Hellbound Staff Interrogations #13: Natalie Zed

Who else could be number thirteen in our staff interviews but Natalie Zed? I mean, she was lucky enough to win our fifty-two CD giveaway, as she explains below. Natalie has been doing live reviews and her postcard columns for us for over a year. We hope she’ll continue to do so for many, many moons.

-Sean Palmerston

Name and Location:
Alias: Natalie Zina Walschots a/k/a Natalie Zed

Base of operations: The Zed Lair, Toronto, Ontario

How did you start writing for Hellbound?
I’ve been a fan of Hellbound since it first came online in June 2009.

In January of 2010, Hellbound ran a contest and I was lucky enough to win. The prize was 50 CDs, many of them signed, as well as a boatload of other swag, all hand-delivered by Editor-in-Chief Sean Palmerston and his impetuous assistant Kieran Palmerston.

As I listened to and began in intellectually digest my loot, I started to write weird, poetic little responses to them. After I’d amassed a few dozen, I contacted Sean and asked if he would be interested in publishing some of them on the website. That was the birth of Postcards From Natalie Zed, a review series I still write for Hellbound.

Soon after, I started doing live reviews for Hellbound as well. I was spending my rent money on concert tickets every month, and so becoming a reviewer was a sheer survival tactic. Now, I am fully addicted to it.

What’s your favourite piece published during Hellbound’s two years?
I love Justin M. Norton’s writing, and his interviews with Scott Kelly of Neurosis and Tom Gabriel Fischer of Triptykon/Celtic Frost are particularly fantastic. I also love Adam Wills’ photographs – his photo set from the Devin Townsend show he and I attended is brilliant.

Of my own writing, I really loved reviewing the Porcupine Tree show that took place at The Sound Academy in May of 2010, and am still very proud of how that piece turned out.

What are some of your best concert memories?
Seeing Portal, Bloody Panda, and Krallice in Buffalo, NY with Adam Wills was a brain-rearranging show that still stands out in my mind. Back before I even wrote live reviews, seeing Devin Townsend (who was dipping a toe back into the touring pool after swearing it off for years) open for Cynic and Between the Buried and Me with my dear friend Dani Couture was wonderful. Getting to see Blind Guardian live was also a complete nerdgasm.

More recently, getting to finally see Agalloch perform live, supported by Musk Ox and Worm Ouroboros, still shines brilliantly in my memory.

Black metal, death metal or grind?
Black metal.

Person you’d like to interview but it hasn’t happened…
I’m still very new to this whole music writing business, so my list of future interviewees is very long indeed. I do have a wretched crush on Johan Hegg, as is befitting a fine Viking woman such as myself. I would also love to sit down with Devin Townsend.

The most underrated metal album is:
Iced Earth – Horror Show

I loved this album even before I was a card-carrying metalhead, and will continue to sing its praises.

You are suspended in limbo for eternity and can only listen to five metal albums on repeat. What are they?
Neurosis – A Sun That Never Sets
Amorphis – Skyforger
Strapping Young Lad – City
Agalloch – The Mantle
Celtic Frost – To Mega Therion

Sean is the founder/publisher of Hellbound.ca; he has also written about metal for Exclaim!, Metal Maniacs, Roadburn, Unrestrained! and Vice.