I just finished up an (email) interview for none other than Mr. Michael Sweet - of Stryper fame! I'm sure some of you that read that sentence started to laugh, while others said "oh cool" or something along those lines.
I first got into Stryper back when their first full length album "Soldiers Under Command" was released. The friends I used to jam with used to cover a handful of Stryper tunes as well. They are one of those bands from my past that I will always like - regardless of what other people may think.
Is it contrary to feature known Satanic bands in EA along with a known Christian band? I don't think so. Or rather - I don't give a shit. The Satanic bands have chosen their path just as Michael and Stryper have chosen their's. As I've said time and time again - EA will be as selfish as possible. I feature artists that I flat out like - if that turns some of you off to EA, so be it. I am following my own path and, quite frankly, so far it's worked out well.
I refuse to compromise what I want EA to be. I think that sensibility is really starting to come across now. Am I arrogant about it? No. I just know what I want and refuse to be swayed by popular opinion, advertisers, or anyone in any particular "scene" - music or otherwise.
I'm very interested to read his replies as I've only just started the interview process with Michael. I sent about 4 pages of questions to start - yeah, that's right, 4 PAGES. Once he answers them and I do follow ups - this interview is going to be long, I can already tell. Unless he decides to do one answer replies - but I kinda doubt it. We shall see.
Who's on deck? The fabulous 45 Grave! Deathrock in the fuckin house! I've been wanting to interview Dinah Cancer forever (one of the best stage names ever in music). We finally got connected this week and that interview is next. Yes!
Who's also on deck? Veronica Falls. I really love what this band is about. Not only do they show their indie-pop roots (think a mix of 60's music mixed with 80's alt and pop and you get a rough idea of what they sound like), but they subscribe to the old school ethic. On their last US tour - what did they bring with them from London? Fucking split cassette demo tapes of themselves and one of their favorite bands! When was the last time you went to a gig and bought an official split demo tape at the merch booth?! These guys are the real deal - and they're talented to boot.
So things are full steam ahead right now. I spent last night looking through the first three issues of the magazine. #4 and #5 are going to be the culmination of everything I've learned to produce a better quality product. That doesn't always mean color, glossy pages, etc....it means a solid read with an appropriate layout. I love DIY cut n paste zines of the past. Does that style fit EA right now? Not really. But I could see doing part of an issue or layout in that style - particularly for old school metal interviews. There's so many different directions to take the new issues that I'm overwhelmed and excited at the same time!
The future is bright - and will just get brighter if I have anything to say about it!
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What else is on my mind? Bands. Downloads. And just how God awful music makes it's way through the music industry.
I'm opinionated when it comes to music. I just am. Years and years of listening to bands, studying their every move and detail, as well as being a musician of some 20 years, has turned me into this laid back person that perks up when I hear something special and makes me cringe when I hear something lousy.
I never realized just how much crap music is being put out these days until I started the magazine. I also got a good dose of reality when it comes to breaking into the business. Everyone knows there are tons of bands out there. But when I have to go through 12 releases just to get to one "decent" one for a person to review, damn, it really hit me.
These are bands with managers, publicists, etc that have the push of a label that are putting out crap music. What does the local joe blow do against that Goliath? Work smart is what I say. But make no mistake, you have your work cut out for you, for sure.
And before I come across like an arrogant ass, let me say I can truly appreciate what it takes to create a piece of music. I really can. It's a very personal experience and rewarding at the same time. It's your baby. So, I do my best to be constructive whenever possible but sometimes, when a band submits something, and it's just ridiculous - with no measure of musical talent, I'm at a loss for words.
I also get the feeling, and maybe I'm wrong, that many of these new artists haven't had someone be honest with them about their shortcomings. Again, in my opinion, constructive criticism is beneficial for an artist - constructive being the key word, there. Just saying something "sucks" isn't helpful at all. But, breaking things down and explaining why something needs work is.
I don't know. I'm just going to call 'em as I see 'em. And, man, a lot of what I hear needs work.
$5 US postpaid will get one issue delivered to your door if you live in the lower 48 here in the US. Outside of the US (including Alaska and Hawaii) will cost anywhere from $8 US to $10 US (depending on where its being shipped to).
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