Andreas Kohl

Andreas Kohl

Andreas Kohl

Senior Manager | Optimal Media

Growing up behind the iron curtain but in a household with a deep admiration for rock ’n’ roll, Andreas’ earliest memories date back to his father turning up the volume of a Gene Vincent tape after his mom claimed the boy was listening to too much music. The effect might have lead to finding himself in his teenage years on a meadow with friends, booze and a wooden cassette player where he first heard the MC5 – a life changing experience. When the wall came down in 1989, Andreas spent his welcome money given out by the West German government on a record by the Californian Doom band Saint Vitus – whose singer Scott “Wino” Weinrich he later would manage.

Andreas then kicked off his career with booking underground shows and publishing music fanzines in the early 1990s leading to becoming a music journalist for VISIONS Magazine and a PR manager at EFA Distribution before he started his own label Exile On Mainstream and Southern Records Germany as sister company for the now legendary Southern Records UK. Southern used to be a distribution, label management, PR and tour agency providing pretty much all services an artist from the US might be in need for in Europe. Together with even touring as a musician in bands his endeavours led to three decades of experience in pretty much every field of the music industry while maintaining a deep admiration for the undergrounds and independent business.

In 2013 Andreas closed Southern Records and joined Optimal Media – one of the biggest pressing plants on the planet, now manufacturing almost 30 million records per year as well as CDs and all kinds of print products. Andreas works mainly in the vinyl department as senior manager in sales, customer service and quality assurance.

Apart from this day job he still runs Exile On Mainstream Records with now well more than 90 releases under his belt, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the label in 2019. He also writes as freelance journalist for MINT – a magazine dedicated to everything vinyl.

In his free time, he builds speaker cabinets for fun, climbs up mountains in summer, skis them down in winter and still loves hanging out with musicians more than anything else.