Everything about the life of music reporters, ink models and metal bands from Syria
Hello everybody, may I introduce you to a great page from the Netherlands?
Liselotte Hegt alias Lilo from Headbangers Lifestyle has a big career as a writer, editor, and musician on her history and many great stories to tell. Her page is partly a normal metal webzine, partly a platform full of great talks with musicians about their very own lifestyles, including fashion and personal memories. Also the columns are very interesting and unusual. You can, for example, follow the tattoo model Femke Fatale around her creative world. Wanna come?
Our conversation started out as an interview about her work and mag, but ended in a lively chat about Kate Bush, the flirting behavior of Manowar’s Joey DeMaio and why we just screw Nikki Sixx. Lilo and I have quite some things in common. We love the same music, artists and topics, share some ‚journalisty‘ experiences, but she is far ahead of me. That’s why I loved talking to her so much.
Why I’m writing in English today? Well, if you want to read HBLS you should be able to understand it. And if you also want to become a music journalist it’s the same thing. Without speaking English you’re lost 😉
Let’s talk about a Headbanger’s Lifestyle!
Foxxy: Hi Lilo, who is behind the page Headbangers Lifestyle? Is it only you or are there more people involved?
Lilo: It is officially my big idea and plan. But my best friend is my companion in this. We have been talking a lot about what we do in the past. We are both writers, promoting and a long time inside of the scene.
At one time the opportunity came along that I could start with this platform. Then I asked him immediately if he would join me. And there is a third person who doesn’t want to be in the picture, so he is behind the scenes, rather taking care of the business sides. But yes, the whole creative brain behind Headbangers Lifestyle is me and my best friend.
How did the idea of doing this project come to you?
Maybe you should know that I have been working for Aardschok magazine for about twenty years now; that’s a Dutch printed magazine. Before that I have written for an underground magazine for more than five years. I always wanted to be a journalist in music, I always have been a musician since a very young age, Heavy Metal was my life and I was always very devoted to that. At one point you have the feeling that you want to write about other aspects than only, you know, in Dutch, for that one magazine. I mean, I also want to talk about fashion and lifestyle, which is not doable for a traditional magazine…
(laughs) I know that feeling!
Yeah, and at one point you get the chance to do it. And then: Yeah, let’s go!
That was about three years ago. We are a very young platform, but we have that huge history on different levels in the metal scene. You already have a lot of contacts. I think this makes it a little bit easier to be recognized than when you start totally blank.
That’s true. You need contacts to bands, promoters, music labels…
Yeah, they know my work. They have seen how I work over all the years and what kind of a person I am. I think you have to be reliable and you have to deliver good work. That probably helps to get access a little bit easier. They know what you do.
For those who don’t know the page – what are all the topics, besides music and fashion, that you write and tell about on HBLS?
First of all: we do have some traditional topics. Album reviews, interviews. We try to put in a little bit of a lifestyle aspect, avoid the traditional talks. We also have blogs – that’s of course a new thing. One of them puts a spot on the tattoo world. We have an ink model who does her weekly blog column, so we all can learn what happens in that world. Her name is Femke Fatale. I think that is something different than what other websites do. We also have video interviews. I know, there are a lot of people who do those, but we have them integrated in the website as well.
And..uhm… what else? Oh, yeah! Right. We have exclusive items. Trying to get a spotlight on the underground scene worldwide. Did you know, in Nepal there is a huge metal underground scene. In our exclusive section we frequently have articles about that. Reviews for festivals there, for example. And we have a guy in Syria who is in an Extreme Death Metal band. He once in a while writes about how it is to be there. In a band. In the metal scene. Hiding for your life.
That is crazy.
Nobody is talking about it, but yes, there is a metal scene! Music connects people. No matter where your live. We are international, we not only put a spotlight on the Netherlands where I am from. We have worldwide contributors.
Did you ever travel very far, to an exotic country, to go to a concert or a festival?
Well, I just came off the Metal Cruise. (laughs)
Oh, well that counts.
Yes, that counts. That was pretty far over the sea.
For me it’s mostly the regular festivals, though. In Belgium and in France, like Hellfest, Graspop, sometimes in Germany, festivals here and there. I would love to travel around the world, but there are things that keep me here. You have to find blank spaces on your agenda to do that…
I really like the diary of the tattooed model. In a short way: what does Femke Fatale talk about in there?
Her work is to host a lot of events. For those she travels in Europe, mostly. And she represents Monster Energy. Through her blog she tells about what she experiences and where she is going.
She goes to France, she goes to Italy, she goes to Monaco, Belgium – she goes everywhere!
She is an alternative model. Well, all those inked girls who are modelling call themselves alternative model, but I think it’s not about size zero or whatever. It is about tattoos and the whole lifestyle, and about promoting that scene. She has a great career coming up and she is totally into heavy metal and punk rock. That just fits in our concept.
Something else: what is the Black Box which sometimes appears in your videos?
Well, that was a funny idea of myself as well. It’s kind of a mystery box. I don’t think every artist would like to do that, but it’s nice when I have the Black Box. I put certain items in it. I do research and see what fits the artist. I tell them to open the Black Box and when they have the object I want them to tell if they have a story with it. Of course, beforehand, I know they have a story with it. But I want them to let be triggered and then tell about it. This way you get a more personal conversation. So far they all liked it 😀
In general, when you interview musicians or other people, do you prefer face-to-face interviews, the telephone, written… what is your favorite way of talking to artists?
I like it when we are in the same room. I like the interaction. And I don’t just want to sit there with my paper and cross out the questions, but rather interact and go with what the artist says. Still, I have the backup. I prepare!
But other than that: a conversation is a conversation. It’s all good, no matter whether it’s over the phone.
Meeting idols and musicians
Did ever anything unusual happen during such a meeting?
Hmm… I can’t come up with anything right now. I always try to go with what is happening. Especially when you do an interview on a festival, there are always unexpected things happening. You can have your fixed time, but then things change there and then they ask you ‘can we do half an hour later?’ and I say ‘that’s fine with me, no problem!’. You have to be a bit flexible when you do that. I try to never make a problem out of it. Go with the flow.
That’s true, happens quite often.
Are there still festivals you want to go or bands you want to talk to but never could?
Festivals not in particular, but there are many cool festivals in America.
Bands? Well, for instance that has nothing to do with heavy metal – but Kate Bush was my first big role model. It would be awesome to once interview her. I don’t see that happening, but she is one of my biggest idols.
That would be something very different.
(both laugh) Yeah, it is, but she is a foundation. What she did was very different and progressive. It was not pop, it was rock!
You should just try to get in contact with her. Maybe… If you say she does rock music then maybe it fits the mag.
She is very rare with doing interviews. Still, that would be very cool if this ever happened.
Other than that over the years I have spoken to many great musicians that I never thought I would speak to. Like Lita Ford. She is one of my biggest idols, and I got even two times to do an interview with her. One time I even got a picture with her!
Awww!!! Oh my gosh, I wanna see that!
That was one big thing. And King Diamond! I talked with him several times and I have been a huge fan since the beginning. You never get the thought that you would ever interview a person like that. And there was Motley Crue. I had them all three – except for Nikki Sixx. That suxx! (laughs)
Oh damn, that really sucks!
Talking about that: Sixx:A.M. is not touring anymore and the other two guys started a band without Nikki now.
Yeah, I heard about it.
Yes, it’s terrible.
I know! It’s weird. I wonder why that happens sometimes. Maybe they had it all planned out. I don’t know.
Gonna be a tough one now..
I think so, too! Well, screw him.
Ok, we screw him.
But besides Lita Ford and Kate Bush, do you have any lifestyle or fashion idols?
Now that you say it, I would also like to interview Mr. Doctor the man behind Devil Doll. Big fan of his work and he seems to have a remarkable and special personality… But a fashion idol? Hmmmm… never thought about it…. Yeah! Of course! Kat von D. I think she is brilliant…
I loooove her make-up line! I try to buy that as much as I caaan! Because it’s great products, she is super creative and it would be really, really cool to meet her and doing a beauty and lifestyle profile.
She’s rare, too. So far she does not react to anything.
I think she has such a busy schedule, doesn’t have any free time.
Yeah, also if you want a tattoo from her. I guess you have to wait at least a year for one, maybe even more.
I just think she is such a super creative person. She uses all her time to express this. In her drawing, in whatever she does, even in developing products.
That’s true, too.
And other than that? Oh my gosh, I don’t know! Now that you ask about lifestyle idols…
The vibe of the audience at a concert
Haha, Kat von D is totally fine! I could do great headlines so far already……
Uhm, where are my questions? Oh, yeah: live reviews. What do you like about them and what is not so cool about it?
I think live reviews are very subjective. A band can have bad circumstances and it is not their fault. I always try to be very careful not to put down bands if the song was band because the sound guy was sleeping or something like this. You are very depending on circumstances!
I always want to see a certain energy in a band and feel the moment. But some days are better than other days and that makes it very hard to write about it. Also if I write something about a records I listen to it many times before saying anything about it.
I also think it is about the fans in the audience. If they have a good energy it transfers on the band.
Absolutely. But even this is different in the genres. When you are at a glam metal concert the audience more energetic and having fun. If you are, for instances, on a traditional progressive rock concert the guys may just stand in front of the stage, silent, arms crossed, but they still enjoy it. That must be hard for the bands, because you don’t get energy back, but still, the audience loves it. It’s a total different vibe.
We go on talking about the bands and projects Lilo has been in. You can find the complete list on the bottom of this page. Lilo has been a bass player for many years, played in ‘tons of bands’, but always only live, no official album releases. Never the less she had some vocal guest appearances which were officially published.
She says it’s weird when someone writes a review about your own stuff, and that her voice is something you have to like, or otherwise you just don’t like it…
Then we came to the last question I had written down in my notes:
What do you think is something every music journalist should know? An advice you might want to give to younger ones on their way when they start.
I would say, always prepare yourself.
Definitely, if you go into interviews with ‘bigger names’. They kind of expect that. Prepare yourself, take it seriously. Then you get a good conversation.
Wanna have some chocolate mousse?
That might have been the last official question and I stopped my voice recorder, but the built-in one at the laptop continued. So this precious story about a certain guy from Manowar got saved for you:
There was something many years ago. It was bad, but for the other guy, not for me. I just pissed myself laughing.
I did an interview for Aardschok magazine in the 90s. I had to go to Finland, Helsinki. There was a mini festival with Manowar, Ronnie James Dio and another band. I was set up for an interview with Joey DeMaio from Manowar and, haha, he was just so full of himself! I came there. It was face-to-face and he said ‘ah, do you want to see my collection of bass guitars?!’ and I was ‘yeah, sure, I’d love to’ and he was ‘uaaghh’, all caveman, you know what I mean.
Then we had the interview and he took me up to the restaurant and he said ‘I still have to eat my dessert’ and I said ‘all right then, do whatever you have to do’. Then he: ‘uhm.. I want to share this chocolate mousse with you, with the spoon’ and I thought ‘nah, I’m not gonna do that!’
I thought: ‘you still didn’t answer my questions, fuck off’.
Then I let him down like that and said: ‘you know what, I don’t need chocolate. Let’s move on to the interview’. He was a bit disappointed.
That’s weird, but somehow it sounds just like him.
Yeah, he tried to be a womanizer. When you are a girl, and especially when you do a face-to-face, it can be very intimidating for the guys if you are there and just do your thing. When you don’t pay any attention to the ‘mousse’ or to the ‘hey, I’m a guy-thing’. They get confused.
But that’s actually the way it should be. That’s more professional.
I know, but I didn’t pay attention. I just acted normal and friendly. I’m totally myself and I don’t need that bullshit. I just want a good conversation.
I guess that is a good ending point. Keep that tips in mind, girls and guys! ;P
If you wanna know more about Lilo and HBLS visit those pages and profiles:
And if you have a story like that share it with us! We would love to hear from you.
See you soon, Lilo and Foxxy.
Steps of Lilo’s metal career (PS: she has a normal day job, metal is her passion)
21 September 2015 launch of headbangerslifestyle.com
Journalist for Aardschok Magazine, NL, 1997-present.
Journalist for Heavy Metal Explosion, NL, 1992-1997
Host (and producer) of the weekly rock & metal radio show Arrow High Voltage on Dutch National radio station Arrow Classic Rock (from 14 Februari 2011 until 1 September 2016).
Bass player and vox for Robby Valentine Live Band: 2008-2012)
Album release: `Androgenius’ 2008 (vocals on ,,S.O.S.’’)
Singer, bass player, songwriter of DIAL – Album release: `Synchronized‘ in 2007
Guest vocals Ayreon on the album `01011001′, release date: 2008
Guest vocals live Kamelot in 2008
Vocals for the project Epysode on the album `Obsessions‘, releasedate: 2011
Live guest vocals Kamelot (2006)
Bass guitar and vocals in the band Cirrha Niva.
`The Mirror World dimension‘ – releasedate 1997
`No More Psychosis‘ – releasedate 1998
Enter The Future Exit‘ – releasedate 1999
Liason de la Morte‘ – releasedate 2001
Before I had many bands, lots of live playing and only demo releases, no official album release.