Scandinavia’s premiere rock- & metal label since 1997
The Story Of Mighty Music (written summer 2019 by Michael H. Andersen)
Scandinavia’s leading heavy rock label Mighty Music was established in the Autumn of 1997. During the years we have released hundreds of albums, countless singles, thousands of songs published, numerous live events and a helluva lot of merchandise. We have worked and still work with artists from around the globe like Artillery (DK), Tygers Of Pan Tang (UK), Blood Red Throne (NO), Electric Boys (SE), DD Verni (US), Mike Tramp (DK), Solbrud (DK), No Return (FR), Vanir (DK), Statement (DK), Marco Mendoza (US), Dim Mak (US), Panzerchrist (DK), Brutality (US), Blitzkrieg (UK), Forsaken (MA), Lucer (DK), Black Book Lodge (DK), Thorium (DK), Kickin Valentina (US), Transport League (SE) and lots of other great bands. The focus of Mighty Music has always had an international focus and we have worked with artists from around the world, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Slovakia, the UK, the US, Scandinavia, Malta.
In the beginning the label started out as a bedroom operation and slowly but steady developed into one one of the most important rock/metal labels in the world. Back in 1997 when Mighty Music was established, the two founders already had a handful of years of experience form the international metal scene. Bjarke Ahlstrand had done his fanzine Nagual since 1992, been a fanatic tape trader and a metal-radio host at National Danish Radio and Michael H. Andersen likewise started out doing his Emanzipation ‘zine back in 1991, did a local radio show “Air Pollution”, tape traded like a maniac and established Emanzipation Productions back in 1994 releasing a few cassette EPs leading to a license deal with now defunct record label Diehard and a handful of releases through this set-up with artists like Charon (FI), Taetre (SE), Centinex (SE), Exhumation (GR) and Iniquity (DK). Alongside Michael found his way into the professional side of the music industry in 1997 becoming Danish label manager for Roadrunner Records through the German company Edels Danish division, following Roadrunner to the new defunct music company MNW and during the years working with some of the biggest independent music companies like V2, Mute, Ryko, Silence, Music For Nations, Domino, Warp, Thrill Jockey, Crunchy Frog etc. After MNW closed down, Michael moved on to become head of sales for Bonnier Amigo in 2003 again working with Roadrunner Records and various other labels. In the period 2004 to 2007 Michael was approached by his old bos from Edel to become Head Of Sales for Warner Music in Denmark. With the experience from both the independent and major side of the professional music business, Michael decided to just into being 100% employed by his own company, Target Group and haven’t look back since.
Oh yeah, and a few years before establishing Mighty Music, Bjarke and Michael, decided to join forces with their two fanzines becoming Mighty Magazine instead and releasing a handful of professional magazines. And Oh yeah, Bjarke was active in an underground death metal band, Idiosyncrasy, in the early nineties and Michael has had a long career as frontman and singer, most notable in the melodic death metal band Withering Surface and the old school death metal act Thorium. Both bands are still active with many albums and tours under their belts.
In 2003 the tag-team behind Mighty Music established Target Distribution (today Target Group – www.targetgroup.dk ) and after a few years became the biggest indepenndent music distributor and music promoter in Denmark representing labels like Century Media, Metal Blade, SPV/Steamhammer, Sub Pop, Sanctuary, Mascot, Massacre, Provogue, Ruf as well as various Danish pop and indie artists. Many gold records have been received during the years, most notable the three first Volbeat albums (selling over 100.000 CDs and LPs in Denmark alone) and albums from Danish rap act Malk De Koijn and international artists like Band Of Horses and Morrissey. In 2007 Target Records was established. A record label with focus on alternative music within the pop, indie and rock genre. Acts like Hush, The Storm, The Floor Is Made Of Lave (of which the first album received a gold record) and a long, strong relationship with former White Lion frontman Mike Tramp. In 2005 targetshop.dk saw the light of day and later our merchandise company targetmerch.dk. Besides that we have organized tons of concerts and showcases mainly in Denmark, but also abroad. 2013 we established Nordic Noise – one of the most respected 2-day heavy rock festival in Scandinavia with over 10.000 people attending the festival during the years (www.nordicnoise.dk) and recently 3 other festivals have seen the light of day. Udgaardsfest – a 2-days festival with focus on Nordic music and culture, Nocturnefest – 2-day of goth/doom and Naestved Metalfest – a metal festival in the old hometown of Michael.
Since 1997 we have had our own publishing company and all publishing is today collected under Target Tunes. This is a very important business area for us in recent years.
In 2014 the team decided to start up a rock bar and venue in Copenhagen. Zeppelin Rock Bar saw the light of day and after a few years of struggling, the bar is now established and know world wide for it’s wide range of beer and liquir and an extension metal demo and 7”ep collection from the glorious fanzine days of Bjarke and Michael. check out www.zeppelincph.dk
Mighty Music has its main office in Copenhagen, Denmark and is sub label under Target Group. Besides this we have international promotion and marketing teams based in Germany, the US, the UK, France and Portugal. In 2019 Mighty Music signed a worldwide distribution and marketing agreement with SPV out of Hannover, Germany, who now handles all sales, marketing and distribution internationally. Digitally this field is covered by Believe Digital Distribution.
Target Group are members of the Danish industry associations IFPI and DUP (members of the board).
Our goal is still the same as when we started up in 1997: To present and work with music and people we personally understand and appreciate.
“Alongside the music industry in general, we have had many ups and downs in the history of Mighty Music. From being an all CD focused record company up ’til today when we are embracing the new technology with digital streaming and alternative ways of releasing and promoting artists alongside old school CD & LP releases. I still remember the term “please return my stamps” and still remember all the hard work we put into the label back in the days and still do. I am very proud of the fact that Mighty Music are still around and bigger and stronger than ever. We will gladly take another 20 years in ring. I’m still metal, bald and have had the same beautiful wife for 20 years. My partner in crime, Bjarke Ahlstrand has short hair today, but a beautiful new wife and is still pretty metal :)” Michael H. Andersen, 2019
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