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Behind The Scenes of the VOLUME I CD: Interview with EvilG

EvilG is the man behind this compilation. The final selection of bands, artwork decisions, layout, running order, etc. all were decided by EvilG. Here's an interview with him done by the other staff members of who submitted what they thought people might like to know about the compilation from his perspective. 



Why did decide to do compilation and how did Mark Briody become involved?

Back in 1998/99 I had thought to do a compilation CD. However at that time when I researched it and looked at what would be involved in doing it RIGHT, I thought the costs would be way too much for me. Then in August 2002 a fellow by the name of "The Pierced Spirit" posted a topic on the metal rules forum about us doing a compilation. I kind of ignored the thread at first thinking back to me previous bit of scouting out I had done some years earlier. Soon the thread grew to about 3-4 pages long and people were all saying it was a great idea including Mark Briody from Jag Panzer. He expressed interest in Jag Panzer being on the CD and that's when I really took notice. I posted saying that I thought it was a great idea but that I didn't know how it could be possible in terms of who could bring into being the master CD. I figured that I'd have to pay some studio to properly put the master CD together. To my surprise, Mr. Briody replied and offered his services for FREE!!! That was when I realized I could pull this off. My other reason for deciding to do a compilation is a result of the fact that is NOT cheap to run. In some ways we've become victims of our own success. The more people who visit and read our webzine, the more costly is it to run. That is why we are treating this CD as a fundraiser to help us out with the costs of running this place. The bands on here know this, and as a result they know that we can both come out as winners if this CD does well. They will get their band noticed a little more and we'll be able to ensure longer term success for the site to support them and metal..



What were the criteria for choosing the bands?

The main criteria is that I wanted diversity. I didn't want a CD full of just melodic metal nor a CD full of just brutal death metal. I wanted to cover as much as was possible in terms of different types of metal. So we have traditional metal, power metal, thrash metal, death metal, black metal, folk metal and glam metal. I think the CD covers a lot of ground and styles and I liked each and every band on here, that was also a factor. So of course, I wanted to pick bands that I liked, so there is a bias I guess. But I did try to cover all the bases by having bands that represented a wide range of metal styles. I also had some of the other staff members check out the bands so I seriously considered their opinions as well. 



Why choose unreleased or re-recorded songs instead of already released tracks?

To simply try to ensure that the CD is unique, that the material on it is not something already in most metalhead's CD collections. With some bands, the track on the compilation might have been on one of their demo's which was not widely spread or sold but for most bands the track was either unreleased at the time the compilation was released OR the track was specifically provided for use on our CD. That does not mean that a band can't use their song in any other way they wish in the future. Each band maintains their copyright. We just obtained permission to use it for this compilation.



Why are the bands both signed and unsigned?

I want this CD to sell of course! Having a couple of bands that some people will know on here means that their fans will perhaps consider buying a CD with bands on it that they normally would never of checked out. So it works out nicely for everyone I think. The lesser known bands get to be checked out by more people then perhaps would of if the entire CD was comprised of only unknown bands. 



Why didn't just go with CD-Rs and photocopied covers? It would have been cheaper?

Yes it would have been cheaper…cheaper looking! If you are going to do something, do it right, not ˝ assed. Who would pay money for photocopied covers and a CD-R? Who would take this seriously? I know I wouldn't! If that's the approach you might as well just give away the MP3's. I wanted this release to be every bit as professional as anything else on the shelves of a CD store. I don't pay money for CD-R's, so why should I expect anyone else to?



Who provided the artwork?

It was done by Enricho Longhin. He's a computer artist from Italy. He e-mailed me and said he was interested in submitting something. I told him some ideas (i.e. the V guitars) but he is the one who took my thoughts and conveyed them into art. I think he did an excellent job! I hope some bands or labels see his work and end up paying him for a cover design. Enrico also has his own bands: Tanist and This Illusion. Unfortunately neither made it on the CD as a result of time constraints. Hopefully if there is a next time, at least one of them will be on there. You can contact Enrico Longhin at HEIMRICH DESIGN.



From concept to execution how long did it take to release this historic metal document?

The concept itself is something I have wanted to do for a long time. But in regards to this CD, things began in August 2002. I received over 50 "entries" for the CD from all styles of metal. By late September/early October the band list was finalized. There were a couple bands with late submissions since they actually recorded a new song specifically for this compilation. The artwork was finalized in mid-November as was the master CD. All materials were sent off to the manufacturing plant on Friday, November the 15th. The final product was shipped to my door on December the 30th, 2002 which is why I called December 30th the official release date.



This compilation has helped solidify the websites position as one of the top in the world. Do you expect other web-sites to follow your lead?

Maybe some will on some level. It doesn't matter as long as it's done in the true spirit of metal and helps the bands get their music heard. It's not like compilations are anything new. It is somewhat newer for a webzine to release one and for a good chunk of its material to be unique to the CD.



The compilation is a very large feather in your hat, what does this CD mean to you personally, EvilG?

Personally it means a lot to me. To see a bunch of great bands come together to support, to have an artist donate his time and talents, to have Mark Briody even lend a hand is all very cool. This is done in the true spirit of metal and everyone involved realizes this. It makes me realize that people do value the site and what it's for. I hope that the bands involved gain some success from this as well. That would be an even larger feather to know if this CD helps a band with their career in any way. On a more basic and the "bottom line" level, the CD itself is a test. is NOT a money making entity. It costs me money from my own pocket to continue to run this site - even with having sponsors (anyone else interested? Ha!). So this CD represents a hope that I can sell them all as fast as possible to make some money to use for the site itself which I have to pay for every month.



In one short year Metal-Rules went from losing its server and struggling financially to being ranked as the 5th most visited metal web-site on the entire internet. What do you attribute this recent success to?

Yes, this year has been quite eventful and it's been a rough road for us but we're still here and as determined as ever. As for success, I don't think we're there yet. We do have a lot of readers and some polls will rank us up high, but there are still people who don't know about or who have a complete misconception of what the site is about. The success we've had to date is entirely attributable to the hard work that I and the rest of the Metal Rules team have poured into the site. We have a diverse bunch of people from several different countries, each with our own likes and dislikes in terms of metal. Many of us have been into metal for 20 years or more, so it's not like we just fell into this recently. This is what most of us will be doing for the rest of our days.



How has transformed through the years from a small webzine into the quality site it is today?

Over time more people take what you are doing more seriously. When it started it was only me and I didn't have any grand plans of making this site into what it is now. It happened gradually and sometimes haphazardly. The transformation, or as I'd prefer to call it, evolution, is also a result of the growth of the internet itself. In 1995 the web was brand new. Today having a computer in your home is as important as a phone or a TV….and to some of us even more important. Having talented and devoted people come on board to help out with content, layout and programming has also meant we've been able to move from the "small webzine" into the "quality site" it is now.



Will there be a Volume II and how does a band go about getting track on there?

Only time will tell. This is kind of a test right now and I have no idea where it will lead. If it is a success then Volume II will happen. So to answer the second part of your question, bands can "wait and see" like I am. If it is successful and the CDs sell, then I'll announce that we will do Volume II. Some of the many bands that didn't get included, or who didn't contact me in time to make it on Volume I, would also be informed of this since I've saved all the e-mails from interested bands! I hope it does work out and that this fundraiser does just that - raise the funds necessary to pay for the site's monthly bills.



Would you consider taking this a step further to the point of running a label?

Like I mentioned above, VOLUME I is a test for me. I have ZERO experience with running a label or with manufacturing CD's. I have however been working hard at establishing for 8 years now. On top of that I've been listening to heavy metal for 20 years. So even though I know very little about the label / compilation manufacturing side of things, I know I can learn! l. As for running a label....if the compilation does well, then why not? As long as it's manageable and not a money loser. I am not expecting anything huge, more of a stepping stone type of deal perhaps. I don't care if it's not profitable, as long as it doesn't mean I have to live in a cardboard box to keep it alive. If an unsigned band that I believe in comes along and I can help them without going broke, I'd do so....again, we'll have to wait and see!!!


Why should any of your readers, or any metal fan for that matter, buy this CD?

For our readers, I'm hoping that people who do read the site on a regular basis will all buy a CD because they do get to use the site and are provided with its news, interviews, concert reviews, CD reviews, forum, etc. all for FREE. We don't charge anyone to read our content. I know if I was on the other side and had used a resource as much, I wouldn't mind buying something as simple and as inexpensive as a CD from them to help them out! So besides the people who buy it for these reasons, there is also the reason that the CD is full of killer metal. I know some may not take my word for that since I'm the one selling it, but I do know we have some great bands and material on here. So if you are a fan of some of the included bands, check out the CD and if you are looking to hear what may be new bands to you, this is a great starting point.

It's hard to "step outside" and see what others might find cool about this compilation. I have tried to put together something that will hopefully appeal to fans of several different metal styles. Notice I said "different" and not "opposing"? ha! I consider myself to be fairly open minded when it comes to metal. So I have no problem listening to an extreme hyper-speed black metal tune followed by a mid-tempo hard rocking traditional metal song. Even if the styles are different, I believe there is good in all of metal's different styles. Beyond the "there's something for everyone" mentality, I also hope that people who are open to hearing new bands will check out this CD as will the fans of the bands on here. I've tried my best to have all the songs on here be unique (at the time of release) to the compilation thus making it not just a collection of songs they people have already heard elsewhere. Finally, I hope people buy the CD to help a site that has promoted 100% REAL heavy metal - no trendy mallcore crap, no flavor of the month BS, a site that has been online since 1995 and has continually grown without compromise. I know this sounds like "tooting my horn" but this is not my job, I don't make my living from this site, I only do this because heavy metal is the one thing in this fucked up world that keeps me happy. I also don't want to take all the credit. I have an excellent team of contributors who all help me with this and help make this site what it is. So yeah, if I was the average metal Joe out there, I'd support something like this for many reasons. :-).



Where can people order the CD from?

Well obviously from!! We have a large enough audience that I'm sure we'll reach a lot of people. Some of the bands may also sell copies of the CD, so if you know the band, you can check to see if they are selling the CD's. I also plan to bring a number of copies into my local CD shops. Chances are there is no one in my neck of the woods reading this though! If you are, you'll eventually be able to pick up a copy at Fred's Records OR Urban Sound on Duckworth Street, unless they tell me to fuck off!. If anyone knows how we can better sell the CD's, let me know! :-) 


Any closing words?

I'd just like to thank everyone who buys this CD for helping support and to thank the bands, Mark Briody, and Enrico Longhin for their support. Thanks to all the the staff who helped out with this, especially CrashTest for legal advice and Rick for support. Also many thanks to my other half, for putting up with the hours of work that I put into this and that means less time for her. She has been most understanding and without her support from home, this CD would have NEVER happened. No matter what anyone may say, I am proud that this CD is now out and I'm totally pleased with the end result.


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