Category Archives: Rants

Our shitty rants

26
Sep

10 tips for learning guitar with the right attitude

I’ve been playing guitar for over 10 years, and frankly, it wasn’t easy getting started. I had a lot of misconceptions about guitar playing and about why I would want to play guitar in the first place, some of which turned into disappointments. It took me a while to understand it all, and hopefully you’ll be able to learn a thing or two from my ups and downs.

There are many great sites and videos about the technical side of playing guitar, but very few focus on the attitude and mentality you should have about starting to play an instrument. I’m gonna try to leave all the music stuff to the teachers and the pros, and just focus on what goes on inside your head, not on what your hands are supposed to do.

Most of these things apply to any other instruments as well, but I play guitar and figured I’d write this article around my own experience, making it a bit more personal and not just generic.

I am not a professional guitarist, by the way, so keep that in mind while reading this article, and take it for what it is — just some guy’s opinion.

The tips start after the jump!

 


25
Sep

Some advice for bands and their PR

I’m not gonna pretend I know the ins and outs of the music industry, just because I run a metal blog. I don’t, but considering how hard the industry has fallen, it appears I’m not the only one.

But even though I may not be ‘in the know’ completely, in two years writing for this site, I have interacted with many PR people, and a lot of them have been helpful and polite, but a few of them have been downright unprofessional, and they were representing bigger bands. And I can’t help but wonder if musicians themselves know about it.

I actually prefer talking to musicians directly, two of my best interviews came from direct contact between myself and the musicians in question. Mainly because some press agents are simply not doing their job.

Now, I know, we’re not MetalSucks, maybe when you do run a big blog like that, things change. But in my opinion, professionalism is not about the size of the companies you work with, it’s about treating everyone with the same kind of respect, regardless of what they can do for you. I’ve been contacted by a bunch of shady companies offering us money for non-metal links and ads, or other similar stuff, and I never felt above answering with a very polite and mannered ‘Thanks, but no thanks.’ Which brings me to:

Advice #1: Reply to your email inquiries.

Even if you want to say no, say no. Don’t just leave the email hanging. Whenever I don’t get a reply, I start wondering if the person forgot, or never got the email, or got it in the spam folder. So I’m inclined to send it again after a while. Why not answer back and give a ‘no’? I’m a big boy.

Advice #2: Keep your promises

Without giving any agency or band name away, let me tell you a small story. In our months of running this site, we wanted to interview a band we liked. The band is big enough to matter, but not ‘Metallica big,’ so we figured we had a shot, regardless of our being pretty much at the beginning of our journalistic journey.

We got in contact with their press agent, who seemed enthusiastic about it, and even told us which band member we were gonna interview. We put together a pretty great email interview for him, and then the PR lady kept postponing.

“Next month, right now they’re on tour.”
“Wait, after the holidays, late January at the latest”
“In a month or two”

Then she stopped responding altogether. Now, was that really professional, considering the band she’s representing has been around since the 80s and is pretty respected? Do the musicians know which people represent their interest? Which leads me to my third and final advice:

Advice #3: Start doing some of the grunt work yourselves

Gone are the days when musicians were these delicate flowers, with teams of people working for them, and no way of communicating with the fans. It’s 2012, labels go bankrupt, bands earn way less, and fans expect direct interaction. There is no reason for a musician not to try and handle a few things himself/herself.

This is because I am convinced musicians don’t know how many missed opportunities for decent interviews and exposure might be missed by unanswered emails or promises that never come true. And they pay these people. Giving an interview requires little time, and little to no effort, they’re worth it. Doesn’t matter if it’s Rolling Stone or just some site out there. Why not get it out there?

Final words…

I am not bitching or anything. I really do this for fun so I don’t care too much about about the business side of things. Plus I realize we make fun of a lot of bands, which might turn off some people. But I really do expect professionalism from the people representing signed bands that have been out for a while, and I’m not seeing it as often as I should. Does this affect the artist himself? I don’t know, but it definitely doesn’t help.


24
Sep

The old grannies in Aerosmith are still fighting over Idol

When Steven Tyler joined American Idol, a lot of people were angry. Including Kid Rock. But no one was as angry as Tyler’s own band mate, guitarist Joe Perry.

Now that Steven is out of American Idol, you’d think they’d be over it within the band, and would just focus on the music… Right? Wrong. Just watch the video above (at around 1:40).

If you think about it, most bands break up because of the tension between certain band members. Usually between the singer and the guitar player. I’m guessing that happens because no matter what, the singer will always be the most important member of the band in people’s eyes, so he will develop an ego and think he’s bigger than the band itself. Also, the guitarist always gets a lot of attention too, enough to get him an ego, but not as much as the singer, making him jealous and insecure.

As a misanthropic piece of shit myself, I can definitely understand calling it quits when you’re forced to work with people you dislike. At one point, no money, fame, or critical acclaim can make you stand certain assholes any longer, especially ones that act like little divas. So I’m not above hating someone, I definitely understand it. But at least be manly about it.

Get into a fist fight, challenge each other to gun duels, don’t just go running to the press to talk shit about the other guy. That’s what girls do, man. Just be a man and hate your band member and former friend like a man.

Now back to Aerosmith, it is pretty obvious that these guys cannot stand each other, but somehow they made it work. Which would be respectable, I guess, if they didn’t act like gossipy little brats. Not only do they dress and fight like chicks, but they both talk like they came straight out of “Mean Girls.”

– Like, I was totally like, feeling that American Idol gig and certain people were jealous of me
– Nuh-uh, girl, speak for yourself, I wasn’t jealous at all.
– Bitch!!!!

Grow up, guys. You’re older than the American dollar, time to stop these petty catfights in the press.


24
Sep

Making money in the name of charity

Maybe you’ve heard of the Kim Kardashian charity scandal (hardly a scandal, but suitable as an example) earlier this year. If you haven’t, and if you’re too lazy to check the link above, let me break it down to you. Kim Kardashian has sold some of her clothes via Ebay, under the banner “Charity Auction Supporting the Dream Foundation.” In the end only 10% were actually donated and she has kept the rest to herself.

What does this have to do with metal, and especially with Chuck Schuldiner (pictured above)? Well, we might think that something like that couldn’t happen in our perfect metal world. After all, metal musicians seem less money hungry than women who’re only famous for getting fucked by some R’n’B singer. But we’re wrong to assume that.

Beth Schuldiner, Chuck Schuldiner’s sister, has now spoken about the Sick Drummer Magazine/Death To All Tour debacle. Again, to break it down for you, Sick Drummer Magazine has helped organize the Death To All/Chuck Schuldiner tribute tour earlier this year. The earnings of said tour were partly supposed to go to the Sweet Relief charity, which had also helped Chuck when he was dying from cancer. Now Death’s management has claimed that the owners of Sick Drummer Magazine has not paid musicians, charity, booking agents, crews or Death’s management, Perseverance Holdings Ltd., despite the tour being a success.

Those are some very strong accusations and to further fuel the fire, Beth Schuldiner has now spoken out about it, and you can read that after the jump.

I’m not going to pick sides myself, because I hardly know all of the details of this story, but I’d like to point out how incredibly weak it is to make thousands of dollars in the name of charity, and then not even give 1% to that charity. Even Kim Kardashian knew better.


19
Sep

Scott Ian and The Big Five

The Big Four is a subject dear to our hearts here at Dose of Metal. Why? Because all of us respect all four bands a lot, and all of us love at least two of them to death. So whenever we get the chance to talk about them, we do.

Before this website (and therefore, before The Big Four concerts happened), Guido and I wanted to start a Big Four fansite. Our goal was to just get fans together and stop arguing about which band is better, and just treat all four bands with the respect they deserve.

That didn’t happen, and instead we got this shitty metal blog running. However, I still kinda feel defensive about this subject, so here goes:

One of the biggest debates that was going on before the concerts and the DVD , was which bands should really be part of ‘The Big Four.’ Some argued that Metallica shouldn’t be there, since they haven’t been thrash metal for decades. Others wanted Exodus, Testament or Overkill in there. I could never understand why.The term was not up for debate, it wasn’t a chart or a top, it was just a monicker.

The Big Four is just a nickname, it is not supposed to be a factually accurate thesis on thrash metal. It’s a nickname given to four specific bands, period. If you want other thrash metal bands to be part of a celebration of thrash metal, that’s understandable, but call it something else. Call it, I don’t know, “Thrash Metal Celebration.” Do not call it The Big Four, because that name is about four bands, and four bands only.

Even though diehard thrash metalheads still debate the term from time to time, most people just accept the fact that it is what it is, now that there is a DVD out and everything. However, this interview with Scott Ian just made me remember all those useless arguments all over again.

Interviewer: I was wondering whether he thought there were any other bands that should have been considered for that title. Like, should it maybe have been the Big Five instead?

Scott Ian: The only other band really that it would make sense [to include] as far as American thrash-metal would be Exodus, because they were there right at the beginning as well. Their first album came out right at the same time as the rest of us. So I mean, to me, yes — if you were gonna add a fifth band, certainly I would think Exodus would be able to fill that slot very easily.

Scott is not responsible for this, he just gave a hypothetical answer to a very hypothetical question. It’s clearly the interviewer who just happens to wonder what band would be good for “The Big Five.” But what is that? The term doesn’t exist. No one ever thought of that nickname.  The nickname and the number four came because of the four bands we all know, not the other way around. It makes no sense to add anyone else to the nickname.

I know there are probably big Exodus fans out there who are gonna call me an asshole and teach me a lesson about what Exodus did for thrash metal. But that’s not the point, I’m not denying their legacy, I’m just saying the nickname “The Big Four” does not necessarily have to be the most accurate description of the origins of thrash metal. It’s simply a nickname that stuck, and it involves certain bands, and there should not be a debate over this. It’s like saying “Wacko Jacko” should not refer to Michael Jackson, but to Jack the Ripper, cause he was way ‘wacker’ than MJ.

The Big Four is Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and Metallica. That’s it. There is no changing that. If you want to replace any of the bands with other thrash metal acts of the early 80s, you are entitled to do so, but it simply stops being ‘The Big Four.’ Just like operating on my testicles and removing both tumors would put an end to the ‘Big Four’ nickname I gave to my balls.

I heard Kerry King’s diet is also called The Big Four, because of the four supersized meals he gets at McDonald’s every day. It could just be a rumor I just made up though, so don’t take my word for it.

Source of the Scott Ian quote: Straight


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