I started Teufel's Tomb in 1995 as a way to pick up chicks. I succeeded in that regard, although I think most of the chicks may actually just be long haired guys, but, hey, it all looks the same from behind.
2. Did the highlines of your zine evolve thought the years, and if so which were the reasons?
What's a highline?
3. How would you convince a metalhead to order a copy of your zine? How would you convince a distro to order 5-10 copies of it?
I would simply tell them they're a poseur if they don't order a copy of my zine. Metalheads seem very insecure about their metalness. Should you question their metalhood, they'll do everything they can to prove that they are, in fact, metal. As far as distros are concerned, I'd tell them their bands are featured in the magazine. Of course they wouldn't know in advance that their bands are being ripped apart and made fun of. Once they read it they'd probably get angry and just give the magazine away. I'd win either way.
4. What's a good review in your opinion? Does it need to be totally objective, subjective, or a mix of both? Do you think the reviewer has to bring some personal opinions or deliriums?
I think a review should be you answering the question "What do I think of this CD?" It's not a hard question to answer. If you like it, you'll go on about how great it is. If you hate it, you'll probably question the band members' sexual orientations. A lot of people think a review should be objective, basically just giving an overview of what the album is like, personally, I think that's stupid. Objective is going to the band or label's website, downloading an mp3 and figuring out for yourself if you like it. Why bother telling people things they can easily find out for themselves if they just stop being lazy? I can understand it maybe for a paper zine, but on the web? No.
5. How many times do you need to listen to a release to be able to decently review it? How do you know when you've really overviewed the realistic qualities and bad points of a release: is there a special feeling or something?
I usually listen to an album two or three times before reviewing it. Itreally doesn't take that long to decide if you like something or not. It's like watching a porno. You should be able to decide within the first 30 seconds or so whether you'll probably like the whole thing or not. If you think you may like it, that's the time you pull your dick out, if things start to get a little gay, that's when it's time to put your dick away and throw the disc against the wall.
6. Do you think a zine maker can be really objective when he has to deal with a lot of music? He hasn't the same point of view than the fans who have access to really few music and who have to pay to own the real release... What's your opinion about it?
It's easy to be objective. All you have to do is look at the bio enclosed with the promo CD and jot down the points without stating an opinion. Anyone can do it, and, of course, 99% of zines out there seem to do just that.
7. How would you define objectivity? In my opinion it needs a decent knowledge of the kind of music (The reviewer has to know quite well the kind of music he deals with and to be into it for several years), as well as taking distance from several years of experience and personal feelings, so this objectivity isn't really objective ;-) So do you think objectivity really exists concerning the reviews of music?
Objectivity, in metal reviews, is to say as much about the music, without saying anything at all. All the bands and record labels want is for you to say things that will help them sell more records. They don't want you to state an opinion, unless your opinion is positive. Really, objectivity in metal reviews is to simply drone on and on and on about "this is the lyrical subject matter, this is the band line-up, this is the style of music they play, they sound like these bands, you should buy this album if you like these bands." It sickens me, really.
8. Do you think there's an objectivity being conditioned by the pressures of labels and good-thinking fans?
Well, I can tell you from experience that the big labels like opinions, as long as they're positive opinions of their bands. I've been on all of the major metal label promo lists, and they all took me off after they actually read that I was stating opinions that some of their releases are just plain boring or sucked. It's only funny when you poke fun of a band, just as long as it doesn't have the potential to hurt business. Same thing with the fans. Fans love it when you poke fun of something they dislike, but the minute you say anything negative about something they like, they get extremely defensive and angry. Personally, I think metal is the most insecure music genre of them all. No one complains when Mariah Carrey or Britney Spears or Blink 182 gets a bad review. Metalheads cry more than 9 year old girls.
9. Do you or did you play in a band? Do you think it's helpfull when you have to review some music? In a way it could help you to see easily when a band uses void-filling riffs or didn't finish its songs well...
I was in a few bands when I was younger, but they all sucked fat balls. I can tell you in all honesty that the bands I was in are far worse than any bands I've reviewed. When I hear something that starts to suck as much as any of my bands, I know I'm listening to shit, and I feel I must warn the people that it's shit. As far as whether my experience in bands helps my review writing, no, it doesn't.
10. What's your opinion about the guys who say "If you can't do better, more technical, or anything... Shut the fuck up!" It's a quite too easy argument! A guy shouldn't bother being a skilled musician to have an opinion on music, since it's mostly a fan and listener's point of view! Do you think those who say so are rather frustrated musicians who spent years working on the technicality of their guitar playing, or rather fans of technial music who like it very cerebral?
I think people in metal bands tend to have warped opinions about themselves. They're so lost in their own little world that they forget that 99.9% of the world's population hate extreme music and their entire fanbase consists of greasy long haired kids who live in their parents' basement. They just develop the Danzig syndrome where they have this massive ego to make up for their ridiculously tiny penises.
11. How many promos do you receive each week? each month?
On average probably about 20-30 a week. When I was getting stuff regularly from the major labels, I was easily getting 4-500 promo CDs a month. It's just insane how much crap the big labels release and promote. Personally, I'm rather glad the big labels don't send me stuff anymore, means less crap I have to carry home from the post office, just to throw in the garbage 2 seconds after openingit.
12. Did you voluntary contact many labels so that they send you their promotional stuffs, or did the promotional stuffs came little by little in your mailbox, without any request, as you kept doing your zine, mostly reviewing stuffs from your collection?
I used to contact
labels asking for promo material, now I don't bother.
13. Are you in contact with some societies who work for the promotion of several labels and usually send the zines many albums? Needless to say some of these "companies" aren't well targeted and happen to send the zines some stuffs that has nothing to do with its highlines! (It's sometimes quite hard to stop them in their promotional mailbombings! They've got many enjeweled arguments too keep the zines working for them...And they don't easily understand if someone do not want it! lol). Did you meet this kind of troubles? If you receive some albums that has nothing to do with your zine, do you review it anyway?
I get a ton of material that doesn't fit the style of music I cover. I've gotten promos from American Recordings, BMG, Universal Records, Columbia, you name it, they've sent me stuff. Sometimes I'll listen to it, sometimes I won't bother. If I like it, but isn't something covered on my site, I just keep it. If I don't, I add it to the bonfire. They don't care, their job is to just get the stuff sent out, and if 1/10 people reviews it, they've done their job.
14. Do you think it remains useful to receive promos? After all it's easy to download many Mp3s and one could run his zine reviewing mostly stuffs he enjoy... and not bother listening 15 times stuffs he would have never paid interest to... In my opinion a zine being run almost without any promo would really turn into a FANzine! Only the best stuffs would gain promotion, while the less interesting ones would remain unnoticed: It would be a NATURAL selection! Do you think it's utopian and I should stop drinking strawberry-milk or what...?
I don't think it matters. Most zines just kiss up to whoever is giving them freebies or buying ad space anyway. I'd rather read an interesting fanzine than a full-of-shit "legit" zine filled with 90% advertisements any day.
15. What's the best way to run a zine in your opinion: To remain quite distant from the whole underground and say what you have to say (anonymously or not) without taking care of other peoples reactions, or to be in touch with many bands, activists and to offer something less personal but much more informative?
I think the best way to run a zine is to not even bother starting one, because, chances are, it will suck, and suck hard. It's best to just admit failure in advance, and not even try. People wanting to start new metal bands should also take that advice. I also recommend people not bother starting listening to extreme music, because no matter how much you may like it you're still a gay poseur because you weren't at the front of the stage at the first Hellhammer show.
16. Do you think a zine has to be very specific to a given kind of music to be efficient (exemple: Old school death, Technical death or Raw black metal), or are anykind of more or less metallic musics welcome?
I think a zine just has to be informative and entertaining, regardless of what genres it covers. There are tons of people who don't even like metal who read my zine on a regular basis, just cos they think it's funny. If the writing sucks, it doesn't matter what genres it covers, cos no one is going to want to read it.
17. Many paper fanzines died and most of the zines are now on the Internet under the form of webzines. It's cool because it's free and the gain of informations is faster... But on the other hands most of the webzines don't have the personality many paper zines had! The Internet metal press becomes really homogenous and selfless while a bunch of paper zines where very personal in their way of writing/ reviewing the stuffs, in the artworks, and highlines (some were very much specialised). Do you think this situation will improve in few years (even though Internet is more or less commonly used since 4-5 years) or would an improvement be really difficult when taking in account how things work on the web?
Let's face facts; most fanzines completely sucked. Sure, the people who wrote them were dedicated and worked hard on them, but in the end no one ever talks about them anymore. If they were that good, they'd still be around, but they aren't. As far as webzines go, with all of the free porn available and the raging hormones of the average metalhead male, I can't really see them willing to dedicate as much time working on perfecting a zine online as they may have done on paper 5-10 years ago.
18. Do you happen to read other zines? Do you take inspiration from some or do you simply read their writings as a metaller?
I think reading zines is a complete waste of time. The only time I read other zines is when I see an issue of Terrorizer or Metal Maniacs to pick up so I'll have something to read while pinching my morning loaf. I don't really even read it, I just like to have something for backup in case I run out of toilet paper.
19. How do you detect in few minutes if a zine would please or not your needs for alcoholic metal, objectivity and opinions? Do you rather have a look at the bands they interviewed, the notes given to the albums? ....Or the guestbook? Lol
First thing I look at is the graphics and layout. If the graphics and
layout look nice, then I'll look and see what bands they've reviewed, and
general opinions they've given. If I like the bands they cover and like the
20. Are you more or less demanding concerning the quality of demos? In my opinion demos aren't totally finished stuffs, it's something like a "try" and we shouldn't be as demanding towards demos! But the problems appear when some bands release their demos as professional MCDs or full-lengths... some labels even release and promote some demo-recordings (both for the production and the musical side) as real killer full-lengths! It's a bit confusing, don't you think so?
Demos should be used by bands as their way of going from garage band to signed label band, and should definitely be putting their best effort into the release. Who the fuck is going to want to sign a band whose demo sounds like shit? Well, apart from the 8000 metal labels in existence who do nothing but release music to "support the scene" rather than only release the best possible product. I think the metal scene in general would be much healthier if all of these tiny labels willing to release anything would just disappear.
21. In the history of your zine where there some staff changes? Did you fire some contributors because they didn't fit anymore to the zine? If so would you tell us why they where fired?
I'm the only remaining person from the very beginning. Most everyone else just didn't have the dedication, or lack of a life, to continue. I did can a couple of people. One guy sent a review I liked, so I brought him on board, only to find out everything else he wrote was complete garbage, so I got rid of him. Another guy was a big scenester type and liked every band of every genre and, for the life of him, couldn't seem to form an opinion of any type, so I more or less let him go. That was actually a big ordeal, come to think of it. I think he cried when I told him I wouldn't need his services any longer.
22. Do you think somekind of competition between zines is something good? To which extant do you think that should remain? Did you already have problems with other zines? (If so what were the stronger menaces?lol).
Every few months someone writing for a zine that's been around for a month will e-mail me, or post something on a message board, saying my site is crap, blah blah blah. Sometimes I make fun of them, but generally I don't bother, since it usually just makes people check out the other zine more just to see how stupid they are. I don't think stupidity should be rewarded, it should just be ignored, and hopefully will go away on it's own, and usually does.
23. Do you read my webzine? If so tell us honestly what's your opinion about it as well as what I should change or not!
I've never read your webzine, and I don't plan on it. Your interview questions were quite stupid, and I have a feeling your zine probably sucks. I also think your mother is most likely ugly, but give me enough alcohol and I'll still nail her. I do have standards, I just never bother using them.
24. The final countdown has reached the last numbers! Tell us about your future plans with the zine, and feel free to conclude! Thanx for the answer!
I plan to continue running my zine as long as it continues to be fun for me. As soon as it starts feeling like work I'll stop again, for another 6 months, before starting things up again and again. In that time I'll probably also make promises or state ideas of things I'd like to do, but either never do them, or take so long to do them that people forgot all about it to begin with.