If I’m honest, the only thing I had in mind when I started Metal Blast was to go to concerts and meet some of my favorite bands. I never thought it would become a “job” that takes a big chunk of my time or that people would actually read what we put out. I was wrong on both counts.
Of course, as a newcomer to the world of “music journalism”, I had zero points of reference. I imagined journalists trying to go through their well-prepared interviews in the middle of backstage parties full of scantily-clad women, tables covered in cocaine and face to face with the luxurious lifestyle of the rich and famous. I was also wrong on these counts.
It’s not just that, despite my best efforts, I still haven’t been able to snort cocaine out of some groupie’s tits, but also that all I assumed “journalism” was supposed to be about, simply didn’t exist. I get it, heavy metal often is party music (be it a drinking party or a child-burning satanic mass) so some people try to use this as an excuse to do a downright terrible job, from barely legible reviews to the kind of cringe-inducing interviews that will have you reaching towards you screen to strangle whoever it is that is conducting that abomination.
You’re probably saying “But J, why do you care that they’re doing a crappy job? It’s good for you if they’re bad at it”. First of all, I can’t hear you, so I don’t know why you’re saying that out loud; secondly, you’re wrong. When people do a crappy job, it affects every single one of us who takes this seriously; musicians start to get bored of doing interviews, since they’re mostly made up of stupid questions, and labels are reluctant to work with you, since they assume you’re no different from the rest. For the longest time you won’t even be trying to show how good your work is, but rather just showing that you’re not terrible. It’s a constant struggle to prove a negative: “I don’t suck”.
The amateur-hour of music journalism has meant that, despite the approaching death of printed media, paper-magazines are seen as “legitimate”, while Internet media is looked down upon. Since every idiot can have a magazine online (and that includes us) then the only way labels, festivals and musicians can discern between “real” and “fake” journalism is based on whether there is money involved. Since printing isn’t cheap, then print is seen as legit, even if they often also feature illiterate imbeciles with little to nothing worthy of being said.
Changing this situation is easy. Don’t support shitty journalism, in whatever form it comes. If you see an interview where the questions are bad or stupid, don’t “like” or “share” it because the interviewer is cute or because it’s being done by some parent’s exploited kids. Don’t enable their vapidity. The freedom that has been given to us by the Internet to create and access knowledge can be wonderful or terrible; let’s give it the best use that we can.
And, of course, feel free to drop us a line and join us!*
*Restrictions and bullying may apply