Saturday, June 1, 2013

... Who's behind the Temple ? : part 2 with Steve Miller

Here's the second part of that interviews-serie with people behind Temple of Perdition ! Here we go with Steve Miller :

Hi, could you please present yourself in a few words/lines ?

I’m Steve. I’m currently living in beautiful Denver, Colorado by way of the Metro Detroit area of Michigan. When I’m not dooming out I’m probably fucking shit up.

- When and how did you come to Metal and more especially to Doom and its subgenres ? When did you start to write on music ? Has writing in general always been something you liked and were at ease with ?

Metal was one of my first loves as a kid. I probably warped my cassettes of Sabbath’s ‘Paranoid’, Ozzy’s ‘Diary of a Madmen’, and Judas Priest’s ‘Defenders of the Faith’…the first two of which were probably stolen from my older brother’s collection. At the time in Detroit there was a video show hosted by a local DJ, the “Doc of Rock” Doug Podell, which was broadcast late Saturday nights on PBS. I think it was called The Beat. I would never miss it and it featured hard rock and metal. I can distinctly remember seeing videos for Judas Priest, Scorpions, Saxon, and Motorhead among others.

I actually kind of got away from metal in the late 80s and early 90s—save for my forays into Slayer, Celtic Frost, S.O.D. and Cryptic Slaughter courtesy of some of my skater friends. Hair metal wasn’t my thing and the wave of rap-rock or nu-metal later on didn’t help the metal scene in my opinion. Instead I got into punk, industrial, and a lot of the noise bands being put out by Amphetamine Reptile Records or Touch and Go. To this day I don’t know if I’ve seen a better live band than the Jesus Lizard, a stage show more impressive than Skinny Puppy, or an onstage party with more debauchery than Pigface or Cows.

I was always drawn to slow and heavy tunes and Monster Magnet’s debut EP and follow-up, ‘Spine of God’, were favorites of mine along with bands like Mudhoney. It took the psychedelic crushing heaviness of Electric Wizard’s ‘Come My Fanatics’ and ‘Dopethrone’ to get me back into metal and, more specifically, doom. I think that there’s a lot of creativity in the metal scene right now and bands are pushing the boundaries of doom while still remaining true to what could be considered a pretty narrow genre in terms of conventions.

I’ve always been comfortable writing and I started writing at a young age. In fact, I often find that I can express myself in words much better than through any other mode of communication. Like Lucas I was initially drawn to art, and I was decent, but I clearly wasn’t gifted like some of my friends so I started to focus on writing. I had written a couple of reviews for a friend’s now defunct punk website, but I just wasn’t feeling it at the time and that soon fizzled.

- Do you remember from when did you start to follow regularly Temple of Perdition ? Any special interview(s) or review(s) that caught your attention ?

I can’t remember exactly when I first came across the mighty Temple, but it definitely popped up from time-time-time as I was checking out new bands or looking for interviews. I remember coming across a request from Steph looking for new writers. At the time I was contributing for Doommantia and I figured writing for another site would allow me the freedom to cover bands that had already been reviewed by Ed or one of Doommantia’s other writers.

The one thing that really caught my attention with Temple of Perdition’s reviews was Steph’s enthusiasm and love of metal, in particular doom. To top it off I think Steph is a pretty gifted interviewer. Some of the early interviews that I really dug included conversations with Ice Dragon, Lord Vicar, and the Wounded Kings. Non-Steph interviews that I consider classics are Ron Rochondo’s interview with Jon from Pilgrim and Grant of In the Company of Serpents fame interviewing Fister. Both were extremely different, yet killer.

- You’ve got all other various activities related to Metal (own blog for Lucas + other contributions too - just like Andreas, Aleksey and Ulla who has also a podcast… I’m sure that Steve would do something else too, if he wasn’t studying too beside working ! Do you manage to find enough time and the right balance between this and the usual daily life (work, family, etc…) ?

Man, if I had the time I would be writing several days a week. On top of reviews I would probably start up again with writing fiction or launching my own blog. This month has been particularly rough and I’ve been spending up to 60 hours a week in a hospital for work and clinical rotations. I usually have to cobble together reviews over the span of several nights and take notes on scratch paper while I’m driving or at work. The next year of my life is going to be just as busy, too. It’s frustrating because I miss out on a lot of shows, especially shows from some of the killer local acts like In the Company of Serpents, Western Ritual, The Flight of Sleipnir, and Mars by Night to name just a few. It’s also hard to find the time to spend with my girl. It’s really all about balance, but unfortunately right now the scales aren't tipped in my favor.

- Isn’t Steph a too tyrannic editor with you ?!!! How do you see the fact of contributing in english for a French blog with a cosmopolitan team ? ( just nothing special in this web era or pretty cool and enriching ?)

Nah, Steph has been great. I think it’s cool writing for a French blog and I dig the diversity and perspectives of my fellow contributors. There’s definitely a community mentality that is somewhat highlighted by social media. Between the blogs, the message boards, Facebook, and now Bandcamp, lovers of doom and metal in general are kind of drawn together. It’s kind of weird, but there are people out there who I don’t even know, yet they exist as a personality and I’ve become acquainted with them simply from a handful of “likes” or through their brief comments to a particular post. There are a lot of bands that probably would have flown under my radar had it not been for the coverage they were receiving from the Temple’s other contributors from the other side of the pond.

1 comment:

  1. I like these interviews of contributors to ToP. intersting to know better the people active in the scene in one way or another.