Underground never dies!

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Interview questions for the new UNDERGROUND NEVER DIES! Book
By Andres Padilla, editor of Grinder Magazine, Chile.
Grinder Mag exists since 1993 and has been digging into the underground scene until now!
Please, forward answers to grindermag@grindermagazine.cl

I have been trying to reach out to as many people as I can in order to get this book that I´m working on (UNDERGROUND NEVER DIES!). Well on its way.  I am  asking the key-characters of this movement, “What is this “underground” concept all about? What does it really mean to you.” After having read some of the responses that I have already received, I am truly impressed that a simple question can have such varied responses and impacts.  Far beyond how this word really started, the concept of Underground has been, and will continue to be an immortal entity which refuses to die. Can you explain what really the word “Underground” means to you? Please, be detailed if you can.
"To me "Underground" is closely connected with unity, honesty and true dedication to the musical genre in question… an overall DIY mentality and helping each other out as good as you can…"

I consider metal fanzines like the base of underground music. Many of them has been the source of information for all music followers (musicians, journalists, fans or label related business men, to name a few). Although Internet existence, this source of information has never abandoned the face of the music scene. So, at the beginning of your music journey, how important were the fanzines to you? Do you still keep an eye on them?
"Definitely! Without fanzines I would most certainly have thrown in the towel completely a couple of times already, since the content of bigger magazines just bores me to death. You just can't replace the excitement that a fanzine editor puts into his work and a cool underground / cut and paste layout always helps a big deal to catch my interest in new bands…"
Can you tell us your experience behind this unique job?
"Experiences? Well, I used to put together a couple of underground zines myself in the past already, but in retrospect I was never really satisfied with the way they turned out. I would probably change about 90% of the layout with nowadays knowledge of how to achieve better things, but unfortunately that's impossible. Running a fanzine is a lot of fun, but what most people often seem to forget: it's also a shitload of work! You spent a lot of time on preparing interviews, you work on them when they get returned, you gotta create layouts, you have to do a lot of typing etc. etc. , not to mention the time / money it costs to print and distribute the whole thing. So, I guess you have to be a complete maniac first and foremost if you decide on putting out a fanzine…"

Related to this, what kind of golden memories do you hold deep of your mind?
"I guess the memories that probably overshadow everything is the incredible amount of positive feedback that I have received up to this day. I never really expected such a response at all!"
Is there any memorable fanzine that changed your way of thinking about music, or a particular one that you consider an important influence on you and also fundamental in the whole 80’s scene? Which one(s), and why?
"There have been many zines I liked (and still like), but I guess the ones that really fueled my whole enthusiasm over the years must have been "Blitzkrieg", "Speed Attack", "Metal Warriors" or "Shock Power" from Germany, UKs "Metal Forces", Holland's "Aardschok", Norway's "Slayer Mag", Poland's "Holocaust", Finland's "Isten", Switzerland's "Skogen" or Bob Muldowney's "Kick Ass Monthly", just to name a few here…"

In the 80s, Death Metal music began as something that no one dreamed would grow to have any validity whatsoever; it ended up being a groundbreaking thing. How do you see DM now? Do you believe that this kind of music can still grow and continue to be a menace to the mainstream?
"There was a time when I thought that Death Metal had completely lost its charme, since most bands sounded watered down and lame to me. But luckily the last couple of years proved me wrong since so many amazing new bands / releases appeared on the scene again that I find the whole underground scene almost as exciting again as in its early days. So, yeah - I think Death Metal is still a very strong force that the mainstream should continue to fear!"
I consider that between the mid-80’s and early 90’s, we experienced the birth of the best metal albums ever made (speed, thrash, death, black). To me, they all have a unique and authentic feeling of honesty. A simple but raw, morbid and impious sound which has been very difficult to replicate in the modern days. Tell me your vision/opinion about it.
"You nailed that perfectly, so I have nothing to add here, I'm afraid ;-)"

In the early days of this music scene, we all experienced the unique feeling of discovering new bands through the fanzines, by tape trading or going to gigs. Underground music in the 80’s was all about that. Since the appearance of the Internet everything in communications has changed. Young kids started to use a keyboard instead of a pen. They shaped another kind of underground philosophy, way more plastic, digital and artificial. Do you think what since the Internet era everything related to the Underground-way of life changed forever? It is not even black and white anymore.

"Well, yeah… the internet definitely changed a lot, but what can you do? It's what people call "progression"… On the other hand I don't mind the possibility to get in touch with people around the globe a lot quicker and easier now and having access to fresh information within seconds is also pretty cool, isn't it? Of course all that can't replace the old feelings when we were still writing snail mail letters, traded tapes and put together fanzines with a typewriter, scissors and some glue… great times for sure… but I try to accept the new status quo since it also has a lot of positive aspects."

I feel very lucky to have been able to experience the sensation of contributing to the development of a very formidable, intricate and massive world such as the metal scene. All the ones who lived and tasted the early days of this music scene know it. But at the same time, I feel sorry for the new generations which will never appreciate the real value of things such as demo tapes, a Xeroxed fanzine or a handwritten letter from the other corner of the world. Do you agree? Tell me your opinion.

"I agree 100%! I probably wouldn't still be as dedicated these days if I wouldn't have experienced the early days as well . It's a very important part of my love for the underground and I wouldn't change that for anything, believe me!"

If you have to name the best 10 metal albums and demos of the early days. Which they could be?

"Pew… that's an impossible question to answer since so many amazing releases came out back then, but I'll give it a try anyway, in no particular order (I bet the list would already look different if I'd answer this question again tomorrow):


MORBID ANGEL - Altars Of Madness


CARCASS - Symphonies Of Sickness

ENTOMBED - Left Hand Path

MASSACRE - From Beyond

OBITUARY - Cause Of Death

DEATH - Leprosy

AUTOPSY - Severed Survival

POSSESSED - Seven Churches

IMMOLATION - Dawn Of Possession


AUTOPSY - Critical Madness Demo 1988

ENTOMBED - But Life Goes On Demo 1989

HELLHAMMER - Satanic Rites Demo 1983

IMMOLATION - Demo 1989

INCUBUS - Incubus Demo 1987

MANTAS - Death By Metal Demo 1984

MORBID ANGEL - Thy Kingdom Come Demo 1987

NECROVORE - Demo 1987

POSSESSED - Demo 1984

SLAUGHTER - Surrender Or Die Demo 1985

Do you think this type of music (extreme metal) should be kept away from the masses and mainstream? Why?

"As long as the music really touches the soul of a mainstream person, I could easily live with this. I just hate it, when mainstream people jump on a bandwaggon, simply because it's considered cool to listen to Black or Death Metal and don't really give a shit to discover some true gems themselves. Those should just fuck off and rot in Hell!!"

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