The Daily Music Break recently launched “Beyond YouTube: The Internet Music Mapping Project.” Going forward, we will talk to folks associated with interesting sites. First up is an email conversation with Valeria Campagnale, who runs the site Rockers and Other Animals and manages the heavy metal band Sacrilege.
Why is the band Sacrilege important?
Those who follow heavy metal music know that its origins can be attributed to two factors. The first is that this genre was born in England. The second is the period, the eighties. Well, it was at that time that the band Sacrilege was born in the UK.
I can say that it is one of the bands born in a period that has marked the history of music. So having been created in the fervent period of this genre, they’re part of the progenitors of this wave called New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWOBHM).
How did you come to be the band’s manager?
Ah, this is a very good story for me. Last year I got an email to my webzine Rockers And Other Animals [linking to] the promo of the album “The Court Of The Insane” from the record label asking me for a review and an interview.
I was really happy because I discovered this band with a song that at the time (1982), was just a demo. In those years all the news coming from England were goodies for the fans.
I followed Sacrilege as a fan, I always liked them. So, after the review, I sent the questions directly to Bill Beadle, singer, guitarist and composer of the songs as well as the founder of the band.
He kindly answered me immediately and for me it ended with the interview, except that after a few days Bill wrote me an email saying he was impressed with my questions, surprised that I knew that 1982 song “Ashes To Ashes,” because it was ‘just’ a demo. In the 80’s it wasn’t exactly easy to find material from England that wasn’t imported in specialized shops and fans shared music tapes. More in the record shops there were albums and singles that were ‘trendy’ to listen to, at that time heavy metal was followed but not so much in mass.
In that email he asked me if I wanted to be their manager, having seen that I had been in charge of an Italian band in the past. I think I read that email at least three times before I realised what he was asking me.
The funny thing is, I told myself I didn’t want to be anyone’s manager anymore, but I couldn’t say no to him. I’ve made a massive promotion and we’ve shot an oneiric [editor’s note: “relating to dreams or dreaming”] and epic video for the title track in a famous castle in Italy with the Italian writer and director Marco Paracchini.
There seems to be a huge number of sub-genres of heavy metal. Am I correct that there are more than in other genres? If so, why?
Yes, it’s true, there are so many sub-genres. Let’s say that the pure heavy metal, the classic one, is really the NWOBHM. We must take a step back and say that the metal was born from rock, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. It’s a genre that came from rock music and has always been in evolution. The different styles characterise the genre, such as the way of playing fast (speed metal) or for the issues dealt with as can be black metal.
It’s a very long speech that I summarize just to give an idea of what a musical world is like apart from what can be simply rock, which in turn has various ramifications, or more simply pop music.
What resonates with you about heavy metal?
What I love about heavy metal is its complexity of form. I grew up listening to everything, I was crazy about Duran Duran and Spandau Ballet, I didn’t miss one of their concerts when they played in Italy. I still like the English dark wave. I was lucky to grow up in a time when music was at its essence. Heavy metal musically has great value, there are lyrics as deep as the music itself. As I always say, music must give emotions and I think the heavy metal can give a lot.
Why did you create Rockers And Other Animals Magazine?
It was born when I was editor-in-chief of another webzine, Insane Voices Labyrinth, some things were holding me tight and I decided to have my own webzine, in English. It was a bit of a stale webzine, I like evolution and I like to experiment with different ideas to refresh things. Since last year, I became the owner of that one too. While Insane deals a lot with the underground, Rockers is more oriented towards more well-known bands. Rockers has evolved as a press office and at the end of the year it will also be a label, obviously of metal and hard rock music.
Is there a physical magazine or is it just online?
Just online. Purely for economic reasons.
What is the philosophy or guiding idea behind your site?
Rockers’ philosophy is to be like family, a place where bands always feel welcome, a bit like home. With some of them you succeed, with others there is not much dialogue unfortunately.
Below is Sacrilege’s Court of the Insane.