Dark Ritual Zine Interview

sidebarDARK RITUAL is the printed obsession of Claire/Necrocountess (also ran the now-dorment Eternal Darkness Productions). An excellent new paper zine from England, focus strictly underground and BLACK. Carefully prepared interviews make for interesting and complete answers, no generic cut/paste answers.
Killer read, promising future ahead. Indeed, work has already started on Issue II!

Thanks to Claire for taking the time to answer. Todestrieb will continue to offer Issue I while it is available, and stock future issues as they emerge.


Interview with Claire K.
4 October 2005

When did the idea of Dark Ritual first form, how long has it been in progress?

I have read a variety of zines over the last couple of years, some of which I keep and re-read, and some I regret paying the postage costs for, let alone the paper it was printed on. However I wanted to read some interviews which I hadn’t yet come across and decided I would put together my ideas for Dark Ritual zine on paper and see if I could succeed with it as a hobby. I have been working on the zine since early this year and finally released it to distros these past couple of months (Sept/Oct 2005), and I hope the next one to be out early next year now.

How do you choose the bands to feature?

I simply choose the bands I personally wanted to read interviews on, I email the band briefly about a potential interview or via the record label if I can’t find a band email address. I am finding it difficult to maintain contact with some bands because of how busy they are, which makes it harder to plan ahead but I have decided to stick to a couple of zines a year to resolve this problem and to be able to have time myself to succeed with this hobby.

Did you not feature any bands you had originally considered or written to?

The only bands I didn’t manage to get printed in DRZ issue one were Goat Molestör (UK) and Goathorns (UK). I didn’t give Goat Molester much time to complete the interview before the first issue’s printing deadline, so that was my fault but I promised the guys a good section in issue 2 with photos from the Archgoat gig in London this month (Oct 2005). Sadly I haven’t heard back from Goathorns, but I hope to hear from him before issue two goes to print.

How do you come up with questions. They are not typical thoughtless questions, obviously you put in effort before sending anything. Do you ask what interests you personally, or are you trying to introduce some bands to a ‘wider audience’?

I appreciate your kind words and I do indeed spend at least a couple of days or sometimes up to a week, before piecing the interview together by researching into the band online and listening to their material, which of course is something I enjoy, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing it in my spare time. I tend to think about what I would want to know from the band, but also what seems to interest other people too, although it can be difficult to put myself in another person’s frame of mind. I do warn people inside the cover of DRZ issue one in advance, that I am biased with my choice of questions and features in DRZ. I unknowingly noticed when putting the zine together for print, that I have varied my choice of bands to some extent but these are just bands I enjoy and I am not really planning for the audience as much as I maybe should do. I am not making the zine to target a large audience as I don’t have time to do that to be honest, the zine isn’t up to that kind of quality, so I am only trading it with a few selected distros, which I am finding works really well.

You had someone else write reviews for Issue I. Is this something you want to expand in future issues? Do you want to focus on new releases, or look back and highlight some classics too?

A friend supplied me with the reviews for issue one, which I was extremely grateful for and at first didn’t realise how many reviews he would be sending me or how much space they would use up so I decided to concentrate on the interviews for the first issue, and expand on features and reviews for issue two if all goes to plan. I will be writing the reviews myself in the next issue, and I plan on reviewing a lot of new releases, but the difficulty with paper zines is that news and reviews can become dated very quickly if the original printing deadline is delayed. I hope reviews different formats of music because it personally interests me, to see if something can project a different atmosphere dependant upon the format it is pressed on.

What do underground paper zines offer that glossy magazines and webzines can not?
What are some of your favoured zines?

Paper zines seem to have more personality and character to them than webzines do, not to mention they are easier to read in your own time and glossy magazines tend to lack the content/bands that readers want to read about. I like to keep the paper zines I buy although they do take up a lot of space under my bed now, as there a lot more paper zines available than there used to be. A couple of good zines I read are; Funeral Maelstrom of Hate (of course), Unholy Propaganda and fall to Your Knees Pissing.

In some of your interviews you ask their views on Black Metal produced in the UK. What is your opinion of Black Metal activity in our country at the moment?

This is strange to have my role reversed being the interviewee, and this question made me think a lot about how I answer it, because although it has been a common topic for a while now. I always debate about asking bands/individuals about “scenes” in DRZ, and I will try not to ask this question in future issues. As you have noticed I have repeated this question, purely out of personal interest, because Black Metal has, in my opinion, changed a lot over the years, and I wondered what other people thought of my home land in connection to BM. I personally think BM is neither good nor bad here in the UK; I am proud of a lot of bands/artists but I am also aware like everywhere else in the world there are also some embarrassing excuses for BM bands associated with the UK too.

What are the plans for Issue II?

I will hopefully have a new logo for issue two, and a very talented friend of mine is kindly producing the cover art work for me. I am currently debating about feature articles to be honest as I much prefer the interviews I conduct, but you never know. I will look into some feature ideas and see what occurs.

You, under the banner of Eternal Darkness Prods., released both Basilisk demos.
Can you offer an overview of this time. What do you think of the forthcoming re-release of these demos onto CD? (forthcoming Todestrieb CD)

I wanted to set up a small time record label releasing a few artists’ demo material on cassette format only. I found it difficult to run the label without any finances to fund postage and cassette duplication costs, as I didn’t account for how much money would be required in the long run. I did enjoy putting together Basilisk’s (RIP) cassettes, including cutting out the covers, hand numbering them and sending them out to people worldwide. It was great to see the support for Basilisk (RIP) before vintyr or myself had had the chance to let people know the demos were even available. EDP only ran for a couple of months in total and I found it too much hard work to run as a hobby not to mention expensive. So EDP has been put to rest for good and will not be resurrected. I will now put my energy and spare time aside for DRZ instead. I am a great supporter of Basilisk’s (RIP) material, and it has been amazing how much work vintyr has done over the past couple of years. It is of course good to see the demos being made available to those who didn’t get a chance to own the limited demo cassettes on EDP.