Bazillion Points, the heavy metal publishing house founded by Sound of the Beast author Ian Christe, turns 10 this year. Well, last year, so we’re a little late here, but we’ve got one more entry that’s worth the wait. To celebrate the anniversary, Decibel corralled authors from the BP stable to discuss their own works and what it’s like to be part of the world’s heaviest publisher.
In Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries you asked “How can a magazine really have a legacy?”. Has the release, and re-release of your book, given you a different perspective on the topic?
– Perhaps slightly, the main content of the book was written ages so some things I am sure I look different upon. Well, if there was a SLAYER legacy I’m of course grateful for that. I think I did something new with my layout back then and a lot of ‘zines got inspired by that. In the bigger picture I’m extremely pleased that SLAYER MAGAZINE is thanked on a lot of genre classic albums. Like MORBID ANGEL, BATHORY, CELTIC FROST and a billion (bazillion hehe) of Brazilian records for instance. So that is maybe some sort of a legacy too.
With Slayer XX you mentioned the idea of it being a final bow. Did printing Metalion accomplish what you were looking for it to accomplish?
– Yeah, the final SLAYER was long in the making and I always thought it would be a proper way to say goodbye. So many ‘zines vanished into obscurity over the years so I thought to at least make it somehow official. And by small chance it wasn’t that long between the final SLAYER and the book so for me that was pretty cool. The book certainly is some kind off way to summon everything and put it in the right place, and that was important too. Now I possibly would like to change a few things here and there but nothing overly dramatic. You know, all of sudden you remember something and you think, “shit, I should have enclosed that part” but overall, it is a nice manifest of what SLAYER was all about, and I’m very proud to have done this book with Tara G. Warrior.
Various writers have slung around the words “Golden Age” to describe the abundance of extreme metal books. Would you agree with the use of that term to describe the current availability of metal books?
– That the golden age is now? Perhaps as you say in the sense of books. For me the golden era was the ’80ies and early ’90ies as far as writing goes. That was the era that fanzines were the most important and ruling the underground. In the fanzines you could find information about the bands that the mainstream metal media wouldn’t even touch. You had to be involved with the underground to hear about the bands we where into. Now everything is just normal and the most obscure band is only a click away on the computer……So that is something I miss too, the feeling of being part of something hidden, I miss the obscurity of it all. Finding strange bands with shitty reh. recordings. But the good thing about books is that it is more everlasting and kind of nice to have as a remembrance of how things used to be.
With the internet opening the door to music discovery, what is now the role of a print magazine? And how does that interact with Slayer in 2018?
– The Internet brought easy access to everything – good or bad. Gone are the days you were waiting over a year for a MUTILATOR reh. tape to arrive from Brazil. I think that kinda thing brought a more fighting spirit for us dwelling in the underground. It was kinda harder to find what we wanted and that’s why we appreciated it more…..Now people are just too fast, won’t let anything sink down. What matters is getting the review of whatever the taste of the month out first. People should let the material sink in for a while. Same with interviews, take your time and create good questions. Luckily there are some great ‘zines left with great writing, I can mention Bardo Methodology for instance. In general, take writing more serious and view it as art. The written content is what matters, not that you are the first to publish a review of this or that album.
What’s your favorite Bazillion Points book?
– Daniel’s Swedish Death Metal book, I love to glance through it and remember all the demos I once had or the ones I never had. Tom Warrior’s ONLY DEATH is real, it is incredibly awesome to be presented by the same publisher as Tom. The man and his music has always had a great impact on me. And the book is amazing, both visually and the written words. And it is very interesting how there are certain links between our lives. That being sad, there are still a lot of BAZILLION books I never read so I guess my answer was pretty expected and basic.
As someone who often struggled with printing (and the associated costs), why is Bazillion Points so significant?
– Because Ian is a genuine guy, to me he is first of all a friend and he is very good at taking care of the business side too…. Also, very nice to NOT be involved in Distribution…..postage is killing everything so happy to skip that part. I think BAZILLION has a great Variety of writers with very strong personalities which I’m happy to be a part of. Seems like Ian has the eye of catching up good themes which are perfect for books….Also that a lot of us on BAZILLION POINTS are not typical writers but we have an interesting (hopefully) story to tell.
Lords of Chaos will premiere [this] month. Will you watch it? How do you feel about being a character in the film?
– Bahhhhh, not overly interested and not overly impressed by the lack of contact with the production team of this movie. I’m not in a rush to see it, will probably get it on DVD so I can pause it every time it is getting cringeworthy…..On the other hand, it was bound to happen sooner or later and I’m sure it is better than all those documentaries on the subject by someone who thinks they understand it all. Which leads me to this, the movie will create a lot of feelings etc. by people who think they have the right idea who never was there anyway….I kinda dislike that more, the feedback of the ‘know it all’ people. But anyway, Jonas played in BATHORY so it is easier to give him a pass….
Lastly, and what everyone has probably been waiting for; what is Arne Babb up to nowadays?
– He is here, kinda enjoying his retirement the same as I’m…. He is the one whispering in my ear at night to buy more records.