1. Hello, first of all can you introduce yourself and your Youtube channel ?
Hello everyone, my name is Frank aka Artemortifica. I live in the mid-west region USA. I am a musician and supporter of the underground metal scene. My most current bands are Blood Of The Wolf and Asphyxiator. My previous projects included Nekropsy, Darkoasis, Waking Chaos, Incessant Collapse, and Worms inside. My Youtube channel is dedicated to several interest, the majority of it consist of live concert footage of events I have attended throughout the years. Photography and art work are also two features of this channel. Most recently I have been doing more cinematography as well as tutorials and reviews of various cameras.
2. Is the Youtube channel your main underground activity, and are you also involved in other underground stuffs?
For a couple of years I did a metal album reviews blog and you can still read all of the content on that page. However, my interest shifted to producing film and doing photography, so the blog remains but its purpose dedicated to photography and cinematic works. Writing reviews maybe back at some point, however, performing in two active bands requires my full attention at this time. I still go to metal shows and film live concerts. The footage and images are going to get better as I learn from my past experience.
3. How do you view you YouTube channel? Do you see it as some kind of modern immaterial fanzine, as a radio show, an underground Tv show?
Well, it’s all of that, but mainly as a mass medium of modern communication.
Its uses are vast and far reaching. In the past, paper and ink where the
standard in communicating one on one and the mass communication such as radio
and news print were held in the hands of a few to communicate their views and
opinions. The modern age has broken the mass communication gates wide open, its
implication for the moment are big, but it can also have a bad side affect,
like an ocean of information full of clutter.
4. Your YouTube channel contains a lot of live videos, do you film every gigs you are attending? Do you upload all the videos you take, or you have to be selective? What are the biggest problems you face when you want to shoot a gig? Perhaps peoples moving everywhere, trying to have a decent sound (Not so easy with extreme music) or something else?
For the most part yes, I film almost all, however, if the same bands are performing again I may choose not film. I try to capture new bands and young bands because they need the most support, although, I have done a few mainstream events, but it is rare. Unsigned bands seemed to be more receptive and appreciative of my videos. It depends on the footage, if its poor quality I will not share it. The camera I use gives me decent sound quality. A few times I did forget to adjust my volume settings and therefore bad audio, but its rare, I usually do accurate settings. The people of metal shows sure are unpredictable and you have to keep your eyes open. When filming the band Nails at the Empty Bottle this past summer, their fans were violent and almost got kicked a few times. I think the action and movements of live events adds to the overall feeling while you watch. I feel like its a journalistic, live documentary filming for the most part. What you see is what you get. There are minor adjustment as for the editing, but very little. I prefer to get the videos out as fast as possible.
5. Did a band already ask you to remove a live video because they weren’t happy with their show, or for another reason? Now in 2017 everyone can have access to everything easily, and it could be easily seen when bands don’t play very well live…
I have never had an issue with any bands at all. The majority of the response is positive. This is true for 2017, however, I feel that if I capture a bad performance its not worth my time to edit and publish any of it. I stick to keeping good material and quality footage as far as my abilities at this time.
6. I saw that contrary to many youtubers, you didn’t post a lot of studio/ official releases… Is it because you are not interested in posting the music from CDs, or perhaps you had problems with some labels? (I read if too much peoples complained about the right issues, your YouTube channel could be closed down…)
I published my own bands releases. I did do a few albums on playlist but decided that it is best left up to the bands if they want to upload their own material. It is true that if you violate Youtube policies they could potentially shut you down, on a few videos you do have to acknowledge copyright and the owner can file complaint if they really wanted to. As far as live concert performances, a public live event can be filmed and published as long as the venue or event is public. Unless it is posted somewhere that it is a private event and no filming allowed than you can’t film. I once filmed David Gilmour concert and was taken down right away. Big concerts are a gamble, sometimes you can get away with filming but there‘s a bigger chance of the video might get taken down.
7. You have also reviewed paper fanzines in a spoken manner. It’s cool to see
this kind of reviews, especially about fanzines.
Indeed I have. The most recent printed work I did a video for was a dark comic book, Insane Tales From The Dead issue 3, its not a fanzine but it is dedicate to artist in the metal underground, underground art is one of many factors for the appeal to old school printed zines. I don’t think of it as a relic. The printed works will continue to exist, maybe not as popular as it was in the past. What I have noticed is that publication is far reaching with more collaborations with artist and bands. There are a few thriving paper zines still rising above to this day, Slowly We Rot, Burning Abyss, Autoeroticasphyxiation zine, Metal Horde, Pest Webzine and Soulgrinder Zine are some of the ones I know of. I see tons of webzines, but many are not kept up or simply become abandoned. Still, not a replacement for holding a publication in your hands, there will never be anything like it.
8. To speak a bit deeper about the spoken reviews, do you prepare this kind of videos the same way you write a traditional text review (With words on a piece of paper, hu) or is there a part of improvisation? Do you make a big difference when you are preparing a spoken review or a text review? After all with a spoken review, you are not hiding behind words and peoples can see your face?
I spend time reading and making mental notes of the content, I give an overall view without giving up to much information, that way people have to purchase and obtain a copy in order to get the full scope of what’s inside, if I give away to much its really not fair to the zine. Part of it is improvised, so that it is not to robotic. I keep it a brief summary.
9. I see you have a lot of subscribers for an underground channel (2813 burnt souls), how do you work to bring more peoples to your videos? Is it about posting links on antisocial networks, forums, trading subscriptions, or you let Youtube do it naturally?
Well, I don’t use forums or trading subs. Yes, I do use all the standard media
like FB, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and many others. It is about persistence
and trying to be creative everyday. Never take long breaks from it and try to
communicate with as many people out there as possible. You also have to keep
the content fresh and new on a week to week basis, usually attempt to do a new
video every week, sometimes more. But not just random nonsense, bring something
helpful and informative to your viewers. Give support to others as much as
possible. You be surprise how far you can go if you put effort into it. Much
you like you put hard work into your Webpage, I put hard work into my youtube
10. When you upload a new video, what is the most important thing to bring peoples? Is it the title, the thumbnail, the keywords…?
All three and more, even if you have all that, the most important thing is the content and information you are giving out to the public. When it comes to concert footage, the sooner the better, get it out as fast as possible, otherwise people will forget within a few days and really not care after the fact, you have to have good film, not just cellphone clips and bad audio. Good quality will always get shared over bad cellphone footage. You have to reach out to people in all types of formats and share the material that is important to them. It will not make sense to share a video about landscape photos to a metal music fan, try to keep it together to the audience you are trying to speak to. Title, thumbnail and keywords are also important, just make sure the title is accurate to the content. Thumbnail, if you have the option to create your own, make sure that it grabs the eye and relates exactly to the video. Keywords are also a main factors but, do not overuse them, keep it relevant to the information which is in direct connection to your content.
11. What was the most surprising/ unexpected thing that happened thanks to or with your youtube channel?
Nothing major, small things. The footage sometimes makes an impact because its rare. I once had a video of Devil Driver performing live with a session drummer Kevin Tally, it was picked up by Blabbermouth and it took of, it was getting a 100 views and day for a week, but it eventually dropped out at around 3000 views, it was interesting at the time. Sometimes musicians have reached out to me about old footage from the early years of their performances which I managed to capture. I filmed a few acts were a performer passed away months later, its unfortunate, but at the same time I have a record of their last performance. This interview is an unexpected surprise and it intrigues me for the fact that people in the underground such as yourself take notice of my efforts. It continues to be a journey, so many more things are yet to come and I look forward to it.
12. 10 years ago peoples said webzines would replace fanzines… Now in 2017, do you think we can say : “Youtube channels will replace webzines” ? If you think about the spoken reviews, it’s the same kind of content, but the readers don’t have to make the effort of reading.
I don’t think webzines have replaced fanzines, because you can still locate
people creating them, maybe not as much. The physical copy of paper in your
hand is still important. Webzines can be good but, there are so many out there
that it is a big clutter and some are not maintained or are abandoned. The webzine
can be a thing that is out of sight out of mind. Paper in the other hand is
right at your finger tips always. Youtube channels are a good outlet for spoken word but, unless you are going to
speak about or read every single review, ad, interview and everything else
contained in a webzine, then I think not. The video would be boring and people
would loose interest after a few minutes. However, I do feel Youtube is a good
way to drive traffic to your webzine or Fanzine. Its like a tool, much like an
email or mailing list.
13. Which kinds of metal do you prefer? Are you rather into the old school or more modern sounds?
That’s a hard one. My preference is old school, in the vein of the mid-nineties style. I enjoy all of it in the end. There are so many new upcoming acts and the evolution continues, although at times it slows down a bit, there are young musicians out there forging new elements in metal all the time. If I knew there were going to be so many branches to this particular genre back when I was a kid, I would have not believed it. It would be interesting to see how far its going to grow.
14. How do you view underground metal in 2017? What are the best and most
represented (Not to say “trendy”) genres in your opinion?
Very positive, a lot of fest are continuing from last year. In my area mid-west we have Full Terror Assault 3, Chicago Domination Fest 4, Invoking the Black mass fest making its debut and many others that are going to be a grand viewing. I will be there documenting it all. Melodic death metal, black metal and technical death metal seemed to be at the forefront in my opinion.
15. Which releases came back very often in your playlist the last months?
Dying Fetus many of their releases, Origin, Archspire, Defeated Sanity, Nervosa, Devourment, Soreption and Lord Mantis are among the few that I listen to.
16. This is the last question, feel free to speak about something you wish and