OPINION PIECE: SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE IN METAL/ROCK JOURNALISM

We’ve all seen it, the clickbait posts.

There was once a time prior to every Slipknot release we would get Corey Taylors’ view on every matter from every available media outlet, presently we are getting inundated with things about Ghost since they found TikTok success with Mary on A Cross, apparently Sleep Token is the next big thing and we know Dave Mustaine was fired from Metallica 40 odd years ago, but for some reason, this story is repeated daily. This morning we learned about what Bruce Dickinson did when Blaze Bayley replaced him in Iron Maiden in slightly more recent times, 1994…

I have noticed these articles are getting two types of engagement. One group of responders are those who read the headline and not the detail and will comment on the headline only, without understanding the context of the headline or the quote in question.

One recent piece I read was about the challenges Dave Mustaine had replacing Dave Ellefson, organising the re-recording of the parts for the new Megadeth album, and then preparing a new line-up for a major tour, all of which anyone who’s been in bands will understand will know will be a stressful and difficult period. This was a small part of a recent interview where Mustaine talked about his success on his recent tour. In this, he spoke about how well the band had done, and he showed a great level of appreciation for the bands he had toured with.

It was an interesting piece, however the headline however simply said, “I know what it is like to have people gunning for me” in reference to how the music press had gone after Dave Ellefson immediately following the controversy, showing some empathy for his former bandmate.  The headline let down the article, which was actually a good one, a positive one. Because a large number of those who engaged with the article only read the headline, the response was overwhelmingly negative, assuming that this was again about Dave Mustaine and Metallica, which it absolutely wasn’t.

The other group who comments are those who are sick to death with seeing the same stories recycled by all the major outlets, the attempts to reignite a feud that finished decades ago and people’s opinions on stuff that frankly nobody cares about, just to get certain groups angry.

On the flipside the media outlets will argue, they post and write about this stuff because that’s what people engage with, but it’s almost all negative, whether it is people arguing over whether Sleep Token is the next big thing, how much they hate the latest Ghost single, or a falling out between the members of Journey.  But this negative content is pretty much all they write about, and it’s to win at algorithms and not contribute anything substantial to heavy music, or even the debate. They pander to the angry, not the interested. Surely there is something else, something better than just this to write about?

The whole Rock and Metal online environment has been turned toxic, and the music seems secondary to the online arguments and the drama.  In the U.K. we call these “Sun” “Mirror” or “Daily Mail” headlines used to get readers angry, and make a cheap political point but have very little substance. While it might generate engagement and a few clicks, it’s not going to be generating album streams, sales, or selling tickets to anyone’s gigs. We know that, as everything is declining.

I do think the silent majority are sick to death of the way things are presently, and do want something new. The media has the power to flip this on its head and to contribute towards growing streams, album sales, and ticket sales but instead, it’s choosing to go for cheap clicks instead. Is it any wonder so many of these outlets can no longer afford to print their magazines?

As I have stated, frankly, the silent majority want something new, the legacy bands are established, and they will always have a growing fanbase, they are not gaining anything from feuds from 40 years ago. People are getting fed up with this style of journalism which is doing a ton of damage to the Rock and Metal scene by encouraging its ugliest elements to continually engage with negative and angry content rather than celebrating the quality of the music, the live performances or the excitement at a potentially good new band. All the good going on is being lost behind the anger aimed at these clickbait articles, and the average music fan just wants something good to listen to, they don’t care about other stuff. These are the people we are turning away in droves by the media continuing to create this environment.

Do we see the same negativity ever being written about what say Ed Sheeran does by the “pop” media? No. Because they promote his music, and the qualities he has as a person, not whether he fell out with a mate when he was 19 while recording a demo. They are making big money with the positive approach. A lot could be learned from that.

While I appreciate that music is subjective, and not everyone will like every band, at the same time we have an absolutely thriving underground Rock and Metal scene here in the U.K. with hundreds of amazing bands which cover every heavy genre, from Hard Rock to Extreme Metal. We have bands with great songs, we have tons of great young bands who really can play their stuff live, they have great attitudes, and their own growing fan bases. There is something for everyone, every generation and every taste. This should be covered, but it is being completely ignored. For me, it’s a shame this is being ignored in favour of promoting negative headlines and feuds from half a century ago, or the latest TikTok success. I think that something needs to change in Metal/Rock journalism that helps promote the good that is happening, and not just focus on the negativity algorithm or trying to benefit from a social media flash in the pan.

That may upset a few influential people, or make me unpopular as a result, but this is how I feel.

KAINE: OUR 2022 – TWO EPs, A NEW ALBUM AND A TOUR….

I thought I would do a write-up on the year with the band given it’s been our busiest ever.  In the early part of the year, we played a run of gigs put on by One Eye Toad Records which really helped us get back on the road again after the Covid-era restrictions were finally lifted in most cases.  Most of these gigs were with Neverworld and Planet Fatale, two bands we have played with on a number of occasions over the years and with who we enjoy playing alongside. It’s worth mentioning that John Morter who organised these gigs and helped us get back to a regular gigging schedule sadly passed away last month. For all of his hard work and dedication to the scene, he will be greatly missed.

Coda – 9/3/2022

During that run of gigs, we had a one-night-only reunion with Anthony Murch on lead guitar. Ant was in the band from 2012-2015 and played on our first two albums. Anthony again played songs from both his time in the band and later albums since his departure.  He’s currently playing alongside our former drummer Chris MacKinnon (who likewise joined in 2012, but after our debut album before leaving in 2018) in a band called It’s Not A Phase Mum, covering the 2000’s era classics which can be found here.

We made our return to two of our favourite venues this year too, both the Melbourn Rock Club and the Rock Den in Hatfield, both of which were fun nights.

A large portion of the year has been taken up with recording, editing, mixing, mastering, and so on. We worked extremely hard to get our new album After Extinction finished this year, as well as recording a further 10 tracks for two EPs, one of which has been released digitally and the other is currently being worked on. I have said previously that I cannot remember a time the band has been busier and 2022 certainly was a challenging year, but I feel a great relief to know everything on our end is now completed and there is very little remaining to do going into 2023.

It is worth mentioning that there will be a new Falling Through Freedom t-shirt and patch coming to all our Patreon’s soon, with two EPs (which include a multi-disc set) on CD heading out to everyone paying £3 or more ASAP. We have been slightly delayed in getting these out due to the Extinction After EP still being finalised! These will be with you soon, depending on Royal Mail strikes!  

In August of course we joined the Lillian Axe/Riot Act (ex-Riot) tour as a replacement for Kim Melville. This is the first tour this line-up has done, and we had an amazing time on the road, and we are very thankful for the opportunity to play with two exceptional bands here in the U.K.

We aptly finished the year with two hometown shows in Colchester both at the Brewhouse on the 25th of November and Coda, on the 14th.

We also introduced a new Patreon tier, a band backer tier which was to help the band fund an opportunity we were recently offered. Without giving too much away at this stage, an official offer/contract has come through and we used some of the new Patreon funds to have the offer independently accessed by an expert, as well as general guidance on the best route forward for the band in 2023, with more the be revealed at a later date.

REHEARSALS AT UNIT ONE TOMORROW + EP UPDATES

Talon Payne is currently editing, mixing and mastering the Falling Through Freedom EP at Gallow Wood Media with a clip posted over on the studios instagram page here. Last week the band also finished tracking the Extinction After, immediately before their gig at the Brewhouse.

Last weekend the band worked on a new song while Toby was absent due ti illness. The band will be back together tomorrow for full rehearsals at Unit One in Colchester.

KAINE ANNOUNCE NEW EP: EXTINCTION AFTER

As announced last night through Facebook, we are set to release a brand-new EP with 5 tracks not on our new album After Extinction. These tracks have been written and recorded separate form the sessions for After Extinction, over the past two years, with the final recording sessions later this month at Unit One.

You can grab your copy of the EP on CD here: https://www.patreon.com/kaine_metal

The CD will be a Patreon exclusive only, for those paying £3 or more on the EP tier. The reason for this is to reward our existing Patreon’s with a shirt, patch and a CD each year but, with CD sales in decline, Patreon is going to become more essential to enable us to continue funding the band and we hope that offering exclusive CD releases through that platform will incentivise more people to join, especially at such a low price. If we were able to double our Patreon numbers over the coming months, we will have made significant progress. This CD will not be available anywhere else and numbers will be printed to order.

The track listings for the new EP is as follows:

  1. Evil I (All Hail The Evil One)
  2. Evil II (Evil Too)
  3. The Birmingham Blues
  4. Dragonlord
  5. On Repeat

The EP artwork can be seen here:

Patreon’s paying £3 more will also be rewarded with a further new EP this year on CD and a multi-disc set celebrating ten years of the band’s debut album alongside the shirt + patch. More details to follow. Patreon’s paying £1 will also receive a brand-new shirt and patch soon.

FALLING THROUGH FREEDOM EP VOCALS TO BE RECORDED TODAY

Rage will be heading to Gallow Wood Media to record the vocals for the Falling Through Freedom EP. The EP will be a Patreon exclusive on CD and will be part of a multi-disc set to celebrate 10 years of the album release. The release will contain 5 tracks with two songs which were left off the original album. This will hopefully be the last recording session for the EP, which will mean the EP can then be edited, mixed and mastered before release. The CD ill have new artwork, as will the 2022 Patreon shirt. You can grab yours by joining Patreon for £3 or more a month here.

AFTER EXTINCTION BREAKS 100 CD PRE-ORDERS

Our CD has finally broken 100 pre-orders on Bandcamp. This means the album has covered the cost of the printing for thew new CD. the CD will be printed to the highest industry standards and limited to just 500 copies. The CD comes in a super jewel case and contains a full colour lyric booklet. You can still pre-order the album for a lower price here.

AFTER EXTINCTION BREAKS 10K VIEWS IN A MONTH AT NWOTHM FULL ALBUMS

The album has been played 10,023 times already on the channel.

Our new album has broken ten thousand plays over at NWOTHM Full Albums! The new album has easily been our most successful for streaming on release as not only has NWOTHM Full albums been a success but all three single releases generated thousands of plays before the release of the album, with the single A Slave to The Grind being played over 10,099 times alone!

For those who prefer CD’s, we’re continuing to honour the pre-order prices until the finished product is shipped. You can order from here.

AFTER EXTINCTION ALBUM ARTWORK APPROVED FOR PRINTING

The album has had over 9500 plays on NWOTHM Full Album

We have given the approval to the final artwork for our new album artwork with the printers. The job will now begin and we are hopeful the CD’s will be available to be sent out to those who have pre-ordered soon. We will be honouring the pre-order price until they have been sent out, so to get the limited edition CD at the reduced price please click here.

ALBUM PRINTING UPDATE – CDs COMING ASAP

The artwork templates are with the printers for checking and all the tracks have been uploaded. As previously stated, these will again come in Super Jewell cases, including a full lyric booklet and the CDs will be printed to the highest industry standard. Once these are given the green light the printing will begin and then it’s just a case of getting the CDs shipped back so they can be sent out.

Unfortunately, the pre-orders did not cover the costs of the printing of the CDs, and we again had to borrow money to fund the difference in order to get these printed. Streaming numbers so far have been strong, but the revenue from these streams is paid out later down the line and wouldn’t cover the costs of the printing either.  This has meant we had a delay in paying for the printing to take place.

Due to the album being begun pre-covid, this has been our most expensive album to date having had many delays due to the pandemic. It was recorded between two studios and had more people work on it than our previous releases due to the nature of the restrictions we were under during 2020-21. This has meant that not only has it had to be delayed multiple times (along with both EPs) we have had to continue to borrow money to cover the substantial losses from the recording process and had to borrow more money to fund the tour back in August.

We can only apologise for the delays and problems we have had with all three releases.  We have not been helped by a challenging economic situation coupled with a decline in the sale of physical media such as CDs with streaming overtaking the market, which brings in very little revenue compared to physical media.  

We are always very honest about our position and will continue to be. The band is in a significant amount of debt having survived Covid with no gigs and is trying to recover from that period and get all of the promised releases finished this year so we can move on to 2023 with a clean slate. There is no label funding this band, and no management behind it. We are working on this on our own.

A SLAVE TO THE GRIND BREAKS 9000 STREAMS ON YOUTUBE AHEAD OF ALBUM RELEASE

The second single from After Extinction

A Slave to the Grind takes over as the bands most successful single in terms of pre-album streams since 2014’s Iron lady from The Waystone. Second Coming is also preforming well on YouTube, having had over 3000 views.

Despite a decent amount of plays and interaction pre-orders for the album remain low at just 45. We are working hard to get the number up to 100 to help with the costs of printing the new album on CD. You can pre-order the album here.