Tag Archives: Alex Rants
I have to admit, I was kinda rooting for the apocalypse theory. Not that I’m depressed or anything, but I do hate a lot of people, so I’d give my life if it meant everyone else would go down with me.
But that didn’t happen, so I guess we still have to live in this dirty and polluted world and pretend we don’t hate all the assholes around us.
On that positive note, happy new year, motherfuckers! I know we haven’t been writing much, but we were hoping the apocalypse would show its fat face.
We haven’t had a post here since October, and this is really not our fault. It’s not easy being a slob, you know? Being lazy takes a lot of talent and dedication, so next time you accuse any of us for not writing on this site, at least learn to appreciate how hard it is to be as bad as us.
Having said that, I had to jump on the 12/12/12 bandwagon and acknowledge this kickass date. The last time we’ll have such a nice date. Sure, we’ll have 11/12/13 next year, but it’s not gonna be the same.
Will the world end this year? God, I hope so. I really do. Unfortunately I’m not 6, so I can’t believe in superstitious crap like the horoscope, religion, prophecies about the apocalypse, Dave Mustaine being over the Metallica feud, those kinds of things. So no, it won’t happen. But do I want it to happen? Hell yes.
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!
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.
I understand how hard it is to take raw footage and edit it into something beautiful and coherent — especially when it needs to be in time with the music. I really do understand, because although I am a metal messenger by night (read: blogging nerd), I am also a professional editor by day. I am not saying I’m necessarily better than you at this, nor am I trying to brag, I’m merely explaining how I know a thing or two about this activity.
There is, however, no reason to giving me a close-up of the drummer, whilst the lead guitarist is doing a solo. You see, each member of the band is important in his own right, so you don’t have to be unfair and focus on the singer more than you focus on the guitarist, for instance. Unless we’re talking about a solo artist and his live band, that is. But if we’re talking about a metal band, when the lead guitarist is doing a solo, I want to see him do that solo. As many shots of him playing the guitar as necessary.
When a solo is happening, fuck the singer, fuck the drummer. I want to see the solo being played. And here’s one of the many reasons:
A lot of people who listen to this type of music play instruments themselves. Chances are, if someone plays guitar and is watching an AC/DC dvd, for instance, he is interested in watching Angus Young do his thing. So when Angus is doing a solo, focus on that solo. Alternate between close-ups and full shots of him, do whatever you have to do to feel like you’re editing the concert, but don’t lose track of which instrument is the main focus at any given time.
Fans usually buy these DVDs, they want to see when the guitarist does his solo, when the vocalist does his trademark scream, when the drummer does a blast beat. Just put yourself in their position. This is the music they’re playing, what would I want to see if I was a big fan?
I think editors who work on concerts need to be familiar with the band they’re working on.
Make the jump, cause I’m not done yet. I’m gonna start giving examples of good edits versus bad edits. Ohh boy, I’m so excited! Feel these nipples.
The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is a very controversial subject. We found that out when we asked 20 musicians, 3 artists, 1 band manager and 1 PR agent for their opinion on the matter, and only 6 of them finally sent us a statement.
We do understand that some people don’t want to comment on the bill though. Not everyone is going to understand and agree with what these people think. They are musicians after all, not average internet users. So their opinion on the matter might split their fanbase into two camps, and we can definitely understand why they don’t want to risk that.
With that being said, with this article we’re trying to give those people a chance to speak on the matter, since they would be affected by it in different ways than most people. Five musicians (including one who is also the director of an independent record label), one artist and finally the writers of this website speak out on the Stop Online Piracy Act and piracy in general right after the jump.
Now, why would our opinion really matter? Dose of Metal and other similar music blogs rely heavily on Youtube and PR agencies distributing music for promotion purposes through one-click hosts. Without that, this site would barely be able to exist in its current form.
Musicians and other artists would face an even bigger challenge, if this bill went through. Just think of all the internet promotion they couldn’t count on anymore.
Keep all that in mind when you’re reading the rest of this story after the jump.
I don’t know about you, but I love seeing bands live. When I do see them live, I don’t just sit somewhere and headbang, I watch the show. If I want to act like a retard, I do it at home, or in a designated club… When I see a band live, I literally want to see them live, want to watch them play the songs that I love.
Sounds like a sensible approach, but it’s pretty hard doing it with all the fucking obnoxious people around you.
Unfortunately, the genre of music we all know and love attracts a lot of posers, people who go to festivals mainly to ‘check in’ on foursquare and take a few photos for Facebook. They are there to impress others, they don’t even know the band well. Those people get in my way, as do people who act like fucking retards and simply have no respect for the people around them.
Tonight, let us explore ten stereotypical annoying concertgoers. You’ve all seen them, you’ve all been annoyed by them. If these things don’t ring true, news flash: YOU ARE THE OBNOXIOUS ONE!
Let’s make the jump, shall we?
I stumbled across this short film recently… I’m not gonna lie, it’s not exactly Citizen Kane, but what I found fascinating was the intro music. It was weird and offbeat, yet very familiar. It took me a while to realize it’s a ‘lawsuit-safe’ version of Metallica‘s ‘The Thing That Should Not Be.’
Then I noticed the character’s Metallica shirt, which means it’s not accidental. In fact, at one point in the film you can hear the original track being played on that CD player, which means they wrote/made the film with the song in mind, even used it, but then probably had to switch it for legal reasons.
Here, have a listen:
Fans of Conan may know the bit he does where his band plays a famous song differently, to ‘avoid legal action.’ That is, of course, meant to be a joke. But it actually does happen, even on major TV shows… When you don’t have the rights (or the money to buy the rights) of a certain song, you either find a band who will cover it for you using slightly different notes, or if the song is famous enough, you might actually find that ‘lawsuit-proof’ cover already, you just have to buy it. Soundtrack sites list these songs as “In the style of Metallica” or something similar.
But this does raise an interesting point… Why don’t labels allow their music to be used in non-profit work? I understand that a movie or a TV show makes a lot of money, thus it’s only fair to pay for the music. I also understand your song is your property, so I’m not saying everyone should just distribute their music for free… I’m just saying, if I was in a band, I’d have no problem with student films or YouTube clips using my music. As long as it’s not making a profit, who cares? If anything, fans of that short film might actually check out more of my music.
I understand trying to fight piracy, but I don’t understand discouraging people from using your music if they’re doing it just for the sake of the art. Back to the short film above, I’m willing to bet the filmmaker had Metallica’s song in mind the whole time, but had to change it for festivals and other events. It’s a bit sad when the song that inspires you can’t be used unless you can fork out the big bucks.
Silly me, trying to understand labels and their greed.
They say you’re only as good as the company you keep, so considering what my fellow DoM writers are like, I’m fucked.
But why do we run this site? Is it for the money? Not really, because we hardly make any… So if it’s not a job, what is it? A hobby? A way to kill time? An obsession? A little bit of everything?
I really don’t know, cause if I’m honest, I don’t even consider myself a proper metalhead. I hate a lot of metal subgenres, especially those where the vocals sound like a bear coughing up a hairball. So do I really love writing about metal? Nope. So why do I do it? I have no clue.
Now, don’t get me wrong, all of my favorite bands are metal, or at least WERE metal in the 80s, but I just don’t consider myself part of this metalhead clique. I shower, I don’t wear band shirts, don’t wear camo pants (unless I play paintball or airsoft with my friends, which is totally anti-metal in and of itself). My head is the only thing that looks slightly metal. Metal head. Get it? Fuck you.
Anyway, I hate going to the barbershop so I simply shave my head, wait for it to grow a couple of weeks, then shave it again, and so on. Sometimes I shave it with a razor. I also wear a goatee. Most of the time, I sport the Phil Anselmo ’92 look (with a bit of his 2000 look, since I also drink a lot — and eat). So my head kinda looks metal, but that’s it.
So if I’m not a metalhead, what am I? I definitely hate most genres out there. I get mad at the term ‘nu-metal’ for having metal in it, which is dumb. It’s like calling Hitler ‘nu-tolerant.’ So I can’t pigeonhole myself into a certain genre or subgenre, I guess I just like music.
Then what the fuck am I doing on a site called Dose of Metal? Why am I not running a site that handles a bit more than just metal? It probably has something to do with the way we started this thing, so keep on reading to find out…
There are many stereotypes associated with metalheads. Most of them are about hygiene, but one predominant stereotype seems to be “Let’s diss Metallica, because all pure metalheadz do it lolz!!1111″
I know what you’re thinking: But Alex, you make fun of Metallica all the time! True, but it’s tongue-in-cheek humor which is aimed at every band out there, not just them. It’s how we roll around here. I’m talking about people who genuinely try to take a shit on this band for the sake of taking a shit (on this band).
If you’re one of those guys who just never liked them, this article isn’t about you. If you’re a guy who liked/loved 80s Metallica, then just gave up being a fan because of 90s and especially early 2000s Metallica, this article isn’t about you either. If you spend your days commenting on each Metallica-related article on Blabbermouth, saying the same thing over and over again, and using the ‘sell out’ argument, this article is definitely about you. Bitch
So no matter how much you love or hate this band, continue reading this article and read my flawless arguments which contradict this popular trend with metalheads.