RE: My opinion
Posted by: John Q ()
Date: August 02, 2000 12:18PM

Yes, of course, there's major cronyism going on. A magazine like the never-really-was MHR, financed and supported by Z, MTM, Escape and N&T, is never gonna be objective - or only to a certain degree. It's like the fox guarding the hen house. Why would Joe Blow from label X who lays out the bucks for this little marketing tool have an interest in fair and objective reviews of his band? Only '9's' and '10's' please... I'm assuming other, more independent MHR publications are probably at the mercy of those 4 in terms of ad revenue as well because that full page Bon Jovi ad from Phonogram every 5 years just ain't gonna pay the bills for very long. Don't look for them to slam a lot of bands either (lots of writers won't anyway because they see themselves as the guardians of immaculate taste, the defenders against all this 'evil non-melodic music' out there and acknowleding that a lot of stuff in the MHR genre is as redundant as Blink 182 would be paramount to treason. So let's just put on those rose-colored glasses and pretend it's all just hunky dory...).

BUT, the reality is that no professional (bi-)monthly magazine excusively dedicated to MHR could survive in this day and age, let alone make a decent profit w/o that 'special interest money shot in the arm'. There are only about 5000 hardcore fans of this type of music in Europe (they don't read magazines in the US...), and even if all of them bought every magazine out there, it wouldn't be enough to stay in business. That's why the goal has to be to make inroads with the established hard rock and metal magazines who reach beyond the core MHR audience. The way to do that would be to for all the labels to cut down on the forgettable stuff and release HIGH QUALITY product only (I realize that no label (head) will ever admit to signing crap, but if 10 critics tell you the same thing, maybe they do have a point...). Why would a fan go out and spend 20 bucks on a MHR CD if all he/she ever reads is how lame these bands and releases are...? That's why the market base for MHR is continuing to shrink. The older generation stops buying new albums at one point and the younger generation is either ignorant to MHR or won't have anything to do with it for a whatever reasons (such as not wanting to listen to their parents' music. Hey, I think we can ALL relate...!)
But it's not like the labels don't have a reason to cut back on the mediocrisy as it is. Just wait until the bottom falls out completely in Japan, which is already happening (with the Internet allowing kids anywhere to download/sample anything, tastemakers like Burrn! who were able to manipulate and control the market for years are forced to adapt big time, i.e. feature Manson, Slipknot and Korn instead of Harum Scarum, Ten and Fair Warning). There go those desperately needed licensing bucks, a good chunk of the money that makes up for the loses/non-profits in Europe. Consequently there goes the money to record in a decent studio, the marketing $$$, the tour budget = even less visibility for the bands that need it the most.

Having said all that, I don't expect things to change. Labels like Z, Escape, MTM and N&T are practically 'forced' to keep up the torrid pace of releases. Yes, they could dump the money they spend on 5 bands on just one and push the hell out of that one record. Mostly likely, they'd still sell the same 5000 copies to the same 5000 fans because that glass ceiling is incredibly hard to break. It's hard for majors - it's practically impossible for indies. So, the quantity over quality-philosophy continues because it's a way for a label to maintain a certain cash flow and stay in business.

What does all that amount to? Pretty much the status quo I'm afraid - magazines whose raves are to be taken with a grain of salt, a continued non-presence in other MHR related mags, more disposable releases (not that the MHR genre is worse than others...), a shrinking fanbase, etc.... "Rock'n'Roll is dead" - Glenn Hughes says so! ;-)





SubjectViewsWritten ByPosted
I'd like other's people's opinions on this post 153BLM08/02/2000 08:59AM
RE: My opinion117John Q08/02/2000 12:18PM
Stop, you're getting me all depressed...;-( 100Peter M. Bietenholz08/02/2000 10:04PM
RE: Stop 100John Q08/03/2000 07:05AM
RE: Stop 99Dave08/03/2000 07:19AM
Futureal 109Surfpunk08/03/2000 08:10AM
3 Doors Down 93EVE608/04/2000 12:37AM
HOUSE OF LORDS 91Mark Ashton08/04/2000 08:00PM
RE: HOUSE OF LORDS 113John Q08/05/2000 02:59PM
The "Empires" cd fiasco.... 98 Kevin 08/06/2000 04:27PM
RE: My opinion 97 ChrisD 08/02/2000 10:45PM
RE: My opinion 102Dave08/03/2000 01:14AM
RE: My opinion 124John Q08/03/2000 06:39AM
contradictory post award 96Pete08/03/2000 12:51AM
RE: contradictory post award..ooops 84Pete08/03/2000 01:25AM
Down with John Q! 90Surfpunk08/03/2000 04:48AM
Classic Rock magazine 109Steve, Denmark08/06/2000 11:47PM


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