(In this post, Dane Prokofiev returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he interviews metal writers — and now branches out to provide an in-depth look at the inner workings of metal’s most comprehensive single resource of knowledge. We are also indebted to Azmodes for the time he devoted to this fascinating discussion.)
Comprised of a large number of dedicated staff members and innumerable ordinary members, the non-profit cyber encyclopedia of metal bands is a project that requires a huge amount of constant effort in order to stay online and remain relevant and useful to metal music writers, fans, and researchers alike.
If you have ever wondered about the internal workings of Metal-Archives.com, here’s an inside look. A fairly new administrator of the site discusses a multitude of issues ranging from the hierarchy system to the controversial topic of what makes a band “metal” enough to be officially recognized and registered in the database.
(In this post, Dane Prokofiev [formerly known as Rev. Will around these parts] returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he interviews metal writers. I swear this one was his own idea.)
I know what you’re thinking. But no, featuring an interview about you on your own blog is not an egotistical thing to do at all! It’s just like mailing a Valentine’s Day card addressed to you on Valentine’s Day; it serves to expedite one’s noble quest for attaining self-actualization. C’mon, everyone does that… right?
Nearly 3½ years into metal blogging, the laborious machine behind NO CLEAN SINGING has built a name for itself. Surely, achieving this feat is something that it could not have foreseen back when it took to the human World Wide Web and registered the NCS web domain just to have an online outlet to type about the type of music it loves.
Mysteriously named The Great And Glorious Supreme Leader of the Eternal Heavens (otherwise known more succinctly as “Islander”), the father of all decapitated T-800s entertains Yours Truly by answering a second round of questions.
(photo credit: Nick Palmiretto)
(In this post, Dane Prokofiev [formerly known as Rev. Will around these parts] returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series, in which he interviews well-known metal writers. Today’s subject is the thoroughly awesome “Grim” Kim Kelly.)
The name “Grim” Kim is, surely, not unknown to denizens of the metal blogosphere and physical print media.
Starting at the tender age of 15, the New York-based female metal writer worked her way up from underground fanzines to bigger outlets, and she has been at the craft for nearly a decade since. Her career as a metal writer seems to be one of the most successful cases around, as evident from her perennially expanding portfolio (she recently became a staff member of Pitchfork Media), and so it is only natural to inquire: what were the unique life experiences that shaped her to be who she is today?
Of course, that is not all that perks the interest of the body modification enthusiast’s admirers and peers. In this interview, No Clean Singing delves into certain iffy metal issues with the seasoned metal scribe as well.
Hello Kim, it’s time to start talking about yourself again! Were you christened (or satanized) “Grim” Kim by a good metal pal, or did you come up with it yourself?
It’s a nickname given to me by my friend Curran Reynolds. He runs Precious Metal, a weekly metal night at Lit Lounge in Manhattan, and when I was in college in Philly, I’d often come up to catch the show and hang out. I eventually started DJ-ing there upon occasion, and he decided that “Grim Kim” was to be my DJ name. When I started writing for MetalSucks I used it as my pen name ‘cause everyone else there had a quirky nom de plume, and from there, I guess it just stuck. People like rhymes.
(Rev. Will continues with his Keyboard Warriors interview series, and today’s victims subjects are the creators and operators of Metal Injection.)
Before the well-known MetalSucks, there was and still is Metal Injection, a behemoth of a metal website that offers a cornucopia of metal-related content in a variety of formats. It’s like a virtual Swiss Army Knife of fixes for one’s metal cravings!
Metal Injection is more a Web TV site than a blog even though they do have an active blog section, and the main perpetrators behind this multimedia website are none other than Robert Pasbani and Frank Godla. Robert is generally the Pikachu of the site while Frank is generally the dude behind the scenes (literally) holding the camera filming Robert on-site covering insanely cool events such as the annual Revolver Golden Gods Awards show. But one most definitely wonders: how did they get to where they are today?
From across the cyber-void, Robert and Frank thought-spoke into the neural transcriptor and discussed the origins and workings of Metal Injection at the speed of a quark on steroids. By the time you see this, they are already light-years ahead in their busy schedules working on the next big thing for their little baby.
Rev. Will: Let’s start from the beginning. Was the name “Metal Injection” thought up like that to give off the feeling that metal music can be as addictive as drugs?
Robert Pasbani: That’s certainly part of it. I just tried to come up with a name that had the term “metal” in it and sounded cool, and including “Injection” evoked so much imagery that I thought it would be perfect.
Frank Godla: Well if you think about it, isn’t metal appreciation very much like a drug? Aren’t the metalheads you know absolutely hooked and passionate about it? Most people find metal through a gateway rock band, and before you know it, you’ve moved on to way harder and faster stuff even your friends don’t understand. You don’t often meet metalheads who drop it like a bad habit either, it’s just something that sticks with you. I can tell you metal music is the most important thing in my life, and because it’s a 25-year-old habit that isn’t going away, I really don’t mind referring to myself as a metal junkie.
(Rev. Will continues on his mission of interviewing every metal blogger and journalist in creation with an actual personality, though this one runs the risk of making all the others seem dull by comparison. As one of Rev’s previous subjects, I just want to say, thanks a fucking lot, dude, what did I ever see in you?)
Perhaps the most greatly misunderstood metal e-zine out there on the Internet is Teufel’s Tomb. Style-wise, it is like the metal equivalent of Tucker Max (that Texan lawyer-by-profession and self-proclaimed asshole who shot to infamy in 2006 with his debut ‘fratire’, “I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell”); disgustingly hilarious and exuding a personality protected by such a thick layer of concrete-coated skin that the two words “shame” and “remorse” do not exist in the mastermind’s music reviewing dictionary (obscene words are a dime a dozen though!).
Many people got and still are getting offended by the mastermind’s highly satirical and offensive writing style, which probably explains its low number of ‘Like’s’ on Facebook even though Teufel’s Tomb has been in existence since 1996, but that is actually the whole point! And from an objective point of view, the dude and his cronies actually consistently cover many of the latest album releases on time, so labels and bands especially should not be complaining. You know what they say about any publicity being good publicity.
The mastermind in question is, obviously, also a self-proclaimed asshole called “Teufel”. On top of being an experienced web developer and graphic designer, Teufel once worked in the adult entertainment industry (or “smut biz” as he calls it), and his recollections are as funny as Tucker Max’s own wild escapades.
Who knows? If his interest in something as underground as extreme metal music didn’t exist in the first place, he might have gone down a different career path entirely and penned a book called “I Hope They Don’t Buttfuck In Hell” and shot to promiscuous notoriety!
(Rev. Will returns to NCS with another installment in his Keyboard Warriors series. Today’s subjects are the creator of the Angry Metal Guy blog and his collaborator Steel Druhm.)
I. ANGRY METAL GUY IS THY WORD. THY WORD IS ANGRY METAL GUY.
II. THOU SHALT NOT BE HIPPIE IN THE PRESENCE OF ANGRY METAL GUY.
IV. HONOR THY DIGNITY AND INTEGRITY.
V. THOU SHALT NOT KISS ASS.
VI. THOU SHALT NOT ADVERTISE.
VII. THOU SHALT NOT SOLICIT MATERIAL TO REVIEW, MATERIAL TO REVIEW SOLICIT THOU.
VIII. THOU SHALT INTERVIEW ONLY IF SUBJECT GIVES THEE A MUSICAL BONER.
IX. THOU SHALT NOT COVET THY NEIGHBOUR’S WORLDWIDE SONG PREMIERE.
X. THOU SHALT NOT PARTAKE IN CELEBRITY GOSSIP.
XI. EMBRACE THY ELITIST SIDE AND HATH CYNICAL WORLDVIEW.
XII. MASTER THY HOLY PATH OF KEYBOARD WARRIOR.
(Rev. Will’s interview series focusing on metal bloggers and metal print journalists continues today with Chris Gonda, the founder of PureGrainAudio.)
So after cruising through a bunch of American subjects, I’m finally back on Canadian territory with the founder of multi-genre music website, PureGrainAudio. While not a physically-published metal journalist like his fellow countryman Adrien Begrand, Chris Gonda spends his day toiling away for BlackBerry and working his ass off on PureGrainAudio logistical and miscellaneous matters at night—all in a passionate bid to keep the already 7-year old project running so as to promote both Canadian and international music. Talk about keeping yourself busy.
Like Islander and Erik Thomas (of Hails And Horns, Teeth Of The Divine), I’m a cyborg survivor of the Artificial Intelligence Holocaust of 93,1349 Mars years ago back when Earth was dominated by T2’s sent back in time by Skynet and humans were learning how to make Coca Cola. Hence, it was mindless of me to have wanted to interview Chris in person initially, since I don’t have a head (and haven’t had one since the conclusion of the holocaust). Oh, I didn’t get the tattoos though. They didn’t have the Immortal cat design!
After my efforts to force Chris to reply over cyberspace while, ahem, persuading him with an animated .GIF file of Burger King blowing McDonald’s head off, the humorous Canadian gave in to my tyrannous request and shed light on the origins and workings of PureGrainAudio (and more, when I proceeded to show him the .GIF file of Burger King w-a-t-c-h-i-n-g ALL OF US!!!!!!). For example, the dude needs alcoholic rehabilitation.
(Rev. Will’s interview series focusing on metal bloggers and metal print journalists continues today with Erik Thomas, one of the founders of Teeth of the Divine.)
Finding a part-time metal writer with a day job that freakin’ deals with the law is like fantasizing about the existence of a zealous Christian pastor who has an obsession with researching about witchcraft—it is just a combination that comes off as extremely unlikely and weird to many. Well, such a weird occurance does exist.
A law enforcer by day, and a metal writer by night, Erik Thomas is not only one of the founders of Teeth Of The Divine (one of the Internet’s leading metal e-zines), but an ex-contributor to the now-defunct Metal Maniacs magazine and a current writer for Hails & Horns magazine as well. He has a family to boot! It’s just so cool when Papa writes about metal, isn’t it?
From his Missouri dwelling, the fervent devourer of traditional Swedish death metal sheds some light on the workings of Teeth Of The Divine and some of the social stigmas of metal—a topic banally discussed on various metal and non-metal news media during the days of yore.
Also, he is one of the last few surviving robots from the same batch as Islander, only with much more than a head missing than our benign NCS editor. Both of them may be old, but check out their cool arm tattoos! A legacy of and testament to their robotic past (perhaps they are cyborgs now), these unique markers were originally meant as identifiers, something very much akin to a barcode. Luckily for them though, they are fashionable statements now that just scream “Hot geezer alert!”.
(For the last 5 days we’ve been re-publishing an interview series by Rev. Will that originally appeared at now-defunct The Number of the Blog and that focused mainly on metal bloggers. Beginning today, the series continues here at NCS with new interviews, beginning, fittingly, with the creator of TNOTB — groverXIII.)
Classic metal albums + Metal blogging = ?
When one thinks of that, one will no doubt arrive at 2 answers: Reign In Blonde (the gals must have dyed their hair black, which would explain the inactiveness) and The Number Of The Blog (R.I.P.). When one thinks of anime and metal blogging, one will no doubt think of Full Metal Attorney, since it could possibly be a reference to the wildly popular Japanese anime, Full Metal Alchemist, but I digress.
Blogging about metal (or any other kind of) music is not as easy as many would like to think. If done properly, it can actually start to feel like homework once the commitment starts to kick in. Deadlines? Research? Being constantly “marked” and judged on your worth by others? The similarities are all there, but the big difference is that blogging about music doesn’t really get you anywhere in life like school does (or is supposed to), unless you can turn it into a career like Axl and Vince of MetalSucks.
Frontman and founder Dan Grover of ex-The Number Of The Blog may not like to toot his trumpet, but he sure did contribute a unique voice to the metal blogosphere while The Number Of The Blog was still alive and well. Labeled by some critics and even by themselves (probably in jest) as “hipsters”, the blog was really anything but that. It will always be remembered for its one-of-a-kind daily columns, which had humorous and catchy names, yet dealt with serious as well as playful topics. From underground black metal in “Wintermoon Wednesday” to random, everyday topics in “Sunday Shit Shoot”, there was literally something for everybody. Hell, there was even a Pokemon-obsessed Devin Townsend fanboy contributor called Ziltoid; needless to say, he posted about the vastly varied species of colorful critters on more than one occasion.
So read on folks, if you want to get inside the mind of a hipster metal blogger with a very big and secretive plan to launch something new in the near future. I’m hoping it will be a hydrogen bomb filled with confetti.
(Shortly before The Number of the Blog met its sad demise, TNOTB began publishing an interview series called “Keyboard Warriors” written by a relatively new TNOTB staffer who called himself Rev. Will. Because the archive of TNOTB posts seems to have exploded in a spatter of bits, never to be seen again, we agreed to give these interviews a home here at NCS. We started on Sunday and have been posting one per day this week. Today’s interview was originally published late last year.)
Surprisingly, most professional metal writers actually don’t sport long manes and subscribe to heavy metal fashion like many of their writing subjects do. Maybe it’s because sitting down for hours and slogging it out on the computer keyboard, rushing out multiple reviews and features like a drone, can get really tiring and warm around the rear end; and the fact that long hair causes an itchy hotness to prickle the area around the ears, eyebrows, and the back of the neck as well doesn’t help much.
Being a journalist of any kind is actually quite a daunting job. It is pretty safe to say that journalism related to stuff-that-ain’t-important-from-a-macro-point-of-view (meaning subjects that aren’t essential to a normal human being’s ability to survive in the practical world out there) is a largely unnoticed (and hence, thankless) job that is strictly reserved for the extremely passionate only. And extremely extreme our dear interviewee is when it comes to metal journalism.
This is the easiest interview I’ve edited in this column so far by the way. The power of a magazine’s Editor-in-Chief is not to be taken lightly, folks. The dude even bothered to italicize all object names; I guess being Decibel’s Editor-in-Chief really made him attentive to such small details that usually only matter to metal writers themselves. Damn, interviewees like him really make a budding keyboard warrior like me as happy as a TFD missile warhead.