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Nowadays the blogs take more and more importance in the metal scene, somewhere it replaces a bit distros and tape trading, in the meaning of spreading music... I sent some questions to a blogmaster to learn more about his activities...

1. Hello! Can you introduce yourself and your metallic tastes?

Hello ! I am a fan of extreme metal for over 20 years, with an emphasis on death metal, thrash metal and doom metal, I don't like modern shit as metalcore, deathcore, numetal. However music is my greatest Passion since the end of the 80's and the 90's. I am searching for forgotten bands from those years and I am collecting their tracks. I also appreciate young bands who are playing my beloved oldschool sound.

Apart from that, other passions of mine are horror movies, particularly the ones of the 80's and 90's, films of L. Fulci, D. Argento, J. d'Amato... Generally the blood,  violence and sex in large doses are something I like in films.


2. Now please introduce your blog in a few words... And talk about your metallic past: Is this your first underground activity, or where you involved in other metal stuffs before? Maybe you used to do a fanzine, a distro, or something else...?

The ModernSoundsofDeath blog is dedicated to bands and releases issued from the year 2000 until this time. At the beginning it was created as a supplement to another of my blog (Raf666underground) which publishes various vomits from underground from the 80's and 90's.
Later the blog began to develop in the direction of promotion of young metal bands and their materials, a large part of the posts was material sent directly by the bands, bands who are satisfied with this form of promotion. My activity with Websites is the first one in underground metal, I wasn't active in metal before.


3. What motivated you to create a blog, instead of a webzine or a distro for example? Is this only because running a blog isnít too hard, or are there more reasons?

I already explained for ModernSoundsof Death, I posted materials of metal bands I like and were hard to find at the time. Now I am adding releases of less well-known metal groups who didn't send their demo or album to me.
Concerning the running of the blog, you are right a bit, it isn't a hard job, but it's a bit time-consuming: I am spending quite some time penetrating different forums, webzines, services (Like myspace, reverbnation, bandcamp etc) in order to search for interesting young bands. Unfortunately the time I am devoting to my family and children lets me nothing more.


4. The description of your blog says "Dedicated to demos, EPs released after 2000 year". Why don't you publish records released before the new century... Is it because you wish to support active underground bands, and so the older records aren't so useful, or there's another reason? Maybe there were already too much blogs focusing on old 80's stuffs?

To publish stuff released before the year 2000, I have my second blog Raf666underground, it is dedicated to older records, there it's possible to find a lot of rare demos, ep's, from the 80's, and particularly from my favorite years, the 90's. The majority of these bands ceased to exist a long time ago, so there is a possibility of dusting many forgotten releases. On ModernSoundsofDeath, the bands are in majority only starting. You are right there are quite a lot of blogs with music from the 80's and 90's. Some are really worthy: Lockjaw, Asmodian Coven, Death Eternal Metal, Sempiternal Esoterica and a few others.


5. How many records do you upload every months, and are there specific kinds of metal? Maybe you prefer to upload formats such as tapes, CDrs, or there's no particular favorite?

Each month I try to upload about 30 - 40 releases, mainly death, black, thrash metal, with some doom/gothic metal. But there are also bands playing industrial or dark ambient.
I usually upload tapes or self-released CDr editions, more rarely full-length albums. There are quite a lot bands making their releases available on their websites,   the publication on my blog will help more peoples to reach their music


6. Are the downloads quite good? Are you satisfied with the amount of times peoples download records from your blog, and are there "best sellers"? (In this case, a little top 5 could be nice). Could you tell us the average amount of downloads for a release?

The amount of downloads vary from a release to another, some bands were taken over 500 times. Personally I am satisfied that metalheads appreciate young bands. The Average amount is about 100 downloads for a release.
Top 5 is:
Antichrist "Put it death" 1100 downloads
Morbid Insulter "Thundering Evil" 650 downloads
Bone Sickness "Demo 2010" 550 downloads
Lifeless "Beyond the threshold of death" 460 downloads
Morbus Chron "Demo 2009" 450 downloads.


7. How do you promote your blog? Is there a specific way to inform peoples about it, such as link trades, spams, forums flooding... Or maybe search engines take a very important place?

I am promoting the blog mainly through link trades, with friendly blogs. I am not spamming, I detest the spams, unnecessary shit.
Search engines are also important, in Google it is possible to find quite a lot links to my blog. At least some peoples can be disappointed: I noticed many visits for the album of Argentinean band Zoofilia, ha ha, fucking "animal lovers". Most of visitors come from United States, Poland, Germany and Belgium.


8. What are your favorite things with running a blog? What's the best thing with being a blogmaster?

Searching for new bands for the blog is the best, in the abyss of the Internet it's possible to find a lot of unknown pearls, for me this is about 5-6 hours of entertainment every day. Apart from that I got to know many cool metalheads from the entire world.


9. What are the worse aspects of running a blog? Don't tell me there are none, each metal activity has it's drawbacks, so we might be interested in reading yours... (Maybe it's the fact you don't receive many feedbacks from peoples who download? Maybe many peoples only "Take this, and this, and that" but never send "something" in return...?)

There are many positive reactions, very much, I often get mails from users as well as from bands who are pleased with this form of promotion. But of course negative reactions are also happening; Being accused of stealing links from other blogs (It is a nonsense, I never stole links from other forums/  sites without information about this), problems with hosting sites (One Polish hosting service was closed, and I had to reupload 50 links), sometimes bands want their albums to be removed (Of course I'm doing it).
I get a lot of releases to upload from visitors, some even became permanent partners.


10. Did you already receive messages from bands who asked you to remove their music from your blog, and how did it happen? Were you already menaced by labels or enterprises who don't want specific bands to appear on mp3 blogs?

Yes, it is happening, but very rarely (Perhaps 6 whether 7 times). For example bands who planned re-editions of their releases usually wanted it to be removed from download. Of course I always obey their laws, it's their music. The majority of stuff I upload are in low circulation, sometimes already unavailable in sales. No, I  never had problems from labels yet. What happens the more often is peoples mailing me to find a band's music, or to send more infos about bands and other releases.


11. Do you regret the time of paper fanzines, or do you think blogs are as good and efficient? Did you ever think about posting your own reviews/ interviews on a blog, or it's not really your thing?

I think that paper fanzines will never die! In Poland there are still a lot of fanzines appearing, for example APOCALYPTIC RITES ZINE, NECROSCOPE, R'YLEH, Demented Omen Of Masochism Zine, DEATHICISM zine, TRIBAL CONVICTIONS zine and much more. For some time I am collecting scans of old and newer fanzines, I upload many of them on Raf666underground blog.
Blogs and webzines are a good form of promotion and information about bands, you have Internet and you are reading, but paper zines are the essence of the underground!
At the moment I am not planning to do my own interviews on the blog, although it is a very good idea... But my weak knowledge of English and the lack of free time at the moment are an obstacle.


12. You're from Poland. The metal scene of your country is known for being old school, and full of metallers with a quite seriously old school mentality... At least more loyal and burning than in western European countries such as France, Belgium, or England for example... Did you already have to face peoples telling you running a blog isn't true underground, not real metal, or are peoples usually cool with your activity? Did you notice a change in polish lands, seeing peoples becoming less old school and more more online, modern, clicking, or does it remain the same spirit? (I was surprised to noticed once very old school peoples creating Facebook account and adding as many peoples as possible... It's not particularly a problem, since I also use it, but it's a bit of a contradiction somewhere... Especially since some are very active on this site)

I didn't encounter rather negative evaluations of my blogging activity from the Polish metal maniax. On internet forums, I rather got a positive receipt, or at least comments are generally few.
In every country, peoples who will regard mp3 as the last resort like blogs... And peoples who prefer original cd's, tapes, vinyl's are more collectors. At least I noticed that people who are into the underground for a long time are choosing original releases.
In Poland, holding an account on Facebook, or Myspace isnít a dishonor, it helps many bands to get in touch with their fans or to promote their releases. At least collecting "acquaintances" is a bit senseless. Apart from that, thanks to the Internet the access to information is far faster than in the 80s and 90s. However I think that many peoples would want the return to the times of tape trading.


13. Some peoples might disagree because the underground is quite "undercrowded", and so you can't really make money, but I will ask you anyway: In your opinion what are the current trends in underground metal? Which kinds of music become the most fashionable, leading to a good amount of average/ very average bands, business focusing labels and things like that... Did you notice some kinds of underground musics are more downloaded than others? (You might even have noticed a surprising evolution in the amounts of clicks for some items?). Do you think you could react and do something against this problem, as a blogmaster, or it's a too big phenomenon to be able to fight it efficiently?

At present times, in the underground dominating styles are death metal (In the genre of the 80s and 90s), so-called "old school death metal", black metal, particularly mixed with thrash or depressive black metalÖ We also see many new bands playing the retro speed/thrash (Particularly from South America). In each of these genres, it is possible to find very good bands as well as very average ones. Generally I noticed that the trend was for them to sound closer to the 80s or 90s music, and I think there are no bands which don't have a personal style.  There is a considerable amount of crop labels, particularly the ones releasing black metal or old school death/thrash metal. Particularly with black metal bands who don't have a problem to release their music.
As for the number of downloads from the blog, the most is old school death metal from Sweden, as a whole releases from Scandinavia are very popular. I think that this occurrence in the underground will last very long, unless a new trend appears.


14. Could we say your blog is representative of your metal tastes, or is it quite different since: 1-The blog is meant to support small underground bands, and so it's not always your fave records... 2-You also listen to more mainstream metal, but itís pointless to post the CDs because everyone knows these bands, or you donít want to have problems with mister $$$Ö 3-Your fave records were released before the year 2000 and so you can't upload it?(AhAh)

Generally I am trying to upload music I like, sometimes it happens some bands arenít entirely hitting my tastes, but this blog is not only for meÖ I am trying to appreciate the music, rather than only choosing ďfamousĒ bands. Therefore I rather rarely listen to mainstream metal. I want peoples to pay attention to the bands who release 100 copies of a tape rather than the ones with many thousands of CDs. Since my fascination for metal started at the end of the 80s, I adore old school sounds and generally such atmosphere. Releases from the 20th century are posted on the Raf666underground blog, Modernsoundsofdeath is a blog for archaeologists who didn't forget about the past.


15. This blog was created in march 2010. Did you notice an evolution at any level, or maybe it's not old enough to underline changes?

It is more and more visited, the number of downloads is also increasing. More and more bands are sending me their releases, both new and older ones. I also established cooperation with a few interesting peoples who are also sending me releases for the blog. Some labels are also sending me news about their new releases. Generally for these (almost) 2 years the blog developed and is going ahead.


16. What are the future plans for MODERN SOUNDS OF DEATH? You have something particular in mind, or will keep on uploading more records on a cool basis?

At the moment the blog will remain in the current form. If some bands, zines or labels want to promote their releases, my blog is opened for all underground activity. Perhaps one day I will try to create a small label, but it is a plan for the future.
For the moment, thank you Gab for this interview! Support the underground!!!

 Url: http://modernsoundsofdeath.blogspot.com