METAL PULP AND PAPER: Hello Ian. So glad to be catching up with you. Thank you for taking the time to speak with us here at Metal Pulp And Paper. We appreciate it. 

IAN CHRISTE: Sure, happy to be here.  
MPAP: Most people will know you from a weekly radio show you host called Bloody Roots on the Liquid Metal station that’s broadcasted on Sirius XM Radio. The show focuses on specific eras or styles and genres of metal music, with you discussing about them in-depth which you have been doing this since 2004. You are also the author of the heavy metal history book called Sound of the Beast: The Complete Headbanging History of Heavy Metal? It’s about the definitive history of the first 30 years of heavy metal. What else would you like to tell the readers about you? 

IAN: For almost ten years I’ve been a book publisher, releasing dozens of dream projects on Bazillion Points. Before that I played marginal but really satisfying music for about 15 years.  
MPAP: You were a radio host at WEOS in Geneva, New York, at age 14. Again, I will say, age 14! How did you land that gig?  

IAN: Actually, I had to wait to turn 14 before they allowed me on the air. I was already trained and approved at 13, then I had to wait a few weeks to actually begin. WEOS is the college radio station at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, so basically, I just had to volunteer, but the range actually reached Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca, which were metal hotbeds at the time. My mom drove me to the station every week, and I hauled my records over and did my thing. I did that weekly for about a year and a half.  
MPAP: Did you feel on top of the world being a radio host at such a very early age? 

IAN: It was always about the records, I was just committed to this fast-evolving metal world. Savatage came into the station. Manowar. I played Voivod and Slayer the week their first records came out. It was fantastic. I also became familiar with at least the names of bands like Hüsker Dü, Bad Religion, and the Smiths, who were small indie bands at the time, and I raided the record library to check out bands like Black Flag, G.B.H., and Diamond Head.  
MPAP: You also became a freelance writer for various magazines over the years?  

IAN: I started a fanzine in 1986 and that ran six good-sized issues, interviewing bands like Excel, the Accused, Necrophagia, M.O.D., Testament, Prong, Overkill, Dream Death, Wehrmacht, and a lot of others. Then around 1988 Creem Thrash Metal had a reader record review contest. My entry was accepted, and the mag paid me fifty bucks and started giving me assignments. But it soon went under. About twenty years I was working on the Mean Deviation progressive metal history book, and the author Jeff Wagner told me he had also won the same competition. So, the two of us share that one very precise early boost, which is kind of mind-boggling.  
MPAP: Some of your articles have appeared in such magazines as Popular Mechanics, Spin, AP, Wired, Revolver, Blender, and Guitar World? What did you write about that appeared in Popular Mechanics

IAN: I wrote about the quest to produce simulated moon dust. NASA has a mandate to explore the Moon and Mars, but they need to be able to recreate those conditions on Earth. They’re running low on supplies of moon rocks, so they need to create a formula that will act like the dirt in space, basically. They found a volcano in Hawaii with close properties, but it turned out to be a sacred religious site and indigenous people ran NASA off the land. But my favorite story was about laboratory-grown meat. Dutch researchers are growing flesh commercially on big flexible plastic sheets. They can’t figure out how to make it less slimy, but apparently, it’s okay in sausage. And hey, it’s cruelty-free! Some real death metal stories, I think they’re still up on popularmechanics.com but after starting Bazillion Points I didn’t have time to freelance any longer.  
MPAP: How old were you when you began writing? 

IAN: I started a 4-page newsletter called the Pentagram in my high school when I was 15, and then I started my fanzine when I was 16. I didn’t consider it writing, really.  
MPAP: You have penned liner notes to releases by Megadeth, Death, Mantas, William Hooker, among others? Do you feel honored when you’re asked to do so?  

IAN: Yes, certainly, Mustaine said the Megadeth Warchest notes were the best thing ever written about the band. And it’s an honor to be part of the Death and Mantas reissues. Chuck Schuldiner’s bands were like classic rock to me.  
MPAP: If the opportunity ever arose, who would you like to pen a liner note for? 

IAN: I actually wrote some sticker blurbs for four Black Sabbath vinyl reissues, ha ha, a very small slice of Sabbath divinity. But Sabbath or Motörhead would be my first choices.  
MPAP: Let’s go back to parts of your childhood. You got into metal music at a very early age correct? How old were you?
IAN: Ten. AC/DC’s Back in Black compelled me to headbang, along with ten million other kids. From there I got into Judas Priest, Saxon, Scorpions, and Black Sabbath. It’s great to discover all those bands for the first time, and then go back and realize they each had eight to ten albums at the time.  
MPAP: You would end up saving your lunch money to buy Iron Maiden, Accept, Motörhead, Judas Priest, and Black Sabbath records? You must have never eaten lunch at school then?
IAN: Yeah, I skipped lunch whenever possible. I lived in Germany during junior high school, so there were all these juicy EPs floating around with non-LP tracks. Plus, all those ancient Scorpions albums with weird, lurid covers. How could hamburgers compete?  
MPAP: In 1986, you said you skipped school to go see Metallica opening for Ozzy Osbourne. You ended up spending the afternoon goofing around with Cliff, Kirk, and James from Metallica, and everybody in Samhain except Glenn Danzig. That’s something that just doesn’t happen every day? How did you manage to do this? Please tell us the story?  

IAN: The short version of the story, which is still plenty long, is that I was one of those first 30,000 headbangers to get into Kill 'Em All and begin evangelizing for the band when they were barely even one of the top ten bands on Megaforce Records. So for them to tour in arenas with Ozzy Osbourne was a huge deal. This was a vindication of substance and fire in metal over image and show business. I mean, even as a 16-year old I knew that. The day of the show, I skipped school for probably the only time in my life and went straight to the arena. After a couple hours, I saw their soundman, Big Mick strolling around. He had appeared in photos in Kerrang! a couple times, and was hard to miss. He was pretty amused to be noticed and hung around answering lots of questions for a while. Sometime later, Eerie, London, and Damian from Samhain appeared on the sidewalk, looking completely out of place in this big rock setting. I told Big Mick that Metallica would definitely want to know these guys were at the show. A little while later, James, Kirk, and Cliff came out and I found myself in the middle of a mutual appreciation session for most of the afternoon. They were my two favorite bands as a kid, and I couldn't have been happier. I went home and started my fanzine the next day, which was the start of publishing anything all about music. Thirty years later, Bazillion Points has worked with Metallica on the Murder in the Front Row book and the forthcoming movie, and we've published Eerie Von's book of exceptional Misfits, Samhain, and Danzig photos. Personally, that was just a huge day for me, I guess.  
MPAP: Now fast forward to 2004, the year your Bloody Roots radio show was launched on Sirius XM Radio. How did this all come about to happen? 

IAN: I was a guest on Don Kaye’s show in 2003, when Sound of the Beast came out in hardcover. I met Jose Mangin then. When Sound of the Beast came out in softcover the next year, I went back to Sirius. Don had left, Jose was freshly in charge of the channel and looking to create special shows, and he proposed what became Roots. That was exceptionally cool. I had spent four years working on Sound of the Beast. By getting into radio, I had a weekly cycle that that gives me instant feedback and satisfaction. So, it's extremely healthy for a writer, probably like sprints for a long-distance runner. Plus, it's disposable, whatever I say runs quickly through the airwaves and is gone, unlike books where I work knowing the results last forever.  
MPAP: Does it feel like you’ve been doing it for 13 years now? How much longer do you plan on doing it? 

IAN: Staring the 14th year now, I’ve done about 700 shows, and played between 5,000 and 10,000 bands. If new bands stopped forming, I could probably catch up and play every band ever. Then my work would be done, at last!  
MPAP: Would you say you’re the encyclopedia or even the Wikipedia of metal music knowledge?
IAN: No, never. There’s just too much lore out there, too many countries, too many years. I can hold my own for sure, but every country or even every band has its own horde of obsessed collectors. Fortunately, I’m friends with a lot of maniacs who can fill me in on what I need to know.  
MPAP: Are you constantly reading about music and the history of it and about it?  

IAN: Yes. I’m editing a book right now about the life of Link Wray, a Native American guitarist with one lung who basically invented distortion and power chords. He dressed in black leather and carried a switchblade from the 1950s until the day he died. So that’s all the way back to the roots of punk and metal.  
MPAP: What else do you like to do when you’re not growling the words, “You’re listening to Bloody Roots on Liquid Metal!” into the microphone? 

IAN: I survive. I go crazy producing books. I have two small kids, so I enjoy not sleeping, getting kicked in the ribs, and walking around looking for trash cans to stash dirty diapers. I’m also a hiking metal punk, and I like riding my bike around exploring. I’m extremely DIY and end up spending a lot of time working on cars, bikes, computers, rusty machines, and broken toys, too. I’ve also been playing guitar a lot again lately. I want to play Necrophagist songs as well as those Indonesian girls on Youtube.  
MPAP: Would you be able to come up with the top 5 metal music moments in heavy metal history? What would they be?
IAN: Off the top of my head, I’d say the release of the first Sabbath album, the entire metal day of the US Festival ’83 weekend, any one of countless Metallica triumphs, Napalm Death live with Mick Harris, and Ronnie James Dio’s return to Black Sabbath in the 2000s at Radio City Music Hall, just to name a few.  
MPAP: Who do you think is the most underrated band and why? 

IAN: Hard question. Historically, I think people forget how huge Saxon were and how many massive anthems they wrote. More recently, Deceased’s records are way underrated—they’re just packed with classic molten metal spirit and melody. There are thousands of worthy bands that deserve more exposure, that’s pretty much the point of the Roots show and also the Bazillion Points blog.  
MPAP: This has angered a lot of people, Gene Simmons, from the band Kiss, said Rock music was dead back in 2014. Now, Peter Chris, who was also an original member of Kiss, is saying Rock ‘N Roll is over. Do you believe any of this at all?
IAN: No, that’s obvious nonsense.  
MPAP: If you had a chance to meet them both in person, what would you want to say to them? 

IAN: I’d say: Who are you kidding? Is rock music really dead to you? What paid for those tailored leather pants? And in Gene’s case you get back a beautiful 10-minute speech filled with analogies to sports cars and lovely women. He’s a hilarious guy, but I have to say his attempt to cash in on Ronnie James Dio’s devil horns hand signal is basically just graverobbing.  
MPAP: Do you believe that if Dimebag were still alive today, that friendships would have eventually been mended, especially between Phil Anselmo and Vinnie Paul, and Pantera would have gotten back together by now? 

IAN: Yes, certainly, but the horror of what happened to him totally changed the reality of what is possible.  
MPAP: It would end up being an amazing and huge reunion wouldn't you say? 

IAN: Pantera was always all about Dimebag. He was phenomenal. Seeing him in a live setting, large or small, was always amazing and huge.  
MPAP: Also, do you think that if Pantera didn’t go on hiatus back in 2001, which eventually led to the band breaking up in 2003, and Dimebag wasn’t murdered in 2004, that Pantera would have surpassed Metallica as being one of the greatest and largest bands in the world?
IAN: I guess not, since even in the 1990s Metallica was just ten times more popular than any other band, including Pantera. I’m glad Metallica decided to start playing metal again, by the way.  
MPAP: All good things must come to an end, but before we must bring this interview to a close, just a few more questions. 
You were a part of the book called, Marooned: The Next Generation of Desert Island Discs, by Phil Freeman, published in 2007. Now 10 years later, what if you were allowed to bring 5 more discs with you to the island. What would they be? 

IAN: I wrote a twisted piece about Iron Maiden’s Killers, I keep meaning to scan that chapter and post it on the Bazillion Points blog. I guess I’d need Entombed’s Left Hand Path, At the GatesSlaughter of the Soul, Slayer’s Reign in Blood, Celtic Frost’s To Mega Therion, and Motörhead’s On Parole.  
MPAP: What is on the Ian Christe’s bucket list?
IAN: I’d like to work on a book with Fast Eddie Clarke, and stand on the stage at Hellfest or Wacken. Is that too much to ask?  
MPAP: On behalf of myself and Metal Pulp And Paper, Ian, thank you for spending some time with us. It was great to get to know you a little bit better than before. 

IAN: Thank you! I’ll see you on the air, or maybe in in a bookstore or record store. Drop me a line any time at bazillionpoints.com