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Commisaur
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:16 am
Posts: 168
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 3:54 pm 
 

Everyone here is probably familiar with Decibel magazine’s weekly Hall of Fame article’s rule of all band members who performed on the classic album needing to still be alive and for everyone that performed on that album to allow themselves to be interviewed by Decibel. And I’m sure most are aware that Decibel has stated numerous times in their magazines and books that “if your favorite band’s album has not been covered by our weekly Hall of Fame feature yet, then someone likely isn’t wanting to talk to us.”

The magazine said in their Hall of Fame article compilation book that a long sought after project was always to interview Bolt Thrower for their Realm of Chaos album, but according to Decibel the band has always refused to be interviewed by them for the piece. If I recall correctly they also said that Glen Benton of Deicide never wants to talk to them even though the rest of the band is perfectly fine with it.

With that being said, why would any musician refuse such an opportunity to have their classic work get praised and be given attention by Decibel? Shouldn’t they be flattered and honored? And at the very least isn’t it good promotion? Is the interview process for Decibel magazine’s HOF really tedious and annoying and therefore many people just don’t want to waste their time with it? I mean, it seems like it would be pretty easy. I’m assuming a Decibel writer just calls you over the phone and records your verbal answers to several questions and then nothing else further is required of you - process that takes no more than 1-2 hours of your time.

Also what does Bolt Thrower have against Decibel magazine? I mean they were officially interviewed by a major broadcasting entity (iirc MTV’s Headbangers Ball) during the Warmaster album era in the early 1990’s. I recall the female interviewer telling the band that she is very proud of Jo Bench and how it is very unusual for a woman to be playing in such a brutal sounding band. Have they since been more protective of their privacy since those days?

I can tell you all right away that I read Decibel magazine a lot when I was first getting into extreme Metal several years ago and the Hall of Fame entries were my go to source for new music material to listen to (I really don’t like the recent HOF entries at all, I think they are running out of good bands to talk to sadly). I discovered so many great classic albums. Even though I discovered OSDM bands like Bolt Thrower and Deicide anyways of course on my own without Decibel’s help, I for example probably never would have heard of Sleep’s Jerusalem album if it were not for Decibel

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Hexenmacht46290
Metal newbie

Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2020 8:30 pm
Posts: 232
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 4:53 pm 
 

I think Bolt Thrower just don’t like publicity. Karl Willetts is still doing music, but the rest of them aren’t, and I think they just don’t like the rockstar ideal, at all. I’d like to read an interview with them, but if they don’t want to do it, that’s fine.

The band actually had really strict, and specific ideas, of what they considered the ethics, of being true. They thought live albums, and compilations, were a poser thing, done for more money, but totally unnecessary(Earache released these things without the band’s consent!). They also refused to do a cover song, ever(I don’t think they thought everyone who does covers is a poser, but more that they thought it would be false, for them to do one), and pretty famously, didn’t put out new music, because they would only come out with a full length album, consisting entirely of songs they thought were good enough.

Some bands just don’t like certain media. Could be that one of them thinks MTV interviews were justified, to reach more people, but that Decibel magazine just makes the magazine seem truer than they are, without getting more new people into non-poser music, or something.
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narsilianshard
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 2664
Location: PDX
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 5:24 pm 
 

Commisaur wrote:
With that being said, why would any musician refuse such an opportunity to have their classic work get praised and be given attention by Decibel? Shouldn’t they be flattered and honored? And at the very least isn’t it good promotion?l

Promotion for who? Bolt Thrower broke up five years ago, and hadn't put out a record for a decade before that. Some bands are in the music business just to make music, and have no interest in in-depth interviews or trying to remember the details of something they spent a weekend doing when they were teenagers. Bands don't owe fans anything, especially after they've already finished making music.

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TadGhostal
Metalhead

Joined: Mon Jun 12, 2006 10:31 pm
Posts: 1033
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2021 5:31 pm 
 

I can't speak to the specific examples in the OP, but I know that there are various reasons why certain band members don't talk.
- Artists who are not interested in reliving the past and would rather focus on the present
- Bad blood between band members, where former members either want nothing to do with the old band or current members who want nothing to do with the former members
- Band members simply not being able to provide good or coherent information. I mean, can you imagine Ozzy trying to discuss the writing and recording of Sabbath's best works? Some guys just don't have a memory for details or were in altered states of mind when the albums were made.

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CrippledLucifer
Metalhead

Joined: Tue May 27, 2008 5:08 am
Posts: 665
Location: Denmark
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 7:29 am 
 

narsilianshard wrote:
Commisaur wrote:
With that being said, why would any musician refuse such an opportunity to have their classic work get praised and be given attention by Decibel? Shouldn’t they be flattered and honored? And at the very least isn’t it good promotion?l

Promotion for who? Bolt Thrower broke up five years ago, and hadn't put out a record for a decade before that. Some bands are in the music business just to make music, and have no interest in in-depth interviews or trying to remember the details of something they spent a weekend doing when they were teenagers. Bands don't owe fans anything, especially after they've already finished making music.


This may be on track regarding Bolt Thrower. Additionally, they are known to have a very hard stance on other people making money off of their work, which is why they are absolutely relentless in tracking and shutting down anyone making bootleg Bolt Thrower shirts online (not always successful though, since I'm wearing my BT boot right now, hah!). At this point in Bolt Thrower's career with the band dead for good after Martin's passing it seems like Decibel stands to gain more in click revenues or whatever just by having Bolt Thrower's name in their hall of fame feature, than the band themselves who at this point have a legendary status in heavy metal and do not need any promotion, hence their refusal to invest their time and work in being interviewed. Pure conjecture on my part, of course.
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InnesI
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Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 3:19 pm
Posts: 1875
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 8:35 am 
 

TadGhostal wrote:
I can't speak to the specific examples in the OP, but I know that there are various reasons why certain band members don't talk.
- Artists who are not interested in reliving the past and would rather focus on the present
- Bad blood between band members, where former members either want nothing to do with the old band or current members who want nothing to do with the former members
- Band members simply not being able to provide good or coherent information. I mean, can you imagine Ozzy trying to discuss the writing and recording of Sabbath's best works? Some guys just don't have a memory for details or were in altered states of mind when the albums were made.


Sometimes a magazine might have a bad reputation and the bands wouldn't want to contribute for that reason. I don't know anything about Decibel magazine but I can see how people wouldn't be so keen on talking to websites like MetalSucks for example which has a tabloid media kind of aura to them.
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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 2412
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 1:41 pm 
 

On the specific case of Bolt Thrower, it's hard to tell why they won't do the interview since they are not doing the interview, and have not spoken about it.

- But like others said, they are disbanded.
- Except for Willetts, none of the musicians of the last line-up are still making music.
- They have not released new music in 16 years.
- They disbanded 6 years ago, when their drummer Kiddie Kearns passed away.

All of these reasons might have influenced their decision not to do an interview. Most of them probably left the music life behind them and might not be interested in reliving or talking about an album they recorded 31 years ago. We also do not know what their relationship is with Andrew Whale, who has left the band in 1994. So maybe they are not even talking to the guy anymore.

And like narsilianshard said, they do not how anyone this interview. If they've moved on, it's completely legitimate for them not to want to do an interview.

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Commisaur
Metal newbie

Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 1:16 am
Posts: 168
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 2:13 pm 
 

Ok I see what you all mean but just to clarify Decibel was making those statements about Bolt Thrower several years before they disbanded after Kearns passed away

I’m surprised more people here don’t seem to be more familiar with Decibel magazine. They cover mostly only the kinds of metal that are popular on this site, very little hard rock or core stuff is mentioned in the magazines. Their monthly HOF feature in each issue is really really good. 90% of the time it’s the only reason why I’ve ever read the magazine. Each HOF piece goes in depth talking about the story behind the making of the album. The older HOF entries are the only ones that matter though to me. The recent ones from the last two years have been lame

Their HOF piece on Suffocation’s Effigy of the Forgotten was really good - highly recommend. I discovered stuff about the album and band that I don’t think I would have found out from anywhere else. Venom’ Welcome to Hell and Black Metal were covered as were Cause of Death (Obituary), Altars of Madness, Left Hand Path, From Enslavement to Obliteration, Infernal Overkill, INRI (Sarcofago)... the list goes on

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HeavenDuff
Metalhead

Joined: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:35 pm
Posts: 2412
Location: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 2:44 pm 
 

Commisaur wrote:
Ok I see what you all mean but just to clarify Decibel was making those statements about Bolt Thrower several years before they disbanded after Kearns passed away

I’m surprised more people here don’t seem to be more familiar with Decibel magazine. They cover mostly only the kinds of metal that are popular on this site, very little hard rock or core stuff is mentioned in the magazines. Their monthly HOF feature in each issue is really really good. 90% of the time it’s the only reason why I’ve ever read the magazine. Each HOF piece goes in depth talking about the story behind the making of the album. The older HOF entries are the only ones that matter though to me. The recent ones from the last two years have been lame

Their HOF piece on Suffocation’s Effigy of the Forgotten was really good - highly recommend. I discovered stuff about the album and band that I don’t think I would have found out from anywhere else. Venom’ Welcome to Hell and Black Metal were covered as were Cause of Death (Obituary), Altars of Madness, Left Hand Path, From Enslavement to Obliteration, Infernal Overkill, INRI (Sarcofago)... the list goes on


I didn't know they approached Bolt Thrower that long ago. And yes, it is true that I'm not really familiar with Decibel. I mean, I know they exist and I've read some stuff from Decibel, but I'm not keeping up with their magazine. But it does sound interesting.

Still, we can't know for sure why Bolt Thrower won't do an interview with them.

This is entirely personnal, and I really have no way to prove this, but maybe Bolt Thrower were not and still aren't interested in promoting the material they released with Earache Records because of the way they were treated by their label. Earache reissued some BT material, namely Realm of Chaos with an alternate artwork and that was never approved by the band. Earache also released compilations and other stuff that the band never approved.

A few years back, I remember Bolt Thrower issuing statements discouraging fans from buying the reissue of RoC as they perceived it as bootleg of their work.

So yeah, I'm just spitballing here. Again, we can't know for sure why BT refuses to do an interview with Decibel.

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LithoJazzoSphere
Metalhead

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2020 8:11 pm
Posts: 2042
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 6:02 pm 
 

Commisaur wrote:
I’m surprised more people here don’t seem to be more familiar with Decibel magazine. They cover mostly only the kinds of metal that are popular on this site, very little hard rock or core stuff is mentioned in the magazines. Their monthly HOF feature in each issue is really really good. 90% of the time it’s the only reason why I’ve ever read the magazine.


I haven't followed music magazines to speak of in quite some time. I used to read Metal Maniacs occasionally on campus years ago, and the occasional other magazine if there was an interesting topic mentioned on the cover. I didn't even realize what Decibel was for quite some time (I probably thought it was for mixing/production back in the mid-00s) because even the metal fans I conversed with online generally didn't bring them up for the most part. But I'm fairly familiar with who they are now, I read the occasional online article, sometimes look at their lists, I've read some of the books that Albert Mudrian has written or edited, and have listened to various podcasts he's done, as well as other contributors like Chris Dick.

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narsilianshard
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Joined: Fri Aug 14, 2009 12:22 pm
Posts: 2664
Location: PDX
PostPosted: Thu May 13, 2021 6:47 pm 
 

Decibel mail day is my favorite day of the month. They have their pulse on the underground scene, the articles and interviews are fantastic, and it's just fucking cool to have such a high quality, long-running publication that focuses on extreme music. I find it hard to believe any frequent commenters here would regret subscribing. Sure, they have their problems (pretending power metal doesn't exist, putting Varg on the cover, both ads and typos have doubled in quantity lately, etc.) but their writing is top-notch, and their various tours and festivals are amazing and deserve as much support as they can get.

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