» Frank Stöver – Interview HIDDEN THRONE

This interview was done on October 02, 2001 by Nedim Dedic of HIDDEN THRONE zine from Bosnia & Herzegovina…

Hails from HT to VFTD. How are you doing, Frank?
I’m doing fine, thanx – I just hope I will survive this questionaire, haha…

You know what do we all feel about short answers so here’s your chance to show us the way it should be done:).
All I know about Voices.. is contained within results of being about one year web based, only, zine. So, please, give us some background info about your self and zine you run. Have you ever been in a band?
Pew, well I’m 35 years old by now, started out in 1984, worked for Destruction, Kreator, Avenger (now Rage) and a couple more bands, contributed to a whole lot of magazines (for example Metal Hammer, Rock Hard, Metal Star, Shark, Horror Infernal, Heavy Oder Was?! etc. etc.) and started Voices From The Darkside as a print version in 1992. I put out 10 highly successful issues, then put Voices on hold and started Snakepit Magazine instead. In December 2000 I decided to resurrect Voices on the net and here I am… eh, no – I haven’t been in a band myself, at least not in a serious one ; -)

Talking of your current occupation, how has it influenced your private life. For example, I’ve seen those photos of famous metalheads holding their copies of Voices, but there must have been low points too. Tell us more about it.
Yes, those lowpoints were the reason why I stopped Voices for a while. It was getting too time consuming, too expensive and the fun aspect got lost because of all that.

What is material, Metal related, thing you own that you’re proud of. Is there something you still desire to have your hands on it? What about non-material, spiritual if you like?
Even thought I own tons of CD’s (approx 2.500), there’s none in particular that I’m proud of. They’re all equally important to me, so I can’t really tell you, sorry. But I’m always on the lookout for old 80’s Metal CD’s… none I can think of from the top of my head right now.

In terms of both, music and lyrics, what makes you (not) to listen to the band?
Music is what matters to me… I don’t care too much about lyrics unless they are of fascist / rassist nature, then I’m not interested in the band at all.

Whenever I read review of, let’s say, “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” it is always specialy mentioned opening riff of the title song for being epitome of Heavy Metal. On the other side, I can hardly think of a review where lyrics are hailed as such.
Yeah… but there’s still a lot of great Metal lyricists around. I think the problem is that you gotta be an English native speaker to really appreciate English written lyrics, otherwise you might miss out on certain things…

In my opinion, since mid to late ’80s there are no subgenres in Metal. Sure, bands did improve techinque and pushed boundaries of what *already* existed. Would you like to see those genre filters removed from the eyes of metalheads and see all united for Heavy Metal, to see majority of bands play music they love and not to think who’s the most evil or worry about it’s makeup brand.
Yeah, that could certainly help to break down barriers and unite Metalheads a bit more again… but on the other hand it is more easy to describe a certain band. For example, if you tell people that you’re playing in a Death Metal band, a Bon Jovi fan knows right from the start that he/she’s probably not interested in it… there’s so many releases out nowdays and that may help to select your favorite music a little easier

Can you think of one second of some particular song that leaves you totaly motionless while it lasts. Tell us more about your musical taste.
Well, I’m extremely open minded when it comes to the music I listen to and I have no problems at all in listening to Kate Bush right after Terrorizer or Jerry Lee Lewis. I’m not sure if I got your question right, but a song which still sends shivers down my spine is ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ by the legendary Queen.

I would like to hear your comments on:
– Keep the Metal true, keep it underground.
I don’t think you need to keep it underground as long as you stay true to what you’re doing.
– Cliches rule.
I have no problems with cliches, but I don’t like bands who use them on purpose for sake of it.
– Opeth.
Brilliant band and still highly underrated!
– Warhammer.
Well, what can I say?! We released their debut album “The Winter Of Our Discontent” on Voices productions, so don’t expect any negative words here, haha… cool guys and the most dedicated and hardworking Hellhammer fans I ever came across!

Could you please englighten us about German Metal scene and it’s impact on world wide scene, today’s in comparison to it’s golden years (I guess we all when it was)?
The German Metal scene was always pretty strong. In the 80’s we had some of the most influential bands (Kreator, Destruction, Helloween, Sodom etc.) and most of them are still around, which is great. But there’s also a lot of great newcomer acts with a lot of potential. I think nowdays the variety has become a lot bigger, and we have promising acts in every genre, from Black Metal to Melodic Rock, while in the 80’s it was mostly focused on Heavy or Thrash Metal.

In case this is a fair question.. If you had to chose a band/person who’s to say what way Metal should be done, who would it be?
Well, I think Lemmy of Motörhead could be my no. 1 choice here…

How are things like Voices.. important for Metal world?
Yes I think they definitely are! They are still totally connected to the underground, while the major magazines mainly focus on the stuff which established companies put out.

Is there a period of time when you’re at you most productive when it comes to writing process.
No, it always differs… I can be in the morning, or late in the evening. As long as I’m inspired enough, I will write…

Have you ever experienced situation when you’re not satisfied with what you’ve done but you can’t change anything?
Sure, all the time!!! (Unfortunately) I’m a perfectionist and a very self-critical person, so whenever I have finished and published something, I pretty quickly often don’t like it anymore… and that sucks big time, haha.

Which are five most important things that make body of every review/interview?
Don’t know what you mean, sorry…

Other mags you read…
Everything that I can get my hands on as long as it’s written in German or English. But I prefer smaller mags / fanzines that have been compiled by people who really live for this type of music. Their enthusiasm in writing about certain bands can be a great source of inspiration for me to check those bands out, while bigger mags are heavily lacking in soul…

OK Frank, thanks for your time, and you guys keep doing great job with your zine in future. Close this interview the way you want it.
Thanx a lot for the kind words, this interview and the opportunity! Hope my answers were satisfying enough for you?! All the best and don’t forget to KEEP THE FLAME BURNING!


Nedim Dedic