Introduction for The Outcast - March, 26th 2004
Main Objective for this site: Talk metal (slipping in other genres from time to time), supporting metal, getting to know people, and having some fun!
Yes folks, The Outcast is back! Some of you might recall Lieff (the co-editor) taking over the magazine when I called it quits, and although Lieff and I talked about putting the 'zine online, it seemed we never had the time or money to look into it. After the release of three issues under Lieff's editing debut, he also decided to quit doing the printed format when he moved away for college. Time and money were factors once again, something I'm sure those of you who have done a 'zine can relate to, as well.
When I think back to when my life with metal all started, I never really expected to play in any bands (R.I.P. to all: Clay, Turn, Existence, Koz-E Kittens, El Pecado and SS Bounty Hunter), to publish any magazines, or to witness a Slayer performance while taking pictures, and while they performed the entire "Reign In Blood" album (best show ever!!). Many great memories, plenty of good trips (What's up Andrew!?), with many more yet to come. It began at the tender age of thirteen, and I'm still at it, seventeen years later. And my parents thought it was just a phase - sorry to disappoint!!
Although I quit doing the printed version of The Outcast back in 2001 for reasons that are explained in the introduction in issue #6, I never quit going to shows or taking pictures at the shows. With the driving force of a frantic fan wanting to capture some of his favorite bands' "metal-souls," I somehow usually always got a break. Let me jump back momentarily, if you will.
In the beginning, I would wait as my cousin (Gracias Antonio!) would go into the venue (Pop's, a 24-hour bar in Sauget, IL), then soon arrive at the outside, fenced off area to catch my camera as I quickly threw it over the fence (this isn't some little disposable camera either - it's a dandy!). Unfortunately, there were times when he would not attend some of the same shows and I would be left alone driving up to the show by myself. A second plan would have to be devised. My new plan was to arrive earlier than the normal fans, lock up my gear (not just my camera) in a small airport-type locker that was inside, then stroll the city of St. Louis - how I love this city! I'd go hang out at the strip for awhile, usually always having the same ol’ routine: go to Vintage Vinyl, buy a CD or two, get some grub, then hit up Starbucks for some caffeine. Four to five hours later, I'd head back to the venue and wait in line. Once inside, I would retrieve my gear and pray. The key (or so I thought, because I got away with it at times) was to - yes, you guessed it - act natural. Maybe the times I did get away with “sneaking” in my camera and acting natural while taking pictures, the bands/tour manager told security it was alright for the crowd to take pictures? And the times I didn't get away with it, they may have noticed that I didn't have a photo pass? Whatever the case, when all my old plans failed, the "This isn't allowed" routine finally got old and it was time to devise a new plan. The new plan was born and took effect immediately during a Dimmu Borgir performance. As I was being escorted out the door (once again) by the same security guard from the last time, I was begging for him to let me take some pictures of the show, acting rather childish. A smile then formed on his face when I told him how I always managed to get in with my camera and all the plans I had in getting them in. He had to notice the dedication and determination I had, you know? He had to give me that! I then asked him if I could get permission from the tour manager to take pictures of the bands. He said I had to take care of that prior to the show with the record label, something I already knew, something I really didn't care about. As soon as I left the building, I said screw it. I walked over to the tour bus, pulled out an ADKOI business card, and knocked on the door and explained myself to someone I did not recognize as a band member from any of the touring bands. He said I had to speak with Jezz, or something like that, who was back stage, back inside. Leaving the bus, I decided to go backstage from the outside of the venue (luckily no security is ever around) where I finally found the tour manager, once again explaining what I do and who I am. After a brief pause (I'm sure he was thinking), he tells me to go back to the front and tell them he would have a photo pass for me in ten minutes - score!! From that point on, although not having prior permission from the label or getting on the guest list, I always located the tour manager and explained myself, usually always getting a pass or having the tour manager give verbal permission to security to let me take pictures during the first three songs only, as always. So what on earth is the point to this whole photographic / concert tangent? Simple, my love for metal! I also feel it's a good reason to continue with The Outcast in a different form (online).
It was obvious that I missed doing the 'zine, especially expressing myself and allowing those I found interesting to express their own as well. Thankfully, this time I will not have the same obstacles as before. There will be no printing expenses, no hassle of trying to get label support through advertising, and no web hosting costs. I will be using part of the web space from my photography business, so the only thing I will have to worry about is time and , who is worth every penny! Thankfully he lives 15 minutes away (Well, not anymore – Mike – 2006), meaning this wouldn't have happened as quickly as it did without his help! So thank you brotha!!
When I started working on the site and started reading through all of the issues, I was somewhat surprised on how open I was expressing my feelings about the topics discussed. Now that some of the stories I've written are going to be available to a wider audience, I wonder what new comments will arise. Once again, I hope the readers can try and understand - and maybe possibly relate to - where everyone involved in the ‘zine / site are coming from. We're all stuck on the same planet, some of us walking the same path in life, others walking different paths. So please keep in mind, in the words of Milla P. from Kreator, we "don't need your hatred here!" As I've already mentioned down below, please respect every opinion expressed on this site.
Something else that I feel I must address is the time span between each issue. The reader should be able to notice two different attitudes / "Mikes." These two different attitudes / personas will reflect themselves within the interviews and reviews that I conduct. Just for clarity's sake, issues 1 and 2 reflect one attitude, while issues 3 and above are who I feel I really am. Over time, many of us change in different ways. Some stagnate and never grow in any way, shape, or form. Is that a bad thing? I'm not sure. Thing is, I'm still growing in many ways. Who ever said change was easy?
I and the entire Outcast team will hopefully entertain some of you with our rants.
Thank you all for the support and God bless.
Michael F. Coles
WARNING: The subject matter contained within may not be suitable for young or closed minds.
...please leave now. To each his own, respect everyone, you have been warned.
The beliefs and stories expressed within this site concern myself and are my beliefs/stories. They may not reflect the feelings of others that are currently or have been affiliated with The Outcast.Sincerely, Mike Coles