Mike Vitali of Magnetic Eye by Kiki Vassilakis
Mike Vitali has staggering plans for his surging doom and stoner-rock label and it all starts with a label showcase on Nov. 2 at the mecca of all things metal—the St. Vitus bar in Brooklyn.
The label joined forces with Albany’s PR and multimedia production house Overit last year and has seen increasing excitement over their Redux series, which has label artists and some of the most celebrated acts in the genre reimaging classic albums by artists like Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd.
Vitali plans to significantly increase the label’s output and scope next year and the Vitus showcase will serve as the warning shot.
“I basically realized we haven’t brought people together in a physical space. So I was talking to Horsehunter about doing some gigs and I thought I’d just call Vitus and see if we could schedule something around the Alice in Chains and Black Sabbath Redux releases next year. Turns out they are familiar with us and asked, ‘Why wait? Why not do it this year?’”
Magnetic Eye will be flying in Horsehunter from Australia, Domkraft from Sweden, Elephant Tree from England and Summoner, who hail from the far away land of Boston.
Not someone to rest on his laurels, Vitali will also record all of the night’s performances and make them available as part of a vinyl box set.
“Honestly, getting all these bands here with visas and airfare isn’t going to be cheap so I think the live record will help offset the costs. These artists, in particular, are so good and so god damn crushing, we just have to do it.”
Next year the label will shift from a formula of soliciting crowdfunding and preorders for albums every few months and take up what Vitali describes as a more “active schedule.”
“We realize it makes more sense to stay active throughout the year, to get involved in people’s lives every day, to continue that dialogue all year long. It may not necessarily be four releases a month, but that is the target.”
Vitali, who is a vocal critic of how Spotify pays artists and the music industry in general, says he wants Magnetic Eye to offer artists and fans of music an alternative to a broken system.
“There is a real sense of advocacy for musicians in what we’re doing. We’re doing it because the industry is a piece of dog shit and we need to find our own way. We need to build it ourselves. I think there’s a larger sense that we all need to run from the existing bullshit that is making money for a couple of rich tech guys while all the musicians are going broke and crazy.”