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Zillo was a German-language music magazine that was originally designed as an independent magazine. It was published from 1989 to 2014. In the 2000s, the focus shifted to the music of the black scene . The publisher of the magazine was initially Rainer “Easy” Ettler, who developed the Zillo into an important medium in the German independent scene by the mid-1990s. After Ettler's death in 1997, Joe Asmodo and later Dominik Winter took over the editorial management. After Dominik Winter left, the editor-in-chief was divided between several shoulders. The magazine was produced decentrally.


The early years

The Zillo was founded in the summer of 1989 by Rainer “Easy” Ettler as a Zillostrate ( shortened to Zillo after 3 issues ) and has been published monthly since then. The name goes back to the “Zillo” discotheque of the same name, which Ettler opened in Lübeck in 1988 and is based together with the editorial management of the magazine and the publishing house Zillo e. V. At the Untertrave 63. Since Zillo was a registered non-profit association, it was not allowed to generate any profits. The magazine was published at cost price .

The first three issues of the “Zillostrierte” from May, June / July and August 1989 appeared in A5 format; It was not until the August issue that the magazine became chargeable. After a four-month break, the first Zillo edition in A4 format and with a print run of 50,000 copies came onto the market in January 1990 . In spite of the positive response and the steadily increasing number of readers, Zillo-Verlag had already reached a financial low point in mid-1990 with a monthly loss of DM 10,000. At the end of 1990, the debt rose to over DM 100,000. In order to avoid bankruptcy, it was decided to increase the retail price. At the same time, the Zillo e. V. to Sophienstrasse 1 in Lübeck .

In 1991 and 1992, the Zillo music magazine gradually established itself with a circulation of 70,000 copies and became the mouthpiece of German wave and independent culture , particularly through its classifieds market .

Major fire

In January 2014 there was a major fire in the editorial office in Ratekau, in which the entire Zillo logistics including office space and warehouse was destroyed. The management then reported on the official website that they would not be able to complete the planned Zillo editions for February and March, but they tried to have the internal infrastructure restored by the planned April edition. However, the magazine Zillo Medieval continued to appear. Until the end of 2014 there was initially no further information about the continued existence of the magazine, after a change in the original report from February 2014 it was then said that they are “currently trying everything to rebuild the infrastructure” and hope that 2015 “with restart as usual ”. However, no further edition followed.

In January 2016, the editorial team of the Zillo Medieval Magazine surprisingly announced on their Facebook page that this too would be discontinued by the management with immediate effect.



Ettler's intention was to cover the stylistic spectrum of the entire independent / alternative scene. Under the motto "alternative - individual - independent" , he combined various topics from the areas of indie rock , noise pop , neo-psychedelia , crossover , gothic / wave , neofolk , Manchester rave , grunge , punk as well as synth-pop , EBM and electro .

In the second half of the 1990s, only a few reports were made about the music of the Gothic / Wave scene, which is due in particular to the end of the Dark Wave movement in Germany. As early as the summer of 1995, Joe Asmodo, who later became the editor-in-chief, complained that the market for the Gothic / Wave sector had changed in an unfavorable way and that, for this reason, a balanced range of topics was no longer available. Since then, the magazine has increasingly devoted itself to topics from alternative rock , medieval rock , metal , new German hardness , dark and pop rock and, in the electronic sector, occasionally big beat and trip Hop .

On the sampler CD , which is now regularly included , not only well-known acts but also new, lesser-known bands are presented again and again . Selected editions also contain a second CD, DVD, calendar or gimmicks such as parking discs or ice scrapers.


A notable part of the Zillo are his comics. The first comics were penned by Nicole Scheriau and Markus Zysk, the former in particular published initially until April 1993 and later only sporadically humorous comics from the wave and gothic environment. Scheriau was replaced in September 1995 by Uwe Roesch and his famous "Dead" comics, with which he - like Scheriau - poked fun at the Goth scene and its clichés. Uwe Roesch was also responsible for the "Three Little Pigs", a comic series opened in 1997 about three amateur musicians, one of whom stood out in particular and his debilitating behavior. Up until the magazine was discontinued, there were 2–3 comics and special dead icons in each issue that illustrate individual categories.


The German Mystic Sound Sampler has been published regularly since November 1990, and was renamed Zillo Mystic Sounds shortly after Rainer “Easy” Ettler's death . This compilation series promoted German newcomer bands in particular from the dark wave and electro environment, and later also other areas of music. In 2003 the twelfth and final part was published. Since then, numerous samplers have followed such as the Club Hits, the Zillo Festival sampler, the medieval series Spielmannstränen and, from 2009, the official compilation series for the annual M'era Luna Festival .


In 1996 , Alfred Schobert reported in the newspaper Junge Welt about the magazine's involvement in the right-wing extremist scene . Schobert criticized in particular an advertisement for a sampler in honor of Leni Riefenstahl , which was published by the right-wing extremist label Verlag + Agentur Werner Symanek , as well as the employment of an employee who also worked for Junge Freiheit .


The Zillo was the organizer of the Zillo Festival between 1993 and 1997 . Already planned in 1990, the first open air could not be realized until 1993. Initially at different locations (1993 and 1994 in Durmersheim , 1995 in Rüsselsheim ), it established itself between 1996 and 1999 on the airport grounds in Hildesheim . After the death of Rainer "Easy" Ettler, the festival organizer FKP Scorpio (then still "Scorpio") took over. In 2000, Zillo and the organizer split up, and since then the M'era Luna Festival has been held annually at the same location. The Zillo itself organized its own festival in 2001 in Losheim am See, in 2002 at Frankfurt / Hahn Airport and in 2004 on the Loreley. After that, the Zillo Festival was discontinued.

Zillo shop

Over the years, the Zillo shop emerged as the magazine's second mainstay. T-shirts, girlies, longsleeves, mugs, clocks, rear window stickers, parking disks, umbrellas, CD samplers and accessories with dark, bizarre motifs were sold both at festivals and in their own online shop. In the meantime the shop had over 100 motifs, many of which featured the mascot "Dead".

Zillo Medieval

At the end of 2010, the editors also launched the first issue of Zillo Medieval magazine. The magazine was published every two months and, in addition to the music of the Middle Ages , was mainly devoted to cultural and historical aspects of the Middle Ages. On the website, the editorial team made it their mission to rid "history of the dust of the centuries" and at the same time breathe new life into the past. In January 2016, the editors announced on their Facebook page that the Zillo Medieval would be discontinued with immediate effect. The 01/2016 edition of November 2015 is the last edition. At the end of August 2016, it was announced on the Facebook page that a restart was not to be expected. The majority of the former authors have now found accommodation with the former editor-in-chief at Miroque magazine.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Rainer "Easy" Ettler: Editorial. Zillo Musikmagazin, issue 3/94, p. 3, March 1994.
  2. Zillo February & March issues fall victim to fire & Zillo shop closed until further notice! (No longer available online.) Zillo, archived from the original on February 13, 2014 ; accessed on March 2, 2015 .
  3. Zillo issues of 2014 fall victim to fire & Zillo shop closed until further notice! Zillo, accessed March 2, 2015 .
  4. Zillo Medieval on Facebook to discontinue the print and online presence! Zillo, accessed June 25, 2016 .
  5. Joe Asmodo: Author's Corner . Zillo Musikmagazin, issue 6/95, p. 18, June 1995.
  6. ^ Liisa Ladouceur, Gary Pullin: Encyclopedia Gothica . ECW Press, Toronto 2011, ISBN 978-1-77041-024-4 , pp. 294 (English, google.ca ).
  7. Alfred Schobert: In Riefenstahl thunderstorms . diss-duisburg.de, accessed on September 28, 2013.
  8. Official notice of discontinuation. Facebook, January 11, 2016, accessed September 18, 2016 .
  9. Notification of possible restart. Facebook, August 29, 2016, accessed September 18, 2016 .