Metalized is Scandinavia's oldest and heaviest metal magazine that has been running since 1987 up to this day. Please read on the second part of our interview with Mika Botfeldt, who is one of the magazine's founders.
Do you listen to a lot of music these days?
Me personally, I'm mostly into old school heavy metal that I grew up with. Like Kiss, Priest, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, and so on. Yes, I listen to music every fucking day, from everything, black metal [to] hard rock, … And, I am not lying, I listen to maybe 30 or 40 bands every single day. Not around Christmas, it’s only ten. [Laughs] But it’s a shit load. Try to figure that out over a year. We are talking thousands of bands. It's crazy. I listen to a lot of music every day. In night time, I just want to relax if I can, just watch a movie.
I have about 5,000 CDs in my collection, so half of my apartment is packed with CDs and I love that. I'm still into CDs, you know, old school stuff. I hate download, by the way. It’s horrible, fucking downloads, fuck that.
What about streaming like Spotify? Or YouTube?
I hate it. Hate it. I fucking hate it like shit. But hey, YouTube is good, because that's visual. Other stuff is not good, it's horrible. I have always hated it. Buy the real stuff. Buy a vinyl. Buy a CD. That's the way it goes. People nowadays don't believe in that. But I do, old school stuff, that's for me. I don't want to listen to an album on my computer. I want to take it out of my shelf and my big collection and put it in my CD player and listen to it. I want to look at the picture, have something in my hands that I can touch and feel, you know, like a magazine actually.
That is also coming back, magazines, like I said. You know, people are “Hey, that's cool. What is that? Oh, it's a real magazine?” A lot of young people don't know what it is. You have to explain it.
Vinyl is coming back. When I started the Metalized shop in the early 90s, I sold my whole collection of vinyl, rare, rare stuff. I had the biggest collection of Mercyful Fate. I had maybe half a meter back then of Mercyful Fate stuff. Some of the bootlegs were in different color, one red, one blue, one green, and so on. I had every thing possible. I sold it all, started a shop, I bought CDs and that is how it went.
I hate download, there is no use for it. Well, it's pretty practical when you sit at the computer, of course. Back then a band would have to send you a physical CD and that was beautiful. Now it's easier, of course. But for me personally, everything has to be a CD. Vinyl is also good. My son is actually into metal as well. He grew up with that. And he's still there, he's still long haired and rock n’roll. And he's buying vinyl. Vinyl's coming back. Like magazines are also coming back. Not like back then, of course, but it is getting underground popular again. Vinyl back then, no, you could not sell it. I had a shop. Everything changed from vinyl to CD one of a sudden. It took a few years. I went to New York a couple of times [back then]. I could just see everything was changing. There were only CDs. What the fuck? And then a few years later, they [CDs] all came to Denmark as well. No one could sell a vinyl. Old classics, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, you name it. You could not sell it. You had to sell everything for nothing. But now it’s back again and it's expensive as hell.
It's interesting that your son listens to metal as well. Does he like the same bands like you?
Of course, it's the same bands [laughs] No, he's got his own taste. Well, actually for me, the whole thing started when I was maybe eight years old. That's many years ago. My dad brought me a cassette tape from a gas station. It was Kiss “Alive”. I was like, this is crazy. I was sold. There the whole thing started. I was like fuck, look at those fucking cushy people, I wanna do that too [laughs]. That's how it started. Remember there was no online back then, all physical stuff.
A few years later he bought me Judas Priest “Screaming for Vengeance”. It was early eighties. And I was like, damn, look at those guys. All spikes and leather and that was beautiful and goddamn good music. Then I went with Manowar and so on. Kiss started the whole thing for me.
And then my son, he was born into it. I think his first show was the Priest show, he was five years old or something.
You mentioned you like old classic bands a lot. Can you name a few bands that you like a lot but that are not so well known?
Actually many, but I don't have my collection here, so I can't look. If you ask me again maybe in a month when I am back home, I will have a whole big fucking list for you. There were many many good bands. I signed up bands like The Last Things, Lord Bane, and so on. Actually, the first Psychotic Waltz, I sold that in my shop. Do you have the first one? ["A Social Grace"]
Yes. They are one of my favorites.
I took it in. I remember clearly that I bought 10 CDs of the first pressing from the band, and I thought it was so good and why can’t people listen to what I say. It took forever to sell those, but I convinced our customers in the store and our readers that it was something special and it suddenly took off. And then my good friend from Germany from Rising Sun label called and he was like, do you have contact with those guys? He then re-released it on CD and a picture vinyl, and it went from there. We sold 150+ just in the Metalized store. That was a completely unknown band. So yes, I love unknown bands. Lord Bane, absolutely, I brought them back to life. Now they disappeared. Let me give you some names once I am back home.
Thanks. I will return to you with this question later.
I have got a few more questions before closing up. There are many new bands in Denmark. Any names you would like to mention that are very good?
Well, I don’t know, I’m really not too much into those new bands. I have people doing that. They love all that new stuff. I'm more old school and for me Danish bands are Mercyful Fate King Diamond, Artillery, and there is a few more. But this whole new scene, well, I mean business wise I am into it, but I have people taking care of that. It’s difficult to explain, you know, I love my country and all that, and the bands and all that, but some of it I don’t understand. I'm lucky I have people who know what they're talking about and they love it. So good for me, they listen to it.
You have been with metal for many years. What do your friends and close family think about this interest of yours?
Well, they have to adapt. If not, they can fuck off. [laughs] It's just the way it is. It has always been in my blood. I'm born that way, like my son is born that way. My dad brought me this tape with Kiss and then Priest and so on, from birth I grew up with Jim Hendrix and stuff, so I grew up with that. I need to pass that on. My family is all good with that. They love it. Well, actually, I made a living out of it. You know what? When I did Metalized, I was just thinking when and if it could go on, if I could make a little bit of money, I would be all happy. That was my dream. Just to make a little bit of money and not to go on welfare and all that and have no money. That was 30 years ago. And now I'm here. So actually it's my dream, not a lot of money, but we are rocking and rolling, so it's all good.
They [friends and family] all love it, you know. Often they don't understand it, but it's a little bit a family thing. My mom, she was all good with this. My dad, he taught me that and I taught my son that. There are no problems with that at all.
It lives forever, I think. It's never going to disappear. It splits into different categories like it has done for the last twenty years. There are so many categories, it’s crazy. Now it’s like this and that, back then it was heavy metal, power metal, thrash metal, death metal, and that was it. Now it’s like crazy and I don’t know what it’s called anymore. Neither do you. [laughs]
Let's take our final question. You have been running Metalized for many years. Do you think the magazine can outlive its writers and you and it can be continued by other people?
I will die one day, sooner or later, but it’s gonna take a while. But yes, it can. It’s a good question, actually. It makes me think a little bit. Yes, it can. I think so, if you have the right people, yes. I am not here to do anything new, but if you have the foundation, yes. It can run forever and ever. It goes on. Absolutely. I'm the only one left from the start from 1987 when we started Metalized. People come, people go, yes. Can it continue without me? Yes, it can. Absolutely.
Can Kiss continue without Paul and Gene? Yes, it can. Absolutely. But you know what? I think the problem would be making a new album without Paul Stanley. And no, that's not gonna happen. But can they play live shows? Absolutely. And they will find people playing better than those old fuckers.
The same thing with the magazine. It can continue. As long as you have the right people, it can continue for ages. Now it's been almost 36 years. Can we do another 20 years with me? Yes. Can it continue after that? Maybe another 50 years. Yes, I think so.
Nice. It’s very strong that you have so many people contributing.
Absolutely. I'm really lucky with those people. Without those people there would be absolutely no Metalized at all. I'm just here, you know, the guy with all of those ideas and stuff, maybe too many ideas, but some of them are coming through. But you need people to do the hard work. You know how it is to do an interview. Like talking to me right now. Now you've been talking to me for one hour, and now you have to rewrite all that shit I am saying. That’s going to take you two maybe three hours.
Yes, I think so.
Yes. Good luck to you… [laughs] I'm not gonna do that shit. It takes forever, it's a lot of work. But, you know, some people are dedicated like you and me, and my people are dedicated. That's what the whole thing is all about. Dedication to the music. Love to the music.
Ok, man, it was good questions. Some of them made me think a little bit, thank you. Could we survive after I'm six feet under? That's a good question.
You have to do all the work now. Yes. Now you are stuck with all this shit. You have to translate that and put it down and put it in your fucking computer. [laughs]
Just I, you know, don’t have a deadline for a printed magazine.
Okay, then, then you're all good. [laughs] If you're missing something, just let me know. Keep in touch and thank you buddy!