So Rudy, how and when did you get in touch with metal music and what did you find captivating in this music?
Ok, I started like every kid listening to radio. I was recording all the music I liked on music cassettes. Soon I realized I enjoyed the harder music more than the other sound. I think, it all started with QUEEN in the mid 70ies. I really began listening to rocky guitar music rather than the disco sound of that period. My first music album I bougth was AC/DC’ s HIGHWAY TO HELL. At that time I was a big fan of AC/DC and KISS. Soon I had all their albums. What I enjoyed in Hard Rock / Heavy Metal music the most was the hard, heavy and LOUD sound! The feeling of rebellism and beeing maladjusted.
Do you have older sisters or brothers who introduced you in the world of metal or did you discover it by yourself?
I discoverd the music of Metal by myself. Well, one of my older brothers liked QUEEN, and I got in touch with this band. But real Metal music I discovered bymyself. Also my younger brother got into this music and we started discovering new bands together.
Were you always into the known, popular groups or wer you rather into the underground scene?
Of course I started with the more known bands such as AC/DC, IRON MAIDEN, KISS etc. But being sorrounded by Top 40ies listeners this was kind of underground! My hunger for new bands and sounds started to grow. I started looking for penpals all over the world. I was searching for magazines and stuff to find out about new bands. Hey, back then the internet was still utopia! I found out that there was a Metal radio show on the British army radio BFBS called Tony Jasper’s Heavy Metal Show. Every Tuesday at 10.00 pm I was listening to this one-hour Metal show. That’s were I heard first VENOM’s Black Metal! I was totally into tape trading – collecting live recording and demo tapes. I had tape trading friends all over the world. That’s how I discovered most of the underground stuff. Plus reading fanzines – because here were no „official” Metal magazines available.
What were the first records, bands what you started listening with?
As said earlier my first record was HIGHWAY TO HELL. The second was KISS’ „disco album” DYNASTY. From then on I started buying mainly KISS’ and AC/DC’s back catalogue until I owned all their records. By the way, my favorite KISS song is GOD OF THUNDER...
What were your first thoughts when you heard this style of music?
As a kid I always prefered guitar music or better known as Rock music. When I first heard AC/DC’s song HIGHWAY TO HELL I was blown away. Wow, those hard riffs and Bon Scott’s voice... AC/DC opened my door to Metal!
What was the 1st metal concert you saw and what are some of your favorite concerts that you have seen over the years?
Hm, the first show I saw was ACCEPT with EXCITER as support band. One of my two fave bands at that time. Although my very first concert but I was in the very first front line having my stomach bruised against the rails! I loved it. I still remember that my neck hurt the other say – and of course I felt deaf....
How was the status of metal in Germany back then? Did you have a strong, healthy scene?
Metal was an outsider’s music. Not much coverage in the magzines or TV. That changed during the 80ies. The first fanzines came out and later official magazines like Desaster and then Metal Hammer were published. The scene was heavily growing. Yes, compared with today, I would say, we had a healthy scene then.
Was it hard or easy to get, to buy records and tapes in the stores those times? Were you into vinyls, into tapes or it was equal for you?
Not many stores had a bright offer on Metal records. That’s why I bought most of my records via mailorder. It was no problem to get every record I wanted by mailorder services. I prefered vinyl! But I had a larged collection of bootleg tapes as I was heavily into tape trading.
At which point did you decide to begin a fanzine with? Did you create a fanzine, because you wanted to declare your tribute to the underground scene?
I started writing reviews for several fanzines. I also wrote reviews for a special Roadrunner Records fanzine that mainly featured bands from this label. The fanzine was called METAL WARRIORS. It had only a small circulation, I think less than 100 copies. Well, the editor lost his interest in this fanzine so I just took it over and created a complete new fanzine out of it. I started with my brother Ralf and my friend Michael Voss. The main reason to start a fanzine was that I had fun writing reviews and doing interviews. Plus I wanted to cover bands that didn’t get much press or were totally new and unknown. Our first edition were 300 copies and with No. 2 we started printing 1000 copies.
What kind of fanzines did exist in Germany at this point?
If I remember right there were Shockpower, Blitzkrieg, Rock Hard and some smaller mags that I can’t remember the name of right now. First fanzine I’ve ever bought was Shockpower.
Did the fanzines have any tradition in Germany? I mean, was it a well-known thing running fanzines?
I think so. Well, Rock Hard started as fanzine. It’s the best Metal magazine in Germany and you can buy it everywhere. There were many good fanzines in Germany just like Shockpower, Blitzkrieg, Speed Kills, Power Metal, Escape, Dark Tales etc. With issue no. 3 METAL WARRIORS was published in English thus I never counted my mag to the German fanzines. It was more of an internation fanzine written in bad English hahahaha.
Which fanzines have had the biggest influence, effect on you? Which papers did you know or like back then?
As inspiration and influence I have to name 3 mags: from Germany Shockpower and Blitzkrieg and the legendary US mag KICK ASS. KICK ASS was great, I had a subscription and was anxiously waiting for every issue. The editor Bob Muldowney sadly passed away some months ago. Another US mag I liked a lot was GUILLOTINE PRESS because of their funny writing style. Gray Matter from Texas was great too. Of course I liked Rock Hard. The German Escape was great too. I read as many fanzines as I could get because I was always hungry for new bands. The funny thing is they never featured bands that I haven’t heard of before. I received so many demo tapes every week. I think I knew every Metal band existing – at least those who had released a demo...
What about the title of the fanzine?
As said before, I just took it over from a fanzine I used to write for. I liked the name METAL WARRIORS. Fighting for Metal!
Did you run it alone or was a staff behind the paper?
I started it with my brother and a good friend. Later I was the only left but had some staff writers. Later Ralph-Andre Klockow joined forces as co-editor. He did the layout of the last 3 issues and he did it much better than I.
How did you divide the tasks among each other?
They had all freedom. They came to me with and interview of this or that band and I just put it into the mag. Same with reviews. That’s the reason our mag got bigger and bigger with each issue.
How did you do the issues of the fanzines? How much did take to do each issues?
Soon after the an issue was printed I started the next one. Sending out interview questions, listening to new records and demos, visiting concerts and making new contacts. It took some months to get the next issue ready – remember, there was no internet and no emailing in the 80ies. When all was ready I began with the layout, which took about 2 days – or better nights. I prefered working nighttime. Later the the layout was done by my co-editor which I was happy about.
Did you do the issues with typewriter? What about the production of the fanzines as a whole?
Yes, everything was done by type-writer. At that time I had no computer. Gosh, that was a lot of work, man.
Could you tell us detailed about each issues?
# 1: front cover pic was Doro Pesch, 44 pages, interviews with LIVING DEATH, BATHORY, WARLOCK, TANKARD, DESOLATION ANGELS, SODOM, IRON ANGEL, VOIVOD, DESTRUCTION, DEATHSLAYER, MERCYFUL FATE, TANK, STORMWIND, OZ etc. , some features, live reviews and the typical demo/record reviews. We also had a Dutch Special with bands from the Netherlands. Plus poster of SOODM + DESTRUCTION which got us many buyers from outside Germany! Back cover pic of Jeff Hannemann (live). The layout was awful ;-) # 2: King Diamond on the cover, 44 pages, interviews with POSSESSED, BULLDOZER, ZNÖWHITE, ARTILLERY, ASTAROTH, SAMHAIN (Denmark), AVENGER (now known as RAGE!), CELTIC FROST, NASTY SAVAGE, HIRAX, BITCH, MOTÖRHEAD, MESSIAH, KREATOR (when I did the interview me and my brother skipped school!), SAVAGE GRACE, WARFARE, back cover pic of Gary Holt. Posters of each KREATOR memeber! The layout still sucked ;-) # 3 my friends ASSASSIN made it finally on the cover, first issue written in (bad) English laguage, 44 pages again, interviews with ASSASSIN, DEATH, WATCHTOWER, MINOTAUR, DEATHROW, VIOLENT FORCE, HOLY MOSES, WALLOP, DESOLATION ANGELS, BULLDOZER, SEPULTURA, DETENTE, CYCLONE, MALICE, SAVATAGE, SIREN, CANDLE MASS, DEATH ANGEL, ZOETROPE, MEFISTO (Sweden), MARTYR, ANTHRAX, SATAN’S HOST (fist interview for an European mag!), DRUID, THANATOS, some demo/record reviews, back cover pic of John Connelly. Including VOI VOD poster. # 4 front cover with John Connelly, first time glossy pager for the cover, 48 pages, interviews with NUCLEAR ASSAULT, DESTRUCTION, SODOM, HELLOWEEN, RACER X, CASBAH, HELLWITCH, MORTAL SIN, MASSACRE, HELLION, EDEN, HITMAN, FIFTHS ANGEL, HAMMERS RULE, KREATOR, INFERNO (Holland), OVERKILL, HOLY TERROR, I started those Questionnaires sheets with Nasty Ronnie, back cover MINOTAUR, poster of SEPULTURA + ASSASSIN, layout still not perfect but much better... # 5 my favorite cover pic: Nasty Ronnie, 68 pages, interviews with VOIVOD, TANKARD, MANILLA ROAD, PHANTOM, PRONG, CATALEPSY, CANDLE MASS, ATTITUDE, DEATH ANGEL, NAPALM DEATH, NEGAZIONE, LIVING DEATH, RAGE, NASTY SAVAGE, FLAMING ANGER, NUCLEAR SYMPHONY, DESPAIR, SILNXCE, PARADOX, HOLY MOSES, CORONER, THE ACCUSED, PROTECTOR, XANDIL, RUMBLE MILITIA, DESEXULT, PESTILENCE, WEHRMACHT, PRIMAL SCREAM (New York), DARKNESS, VIRGIN STEELE, TYRRANICIDE, MINOTAUR, LION, LORD CRUCIFIER, questionnair with Robert Gonnella/ASSASSIN, many record/demo reviews, back cover pic of RAGE. The layout was ok, but the printing wasn’t too good this time. # 6 Saina HOLY MOSES on the front cover, first time all glossy pager, 72 pages, interviews with EXODUS, WHIPLASH, DREAM DEATH, HOLY MOSES, BLACK SHEPHARD, MX, THANATOS, POLTERGEIST, SCARECROW, SIEGES EVEN, DRIFTER; FORMICIDE, TYNATOR, RIEKBOOIS, WICKED ANGEL, GRINDER/BLIND GURDIAN double interview, SEMPTERNAL DEATHREIGN, HEXX, CHASTAIN, TROUBLE; ICE AGE, MEANS TO AN END, NUCLEAR SIMPHONY, DEADLY BLESSING, INTRUDER, SIREN, LAAZ ROCKIT, PROCESS REVEALED, MALFEITOR, EXCALIBUR, FIFTH ANGEL, HALLOWS EVE, HDES, EXCITER, MUCKY PUB, LAST DESCENDANTS, SANCTUARY etc. tons of record/demo reviews, layout satifying, poster of LORD CRUCIFIER. # 7 the final edition, 80 pages, front cover pic one guys from HELSTAR (can’t remeber who that is...;-)), interviews with HELSTAR, WATCHTOWER, BLOODGOOD, SUICIDAL TENDENCIES, NUCLEAR SYMPHONY, MX MACHINE, DANGEROUS TOYS, INSTIGATORS, RAGE, HELLBASTARD, TYRANT’S REIGN, OLIVER MAGNUM; QUEENSRYCHE, CYBER KULTUR, INSECTICIDE, VIOLENCE, AMORED SAINT, OBLIVION KNIGHT, SOLITUDE, ACCU§ER, DARK ANGEL, LORD CRUCIFIER, LUDICHRIST, HALLOWS EVE, REALM, DESPAIR, WENCH, LIEGE LORD, DEATH, LEATHERWOLF, HELLWITCH, ANNIHILATOR, SAVATAGE, FORBIDDEN, ANACRUSIS, etc. tons of demo and record reviews, we had so many stuff we had to shrink the letters to get everything in. The only issue without poster.
What were the early issues like and how were the responses to them? How many copies did you print and was it hard to get rid of them?
First issue was 300 copies, quickly sold out. As we had a poster of SODOM and DESTRUCTION we suprisingly got many orders from outside Germany. From no. 2 on we always printed 1000 copies. In the end all issue got sold out!
Were they xeroxed, printed or photocopied?
All issues were printed. Later we even used the expensive glossy paper.
What do the issues cost back then? Did you also change, trade with other fanzine editors?
We sold them for DM 4 + postage or US 3 + postage. In the in end we raised the price a little bit because of the high printing costs. Of course I traded with other fanzine editors as I was always interested in other fanzines. I had a large collection of fanzines. Because of highwater in my cellar I lost most o them. The rest I sold via ebay and made some extra bucks, hahahaha.
On what did the contents of your fanzine demand? How did you pick up those bands, with whom you wanted doing interviews?
I featured mainly bands that I liked or thought would be worth the support. When I worked with my staff writers I also accepted features of bands I wasn’t a big fan of. Non names here... I never let anybody dictate me what to do. I once got into arguments with a promotering of Roadrunner Rec. because I wasn’t interested in featuring a certain band of that label. She said, if I don’t give them space in my mag they wouldn’t put me on any guest lists again... In the end that band didn’t make it in my mag but I still got into the concerts. I was always „hunting” for new and interesting bands. I’m sure METAL WARRIORS was the first European fanzine that interviewed band such as WATCHTOWER, SATAN’S HOST or MORTAL SIN!
Would you say, that Metal Warriors was dedicated to the speed/thrash/death/black scene or was it dedicated to the metal scene in general?
It was dedicated to the Metal scene in general . I had bands from all styles Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Prgressive Metal, Speed/Thrash Metal, Black Metal and even some Glam bands sneaked into the pages. But yes, most bands were from the thrashier kind of life. But that’s because there were kind of Thrash Metal wave and most new bands played that kind of Metal.