Tuesday 17 April 2012

Interview with Stéphane LE SAUX from Temple Of Perdition

Hi all. You probably seen my interview by Steph from my fave blog -Temple Of Perdition. Well its my turn to return the favour. So here is the interview I conducted with Steph recently. (Great Guy who runs a brilliant blog. Get checking now.)

1 – Hi Steph, What made you start Temple of Perdition. As its probably my fave blog at the moment.

hey Steve, thanx for giving me the opportunity to present here Temple Of Perdition...
Well, a long long time ago, I used to run a fanzine called In My Veins, it's been a very cool experience that I wanted to have again... of course at that time it was a paper zine, now what made it possible in my mind,20 years after, was the easiness to do something via a blog : simple to run, immediate in the release and not costly ! Also, I was often looking for interviews from great Doom bands I enjoy but could rarely find what I wanted : sometimes outdated, often so fucking generic, sometimes there was just none to find...

2 – What made you decide to feature news, reviews and interviews and not focus on downloads links like the more popular blogs

a part of the answer is in your question : there's enough (popular) blogs doing it about downloads, including The Sludgelord which I really like very much. As said before, I intended to have a focus on interviews (there's about 2 per week), but obviously you can not publish interviews everyday, so there's also reviews and sometimes news, occasionally live reports. I listen to Underground Metal since 25 years, but during this period, magazines didn't improve at all their approach for interviews, they are so generic at 90%... I'm not doing some revolution at all but I hope what I try to make corresponds (at least for a good part) to what real fans would like to know, discover. As a fan I've always been curious towards bands I enjoy, but my needs have rarely been satisfied by magazines... by some fanzines/webzines/blogs YES of course but in a too scattered way you know

3) Do you feel pressure to stand out from the crowd as I do think your one of the more informative blogs out there catering for the Doom/Stoner/Sludge Underground

Thanx for the compliments ! well, I think it depends of everyone's caracter, but sure there's a little bit of pressure, it's useful and welcome if you wanna progress...

4 – Do you receive much Record Label interest. Is it the big labels or the smaller underground labels you have dealing with

Not really, you know quite many bands I'm in contact with are into DIY stuff (and they're fucking right !) but that's ok this way for me. I have yet largely enough to do and absolutely want to keep my indepedancy... I'm clear with labels that contact me, I review the stuff only if I enjoy it; if I don't like it I don't wanna waste my time to write a negative review, with above all the risk of being unfair to the band, just because they're not playing the type of music I'm into, or cause their singer is too or not enough melodic to my taste, or any other subjective reasons... Actually I get stuff from Church Within, Psychedoomelic, Total Rust, Inverse and Pulverised rds, also from a couple of promotion agencies but it's mostly bands that contact directly.

5 – You have your own team. How do you decide who does what. I tell Sludgelord team do whatever you want. Is this the same setup you have.

Just let me precise terms, this is not a team at all.... A Team represents an entity with a common goal, different living forces, a guiding line, a real unity, shared responsabilities; things that are almost impossible to create vitrtually through the web, at least for a small blog like T.O.P.; maybe the term can suit to Doommantia or Cult Nation who are far more organized and reknown which give better conditions to make the word TEAM apporach in this context its real definition.

I'm doing this at 90% alone for the moment, but yes sometimes some people provide me interviews, that's very different !!! I respect them and am very grateful for their time and work but I shouldn't expect much from them, if they send me something then it's cool, but it's not really regular, you know those people have other activities : Nathaniel plays in a band, is running his blog and contributing for others;Vania is running a promotion agency for south american bands...

I don't decide anything towards the bands they wanna feature, it's their choice not mine... They propose, I accept or not; I think I just said NO twice to Nathaniel who proposed Thrash bands.
Of course we have quite many bands in common among our faves but what is interesting is that we all 3 have very different predominant tastes, I'm more into Doom, Vania into Stoner and more refined stuff in general, while Nathaniel is a Deathrasher Zombie ! 

I had strong hopes with Wes, a young american guy who was supposed to bring a welcome help; he's very talented and the perspective of having someone that writes in his mother-tongue was great but he prefers to write for the bigger blogs who require the exclusivity for his writings...

I don't give a shit if he sends me something and asks to share it to another blog one or two days later, I know other little bloggers that think the same way but most big blogs don't have such a positive approach with smaller ones, they just eventually have it between them... it's just like "blogrolls" you know, all little blogs include the biggest blogs on their list, but the biggest blogs, when they do, don't do much on their side... that's just the reflect of our society, as long as you need others, you help them; when you feel you don't need them anymore, you forget a lot of things...

6 – How do you feel about the other more established websites like Doommantia etc.... - Do you feel your in direct competition fending for viewers or do you have a healthy respect for them.

Basically I've no problems at all with them. I have much respect for Ed Barnard, Doommantia is simply the best blog around the world... There's no competition with anyone, but of course I pay attention to statistics, the essential for me is to have a regular progression but when you consider the number of views sometimes announced, it's simply impossible to even imagine reaching this !!! I could have a real Team, even a kind of European Dream Team with you, Rod Reinhardt, Marilena Moroni, Mikael Ollofson and a few other Doomed warriors, I'm sure that number of views coudln't reach something like 300 000 views monthly !!! I think that americans will always have a slightly favoured position.

7 – Sometimes I feel the blog takes over your life sometimes. How do you cope when things get on top of you. I normally take a couple of days off.

that's true, it happened recently, I have lost tragically a friend and was in a very sad mood during several days. The day after his death, I hated myself when I felt like obliged to have something to write as I was used to post daily. Sometimes I also think that I should save for my children a bit of all those hours listening music alone, computering for the blog, etc...

8 – What has been your fave acts of 2012.

ICE DRAGON "tome of the future ancients" is n°1 and I don't see anyone else except ORCHID to release something better or just as good this year (I've just seen ORCHID at Roadburn, memorable !)
then a lot of great stuff like BLACK PYRAMID, FIRE FAITHFUL, BALAM, IMPIETY, IN THE COMPANY OF SERPENTS, CROWN, STONE MAGNUM, CULT OF OCCULT, PALLBEARER, HUATA... the week before Roadburn I've been listening a lot to TRIFECTA and BEELZEFUZZ, both are new bands from MAryland, very different from the "usual" local Doom stuff, but two authentic hopes believe me !

9 – What has been your least fave acts of 2012

honestly nothing... oh, just a thing that saddened me this week-end : SLEEP were very disappointing to me at Raodburn, damn why are they so noisy now ? OM was excellent though, you would have told me that a week ago, I would have laughed... I expected a lot from SLEEP but nothing special from OM, that's the magic of life :)

10 – So you asked me this question. May as well ask you. What are your hobbies and interests

I do a bit of sports (mostly jogging twice a week, sometimes swimming), we are not far the coast here so we go there regularly with the family, I also enjoy walking in the woods with the dog, watch a bit of soccer and series on Tv... I would like to travel more, would like to go back to Canada (been there several times yet) and discover the States too, I've planed something for 2014, including a festival like the MAryland Death fest or the Days of the Doomed.. would be awesome !

11 – Do you get frustrated when bands/labels dont thank you for the hard work you put in when writing an article on relevant band.

if it's effectively an hard work : then YES obviously, but it's more if they don't share the link that kill my fucking nerves, why answering an interview if you don't share it with your fans ?!
on the other hand I have to reckon that a couple of reviews maybe didn't deserve any particular thanx.

12 – Like me you dont do it for the free stuff. What is the most pleasure you get in writing your blog.

the contact with people of course, then sharing my enthusiasm for killer new bands, new albums, help to know a bit more some of our faves through long and informative interviews.

13 – So what are your future plans for T.O.P. - Any exciting developments. I know we are talking about doing more joined up features (Sorry viewers we are still planning but stay tuned for further info).

I don't make any particular plans really, it mostly depends of the actuality, my actuality in fact ! some next interviews should be with FIRE FAITHFUL, SIGIRIYA, ELDER... There'll be soon a new episode from "the Wives ov Doom"... A new experimented (french) writer should bring some help too pretty soon...

Yes Steve, I think we really should help more each other, those interviews are yet a cool start. As I told you, you can feature any of my interviews in The Sludgelord, just have to ask and let about a week pass after its posted on T.O.P. !

14 – Lastly – What is your view on record companies shutting down various websites and blogs. My own view is that we do a good job but record companies dont seem to understand how the whole underground community works. OK we might download links but we always buy the bands merchandise.

you're right, they just pay interest to mainstream magazines that make their content under commercial constraints, that's not my world at all. Hopefully most underground addicts know where the real sources of informations are ! Thanx Steve, keep on the good work and DOOOOOMMM on \m/