Chris Aubert, the editor of RIPPING HEADACHES Fanzine and SPRASH CORE Fanzine (France) is not hard to find, as he got a nice profile on MySpace and he is the editor of MySpace-profiles of great old school bands like ABATTOIR, AFTERMATH and DESECATRION. So, if you are a metalhead and you are surfing on MySpace, you’ll surely meet him. Now is presented a full lenght interview with him, with one of the most authentic expert of wold wide Metal Scene of late ’80s and ’90s. Enjoy!!!
So Chris, how and when did you get in touch with metal music and what did you find captivating in this music?
Int. Started March 15th: I think I was something like 10-12 years old. After school each day i would stay at that house before my parents would come and pick me up. And the son there was older than me, and he was listening to stuff like Deep Purple, Led Zeppelin... This was the first metal bands i got the opportunity to listen to...
Do you have older sisters or brothers who introduced you in the world of metal or did you discover it by yourself?
Just have one older sister who was never interested in anything metal
Were you always into the known, popular groups or wer you rather into the underground scene?
Started to listen to mainstream metal in 1980: Accept, Judas Priest, Scorpions, Mötley Crüe... and was quickly attracted by more obscure undergroud stuff after reading articles on them in magzines... and later in fanzines: Voivod, Abattoir, Metallica, Venom, Chateaux...
What were the first records, bands what you started listening with?
First two LP’s I bought the same day were Scorpions „Fly to the Rainbow” and Saxon „Wheels Of Steel” in 1980.
What were your first thoughts when you heard this style of music?
I was listening disco stuff back then and especially loved the heaviness of Kiss in their disco period and thought the heavier stuff the better and soon later: the faster, the better! Simply needed something to headband on!
What was the 1st metal concert you saw and what are some of your favorite concerts that you have seen over the years?
First one was Accept with Exciter opening in 1985 I believe! Accept was supporting the release of „Metal Heart” and were killer but I was truly amazed by the raw energy of Exciter!! Relentless aural massacre! I quickly understood I was moving to the extreme stuff! Later my fave concerts were Agent Steel, Krisiun, Diabolic, Nile, Morbid Angel, Judas Priest, Arkhon Infaustus, Artillery, Death, Exodus, Agnostic Front, Marduk... for most of them during their early days...
How was the status of metal in France back then? Did you have a strong, healthy scene?
In the 80’s we had the first real metal mag ever available in French called „Enfer Mag”. Killer interviews and articles. Photos were amazing... I still remember the first Venom pictures! Those guys were the extreme version of Alice Cooper posing a lot on every pic, using their image to promote their music just like Marilyn Manson did later... It was shocking ha ha back then just like Motley Crue. Too much actually but we loved that. French metal had some success back in the early 80’s but I was never a big fan of the French mainstream metal acts.
Was it so big and interesting, like in Germany or in England was?
Underground was weak compared to Germany, it starterd slowly when kids first heard of Metallica, Slayer, Venom, Hellhammer and the German scene. There was a small scene in Marseille for Extreme stuff even before one arose in Paris.
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?
In the early eighties the vinyl was almighty everywhere. Few cassette tapes actually. The main stores would often carry metal such as Maiden and Scorpions... In Paris there was that shop specializing in extreme stuff. I remember buying all releases coming on SPV or Roadrunner (This Dutch company was very active releasing all the Metal Blade catalog on the European market). It was easy to buy all what was released back then as there wasn’t so many releases. And every band was sounding different.
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 saw some ads in main metal mags and wrote to read those zines concentrating on extreme stuff. As soon as I got them i wanted mine too! I first got involved in Gorgar for 1 issue with a friend (that was in French) then I started Sprash core Mag in English with 2 friends in Paris area (2 issues with them) but I wanted to join an international zine. That’s how I became involved with Ripping Headaches from Tampa, Florida. The guys did 6 issues before I joined and together we did another 8 issues. Last one in 91.
What kind of fanzines did exist in France at this point? I know only Decibel Of Death by Laurent Ramadier…
Mostly Hard rock and metal stuff. Some of these zines even made it professionnal for a short period of time. DOD came to life after the end of Hardos Mag which was more H. Rock orientated. Ludovic ’La Glu’ Gluzco imported the Thrash metal tapes in France. He was from Yugoslavia and imported those tapes of Hardcore/Thrash/Punk bands from there. I remember listening to some of these back in the early eighties and I was blown away by the energy. Sadly enough he committed suicide later and L. Ramadier kept the zine going. Many other French zines appeared but none of them were so dedicated to the extreme metal stuff. Most were into mainstream bands and were in French which limitated circulation.
Did the fanzines have any tradition in France? I mean, was it a well-known thing running fanzines?
Actually no. Nothing like in Anglo Saxon countries were it’s quite famous in Universities... where they were carrying political orientated articles, poems, art... I remember visiting the US back then and zines were in cafés, record stores, universities... everywhere actually, most of them free. Here in France circulation was very limited and through mail orders.
Which fanzines have had the biggest influence, effect on you? Which papers did you know or like back then?
Metal Forces with the penpal section! I got in touch with people all over the place and started trading tapes. Extreme sections in Enfer Mag and Metal Attack. Then I started to buy zines after reading the ads such as DOD, Apocalyptic Noise... Killer stuff was coming from Kick Ass, Deathfuck, Blackthorn, Violent Noize, Metallic Beast... Most of the people behind them made it later into the Music industry in a way or another.
As far as the name of the fanzine, did you choose it because you a were a big Voivod fan back then?
I didn’t chose it myself but I belive the answer may be yes.
Did you run it alone or was a staff behind the paper?
It was a group of 3 co-editors and various contributors from everywhere. Every contribution was welcome... even Gylve Nagell (later called Fenriz) contributed. Logo was designed by George of Bloodcum, some covers where from Nocturnus artist Ron Roberts and one from Drew Elliott who did Necrophagia’s Season of the dead cover...
How did you divide the tasks among each other?
Bruce and Bryan in Tampa were gathering stuff from Us record companies and I did from European companies. The we would write reviews. Everyone of us had friends in the tape trading circuit and some of them wrote articles, scene reports, interviews... All was gathered and sent to Bruce who was doing the typesetting, cut & paste layout and stuff... He was the one working the most for R.H. From issue 7 to 12 it was xerox copied then printed in offset quality on cheap paper.
How did you do the issues of the fanzines? How much did take to do each issues?
The process was fast as it was many people contributing. The longest part was typesetting. We always had tons of interviews and reviews to put inside. We never lacked of material to review! And we reviewed 90% of what we were receiving. Honestly saying what we felt about this or that. True zine attitude. Record companies didn’t care what we would say, they just cared we did review the stuff they were sending so their bands get promotion. Pretty little money was coming from ads placed in the zine so we had no pressure from labels to review shitty bands from them in exchange of some adspace cash (the pain in nowadays press, don’t you think?). Money was coming from our own pockets and also from the sales but that never covered the expenses...
Did you do the issues with typewriter? What about the production of the fanzines as a whole?
Yeap, old school basic & shitty wordprocessor on one of the earliest pc you could imagine! And i won’t say anything about that awful printer Bruce was using ha ha! But we were ahead of our time as we used already a computer!! Most of the zines used typesetting (like i did for Sprash Core) but we were aleady a step forward ha ha! Quality of the whole thing wasn’t so good (pictures were poor too, most of them too dark to actually see anything) I must admit but it was sweat and tears from our hearts, from people dedicated to the scene.
Could you tell us detailed about each issues?
Sprash Core #1... (1988) Coroner, Ripcord, Darkthrone, Drifter, Kasjurol, Axegrinder, Concrete Sox, E.A.B., Pathetic Children, Fear Of God, Tribulation, Groovy Aardvark, Yog Sothots, Sodom, Tankard...(in English)Interviews : Coroner, Ripcord, Darkthrone, Drifter, Kasjurol, Axegrinder, Concrete Sox, E.A.B., Pathetic Children, Fear Of God, Tribulation, Groovy Aardvark, Yog Sothots, Sodom, Tankard...incl. gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : Sepultura, Doom, Agony, Mucky Pup, Nomed, Viking, Emils, Crumbsuckers, Nihilist (Sweden), Obscurity... 28 pages
Sprash Core #2... (1988) Death, Necrophagia, Pendemia, Emils, Cremains, Aggression, Agressor, Sacred Reich, Sempiternal Deathreign, Soothsayer, Loudblast, Death Power, Moral Minority, Doom, President Fetch, Negazione, Slash, Mass Death...(in English) Interviews : Death, Necrophagia, Pendemia, Emils, Cremains, Aggression, Agressor, Sacred Reich, Sempiternal Deathreign, Soothsayer, Loudblast, Death Power, Moral Minority, Doom, President Fetch, Negazione, Slash, Mass Death...incl. gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : O.L.D., Xyster, Italian scene report, Vio-Lence, Hellbastard, Wehrmacht, Slap Shot, Heimat Los, Heresy, Armia, Youth Of Today, Morbid (Sweden), Obliteration, Nihilist, Agathocles... 32 pages
Ripping Headaches #7... (1989) Devastation, Testament, Razor, Vomit...(in English) Interviews: Devastation (Texas), Skeletal Earth, Anacrusis, Fatal Blessing, Tyrranicide, Vomit (Greece), Testament... incl. NY scene report, gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : Realm, Meliah Rage, Death, Pestilence, Bathory, Bloodcum, Sodom, Annihilator, Recipients Of Death, Razor, Celtic Frost, Vendetta, Hittman, Tankard, Napalm Death, Indestructible Noise Command, Mutilated (France), Pungent Stench, Immolation, Sathanas, Tynator, Potential Threat, Stygian, O.L.D., Methedrine, Atrocity (U.S.A.), Black Ritual, Defiance, Exmortis, Cremains, Autopsy, Decimation, Fester, Conquest, Salem, Hostile Rage, God, Darkthrone, Sindrome, Slayer, Motörhead, OverKill, Nocturnus, Morbid Angel, Metallica, Queensr˙che, Christ On Parade, Intense Degree, Bomb Disney, Insaniac, Agathocles, Brute Force, Dream Theater, Quorthon, Helldozer... 42 pages
Ripping Headaches #8... (March 1989) Cremains, Exodus, Witches, Sepultura, Hellwitch (in English)
Interviews : Cremains, Exodus, Witches, Sepultura, Hellwitch incl. gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : Brazil scene report, Exodus, Dark Angel, Morbid Angel (first album), Gang Green, Metal Church, Leeway, O.L.D., Psychic Possessor, Murphy's Law, Nocturnus (first demo), Cryptic (Finland), Cynic (first demo), Deceased, Necrophile, Paineater, Dorso, Aftermath (Chicago), Nasty Savage live, Exodus live, Holy Terror live, Death live, Immolation live, Loudblast live, Agressor live... 56 pages
Ripping Headaches #9... (1989) God B.C., Anarchus, Solitude, Immolation, Dorsal Atlantica, Sacred Reich, Vastator, Death Angel... (in English) Interviews : God B.C., Anarchus, Solitude, Immolation, Dorsal Atlantica, Sacred Reich, Vastator, Death Angel... incl. gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : Deathrow, Creeping Death, Hexx, Annihilator, Angkor Wat, Kreator, Atoxxxico, Godflesh, Defecation, Minor Threat, Obituary (first album), Sword, Helloween, Assuck, Cannibal Corpse (first demo), Anarchus, Witches, Leprocy, Nocturnus live, Motörhead live, Dark Angel/Death live, Massacra live, Amon (pre Deicide) live, Atheist live... 54 pages
Ripping Headaches #10... (1989) Dark Angel, Obituary, Sabbat, Forbidden, Nocturnus, Cryptic, Minotaur... (in English) Interviews : Dark Angel, Sabbat, Forbidden, Nocturnus, Cryptic, Minotaur, Obituary... incl. Mexican scene report, gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : Sabbat, Atheist, Napalm Death, Vulcano, Imperator, Sadistic Intent, Matricide, Blasphemy, Exmortis...62 pages
Ripping Headaches #11... (Dec. 1989) Amon/Deicide, Coroner, DoomWatch, Impetigo, Prime Evil, Stygian, Leprocy, Death In Action... (in English) Interviews : Amon (now called Deicide), Coroner, Doom Watch, Prime Evil, Stygian, Impetigo, Leprocy, Death In Action...incl. Chicago scene report, gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : Sodom, Blood, King Diamond, Demolition Hammer, Aftermath, Cadaver, Winter, Malevolent Creation, Derketa, Impetigo, Morbid Angel, Atheist, Immolation, Massacra...58 pages
Ripping Headaches #12... (May '90) Pungent Stench, Derketa, Excel, Assück, Autopsy... (in English) Interviews: Necrosis, Paineater, Death Yell, Assück, Derketa, Pungent Stench, Incubus (Louisiana), Excel, ... incl. gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : Incubus (Louisiana), Macabre, Pungent Stench, Atrocity (Germany), Disharmonic Orchestra, Death, Artillery, Atrophy, Bolt Thrower, Vengeance Inc., Candlemass, Abomination, Gammacide, Nuclear Death, Paradise Lost, Assück, Mortem, Slam Suzzanne, Brain Implosion, Radiation Sickness, R.C., Pink Lincolns, Pendulum, Nemesis, Devastation (Texas), Carcass, Torch, Anacrusis, Cancer, Kaos, I.O.D., Pendemia, Entombed, Asphyx, Death Yell, Bathym, Killpower, Apparition, Chemikill, Cold Steel, Milk & Cookies, Anarchy, F.U.B.A.R., Crystal Myth, Lurch Killz, Derketa, Corpse Grinder, Sadism, Neuro Toxin, Metalium, Deslok, The Guff, 911, Final Prophecy, Psychotic Waltz, Therion, Mercenari, The Plague, Maelstrom, Abhorer, Krullur, Stygian, Lunacy, Geronimo, Fourth Reich, Metroz, Pestilence, Autopsy, Lorelei, Malevolent Creation, Brutality, Loudblast, Mental Disturbance, Genitorturers, D.V.C., Ripped, Angkor Wat, Xyster, Maddox, Rapscallion, Drop Hammer, Coup De Grace, Bestial Vomit, Silent Death, ...60 pages + 1 A4 poster : Skeletal Earth
Ripping Headaches #13... (1990) Autopsy, Massacra, Revenant, Funeral Nation, Aviction, Therion, Penance, Atrocity...(in English) Interviews : Autopsy, Massacra, Revenant, Funeral Nation, Aviction, Therion, Penance, Atrocity...incl. gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : Deicide, Forbidden, Nocturnus, Obituary, Sacred Reich, Cannibal Corpse, Sadus, Acheron, Darkthrone, Cynic, Morbid Angel, Sadistic Intent, Zombified Preachers Of Gore, Condemnation, Edge Of Sanity, Horde Of Torment, Baphomet, Macabre...48 pages
Ripping Headaches #14... (Feb. '91 – final issue -) Possessed, Impetigo, Slayer, Entombed... (in English) Interviews : Slayer, Possessed, Impetigo, Brutality, Benediction, Entombed, Invocator, ... incl. Texas scene report, gig reviews, demo and vinyl reviews : Beyond Death, Hellchild, Broken Hope, Monstrosity, Abruptum, Gamma Ray, Demolition Hammer, Eviction, Slayer, Hellwitch, Blasphemy, King Diamond, Impetigo, Candlemass, Therion, Sadistic Intent, Toxodeth, Dorsal Atlantica, Exhorder, Realm, Hawkwind, Pelican Crook, The Coup De Grace, Stone Vengeance, Incubus, Cadaver, Hexx, Celtic Frost, Killing Joke, Dave Sharmax, Godflesh, Axemaster, Mighty Force, Carnage, Hyste'riah GBC, Sorcery, Bloodstar, Cerebral Fix, Faith No More, Northwinds, Radiation Sickness, Master, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Righteous Pigs, Dark Angel, Cyclone Temple, sick Of It All, Severance, Chapel Of Ghouls, Rhed Asphalt, Mizery, Meat Shits, Rabid Captor, Necromacy, Endangered Species, Kohruption, Decimation,Apostasy, False Prophet, Killing Addiction, Bethlehem, Extrema, Darkthrone, Deterrent, Theriac, Brain Death,.No Remorse, Rorschach, Final Prophecy, Human Remains, Malicious Damage, Slaughterhouse K.O.D., B & R, Prisoner, New School, Simple Aggression, Aceldamia, Cardiac Cease, Spectral Birth, Hotopsy, Ash to Ashs, Profaner, Splatterean, Ripping Corpse, Mortician, Funebre, R.U. Dead, Beyond Death, Annihilator, Reverend, Danzig, Trouble, Sepultura, Obituary, Sadus, Nocturnus, Paineater, Gwar... 48 pages
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?
We sent a lot of ads through mail and that helped creating a buzz around the name. Especially among record labels, bands and tour promotors. Other zines editors were also familiar with the name as we traded ad space. Issues 13 and 14 sold around 1000 each.
Were they xeroxed, printed or photocopied?
Xerox copied until issue 12 then professionnally offset printed. Bruce was working in a printing company back then so we became more familiar with the technique. Layout also improved and so the pictures quality. Funny enough I’m now working in the printing and packaging industry.
What do the issues cost back then? Did you also change, trade with other fanzine editors?
A couple of US dollars. We sent a lot more free to record companies, bands, promotors, zines editors... than we actualy sold. We traded a lot with other zines editors.
On what did the contents of your fanzine demand? How did you pick up those bands, with whom you wanted doing interviews?
Everyone in the team had faves and we all included these bands in the zines. I wanted more Hardcore bands like DRI, Agnostic Front... like what I was doing in Sprash Core Mag but the RH co-editors were not into that style so some interviews never made it onto paper like DRI in 88. Actually a couple of other interviews and reviews never came to printing. It was either interviews conducted live at shows or through phone with record labels’ help. Back then it was quite easy to call someone at Rodracer and ask for an interview with Forbidden for example. In the Tampa bay Bruce and Bryan were also able to interview local bands such as Deicide, Nocturnus, Atheist, Morbid Angel... and others who were recording at the Morrisound studios like Terrorizer, Napalm Death... Remember there was no internet so everyone in the music industry was happy with the fanzine thing to promote their activities.
Would you say, that Ripping Headaches was dedicated to the speed/thrash/death/black scene or was it dedicated to the metal scene in general?
Thrash/Death I would say and some crossover bands like DRI. Very few Black metal actually. Black metal became popular a bit later in the early 90’s. 80’s were more Thrash and Death metal I believe.
Did you prefer the underground scene?
As soon as I figured about it I never left it and followed it. Some bands made it big some didn’t, some wimped out (slayer, Metallica...). Bruce kept close to these 2 bands but for me I always prefered their early stuff.
At which point and why did you start running the fanzine with an American dude? Who was he and how did he get in the picture exactly?
Bruce Davis started RH in 87 i think or something. He was a couple years younger than me. He was heavily into Metallica, Slayer... I got in touch through mail when we traded our zines (I sent him Sprash Core Mag and he would come back with RH issue 6). I wanted to move forward to some international zine so i wanted to quit Sprash Core and I asked Bruce to co-edit RH with him and he agreed. Then I made it many many times to Florida to meet him, and became close friends. Bryan Daniel also from Tampa who was doing Invincible Force zine back then also joined forces and the three of us moved forward with a revamped RH. Later in the early 90’s the scene kinda changed and slowed down, Death metal replacing Thrash metal, originality was becoming rare. So we kinda lost interest in doing a zine. Also the last issues professionnaly printed cost us a lot of money and as most of the copies were given away for free it was to keep on going. Bruce became more in journalism with Music Players in Tampa taking care of th Metal section while working at that printing shop at the same time. Bryan went on to study. As for myself early 90’s were a very bad period of my life, and even if i kept listening metal i hardly went to any shows and meet anyone for a couple of years. Later in the 90’s we eventually talked again with Bruce but it’s now a long time since we lost contact. If anyone know where he is I’d be happy to hear about him and Bryan!
Because those times weren’t any internet, I think you got in touch with the bands via snail mail, correct?
Yeap, and through phone or at shows.
Were you aware of the newer bands via flyers or…?
We were receiving tons of tapes via tape trading. Between 1985-1991 or so I was receiving at least 6 90 minutes long tapes a day! So a hell lot to listen to and to review enventually! Flyers also made us curious to listen to other bands...
Were there bands, labels they never answered you?
Most of the labels answered and sent their stuff like Roadracer, Earache, Nuclear Blast, Wild Rags... I can’t remember of any band that didn’t answer an interview actually. Some were nicer than others of course, some were rockstars and down to earth. I remember sharing nice time, reheasals and also diners with Forbidden, Master, Morbid Angel, Darkthrone, Nocturnus, Death, Loudblast, Excel, Deicide, Damnation (Canada)... Funny enough not the biggest names were the rockstars. Some very little bands acted like they were rockstars...
What did you feel, when the first issue was released? Were you proud of it?
We always thought it was important to release the zines quickly after the reviews and interviews were made. We were annoyed reading zines with interviews done 2 years before... So we wanted to avoid that. Of course our layout could have been better, but actually noone ever complained, not even today when someone asks for an old issue on eBay. So even if we wanted to improve it quality wise the written matter was always more important. And most of all we didn’t want to become Metal Forces or Kerrang we just wanted to ask fan questions to bands. And have fun doing it! And we had tons! We made tons of friends among the scene. That was the thing!
How did you distribute, spread the fanzines? Were you in connection with penbangers from all over the world?
We sent it through mail, or to a couple of distributors and stores (mostly in the US). Penbangers from all over the world were actually the ones spreading the word! I spent many many hours in my life waiting in post offices lines... People from Malaisia, Peru, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Poland, Bulgaria, Russia, Germany, Belgium, Holland, England, Norway, France, Sweden... too many actually!
Were each issues available in record stores? Did you send from the paper to those bands, which were interviewed in the fanzine?
Some record stores had it, mostly in the US and we always tried to send a copy of the zine to any band/record label that helped doing it. Some may have been forgotten though...
Were you in connection with underground labels as well? Were they supportive for Ripping Headaches?
Seraphic Decay, Gore Recs, Nuclear Blast (when they started were very small label too!), Wild Rags, Thrash Recs... All of them were supportive. Same for the biggest ones like Roadracer, Earache...
Did you get from them promo packages? How did the labels do the promotion back then at all?
We were always receiving most of their promo stuff and they gave us many opportunities for interviews... Actually it was pretty easy to get their promo stuff if you asked them and if you would then send a free copy of the zine with their stuff reviewed. I remember them being very nice and was always astonished how friendly they were with such a small zine we were compared to major magazines. But of course there was no internet for promo, just mags, zines and radio stations.
Which labels were the best back then respectively which labels did have the best releases?
I would say Metal Blade, then Rodrunner releasing M.B. catalog for Europe. Earache releasing only classics! Incl. First Morbid Angel. Also Combat ruled. Steamhammer/SPV for German Thrash: Destruction, Sodom... Noise also for German Thrash with Helloween, Deathrow...
How often did you release the issues of each fanzines?
A couple every year, as soon as they were ready actually... Depending on the stuff we had.
Would you say, that you developed issue by issue?
We basically stayed the same, same people, same spirit. Only the last 2 issues had a better printing quality.
Did any people influence your writing style?
Metal Forces, Kick Ass, DOD, Blackthorn, Whiplash, Violent Noize, Maximum R’n’R...
Did you reach all of your goals what you wanted to achieve with Ripping Headaches?
Yeap, I was very proud of it back then, I would have loved RH to look like Blackthorn though. But I was proud the bands and labels respected us. I could have become a professionnal journalist back then, who knows? But I would have surely lost the dedication i put in the zine... I made many friends, travelled a lot around the planet earth... What more could you expect? Most of all I’m so proud when today people write to the zine’s page on Myspace to say they still have their issues.
Did you know personally the staff of Ripping Headaches?
Yes of course, I met them more than 15 times in Tampa, Florida and was talking to them on the phone too. I was very close to Bruce's and Bryan's families too! I was even ready to move to the States to work with Bryan's dad as a teacher or yound adults at a time but unfortunately the Koweit war started and all apllications from immigrants to the USA were cancelled! So I stayed in France!
As far as the fanzines, they are done with a DIY (do it yourself) approach, how was it by you? What do you think about DIY at all?
Oh yes, RH was a DIY thing with a punk attitude! Ha ha! We had no pressure at all, we did what we wanted. That was always the way we felt, „what’s inside of it is more important than the packaging...”, just like food ;-)
Would you say, that without the existence of the punk fanzines, wouldn’t have came the metal fanzines into being?
Exactly, punk and political zines started it all...
Do you know something about the forming, developing of the fanzines, about their history? Did you know, that the very first fanzine was released in 1930?
I bet the zine thing started very early... in Universities. In NY there’s that museum/store that has a huge collection of zines from all other the world, in every possible language you may imagine. Not only music zines, also poems, cinema, politics, views...
Talking about the ’80s, did you take part in the tapetrading scene? Can you tell us more about it?
Tape trading was all my life back then with the zine. I started it I guess around ’85 around the same time I had this radio show every Friday nites for 3 hours on a local radio station. My list grew up quickly to more than 3000 titles mostly Thrash, Death, Hardcore. And some of the earliest Black Metal bands (I still have all the tapes at home) I was coming back from school, would open my mail, play tapes, list the new arrivals on a typewriter, record tapes and make new packages to be sent the next day! That was a lot of work but I never considered it as a work. The thing was to listen to cool stuff, make new friends... At some point though it became clear that more tapes was coming in than I could listen to... The collection thing started to eat all of my life and in the early 90’s i slowly stopped it as I wanted to have some spare time for other activities... And the new demos coming in weren’t that exciting i thought.
You were quickly became involved in a weekly radio show called Metal Sect, can you tell us more about it?
At home I would tune in on various metal shows in the small city i was living in (50000 people). There was a show made by a girl very Friday night and she was looking for someone else to help her, so I went there and quickly started to play some extreme stuff like Necrophagia, Death, DRI, Agnostic Front in between Accept, Twisted Sister, Iron Maiden... Later she quit and I did the show with a friend Sebastien and another girl. We even had some LP’s to give away, cinema tickets... The FM radios were starting and every type of music could play on every radio. That was the reaction to AM stations who kept playing same shitty stuff. There was even a radio in Paris (80 km’s away) where the guys would play Metal everyday! They didn’t last long but that was exciting. They were called Radio Mouvance.