Wyrd’s Flight takes old-school fanzine format! And who could have thought of that but my much esteemed and equally free-spirited colleague Thor “Joakimsson” Wanzek of Trollmusic and Mørkeskye magazine, as well as collaborator of Hammerheart zine and A.&R. for Prophecy Productions?… Don’t get me wrong, his impressive credentials are not listed here to give shine to this micro-event, but rather to celebrate the fact that when someone believes enough in the power of Music, there is always time to fit in some extra hours to spread the word! So thank you, my friend, for your persuasive arguments, good taste and precious time: I know you do not like to waste energies over something you do not fully believe in, so I feel truly honored.
As I write, Issue n.1 is being launched by Thor alongside Mørkeskye’s latest (and apparently last for the time being) publication. Why? Because times are ripe. These days the (bullshit-)rich, glossy metal magazines aren't even good enough to double as toilet paper (the non eco-friendly, petrol-reeking pages will make your ass sting), therefore the net has inevitably become the music fan's secluded refuge. That's where I met a small but wonderful bunch of excellent label founders and promoters who truly care about the underground, and a few passionate writers who painstakingly dig below the surface to offer a different angle to the reader by focusing on the tragic human tale that unravels through and behind the spellbinding magic of Art. Yes, you guessed it, Thor and I met through the pages of Avantgarde-Metal.com, alongside a few other talented people like Andreas, Tentakel, Chrystof, Katja and Lefteris, whom I salute.
So what about the printed world? Is quality on paper going to become a faded recollection of the past? Not according to our Thor, a man on a mission to reinstate the noble fanzine format in our lives.
Considering that in 10 years time I might have lost all my internet articles (I am not the most careful hoarder!), having thoughtfully crafted hard copies to cherish forever is simply indispensable and, frankly, the only way. Through the web the written word is gobbled up and spat out at dizzying speed: it has been observed how young kids’ brain functions are already mutating, and there is no stopping this because natural evolution responds to changing habits and new environments. Computers, video games, smart phones, tablets are a huge slice of the new economy and kids are the main targets: things are moving on fast and doomingly so. (Incidentally, I live a perfectly easy and comfortable life by simply owning an average PC and a shit mobile phone that is hardly ever on). The idea to read an old-fashioned fanzine is clearly not something that will satisfy our need to quickly pick up some basic info and move on. But when you craft out something delivering content that goes beyond trite, disposable, fast-food info, then we should desire and cherish the durable, physical format, just like we do with our precious music.
Will WF be a good fanzine to own? Well, since its first issue comes bundled together with the multi-faceted Mørkeskye, I guess it would be nice if you gave it a try. You see, what urges me to write selected album reviews and conduct even more selective interviews is the artist's power to move and intrigue me on a deeper level. I am often asked how on earth I can still carry on writing with honest passion after such a long militancy within the extreme music universe: the answer is simple – I keep learning from the entire process of listening/assimilating. It is a spiritual experience that keeps the doors of my mind wide open, elevates my perception, torments and elates me at once. I might have breaks from my assiduous commitment, I might shift into different directions or tangents for diverse reasons (new ideas, new interests and challenges: that’s when it is time to change my pen name!), but the desire to learn and share is the engine that urges me to carry on searching for artists who make transcendental ripples with their art, whether they push me closer to the scalding depths of the Abyss or pierce through the starless night Skies with their inner light… The artists featured on WF will always be there for a reason: they would have been carefully chosen, with the idea of exchanging notes on music, naturally, but also on spiritual matters and life in all its powerful mystery, absurd drama and mind-wrecking bleakness. On WF you won’t read an interview aimed solely at promoting an album or tour: amongst the odd info, curiosity and banter, you will often find spontaneous heart-to-hearts taking shape...Wonderful, enlightening moments, hopefully preludes to individual, intimate reflections on the art of being, or at least the art of surviving with honor and wisdom.
Once a musician, cautious around my unusual questions, argued that he had always considered “music journalism” as nothing more than an informative tool. Sure, but what better information is there than enlightening the fan about what made you an artist in the first place?!... (Incidentally, the interview with this beautiful individual turned out to be wonderful and full of substance!) Professional journalists indeed work towards promoting a product according to the marketing rules but, although I support the right of an artist to sell his/her own art (provided it’s done with dignity), the industry/business side of things has never interested me and I shun whoever wants to use me for that specific purpose. Being an artist myself (what i do is not relevant here), I reclaim my right NOT to be regarded as a professional journo (in fact I do not earn my living through music) but simply a lunatic on a life-long quest. I confess to sympathising fully with the uncompromising hard-liners who reject the media, but my desire to communicate on a deeper level with other fellow-artists, music fans and readers is there and it is terribly important. Ultimately, I regard it as an on-going art project documenting the mysterious, complex and unfathomable layers that lurk from the crevices of the mind of different individuals who face life (death) in different ways.
To wrap it up, the first printed issue of Wyrd’s Flight will give you interviews with Fenriz of Darkthrone, Ivar of Enslaved, Edmond of Dordeduh and Frank of Fen/De Arma, as selected by Thor. There is also an interview with myself conducted by my "patron" (it will be kind of fun for me to refresh my mind on what I came up with on that full moon night!).
Mørkeskye is on its lucky-13th issue, and is a fantabulous zine dealing with "Forest Fok & Mythic Metal" boasting a great layout and inties & reviews typically peppered with Thor's insightful honesty, good humoured wit and scalding sarcasm. The paths explored by Thor and his crew are manyfold and picked with the utmost care: Stilla, Helrunar, Isole, Ereb Altor, Alvenrad, Skogen, Aurvandil, King of Asgard and many many others.
All details about content and purchasing method here: http://www.morkeskye.com
And as far as the future of Wyrd's Flight goes (which I hope will still somehow be linked in spirit to the mischiefs of the one and only TrollThor), if some of you will be up for a second helping, another issue shall hopefully take form in January 2014, featuring a bunch of truly amazing artists, as well as a list of the best albums and festivals of 2013. In any case, from yours truly always expect in-depth conversations; never expect sectarian choices of interlocutor: “known” or “underground”, black metaller or psychonaut, politically-incorrect, narcissistic or ascetic, what counts to me is the artist's will and kindness to share something honest and meaningful as human being.