Interview with Mike Hochins
1. What is your favourite band of all time?
Mike: At The Gates. Has there ever been a better band? I don't think so!
2. Which was the first loud band you ever heard and how did you feel the first time you heard them?
Mike: It definitely would have been Kiss. I don't remember how I felt, but I'm sure it was a good feeling. Why else would I still listen to the band nowadays? I think they were probably the first band that I really listened to. I knew all of the songs, played air guitar and went to see them in concert. Kiss was the shit. Even though they seem a bit cheesy today and the reunion is a crock of shit, I still consider myself a Kiss fan.
3. How did you get introduced to loud music?
Mike: When I was 6 or 7 I bought a Kiss record from a yard sale. I guess I mainly bought it because of the make-up that the band wore, but I fell in love with the music. I guess that was my first exposure. Then later in the 80's when I was 10 or 11, I started listening to stuff like Motley Crue, and Guns N Roses. If any of you canucks remember the Power 30, that was what I used to watch to find new bands. Around the age of 13, I got into punk, and soon after that I heard Sepultura, and Napalm Death, and that was what got me into death metal. Now I'm hooked and I've been killing brain cells listening to evil music ever since.
4. What was the first song ever, that you can remember hearing? Doesn't have to be loud.
Mike: It probably would either a song by the Chipmunks, or maybe a Raffi song. I really have no idea. I did rock out to the Chipmunks when I was younger though. Raffi was pretty cool, but the Chipmunks had that hard edge I was looking for. They rebelled and played Bangles covers. They also had a tv show, not to mention a movie that I worshipped when I was little.
5. Do you consider yourself to be intelligent? What do you think of the cliche of the big, stupid, long-haired, leather wearing, metal head?
Mike: Actually I'm quite intelligent, and I tend to use big words to make myself seem even more intelligent. I sit in chat rooms and make fun of little insignificant people using my big words as my weapon of choice. Seriously, I'm not a rocket scientist, but I suppose I get by. I think the cliché is very old and tired. Appearance has very little to do with anything. I don't think you really see people using this stereotype much anymore though. Many people tend to think that metal died with the 80's, but then again these people probably thought Poison and Warrant were metal bands! I've never really dressed in leather, or really dressed in anyway that would get me called a big, stupid, long-haired, leather wearing metal head.
6. Seen any good movies lately?
Mike: If you mean new movies, I'd have to say no. As far as horror flicks go, I just saw two that were quite good. The first one is Inferno, and it is probably the best movie Dario Argento has ever made. It's always nice to see an intelligently made horror film. If anyone reading this has yet to see any
of Argento's films I highly recommend you do so! Along with stunning camera work, his films offer suspense, gore, and usually a great soundtrack as well. The other movie I just saw was The Johnson's. I wouldn't really say this movie is very coherent, or really even has much of a story, but it does feature some pretty cool gore.
7. Will you continue to have articles and reviews of gore flicks in your zine? Which movie articles are planned for the next issue?
Mike: Definitely. I think my 'zine will have more horror movie related material in upcoming issues. The next issue will have two articles as well as two interviews that are horror related. One is with the director Andreas Schnaas, who has directed gore films like Violent Shit 2, Zombie 90: Extreme
Pestilence, etc. The other horror interview is with Reggie Bannister of Phantasm fame. The horror part of my 'zine is very important to me, so it will only continue to grow and grow. Right now I'm planning on bringing out an issue on Halloween and having all of the interviews horror related in some way. We'll have to wait and see if that will happen.
8. Which do you think is the best record label for bands on their roster? For working with?
Mike: For bands, I'd say Razorback. Everything they have released so far has been great, and I can only see more great things happening for them in the future. It's pretty easy to say who the best labels to work with are. The one's that actually write me back! The best one's for keeping you up to date with what is going on have been Necropolis, Nuclear Blast, and Victory. It would probably be easier to get a letter back from the Pope then it would be to get a response from some of the labels out there.
9. Are you into any other styles of music besides metal?
Mike: I'm into music other then metal, I also listen to country and or western. Actually, I listen to a lot of stuff outside of metal. I've been into punk and hardcore for longer then I've listened to metal. I know it's un-cool to listen to punk if you are supposed to be a big tough-guy who only listens to Suffocation, but fuck it. It's nice to listen to a style of music that you can relate to lyrically from time to time. Lyrics about zombie sex and chain saws definitely make for a good read, but they don't really have much to say that people can relate to. Other then hardcore, I listen to some jazz, instrumental, classical, and not a whole lot more.
10. So tell us about Unbound. When was it started? Wasn't it originally called something else? or was that a completely different `zine? Why the name change? Do you do all the work on the zine?
Mike: Unbound was started in 1998 sometime I suppose. It seems like it was years ago. I don't know if Unbound really had anything to do with my old 'zine, but I used to do a 'zine called Engulfed in Gore. It mainly covered death metal, and that was back when I was in the "I only listen to death metal" rut. I didn't have a clue what I was doing either, but it was fun. Unbound is more serious, and I guess I'm a few years older so my writing has improved quite a bit. With Unbound, I try to cover more then just death metal. I' m not going to say I like everything and will cover any band out there though, it's still mainly just death metal, and hardcore. Yep, I do all of the work on the 'zine and that's the way it is going to stay. I like to think my 'zine is an extension of myself so I don't really want anyone else to invade my space, so to speak. It's like letting someone fuck your girlfriend. Maybe I'm overreacting a bit, but I still like to do everything myself.
11.What are you trying to contribute to the underground through your zine?
Mike: A positive message to all of the little people in Munchkin Land. I guess I'm trying to contribute to the underground scene as a whole and hopefully expose people to some new bands. I don't have any delusions of grandeur, my 'zine is small and it's just something I enjoy doing. It doesn't really have much impact on the scene, but if my 'zine helps out at all then that's great. I'm definitely not one of the people who think they can carry the scene on their backs. I don't really see anything wrong with the Underground, and my little 'zine just gives people the chance to read my rants, and in the end hopefully support some of the bands I cover.
12. Why should someone choose to read your zine rather than someone else's?
Mike: I don't really look at things like that. I think that if you have a 'zine that positively contributes to the underground then you have a 'zine that is worth reading. I guess if held at gun point and asked this question I'd say honesty. I think my 'zine has a lot of honesty. Also I think with interviews I try to keep things somewhat different with each interview. I think within the underground a lot of 'zine editors don't seem to be having the band in mind when they are making up interview questions. You could cut
and paste the questions and send them to different bands and I doubt anyone would notice. If it's a band you really like and want to support, coming up with 15-20 unique questions that actually relate to the and shouldn't be a problem. I guess one other thing about my 'zine is that a lot of the bands I cover aren't seen in many North American 'zines.
13. Which bands will be in your next issue? When's it due out?
Mike: The next issue is due out in May and hopefully I won't spend all of my money and it'll come out when I want it to. So far I have interviews with CBT, Aborted, Cenotaph, Grade, Coalition Against Shane, Watch it Burn, Drawn and Quartered, Flesh Grinder, Grey Area, Eternal Suffering, Machetazo and Engorged. I'm not sure if all of those will make it into the issue, but I'm pretty sure most will.
14. What's your earliest memory?
Mike: I don't remember much from when I was younger, but one thing I vividly remember happened when I was 3. Before my family moved to Thunder Bay we used to live in Winnipeg, and this was around the time Return of the Jedi had come out. As you could imagine like most kids, I wanted the toys. Well, I guess some other kids on my block didn't like me having toys, because one day they took my Lando figure and threw it down the sewer. Not really that exciting of a story, but for being three years old that really pissed me off. If I ever meet these kids again, I'll throw them down in to the sewers!
15. What's the last book you read/are reading?
Mike: The last book I read was called Zodiac of Death. It was about how astrology relates to violent crimes. I read true crime books every now and again and this was probably the most interesting I've ever read. Another book that I am constantly reading is Creature Features. It's a book that I refer to as my bible. It's basically a comprehensive guide to horror films. There are thousands upon thousands of films reviewed, and it is definitely a book that any horror buff should own.
16. Favourite magazine? `Zine?
Mike: My favorite magazine right now is a Canadian horror magazine called Rue Morgue. In my opinion it completely blows away Fangoria. It really encompasses almost everything that there is in horror these days, films, comics, novels, even toys. Great stuff. My favorite 'zine? I really have no idea. It's like choosing between children. I'm really into Flophouse of the Freaks right now. The guy who does it, Roy, is a big horror fan and his 'zine mainly covers grindcore and gore/grind. I just got a copy of Last Judgment the other day, and it's pretty cool as well.
17. What do you foresee for the metal scene? Where will it be in 5 years?
Mike: I really have no idea. Maybe the stuff that is underground now will become more accepted, and the new underground will be much more extreme then the bands around these days. It's hard to say. It seems like death metal is becoming more popular right now, and black metal is losing its momentum. So in five years, it'll probably be power metal, death metal, or black metal that will be popular. It all goes in cycles. It is interesting to think about this though. You have to wonder if bands can become any faster, heavier, and more extreme then they are right now. One thing I'd rather not see in the future is more bands choosing to use drum machines. I can't stand metal bands or grind bands that choose to use drum machines. Sure it may be easier, but it sounds like shit! I'm very excited and rather clue less as to where metal will end up.
18. Will you still be listening to this music when you're old and gray?
Mike: That's hard to say. I think by the time I'm old and gray I'll be deaf, so I won't really be listening to anything. Yet it's quite interesting to think how much extreme music will change over the years. Who knows if it will even be around? So I probably will be listening to this music. It's funny thinking of me as an 80 year man lying around in my boxer shorts listening to Haemmorhage. Strangely though, it sounds similar to what I do these days anyway.
19. Recommend some bands that not many people have heard of.
Mike: Ah, an easy question. Sanity's Dawn, Haemmorhage, Intense Hammer Rage, Aborted, Inner War, Machetazo, Demilich, Dahmer, CSSO, Fuck on the Beach, SOB, Discordance Axis, Grey Area, I could go on for hours, so I'll leave It at that.
20. Any final comments????
Mike: Thanks a lot for the interview! It's great to see that you are going to continue doing Corrosion! If anyone want's to check out my 'zine send me a couple of bucks, or a good enough reason for why you deserve a free copy, and I'll send one out to you! Hail to the king baby.
R.R.#3, Site 7, Comp. 19
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Canada P7C 4V2