I thought I would follow up our positing of the Scotland Tour figures, which showed us making a loss, with a blog about the state of Rock and Metal in the U.K. and a few thoughts on Kaine and its place in the scene. I drew a lot of criticism for the figures, as from a business perspective to lose so much money and draw so few people could easily be considered a disaster. I however do not see it that way…. here’s some thoughts as to why…
As we have seen in Metal Hammer this week, (the biggest UK Heavy Metal magazine) the declaration of Babymetal being named band of the century just 16 years in, how one of their writers believes that this country has no high calibre bands anymore and finally naming Asking Alexandria the best Metal band in the country.
Metal Hammer has drawn much criticism for all three of these items, with many people highlighting the fact they simply do not give any significant coverage to U.K. based bands that aren’t well known and that being part of the problem. The only limited involvement we have had with Metal Hammer in the past is when we have paid for advertising with them and in that they have refused to review any of our albums, presumably as the magazine didn’t think they were worth reviewing.
Do I think Metal Hammer not reviewing or covering Kaine has done us any harm?
Not one bit…. and here’s why.
Kaine is an underground Metal band, we have a sound that appeals to a niche market in Metal. The people who follow Kaine, buy the material and attend the shows are the old school rockers. These people do not want standoffish, arrogant, egotistical rock stars but approachable, normal, hardworking musicians. We are just like you, just enjoying doing something we love.
Now these people wouldn’t be allowed within 15 feet of the likes of Black Sabbath these days without being forced to pay to even be in the same room with them but they can come to a Kaine gig, enjoy the music and be able to speak freely with the band before and after the show. We are on stage, exactly the same people we are off of it. We aren’t rock stars, we don’t get wasted, and we don’t sleep around or believe we are bigger than what we are. If anything we are anti-Rockstars.
To be who we are, at this particular time in Metal does not require us to have major mainstream media on our side to be a success. Yes, it would be helpful but it’s not the deciding factor in anything we do either. We certainly won’t be changing who we are, or how we behave to be accepted into rock royalty either.
Metal Hammer (and the like) is a business, aside from selling magazines it has to draw in advertising revenues to survive. Advertising revenues from major labels is a huge part of their business and they in turn support those bands whose labels have invested with them and their brand. They need to work together to both sell magazines, records and tours to their audience and importantly retain that very audience. It’s getting harder every year for magazines to retain readers, and income and it would be suicide from a business perspective to suddenly shun the big bands and labels and suddenly start promoting bands like ours.
So going back to the Scotland thing… our tour in Scotland, without any major magazine or media coverage, still managed to bring the old school rockers to the shows and we still sold over half of everyone who came merch and music. We signed the CD’s, vinyl, set lists and spoke with everyone who approached us and hopefully those people will turn out for us again when we return.
Our philosophy is simple, we are a band for the ordinary people who just want to see a hardworking, gimmick free, old school rock band and we make the music we do because we enjoy it and if other people enjoy it as well then that’s a bonus.
The feedback we have had recently from many people who have seen us live is we should be bigger than we are and that will be signed to a Major label soon, and if not why not? I of course appreciate the compliment but sadly the music business is never that simple. I don’t suspect Kaine will be signed to a Major label and certainly there’s no talks in the works or no approach made, we don’t even have management as we do all of that ourselves. There’s not even a medium or major festival in this country that will book us either! That’s just how it is.
The next Kaine record, which will be our biggest and best record yet, will be entirely self-funded again. This will be our primary focus for the rest of the year, so while Metal Hammer won’t cover it and no Major label will sign us to promote it, so long as you enjoy it, and we enjoyed making it, then what does it matter?
Love, as always