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REBORN FROM ASHES:
UNDERGROUND ZINE FROM USA.


SHAKE YOUR LOCAL PUTRID ZOMBIE
 

1. Hello Tony! You're the editor of REBORN FROM ASHES zine, a cool underground Death metal publication from Usa... First of all, can you make an introduction to the zine and to yourself? When was it released from nothingness, what are the goals, how many issues there are...

REBORN- First of all, I would like to thank you Gab, for the opportunity to do this interview. I'm originally from Mexico and lived there the major part of my life, but I moved to the US in 1994, and still reside here to this day.  I started Reborn From Ashes 'zine in 2007, because it was something that was drilling my brain since the early 90's. The reason why I didn't start the fanzine anytime sooner after moving to the US, was because after 1995 all the way until early 2000 the whole metal scene was a big blur to me.  Since the day Black Metal became a trend and all of the sudden everybody was into Black Metal, the whole metal environment wasn't too interesting to me anymore.  I was still listening to my old records and demos, but I did try listening to some Black Metal and some of those bands with female vocals.  In the end , I realized that there was nothing like the original old school Death Metal.  Even the fanzines I saw from that era didn't interest me that much.  The ones that I saw were mostly from the US, they all looked the same, full of bands I was not into.
As far as goals, I don't think I had set up any goals at all.  I'm very spontaneous person, and I take things a day at at a time, whatever happens happens.  I'm not the type of person who says "I'm going to do this and that" and in the end nothing gets done.  One thing I can honestly say is that, I always try to find ways to improve what I do.  So, I guess you can say that my goal is to improve as much as I can.
I have released 3 issues so far and I've had a great response to my expectations.  I'm currently working on issue #4, so hopefully it's done by this summer.   

 

2. I noticed an evolution between your second and third issues: First the English is better, you explained why in the editorial, then you are sometimes more mouth-wide-opened. Would you say it's because you received too many shity promos and have more problems to stand that ones? Or does a zine-maker naturally become more critical and hard to satisfy after a few issues? Or is it easier to really express yourself with more honesty as experience grows?

REBORN- I think "evolution" is a natural fact that you will notice in every band, fanzine, or any other project.  Some of them start kind of shaky, but eventually they get better as times goes.  Some others start really good and then their quality decreases.  I think my issue #3 is better written than my previous issues.  As I said on my editorial, English is my second language.  I'm really proud of what I have accomplished as far as the English language.   I never went to school here in the US.  I did take English in Mexico in high school and college, but we don't have very good English programs that can help you learn enough to go by.  I think the teachers were there just to get a pay check rather than making sure we learned enough.
When I started issue #1 in 2007, I was fluent in English  as far as speaking the language, but I never took the challenge to write a whole magazine.  I mean, I wrote a few letters to some pen pals, but a whole magazine is a lot of witting and typing.  Besides, some of the interviews were originally totally in Spanish, (since some of the bands featured were from Mexico), so I had to translate the whole thing by myself.  Issue #1 has several misspellings, and most of them I noticed them when the 'zine was already done.  Issue #2 was better than the first issue, it has more bands, more reviews, and less misspellings.  For issue #3, I realized that even the most famous writers send their works to somebody to correct misspelling and grammar issues, so I said to myself " if they do that then why shouldn't I?"  That's when I got some help from Phil Alterman who was the editor of Sloth 'zine and Randy Reisz from a local band called Mask Of Hate.  You know, a lot of the English written 'zines I get from Europe of other countries have misspellings and grammar issues, but I really don't care about that as long as I'm able to understand most of it, then I'm ok with it.
I really don't think zine editors become hard to satisfy  after releasing a few issues, but as time goes by you gain more experience.  I think my reviews are better now than when I started, because I'm more aware of what to look for when doing reviews.  The reviews that I do in  Reborn From Ashes 'zine are done in a very honest way, and at the same time they reflect my personal point of view.  My vision has never been about making everyone who send recordings happy in order to get more recordings, fuck that!  It's quite simple, if it rules it rules, if it sucks  it sucks!
I've seen zines who give everybody good reviews, and I'm sure those people who send recordings to these zines will gladly send them more recordings which is fine.  Everyone is free to whatever they want.
I had some people who sent me recordings and I guess they were not happy with the reviews that I did for their recordings, because I didn't hear from them anymore.  Some other people, it doesn't matter if they get a good, okay or bad review, they still send me recordings.  That proves that some people are just a bunch of crying babies, and some other people know how to cope with the reviews, whether good or bad.  

3. I noticed some of your interviews are really cool, and you achieve to find the right subjects to make the interviewed peoples talk... How do you manage to prepare these inties?   Do you read other ones the bands already answered? Maybe you prefer to communicate with them before, to know them better and so easily warm and reach the inner of some G points? Or is there a special tip?

REBORN- If I'm doing an interview with "x" band, I don't like to read other interviews that they've done with other zines, simply because I like to do things my own way.  I hate negative feedback such as; "he copied  those questions from "x" zine" or "that interview looks similar to the one I've read on "x" zine", that's not me!  However, if in the end, some of the questions come out like the ones from another zine, that's just mere coincidence.
My interviews are basically a combination of what I know about that specific band, and all the info that I was able to find about that band.  So, I gather all the info and select specific facts and things I want to know about that band.  Pretty simple,huh?   Every zine editor has different styles of doing interviews, I guess whatever works for the editor.

 

4. How many copies of each issue are you able to distribute? Is it mostly about trades or sales? Which countries sell/ trade the most? Is it good to sell zines during gigs, or are there better ways to spread your issues? What would you advice to someone who wants to sell a fanzine?

REBORN- For issue #1 I'm not sure how many copies I released, but I think it was about 100 copies.  Most of them were sold  and I did several single trades with other zine editors (one copy for another copy).  For issue #2 I released about 130 copies.  Most of them were sold, and I also did several single trades and a couple trades for more than one copy.  Issue #3 is the one that I've done the most big trades, and sold less single copies than the other 2 issues, but it works for me either way.  For example, I traded 20 copies of my issue #3 with Hecatombe Records from Spain, and in exchange I got 10 CD's from their roster.  I was able to sell all those Cd's, so I was able to use the money for other things related to the zine (envelopes, postage,etc).  Also, I've done trades with other zine editors.  We trade 5, 6 or 7 copies and I trade those zines with other zine editors or other metal heads.  In the end, I get more zines for review, for trade or for my personal collection.  I think this is a good way for zines to help each other out, doing these type of trades.  I'm able to help other zines to distribute their zines and at the same time they help me to distribute mine. What sucks for me is that most of zines go overseas, mostly to countries in Europe, such as; Germany, Spain, France, Norway, etc.  A lot of them go to Mexico and some to Thailand, Australia, Japan, etc.  Here in the US it sucks, I haven't found a wide base of metal heads that are into fanzines.  I mean, it would be great if there were more people buying zines in the US, because the postage here within the US is very cheap, but for overseas it's expensive.
I'm not really sure if zines sell well at metal shows.  I guess it depends where you live.  Here locally really sucks!  The day that my issue#3 came out, I took about 15 copies to a local show, and sold 3 copies to some people I knew, and that was it.  I had some zines at somebody's merch table and people didn't even bother to pick it up and look through some pages.  They were just not interested at all.  Perhaps, they didn't even know what it was, since maybe they are used to buying fancy mainstream metal magazines.
My advice to somebody who wants to sell fanzines would be, first make sure that you will be able to sell them locally or in your country.  A lot of times if you sell them overseas people don't want to pay the cost of the zine since the postage is so expensive.  
 

    
 

5. I know you have Mexican roots, did you already visit this country and do you still have family there? What are the main differences between Usa and Mexico? Is a "mexicunt" something good or not? And what about mexibeers? (Is it better than the United beers of America?)

REBORN-  Yes, I still have family in Mexico, I go to Mexico at least once a year, usually for 2 or 3 weeks, it depends.  I always have a great time when I go to Mexico.  The difference between the US and Mexico...mmmnnn...both countries and the way of life are so different.  One thing I can honestly tell you is that, living in the US for so long has made appreciate my country much more.  Before I moved to the US, I was always complaining about Mexico.  Now, I realize that we have such a beautiful country, but what sucks is that, corruption is everywhere and the law is a joke.
In Mexico most families are very close.  People still have moral values and there is a lot of respect for the parents and elderly people.  People in Mexico live life day by day and they don't worry too much.  They don't have much, but everything they have is theirs, they own it.  Here in the US, people are all about material things.  They want to have more or better things to brag to other people about.  At first glance, you can see somebody who has a nice house, 2 nice cars and all the electronics.  The things you don't see is that this person probably has a 30 year mortgage on his house (he will probably never own it), 2 car payments (he will probably keep those cars for 2-3 years and will trade them for newer models and most likely he will never own a car).  He is making payments on the electronics and maybe he has credit cards where he owes money too.  The things a I like about the US are that the law is better, not much corruption, and you can always find jobs.
About girls...man!  Mexican girls are beautiful, but there are beautiful girls anywhere in the world.
Mexican beer is definitely better that the US beer.  I usually drink Budweiser just to get drunk, but when I want to just sit down, relax and enjoy a good beer there is nothing like Corona with lime and salt.  There are some other good Mexican beers, such as; Tecate, Modelo, Pacifico, xxx (tres equis), etc. Is French beer any good?

 

6. Did you already receive emails from bands you didn't know but directly asked for an interview or even to release their music? Without even knowing a little bit of your opinion about their stuffs? (It's sometimes surprising how much some peoples can be devoid of doubts... Some guys seem to want an epileptic orgasm at first sight, which is a bit ambitious!). How and what did you answer? Sometimes the "FUCK OFF and eject" button is too much of a burning temptation for me Ah Ah...

REBORN- Yes, I often get e-mails of messages from bands that I don't know or never heard of, that want to do interviews.  Some of those bands just started a year ago or this year, come on! Relax, take it easy, release some demos or EP's, build some reputation or something. It takes a lot of time and hard work to be somebody, not everything happens in one day.  It's the same thing doing a zine, it's hard work.  When I was working on issue #1, people laughed at me when I asked them for promos.  All the stuff reviewed on issue #1 is stuff that I bought or borrowed  because nobody believed in me.  Now, after 3 issues (almost 4) I get promos like crazy and I don't have to ask for them.  People just get in touch with me and send them my way.  It's a good feeling, makes you feel like somebody appreciates what you do, I never had anybody wanting me to sign their band though, that would  be too funny,ha,ha,ha!  I do get a lot of e-mails or messages from bands sending me links to download the latest demo, EP or album to review it.  Those get deleted immediately, simply because I understand they want to save some money by not sending CD's through the postal service, but I do spend money on postage, so if they want me to review their demo, EP or album, send me an actual recording, and I will review it.  I hate downloading stuff!    

 

7. The name of your zine seems to me like you used to do a fanzine years ago, but it was deleted and buried for various reasons... Am I right? Or does it refer to the writing of the zine that would be some resurrecting outlet once the hard daily life is on pause? Or was it simply to confuse German peoples who used to live in R.F.A? (Ah Ah)

REBORN- When I was like 17 or 18, I was doing a zine called Epitaph, but I was unable to finish it for many reasons.  So, I gave the info and interviews to other zines; one of them was Succubus zine.  It was edited by 2 girls who were sisters and were really into underground metal music, they were the real deal.  We became good friends and they invited me to be the co-editor and I agreed to join them.  It was only for their issue #2 though , because things went wrong and part of it was my fault due to my young age, irresponsibility and laziness.
I do the fanzine because I love underground metal.  It's a good way to give underground bands some support and exposure within the underground level.  It could also be a hobby, something positive to do.  I know a lot of people who are hooked on video games or go out and drink every night.
After work, and after spending time with my family, I use that free time to do the zine, which also helps to  relieve stress.  So, no!  Nothing related to the Germans,ha,ha,ha!

8. If REBORN FROM ASHES couldn't be a paper zine, but another media, would you choose a webzine, and old styled radioshow, a web radioshow, some Rss flux, an (Ultra old school) message in a bottle, or something else? And why?

REBORN- None of the above.  I don't think those options are for me.  If Reborn From Ashes couldn't be a printed zine, I think I would rather contribute to other fanzines, either doing interviews, reviews or distribution.  If someday I'm not able to do Reborn From Ashes, that's what I'm going to do.  You will see my work in other zines or maybe I can be the manager at Nihilistic Holocaust, if you ever open an office in the US, ha,ha,ha!  

 

9. Give us a few good arguments for the reader avoids cleaning his ass with your pages once he went to the big-shit-session!

REBORN- Before you even think of wiping your ass using the pages of Reborn From Ashes 'zine, keep in mind that the fanzine is printed on "habanero pepper" flavored paper.  So, if you wipe your ass with it, you will feel a burning sensation in your ass hole for a few hours, that will make you scream and run like crazy, you will be miserable, so think about it,ha,ha,ha!

 

10. Old school Death metal is quite trendy now, at least if it isn't it might strongly become... I can see a quite big difference compared to few years ago, now some average/ very average bands get a "record deal" just because they're from this precise country, and some labels have a very business/ hype/ fame state of mind... It's quite strange to see that stuff into deep underground Death metal, especially when some of these labels release tapes limited to 100 or 200 copies (So where should we search to find pure underground and relaxed state of mind?). Since you're not a newcomer in the scene, what are your thoughts and feelings about it? Do you also feel this fashion in the USA or is this rather an European something? Do you think this trend might be some kind of "necessary evil" since it would bring more quantity, and so more quality, or do you think we could have easily made without many wagon-jumpers and the scene could have developed on better basis?

REBORN-  I hate when things become trendy, it just ruins everything.  I remember back in the mid 90's, a lot of people were scared of Black Metal, especially after the arsons and the deaths of Euronymous and Dead in Norway.  A few years after that,  Black Metal became a global trend, a fucking joke.  All of a sudden everybody was into Black Metal and it became more accessible to the masses in general.  Even people who weren't into metal thought it was cool to have the "Black Metal look".  Everywhere I went I saw people and even little kids wearing Cradle Of Filth and Dimmu Borgir t-shirts.  What a joke!
You know, when I saw that old school Death Metal was rising again, I was very excited , but I never thought it would become a trend. I mean, we can say it is trendy, but not too trendy yet.  I just wish it didn't happen like it did with black metal.  The day that I see clowns everywhere wearing Nihilist, Repulsion or Autopsy t-shirts or the day that I see a People Magazine article about " How to get the old school Death Metal look", then that day,  old school Death Metal will definitely be a trend.
I always thought getting a record deal has a lot to do with where you are from.  Of course, I might be wrong!  The reason why I say this is because I see a lot of Mexican Metal bands that have talent and never get anywhere, but I see bands from Sweden, US, Finland that sound exactly like other bands and they get a record deal.  I never understood that!
You are right, about all those small labels releasing limited editions of 100 or 200 copies, they exist everywhere not just in Europe.  Unfortunately, all these things that we see and make us mad, we can't do anything to stop them. Life goes on, you know?

 

11. What's your opinion about black metal? It seems the American BM scene is globally worse than in Europe... Would you say it's because fewer great bands initially originated from USA and then many Us-wagon-jumpers got influenced mostly by the commercial ones? Or maybe the usual American way of life/ state of mind doesn't really fit the initial BM spirit?

REBORN- You know, I was never a big Black Metal fan.  I did give it a try, but I never cared for it that much, especially when it became so trendy, that was it for me.  I do like very few Black Metal bands, but I'm not too crazy about this shit.  I like almost every metal genre, but for some reason the old school Death Metal sound  from the late 80's, early 90's will always be my first choice.  I remember when I used to buy the magazine called Metal Maniacs, there were always Black Metal bands.  I've read so much about Black Metal that in the end , everything about Black Metal just pissed me off.  There was people making stupid comments like "Our war against Christianity".  These people think that religion is the enemy and it's not.  Currently, the economy here in the US and I believe in a lot of countries, is really bad. There are no jobs, sometimes gasoline is so expensive, etc.  That affects everybody including you, so do you think this happens because of religion or politics?.  I mean, if my neighbor and all the people around my block go to church every Sunday, it doesn't affect me in any way, so who is the enemy.   Some Black Metal fans say that say that Christians follow religion blindly.  What about them?  Some of those Black Metal fans don't accept or listen to anything that is not Black Metal or Occult related.   They discriminate other genres, such as; Thrash, Speed, Grindcore, Hardcore, etc.  Does that sound like they are following Black Metal blindly?  Some of those Black Metal people should think about what they are going to say before they open their mouths, because they contradict themselves in many ways, or they can make it easy on themselves and simply just shut the fuck up!!!
I really don't know the difference between the US Black Metal scene and the European Black Metal scene, because I don't follow it and I'm not into it. I honestly, could care less about this.

 

12. What are your other hobbies next to metal? Do you also like other kinds of music? Maybe you kind of dig sport, watching baseball, dog/ rat fights, americunts and other things like that..?

REBORN-  I'm into sports, I used to play Soccer for many years when I lived in Mexico.  I never liked baseball until my kids started playing, then I got into it.  One day they wanted to go to a professional baseball game and I thought it was going to be a nightmare, but it was actually a lot of fun. like watching movies with my kids or going to the movie theatre.  Going camping is also fun, there is nothing like sleeping in a tent outdoors, waking up in the morning, cooking breakfast and drinking a cup of coffee, it's fun.  I also like video-taping stuff, and enjoy traveling, drawing and so many things.

   

13. Do you love cock as much as I do?

REBORN- Come on Gab!  I though we were talking about Reborn From Ashes and not about your personal life, ha,ha,ha!  You know I'm kidding, right?

 

14. Tell us about the next projects of the zine! Did you already receive answers for some interviews to be published in next issue? Maybe there will be some special merchandising? (A "Reborn from ashes" condom could be something funny Ah Ah). It will soon be the end of the signal, so feel free to say all that you need...

REBORN-  I really don't have any specific plans for Reborn From Ashes.  Like I mentioned before, Reborn From Ashes will be around as long as I am able to do it.  I see Reborn From Ashes as a journey and not a destination, you know?  Who knows, maybe issue #4 will be the last one or I'll end up releasing 20 issues.  I really don't think about those things.
About issue #4, I already got 3 interviews back from the bands, the ones that I received are: Bloodsoaked/ Sol Negro (US/Mexico), Attoxxxico (Mexico) and Bolt Thrower (UK).  I'm currently working in some other interviews with Infinitum Obscure (Mexico), Derketa (US), Leproso (US) and Empire's Darkness/ Militia 'zine (Mexico).  So far, I've done half of the reviews or maybe not even half.  I'm doing everything at my own pace, I'm not rushing, I'm not in a competition with anybody.  If another fanzine releases 2-3 issues before I release #4, I really don't care.
I would like to thank you Gab for this interview, for your support and for the good trades that we'
ve done in the past.  I also want to thank all the metal fans out there who supports fanzines in general.
Remember, fanzines are the only way to support the true underground!
If you would like to find out more about Reborn From Ashes 'zine visit these sites:
www.myspace.com/riseofthefenix90
http://www.wikimetal.info/wiki/Reborn_From_Ashes

 VIVA MEXICO CABRONES!!!

 

Web page:  http://www.myspace.com/riseofthefenix90 

 

 

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