There are game changers and then there are game changers. I wouldn't say Hard 'N Heavy's Grindcore Special Issue was a game changer in the same way Entombed, Paradise Lost, Napalm Deafth (phonetic spelling, natch), Bolt Thrower, Tiamat, and many others were in the dimmest part of the early '90s, but it, unlike any Xeroxed 'zine, was the only way kids -- for sake of this article, those kids are Decibel illustrator Mark Rudolph, Decibel EIC Albert Mudrian, and myself -- to actually see and hear the bands they were balls-out nuts for. It's true. There was no way David Vincent would be on television, short of appearing for 3.6 seconds on Headbangers Ball, in 1991. And Godflesh, Carcass, Bolt Thrower, Paradise Lost, Napalm Deafth, or Nocturnus? Forget it. Death metal was an underground phenom to kids and a social and aesthetic pariah to everyone else. But that didn't stop the kids from viewing VHS copies of Hard 'N Heavy's Grindcore Special Issue like it was the last drop of water on Earth.
To commemorate, 1991's Hard 'N Heavy's Grindcore Special Issue, Rudolph and fellow podcaster Jason Hundey assembled four of the original interviewees from the infamous "special" to reflect, discuss, and wonder why. That's right, David Vincent, Barney Greenway, Shane Embury, and Nick Holmes take part, while Rudolph and Hundey nab Mudrian -- perhaps the most dedicated Hard 'N Heavy's Grindcore Special Issue fan out there -- to weigh in on the "special's", uh, impact.
Full disclosure: I'm discussed in this podcast. See, me and Rudolph got bored in high school and based off our love of things extremely extreme, we crafted our own 'zine, called Requiem. So, really, Hard 'N Heavy's Grindcore Special Issue is just one of many sparks that have posited myself and Rudolph where we are today. Which, is to say, the same place we were in 1991, only we're older, fatter, and our record/CD collections are much, much larger. Ah, success!
Fuller disclosure: Decibel Magazine is the executive producer of Requiem Metal podcast 150.
To listen to Requiem Metal podcast 150, or officially titled Hard 'N Heavy's Grindcore Special Issue, click HERE. Prepared to be 'pinged!' I think I got that right... Barney? Mick?
End thought: If Albert had the money, he'd A) buy the full rights to Hard 'N Heavy's Grindcore Special Issue so he could broadcast it to the universe without legal ramifications and B) probably make a live action film, where he plays Barney Greenway, Managing Editor Andrew Bonazelli is Mick Harris, Season of Mist USA labelhead Gordon Conrad is Earache boss Digby Pearson, and Decibel writer/doom angel Scott Koerber plays Nick Holmes. Of course, Louis Panzer is acted by Louis Panzer.