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How do you like Wicked World so far? Are they helping you with a lot of the recording and promotions expenses? You'll probably get asked this all the time, but I just have to ask if you've met Digby Pearson and, if you have, do you like him? [note: the editor and one other staff writer are cringing at this point]

Hassan: So far, Wicked World has been great to us. I have been in contact with Dan Tobin over the phone and email often over the last months. The people at Earache/Wicked World are very nice to us and keep the band/label-relation close and personal.

I think it's better to be with a smaller label, this way you'e not just one of the hundreds of bands. Wicked World has about 10 bands, and this way they can give everybody the attention they need. We hope to meet Dan and Digby for the first time at the Dynamo festival this year.

Marvin: Wicked World has granted us a more than reasonable budget to record our debut album, and although we haven't even recorded it yet, they have already been promoting us and spreading the word around. We haven't discussed touring expenses just yet, but I trust those wheels will be in motion after the album is released.

Are you playing at the Dynamo Festival?

[ blo-torch ]

Hassan: No, unfortunately this year will be "Blo-torchless," but Dan (Tobin, Wicked World) is going to do his best to get us on the bill next year.

Earache is represented by 3 or 4 bands this year, I think. Getting us on, a Dutch band signed by a respectable label, has to be possible don't you think? By then, our debut album will be out for quite some time and hopefully we'll be a bit more than a locally known band. I have a feeling we'll be there next year.

It's a shame that you weren't able to play this year, but I would think it would be quite possible that you would be asked to play in the future.

You have often described Blo-torch as "having a serial killer sickness." Explain exactly what you mean?

Marvin: We tried to reach a sort of feel with our music that gives us a sick edge. With this I not only mean on a musical level, but also with our lyrics. Many of our peers have fitted themselves either with an occult image or they claim to be from some kind of fantasy world. With this I mean no offense whatsoever but that's not what we're about. We give the listener sick and twisted sonic images, a certain kind of mood which gives flavour to our music.

You don't appear to be big into the whole Satanic worship thing that a lot of the newer extreme metal bands are into (especially in Black or Death metal circles), are you? Do you feel that all the Satanic symbolism demeans metal or is just an intrinsic part of heavy metal?

Marvin: Well, all I have to say is "to each their own." Just because we're not into the Satanic worshipping thing, doesn't mean it's dumb. Take Morbid Angel, for instance. What would you think, when they would release a new album and they would look like Biohazard? That's what I mean. Just because it doesn't fit us, it doesn't have to mean the guy next door shouldn't do it. It's just part of the variety within the metal scene. It doesn't demean metal, it just adds more alternatives.

Don't forget, we all fight under one banner!

[ bassist sander ]

Good point. You were "discovered" by Wicked World due to Terrorizer Magazine. How much do you feel you owe Terrorizer Magazine for getting you noticed by Earache/Wicked World?

Hassan: We owe them almost everything! Besides the fact that we recorded a killer demo, we have Terrorizer to thank for the fact that we were noticed by Dan Tobin from Wicked World. After reading the review, he contacted me, asking for a demo. He liked it and after hearing a rehearsal room tape with newer stuff, he offered us a deal.

If we ever meet Ian Glasper, the guy that wrote the review, we'll be sure to let him know how thankful we are!

Out of all the bands you've played with at shows, who is your favorite? The worst? Which shows have been real highlights for the band?

Marvin: One of my favourite bands we've played with recently must be Reborn. They're a good up and coming band and a bunch of great guys. But I guess the worst band we have played with must have been a local black metal duo called Duisternis. Oh man, they sucked big time! They were playing along with a tape which featured the drums, bass and keyboard, and tape was going one way, and they were going the other. We really had a laugh that night!

Hassan: The coolest shows we did must have been the Melkweg in Amsterdam, Walsrode in Germany and the Boerderij in Zoetermeer (Holland). The Melkweg was for the Metal Bash contest, organized by Dutch metal magazine Aardschok. We came in second that night.

Walsrode was our first gig outside of Holland and the Boerderij was our first gig with our new drummer. All of them went really good, many good responses.

Who came in first at Aardschok's Metal Bash or do you not remember?

Hassan: The band that won the Aardschok Metal Bash was a band called Form. I think they played at the Dynamo festival after they won. One of the prizes at the Bash was a shot at a deal with Road Runner Records, but RRR wasn't interested. They now got signed by a Dutch label, I believe.

[ blo-torch live ]

What do you hope to accomplish in 1999 (other than releasing a debut cd)? Are you going to tour Europe or America to support the new cd? Have you ever played in America? Describe a live Blo.torch show?

Marvin: First off, we hope that our album will be received more than positively throughout the world and that it will open new doors for us, so that in the future there might be possibilities for us to tour Europe and other continents. But of course it is a dream for us to one day tour the USA.

Hassan: A Blo-torch show is highly energetic, maximum ignition under high pressure! There must be no other way to describe it.

Before we end this, give me one really crazy band story...I know there has to be at least one.

Hassan: One time I got very irritated with our former vocalist, Jim. He was being a real pain in the ass with a super-soaker. I felt like kicking his ass, but instead I got a firehose out of the building, sneaked up behind him and gave him the full blast. Before he realized what was going on, he was soaked to the bone. Not too long after that, he quit the band--coincidence? Hahaha!

We don't have really crazy stories yet, just funny ones. I'm sure we'll have a lot of 'em once we start touring! Almost every time we're together, something amusing happens. Once, a gay barkeeper had a thing for our drummer and thought it was mutual. Or waking up in the studio after a long night on the town and the first thing you see is the TV and the others are already up watching 10 in the morning.

It's always fun and that's what keeps us going: the fun of it all.

On the web:

[ maximum ignition under high pressure ]

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