Continuing our popular [behind the scenes] features on various industry people: This month Kinger chats with Metal journalist Chad Bowar about all things Metal and his daily activities.
Tell us about your position with the Heavy Metal division @ About.com please.
About.com has hundreds of sites in all sorts of topics. There are several music sites, and I’m in charge of the heavy metal section.
How did you land that and was it’s surprising that they wanted a dedicated Metal editor or web presence; since they are a part of the New York Times Company etc.
About.com has been around for more than fifteen years and has had a few owners. The heavy metal section is at least a decade old and I have been the editor since 2005. I was writing for a different web site at the time (along with some print publications), saw the job posting and applied. After going through a testing and training period, I was selected to be the editor.
What do you like best about your job there?
I have a lot of freedom in terms of content. I decide who and what we cover, which allows us to showcase both unknown and extremely well-known metal artists.
The site offers a lot of Heavy metal news, reviews – how many people work there with you or do you have freelancers who submit the reviews and or material you post?
In the beginning it was just me writing all the content. A few years into it I brought aboard some contributing writers, which have steadily increased. Right now we are up to about ten writers and me. We have a team of extremely talented and dedicated writers, and I’m very proud to work with them.
I see you use Twitter to promote various things, how has that affected the Metal industry or music scene or in general?
Social media in general has dramatically changed how things are promoted. A well-known band can post something on Facebook or tweet to their million plus followers and it is instantly read by a vast number of people. Communication is now direct and instantaneous. It also provides a great avenue for interaction that wasn’t there in the past.
Congrats on having almost 10K followers. How long did it take to build that audience?
A few years. The number of Twitter followers has grown steadily. People just find us, I find and follow people who follow back, and it is promoted in our weekly newsletter. It’s been a bit more challenging to build Facebook fans, but continue to work on it. Feel free to follow us on both platforms. We’re on Facebook, and @aboutheavymetal on Twitter.
Tell us about your custom Twitter profile page background. It says: “Need, Know, Accomplish.” I like that.
It’s the same background as all About.com Twitter pages.
Can you believe what was happening with singer Randy Blythe overseas? That is a popular topic in Social Media lately. Yikes!
It has got a lot of attention in the metal and music press, but the mainstream media has pretty much ignored it except for some outlets near Blythe’s home in Virginia. It’s a scary situation, and from the outside it seems he is getting a raw deal. The justice system in other countries can be far different from ours in the U.S.
What do you think of the strength and renewed popularity of Metal in 2012! I mean all the 80’s bands are back and there is such a plethora of younger bands as well!
Metal has never gone away, and seems to be thriving more than ever in 2012. Nostalgia is driving a lot of the ‘80s hair band revival, and it’s cool to see bands like Poison still able to draw a crowd. The biggest names in the genre like Metallica and Iron Maiden are still making relevant new music, and there’s a giant crop of young talented bands. The future of metal music is bright, but the state of the music industry is another story.
I see you are based in Charlotte, NC – how is life there and is there a strong music scene there perhaps?
Charlotte is a great city. The climate is good and we’re close to both the coast and the mountains. We get our fair share of big name concerts, although our proximity to Raleigh and Atlanta means we don’t get them all. There’s a good local music scene as well.
Chime in on the internet downloading and the future of music or CD sales. I read somewhere that there has only been one single artist to sell a million copies thus far in 2012! That is amazing to me, but I am an old dog from the 80’s as well. But the industry has certainly changed in the last decade!
The whole music industry has been in a free fall the past few years. Illegal downloading has accelerated the decline. Labels are struggling and artists aren’t making any money on album sales. I think you’ll see more and more well-known bands abandon record labels and release albums on their own. Getting distribution is easy, and by using social media and contracting a publicist they’ll be able to get the word out. Even if they don’t sell as many copies, their profits will be higher because they keep a higher percentage of each album or download sold.
Describe a typical work day for you.
- I get up at 3:30am to go to my radio job.
- I’m usually home by 11am. I grab lunch and do some writing for About.com
- some Loudwire assignments
- then back to About.com after that.
- I usually stop for the day around 5
- then eat dinner and do whatever.
- I check email constantly
- …am in bed by about 9pm.
You’ve interviewed hundreds of bands over the years – Who was your favorite interview subject or band over the years and why?
I always enjoy interviewing Rob Halford of Judas Priest. He’s a great guy, very down to earth, and tells interesting stories. I’ve spoken with him several times and it’s always a great interview.
Who was the worst…and why?
It was a fill-in hair band singer who was releasing a solo album several years ago. He was just unpleasant and didn’t seem interested in speaking with me. Recently I had another awful interview with an up and coming singer who gave such short and worthless answers I couldn’t even publish it. I thought it might be me, but I spoke with another writer who had the same experience with her.
I like your weekly Retro Recommendation; that might be how I found you. Who’s idea was that? Thanks for that. It gives the younger fans something to hear and research and discover some of the great music in the “Heyday of Metal” (i.e. 80’s).
It has been a Friday staple of the site for the past few years. Dan Marsicano writes that feature, and sometimes I’m amazed at the obscure stuff he comes up with. It’s an awesome way to rediscover older releases you might have forgotten about or missed the first time around.
I see you recently interviewed Metal Blade CEO Brian Slagel for their Anniv. Can you believe it’s been three decades?! Who are your all time favorite bands on Metal Blade?
My top five Metal Blade bands past and present would be (in no particular order):
- Amon Amarth
- Fates Warning
How many digital press releases do you get weekly? I have hundreds of emails from PR companies in my inbox and I cannot possibly read all of them. What’s your method for digging through all that “news”?
I receive dozens per day. We don’t really do news posts, since that niche is covered well by sites like Blabbermouth and Brave Words. I look for the album release emails, since our release calendar page is extremely popular. I put a ton of work into that calendar.
Do you still accept old-fashioned/old school printed press releases?
I would accept them, but nobody sends them!
Do you still like the 80’s music best or are you a fan of any modern metal, extreme metal or other micro-genres?
I still love the music from my youth, but also enjoy a lot of modern stuff. My tastes are pretty eclectic when it comes to genres. It’s more about the band than the style, but I would say thrash, traditional, progressive, power, folk and melodic death metal are genres I tend to like. I’m not as much of a fan of grindcore, metalcore, black metal or brutal death metal, but there are certainly bands within those styles that I like.
Speaking of genres, it used to be easier for writers when describing a bands sound. A band was either Hard Rock or Heavy Metal [laughs]. Then came Power Metal, Speed, Thrash and Death. That’s where I stopped with the genres in the late 80’s. It got to be ridiculous after that! Thoughts?
The sub-genres have gotten out of control. New wave of this, post that, it’s getting hard to keep up. Genre titles are used to categorize bands, but so many of them cross multiple genres that it doesn’t always work.
I liken the Metal blogosphere to the old tape trading days and all the fanzines that were being put together all over the world! This is great…What blogs do you like?
I don’t have as much time as I’d like to read other sites, but there are a few that I enjoy. Angry Metal Guy, Blistering.com and Hellbound are a few that come to mind.
My favorite rag was always Metal Forces! They are posting old reviews and interviews from the past on their site.
RIP (and Lonn) was cool too…miss that one.
As a teenager I read all the magazines I could get my hands on. I subscribed to Rolling Stone, and always purchased RIP, Circus and Hit Parader. Probably should have held onto them, they might have been worth some money now!
Do you think Revolver [“The World’s Loudest Rock Magazine”] and Decibel [“America's only monthly extreme music magazine”] can hang with Kerrang! And Metal Hammer?
Decibel is my favorite metal magazine. I’m also a big fan of Metal Hammer and Terrorizer. Revolver is definitely more commercial, but they have some good stuff as well. I don’t read Kerrang!
It seems readers are always obsessed with lists – esp. die-hard Metal fans (who you know are “some of the most passionate people around, who aren’t afraid to make their opinions known”). It seems those must be really popular on the site?
Without a doubt. Lists are some of the most popular pieces of content on the site. It’s always fun putting them together and then seeing readers weigh in on them.
What advice would you give to any aspiring writers or reviewers out there? The publishing and world of journalism has changed through the years as well.
When it comes to writing reviews, too many reviewers miss the point. It’s not about being cute and clever and using your thesaurus to come up with obscure phrases and references. Tell us what the music sounds like and what your opinion of it is. I read too many reviews that look like a creative writing project and are extremely well written, but don’t say anything. People don’t read reviews for their literary value, they want to garner useful information from them. Develop a style and voice, but give the readers what they want.
When it comes to places to write, they are almost unlimited. Just start writing. Submit a review to a metal site and see if they want to publish it. If not, start your own blog. Build some experience that way. You may draw your own following and not want to write for somebody else. You may aspire to write for one of the larger metal sites (like ours) or a magazine. Just be warned that there’s little to no money to be made writing about metal.
Are you into reading any music/band books or Kindle e-books?
I read and review as many music books as possible. Most of them are hard copies, but a few have been sent to me in digital format, which is fine. Some of the best music books I’ve read recently include Metalion: The Slayer Mag Diaries by Jon Kristiansen, Crazy Train by Joel McIver, No Sleep Til Sudbury by Brent Jensen and Dirty Deeds by Mark Evans.
Are you able to fully support yourself by writing/editing for the site?
Not even close! Metal writing is a passion, but not enough to make a living. My “real job” is in radio, which I’ve been doing for more than twenty-five years. It’s not a traditional nine to five gig, which gives me the time and freedom for writing. There are people who make their living writing about metal and hard rock, but not many.
What are some of the magazines or places you contribute too?
Right now Loudwire is about the only other place I’m writing for in addition to About.com. Over the years I’ve written for magazines such as:
- Hails and Horns
- And several that are unfortunately no longer in existence
What’s a pet peeve of yours as far as other journalists or metal writers when you read their interviews?
Doing interviews can be daunting, and preparation and research is vital. That’s always a good first step, and allows the conversation to go in many different directions. Don’t be afraid to stray from your list of questions, and make sure to actually listen to their answers instead of thinking about your next question.
As far as pet peeves, my main one is when interviewers inject themselves into the conversation and make it as much about them as the artist. When I read an interview where the questions are longer than the answers, it’s not going to be a good one. The readers want to know about the artist, not the interviewer.
Do you download your music now or still buy CD’s?
I’m lucky enough to get pretty much all metal releases for free. Most of them are digital downloads, but a few labels still send real CDs for review. I buy stuff in other genres, and it depends on the price. If a download is cheaper, I’ll do that instead of the CD, or vice-versa. I have so many CDs it’s ridiculous, so I should be doing only digital to save space!
Hats off to you for being involved in Metal for the past 25 years…any last parting words?
Thanks for the interview Curt. Always a pleasure.
Chad is a longtime music journalist specializing in heavy metal and residing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Though he may appear to be an accountant, looks can be deceiving.
Chad has been involved in metal for over twenty-five years. He writes or has written for several national music publications including Outburn, Hails and Horns, AMP, Lollipop, Loud Fast Rules and more. He’s done hundreds of interviews over the years with members of bands such as Judas Priest, Metallica, Cannibal Corpse, Queensryche, Sepultura, In Flames and more.
In addition, Chad has covered events like Ozzfest, Warped Tour and the New England Metal and Hardcore Festival. He’s also worked in radio for the past two decades at stations all over the country.
September 17, 2012 | Categories: Demolish A.D. | Tags: about metal, America's only monthly extreme music magazine, best of metal list, Chad Bowar, Chad Bowar about.com, chad bowar blogger, chad bowar journalist, chad bowar metal writer, Charlotte, Dan Marsicano, Decibel, metal hammer, metal Kindle e-books, metal lists, NC, Revolver, The World’s Loudest Rock Magazine, writing metal reviews | 1 Comment »
As we move into 2011 and settle back into our old habits [yes, we know most of your "new years resolutions" have probably failed miserably by now unfortunately] and so we begin our normal routines yet again. However, what we have lined up for you is far from routine. We are still posting mega-rare 80′s Metal articles and interviews from the Demolish vaults, however, after much encouragement + support we have decided to resurrect the ‘zine and cover some current material as well. The latest propaganda will reside in the aptly titled DEMOLISH A.D. section.
To kick off the premiere article for this freshly minted department we are happy to bring you a kick-ass exclusive interview with none other than the ubiquitous music journalist and musician J.Bennett. We had hoped to bust this out last August, but father time pushed the fast-forward button on us and somehow five months have miraculously rolled past! With that being said, here’s to 2011.
Before we get out of the gates with this one, I must admit that I am not an avid reader of DECIBEL Magazine. As a matter of fact, up until a couple of years ago, I had only nonchalantly skimmed through a few issues while visiting a [Metalhead] buddies house around two years ago. After gulping several Guinness [while listening to Artillery's "When Death Comes" for the better part of an hour], I noticed his stack of magazines close by and decided to see what the latest crop of Metal rags were all about.
Upon closer inspection, I realized how much of a short attention span peeps must have these days as the reviews seemed to be very short and contained mini-blasts of info and or just a quickie summary about the band. After reading a few more items, I must admit that I still had no idea what some of the bands actually sounded like! Moving forward, I was steadily bombarded with many descriptive genre tags and even more sub genre labels. For some reason, the voice in my head told me that since Metal’s seemingly great comeback was so strong, I assumed the scene and or “industry” if-you-will must have solidified somehow and or became a cohesive powerhouse. Not so…
What I realized was that contrary to popular belief, “Metal” really never went anywhere, it had simply morphed and splintered off into countless sub genres of what Decibel Mag. was calling “extreme” music -yikes, yet another “genre”? Maybe this was the GRAND “Metal” label of all and every other form of “Metal music” now resides under that expanding umbrella —or at least within the last decade [or to be more precise, it was 7 years ago, when Decibel published their first issue]. In any case, kudos to all @ Decibel for putting out such a quality publication for the Metal fans. It’s about time an American company tries to take on the many European Metal counterparts!
What immediately got my attention was the first-rate print job and excellent illustrations of artist Bruno Guerreiro. This dude’s got skillz! After Bruno’s art caught my eye, I started to hone in on the actual article(s) themselves —it seems like the ones that resonated with me the most were usually written by the one named J. Bennett. BTW if you are wondering —his name isn’t Jay. “J” is actually short for something else. It turns out that “J” is one of their main contributors (certainly among their best writers IMO) and we are always down to support and promote such peeps who are doing something positive in the Metal community.
Mr. Bennett is certainly a busy-beaver as he contributes to Revolver, Alternative Press (mostly movie reviews/stuff there), MySpace.com, Thrasher and most notably Decibel. However J is normally on the other side of the table, meaning, he is usually the one asking the questions, doing band interviews or writing the reviews!
Please join us as we pick his brain about all things Metal, his life and anything else that we can think of that you might not know about him already.
KINGER: How in the world do you find the time to write for Revolver, Decibel, Thrasher and Self-Titled mag.?
J.BENNETT: Excellent question. I usually find it under rocks or buried in haystacks in remote foreign lands, which is a time-consuming process in and of itself. Which then requires me to find even more time. It’s a vicious circle. Seriously, though? Amphetamines.
K: Which of these outlets do you enjoy contributing to the most and what is the common thread among these choices [if any] and how did you narrow your choices to these four publications?
J: I suspect I’ll get fired by at least three or four magazines if I answer the first part of this question honestly, so I’m gonna go with Field & Stream. Mostly because they never hassle me about all the nonexistent deadlines they never give me. The common thread among the others is that they all probably wish they’d hired someone else. For some reason, I didn’t narrow it down to four, though. I also contribute to Alternative Press and Terrorizer. They also probably wish they’d made a better choice!
K: How did you get started writing about Metal?
J: I was young and didn’t know any better. Some teenagers experiment with drugs or alcohol; I experimented with drugs and alcohol and writing about heavy metal. My first assignment – unpaid, of course – was for a local Boston rock rag called The Noise. I think it’s actually still around. I reviewed a live show at the Middle East Club in Cambridge. I think the lineup was Big Wig (a rock band with a rapper), Cast Iron Hike (featuring future members of ISIS and Doomriders) and Orange 9mm. Then again, it could have been something else entirely.
K: I hear that you have some ‘zine publishing experience —back when dinosaurs roamed the earth, tell us about your old ‘zine Hexbender.
J: I published four issues between 1998 and early 1999 – a thousand copies each, I think. My brother from another mother, Keith Bennett, was my right-hand man and the house expert on all things extreme (he currently plays in the totally righteous PanzerBastard). We actually managed to land some respectable interview subjects even though we didn’t really know what we were doing: Queens Of The Stone Age on their first tour, Emperor, Arch Enemy (Johan Liiva era), Clearlight (Jimmy Bower from Eyehategod’s short-lived side project), John Garcia (pre-Unida), In Flames when they were still good, etc.
My friend Ironlung (of Scissorfight fame) wrote a column for every issue entitled “Ironlung’s Wild America.” One was about Bigfoot smoking weed. My favorite line claimed that Sasquatch liked to “get higher than Bill Walton and Robert Parish at Reggae Sunsplash.”
K: I found out about your writing mainly from the excellent Precious Metal book (also via some reg. Decibel issues). It appears that you wrote more than half of the pieces in that book, tell us how that came about and what bands you covered? Have you ever thought of writing your own book?
J: Precious Metal was the brainchild of Decibel editor-in-chief Albert Mudrian. It’s sort of a greatest hits compilation of the “Hall Of Fame” features that run in every issue of the mag. For each “Hall Of Fame” piece, someone at the magazine interviews all the members of a band that recorded an album we consider to be a classic.
The finished book includes 25 “Hall Of Fame” features, 14 of which were written by me – including Slayer’s Reign In Blood, Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales, Kyuss’ Sky Valley, Sleep’s Jerusalem, Morbid Angel’s Altars Of Madness, Emperor’s In The Nightside Eclipse, At The Gates’ Slaughter Of The Soul and others.
As for the second part of the question, I’ve given a lot of thought to writing a book of my own. But I don’t wanna jinx it by running my mouth too much. I will say this, though: When and if it happens, it will not be music-related in any way.
K: I’ve noticed that your Decibel columns are posted on your Cry Now, Cry Later blog. Please tell us about this blog and what is the target audience?
J: The Cry Now, Cry Later blog is really just an archive for my Decibel columns of the same name. I usually post them after each new issue comes off the stands, but I think I’ve fallen behind by a month or two. The only thing I can really tell you about the target audience is that it’s apparently very, very small. I just checked, and I have a grand total of 15 followers. Obviously, I’ve hit the big time with this thing.
K: You mentioned that you are also working for Alternative Press online doing [primarily] movie reviews —how do you like doing that compared to the Metal material?
J: Writing about movies (after writing about metal most of the week) is like jumping naked into Boston Harbor in January after jogging barefoot across a mile of hot coals. It stings a lot and you’ll probably get an infection from all the sewage, but your pores will be less clogged in the long run.
“My review of Piranha 3D has already been called “the most pretentious movie review I’ve ever read” by some kid from Michigan with a sideways haircut.” – J. Bennett
K: Are you able to make a living from your writing or do you still have a day job perhaps? Walk us through a typical day for you!
J: Writing has paid my bills —barely, for the last 11 years. Mercifully, I’ve been able to avoid the miserable slave pit that passes for our country’s once-thriving service economy for at least that long. We’ll see how much longer it lasts. A typical day usually involves at least one interview, endless hours of soul-murdering transcription, and the occasional stab at stringing together some gibberish for my editors to publish somewhere. Rinse (drown sorrows in alcohol), wash (edit, spell-check), repeat.
K: Tell us the 411 about your music project, IDES OF GEMINI. What is your role in the band and/or what instrument(s) do you play?
J: Ides Of Gemini essentially started in December of 2009, when I pieced together some songs on the guitar in hopes of conning my girlfriend, Sera Timms, into writing some lyrics and singing (she sings and plays bass in a fantastic band called Black Math Horseman). She totally fell for it, so then I suckered her into starting a band with me. Two months ago, we released our debut EP, The Disruption Writ.
K: What genres of Metal and or other musical styles [ in general] do you prefer to listen too?
J: I enjoy most genres of music, with the possible exception of techno, but I tend to gravitate most toward various forms of Metal, rock, pop and soul. I have a huge soft spot for ’70s and ’80s music – everything from early glam like T. Rex, Slade and Bowie to cock rock, pop and new-wave. On the other ends of the spectrum, I love Ravi Shankar, Boards Of Canada, Gladys Knight and Thai pop from the ’60s and ’70s.
K: What’s your Top 5 Metal releases?
J: I’m not sure I could narrow it down to just five, but my top handful would absolutely include:
- Diamond Head’s Lightning To The Nations
- Metallica’s …And Justice For All
- Black Sabbath’s Vol. 4 and Sabbath Bloody Sabbath
- Judas Priest’s British Steel
- Danzig’s self-titled
- Celtic Frost’s Morbid Tales
- Slayer’s Seasons In The Abyss
- Kyuss’ Sky Valley (if that could be considered Metal)
- Motörhead’s Ace Of Spades
- Burzum’s Filosofem
- Immortal’s At The Heart Of Winter
- Darkthrone’s Transilvanian Hunger
- Life Of Agony’s River Runs Red
- Only Living Witness’ Prone Mortal Form
K: Since you listed METALLICA near the top —Metallica or Megadeth?
J: Metallica. Their first five albums are varying degrees of unstoppable. Much to the chagrin of almost every metal fan I know, my favorite is …And Justice For All… I’m also not one of those people who think the Black Album is crap. But in defense of Dave Mustaine, I will say that Megadeth’s “Holy Wars… Punishment Due,” “Hangar 18,” and “Peace Sells” are three of the greatest metal songs ever written (“Angry Again,” from the Last Action Hero soundtrack, is also a personal favorite.) And I’ve been listening to Countdown To Extinction regularly since the day it came out in ’92.
K: Did “grunge” kill Metal (I love his answer to this one —I totally agree)?
J: That’s just the excuse that the cock rock bands used to explain why no one gave a shit about power ballads anymore. In reality, most of those bands had already started sucking hard before Cobain pulled the rug out from under them.
K: What are some of your favorite Rock/Metal concerts that you’ve attended over the years?
J: Almost every Scissorfight show I’ve seen has been monumental. Very few bands brought it like those cats did. I also had a semi-religious experience at the Only Living Witness reunion show at the Middle East Club in Cambridge, MA, a couple of years back. And this past summer, I had the privilege of seeing Isis’ final show up in Montreal, which was as triumphant as it was a bummer. Oh, and Queens Of The Stone Age at the Wiltern in L.A. in December of 2005. Amazing show, plus they brought out John Garcia at the end to sing a few Kyuss jams. And I would be amiss if I didn’t mention Oxbow. They’re one of the greatest live bands out there.
As far as bigger shows, seeing Metallica, Guns N’ Roses and Faith No More at Sullivan Stadium in 1992 was a definite highlight. Slayer on their Undisputed Attitude Tour was another gem. My attorney and I saw that one at the now-defunct Axis club in Boston in ’96. I’ve never seen so many fights in one place in my life. Unsane opened, and I remember Chris Spencer saying, “I swear we only have one more song before Slayer comes on.” The place went batshit!
K: Do you still buy CD’s and or any vinyl and what is your take on MP3′s and or the availability for online music in general?
J: I’m a shameless vinyl junkie. I buy way too much of it way too often. But records obviously aren’t very portable, so for music on the go I prefer mp3′s to CDs. There’s no question about it—the easy availability and portability of mp3′s killed the compact disc. I’m actually in the process of unloading my CD collection as we *speak*. But I’ll be buying vinyl as long as it’s around.
K: I liken the current explosion of online blogs to the fanzines of the 80′s. What’s your take on this and is this “explosion” responsible for the closing of several print magazines of late? What is the ultimate fate for the remaining [music] print magazines?
J: Clearly, a direct connection could be made between the blog blowout and the decline of print mags. And yeah, most of the music blogs I’ve seen certainly seem to have been created in the same spirit of the fanzines of the ’80s and ’90s. In most cases, the writing seems to be of the same quality as that of the old ’zines—which is to say: occasionally spirited but generally fucking terrible. But there are of course exceptions. As for the fate of the music mags still in print? If I had a crystal ball, I would gaze into it longingly and tell you the answer, my friend. I’ll say one thing, though: For the most part, the steady elimination of print mags has been a truly Darwinian process. The wheat has been separated from the chaff. There are exceptions to this, too, but few that I can think of.
K: There are several different delivery methods and or styles for blogs and or magazines these days. It seems that some places like to make a zillion posts that are super short…almost like “text messages” or short PR blasts and then others like to deliver longer interviews and or reviews. I guess it boils down to the age-old debate = Quality VS Quantity?
J: If you ask me—and I’m pretty sure you just did—quality trumps quantity every time. I’ve read 75-word blurbs that are more compelling than full-length novels. It all depends on who’s doing the writing and how much of a shit they happen to give on that particular day.
K: I am not a video game junkie, but I tend to think with the popularity of Guitar Hero and Rock Band type games, that it helped re-kindle some interest in all things Metal + Hard Rock. Do you think we will be seeing a noticeable “bump” one day [in the future] when all these kids grow up and start forming bands? If so, has this already began?
J: Your scenario certainly does not sound like crazy talk, but I’ve never played any of these games or even seen them being played by anyone else, so I’m in no position to answer this one.
K: To some, Metal has definitely made a “come back” of sorts…would you agree? I mean for the last five years you are definitely seeing more of the classic 80′s bands putting out material —some fans + reviewers say their best material in ages even. For example: Testament, Overkill and Accept have all put out decent product lately.
J: I’m gonna be an asshole here and say that I don’t think any of those bands have put out some of their best material even sort of recently. I will say that the new albums from Burzum (Belus) and Atheist (Jupiter) were about a million times better than I expected them to be. I also thought Obituary’s comeback album, Frozen In Time, was highly satisfying.
K: What was the coolest writing gig you’ve ever had and why?
J: I’m gonna have to plead the Fifth on this one to protect the guilty. But I’ve got the scars and the memories to prove that it happened. I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world—not all of it, but a decent chunk—in the name of “journalism,” and I’ve met many a character along the way. But some things are best kept to oneself.
K: What do you think makes a good writer?
J: He or she does not bore you to death. If a writer can make you laugh, cry, or simply turn the page with anticipation, he or she is doing something right.
K: Who are some other writers in the industry that you respect? What are some of the blogs that you follow (other than Demolish of course)?
J: I’m not gonna name any specific writers here because I feel like I’ll forget someone and feel shitty about it later. But blog-wise, I follow:
- The Cosmic Hearse
- Mike Hill’s Everything Went Black blog
- Fenriz’s “Band Of The Week” blog (on the Darkthrone MySpace page)
- Joe Carducci’s The New Vulgate
- Cosmo Lee’s Invisible Oranges
- Aaron Turner’s Feral Pig blog
- R. Loren’s You Texas
- Dark Star blog
- Sera Wolf Blogspot
- On The List
K: Thank you for taking the time to chat with us. Is there anything you would like to add?
J: Thank you very much for the interview and support, Curt. I appreciate you taking the time to quiz me.
Decibel is America’s only monthly extreme music magazine.
Revolver is a bi-monthly hard rock and heavy metal magazine.
Cry Now, Cry Later Blog: text: J. Bennett, illustrations: Bruno Guerreiro
Alternative Press Magazine: If you’re a “hip” young adult, this is the magazine for you.
Ides Of Gemini – the disruption writ. The debut EP released 14 November 2010
Self-Titled is your new favorite music magazine.
Terrorizer is an extreme music magazine from the UK.
*Special thanks to Bruno Guerreiro for permission to use his illustrations. Also thanks to Larry [from the Metal Odyssey Blog for sending me several of his older issues of Decibel to soak up).
Metallica or Megadeth?
Metallica. Their first five albums are varying degrees of unstoppable. Much to the chagrin of almost every metal fan I know, my favorite is …And Justice For All… I’m also not one of those people who think the Black Album is crap. But in defense of Dave Mustaine, I will say that Megadeth’s “Holy Wars… Punishment Due,” “Hangar 18,” and “Peace Sells” are three of the greatest metal songs ever written. (“Angry Again,” from the Last Action Hero soundtrack, is also a personal favorite.) And I’ve been listening to Countdown To Extinction regularly since the day it came out in ’92.
January 21, 2011 | Categories: Demolish Issue #1 | Tags: Aaron Turner’s Feral Pig blog, Alt Press Online, Alternative Press, ARTILLERY's "When Death Comes", BibliOdyssey, Black Math Horseman, Black Math Horseman singer, Bruno Guerreiro, Bruno Guerreiro - Decibel Magazine artist, Bruno Guerreiro illustrator, Cosmo Lee’s Invisible Oranges, Cry Later, Cry Later Blog, Cry Now, Dark Star blog, Decibel, Decibel Magazine, Decibel Metal mag., Demolish A.D., Demolish Metal Network, did grunge kill hair metal?, did grunge kill metal?, editor-in-chief Albert Mudrian, entertainment, Fenriz’s “Band Of The Week” blog, GUINNESS + Metal rocks, Heavy Metal, Hexbender 'zine, Hexbender 90's fanzine, Hexbender J.Bennett, Ides Of Gemini, Ides Of Gemini - The Disruption Writ, Ides Of Gemini - The Disruption Writ (ep), J.Bennett, J.Bennett - Ides Of Gemini, Joe Carducci’s The New Vulgate, metal music, Metal writers, Mike Hill’s Everything Went Black blog, movers and shakers of Metal in 2011, Music, Music News, On the List blog, Precious Metal (edited by Albert Mudrian ), Precious Metal book, Precious Metal book by Decibel Mag., R. Loren’s You Texas, Revolver, Self-Titled Mag., Sera Timms, Sera Timms - Ides Of Gemini, Sera Wolf Blogspot, singer Sera Timms, Terrorizer Mag., The Cosmic Hearse, Thrasher Mag. | 4 Comments »