Today is a German national holiday, the German unity day. As an American, listening to the German national anthem, you might think to yourself “FUCKING NAZIS,” but as a German I’m pretty proud right now.
No, I’m not. I honestly couldn’t care less. But I might aswell use this holiday as an excuse to post about German metal.
So, without further ado, make the jump to listen to some quality metal.
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!
Always suspected John of being a robot from another planet, this video just proves my theory. Here’s Satriani’s skills being stolen by John while playing live…
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?
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.
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.
Grow up, guys. You’re older than the American dollar, time to stop these petty catfights in the press.