When the second half of the 80s started HardCore (punk) bands started to become more and more influenced by metal, resulting in speedmetal, crossover, thrash (or whatever you wanna call it) bands. In the beginning most people in the HC-scene wellcomed that as a refreshing influence but because of the dilution of the HC/punk ideology by the skin/Oi-movement in mind, some were also careful. After a few years it seemed like the commercialism, sexism, homophobia, etc. amongst the metal-crowd did the same thing and some turned away from it…
Around that time some people from the metal-scene that did a fanzine got interested in metal-influenced HC/punk. Metallised started featuring bands from the HC-scene. I got 3 issues from that time. #7 was still in Dutch and contained mostly metal bands, #8 & 9 were in English and more varied. The main editorial crew was ‘MetalCurse’ Tony Holemans & ‘Fobie’ Johan Wuyckens from Leuven. They were helped by (girl)friends and various contributers. From #8 on Steven ‘Stel’ R. (ex ‘Subversion’ bassist, concert-organiser and MRR-correspondent) joined and emphasized HC/punk… Also Dirk Ceustermans had an influence (long conversations about music, zines and the scene in pubs in Leuven)…
Here’s a the metal-head view on HC (as published in Metallised #7):
The HardCore scene (especially in Belgium) has become very important in recent years because it’s the only scene that has really kept going all these years. Just as anywhere else in the world, you’ll also find specialised labels that release (although only sporadically, but that is understandable, because they are non-profit organisations that sell their products at an economically almost irresponsible price) records by HC bands. In our (still very small) country you’ll find about thirty HC bands that perform regularly. We’ll try to learn you a little more about these. However, we’ld like to clarify the following terms, because ‘HardCore’ is a word that is sometimes, wrongly, used quite generally. One also has to distinguish certain little differences in this scene.
There’s the pure HardCore (or HC punk), played by people who detest everything that has to do with metal (in terms of music), that’s the purest form of HC (not often appreciated by metal-heads). Crossover or metal HC is, in terms of lyrics, similar to regular HC. The difference lies in the music, which contains (to a greater or lesser extent) metal influences. HC metal is yet another mixed-bag: there the lyrics are less important, not always (but sometimes) socially or politically engaged (which is the case for the other two forms of HC) and sometimes (rather often) they are even purely satanic (which isn’t always appreciated in punk circles).
Now something about the scene itself. And there’s (unfortunately enough) something negative to say. Although the HC scene here in Belgium is the tightest scene there is (there’s rarely fights or people getting injured, which might be surprising when you see how wild people sometimes are), there’s also things here that spoil it a bit. Surprisingly, that screw-up isn’t caused by the punks themselves but rather by metal-freaks. Indeed, while there’s also real HC fanatics amongst the metal-heads (and there’s more and more), which actively participate in the scene, there are on the other hand too many headbangers who just go to HC gigs to stirr shit up and knock some people up (and then us metal-heads sometimes act weird when confrontations between punks and metal-heads occur – as if we’re not to be blamed…). Who also still screw up the scene, are skins. Here in Belgium, these are fascists and racists, who start fights (even amongst each other) for whatever reason (preferably with harmful or deadly consequences).
As for the rest: punks themselves are usually very peace-loving people, who care for each other, peace for everyone and all living creatures (just look at protests against inhumane conditions). Many punx have become vegetarian, because animals can also express feelings and are therefore entitled to a meaningful and free life. Moreover, vegetarianism is also a clever thing from an economic point of view: when looking at the nutritional value of meat of slaughtered animals and comparing it with the nutritional value of plants used for to raise these animals, then a ratio of about one in six can be determined. In other words: teach people vegetarianism, breed fewer animals to kill, and then you’ll still have enough to feed many more people (a solution to the famine in the Third World, gentlemen economists?).
Another craze amongst punx is the rejection of alcohol- or tobacco-use (and some even reject sexual intercourse). This phenomenon has the nice name Straight Edge, and comes from the States. Unfortunately, some S.E.-ers are starting to exhibit rather fascist tendencies nowadays when they start to knock beers out of people’s hands. Though it needs to be said that there’s only a small amount of S.E.-ers (after all, this fashion of S.E. hasn’t been around that long here).
What follows is a summary I made of Tony’s personal account of the zine’s history. If someone wants to read the full 8 pages: get in touch.
This Belgian metal & HardCore magazine existed in the second part of the 80s, evolving (under the influence of its editor-in-chief and a slightly changing staff) from a purely hardrock/metal-geared tri-monthly offering towards a more diverse rag. The language changed from Dutch to English, allowing for a thinly but relatively widespread distribution outside the Dutch-speaking countries. […].
Summer of 82 ‘Metal Curse’ (yours truly) made friends with a bunch of slightly younger metalheads, of whom some had started their own hardrock band who eventually got very hot about ‘Metallica’ […] A couple of them were contributing to the metal magazine Whiplash (started in ‘84) but were not so pleased with the attitude of their editor-in-chief towards certain types of music. One of ‘em (co-editor ‘Ladykiller’) was eventually sent out to contact me with the proposal to start a new heavy-metal magazine. […] Obviously, I consented to the proposal. I was the one proposing the name (a term I had already used in some artwork of my own), a logo already in mind…and so Metallised was born (April 1st, 1985). With the addition of my girlfriend (later (ex-)wife) we were 5 (‘Ladykiller’, ‘Fobie’, Dirk, my girlfriend ‘HoneyBee’ and myself) to finance the first release (which was to be printed by Leuven’s student printer-shop ACCO). […]
[…] From the beginning, and to liven things up a bit, it was decided that we would use a fair portion of humor (done, however, with all due respect for the musicians) in our writing, which would be done in the Dutch language. […] Dirk, after a period of hesitation, decided nót to join us, after all, although he did contribute material to that first issue, was still mentioned as a contributor in the 2nd, and also contributed written material to issue #3). […]
[Brob: From listings of the features in early issues (83-84), I highlight a demo-review of ‘Possessed’ (from California) in #1, concert-review of ‘Slayer’ in #2, ‘Megadeth’ back-cover (#3), an interview with ‘Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson in #4.]
After a while I came time to rethink a couple of things. For starters, both ‘Fobie’ and myself turned out to have much broader interest in music than ‘just’ metal. The budding HardCore and crossover scenes were sure to our liking, and somehow we wanted to start adding from that to our magazine. I would also start making work of getting in better connection with the music-industry […]. We had already decided that we were only going to have an 800-copy issue but with an increase of material to write about in mind, we decided to up our offering to a 40-page booklet. Evidently, we had to up the price as well […]
[Brob: #5 (1986) featured ‘Amebix’, ‘Metallica’, there was a ‘Cyclone’ interview from their show as Belgian support-act to ‘Overkill’ & ‘Anthrax’, the tape-section had a review of a demo by Seattle-based act ‘The Dehumanizers’), etc.]
A chance visit to a young friend, the punkrock & HardCore loving Rudy [Hoeykens], mid-summer 1986, brought me in contact with a young female friend [Heidi Briers] of his. Being of a very open mind, she immediately understood (most probably Rudy had already told her about me) that I was eager to get to know the HardCore scene in Belgium from closer up, and after inviting me to a local HardCore festival (where Rudy would perform his debut-show with his first band ‘O.I.L.L.’), we continued to talk about the values maintained within the HardCore scene (which strangely corresponded largely with my own views on interpersonal relationships) and hit off a friendship which would last several years. She invited me over to her place, a flat which she shared with Dirk [Ceustermans] (then guitarist for ‘Ear Damage’, which also boasted the drummer and singer/bassist of the defunct ‘Zyklome A’), to meet up with other HardCore lovers, who usually came together once a month, more often if they could. Though I’m sure that at the beginning he and the guys from ‘Heibel’ (whom were studying in Leuven, and among the usual visitors) perhaps found my presence weird (after all, I was a ‘metalhead’, right?), they soon found out that I was not only into the music (of which I learned so much thanks to Dirk’s collection and the stuff the others brought along for hearing – the usually fastest things coming from Ludo [Van Noppen], whom had worked together with Dirk on the latter issues of magazine D.R.O.L.) […]
[Brob: #6 (1986): interviews with ‘Cyclone’, ‘Motörhead’; concert-reviews with the likes of ‘Onslaught’, ‘Sodom’, ‘Cryptic Slaughter’, etc.]
During the frequent meetings at Dirk’s room, I also met a nice dude by the name of ‘Stel’. He had already worked on his own ‘zine [Het Schandaal] before and showed interest in joining our staff, so we let him contribute several record- and demo-reviews, and an interview, for what was to be our last issue printed in Dutch. Issue #7 was also the first in which I could do something to promote the Belgian HardCore scene […] Prior to the issue’s release, I visited several more HardCore shows with upcoming bands, some in Leuven, one in Tielt, as well as a gig by ‘G.B.H.’…
[Brob: #7 (‘87): features on ‘Agnostic Front’, ‘Crumbsuckers’; a report on the Australian metal-scene, the first file on the Belgian HC-scene (‘Anguish’, ‘O.I.L.L.’, ‘C.P.D.’, ‘Heibel’); etc.]
[…] I went on a holiday trip, together with Heidi, to Oslo, where we had open interview date with ‘So Much Hate’ singer Gunnar [Nuven]. He also put us onto a squat (an abandoned hospital) to spend the night. Oslo can be very depressing though, what with food and drinks so expensive, and Heidi’s homesickness for Dirk made us shorten our stay. […]
[Brob: #8 (‘87): interviews with ‘Artless’, ‘Bad Brains’, ‘Death Angel’, ‘English Dogs’, ‘Excel’, ‘No Fraud’, ‘Prong’, ‘Sacrilege’, ‘So Much Hate’, ‘Suicidal Tendencies’; features on ‘Attitude’, ‘Cancerous Growth’, ‘Rattus’; a new report on the Belgian HardCore-scene (‘Creep Insanity’, ‘The Dirty Scums’, ‘Repulsives’); etc.]
[Brob: #9 (‘88): interviews with ‘Capitol Punishment’, ‘D.R.I.’, ‘Instigators’, ‘Leben Und Leben Lassen’, ‘Social Unrest’, ‘Stupids’; Japan scene-report; Belgian HC-scene file (‘Disgorge’ & ‘Hate Crew’); features on ‘Gang Green’, ‘Scraps’, ‘The Freeze’, ‘Mottek’; etc.]
[…] For #10 I wrote Metallised’s first ‘political file’ with material found at Oxfam Wereldwinkel (where I had been working on a voluntary basis since the ending of my military service). Due to an enormous amount of material sent to us, plus the fact that we’d begun to review sent-in video tapes and started a fanzine section, there was less place for articles and interviews […]. The front cover came together as a team effort by ‘Fobie’ (original artwork), ‘Stel’ (ameliorations) and myself (finishing). This time, the text displayed presented us as “Probably Europe’s most crazy ultra-information metal & Hardcore magazine”. Special contributions came from Dirk (‘Ear Damage’), his girlfriend Heidi and one Scott Lake (Canada)
[Brob: #10 (‘88): interviews with ‘Capitol Punishment’ (part 2), ‘Raw Power’, ‘R.K.L.’, ‘D.O.A.’ & ‘Jingo De Lunch’; Belgian HC-scene (‘Heibel’, ‘Bad Influence’ & ‘Ear Damage’); etc.]
Some personal shit then happened to me […]. ‘Fobie’ & ‘Stel’ kept the faith and I eventually got back to work, with part of the texts pre-printed by ‘Stel’. […] For #11 we had a contest to win ‘Attitude’s The Good, The Bad, The Obnoxious EP. The front cover was done completely by ‘Fobie’, with the picture of Graham ‘Gizz’ Butt, at the time guitarist for ‘WarDance’ (which had just split).
[Brob: #11 (‘90): interviews with ‘G.G. Allin’, ‘Doom’, ‘President Fetch’, ‘Seattle’, ‘Bolt Thrower’, ‘Hellbastard’; etc.]
Totally revitalised, we had planned so much. We intended to compile a Guide To Gigging Europe with a list of venues, gig-organisers, radio-stations, etc. I mean, things were really looking up for us : bands and labels had reacted positively in spite of our delay, I was in fact already working on stuff for issue #12, and then…some 3 months after the release of #11, I got a visit from 2 men […] who told me to close down the operation […] …
In the second half of the 90s I became the editor-in-chief of the bimonthly mag of Leuven’s youthcentre Clockwork and later (1999-2015) I wrote for the website concreteweb.be
Metallised existed from 1985 to 1990 (with a large hiatus between #10 in the summer of ‘88 and the last issue #11 in the spring of ‘90). Some of the personnel came from other magazines such as Whiplash, Total Blur and Het Schandaal (The Scandal). It intially covered all kinds of 80s heavy metal and hardrock music. Hardcore Punk was added to the mix in issue #7 and became more prominent in the English issues.
A new issue was released about every three months at around 800 copies. The magazine was printed (not xeroxed) on recycled paper and as of issue #3 had one or two extra support colours on the front and back cover for a slightly more ‘expensive’ look. Even so the overall look and feel and the lay-out were still very much a testament to the DIY nature of the magazine.
The first issue was pretty anaemic with 11 band introductions (small biographies), 4 short interviews (but at least two of those were with Canadian thrashers Exciter and with the German band Accept), 30 album reviews, 4 demo reviews and a few concert reviews.
Gradually the volume of the content grew and diversified and writers from Italy, France, the U.K., U.S.A. and Canada started to contribute. The three last English issues each had inbetween 90 and 125 demo reviews, over 100 album reviews and around a dozen interviews (with bands like ‘Capitol Punishment’, ‘Death Angel’, ‘Heibel’, ‘English Dogs’, ‘D.R.I.’, ‘Cacophony’, G.G. Allin, ‘Instigators’, ‘Prong’, ‘Suicidal Tendencies’, ‘Bad Brains’ and many more). This recurring content was accompanied by some videotape-reviews, introductions of other fanzines/magazines, as well as a number of concert reviews, and the odd social/political article.
This is all the personnel throughout the years, some hung around for an issue or two, others were there for the entire trip. Editorial staff common to #1 to #11: Tony Holemans, Johan ‘Foob’ Wuyckens. All other contributors (editorial staff as well as contributors): Rita ‘Honey Bee’ Cornette, Kurt Jaenen, Benny Fory, Dirk Van Den Auweele, Steven ‘Stel’ R., Gloria Vanden Bosch, Dirk Ceustermans, Max de Baerdemaeker, Paul Fot, Peter Van Helden, Ilse Teunissen, Dries Van Damme, Johan Boschmans, Bart Gilliard, René Piket, Tony Peelman, Nicola D’amelio, Koen Willequet, Marc Meneve, Johan Tuerlinkcx, Nathalie Vasseur, Stéphane Corbara, Agnes Lambrechts, Louis ‘Ludo’ Van Noppen, Peter Van Helden, Heidi Briers, Scott Lake, ‘Metal Queen’, Conrad Lawrence, Paul Fox, Stefan Joosten, ‘Hades’, ‘Wille’, ‘Makke’ & Willy.
‘Stel’ and ‘Foob’ started the weekly radio-show Dakka Dakka on the Belgian free-radio station Radio Scorpio. It covered a wide variety of heavy guitar music (grunge, hardrock, metal, punk, industrial, …) and became the longest running radio-show in Radio Scorpio’s history, clocking in at about two decades. Currently they are together in ‘Klabotskop’, a rock/metal/punk band.
The when and where I met Tony and ‘Foob’, I don’t exactly recall. It was around the time I was relocating from Leuven to Hasselt to finish my studies there. Het Schandaal had seen its final issue and I was probably still writing now and then for De Nieuwe Koekrand, a magazine from Amsterdam. I met them both through different people and didn’t even know they were both in the writing-staff of the same magazine at first.
A year later I was again visiting Leuven regularly in the weekends because my girlfriend had relocated to finish her studies there. She lived on the other side of the street to Tony. Which was instrumental in my joining the writing-staff for Metallised. I remember the sheer amount of work that went into the magazine, mostly by Tony. The hours of typing and glueing; of going to the copyshop to create dithered fotographs and copies of logo’s. And the liters and liters of self-made lemon-tea we drank.
Between issue 10 and 11 I graduated and started working in Leuven which helped to get, what was going to be the final issue, out. I saw a lot of that typewriter in those days.
After Metallised ‘Fobie’ and I also made a short detour writing for a few issues of Rumble, a free music-magazine that didn’t make it to its 3rd year to finally decide to start a radio show on the local radio-station Radio Scorpio as the promo material was still coming in. The show, Dakka Dakka, became the longest running show on the station after 20 years when I started a new show called Switchblack. Switchblack then became a pod-cast 2 years later. That was around the same moment we decided to start our own band: ‘Spawn’. Later re-named to ‘Starspawn’. Now re-named to ‘Klabotskop’.
In 1994 I played with becoming a writer for MindView, a free metal magazine, but that lasted only one issue because I didn’t feel ‘at home’ in the team. And because I found a new pass-time… LARP [live action role-playing]!
This reprint of (the first part of) an interview (that ‘Stel’ did) with ‘Capitol Punishment’ (87-10-25; day of the band’s concert for Hageland Hardcore) seems appropriate, as it deals with crossover in the HC/punk-scene and the raison-d’être of zines. The line-up at the time (the Zipeyrpantsup LP had just been recorded in Berlin): Ralph Lotspeich (vocals), Dale Stewart (guitar), Joceylin Fedrau (bass) & Mike Branum (drums).