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Interview with Heavy Metal clothing Designer Fanny Janssen

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Heavy metal clothing Designer Fanny Janssen, owner and operator of Obscura Morgana based in the Netherlands.   I recently saw several of Fanny’s designs online and was really impressed with her work and style and asked her if she would be kind enough to answer some questions.  What follows is a very informative and candid interview that I think we both had fun with.

If you like your metal clothing with an attitude go over to Fanny’s Facebook page and check out her stuff here.  It’s very cool and very affordable…now for the interview!


Skullbanger: First off, I want to say thanks for taking the time to let me ask you some questions about your Heavy Metal clothing line.  I guess the first place to start is, can you tell us a little about yourself, where you are located in the world and the origins of Obscura Morgana?

Fanny: My pleasure! Thank you so much for your interest in what I do, it really gives my an energy boost to continue with this! I’m based in Sittard, a small village in the south of the Netherlands. I started Obscura Morgana only one year ago. I already had a webshop before this, but it didn’t contain any metal related items yet. I guess I was trying to find my own personal style and I actually sold anything handmade. I’ve always been busy with making things myself, simply because what I wanted wasn’t available in stores anywhere. And because the band merchandise you find in stores are mainly t-shirts, I started to sew clothing myself!

Skullbanger: I have to say am a big fan of the look of your clothing.  It seems to have a retro look but yet also a modern feel to them as well.  To me, they seem like clothing you would see in movies like Escape from New York, Mad Max or any dystopic future setting.  Did you draw from any certain influence for you designs or is it more of just a subconscious thing when you make your clothing?

Fanny: That’s a good question! I guess the biggest key to inspiration is keeping your eyes open for anything. For example, when I’m in the train on my way to college, I always pass a rusty tower of an industrial terrain, and it inspires my ultimately. So I came up with an idea of using rusty iron for a new jacket. This is just one of the like 100 examples I have. It’s the random things you see anywhere, that inspire me for items. Things other people pass by without even noticing it. Beside that, there are certain things that have always inspired me. The culture of the Indians, motorcycles, darkness, Finland, wolves, the Victorian Age, romance, folklore, occultism and clothing big rockstars like Steven Tyler wears. Now if you mix that with a little heavy metal.. you have Obscura Morgana.

Skullbanger: Obviously metal is the main subject of many of your designs, so I am assuming you are fan of course.  What are some of your favorite bands?  And what band would you like to have an opportunity to design a piece for?

Fanny: Yes certainly, I’m metal to the bone! Let’s start with Nightwish, my all time favourite. This is just pure magic. Then I’m also a big fan of Dimmu Borgir, Iced Earth, Rammstein, Ensiferum, Siebenburgen, Nightmare, Death, Accept and Manowar! These are highest on my list! Nightwish is a band I’d absolutely love to design something for. And as a matter of fact, I’m currently working on incredibly beautiful items with the Nightwish logo, and I was planning on approaching their record label when these are finished. I’m really hoping that the band gets to see my designs that way, and perhaps, very perhaps, I’m allowed to design for their official webshop or sell my items there. It’s kind of a big dream, but I believe anything is possible if you just go for it!

Skullbanger: This question kind of follows the previous question but when it comes to designing you clothing for specific bands is it difficult in obtaining the rights to do so?  And what has been the reaction from the bands towards your designs so far?

Fanny: It’s very difficult to obtain these rights. Very difficult. Expecially if you’re not a big company yet. So I’m trying almost anything possible to approach the bands, and sometimes it works! For example the official Ensiferum facebook page once gave a ‘like’ on my wristband, without me even approaching them. But if I haven’t managed to approach a band, I only sell one single item, or I wait until I’ve received their permission. Some bands don’t think it’s a big deal, since most items are unique and I only make one of them.

Skullbanger: I notice many of your designs are for females.  Do you plan for designing for men?  Would you ever design any metal clothing for metal kids out there?  Headbanger Babies?  Ha-ha.

Fanny: Hahaha, it’s funny you say that, because I actually have been thinking about metal clothing for babies. I’ve said to my boyfriend a couple times ”If we ever get a baby, it’s going to wear little Death shirts” So I have to say it’s a pretty cool idea! I bet many metal couples with a baby would love this! And when it comes to designing for men, I’ve already started that last week with an Amon Amarth vest! I got so many positive comment on this one from men, that I think it would sell pretty well!

Skullbanger: Aside from a dream band you would like to design for, do you have a dream project you would like to do involving your clothing?

Fanny: Any photosession I’d be asked for sounds like a dream project to me! I really go crazy about all small positive things that happen to me when it comes to Obscura Morgana. Like this interview! I’d love to be featured in metal magazines or websites. Now that would be really a dream project! But let’s not think about that right now, that’s more something for the future. First I’m going to spend some more months behind the sewing machine!

Skullbanger: Where do you hope to take Obscura Morgana in the near future?

Fanny: How I see myself after a couple years.. Then I’ll have my own shop based in my area or in Helsinki in Finland. A web shop that sells out very quickly. A big label every metalhead has at least heard of and I’ll be designing stage outfits for metal bands.

Skullbanger: Now, because I’m a little crazy, I’m going to list 3 things.  Say the first thing that comes to you mind.  1. Calvin Klein 2. Justin Bieber 3.Hot dogs

Fanny: Hahaha, absolutely love this question!

Calvin Klein: Ruud, the owner of the Babashop. It’s a big metalshop based in my area. A guy who has been living for metal his whole life and who stands on every big metalfestival in Europe with his stand. I really have a close connection to him, and I’ll never forget the way he talks about commercial brands. His opinion on those is really fucking hilarious. He absolutely hates it. ”THEY MIGHT EARN MORE MONEY THAN ME, BUT THEY ARE ALL GAY”

Justin Bieber: A game you can play online on a dutch website. His head appears on your screen and you can cut his fucking ugly haircut. That’s actually about it, haha.

Hot dogs: America! Now I see a hotdog stand in a crowded city in the middle of the summer in the US. And actually I see myself standing on the first row. Cause wherever there’s food, there’s me!

Skullbanger: Well that just about wraps it up and thanks again for taking the time to answer the questions.  Before we go, is there anything else you wish to add or say to people out there in internet land?

Fanny: I’d love to say thank you to everyone who has showed interest in what I do! I never expected to be where I am now in one single year. 2 interviews done already, items that sell out within one hour after posting them. It’s really amazing. Thank you very much for this interview!

Skullbanger: You’re Welcome and Thank you!


LORDI Talks New Album In Video Interview

Sonic Shocks recently conducted an interview with Finnish heavy metal monsters LORDI in London, England. You can now watch the chat below.

LORDI will release its new album, “To Beast Or Not To Beast”, on March 1 in Europe (excluding Finland) via AFM Records. The CD will be made available in North America on March 19 through The End Records. The album’s first single, “The Riff”, will be issued on February 9. You can see the official lyric video for the song below.

“To Beast Or Not To Beast” was recorded last fall at WireWorld Studio in Nashville, Tennessee with renowned producer Michael Wagener (METALLICA, OZZY OSBOURNE, SKID ROW, DOKKEN, RAVEN, MEGADETH). The CD marks the recording debut of LORDI‘s new members, keyboardist Hella (replacing Awa) and drummer Mana (replacing Otus).

“The road to this album has truly been paved by hardships,” LORDI leader Mr. Lordi says. “However, the new lineup of the band has given us new and fresh touch and an energetic edge to the recording process, and to the album itself.”

He added: “The album cover painting is actually a part of a larger picture. The original artwork had this vintage-styled lady holding a horned skull, which, however, was not the main point of the art piece. There was something not quite right with the setting, so I made experiments with various versions and framings. Album title was ‘Upgradead’ at that point in time, and the painting was done with that title in mind. But now, with a changed concept of the artwork, the title did not seem to fit anymore. We did not consider it an A-class name either. Our guitarist Amen came up with the final title, which we felt suitable and perfect both for the cover artwork and the album.”

“To Beast Or Not To Beast” track listing:

01. We’re Not Bad For The Kids (We’re Worse)
02. I Luv Ugly
03. The Riff
04. Something Wicked This Way Comes
05. I’m The Best
06. Horrifiction
07. Happy New Fear
08. Schizo Doll
09. Candy For The Cannibal
10. Sincerely With Love
11. SCG6: Otus’ Butcher Clinic

LORDI previously worked with Wagener on 2010’s “Babez For Breakfast”, which sold around 1,000 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 43 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.


CANNIBAL CORPSE Frontman Interviewed In Helsinki (Video)

Marine Crepiat of Stalker magazine conducted an interview with vocalist George “Corpsegrinder” Fisher of Florida-based death metal veterans CANNIBAL CORPSE when the band played at Nosturi in Helsinki, Finland on February 11. You can now watch the chat in two parts below.

CANNIBAL CORPSE will release a box set to commemorate their 25th anniversary: “Dead Human Collection: 25 Years Of Death Metal”. The box contains: all 12 full-length studio albums in a 12-CD foldout case with new artwork, “Torturing And Eviscerating Live” on CD and LP picture disc recorded in Tampa, Florida in 2010 and Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2012, plus new exclusive images by Vince Locke, 12″ x 12″ graphic prints of all 13 original album covers, and a 2013 CANNIBAL CORPSE calendar. The box will be in stores on March 16 and will be available for pre-order soon, along with the previously announced series of CANNIBAL CORPSE picture discs, at metalblade.com/cannibalcorpse.

After a bloody successful maiden voyage in 2012, Decibel magazine is doubling down on veteran star power for their second annual national tour. This spring, the plague spreads as Decibel brings you three living legends of death metal and grindcore: the preeminent gore institution CANNIBAL CORPSE; rabble-rousing U.K. grind icons NAPALM DEATH, and NYDM stalwarts IMMOLATION.

While occultism permeated last spring’s inaugural Decibel tour — featuring exclusively European headliners in BEHEMOTH, WATAIN, THE DEVIL’S BLOOD and IN SOLITUDE — they looked (mostly) to North America for this year’s unholy assemblage. Three of Decibel‘s favorite underground powerhouses will take on this year’s rotating opening slot: demented Bay Area death-grinders CRETIN, Canadian tech-prog upstarts BEYOND CREATION and Beltway grind/powerviolence crushers MAGRUDERGRIND. And the time is ripe to see the new bleed into the old: three of the six artists performing are expected to have new records detonating during the tour.

Kicking off in May, this year’s Decibel Magazine Tour gauntlet will last a full week longer than its 2012 counterpart, spanning over 30 North American dates. Presented by Metal Blade, IndiemerchStore.com, Nuclear Blast, Lace Pickups, Century Media and Season Of Mist, the 2013 Decibel Magazine Tour will bring together the kind of globally-renowned, boundary-pushing innovators that have made it possible for the magazine to continue thriving for over 100 issues. Coming off a tour noted for BEHEMOTH frontman Nergal‘s triumphant return to the States following his battle with leukemia — which culiminated in an explosive sold-out closing gig in New York City — Decibel had no choice but to go bigger and even more badass.

Part 1:

Part 2:

DORO PESCH In New York City: Video Interview, Performance Footage

Phil Fiumano of New York Rocks conducted an interview with German metal queen Doro Pesch when she played at B.B King Blues Club & Grill in New York City on February 4. You can now watch the chat below. Also available is footage of the New York City performance.

Doro was forced to cancel tonight’s (Tuesday, February 12) concert at The Token Lounge in Westland, Michigan due to illness. As per doctor’s orders, Doro is required to rest her voice after suffering from a sinus and throat infection for the last few days.

Doro‘s latest album, “Raise Your Fist”, sold 585 copies in the United States in its first week of release. The CD landed at position No. 65 on the Top New Artist Albums (Heatseekers) chart, which lists the best-selling albums by new and developing artists, defined as those who have never appeared in the Top 100 of The Billboard 200.

In a recent interview with Lords Of Metal, Doro stated about her expectations for “Raise Your Fist”, Doro said, “I will be very happy when the fans say they love the record; that’s the most important for me. I really don’t keep up with numbers, which are, in my opinion, great to talk about afterwards. It’s nice if we will be able to make the charts again, but to me, those kind of things don’t really matter. Much more important is that the fans dig the songs in a live situation and, since we already played ‘Raise Your Fist’ several times live, the first signs are very positive.”

Lars Ulrich of Metallica Being a bitch as usual…

The Navy SEAL who killed Osama bin Laden told his story to Esquire magazine — speaking not just about the raid and the three shots that changed history, but about the personal aftermath for himself and his family. In the article, the unidentified man spoke of one raid, where he and his team, accompanied by two dogs, wiped out “an entire spiderweb network.”

It was important to him to stress that no women or children were killed in that raid. He also insisted that when it came to interrogation, repetitive questioning and leveraging fear was as aggressive as he’d go. “When we first started the war in Iraq, we were using METALLICA music to soften people up before we interrogated them,” the Navy SEAL said. “METALLICA got wind of this and they said, ‘Hey, please don’t use our music because we don’t want to promote violence.’ I thought, Dude, you have an album called ‘Kill ‘Em All’.

“But we stopped using their music, and then a band called DEMON HUNTER got in touch and said, ‘We’re all about promoting what you do.’ They sent us CDs and patches. I wore my DEMON HUNTER patch on every mission. I wore it when I blasted bin Laden.”

METALLICA drummer Lars Ulrich appeared as a guest on MSNBC‘s “The Rachel Maddow Show” in April 2009, where the liberal news commentator and the Danish drummer discussed living in San Francisco, Guitar Hero: Metallica, and politics (see video below). With the debate over the military and CIA‘s use of torture front and center in the news lately, Maddow also asked Ulrich how he felt about METALLICA‘s music being used to psychologically torture prisoners of war. “There is a lot of METALLICA music that’s helping a lot of scared 18-, 19- and 20-year-old kids out there who are out on the front lines and who are doing a hell of a job on behalf of you and me and the rest of us,” he said. “But obviously when you hear stories like the one you’re telling, it all seems so bizarre and so strange that METALLICA‘s music, which generally sort of facilitates bringing people together, is used in these bizarre circumstances. It’s certainly not something that we in any way advocate or condone.”

Ulrich also told Maddow that if someone really wanted to use music to torture others, there are groups out there that are way more extreme than METALLICA. “If there are people that are dumb enough to use METALLICA to interrogate prisoners, you’re forgetting about all the music that’s to the left of us,” he said. “I can name, you know, 30 Norwegian death metal bands that would make METALLICA sound like SIMON AND GARFUNKEL.”

The German-language television network 3SAT spoke to METALLICA guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield in 2008 about the use of METALLICA‘s music to torture Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prisoners. “Part of me is proud is because they chose METALLICA,” Hetfield said about the reports that the band’s song “Enter Sandman” was used during the interrogation of Mohammed al-Qahtani — known as the 20th hijacker on Sept. 11 — and that listening to the track brought al-Qahtani to tears “because he thought he was hearing the sound of Satan.” James added, “It’s strong; it’s music that’s powerful. It represents something that they don’t like — maybe freedom, aggression… I don’t know… freedom of speech. And then part of me is kind of bummed about it that people worry about us being attached to some political statement because of that. We’ve got nothing to do with this and we’re trying to be as apolitical as possible, ’cause I think politics and music, at least for us, don’t mix. It separates people, [and] we wanna bring people together. So, so be it. I can’t say ‘Stop.’ I can’t say ‘Do it.’ It is just a thing — it’s not good or bad.”


Hetfield talking to 3SAT about use of METALLICA‘s music to torture Guantanamo Bay, Cuba prisoners (go to four-minute, 45-second mark):