Chris Aubert is somebody I used to know way back in the print days of my zine and I recently reconnected with him on Facebook and sent him an interview to fill out and here is what he said to my questions. Chris wrote for Ripping Headaches zine and later on Sprashcore zine.
MC: When were you born and where did you grow up?
CA: I was born in 1968 (hide this, I mean the ladies are used to the idea I'm 38 haha), 80 km's west of Paris, France in a mid-sized city suffering from big industry development in the '70's and all problems brought with that fast growth... and basically spent all my childhood there then moved to Paris suburbs and later to Northern France, at the Belgium border to get closer to all the nice concerts they had there and now I am, like any old man, in Southern France, by the sea, where we've got not much else than good weather... Nothing metal. Ha ha
MC: What sort of kid were you growing up and did you come from a big family?
CA: It was just my older - by 6 years- sister and I but we were never close or anything. Not that we hated each other, just living on two different planets. I remember arguing all the time with her about everything. I guess we were just not comfortable with the idea we were two children and not just one ;-) I was very dedicated at school at least until the age of 15 or so, then I realized things were a little bit easier for me than for some around therefore I stopped wishing to be among the best as I was taught by my parents, so not the best anymore and then just maybe a little bit above the average was ok with me haha. Just getting lazy with aging or realizing things doesn’t have to be always that hard. You could work as a team I mean one was good in Maths, the other in French and we all worked as a team in College years ;-) My parents used to tell me that I can't go out at night, that I had to choose in between playing table tennis or being a DJ at that Metal radio show, that I will have time to date girls when I'll get a decent job... I mean now I have a fu*** decent job, a good one, but isn't it a little too late for fun with girls? haha That's something I do regret now. I give credit to my parents I'm healthy and wealthy now, no discussion and even though I had a happy childhood I always felt frustrated not being a teenager like others. I guess that rebellion turned me into extreme metal! So thanx again mom & dad ;-)
MC: At a young age were you into music and when you got into music, what were some of the bands you were into early on?
CA: I started with Disco, was given the usual "Saturday Night Fever" record as many during these 70's. BUT I was going to that family everyday after school waiting for my dad to pick me up and the boy there, a little bit older than I was, introduced me to that song "Smoke on the Water" from D. Purple and from that day on I turned Metal! That's quite simple: I loved the guitar sound, that was soooo heavy; I mean the riff is simple BUT incredible, isn't it? I could release energy on (and believe me a lot was stuck inside, as I was such a good boy haha), that moved me sooo much. That was like a revelation for me.
At the age of 12 I went to Paris with my sister, who was actually already living there, to a big record shop and bought (with my own money) my first 2 LP's: Scorpions "Fly To the Rainbow" and Saxon "Wheels Of Steel". I was like looking at these huge shelves full of LP's (back then Metal was a big seller in France) and there were sooo many, I could just pick up two due to limited cash so what can I chose? So many there... I just focused on big stacks, major names and grabbed those two.
Then I started to tune on the FM radio every night school friends told me about for local metal radio shows and we had some, believe me we had many back then, almost every night there was one. I got into Judas Priest, Mötley Crüe, Iron Maiden, Accept... Making compilation tapes of the faster songs on each record, always looking for something more extreme... Then we had our first Metal mag in France "Enfer Mag." but that was 1983 and I was 15 already.
I'd like to mention I was never into AC/DC, quite famous in schools back then. All these kids with the army green backpacks. Never got into them (bags and band), just like Kiss who were not big around me exception made of their "I Was Made For Loving You" disco-ish song that was the SHIT! I loved it. Just like "Play It Loud". I started to hang out with the few metalheads/punks/skins we had at my school. Wearing these stretch pants à la Steve Harris with red high tops Adidas shoes. HAHA no doubt why I never attracted any girl! Never had long hair or the taste for alcohol (straight edge even without knowing what it was back then).
MC: How did you come to discover the wonderful world of metal?
CA: oops I guess I went too fast on the previous one ;-) already answered... That boy of my nanny who introduced me to "Smoke on the Water" had that turntable always playing Deep Purple and others I don't recall, day after day, and I was like... "Damn that's for me", it still gives me goose flesh even to this very day when remembering it! He had these colored spotlights flashing in his room, flashing as the riff was tearing us apart! That changed my life! For sure.
MC: What were some of the early bands that you got into and did it become like a drug that you couldn't get enough of? Do you still have any of the old stuff that you bought as a teenager?
CA: Mainstream metal (as we call it today) was extreme back then ;-) I mean compared to Pop, to Disco... Accept "Restless & Wild", Mötley Crüe (circa "that video "Live Wire"), Judas Priest "Screaming For Vengeance", Iron Maiden "Killers", "The Number of the Beast", Saxon "Wheels of Steel"... funny enough it's not until today I put the Deep Purple stuff in my Spotify playlist ;-) They turned me to Metal and it's only in 2011 I pay them tribute... I used to play those records every single day of the week at full volume. My parents never had anything wrong to say about it as long as I was doing my homework and I was, listening to METAL! Metal actually made my homework something I could cup with. Otherwise I think I would have thrown them all away in the room!
From my early days I just kept all flyers I've been collecting since 1980, and the 1 000 tapes gathered after years of tape trading. CD's of course but I got rid of all zines, LP's, 7"s... Good point for the genre icons, I first bought their stuff on LP, then sold them in the early 90's and bought them again on CD format in the 2000's ;-)
MC: Did you ever buy any music mags like Kerrang or Metal Forces, etc? If you did, what did you think of them at the time?
CA: In Paris there was that store... What was the name...? Well... mmm let me think? When taking the train from my city it was 1 hour away and I was just going there to buy records at some places and back in the same day. I was dressed like any kid as this place was often looked at by skins who were only dreaming of beating up Metalheads (hell yes, Paris has always been a shitty place for underground music, everyone being pretty aggressive to others). Like a chameleon I was coming in and out and they did not notice me. They were too stupid to see I had records hidden under my jacket... Records by the likes of Destruction, Sodom, Bathory, Bulldozer... You could nearly buy any record being released, they were all different, any on Metal Blade, any on Roadrunner... And they had some magazines there too like Metal Forces & Kerrang or Buurn. I picked up one Metal Forces (no matter if this was in English) as I was already reading the lyrics on any record, paying attention to my English lessons and getting more and more comfortable with that language everyday ;-) I read it from page one till it’s very end.
Thanks to the great memory of French legend/journalist Hervé 'SK' Guégano I questioned about, that store was called Juke Box.
MC: Now at one point did you discover the world of underground metal and do you remember the first underground metal band that you heard and what did you think of that style of music when you heard it?
CA: In Metal Forces and at that store in Paris they had so many records with black covers, evil looks, nice t-shirts... Too much to miss them! How dare you? In Metal Forces on that first issue I bought I immediately noticed the pen friends section and was astonished by all that extreme metal scene exposed, not only records but also live tapes, demos... I wanted all these records that were supposed to be "insanely fast", "incredibly heavy"... I wanted to be part of that underground scene too, make friends from all over the world but I had nothing yet to trade. So I started to buy tapes from a couple of guys and soon place my own ad in it that Metal Forces section too. I also subscribed (my mom paid) after reading that first copy and never ended that subscription until they called it quits. I even bought the back issues quite rapidly from their mail order section. Undefective support you can call it like that! Then I followed some of the journalists in Thrash'n'burn then Terrorizer but it all became quite another thing so I cancelled my subscription. Bernard Doe and I have wrote to each other a couple of times in the mid 2010's which was like a dream came true. The man surely started something highly noticeable here.
MC: What were some early underground metal bands that you got into? Were there any cool metal stores in your area to pick up metal stuff?
CA: I already mentioned that Metal store, "Juke Box" but Metal was everywhere back then, in any record store they had a decent Metal area, even at the Grocery store they were selling records, and they had all the Maiden, Priest, Accept... for cheap. Call it Golden age if you'd like but the sales were back then quite something in France, I believe third or fourth record market throughout the world after U.S., Japan, and UK.
You could pick up the Manowar "Battle Hymns" LP at a Music instruments place, after listening to the whole thing in the store. Then you could stop after a short bike trip to another place and get to listen to Venom 'Welcome To Hell". Again after a free listening, and not with headphones no, no! In store at full volume even if Metal was not the only style they were selling, Metal was big seller everywhere right after Pop & Jazz I think, before classical at some point. Record stores owners would immediately consider you 'hard rocker" which meant for them: "this boy is going to buy at least one record no matter what" so they let you listen to all records you'd like to. haha
MC: When did you discover the wonderful world of fanzines? Do you remember the 1st fanzine that you saw or bought?
CA: In the first ever (official with large diffusion in every newspaper stand) French mag "Enfer Mag" they had their own section for penfriends, radioshows... too. I got in touch with some 'zine editors like D.O.D. Ludo Gluzco (RIP) from France, the Geuggis brothers (Apocalyptic Noise zine) from Switzerland. They are the first two 'zines I bought. Damn, Destruction (circa "Sentence Of Death/Infernal Overkill") on the cover of Apocalyptic Noise! Enfer will never offer them such publicity, they use to hate "speed metal" as they called it back then. Bathory pics in D.O.D. were like a dream came true! Both editors pretty much into proselytism (like any who really love its underground metal, no?) sent me for free (I just sent the blank tapes and they would record anything on them for me) tapes of incredible stuff like Cryptic Slaughter, Master, Oblivion (NJ)... Impossible to get back to Accept, WASP or Maiden after that haha! I put all my metal LP's aside and put the extreme upfront. The rest is history haha... I waited until the 2000's to buy these classics again "Restless and Wild", "WASP", "Killers"... as their LP's had been long time ago sold second hand to friends. With age I think I didn't mellow but I now can recognize what all these brought to the extreme Metal scene.
A zine called in another like Morbid Mag, Blackthorn, Merciless Death, Violent Noize... It was 1986 and that was becoming huge. The peak was 1987 for me... I was young, all records were great then... well early 90's were NO WAY as much fun.
MC: Before you started doing zine, did you do any writing for any other zines? Did you do the zine all by yourself or did you have other writers contribute?
CA: I contacted that guy running Gorgar zine in France and submitted a couple articles but soon realised I needed to be a real part of it, so we teamed up but the thing was in French and French extreme Metal scene was soooo small i thought it would lead me nowhere, therefore as the guy did not want to turn to English I quit; we just made 2 issues, I think. Not to mention I was in more extreme stuff than he was ;-)
Every Sat. afternoon back in these days (as the old men say, haha) at a big record store in Paris, FNAC, metalheads were gathering to trade 7", zines, records... This is where I met several guys involved in the scene in a way or another like Domino Minchelli from Decayin'Maggot 'zine. I got in touch with two guys from the Paris suburbs’ with whom we started tape trading and we decided to come up with our own zine in English: Sprash Core Mag to give it a better visibility (as the brand owners say, haha). Jean-Marc Ferrier and I were the Death/Thrash/Black Metal side of it while Arnaud Daudin represented the HxCx/Grindcore side. That worked pretty well and we did two issues before I quit. I believe everybody was happy with the layout J.M. was doing and the features. I did that Darkthrone interview in 1988 when they just released their first demo tape. Gylve Nagell (later Fenriz) and I were tape traders back then. We had Stella Cultrona (RIP my dear friend...) a.k.a. "The Thrash Queen" from WRUW radio from Cleveland, OH in who came up with Necrophagia, Death... interviews.
As artists we had a friend from Peru as well as Robert Plante (Disturbed 'zine, Morbid Mag, Raging Metal, Buttface...) who is actually working on a book about Thrash Metal history in the 80's, Drew Elliott for the cover of issue #2 (remember his killer art for Necrophagia, Blood Feast...?)... We had plenty of great contributors, nice stuff actually but the thing was very limited in distribution even if we sent out thousands of flyers in the mail and placed ads in many, many 'zines. And I wanted to get bigger in the scene, haha so I left. In 2011 I don't actually recall what caused the break-up and when I look at the harsh words I had against these two nice fellows back then, I still wonder what the f*** happened to me... Anyway they did their issue #3 without me then called it quits. I recently learned from Arnaud that they had almost all stuff needed for a fourth issue which was never released though. Thanks to Facebook I'm now back in touch with the two and we are just fine.
Around the same time, was it '87 or '88, something like that? I was in touch with Bruce Davis from Ripping Headaches 'zine in Tampa, Florida who had already released 6 issues so I offered my services ;-) I mean Tampa, Florida: Deicide (then Amon), Atheist, Nocturnus, Morbid Angel, Death, Morrisound studios... THEY WERE ALL FROM THERE so I should be a part of it and luckily we matched up very nicely with Bruce. He always stayed the main man behind the zine doing the typing, layout and stuff and I was helping with stuff, articles, reviews, interviews... I got more and more involved into it. Mostly complaining about the layout, haha; he can recall for sure! The zine has always been printed in Tampa (Bruce was working in a print shop back then so he had already set up all connections there). The first 6 issues were pretty much Bruce on his own, then I got involved around the same time as another boy from Tampa, Bryan Daniel (who also started his own zine a bit later: Invincible Force; everybody wanted to be in a band or run his onw zine, remember?). Bruce was into major acts Metallica, Megadeth... I was more into the extreme stuff and Bryan even more into it so he brought Grindcore,... We then added contributors from all the world with scene reports, show reports, reviews. We had Gylve "Fenriz" Nagell from Darkthrone in for sometime and others from Poland, Mexico, Canada, USA... A great team work. Everything was sent to Bruce and would decide if that was to be in or not, depending on space available and also his personal tastes I believe... For instance he never wanted to bring in Hardcore like that DRI interview I conducted with them in Paris in 1988. But the three of us worked perfectly as a team. Then after issue 14 (1991) we just lost interest, bored with losing money each time, spending toooo much time on this damn thing, so it stopped. Bruce moved to another area in the Tampa neighborhood, was getting involved professionally as a journalist into Music Players, a local paper, so he just couldn't keep on doing it. I was down at that time, a bad period of my life actually so I kinda lost interest in life in general and all these things.
MC: How did you come up with the name and looking back are you happy with the name and were any other names considered and who did your logo?
CA: "Sprash Core Mag" came from the fact that we were 3 in it, bringing three influences: Speed Metal, Thrash Metal and Hardcore so that gave us Sprash Core Mag ;-)
Bruce came up with the name "Ripping Headaches", the name is his. Everybody thinks it comes from the Voïvod song, better ask him though; I believe so too even if I always preferred saying it has to do with what happens when you listen to Metal at full volume and headbang to ;-) Many zines were named upon songs in these days: Merciless Death, Invincible Force... So even if I don't remember the exact reason why he called it R.H. I believe that's high probability...
MC: Now what made you decide to start up doing your own zine? Did you ask many people for advice and how did you come up with name for the zine? Looking back was starting up the zine harder or easier than you thought it was going to be?
CA: As mentioned before it went pretty straight-forward as soon as I teamed up with Jean-Marc Ferrier and Arnaud Daudin for Sprash Core Mag: we all threw in record reviews, interviews (conducted through mail mainly), asked our tape traders if they were interested into contributing with some art or reviews... And the above Robert Plante, Gylve Nagell... all sent in stuff. We started from that, Jean-Marc was doing 80% of all typing & layout if I'm right. Arnaud threw in some pages he completely wrote, typed and arranged too. One would notice the different font used on his pages ;-) D.I.Y. spirit. It wasn't hard, time consuming yes & a lot of dedication indeed. We did not print these; just xerox copied them as requests were coming in. Actually requests were for zine trading, labels, bands, promoters, but barely any paid for S.C.M. Ripping Headaches was going the same way, xeroxed each time needed, locally in Tampa by Bruce and in France by myself, my dad at his job to be honest ;-) Time to thank the old man here! While Mom was working at the local post office and taking care of all the shipment side. Family business, haha!
As noticed before Bruce was the man in charge of typing for Ripping Headaches. 100% was ran by the man himself on his computer (rare in those days, can't recall the brand it was, Atari?)
Issue 13 of R.H. was the only one to be printed professionally (How many copies? Good question. I just remember hundreds at Bruce's place invading every square meter available as the sales were soooo slow) but still no change in typing/layout. We kept on working the same old way. Collage, and all. Only printing was professional on some cheap newspaper type of paper. I was always complain about our layout but never took it in charge or never brought in any idea to improve it. Typically French ;-) I wanted us to look like Morbid Mag or Slayer Mag haha. Bruce just did not care. I believe he followed his own idea of D.I.Y.
MC: When did your 1st issue come out? How many copies did you print and how did you go about getting the word out about the zine and was it typed on a typewriter? Who did you interview for it?
CA: No clue what was featured in that Gorgar issue I contributed as co-editor to. Sprash Core Mag 1 though as already mentioned featured Darkthrone plus Coroner, Ripcord, Tribulation (SWE), Kazjurol... All the Gorgar and Sprash Core stuff was typed on a typewriter. Only Ripping Headaches was typed by Bruce on an early computer word processor. Issue 8, the first I seriously got involved into featured Exodus, Witches, Sepultura, Hellwitch... interviews.
MC: How many issues did you end up putting out? Did you feel with each issue that the zine was getting better? What were some of the bigger names that you interviewed and any bands that you would have loved to interview but never got a chance to?
CA: Gorgar I believe made one or maybe two (last with me). SCM: 3 (first 2 with me), RH: 14 (last 7 with me). I don't recall any of these xerox copied to more than 100 copies. Maybe Bruce could tell about the issue #13 which was printed, and how many he actually sent out, but from my side no more than that and most of them free of charge. We were not doing it for the cash that's for sure, for fame then? Maybe haha, posthume fame? We got some nice recognition in the days and what I now get with Myspace and Facebook is very rewarding.
MC: Do you still have copies of all your issues and are any extras lying around? Where they are done in a 8 1/2 by 11 inch style on white paper?
CA: All were done in a 8 1/2 by 11 inch style on white paper except for the cover of one Gorgar issue which was red type-of cardboard stronger paper.
I had a huge collection of zines that I sold a couple of years ago. Zines gathered at friend's place: I was borrowing them and xerox copying them (Laurent Ramadier of D.O.D., Bruce Davis. & others.. surely remember that). Zines coming in that we used to trade for ours... Hundreds. I just kept the ones I had something to do with and sold the others. I did some copies again of them a couple of years ago as some asked after I put up the Myspace page: www.Myspace.com/RippingHeadaches so they're still some available of SCM 1 & 2, RH 7 to 14.
MC: As issues started coming out were you getting more and more mail and how cool was it getting demos and records in the mail everyday? Did you stuff little ads in every letter when you wrote people back?
CA: Oh yes we did stuff little ads in every single letter going out, literally thousands of them! We (my dad mostly) were xerox copying them on color paper so they could get a better chance to be noticed among all others haha! I remember destroying a couple of scissors cutting them! I wonder how many were actually distributed/seen and not simply thrown away. Anyway that helped the name to get known even if that did not help sales at all! I guess, now looking back at it, 'zine editing was more of a trading thing than anything else, at least for us. We were sending ours and would get Metal Core back in the mail ;-) That's how I discovered other bands and get to know people from all other the world who became friends and who still are! That's the beauty of it when I look back a t it. I guess bigger/nicer zines like Morbid Mag or Blackthorn may have sold a bit though.
Mail was becoming huge with many demos coming in and Bruce on his side in Tampa was getting quite a lot of records to review from Roadracer and others. Earache used to send me their stuff too. We placed ads for the labels and reviewed their releases so the labels liked us ;-) We got to do phone interviews, live ones at shows, meet loads of bands and see even more play! A usual day was like 6 letters or so... Was becoming very very time consuming but still fun.
MC: Where did most of your mail come from and did you get much stuff from the US?
CA: Bruce was of course getting most of the U.S. letters and I would get most of the European stuff.
MC: What were some of the awesome shows you saw back in the day and what was some of the craziest stuff you saw at shows back in the day and where did you go to see shows?
CA: Well the only particular moment that comes back to my mind now is that Electric Hellfire Club show in Chicago, IL where the singer was tearing apart bibles and throwing pages to the audience, haha!
I remember nice chats/shows/interviews with Excel, Forbidden, Master/Abomination, Deicide... among others.
I'd like also to mention we were treated very nicely by promoters and managers who helped to get interviews and free passes for pics... Of course when the 90's arrived and many more zines appeared it began to get a little bit more complicated, you needed to fax the record labels or agents prior to gigs but as we were well organized that was never an issue for us unlike others who were just turning at shows with a big smile and a recorder, haha!
I saw most of the shows during my zines years in Belgium because this is were most tours were stopping like Death, Exodus, Sacred Reich... for instance in late 80's and early 90's, the promoters (Metalllisee mostly) were nicer than in Paris where I was living. Sound also was a lot better!
MC: Did you ever have any bands send you a threatening letter for giving them a bad review and looking back now, do you think you were pretty fair as far as reviews go?
CA: Not that I recall. I just remember Richard C. from Wild Rags complaining once because I said - or wrote - he may have been considered by some bands a rip-off not paying them with cash but with records... From then on Richard would not send me his records to review anymore. Earache did not care what you would say as long as you would say something, I gave them once a 0/10 and records were still coming in for review ;-) We had the zine spirit; we were saying what we'd like not what our sponsors were expecting! Freedom always. Not like in magazines, where money from ads pays for salaries, haha!
MC: What year did you put your last issue out? At the time did you know your last issue was going to be your last issue? Why did you stop doing the zine? When you stopped doing it how much did you miss it?
CA: Feb. 1991 saw the release of issue 14 of Ripping Headaches. About the reasons... I think it's mosty because Bruce went on as a semi-professional journalist for Music Players in the Tampa bay and moved from his parents to another place; he got busier and busier, and on my side I was not well as said earlier in that period so wasn't a driving force anymore. I think we also got (unofficially) bored at the end spending big bucks on the zine and getting nothing in return exception made of free records & demos and a bit of recognition. Too much for too little. We just went our separate ways and kinda lost contact. Only Myspace got us a chance to chat again. We haven't met since the early 90's though. I wish to re-unite the whole three of us and have a nice time together!
MC: After the zine folded, did you do any writing for any other zines? Do you still have most of the demos, flyers and other old zines from back in the day packed away somewhere?
CA: Nope; when we ended up with R.H. in 1991 it was a bad period for me and I was hardly going out to a concert or anywhere actually so I did not think of going on with some other people. I was late in mail, late in tape trading... Got drowned under piles of mail to answer to. Asked a friend to get back to some people but I don't know if she actually wrote back to these telling them I was out of biz'. I kinda lost contact with her too. Sure some tape traders of mine and penpals thought I was then turning to a rip-off not answering mail. With (a lot of) time things in my life settled down, I managed to get going, found a way or another to fight against the terrible depression I was suffering of but I never got the flame to get back into the zine editing thing or tape trading. And it was early & mid 90's the scene was kinda changing, tooo many bands, tooo many zines... quality was gone, quantity was coming. I always stayed into Metal though, that never changed! I started to go back to concerts, buy records...
I still have all demos, tapes, CD's & flyers here but sold vinyls and zines through ads in magazines and at local stores. I mean I had all them around in boxes, taking a huge amount of space but was not looking at the zines anymore, no time for and was bored moving them from a place to another without even touching them every so and then. Then Myspace came in, then Facebook arrived but they were gone already, so too late for the 2.0 revival ;-)
MC: What are your thoughts on the underground today? Is there any new bands that you like and do you feel there are too many bands and labels out there?
CA: Not having a look at any webzines or paper zines anymore. Just keeping in touch with last news through FB, Metal-archives.com and friends. A few records/labels do deserve interest though drowned that they are in the huge amount of releases. It was sooo hard to get your stuff released until the early 90's, remember how motivated the bands were when sending their stuff and shopping around for a record deal. Now in his own bedroom any kid could record, master and sell his music (through internet). It's like going direct from producer to consumer. I'm not saying it sucks I'm just saying that there's no more "filter" or less and less. Every band gets the same chance to a certain extent promoting themselves but only those with good $ back-up could make it alone... And the ones on labels? Mmm hard as well as the market is getting smaller and smaller with record industry suffering from lack of sales. And how can you get exposed to the best items as a kid? By reading magazines? Nope! They’re saying what the labels want to see printed. By actual (web)zines? Not so many that I'm aware of except yours, Voices from the Darkside, Snakepit... to cross references. When in the late 80's every zine was telling you that Sadus' "Illusions" self released LP was great, you could only get a chance to listen to it! How a Sadus could make it to the light in 2012? Something like a RSS of metal webzines could help I think, all gathered and sorted out by relevance. The Metal Google? Maybe you could get me some advice where I shall look for this kind of thing ;-)
A good counterpoint though is that most of our fave LP's and demos are now on CD format or are going to be sooner or later. but how sad to see sooo little sales for Devastation Chicago, Aftermath Chicago, Insanity, N.Y.C. Mayhem, Savage Death and others releases... Some are still missing (even there's hundreds of labels now) like Bloodcum, Anialator, Terminal Death, Infest, Straight Ahead...
MC: Name me a couple bands you think any metal fan should check out.
CA: Raped God 666 & Soul Eater from Mexico, Dekapitaror & Bonded By Blood from the U.S. all excellent Thrash Metal.
MC: What are your thoughts on death, black, and thrash metal?
CA: Black doesn't have as many good acts as Death and Thrash I think. They keep on thinking the crappier their sound, the better haha. Check Vrykolakas and Chaos Regal from Singapore, killer Death Metal! Crucified Mortals awesome Thrash from Cleveland, OH. Some cool BM too makes it to my speakers these days like Vorkreist from France, Archgoat... Funeral Mist "Delivry" too, damn that's brutal and fast! Now playing ;-)
MC: Who is your favorite band and why are they your favorite band?
CA: mmm that's a good one ;-) In the Mantas/early days of Death incl. S.B.G. I would have said them of course, with We Have Arrived and Darkness Descends around I would have said Dark Angel, these were to a certain extent my faves in the 80's. Like Slayer even unlike many I preferred SNM and HA to RIB ;-) These 3 made me what I'm now and still get a proper listen at least once a week! Why these? Mmm let's say their above mentioned releases were (and still are) always a great fun to headbang to throughout the years, never got bored of these.
MC: I know you have a Facebook Page. Have you reconnected with many old friends from back in the day and do you still go to shows and stuff nowadays?
CA: I mostly got back in touch with them all in the mid 2000's thanks to Myspace. It was years since I heard from most of them. I tried from time to time to write letters to some but most were not living at same physical addresses so most of the mail went back, very frustrating. Then FB came in and I noticed only a few weren't there ;-) Good news, we got back in touch like if nothing happened in between ;-)
Ripping Headaches 'zine now has a group page on Facebook with Bruce, Bryan and myself, kinda 2.0. version of the 'zine. Isn't it fancy?
Sprash Core Mag also does have its group there too ;-)
MC: Where do you see the metal scene in 5 years and were you sad to see the demise of printed fanzines for the most part? What were some of your favorite zines that you liked to read back in the day?
CA: Well no one could say what would be in the next years... Only one could say that with cool labels like Hell's Headbangers, Nuclear War Now, Pulverised and others the good stuff with still come in as well as some nice re-releases...
Reading pleasure? Morbid Mag, Blackthorn, Metallic Beast, Invincible Force, Deathfuck, Deathscythe... Metal Forces just to name a few...
MC: Any shot of your starting to re do the zine maybe on-line or have a Facebook Group Page for the zine or something along those lines?
CA: Ripping Headaches 'zine Facebook Group Page is up and running at: www.facebook.com/groups/135193999874568/ Just needs a little bit more support from you all, haha so I may post some more scans...
Starting a zine again? Don't think so. Too much time consuming and not so many bands I'd like to cover these days. I had been asked a couple of times to write stuff for webzines but I refused. Writing for me have always been a spontaneous process. Being asked to deliver "something" by "this due-date" on "that" doesn't go well with my inspiration I assume, haha!
Nevertheless I post some articles here and there from time to time ;-) I also contribute to some bands webpages and CD/DVD releases submitting flyers, scanned reviews...
I run the Abattoir official tribute page on Myspace for the boys at: www.myspace.com/AbattoirLA. In 2006, I also started and ran for sometime the Aftermath Chicago Myspace page before the band re-released its stuff on CD last year and took in charge the page by themselves.
I still run and update the Desecration AZ page though at www.myspace.com/DesecrationAZ (remember their "Who's In control" EP?)
MC: What are some of your fondest memories of the underground scene and what place did you go see shows at and what was the farthest you traveled to see a show?
CA: Well that's not my fondest but that's one of the latest I had in mind before starting answering your interview... So I may mention it here...
On Aug. 16, 1990 while vacationing with Laurent Ramadier (ex-D.O.D.) at my buddy's place in Florida (Bruce Davis then editor of Ripping Headaches 'zine, yours truly co-editing) I saw Sadistic Intent opening for Morbid Angel (w/Malevolent Creation, Damnation too) on their "Blessed Are The Sick" tour in Miami at the TrashCan, a nice runned down area that was. Gunshots could be heard before the show close to the place, WAY TOO CLOSE actually, Laurent and I almost thought our time was over.
M.A. were touring in their School Bus back then, not that comfortable for the guys and quite original for two Europeans like us... Except in an Horror/Cop movie on French T.V. I never ever saw any of these before and the boys were actually touring IN one. Crazy!
I don't remember the S.I. show very well, except they were loud and black dressed (I believe noone realy cared about them back in these days, they only became famous later on in the 2000's with their first records selling for billions on eBay) but the M.A. show I do... as I got kicked out of the hall as I was audio taping the M.A. show with 2 recorders, haha, the security guys went as apeshit as two rednecks could go. That's why on most tape trading lists this show only runs for some 30 minutes...
After some arguing with the guys I managed to get back in as Laurent Ramadier (one of the two recorders was his, the guy being on stage taking pics) and I were V.I.P.'s at that show.
Thanks to the M.A. folks we were not thrown in jail for ruining the music business ;-)
Also to notice that night, our nice little chat with Pat from Hellwitch and Paul from Cynic even though none of the two could help us with a place to crash that night, which for Laurent and I meant staying over in a crappy Miami Beach hotel. Thanks to Paul Masvidal who gave us a ride there.
PS: even if I quite enjoyed the Malevolent C. demo tape I was given by mainman Phil Fasciana around the same time via snail mail, I was disappointed Phil did not care/dare talking to us that night. I saw his band becoming quite famous later and seen them many times afterwards but never got to talk to the man...
PS2: Were Morbid Angel good? No! They ruled that night. Seeing Pete setting up his drum kit & attending his soudncheck still remains one of my best pre-concert memories. I will later see them in France the same year in Paris, France (w/Unleashed), then Belgium 1998, Belgium again in '99 (w/Emperor that I missed as the place was sooo crowded it was nearly impossible to get in), Toulouse, France (w/Cadaver Inc.) in 2001, Montpellier, France 2004 but the magic touch was long time gone for me, that's why I never went to see them again and will keep that first time as my best.
MC: Did you ever make to the US and if you have not, would you like to some day?
CA: Well, in my R.H. 'zine days I went something like 15 times to the U.S., mostly to Tampa, Florida and once in Chicago. I was actually planning to relocate in Deland, FL. Bryan Daniel dad found me a position there as a teacher for adults but Immigration Services stopped me on my way as Gulf War I started. All applications were put on hold. That kind of ruined me internally. I mean I had all planned, stuff sold, I was in the starting-blocks and then.... nothing! I was down I had no will to live anymore. Early 1990's brought in much frustration in my life. That's only when I relocated from Paris to the Belgium border in Northern France in 1996 that I actually fully recovered from these years. I needed a full change in my life so I quit my job, moved in Lille, made new friends...
I waited until mid 2000's to return to the U.S. In Chicago that time. Since then I've been to NYC two times and to the Western States & L.A., SF... once. I enjoyed pretty much passing by famous sites like Troubadour, Whisky A Go Go, Hoover Park Auditorium (where Terrorizer, Cryptic Slaughter... used to play) in L.A. I have been playing live tapes from 80's shows recorded at these places and I always wanted to actually see where it was ;-)
MC: I am out of questions my friend. Horns up for the interview and any last words and plug anything you wish.
CA: Thanks Chris, it's so rewarding to see that some people actually remember what we did, and care enough to ask for an interview.
You may consider writing to these nice fellows I mentioned through this interview, they all counted very much through my 'zine years: