Primary Sources Page


Dear Readers,

I just wanted to announce a new resource I’ve put together listing primary sources about metal music. It seems like every week there’s exciting documents, recordings, and information about the history of metal and rock music being made available for free online. You can read through the collection I’ve put together by clicking on this link, or by clicking on the new “Primary Sources” link on the navigation bar to your left.

I’ll try to add good resources as I come across them. Feel free to contact me if you know of a great site that could be valuable to others interested in studying heavy metal and hard rock and their more recent incarnations. For now, here are a couple of pieces that illustrate what kind of amazing resources are becoming available.

1. Aardschok No. 1

The Dutch metal magazine Aardschok is one of the earliest publications about metal that is still running today. While it’s now a glossy, full-color commercial magazine, their first issues from the early 80s look like they were put together with an electric typewriter, scissors and tape, and a black and white photocopy machine, like the fan-made zines from the rest of the 80s and 90s that connected the underground metal community before the internet era. Aardschok has recently made their first four issues available online. I’ve selected from their first issue this review of a 1980 concert by Girlschool, an excellent early New Wave of British Heavy Metal group that just happened to be all-female.

2. Euronymous of Mayhem talks about his domestic life

Death-metal-bassist-turned-author Jason Netherton is putting together a fantastic collection of early metal fanzines, many of which are scanned and available online at There’s literally dozens of different fan-made publications from countries all over the globe, featuring early interviews with too many bands for me to count. It’s absolutely fantastic what he’s drawn together. It was really hard to choose something to share here out of all of the incredible interviews and album reviews, but I decided on this decidedly mundane moment with the much-mythologized guitarist Euronymous from the pivotal Norwegian Black Metal band Mayhem. If you want to read the rest of the interview, which appeared in the Polish fanzine Holocaust in 1990, you can browse through that whole issue of the magazine here.

[Interviewer:] How’s life in Norway?
[Euronymous:] Norway is an OK place to live in, except for that everything costs a fortune here, and I wouldn’t mind getting rid of the winter. Here we pay $1 for a litre of milk, $1-2 for a bread and $4-8 for half a litre of beer. Yeah, it sucks. The apartment we were living in recently costs $1230 a month… If you aren’t rich, it’s not too easy to live here.

Euronymous and his bandmate Dead

We have to spend so much money on food, man… we can barely afford all these leather jackets and medieval weapons! It’s such a BUMMER! *sigh* [photo: wikipedia]