I already interviewed Gary from Steaming Heathen and Bob from The Soggy Bog radioshows a little while ago, it's now time to have a little focus on a great new European podcast named THE WICKED LADY SHOW... Consisting bi-weekly in one hour of underground abrasive and low tuned sounds, it is maliciously programmed by Ulla, a wise german lady who kindly answered my questions with deep passion and a great sense of humor... You can have a precise idea of her tastes and way of assembling insane stuff all together with both episodes (17&19) that I posted below; if not yet, I have no doubt you'll become quickly a fervent follower ! Support the scene, support her podcast ...
Halo Ulla ! some of the readers already know that you’re a nice and mature german woman supporting actively the Sludge/Stoner/Doom Metal underground scene(s) but could you please present (briefly or not) yourself ?!
I studied English and German to be a teacher, but I soon realized that I sucked at it and I quit that. So I did just this and that including watch my two sons grow and make sure they become metalheads haha (I succeded in that so far). My main occupations in the moment are translating, doing a podcast show, writing reviews for the metalbandcamp blog and watch my sons… umm, having stopped growing.
It was exactly the year 1970, Sept.18th, or maybe one or two days later. I was 11 years old and watched the TV news. Someone reported about the death of a certain Jimi Hendrix and they played “Hey Joe” and “All Along the Watchtower”. That was so different from all music I knew. I was intrigued immediately, my parents horrified (all the better). From this moment I took the usual highway to hell. Of course, the heroes of my youth were Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, King Crimson, Black Sabbath…. In the 70’s there was a lot of experimenting (but of course my whole life felt like an experiment back then). I somehow skipped the Thrash and picked up the DM and BM. The main lanes on my personal “highway” were the progressive/psychedelic lane, the blues rooted rock lane and the HC/crust/punk lane… and yes, finally the doom/stoner/sludge lane.
When it comes to METAL, after the golden days of the 80’s and eventually the early 90’s with tons of HM, Thrash and even Death Metal… I feel that for quite a long time Germany doesn’t provide many influential bands anymore, whichever underground styles we could listen; this, despite the fact that there’s lots of fans, press, festivals… what’s your opinion about this ?
I don’t know. I suspect the German metallers, musicians as well as fans, of being quite conservative in terms of music. They like to stick to what they know. But I can be completely wrong with that and it is just a natural phenomenon like a kind of tidal movement affecting a whole area it’s now the time for bands from different areas to flood the metal scene with new ideas. I am thinking of bands from eastern Europe like Poland, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, etc. I believe there are a lot of exciting things going on right now.
Germany has always been reknown for its Thrash or classic HM bands… and still is, even if most of those still existing are now pretty old and declining, how could you explain that Doom, Sludge and Stoner are still quite confidential in such an active country for extreme musics ?
It surprises me again and again that many metal fans, either don’t acknowledge these genres as metal genres – is it Thrash? No? How can you call it Metal?, or they don’t even know what I’m talking about. As I suspected above, they are a bunch of old schoolers, haha. But again I may be totally wrong here too. I have no profound explanation.
So, let’s speak now about THE WICKED LADY SHOW… how did it happen that you started this show a few months ago ? did you already have previous experiences in this domain ?
My only experience in that domain was turn on the (“normal” FM) radio, turn it off again and thinking “Who the hell is responsible for this crap? I ought to do radio in one way or another.” Of course I never would have done it, if Gary from Grip of Delusion Radio hadn’t been looking for more podcast shows for his station and hadn’t asked me. And so, with Gary’s kind and patient help (thanks Gary!) the Wicked Lady Show was born.
How are you working to prepare this show ? Why does it last only 1 hour ?
In most cases there is one or two songs I like much in the very moment I begin a show. All the other songs are picked to support, enhance or even contradict the mood of these songs, then I try to cram them into the 1 hour frame, shift and change until both, the time frame and my sense of a coherent show are satisfied. The show lasts 1 hour, simply because Gary had asked me for a 1 hour show. I am quite happy with that 1 hour, sometimes I could use some more time though, but then… there’s always the next show.
My family thinks it’s cool what I’m doing. My husband has to spend many hours on the road in his car for his job. He’s always happy with a mix of new music on his sd card. My sons are proud to have a metal mum, haha….. and they are all musicians, two vocalists (husband and eldest son) one drummer (younger son).
The show is programmed each week-end on Grip of Delusion… Did Gary have an influence on you or other buddies like Soggy Bog, Foundry of Doom, Crestfallen etc… ?
They all have an influence on me, they all do great shows. I enjoy to listen to their shows and soak it all up. And speaking of the Soggy Bog I have to say that the Soggy Bog show totally dragged me into the doom and sludge swampland, and that is just a few years ago. So, if you should read this Bob, thanks for infecting me with the “Bog”.
Do you intend to get the show programmed through other radios ?
I wouldn’t say no, if a radio station (one of the kind I would listen to) asked me, but I am not actively searching.
I hope not of course but don’t you sometimes have to face some mysoginist attitudes in your musical activities ?
Within the metal scene it happens very rarely. Occasional incidents of surprise I rather take as the funny part of the sad reality that too few women are involved in extreme music. Sometimes, of course I am confronted with insults deriving from a misogynistic motivation.
The “doomed covers” was fun to do and I think I will do some more cover song shows, but I don’t think of other themed shows right now. My shows are simply led by a focus on a special mood. My intention is to just put together 1 hour of music that is coherent yet varied. The themed Soggy Bogs are awesome though, and I can only imagine the effort Bob puts into them.
The show programms of course Doom and Stoner, but I feel that your (actual) style of predilection is SLUDGE… what do you particularly enjoy in it that you maybe don’t find in other Doomed subgenres?
Ha yes, you’ve got me here. The Sludge can combine so many elements of music I love. It’s the raw abrasiveness, the slow paced bass driven downtuned thick filth as well as the up tempo crusty elements of punk. There’s blues and rock ‘n roll and also ambient post metal and drone sounds, able to express a variety of moods and all this flung right into your face…. Seriously, what more could one want?
I noticed that there’s sometimes a band played that isn’t at all related to the others, still with obscure/epic moods but different, I’m thinking for example about Melechesh and Enslaved… do you fix any restrictions towards the styles of the band programmed or is it just your feelings of the moment ?
I do this to prevent the listeners from falling asleep, haha. No, sometimes I just want to put something in that provides a different tone of the mood, or even contradicts it without destroying it. There are no restrictions. Everything I do with music is pure intuition and emotion.
Do you get precise statistics about the audience following your show ? if yes what are you learning out of them ? where do you get the most audience from ?
The statistics are poor and there’s really nothing I could learn from them.
You regularly play some great French bands like Cult of Occult, Eibon, Love Sex Machine, Barabbas, Stangala, etc…. any special affection for French bands and France just simply ?!!!
They just happen to be excellent bands I like very much. It wouldn’t make any difference, if they came from Mars and I wouldn’t pick or dismiss a band because of its state of origin. This doesn’t completely apply to Stangala. In addition to being an excellent band, they come from an area of France I love very much and have many precious memories connected to. And their music is full of the folky tunes of that area.
What could we wish to THE WICKED LADY SHOW for the future ?
You could wish that the flow of response doesn’t stop, from the audience as well as from the bands. That’s what keeps me going.