wife. I have an official word from Kaldrad to you. He
already passed this a couple of months ago, but I see you prefer not to listen. Our dealing with your label were based on a verbal agreement without any written contract or anything, so this is the way it ends. We take away all the rights for (re)release/repress/sale/trade all FOREST albums in any form from Info-Black Records, Iso666, Chaos Shop or any other structure you're behind up from 15th September 2007 due to your constant violation of our demands and innability to resolve this matter until the very deadline (Gorruth warned you about it months ago). So you were given enough time to solve everything or at least to spread the remaining bootlegged copies of FOREST you did during the last year and didn't paid to us for in any form. From now on all our relations with you and your label end. This is the will of FOREST and Kaldrad personally, not of Gorruth and STELLAR WINTER. Whoever will release and re-release all FOREST albums past and future up from now - is only our business and our decision, you have no rights for them anymore. If you will not follow our word till the day we gave you 2 months ago, the 15th of September, we would have to inform all your and our contacts about your dishonourable behaviour and about your rip off, bootlegging activities.
Leonidas openly ignored our letter and demands again, here is the only thing he replied with:
I' do not agree to whatever you say or plan to do with Forest cds.
i will wait for your move...
As you might see, this rip off and bootlegger openly admits he will not comply to the demands of the band, will not pay us what we demand and he will continue to print and sell our CD's despite any warnings etc. without any rights to do so. He demanded to hear from me directly still, but denied even to give his mobile number, so all I had to say to him after all the warnings is "just fuck off". This leaves FOREST no other choice than to do what we did. But this might not be the end of Leonidas troubles, because the liars and thieves must pay for their crap one day, sooner or later, who knows, Leonidas, perhaps we will meet one day in real and you will not be able to hide behind your PC and the distance of 2500 km's?
Please, repost it.