Q&A with Author Corey Mitchell / Help Promote Metal…and Horror Films at the 2011 South by South West Music Fest

By Laina Dawes

This year, the annual music portion of the SXSW international music festival hosted a plethora of metal-related events, but the music panels were another story. This year was my third time presenting at SXSW and my first as part of the music portion and I was able to attend a number of music industry – related panels. I found that there were a dearth of panels related to the metal music scene, so I pitched a panel idea – Are Metalheads Smart Enough To Be Online? – but I wanted to let y’all know about Metalsucks.net contributor Corey Mitchell, who is pitching an interesting panel for the film component of the festival.

Mitchell is also a Los Angeles Times and Border International Group bestselling author of seven true crime books, is working on a biography on vocalist Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Superjoint Ritual, Down). He is a contributing writer for Bloodydisgusting.com and is a former blogger for the Discovery Channel’s Hollywood on Crime blog.We met via the SXSW Panel Picker site (which closes today at midnight, hint, hint) and I didn’t want to simply ask y’all to just check out his really cool pitch, but to keep an eye out on some really cool projects he is working on. Here is a quick Q&A:

Why (the genre) true crime? What about it compelled you?

I read HELTER SKELTER when I was nine and have never made it back from the dark side! There is something about ultimate evil that fascinates me and I am on a lifelong quest to unearth what causes it.

How did you first get involved in the metal scene? Were you a music journalist before you became a crime writer?

I have a bit of history before I became a writer. I was the college metal DJ at University of Texas from ’88-’90, a metal concert promoter in Austin during that same time, a band manager, and record label owner.

What bands did you work with?

I worked with several musicians who went on to careers in several well-known bands such as Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, Rob Zombie, Danzig, Crazy Town, KMFDM, Prong, A Perfect Circle, etc. I also managed the industrial metal band 16 Volt from ’96-’98.

What you do like about metal blogging? Is it different beside the blogging you do for Bloody Disgusting – besides that it is focused on music?

I love to write about metal because it’s fun! It’s a great break from the murder and mayhem I surround myself with every day. Plus, I’m a lifelong metalhead and like it all from Ratt to Mekong Delta to Portal. I am the horror film festival blogger for Bloody Disgusting so my focus there is very narrow.

It’s funny, my “relaxation” tools consist of horror films and heavy metal. That should tell you something about the type of books I write.

How do you react to negative commenter’s on Metal Sucks?

I don’t care. Seriously, after managing bands and writing books, I have developed extremely thick skin over the years. There is almost nothing anyone could say to me that would upset me. I’ve read it all, seen it all, and lived it all and I don’t care. Life is far too short to worry about angry keyboard warriors.

I read on Metalsucks that you are working on a project with Phil Anselmo.

I am working with Philip on his book. We are currently in the proposal writing stage and hope to land a publishing deal with a major publishing house later this year.

Are there any specific areas about Anslemo’s life that will be focused on in the upcoming biography? Are there any areas that will be off limits?

Just like the man himself, Philip Anselmo’s autobiography will be a no-holds barred brutal assessment of one hell of a life. Some of the material Philip has passed along to me is so frank and visceral that it will make some readers close the book and not want to read on…for about 15 minutes. Then, they’ll be right back in it wanting more. You never know with a final manuscript what all will be included, but I can assure his fans that nothing is being ignored, conveniently forgotten about, etc. This will easily be the most honest, vicious, and in-your-face rock autobiography to come down the pike in years!

If all goes well, when can we expect his biography to come out?

Depending on our schedules, we hope to have the book turned in sometime in 2011 with a possible release date of late 2011/early 2012.

My panel outline (Music): Are Metalheads Smart Enough to be Online?

Corey Mitchell’s panel outline (Film): Reel Murder: Crime Scene to Big Screen

You can purchase Corey’s books through his Amazon page here

The 2011 SXSW Panel Picker closes at midnight tonight – Friday August 27. Go and vote!

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