Those who cannot laugh, are dead inside.
The first time I remember being an idiot, was when I was at school. Everybody was crying and I couldn’t understand why. So I did stupid things to make everybody laugh. Like when I was eleven years old, I put fake blood all over my head and I ran out to the teachers and said “Someone is throwing rocks from the roof!” They didn’t think that was funny. The principle, she was pregnant and she fainted. They said “Don’t wash that from your head”. And they called my parents to say “Look, what your son is doing!” Later on the things that I was doing to be funny were not seemed by people as funny...
I had been on college radio stations, three of them, before I did the magazines. And I was thrown out all of them. The first radio station, I was no longer the student at that college, so I was pretending to be a student. They didn’t allow to the non-students to be part of that stuff. On top of that I was called the middle director, a special director who handled all the metal albums, who talked to the metal record labels. We did our shows every Saturday. They were playing stuff like METALLICA, and I thought it was not a good thing to do ‘cos you can hear METALLICA pretty much on the bigger radio stations. It just didn’t really represent metal the way I was taught to see it. Because when I was in a High School I was the listener of this particular radio station and that’s how I learned about all underground bands. And I wanted to keep radio shows underground. But the students, who kept coming in, they only knew the trendy bands, commercial bands. And they didn’t want to listen to me. So, I went to the record library and I took all the albums by METALLICA, DOKKEN and then I went to the parking lot and threw them in the air and watched them break on the ground. And on the radio show I asked the listeners “Please, come and help me break these albums!” It was the first time they threw me off. And it was the end of metal on this radio station.
Then I worked for the label called Metal Blade, New York. My job at the label was to talk to college radio stations. So, I sabotaged one of them. The benefit of being that crazy is that you know many crazy people, so I just told the two girlfriends from the station to go to their radio station and destroy everything. So, they destroyed everything, stole the CD players, record players, all the CDs. So, for two months they couldn’t broadcast. And then someone told the police about me. I didn’t know it was a crime to tell other people to commit a crime. So, the crime is called “conspiracy”. For about a year I was in court, they tried to put me away for... twelve years! They said “All right, if you plead guilty we will put you in jail for one year”. And I said “No, I don’t wanna be there for half a hour, haha!” So, in the radio was the beginning of my crazy behavior. At college I studied... would you like to guess? OK, I studied philosophy and psychology. And it got me nowhere in life, except may be jail. As a boy, I didn’t really hear any metal. But later, when I learned about the bands and did the radio show, I thought I found my home.
When I was thrown out of the radio stations I was sad. I though that part of my life was over, I could no longer be a power in metal. When I was on the air, I was a part of mafia. I still wanted to be a part of the metal scene as a controller. And I remember that I also worked for the Roadrunner. I worked with them and my deal was to talk to fanzines. So, I received them from all over the country and realized that it didn’t have to be a special quality, it just could be a photo copy piece of paper. And I knew I didn’t need to spend too much money. At that time I didn’t know anything about computers. There was a co-worker who had this program on his computer, it was called Microsoft Publisher. It was a very basic publishing program. And they already had a newsletter. And all I had to do, was replace the text of the computer newsletter with my own. So, the Microsoft Publisher newsletter was called “The Gazette” and I changed it to the “Grimoire”.
I didn’t know how to manipulate the layout, I didn’t know anything about adding pictures or changing the font of letters and style. So, the thing printed had the pictures of trees, fish... stupid things! I had a free access to the photo copy, so every evening I would photo copy my “Grimoire” and gave it free. So, that’s how I became popular.
I didn’t care about selling the fanzine. That was not the point to me. The people who started writing letters back to me to criticize me, some of them gave me complements. They said, that in most magazines there were pictures of bones, sculls and demons. And it was so refreshing to find a magazine with fish and trees, haha! I had to write back like “No, those was not my idea, I just can’t get rid off them! I don’t know how to change the pictures!” It was a stupid beginning...
So, the company I was working for, was my first experience in the business world. I never studied business, but because I was in that environment, I couldn’t stop the information that was available to me. Fanzine was a hobby for me, not a business. But I really liked the idea of saving money and doing things for free. So, I never charged for advertising as a fanzine. But one day I got trouble at work as they said “No more photo copying”. At that point I either had to become a professional newsprint or I could say “Good buy!” So, I thought there had to be a way to survive. And I used all the information I had learned. I had good relationship with a lot of record labels, I knew how hard working I was: almost every show in my area had “Grimoire’s”. So, it was not very difficult for me to get a financial support like advertising. It’s been like that ever since. I was getting more and more advertising. And I am proud that I didn’t do the things that all the magazines in America did: every magazine wants to get more money for advertising, and instead of covering just death metal they covered hard-core and punk as well. They tried to be music magazines of many styles. So many more labels could buy advertisement. But instead of doing that I became more close-minded. It’s so much fun to tell a major record label “Fuck off! I am a death metal magazine, how could you think I’d want to interview your stupid band?” There’s a label in Florida, Full Moon Productions. It specializes mostly in black metal. They didn’t understand the humour of “The Grimoire” at first. They even interpreted it as me going to war with them. So, we had a little bit of confrontation, and a little bit of a talk.. Well, now they advertise their products at my back page, which is the most expensive page in the magazine. And they were happy to report to me that they never had the success with advertising as they had with the “Grimoire”. I still make fun of their bands, but they know that in the insult of the “Grimoire” there’s no power to destroy anyone. It just makes me more popular. I even encourage people to complain about me! In the beginning, when I was printing only 15, 000 copies, it seemed that I was printing even more as everyone was complaining about me! It created a false demographics or a false feeling that the “Grimoire” was everywhere in America. Nowadays’ circulation of the magazine is 30,000.
At one time I used to think that the underground was a special group of people, and there was a special respect. Everyone was supposed to support the scene. And when people sent me demos, I didn’t really want to say anything too bad about them because I wanted to support the scene. But this one demo was just so bad, and I was sitting at my desk, and I was drinking beer. So, I was drunk and I wrote a review just to show to my friends to make them laugh. And I never meant to print it. But then I wrote a letter to the band and I showed them the review and I said, “Whatever you wanna say about me, I will print. I won’t change anything you say. And I won’t add editor’s comments”. So, they sent me a really nasty letter like “If you print that, I will sue you, I will take you to court, I will kill you!” And I printed this letter, haha!
Until that point I didn’t want to be a comedy fanzine. For the first issue I wanted to be in a medieval style. Not to use any twenty’s century slang. I wanted to use traditional language of the poets. And I still use some of the words. It’s surprising how many Americans do not know what “thou” and “thee”! America is a land of very stupid people! And from interviewing me you see how stupid I am! I just can’t complete my thought. Well, whatever made people mad, seemed successful to me. Some of the editors wrote me “You know, your joke magazine is not going to last”. But I have over lived them. They gave me the advise how to last but couldn’t survive themselves.
I used to play that game called “Dungeons and Dragons”. It’s a game of imagination, it’s not a board game like chess or checkers. This game is more for college students or people who like medieval fantasy. There was this magic item that was very rare. It was called “The Grimoire of Vile Deeds”. It was such a cool name! The “grimoire” is a sort of a book where the sorcerer writes his spells and knowledge. So, I thought “Why don’t I name the magazine the “Grimoire”?” I changed the word “vile” to “exalted” because... I only wanted to write about bands that were great, haha! Well, I didn’t have a fanzine yet, but I had a name. But when people asked me what so exalted I had to say, I answered that either a band was exalted or my way of torturing it was exalted. So, someone is always exalted in the “Grimoire”.
I published my first issue in 1993. But as a real magazine I have been in business for only three years. My anniversary is April’s Fools Day. I thought it was a very appropriate that a Fools Day is the day that I declared my magazine.
By the third issue I learned how to change the font of the letters (but there were still bananas instead of bands pictures). And my policy was that no interview was longer that one page. So it would start with big letters and get smaller and smaller. My friends said that it looked like it was made by a schizophrenic! By the forth issue everything looked almost normal, I learned how to change photos!
About half of the labels that cooperated with me, told me “Fuck off and die!” But I didn’t really care what they had to say. Actually, a good review in a magazine does not bring a good attention to a band. But a band, that is insulted brutally, its name becomes stuck in peoples heads. But sometimes, the music of the bands is so bad, that readers know that some of the reviews are 100 percent accurate.
The latest issues are more like metal Playboy. One day I told one of my friends to draw Mother of Jesus... in her underwear, haha!. And he did. But it didn’t look like Mary, it looked like some really sexy woman with a halo. In the past the pictures that he drew, you could understand, you didn’t have them to be explained to you. But the picture of Mary in her underwear didn’t mean anything to anyone. So, she became a “Grimoire” girl. And I started to receive mails from girls from all over the world. That just became as a joke.
I use satanic images in my magazine on purpose. The reason for that is: stupid people are a big problem. They like to complain, to complain to the police. Because of the strange humour of the magazine possibly a stupid person would try to get me in some sort of trouble. Stupid persons always inform other people about me. I know that stupid people are very afraid of Satan and his cult. Well, we have some of the most ridiculously stupid people as our population. Most of the population is below 100 IQ. The upside down cross that is on every page is sort of my entire vampire symbol. In legends vampires are afraid of crucifix. Stupid people are afraid of the upside down cross. That’s why I have that. But I personally not a Satanist. I am not a devil worshiper, but I really like the cult art, I like the images and... it’s entertainment. When you go to the movies and you see for example a “Dracula” movie, you don’t leave the theater believing that Dracula is your master. It’s entertainment, it’s not propaganda.
If there anything that could be said about me that’s positive, is that I blow away the mystic of bands and I show you that they are human.
Peter from VADER should be destroyed completely! Peter is a typical Polak. He made fun of the “Grimoire” but he was walking around with a T-shirt of that Polish general who betrayed Poland to Nazis. What kind of Polak would admire the person who betrayed his people? VADER also has a live album and Peter made mistakes when speaking between songs on this recording. The funny thing is, that before the interview with VADER in the “Grimoire” I allowed a Polish girl to interview him. Before that VADER was on tour with MORBID ANGEL and the tour manager of MORBID ANGEL really enjoyed the review of VADER. So, people were asking Peter about the “Grimoire” and he seemed to have very brave words because I was never there. But then the tour came to my area of the country. The band INCANTATION was also with them. And they were going up to Peter saying “He’s right there, why don’t you come up to him and talk to him?” And he said “Oh, I don’t have time for this!” Why don’t you have time? You don’t have to go, do anything! Just come up to me and say something. But he never did. I just stood one foot away from him and pretended not to recognize him. And I had my back to him. And he didn’t even make a sound. He was such a well-behaved man!
There’s a band called THE CROWN. They are a Metal Blade band, and they had albums under the name CROWN OF THORNS. I did the interview over the phone with the drummer. And the first three questions were may be normal but then I didn’t have anything to say to the band. So, I took my fortune telling cards and gave him a Taro Card reading. But I didn’t tell him what I was doing. So, in the middle of the interview he started laughing and he asked me,
“What happens when you interview a band from Norway that has no sense of humour?”
Any person with the intelligence or with the capacity to appreciate the humour, has no problem with me. But doing interviews is not that funny when someone becomes really mad. And most American bands are very mad!
Now it’s very fast to make an issue. It takes may be a week to actually put everything together. But the magazine cannot be done within a week, ‘cos I can’t interview everybody in that short amount of time. So, I need at least two months for all the current albums to be taken care of. Usually the record label wants you to interview a band because the band has a new album, ‘cos it’s sort of an extra advertisement for the album. That’s why I try never to talk about music! So, for instance the band THE CROWN, if I wanna interview them during a year, it would never be a phone interview, it would have to be through e-mail. I hate that. ‘Cos for my humour to work, it has to be in person. And also for me to make someone mad it has to be in person. That’s the reason why it doesn’t come up more often. Of course, with local bands or bands that I have the phone numbers of, that can happen any time. But who cares about them? No, just kidding! On top of that it takes time to distribute 30,000 copies. I would mail 1,000 to distributor but that doesn’t mean that in one day 1,000 magazines are in the public.
I do lose advertisers every issue but they come back two issues later. Actually, labels don’t do me a favor by sending me promos! May be if I were a teenager starting out a fanzine, may be that would be my motivation to have free CDs. But it doesn’t really cost that much money to buy a CD. Let’s see: the album review is the size of quarter page. For me it’s $150. So, when they give me an album, that’s like me giving them $150 when I print a review. And they don’t see that. But the promo only costs one dollar! So, labels try to give me a sort of guilt trip, as they say in America, but it’s not true. People should realize that I am not so stupid as I act in the magazine. I have friends who have labels, I know the business of a record label. They cannot try to manipulate me with their false information.
Zebub was a god and the Hebrews used this as a demon, Lord of lies. Ba’alzebeeb. My real name is not Bill. The reason I say my name is Bill is because when I was a child other children ridiculed me. ‘Cos the Americans don’t like anything different. My real name is Vladislav. I was born in Prague. And my father is Ukranian.. And my last name is Turijanchik. So, I picked the most American name I could think of, and that was Bill. The silly thing is that my social security card has the name Bill on it, and I think that when I’m an old man, when I get my pension, I will be a big problem as my name is not Bill! I think I will die before I have this problem.
I didn’t have any dreams of becoming a magazine. I just wanted to do it until I could find the way back to the radio. And the funny thing is, when I became a magazine, that helped me to be taken seriously enough to have a radio show again. All my mistakes are now in the past. I cannot make fun of anyone now, insult any nationality. I can’t say the word “gay”. I like this word because it makes people so mad! In the United States people are trying to be politically correct to show how mature they are. So, this time I am safe, I try not to make mistakes. I remember I was once beat up by eight or nine people! I interviewed a band on the radio station and the bass player brought his girlfriend with him. And I asked her to come back the next week and she read her boyfriend’s love letters on the radio. He didn’t think it was very funny! I was on the floor, people kicked me in the head... But nothing happened, I still have all my teeth, they didn’t break my nose. Nothing happened with the magazine yet. I find it surprising. I think I do the things that are worse than showing the world your love letters. May be one day I will print that boy love letters, haha! Have another beating. When I go to a show I must make sure nobody’s following me when I go the bathroom. I learned that I can never trust friends to interfere or help me in a fight. But I can trust people to call the police or ambulance. I would never think that anyone would ever join the battle when a band is exacting vengeance upon Bill Zebub, haha!