‘Louder Than Hell’ Authors Discuss Tackling Entire Metal Genre In One Book

Posted by on June 27, 2013

You’d mentioned that you cut out an entire chapter. Can you mention some of the other interesting things you had to leave on the cutting room floor?


Jon: A lot of the crossover chapter was chopped up because we decided that ultimately we should start with the significance of the bands that played hardcore/metal and focused less on, for instance, the whole history of Bad Brains and Minor Threat and Void and the D.C. bands who were very important but who were more clearly hardcore, so there’s less of that. I killed all the stuff on Swedish death metal very reluctantly, but it ultimately came down to how I felt that the death metal chapter was stronger if it focused on Florida death metal and the evolution of grindcore. Some people have said “you don’t really represent the Swedish metal scene”. But there’s a whole book about it. And then there are two huge sides of the Stockholm scene and the Gothenburg scene. I had a lot of interviews with all of these guys and it was just becoming unwieldy. Also, they tend to be more reserved than British or American musicians, so you get less interesting, less colorful, and less captivating stories and you get more run of the mill “we formed here, we played there, we made this album”, which doesn’t really forward the story of anything.


Katherine: When we cut the entire grunge chapter, we went through and took a few quotes out and managed to weave them in. We had Alice in Chains talking about Clash of the Titans. That ended up on the cutting room floor. We still took one or two quotes out and used them in the book, but the lions share was gone. I don’t think we left out anything that was really important or really amazing. It’s still heartbreaking, like a band that leaves songs off. You can’t pick your own favorite child. I think we got everything we really needed to in there.


Jon: It was New York hardcore stories that went on and on and were so outrageous about the gang violence and the stabbings and the beat-downs and I think there’s a healthy dose of that still in there, but man…we cut a lot of really crazy, wild, entertaining stories.


Katherine: You’ve seen one stabbing you’ve seen them all. Kidding of course.

Obviously this just came out, but do you think you are going to work together on anything else? I know it might be way to premature to ask now and might be the last thing you want to think about, but I thought I’d end by asking that.


Katherine: Well, Jon has something about to come out already and something in the works which he will tell you about in a moment. I would love to work with him again; however, I wouldn’t want to do anything this all-encompassing. It was too overwhelming. So yes, a smaller project, I’d love to work with him just because I think he and I both have a lot of perfectionism which is good and bad, but we’re not going to let anything half-assed out. We’re going to agonize over every word and every spelling. It’s nice to have someone who shares your work ethic.


Jon: As we sort of mentioned before, my full time gig is writing, and Katherine has a full time gig working as Alice Cooper’s radio producer. This book was done in between the cracks during a four year period, so we had to enlarge the cracks. I consider it a labor of love and hate. It was a lot of trauma – not between us, but between family members, this and that, not having time for people in your life…I’ve sort of moved on to the next step, and my second book is coming out in two months. It’s an authorized biography of Al Jourgensen from Ministry who I spent two weeks with, and heard all of his incredible roller coaster ride stories about everything before Ministry, during Ministry, during Revolting Cocks, about their Wax Trax! era, his whole life really. That was a fascinating project, but it’s not the kind of thing you collaborate with someone on. I think maybe I’m going to focus my efforts on authorized biographies if it works out that way. It’s too early to tell now, but the book comes out in August I think actually. It’s been strange, because this one took four years, and that one took less than a year, so they are dovetailing a little.


Katherine: I’m looking forward to less than a year of something…


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Categorised in: Interviews