The Burning Blade

Fireaxe Newsletter - edition 3.6

September 30, 2000

"We'll sell your flesh by the pound you'll go.
A whore of wrath just like me.
We'll sell ya wholesale, we'll sell your soul.
Strap on your six string and feed our machine."
- W.A.S.P. "Chainsaw Charlie (Murders in the New Morgue)"

The draconian judgments flow and the feeding frenzy continues. Is music still composed or is it merely manufactured? But one thing is for sure, the musicians themselves have become a commodity and Napster,, and the RIAA are battling over the raping rights. It's frightening to think that this is slowly happening to all of us who must work for a living, but then few of us even realize that it is.

Fireaxe continues to grow on the internet and in printed magazines on the strength of the commitment of editors, web site owners, and interested listeners. To you I owe a loud thanks. It's nice to see others putting things of value (yes, that includes people) ahead of money.

A big 'Hello' to anyone receiving the Burning Blade for the first time. This is the Fireaxe newsletter. extorted, Napster destroyed, The Offspring stand down

Sometimes my pessimistic predictions fall short of the horrors of reality. Could Lovecraft have penned a more terrifying tale? In case you haven't heard, lost it's court case against the RIAA and now must pay them at least $118 million dollars. This is an absurd amount considering that there is no proof of actual damages. Napster is being forced to re-tool their software so that it cannot be used on copyrighted material or be permanently shut down. This is essentially a death sentence considering that very soon the major labels will unleash their own tools and sites for pay-per-play music. Also, in what appears to be the recording industry's pathological fear of the concept of "free music", the band "The Offspring" was forced to retract an earlier announcement that their new CD was going to be made free for downloading on the internet a month before it was to be available in stores. The RIAA is going for a strangle hold on the net and there appears to be no resistance left.

The average consumer is fine with this arrangement. As long as they get their music, nothing else seems to matter. Often the rationalization for supporting the court rulings is that artists should get paid for their work, but the truth is that many of them don't. The recording industry is enjoying a very profitable and exploitative position not unlike those of the industrialists of the turn of the last century. With thousands of bands willing to do anything to get signed and millions of fans willing to pay through the nose to get their music fix, all the industry has to do to rake in the profits is control or shut down all the connections between musicians and fans. Once that is accomplished, they can pay the artists nothing (or even take from them) and charge the fans as much as the market will bear. This is capitalism at its finest, profit at all costs.

How does a signed artist lose money? Here is another article that describes how a good sounding contract can turn into a raw deal. I urge anyone who is interested in getting signed to read it.

It's becoming clear that being a label signed musician is an ill advised goal. I've never pursued it and I urge others to refrain as well.

How to order "Lovecraftian Nightmares"

Order your copy of the second Fireaxe CD "Lovecraftian Nightmares" by doing the following:

  • 1. Send me e-mail requesting the new CD and giving your address (if you prefer, you can send your address via snail mail)
  • 2. Mail $5 ($7 if overseas) and a note requesting the Fireaxe CD "Lovecraftian Nightmares" to the following address. Make sure to include your return address.

Brian Voth
21426 Lake Forest Dr. Apt H
Lake Forest, CA, 92630 USA

If you review CDs on a website or in a magazine, the CD is free of charge in exchange for the review. In this case all I need is the e-mail request. Please send me the URL of your review site or copy of your magazine with the review in it when it is ready. If you want to exchange CDs, tapes, or stuff of equivalent value, make these requests via e-mail and we'll arrange a trade.

The CD comes with a booklet filled with awesome art, a picture of yours truly in his studio, and some information about the CD which can also be found on this website.

Transcending the Mundane

Editor Brett, who's last name is a mystery, has put together a magazine that lives up to it's title "Transcending the Mundane". After a short e-mail exchange Brett was ready to send me a complimentary copy of a magazine that he and others have obviously worked very hard to produce. "Transcending the Mundane" is over 90 pages of reviews, interviews, pictures and ads covering a remarkably eclectic mix of metal. Also included is an audio CD with tracks by many of the bands in the magazine (16 tracks for issue #10). This I find truly outstanding. Reading about a band pales in comparison to actually hearing the band for figuring out who you like. After that you can read all about the bands that caught your ear. Simply put it's a great magazine that caters to the unsigned metal bands as well as the signed ones.

Fireaxe will be appearing soon in one of the next issues of the magazine and possibly have a cut on the sample CD. This will be very cool.

Brett sells the magazine for a mere $3 an issue. Contact him if you are interested in subscribing.

Transcending the Mundane
5 Hudson Avenue
Bohemia, NY 11716

Lovecraftian writing contest from Imelod

Here I'll let Todd Fischer speak for himself.

"We at Imelod are pleased to announce that we will be having our first ever writing contest. In November, the call for submissions will be sent out for an as yet untitled Canadian Mythos anthology. (The contest is open to everyone, but the action must take place in Canada.) All eight finalists will be included in the anthology and get a contributor's copy. The best of the bunch will also receive a prize package."

"We're writing to you in the hopes that you will feel inclined to contribute to the prize in some way. All those who do will be named in our upcoming issue of Imelod (coming out in October), in the call for submissions and on our web page (once it has been re-designed)."

"Imelod is now a fairly well known staple in the Lovecraft community, and word of any donations will travel fast. You can be sure that Ricardo Madeira will mention it in the Cthulhu Web Ring newsletter (which reaches hundreds of readers). Our contacts at various magazines (such as Scavenger's Newsletter) will also run the call."

"Whether you wish to contribute or not, we thank you for your time, and for being the Lovecraftians that you are."

Todd Fischer, editor
imelod, the litzine of horror and the bizarre
Now dedicated to H.P. Lovecraft and his Mythos!
406-1540 Victoria Park Avenue
Scarborough, Ontario
M1L 4S1 Canada
(416) 701-0799

The Future

Over the years, I've been thinking of some new song ideas revolving around a theme of religious warfare, fundamentalism, and ideological conflict. Although we feel safe in our modern world that open warfare and chaos cannot happen in our "sane" and "stable" society, nothing could be further from the truth. Volatility seems to be at an all time high for the latter half of this century. Throughout the world people are embracing extremism in greater and greater numbers. These people's beliefs are far outside the mainstream and they are willing to commit all manner of atrocity to support those beliefs. It appears that this situation will only escalate. The next Fireaxe CD will explore this theme. It will examine why people embrace radical ideologies, explore the emotions which typify extremism, and study the seeds of violence which are prevalent in our society. The CD will be titled "Food for the Gods" meaning that WE are the food for the gods. Any extremist ideology is effectively "God" and people are slaughtered or enslaved in that God's name (i.e. the ideology feeds on the bodies of the slain and beaten down). The CD will fit loosely around the themes in "A Dream of Death" but will explore the more violent aspects of belief in depth. If you ever wondered what drives a person to kill and commit horrible acts, "Food for the Gods" will try to answer that question. It will be an extremely intense CD.

My goal is to deliver music to whoever wants to hear it in whatever way is necessary. Whatever the market demands, I will supply, but I do want to avoid the mass marketing channel. Exposure is fine, but in the modern business, the substance of the music must be altered to match the demands of the marketplace. This would totally defeat the purpose of why I write music in the first place. I write music because it is a way to express my emotions. What I both think and feel goes into the songs. That is the power, Fireaxe is the channel, and any diversion diminishes the emotive effect. Thus I try to avoid such diversions. That is how art should be.

Rights to duplicate Fireaxe materials

Currently Fireaxe is not for profit. I sell the CDs for $5 each which covers the production and mailing costs. For CDs sent out of the country, I'll have to charge $7 per disk to cover the additional mailing cost. If you write reviews or put samples on your website I'll give you a CD for free. Since I am not making any money with the current recordings, you are free to make duplicates of them to distribute as long as you obey the following guidelines:

  • 1. You can only sell the duplications for the price of the medium or less, plus any delivery cost. You are not allowed to make any profit with the music.
  • 2. You should tell me how many copies you gave out and who got them so I can keep track. Also, if they have an e-mail address I'd like that as well so I can add them to the mailing list.
  • 3. You are likewise free to adorn any webpages or duplications with the gifs and jpgs on my website as long as you include an obvious link back to my website. This includes putting Fireaxe song samples on your site as well.
  • 4. You are free to play any Fireaxe songs (in unaltered form) provided you are an unsigned band without a marketting tie-in. You are not allowed to record those songs onto anything that you will sell.
  • 5. You are required to crank the song "Hounds of Tindalos" as loud as you can as often as you can. It's your only defense against THEM. Be warned, they come through angles. Note that the CD is round. Are your speaker cabinets square?
  • 6. Cthulhu, the Necronomicon, Hastur the Unspeakable, and all other mythos creatures are purely the inventions of Lovecraft and other fiction authors. None of it is real, at least that's what I'm going to say in court if you try to sue me for destruction of your property, house, city, or soul as a result of listening to the "Lovecraftian Nightmares" CD too much.
  • 7. Fireaxe will not be held responsible for the destruction of hopes and dreams that may come while listening to this CD. Also, any subsequent social revolution which follows from this CD is simply not my fault. It's all part of the big picture. Just listen to the disk and you'll understand what I mean.
  • 8. You are not free to commit suicide while listening to any Fireaxe song. I'm sorry, I'll have to prosecute. On a serious note, if you are thinking about doing it, please e-mail or call me if you have no one else to talk to. When I was in my teens the album "The Wall" by Pink Floyd used to really get to me. Just hearing songs like "Comfortably Numb", and "Hey You" would get me pretty depressed and mildly suicidal. I'm just trying to say that I've been there. If my music is having that effect on you, please get in touch. You aren't alone.

The gist of it is that you can do just about anything with the music as long as you don't profit from it and that I get some sort of credit for having written it. I'm open to any methods of distributing my music, such as compilation tapes or CDs, radio play, or recording label distribution. However, you will need my direct permission to do so or some kind of legal agreement.
Brian Voth - Creator of Fireaxe

Back to the Burning Blade Index