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Metal Nightmare Magazine

Tom Wren is the editor of Metal Nightmare Fanzine and I bumped into him again at the 2010 Maryland DeathFest and I thought it would be fun to do an interview with him so I emailed him some questions and here is what he said to my questions:

MC: I haven't seen you in a few years and bumped into you at the Maryland Deathfest this year, what did you think of the event and will you be going next year?

TW: That was actually the second year I've gone. I also went in 2009. I don't really hit the live shows much anymore, but I had to see Asphyx and Bolt Thrower. Since Asphyx were playing again this year, I decided to go again. I haven't decided on next year just yet, but with Repugnant, Exhorder, Coroner and Hooded Menace playing, it's very tempting. If they can also get Winter on the bill that will probably seal the deal. The event is pretty good, and they don't seem to get as many cancellations as the Milwaukee Fest used to get. I do think that the three stage setup they had this year was not a great idea, especially since one of them was at the top of a slope. I also think that three days is a bit much, but you won't find me coming for just two of them. Seems like they're also trying to up the ante with the pre-fest show, so it's almost becoming a four day event. I do kind of wish they held it earlier in the year. The times I've been, it gets very hot. I'm not used to that East Coast shit. Is it cooler in March? Seriously. I don't know how those guys in the indoor merch room are able to handle it for an hour, much less three days.

MC: What are your thoughts on the metal scene the past few years and where do you see it headed?

TW: Right down the toilet? No, I can't be that brutal and pessimistic. The scene is what it is. With the internet, home studios and recording software, I think any quality control we once had has been lost. More on that later, as I see you've got a question that's more about that aspect of things. I'm not all that sure where things are headed. Right now you've got the retro-thrash thing going on, and it's a lot bigger than it was when bands like Bewitched and Inferno came out some years ago. Some say that this movement has played itself out, but I don't see it. I'm all for the old school death metal revival that's happening now as well. All of a sudden, you've got some really cool and exciting bands out there like Dead Congregation, Teitanblood, Hooded Menace, Vanhelgd and Blood Mortized that have all tapped back into what death metal is really supposed to be about. I think the fact that some of these bands have members who were in other bands back at the start of things helps too. I'm really not too worried about the scene as a whole. It's going to continue to do what it does. You'll still have your mainstream acts and the underground. You'll still have the diehards and the poseurs. So really, I don't know where it's headed. But I do know that out there someplace is a band that's just starting out that is going to redefine everything and kick off some new subgenre. They might be in the US. Maybe they're in Sweden. They could be in Outer Mongolia for all we know. But trust me, they're out there.

MC: You posted a blog not too long ago on Facebook about singers nowadays all sounding the same with the deathcore screaming style vocals, which I agree 100% with. How much feedback did you get on it?

TW: Well, the posts you saw there on Facebook were all the feedback I got. Seems like people agreed with me a lot, although Matt Harvey did make a good point that even back in the early 90s there were a lot of generic sounding guys. That's true, but all those generic sounding guys did put some balls into what they were doing. The main point of what I wrote was that the originators all sounded different. I also just put it up on my blog, and so far there's been one post from some guy -- I think I know who it is too -- that in very misspelled English told me that I'm full of shit. Which, from the point of view of death metal fans who weren't there at the time, I probably am. But I'll tell you... when a guy like Kam Lee tells you just how right on you are when you say something like what I posted, it lends a lot of credibility so that a negative post from Joe Schmuck really doesn't mean much.

Just so your readers know what we're talking about, here's the rant:

'The "art" of death metal vocals has been lost. There was a time when each band had a vocalist with a distinct sound. You could tell Martin van Drunen from Kam Lee. Or Brett Hoffman from Barney. John Tardy, Marc Grewe, Chuck Schuldiner, Dave Ingram, Matti Karki, LG Petrov, Chris Barnes, Johnny Hedlund, Jeff Walker, Chris Riefert, David Vincent... all of these men had (and still have) their own unique style. These days, what passes for death metal vocals seems to fall into two camps. First, there's the "bastard sons of Barnes," who still try their best to emulate the gutteral gurgling from "Tomb of the Mutilated." This used to be the way that most newer bands went. The idea of sounding lower than low and as unintelligible as possible was appealing to many. But this lot have started to die out over the years in favor of the current "deathcore" sound. More and more vocalists just go for a gruff style with a strong hardcore influence. There's no substance to their voices. No soul. They get the job done, and barely even manage that. They all sound the same, and I doubt that many could tell one from another. There was a time when a death metal vocalist's sound was just as important as the band's guitar tone. Somewhere along the way, that mentality has been lost. There are some bands that still do care about having a unique voice. But the majority of the popular newer bands have vocalists who are indistinguishable from each other. But for a few rare exceptions, the shock value and true extremity of the death metal vocalist has become watered down and diminished to the point of worthlessness.'

I wrote that completely on the fly and it all came straight from the heart. The fire to write this was more or less lit under my butt while I was listening to the metal channel on Sirius radio one day. It hit me that I really couldn't tell one band from another anymore just by the vocals. That and the fact that they just don't really mean anything now. I don't know who the first death metal band you first heard was, but for me it was Death. And Chuck Schuldiner sounded like an eight-foot tall ogre. That's death metal.
By the way, you might disagree, but I feel kind of bad for you. Here you've been using the name "Metalcore Fanzine" for years now, and then suddenly this craptastical subgenre called metalcore pops up. Those of us who have been around for a while know that you've got nothing to do with that style of music, but newer folks in the scene probably don't know that. It's kind of like how Anthrax considered changing their name after 9/11 when all those envelopes of white powder were showing up in the mail. But like them, you're sticking to your guns and keeping the name while ignoring any connotations it might have.
That's pretty commendable.

(yeah I agree with you Tom and it does kinda suck in some ways having the name Metal Core now-cf)

MC: How many issues did you put out of your fanzine and for those who don't know tell them what a fanzine is and do you have any old copies left?

TW: Simply put, a "fanzine" is a magazine that is done by a fan or fans. To the techies out there, it's like a webzine, but it's on paper. That means it's easier to read while on the pot, and if you don't like what you read, well then you've got something to wipe your butt with. For those who don't know, prior to Metal Nightmare, I had another zine called Carcharoth, which ran for a total of eight issues over a period of two years. Metal Nightmare saw a total of twenty seven issues, but only the first seven of those were in print. From number eight on, I had made the jump to a webzine. Kind of funny though...when I was in print, everyone told me I needed to get it online. As soon as I did that, everyone told me I needed to bring the print format back. I haven't had copies of the print mag available for ten years now. I gave all of them away at one of the Milwaukee Fests and the November to Dismember fest that was held out here.
MC: Have you always lived in CA and how is the metal scene nowadays?

TW: Yeah, I've always lived here in southern California. I'm kind of out of it as far as the scene here goes. There do seem to be quite a few bands, but a lot of the ones I tend to like come from across the border in Tijuana. For turnouts at shows, it all depends on who is playing and what day of the week it is. Even on a weeknight, your bigger bands will still draw good sized crowds. But smaller bands won't do anywhere near as well. At least not in San Diego. Anaheim and Lost Angeles might be different.

MC: What was the hardest and easiest part of doing your zine?

TW: The easiest part was uploading to the web. Since the format was so simple, all I ever had to do was just drop the text in and then make sure the links worked. The hardest part was figuring out who to interview and coming up with the questions. It really got to be frustrating when I'd put in all this time thinking of things to ask, and then never getting a response. I had a really good set of questions for Dismember at one point, but I guess they don't like having to write back to people even if they've got a publicist prodding them to do it. For those wondering why I just didn't do a phoner, it's simple... I work for a living. The zine was never anything more than a hobby, and there comes a point in life when your "real life" takes precedence over your "fun". Most phone interview times are during the day, so that ruled them out. That was fine anyway... transcribing an audio tape is a real bitch.

MC: If I am not mistaken you are still doing the zine on-line. What is the url of it and what will people find when they log on the site?

TW: Actually, I retired from doing Metal Nightmare in January 2010. I put up the 27th issue and called it a day. It's all still up at www.metalnightmare.com. I had kind of hoped to sometime get everything I ever wrote up there, but there's just no time. So issues 3 through 27 are up there in complete form, along with a couple of interviews from issues 1 and 2, and some other miscellaneous stuff I did for other magazines that I don't think ever saw print. Oh yeah, and a handful of stuff from the other zine I did, Carcharoth. I don't think I have any of the material I did for Ill Literature or www.firemetal.com up there though. It's all a very "no-frills" kind of site. Just text and graphics. Nothing fancy. No message board, streaming media or anything like that. I also treated it like it was still a print mag, and only put a new issue up twice per year. One in May and the other in December. So unlike a lot of other sites, it wasn't updated daily with whatever news there was.

MC: What made you stop doing the zine?

TW: Honestly, I had almost quit several times before. I think it came down to several things. First, as I'm sure you're learning as a new dad -- and congrats on that again, by the way -- there's just not enough time any more to really dedicate myself to it now that I've got a family. When it was just me and the wife, that was one thing. Throw in a kid, and it all changes. But even before that, I had considered throwing in the towel. It's really hard to be a "bastion of the old school" when everything coming out has none of that feeling to it and sounds... I guess you'd call it "modern." Combine that with everything being a variation on something else that was already done -- and usually done better -- and the whole process of having to review stuff just becomes tedious and not fun. When that happens, it's time to quit. I cover this a whole lot better on the "farewell" page of my final issue.

That said, I'm not out of things completely. I'm now writing for LA's Bulldozer magazine. I've been given free reign on what I contribute and how much. Right now I'm doing reviews of stuff I like, and I'm starting a short series on label profiles. I've also started a blog site, over at www.metalnightmareblog.blogspot.com. I've put some reviews up there, and should probably put that vocalist rant of mine up there as well. I don't plan on putting interviews up, and it's not going to be updated on a regular basis. There might be a flurry of activity and then nothing for a while.

MC: What is your favorite band and why are they your favorite band?

TW: That's an impossible question for me to answer. I've got too many bands I like. There's no way I can make a choice between Asphyx and Candlemass. Or Judas Priest and Uriah Heep. So I'm just going to dodge this one. But I do have to say this... Dio's death has really affected me deeply. Moreso than any other death of a musician I can think of. Maybe I was still reeling from the death of my favorite artist, Frank Frazetta, from a few weeks prior, but I'm still not over the loss of Dio. When Chuck Schuldiner died, I remember I couldn't sleep that night, so I got up and wrote what I called a eulogy for him.
I put that online in the eleventh issue of Metal Nightmare. I believe it also showed up on emptywords.org at some point. But for Dio, I wasn't able to do something similar. I just don't have the words. Even right now typing this, I'm welling up a little bit. I can't really put into words why this has affected me so much. I'm not sure if Dio is my favorite musical artist of all time, but he sure does rank high on the list.

MC: What bands have disappointed you over the years and why?

TW: Oh man, where to begin with this one? Even harder, where to end?

- Sepultura, for starters, when Max left. Although, I do have to admit that even if he had stayed, they probably would have been over for me.
- Katatonia. I don't care how much acclaim they've gotten over the years. Their sound is not metal. Period.
- Anathema. Same reason.
- Grave's "Hating Life" album. I don't know what went wrong there, but things went really wrong. Interesting story though... Steve Reynolds of Demolition Hammer was supposed to do the vocals for that album. I don't know the full story though. When I did an interview with Grave, the page that had the answer to the question about that somehow got lost when it was faxed back to Century Media. Speaking of Demolition Hammer...
- Demolition Hammer's "Timebomb" album. What the hell was that?
- Morgoth. "Feel Sorry for the Fanatic" was one of the worst albums of all time. Not surprising they called it a day after that one.
- Demigod, although maybe it's not entirely their fault. Just how do you ever manage to put out a decent followup to an album like "Slumber of Sullen Eyes"? That last one they did, "Let Chaos Prevail," that one was awful. Here's how bad it was. I've got a friend who keeps every single album he's ever bought. Doesn't matter if he hates it or not. He has stuff he didn't even get the whole way through and will never listen to again. Well, he got rid of his copy of that last album.
There's the usual suspects as well, like Metallica, Megadeth and Ozzy. I know how to fix Ozzy though. Feed him cheeseburgers and give him a pile of blow. It'll at least be "The Ultimate Sin" era all over again.

MC: Do you miss the days of writing letters and doing tape trading and stuff?

TW: I never was into the tape trading thing. I think I got into the scene just a little too late for that. Writing letters was pretty cool. I've still got handwritten ones from Peter of Vader, General Diabolical Slaughter from Usurper, and many others. But email is a whole lot easier and faster.

MC: I know you went to some Milwaukee Metalfests? What are some memories you have of those shows?

TW: The first one I went to was in 1997. I had to go see Venom. That was the best year for me overall, I think. I got to meet all three members, I saw Macabre play an acoustic set... and I unfortunately was present for the fog of human sweat that rose up in the merch room. In later years, I got to see Sodom, I saw Destruction get a lot of stuff thrown at them, and then saw them make up for it a few years later when Schmier came back into the fold. I went up on stage one year for Deceased's set to do backing vocals on "Voivod" with the Blood Storm guys. Really, it was always about going there and hanging out with friends -- and in some cases bands -- I've met through the scene.

MC: So are you married? Have kids and what do you do for a living these days?

TW: Yeah, I've been married for a few years and I've got one daughter. I test software for a living. I used to do defense-related work, but now I'm in the medical device field.

MC: Are you into any sports and what are some things you like to do to relax?

TW: No, I really suck at sports and always have. Usually I'm out with the family, playing video games, reading or listening to music. The typical stuff, you know?

MC: How did you come to discover the underground metal scene and do you remember the first demo you got to review and the first band you interviewed?

TW: Good question. I think my "discovery" occurred when a friend played me part of a Death tape. No idea which one, but I instantly knew it was something I should check out more of. I think at that point I had already gotten into Judas Priest, AC/DC, Megadeth and Slayer. I might have even owned Kreator's "Coma of Souls" on tape at that point. But after that, I was buying up albums by Death, Obituary, Sepultura... first on tape, and then I upgraded to CDs. Maybe bands like that weren't really "the underground," but to me they were. They never got any radio airplay, not even on the late night weekend metal show.

Eventually of course, I moved on to the Earache catalog, Nuclear Blast, and Century Media. And then... shit... I really don't recall. I just know that I started getting the Relapse Records "catalog" -- at that time two pages stapled together with listings on both sides -- and ordered up some 7" records by Amorphis, Laceration -- they later became November's Doom, you know -- and Mythic. Some people may not believe it, but there was a time when Relapse was about the only place to go in the US for this kind of music. And generally you were paying $18 or $21 for a CD you had never heard by a band you had never heard. But somehow anything you got was too awesome for words. The first bands I interviewed were all through the mail, through Relapse and Century Media. I had gotten a handful of promos from both labels, so I ended up sending in interviews for Moonspell and Sinister. I was also heavy into Therion at that time, and Christopher Johnsson graciously wrote back with some lengthy answers. The first phoner was with Amorphis, and believe it or not, I actually did that one live on the air at the radio station on the UCSD campus. The first one I did in person was with Tomas Lindberg, when At the Gates did that US tour with Morbid Angel and Dissection. The very first demo I got in the mail was Angelcorpse's "Goats to Azazel."
MC: Did you ever have any bands threaten you over the years because you gave them a bad review?
TW: Not that I can think of, although I did get some emails one time from some asshat who was upset about what I said about Slipknot's first album. He told me how "they" were going to get me or whatever. I told him I'd be sure to keep an eye out for people wearing masks with zippers for mouths. Really funny, because apparently I wasn't allowed to dislike Slipknot, but it was ok for him to hate Darkthrone. As a rule though, I think I tried to at least offer some constructive criticism with unsigned bands. It was those on labels that I would save the new asshole ripping for.

Oh wait, there was also the publicist from Misanthropy Records who got all butt-hurt when I reviewed "Filosofem" and said that Varg's keyboard instrumental was boring as hell. Yes, I'm sorry to report that I tell the truth as I see it.

MC: Anything that is not out on CD that you would like to see come out on CD?

TW: There's a lot. There's a lot of Brazilian stuff I'd like to see reissued, like Loucyfer, Chemical Disaster's first album, Vulcano's "Who are the True?", Calvary Death's debut, and others. Then there's Energetic Krusher, ADX and Holocross. There's also stuff that was released on CD that's way out of print too. How about Cadaver's debut? Loudblast's first few albums. Really, anything that you see on Ebay that goes for insane -- to me, that's anything over $30 amounts of money. If there's CDs that regularly sell for close to a hundred bucks, it's obvious there's a market that should be tapped into.

MC: What is your opinion of bootlegs?

TW: Depends on what you mean. If you're talking about live shows, those are always cool on some level. I try and collect boots of Slayer from their early days. But if we're talking about illegal copies of albums, that's not so cool. Things are bad enough with people downloading music illegally. It gets hard though...I'll admit that I do have some bootleg albums, but they're all reissues of stuff that either never came out on CD or was out of print for a long time. It's really hard to tell what's a bootleg and what's not. I'll go on Ebay and see a listing for something, and maybe some time after I buy it I find out that it wasn't official. Even telling what's "official" and what's not is hard. Does the band have the rights? Or does their label? Did the label that repressed their old albums have the rights? It's really a gray area when you've got legit and semi-legit labels doing reissues. I don't want to name names, but a perfect example of this is a certain label over in Poland. They've done a ton of reissues of old Roadrunner releases, but did they have the right to do so? Hell if I know.

MC: I know you have a Facebook page and I am sure Myspace as well. What do you think of the 2 sites and have you re connected with some old friends through those sites that you have not seen or been in contact with over the years?

TW: I'm talking to you again after all these years, aren't I? Yes, both sites have helped me to reconnect with old friends. Myspace has also been a big help when it comes to contacting bands. But I tend to see Myspace as more of a place for self-promotion and business, while Facebook is more personal. That's why on Facebook I really only add people who I actually know and want to have contact with. Of the two, I think I prefer Facebook. Myspace has always had the tendency to screw themselves up. Have you logged on there recently? The new format they have is confusing as all hell, and it's hard to find things now. Maybe one of these days I'll start a Facebook page for Metal Nightmare, but since that part of my life is more or less done, there's not really a point to doing so.

MC: If you had a label and could sign any 5 bands, who would they be and why?

TW: I don't think I'd sign anyone if I had a label. I think I'd much prefer to reissue stuff that's old, forgotten and obscure. Just go back to that question about what I'd like to see out on CD for ideas on who and what I'd release. Something else that would be cool would be to do official bootlegs. Just like Frank Zappa went out and officially released bootlegs of his material, I'd like to help do the same for bands like Morbid Angel, Entombed, Obituary, and lots of others. I'm not sure on the legality of the whole thing, but I would think that if you took a bootleg recording, which was already technically "stolen" in the first place, get the band to approve an official release of it and then press it up, you should be ok. What's the guy who put it out in the first place going to do? If you think about it, it's pretty much the same as if someone called the cops on you because you stole their drugs.

MC: In your eyes what makes a great song?

TW: A great song has to have a flow to it. Too many bands seem to release albums that are not much more than collections of riffs and random drumbeats. Just because you can play an instrument does not mean you can write a song. Besides that, for me, what gets me to notice a song tends to be the power of the riff. I know I'm hearing something good when it hits me right in the gut. Any fan of Asphyx or Bolt Thrower knows exactly what I'm talking about.

MC: In your opinion, what are some things no metal bands should do?

TW: Don't shit on metal, and don't shit on your fans. Rob Halford quit metal at one point. He said that metal was over and done, so off he went to do that Two project of his. Then he came back and started calling himself the Metal God. Some people have gotten really upset over this, but I've forgiven him. I don't think he really took a big shit on metal. Saying that the music was done and that he was done with it was maybe not all that bad. Patrick Mameli of Pestilence though... now there's a guy who loaded up on salmonella-infected food, drank down an entire bottle of castor oil, and then let loose over metal music, the metal scene, and every single fan of his and Pestilence. People have forgotten how he said that he wasted his life with metal, and that metal fans are idiots. I can't forget or forgive that, and neither should anyone else. Now that his C-187 project failed miserably and he turned back to Pestilence to try and make music, we're supposed to let bygones be bygones and everything is ok now? I don't think so.
Maybe I'm not clear on the difference between Mameli and Halford. Halford only said that he was done with metal because he felt it was over with. He didn't say anything negative about what he'd done in the past. He didn't say anything negative about the fans he had with Priest or with Fight. Mameli though, he crossed both of those lines. There should be no going back once you've done that.

MC: What are some new bands that you like?

TW: There's quite a few actually. A few of these may have been around for a few years already....

Power From Hell
Cruel Force
Beyond Hell
Infinitum Obscure
Druid Lord
Affliction Gate
Hellish Crossfire
Blood Mortized
Bestial Possession
Evil Shepherd
Bombs of Hades
The Grotesquery
Evoked Curse'
Grave Miasma
Abysmal Grief
Bastard Priest

... I think that's enough for now.

MC: Is there too many bands and labels out there?

TW: I mentioned earlier that there is a lack of quality control in the scene now. Yes, there are too many bands, too many labels, and not enough people who just want to be fans. Along with that is the idea that a lot of bands seem to have that once they put up a Myspace page and have thousands of fans, the record labels should be fighting each other to sign them. I call bullshit when I see it, so I'm calling bullshit on this. I'll give you two examples of artists who will back me up on this mentality. First off, Sebastian Bach. Several years ago, he said something about how he's got 80,000 fans on Myspace, and that it's too bad that all of them won't buy his album. What did we learn from that? The number of people who like you on a website doesn't mean anything because it doesn't automatically translate into sales. Next, let's look at a recent interview with Karl Sanders of Nile.... In a piece for Tomb of the Opinionated webzine, he talks about them "making it" because they were willing to do what it took. They toured with Incantation for $50 a night in the crappiest dives and dirty bars. They did it over and over again. He mentioned that Behemoth did the same thing. Play anywhere and everywhere for next to no money. Because if you don't, and if you think you're too good to do that, someone else will do it and perhaps reap the benefits.

Beyond that, we've got endless variations on the same thing that's been done several times before, and there's labels willing to sign and release that kind of music. As big as death metal got, black metal totally eclipsed it. Unless you're doing it to just play music and have fun, I really don't see the point of forming a black metal band these days. Yet people still do it, and they play music in the exact same style of some other band, and then wonder why they're still playing their garage and not some stadium in Europe.
So yeah, too many bands, too many labels that sign said bands and flood the market, and not enough fans. Anyone else miss the days when you could just pick up an album and know it was going to be good without having heard any of it first? I sure as hell do.

You know something? I feel another rant coming on here....

MC: What do you feel it takes to be a good writer/reviewer?

TW: First off have a decent grasp of the language you're writing in. Writing shit like LOL or OMFG might be ok for message boards, but not in a review. I tend to try and write somewhat like how I talk, and I sure as hell don't go around saying LOL. Know how to spell. I'm not perfect, and I'm sure there's a few typos in this interview, but man... get the difference between there, they're, and their through your head as well as your and you're. And it's "a lot," not "alot." That's the end of the grammar police segment. The only real "writing" I ever in my pages were the intros to the interviews, the reviews, and one or two other pieces. I never did try doing an interview and then trying to write an article around different quotes. I always felt that people cared more about what the band had to say than me. I'm not saying my way is the right way, but it's how I did things. Review-wise, try to aspire to objectivity. I'll be honest. I failed at that. I really tried hard at first to be objective, and I even gave out some bad reviews to albums I liked, simply because maybe the production wasn't so hot or something else that I look back at now and realize I was being dumb. Over time, it all turned into "stuff I like" versus "stuff I don't like." A band like Theatre of Tragedy just was not going to get a good review out of me because I didn't care for their music. Doesn't matter how good the production was, how well they played their instruments or sang, they were going to get bashed.

At the end of the day, a review is just your opinion. You're not right, you're not wrong. It's just how you feel about something. I'm not a professional. I don't write articles or books for a living. So I think what it mostly takes to be a good reviewer is honesty. Be truthful to your audience, because that's what they're asking for. If some label pays you a bunch of cash for an ad in your zine, you shouldn't automatically give all of their releases a good review. A zine that writes a good review for every single thing that a label sends them is a worthless zine. But if you're not being serviced by any labels and you're only reviewing stuff you like that you've bought, that's a different story. That's what I'm doing now. Giving exposure to stuff I like and ignoring what I don't like.

I think what I'm really trying to say is to do it your own way at least as much as you can. If you're writing for some big mag, you might not have too much freedom, and they're going to demand a good review out of you for something you can't stand. But if you're doing your own site or fanzine, you're the master of your own universe. You get to decide what's going to be said, you get to write what you want to write. Do it your way. Chances are that this is the one opportunity in life to do something the way you want to do it, and not the way someone else wants you to do it.

MC: Have you ever gotten a chance to go see a show overseas and would you like to do that one day?

TW: I'm going to assume that shows across the border in Tijuana don't count, so no... I have not seen any shows overseas. It might be something I should do someday. Maybe go see Party-San or one of the Keep it True fests. Wacken is starting to go in the same direction the Dynamo fest went. It seems like any regularly held festival has only a certain amount of years and then things start going downhill.

MC: Name me 10 albums that should be in everybody's collection.

TW: I hate this question. What am I really supposed to do here? List the usual suspects of Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Slayer, Judas Priest and Motorhead? Having them in your collection goes without saying. And really, far be it from me to tell someone what they're supposed to like. Your average black metal fanatic probably doesn't care that they're supposed to also be into Accept, you know?

How about I just list ten albums that I happen to like a lot and think people should at least consider checking out? Here goes....

Nasty Savage - Nasty Savage
Omen - The Curse
Bolt Thrower - The IVth Crusade
Argentum - Ad Interitum Funebrarum
Asphyx - Last One on Earth
Varathron - His Majesty at the Swamp
Hail - Inheritance of Evilness
Gods Tower - The Turns
Katatonia - Dance of December Souls
Deceased - Fearless Undead Machines

MC: Plug any sites or things you want to here?

TW:Metal Nightmare is still online at www.metalnightmare.com. My blog is over at metalnightmareblog.blogspot.com. Also check out www.bulldozermagazine.com.

MC: I am out of questions and horns up for the interview any last words

TW: Thanks Chris. Pretty cool to be on the other end of one of these things for a change. Great seeing you again after all these years at MDF. Hope all is well with you and the family. If you ever take a trip out west, let me know!