Christophe from France

FRENCH METALLIAN

Name: Christophe Dassy
Age: I’m 42 years old, born on the 26th of July 1967. I’m married since 1990 with Mireille, and we have two daughters Katell (17 years old) and Flora (14 years old).

Location: I live in Saint-médard en Jalles, a town of 30 000 inhabitants near Bordeaux in the South-West of France.

Occupation: I’m an informatician, an ERP and PLM administrator.

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Tell us something about your history as a Judas Priest fan?

In 1978-1979 I was into hardrock, bands like AC/DC, The Angels, Rose Tattoo etc. A friend of mine, who was a guitarist in a small band named ‘Ankou’, told me about Judas Priest’s “Unleashed in The East”. It was a revelation… what a great live album!

I bought “British Steel” and every Priest album the day they were released, but seriously started collecting everything related to Judas Priest when I first went to England in 1986. I spent 15 days in London with some friends, and we bought at least 70 records per person. I found some great singles, maxi-singles in ‘Records and Tape Exchange’ at Notting Hill Gate, in Portobello and Camden Markets. I also found some old bootlegs…

I have now more than 400 Judas Priest (and related) records: I’m not into CD-R and DVD-R, I’ve got some but I prefer original pressings. I try to buy every official release, especially limited editions.

I’m a collector, and I’m not interested in the band members’ life not related to Judas Priest. I try to buy all original releases, and the only ones I still miss are some old singles, especially Japanese ones. I also collect tourbooks and magazines with Priest pictures on the cover…

I decided to create my own website dedicated to the Metal Gods in 2001, in order to share my passion for the band with other fans. But I have less and less time to spend on the net, so my website is not up-to-date, but there’s, for example, a Fan Profile of Steel Mill’s Pete 🙂 http://judaspriest.free.fr/old/fanzoneprofile003.html

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It seems you got this idea of Fan Profiles well before Steel Mill. Do you have any plans to to develop this site in the future?

As you can see I don’t have a lot of time to spend on the net. I spend less and less time updating my website, because of my work, but I like the idea of Fan Profiles. It’s a good way to discover what the other fans like in Priest’s music!

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Are there any rarities in your collection you consider more valuable than the others?

Some of the records I have are more valuable to me, because I spent a lot of time to find them (Defenders Of The Faith Japanese edition, The Ripper double lp), or because they remind me of some good moments, (for example the Fight’s Word of Words, because I got autographs of all Fight members at the Fight show in Paris in 1993, except Rob’s, who finally signed it in 2000 at a Halford show).

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How many times have you seen Priest live, and of those, what was the best experience?

I think I’ve seen Priest live 11 times:

17/03/1991 PRIEST France – Paris, Le Zénith
14/04/1998 PRIEST France – Paris, Le Zénith
25/04/1998 PRIEST Spain – San Sebastian, Velodromo Anoeta
04/07/2001 PRIEST Spain – Vitoria, Pabellon de Mendizorroza
13/03/2002 PRIEST France – Paris, Elysée Montmartre
07/04/2002 PRIEST Spain – Pamplona, Polideportivo Anaitasuna
12/06/2004 PRIEST Holland – Lichtenvoorde, Arrow Rock Festival
16/04/2005 PRIEST Spain – Zaragoza, Bullring
27/06/2008 PRIEST Belgium – Dessel, Graspop Metal Festival
13/03/2009 PRIEST Spain – San Sebastian, Velodromo Anoeta
21/03/2009 PRIEST France – Paris, Le Zénith

The best show was the first one in 1991, because it was the first and Painkiller is one of my favorite chapters in the history of Judas Priest. I really enjoyed the show, the look of the band, and it was also the first time I saw Pantera live. Phil Anselmo came on stage with Priest to sing the ”Oh Yeah” with Rob and Glenn… I tried to meet the band at the hotel, but never found the hotel 🙂

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Painkiller tour with Annihilator and Pantera was great! How do you remember Pantera? Did you realize back then, the impact they later had in metal music?

When I saw Priest in 1991, I didn’t know Pantera, just like a lot of people in the audience. They didn’t have much success in the Paris’ show. The success came just after the tour, when videos from Cowboys From Hell were played on MTV’s Headbangers Ball.

Are there any other special Priest-related moments that you remember?

30/10/1993 FIGHT France – Paris, Elysée Montmartre

I met the whole band except Rob at the end of the show. The venue was small, so I was in the front rows. The audience was really great.

29/10/2000 HALFORD France – Paris, Elysée Montmartre
26/11/2000 HALFORD Spain – Bergara, Jam Club

In 2000, I met the whole band before the show, and Rob finally gave me an autograph on Fight‘s War of Words CD (as I told, it was the only autograph I didn’t get in 1993…).

After the Paris show I had a few beers with the band (without Rob) and Pete Wells (RIP) and Angry Anderson of Rose Tattoo. They were in Paris for promotion and went to see Halford live.

After the Bergara show my friend Benji, who works as a journalist for #1 Hard Rock magazine in France ‘Rock Hard’, did an interview with Pat Lachman (for the release of his debut record with Diesel Machine). We had a good time with him at the backstage.

I have also had some bad moments with Priest, especially when they didn’t come to France between 2004 and 2008. I think the only reason was business, and they lost a lot of French fans due to this absence. The cancellation of the Grenoble show was officially announced to be because of the capacity of the venue …but Iron Maiden could play there, why not Priest? Their French promoter (Gérard Drouot) doesn’t have a good reputation here, not least due to the extremely high ticket prices… The last show in France was soldout, but the audience also came to see Testament and Megadeth. I think Priest alone could not fill a big venue in France any more.

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How is the metal scene in general in France nowadays?

France has never been a metal country compared to Germany, Spain or North European countries, but the French metal scene has some great bands : for example Gojira and Mass Hysteria. Most French bands never have any success outside France, but every town has some local metal bands.

Usually all international metal bands come to Paris only. There’s not a lot of bands touring in France. Anyway, I will soon go to a Rammstein show in Nantes, Paradise Lost in Cognac and Airbourne in Bordeaux… and we have the best Hard and Heavy Festival in Europe: The HELLFEST festival near Nantes. Hopes are high to have Kiss here next year.

What does Priest’s music mean to you?

The voice and the twin guitars. As I don’t really speak English, I’m not into the lyrics, but I love the way Rob sings, as well as the melodies in K.K.’s and Glenn’s solos.

I really appreciate the Nostradamus album, especially Rob’s singing. His voice is not as high as it used to be, but here it really is full of emotion.

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What is your favourite album and song?

It is the most difficult question, because I love differents songs every day.

‘Beyond The Realms Of Death’, ‘A Touch Of Evil’, ‘Out In The Cold’, ‘Blood Red Skies’, ‘The Sinner’, and also ‘Silent Screams’ by Halford and ‘Bed Of Rust’ by 2wo.

Concerning the albums, I like the ‘Killing Machine / Stained Class’, the ‘British Steel / Point Of Entry’ and the ‘Screaming for Vengeance / Defender Of The Faith’ eras. Also ‘Painkiller’ and ‘Nostradamus’ are great. One of my favourites is ‘Sad Wings Of Destiny’, it contains such great songs. I also love Halford’s ‘Resurrection’. It’s nothing but a pure Judas Priest record.

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Your message to K.K. and the Millworkers?

I met K.K. (and the whole band) after the Jugulator shows in 1998, and I found him really nice. We spoke about his influence in music, I really appreciate the way he behaved during those moments. I used to prefer Glenn’s solos in the past, but since the Priest’s comeback with Rob, I really prefer K.K.’s works, especially live… K.K.’s solos have been the best moments in the shows I’ve seen since 2004.

I don’t know Millworkers that well, but I think they do a good job on the site. It’s an official website but made by fans, which is really great. I prefer the KK website compared to the official Priest site.

Keep on Defending the Faith! Steel Mill has good graphics, it seems to have a good support from K.K., and all the Millworkers are big Priest fans 🙂

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