Tag Archives: Alex Rants

1
Jan

So the world didn’t end :(

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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.

Happy holidays!


12
Dec

12.12.12

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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.

 


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.


17
Feb

Open letter to concert editors

Dear editors,

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.


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