INTERVIEW FOR MASTERFUL Webzine (Pol)
Hi G.! Thanks for allowing us this interview. What’s currently new and happening with your webzine Nihilistic Holocaust?
G: Hello Wouter! Thanx for the interest. There's nothing especially new happening with Nihilistic Holocaust. As always, I'm working on new reviews and interviews, little by little, since it's a regular activity I'm doing since about 4-5 years, there's nothing NEW, but it keeps on growing, as long as fucking possible!
You have been involved with extreme metal and old school death metal in particular since 1994. First, you created the awesome Death Metal Godz tribute site, archiving information about legendary genre acts like PESTILENCE, DISMEMBER and MORGOTH. The site stopped activity in 2004, why was that?
G: The initial goal of Death metal godz was simple: Few informations about killer bands such as MORGOTH or PESTILENCE could be found on the web, the band's didn't have official or fansites, so I decided to run my own website... Later the situation changed a bit, and it was easier to find infos about these bands, plus I had other priorities that really became priorities (You can express yourself much more with a webzine and get more involved with releases etc) and I felt it became a bit too "trendy" to read about how old school is so great, so I decided to cut the website and disable the poseurs to find infos too easily, and those who really want these infos will have the 'courage' to search anyway, so it wouldn't be a big loss...
In 1997 you created Nihilistic Holocaust as a paper fanzine, and a later stage spawned it onto the Internet. First, it was to archive information about the French underground metal scene, but later it transformed into a regular webzine. Was this change imposed by the scene it was supporting, or was it a change in direction, you chose yourself?
G: I don't really remember a time when Nihilistic used to be strictly about the French scene... I might have told so because I was in touch with many French bands, and decided to focus on many bands of this nationality, but my webzine was never that strictly focused. Eventhough Nihilistic remained followed more or less the same direction since the beginning, it was naturally submitted to changes, because as an individual my interests and tastes evolve, and personal situation also influences you (Many changes of jobs, etc), I think changes of "direction" are kinda vital if you want to keep the interest and motivations through the years, and if you want the zine to remain in a quite good adequation with your tastes... I don't want to run a website about a music I'm not interested in anymore...
Today, Nihilistic Holocaust is a small-time label, distro and promotional site. What got you into releasing your own releases in the first place? Were you tired of all commercially released albums by the leading metal labels or a lack of quality from the local underground?
G: The label
aspect came as a simple evolution, I had some free time and decided
to support some good bands a bit more, so the first compilations
were born. I didn't consider these as real releases at the beginning,
but I kept on trading and trading, so it might have a quite good
Your label/distro is perhaps most known for its compilations, the «El grinding mafiozos» series. How did this underground compilation idea/project come about? How many issues have been released since its inception?
G: I don't think
at all these releases are so known... After all it's only other
compilations in the middle of hundred of others (And there were
many few years ago!).
Since then you have released a number of other compilations, including «From the Dead Underground» and «Fornicate the Cubic Sterility». Will there be new editions of these compilations in the future, your site states no releases are planned because of «because of lack of time, money» and «vanishing interest of the whole underground» – can you elaborate on that?
G: These later
compilations are things to talk so much about... It was released
to about 100 copies each, and was given for free in my mailorder...
It was only a little more of positive thing... I don't know if there'll
be other compilations, I might try to do something new...
The «Obscure Infinity» split tape/cd-r with Carmina, Amethyste, Atrophy and Darklord, plus the split effort with Hellspawn, Hateful and Impureza are perhaps your most ambitions releases to date. If I’m informed correctly, you spread an impressive 3000 copies of both releases?
G: It depends
on what you mean with ambitions, for some peoples my "Obscure
infinity" split would definitely be the less ambitious because
it has xeroxed covers... But on a matter of amount of copies and
promotion, you might be right! I spread more than 3000 copies of
each release in the underground! (I muse add I used to trade a lot
of master + covers, so many booklets will keep on sleeping in underground
distros for years... But it's the way it works).
You also do the artworks for the releases on your label. Have you since been picked up by other underground labels to provide artworks for their artists?
artworks, I'm quite lazy and uneducated, so I have problems to make
specific artworks for other bands! I tried to, but some guys always
wanted me to change this or that, and it became frustrating, so
I simply forgot about it! Since it was too boring to try to do something
for bands, I simply kept on doing what I wanted with my ugly pens,
and I currently use some of my paintings and drawings on my own
releases! Few bands used some stuffs I did on their demos (For exemple,
ABYSSAL SUFFERING from France) but I'm not really whillinh to change
my stuffs for some bands... They don't like it? They can find someone
Nihilistic Holocaust is updated several times each month, with a number of reviews and interviews. A lot of people forget that it takes a lot of discipline and spirit to decently run a webzine. Are you able to keep up with the workload and the quality standard you set for your work?
G: First, I don't really consider my reviews and interviews as a work. Then, it's obvious the levels of motivation and inspiration evolve, my reviews aren't currently as deep and fucked to death as it used to be about 3-4 years ago, my individual state of mind and feeling are quite influential... But as long as it's good and I feel it's right, that works. It's almost impossible to keep high quality standards on a very long term, especially when your zine is focused on very specific kinds of music... Keeping it good and coherent for the present is already quite good, until your life gets more fukked and painful and the inspiration of agony becomes stronger and much more putrid again! Héhé
An interesting feature on your webzine is the «columns» section where you speak your mind about a number of relevant topics, trends and ills of the current day underground. Has this led to any noteworthy feedback, positive or negative, from bands, labels and such?
G: I happen to receive some good and interesting feedbacks, but in the current situation, where everybody expresses so much thoughts about anything and everything, it's surely seen by most as just another old poofter blabbing about his nostalgia for the past... So not much feedbacks, but why bother?
A lot of webzines keep popping up each year and equally (if not more) of them dissolve and fall apart in the same time-span. What would you say contributes to Nihilistic Holocaust’s long lifespan? What makes a good webzine in your opinion?*
G: The fact
Nihilistic holocaust is a part of me since years might be a good
motive: I want and need to keep it alive. Then, the fact I'm very
much into Death metal and have deep emotions and thoughts that wouldn't
disappear after the newt breeze of refreshing trends might be a
good motivation as well... It's important to carefully "choose"
the styles of music your webzines or label will deal with, otherwize
it will always and eternally remain average... You'll never have
a real drive to work, sacrifice your personal life and spend so
much time for "nothing"...
Nihilistic Holocaust is run exclusively by yourself. Have you ever thought about merging with another site or searching for reliable contributors to expand the site?
G: I ever had some contributors, but it's much easier to do everything by yourself: You don't have to spend hours to motivate everyone to do this or that with many blablabla... If something needs to be done, you know what to do! This lack of collaborator might also be a reason of Nihilistic holocaust's lenght, really! This is my own thing I run, basically for myself, and without tiring parasites! Hailz Putridity!
You also (used to) run a number of official band pages couple of years ago. The pages seem frozen, have most of these bands since then split up or did you move on from this project?
G: Some bands split up, some are still active but decided to maintain the websites by themselves becauses they could be faster and more efficient... I don't currently feel very close to webmastering, it takes quite some time (Some bands are really picky, they want their site to be updated in the following hour!!! Even if you do it for free...) and I'm quite bored with the web... But maybe I'll do more later...
Alongside long-standing webzines like Voices From the Darkside, Vampire Magazine and a couple of others, you keep a firm focus on the international underground. While the underground is rapidly declining, would you agree that due to the incredible amount of bands around today; talented and hard working bands often get overlooked thanks to their trend-hopping, style shifting contemporaries?
G: There are so many bands and labels everywhere, it's not always (lol) humanly possible to check out everything... But, I think there have always been a lot of bands and labels everywhere, the only difference lies in the fact the web apparently makes it easier (Better said cheaper) for everyone to promote his own project, and so you receive so many infos straight in the face that you might have the feeling the amount of releases have severely increased... But I think it's a wrong feeling. Since I'm into the underground (1994) I always used to read many fanzines, write many snail mails, receive many flyers, and I always have remembered of an impressive amount of stuffs and bands everywhere...
Often is it stated that the underground is indeed dead. Despite thousand of people chanting «support the underground» in unison, the scene isn’t able to deliver timeless, high quality genre products like it did in the late ‘80s and early to mid 90s. Would you agree?
G: It depends what you mean with "Underground". The underground of ten years ago, its principles, valours and feelings is almost dead for exemple... But we currently have something that could be also considered as underground, on a not so strict basis... Well, it seems my answer goes in the wrong direction haha... It's obvious few bands are able to procreate timeless and high quality music (I don't mean production or packaging, but music!), at least in the metal scene... What could be the reason? Maybe the scene is trapped, between too retro metallers who deny the present, or too modern poofters who will mix everything with anything to be original at all costs... It might take a few years for this processus to calm down, and let peoples see they have to awake or stop the search for sterile originality, or else... The listeners are also currently so full of music, that they might easily bored with something they might have found good few years ago... Or maybe the current worldy situation isn't so obscure and terrific (??), and many peoples don't feel soooo oppressed anymore and would prefer to satisfy their own little pleasures than to devote to a music and compose the best of the best they could... There are many possible reasons and influencial factors...
With the incredible amount of bands and labels around all screaming for attention to potential buyers, would you say that it is increasingly difficult to get your product out to the people, with their little attention-spans?
G: I already answered before... Peoples are targeted by many music...There's so many music everywhere, a listener couldn't check out everything..
After a long silence the French scene is delivering some impressive bands over the last year in all genres. Be it more post-modern technical death metal like Gojira, Hacride, Scarve, grindcore like Inhumate or Infest or underground death metal like Bloody Sign, Drowning or Kronos. What contributed to this outburst of talented bands in the last years?
G: I agree with
your statement, but half of the bands you quote aren't necesseraly
the best... Matters of tastes only? Beer keeps on flowing...
Do you check out other webzines as well, in your free time from Nihilistic Holocaust. What webzines would you recommend to somebody new to the whole «underground» movement?
G: Of course,
I don't read only my webzine... I usuall visit VOICES FROM THE DARKSIDE
to check out their new reviews (Eventhough fewer black metal would
be appreciated), the French webzine THE SOUND OF THE LAW for their
good and in depth Death and thrash metal views of the oldies, then
I check out some French webzines to plunge in the amount of metal
news (It's the kind of site everyone could do, it has few deep personality,
and you see a lot of that on the web... but it has an use...).
about it for me. I want to thank you for speaking with today. If
there’s anything else you want to add, here’s the space.
Thanx for the
questions! Would you marry me if I promised to be docile and mouth-opened?