Birth AD's Jeff Tandy: "I heard about 20 seconds of Phil Anselmo's latest thing and permanently lost four of five IQ points"...

The truculent bassist looks back with us at 2013...

Greetings Mr Tandy - long time no speak. Last time we communed you were drraming of killing hipsters... you were clearly ahead of your time! Anyways, 2013 – a good or bad year for music overall in your opinion? "It proved to be quite a robust year for metal, actually, which was a pleasant surprise. The last handful of years have been consistently strong, and it's hard to stay caught up on everything out there".

Indeed it is. That said, what was the best album you heard this year? "BeyondFatal Power of Death. Talk about a “holy shit” moment. If you're sick of tech death and overproduced Nuclear Blast bands, this will serve you well'.

And the worst? "Ghost fucking sucks, and I heard about 20 seconds of Phil Anselmo's latest thing and permanently lost four of five IQ points"...

Nice to get someone to actually name names! Now, vinyl seems to have made a small comeback this year – do you think that progress will grow next year, or will the ‘vinyl renaissance’ still be limited to bands doing limited runs for collectors and die hard fans? "It seems like everyone is doing it again, though the comeback has been for about 5 years now. I expect it will be somewhere between in terms of output, because who can sell more than 1000 physical copies of anything these days"?

Who indeed? Which is a fact of life that vaguely links to my next question - Fan funded recording projects also exploded this year – what’s your view of them – Have you used the system, or would you consider doing so in the future? "It's a sad statement on the powerlessness of labels, and our economy in general. Everyone is broke. I funded our full-length myself, but crowdfunded the mastering when I ran out of money. It worked, but I don't think I'd feel ok to do it again. When does it become begging"?

That's a good, and prescient, statement to make. But I'm not a solutions man unfortunately, so I'll just keep asking the questions... Given what you've just said,  could you see fan funding expanding into other areas – providing tour support for bands, et cetera? "Sure, but I thought that was the point of ticket sales. It seems kind of redundant".

And of course the other popular way bands have found to augment their incomes is by offering ‘VIP Experiences’ – what do you think of those? "Again, another sad statement about the powerlessness of labels today. I think they're a means to an end, but I work for several bands on the road and I don't know a single one who enjoys it'.

That's interesting. Moving away from that rather depressing tranche of questions, we’ve heard which album you liked the most this past year – who impressed you most in the live arena? "Two bands who don't have current albums – Antaeus, Demigod. I saw them both at Wolf Throne Festival in France and they were both fucking amazing. Temple of Baal, who have a new album out called Verses of Fire, were also pretty awesome".

I'll make an effort to seek them out - thank you. So what awaits you musically in 2014? "Birth A.D. will have a cassette and LP edition of our current album out, along with an official video. Then hopefully we'll do some tour dates"!

Plenty to look forward to then! Anything else you think might come in handy for our readers to know over the holiday season? "Cause problems! Hail Hanneman"!