Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Metal Maniacs: Read In Peace?

While it's been a few weeks since it was "announced" I'm still trying to come to grips with the loss of Metal Maniacs Magazine. I don't care what you think/thought of the magazine, if you thought about it all, but I need to say this...the thing was a pillar of the Metal community for-fucking-ever!

It's loss will affect the scene...mark my words.

I'll be the first to admit I didn't dig 100% of the bands featured, shit, I was probably hovering at about 40% if you really want to know. However I looked at Maniacs as far more important than my individualistic tastes. I never walked away from an issue disappointed, there was always something for everyone.

I'd been a reader since before Metal Mania morphed into Maniacs and can say with a straight face, have never missed an issue. Proud subscriber for well over a decade too...I'm going to miss it.

The support the magazine showed the underground? It was unreal. As it was a major part of the underground, Maniacs never waned in their dedication to spread the word of the "little guy." From demo reviews to the fanzines to the famous "shorts" every issue did the scene right. I was proud as hell to have been reviewed in MM several times over the years. As any zine editor will admit, a review in Metal Maniacs was easily 500+ mag sales. Not kidding, it was like opening the floodgates, think about it 500 x $3 = well, a lot.

There's just this huge void that will remain an open wound unless this magazine comes back. There's some great magazines out there, don't get me wrong. I'm a proud subscriber to many, but there was nothing like a new issue of Maniacs.

The way I look at it is there's some kid in Idaho or bumfuck Illinois who's going to go into the local grocery store and perhaps miss his/her chance at becoming exposed to some of the greatest music ever. Where else are you going to get a Absu or Electric Wizard, Cannibal Corpse, Kreator or Watain cover story to every store in America?

Like I've said several times, it's a shame. However I do not place all the blame on the economy. Sure it's a big part of it, but in my opinion the biggest blame should fall on the shoulders of you! Well, some of you. If you're one of the millions of people who download/steal music this is on you. I think this generation believes they're entitled to get everything for free.

They do not buy magazines because the information is free on the net. Same reason why some do not buy the records, because they feel they've bought enough over the years or whatever the excuse is.

I hope there's light at the end of the Metal Maniacs tunnel, I really do.

Seeing that it might be the end of an era, I figured I'd share my big Metal Maniacs 'interview' story with you. Back in October 2000 I was managing Usurper and the band was invited to play a show in New York at [the legendary] CBGB's. At that time the band's publicist was a guy named Jon Paris. Jon was killer, he had fuck all to work with and I'm sure every check he ever received while employed at Necropolis Records bounced. But like I said he was killer and did as much as he could for the band. [last time I heard his name he was working at SPV]

So Jon's based out of New York so he met us at the hotel and then it's off to do an interview with Metal Maniacs! I was on cloud 9 totally happy for the band to get the big-time exposure in the mag. The interview was going to take place at some restaurant with writer Vinny Cecolini, because as Jon Paris told us beforehand "Vinny likes his food!"

So we get to the place and sit down, Vinnie and Rick did most of the talking,
Jon Necromancer and I were opposite them. All I could remember was the worst fucking experience as Vinny would ask a question and then just shovel food down like a madman while pausing to ask another question and then back to the gorging. This went on for 30/40 minutes, I sat there blown away by the vulgar display of face stuffing.

Vinny might be a great writer or whatever and perhaps a helluva guy, but nine years later and I'm still a little disappointed. The article was OK, nothing to brag about and definitely not worth what the lunch cost.

Usurper 9:00 am October 2000, LaGuardia Airport NYC.