MelodicRockFest 5


MR's 20th Anniversary Year. Now What?

2016 sees celebrate 20 years online.
It has been a privilege and an honor to be part of the melodic rock community for this length of time.
It has been both humbling and rewarding to be able to help promote many of the artists I grew up listening to. So many great musicians I have met along the way and am proud to call friends.
And I thank so many loyal readers and followers of the site for your friendship and support over the years.
To all the companies that have supported over that time, I thank you also. Such an investment has allowed me to do this “job” full time for a good part of the 20 years and I trust that my services have helped sell a lot of records over that time.
Some like Frontiers Records, AOR Heaven and NEH Records have been with me almost since the very start.
That said, times have changed since 1996 and the music business has changed. Information delivery has changed.
And now on the occasion of my 20th Anniversary, it is time for me to make a change. For the better I think. This is a long post and I hope folks will have the interest to read through it all. It’s not a missive of doom and gloom, but more a reality check from one person’s perspective and a look at what’s to come. Read on please…
The industry I started in some 20 years ago is all but gone as the music business continues on through a complete overhaul. The massive increase in piracy and the move by consumers to switch to digital formats and streaming has brought about the closure of a lot of companies. Magazines, retailers, labels, PR companies…
Many of those were companies that supported over the years with advertising and promotional activities.
Businesses have always come and gone, but these days the ones that go aren’t being replaced by new enterprises. Everything has consolidated to a handful of companies.
iTunes and Amazon rule pre-sales – but neither invest in advertising outside of their small % affiliate programs. YouTube and Facebook are the #1 outlets for promoting anything and they just want your money to support their bottom lines.
We must support the labels, stores and artists still willing to put everything on the line for the love of music. Anyone mentioned on my site is part of that.
On the subject of piracy, I filed complaints against a Blog yesterday for 9 different MRR related links. And today the bastards have up audio of an album not even released yet.
Basically there is very little money in the music industry for independent outlets. Everyone is struggling. Of course to state as much is bad for business… To survive, one must adapt.
There has been no decrease in users of the site over the past several years. Stats actually remain very constant and reliable. And I am absolutely dedicated to continuing to give all readers reasons to continue coming back!
But - if I still want to be here next week/month/year, then the focus must shift to where the income is today.
And that for me is MelodicRock Records. I’ve put a lot of energy into the label in the last 12 months and I think the results can be seen. In order to continue to focus on the label, there has to be some changes.
These changes will commence after this week’s Easter break.
The biggest change is to place the focus of the site back on reviews. Adding reviews for the latest and upcoming releases (in advance) will be the primary aim of day to day updates at the site.
The delivery of news will take a back seat to reviews.
Once it was awesome to be at the forefront of breaking news, but these days everything is so controlled, so safe and predictable. There is little opportunity today to discuss rumors, expose backroom deals or report a story that hasn’t just gone out on the wires to 45,000 other outlets.
Facebook ensures that any news sent anywhere is instantly everywhere else and for someone that thrived on being at the head of the pack, there is little inspiration served by cutting and pasting endless badly written press releases that are designed to say as little as possible.
I’m spending so much time cultivating content you can get anywhere else that I’m missing out on doing the thing I truly love – writing.
Of course all the important news will still be posted. And all the news that doesn’t get picked up by regular outlets – news from the melodic labels and artists that all too often get ignored. Nothing will change there.
You can follow breaking news and comments constantly via my Social Media outlets: Facebook ( and Twitter (@melodicrock)
It’s time for a shift of focus for my brand. Time for me to get back to what I wanted to do in the early days - exposing as many people as possible to the best music on the planet.
And I’m going to do that via this renewed focus on reviews.
Reviews are what have suffered most over the last 12 months and it is with these that I can still deliver exclusive content and do the best possible job of talking about everything that’s available to check out. I’d like to get back to focussing on discussing all new releases – the good, the bad and the Bret Michaels.
Additionally, I’ll take this opportunity to say that there are no further MelodicRock Fest events in planning. I’m really looking forward to the first MRF event here in Australia in May ( and helping Justin Murr out at Rocknskull vs MRF 2016 in Illinois in October ( I’ll still help Justin and others out where possible if asked, but I’m not planning on doing any more standalone MRF events. The time and effort and stress that go into each one is simply too distracting.
Back to my other passion – working with artists. MelodicRock Records is something I’m very proud of and want to further expand. Despite those few willing to destroy the scene via uploading albums to pirate blogs, there is still a market for great music from new artists, plus artists that aren’t marquee names that are currently very limited in their options for releasing what we here all love – that “album” format.
This is where I can make a difference - and where I intend to focus my time outside of writing more of those reviews than ever. Getting great music and great artists to as many people as possible has always been the one thing I set out to achieve and get a lot of satisfaction out of.
I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to offer some truly inspirational artists an offer they can work with and the next 6 months is going to see the release of some truly amazing albums on MelodicRock Records.
So will focus more heavily on reviews and you’ll also get all the MRR news and previews as well as direct links to purchase. The advantage of selling direct to readers is a vital cog in the survival of the label and the promotion of these artists.
But I’m not stopping there.
It never ceases to surprise me how many comments I get when talking about past releases folks missed and are now curious about. And when better to take a look back than on a 20th Anniversary year?
Over the course of the year ahead I will be running a series of lists titled “20 from 20”. Taking a look back over the last 20 years and the music that has stood the test of time (and some that hasn’t) and the artists that have made it.
But first, the 2015 MelRock Awards
And finally….while I am here seemingly writing up my life story, it seems like a good time to introduce a couple of additional writing projects that I’ve been working on in a very piecemeal fashion for what seems like forever.
I harbor ambitions in writing greater than I’ve showcased to date. It’s time to introduce those projects, as perhaps by doing so it will be a catalyst to ensure I stay focussed and don’t come up with new reasons to procrastinate as I have done for too long.
If I’m honest, these ideas may not go as far as I’d like, but at least I will know in myself that I tried and gave it the chance I wanted to.
For the past several years I have been working on plans for a story surrounding my site mascot – The Wombat.
Those ideas have grown over time and I now believe there is a very commercial story that could find widespread appeal.
I’ll begin the process I think best suited to bringing “Rock Wombat” to life via Kickstarter in the coming weeks/months. As soon as possible... I have an updated Wombat to debut soon thanks to the pen of John Hageman and Mel Smith – two fantastic guys.
The other idea we’ll call “The Label”. It’s an idea that I’ve had for a long time - a way of telling some of the unbelievable things that go on in parts of this industry. The dysfunction and the bullshit, parts of which will be drawn from my experiences in the business; everything I have learnt (and shouldn’t have) along the way as well as stories I’ve been told, things I’ve been a party to or just witnessed and some of the strangest stuff – you just couldn’t make some of it up.
There are some truly hair-raising tales to be told and some that probably shouldn’t be.
As well as looking for investors in both projects, to help fund these plans I will continue to sell off unwanted CDs and LPs from my personal collection over the next month or two via Ebay and will post links when available.
And should you feel inclined to support what I’m doing, you can always invest in any of the great MelodicRock Records titles (via or the upcoming Kickstarter campaign, or simply donate via Paypal using the username:
Everyone’s support and friendship over the past 20 years has never been taken for granted and is wholly appreciated and friendships cherished. I’m privileged to be among such fine people and to have made so many lasting friendships.
It’s time to have some fun again and I believe this is the best way forward, the best way to keep me sane and a way to guarantee I can still be here to deliver the word on what to buy and when to buy it.
So maybe this is a slight detour from what everyone is used to, but I’m not going anywhere and long may this crazy ride continue!




Release Year: 
Monday, March 9, 2015
To run on a full time basis in this day and age does depend on the occasional support of readers.
If you feel inclined to offer a donation of any size, these are always hugely appreciated and go a long way. You can donate via Paypal link below.

- Alternatively - head on over to and grab any one of the MelodicRock Records releases and take advantage of several discount deals running currently.
- Or order any one of the new MRR titles out this month!
Many thanks for reading and to those that always support the MRR pre-orders and have donated in the past.
October 28:
- Serpentine Sky
- MRCD13
November 20:
- A classic dose of Swedish melodic rock with a contemporary twist!
- A really special, catchy as hell album of contemporary stadium rock!

Double Stop Podcast - MELODICROCK.COM

Monday, May 11, 2015
Yep...this week it's me chatting with Brian Sword. Thanks Brian for wanting to chat!

Andrew McNeice discusses the history of - one of the first hard rock/melodic rock news sites on the net. He discusses how and why he started the site, its growth, his music festivals, his record label and the current state of the music business.



Monday, March 9, 2015
I’m proud to continue running and bringing fans of great music all the news possible on their favourite new and old artists. I've been at this an unbelievable 18+ years now.
It’s been a big year already and I have about 50 album reviews demanding to be written, so stand by.
I haven’t forgotten about the 2014 MelRock Awards either and will post those ASAP!
This is probably the toughest business to be in anywhere in the world right now  and artists and business across the spectrum continue to have to fight to stay alive.
I have no intention of going anywhere, but to run on a full time basis in this day and age does depend on the support of readers, so from time to time I do like to remind folks of the many ways they can support this site and the scene in general:
- If you feel inclined to offer a donation of any size, those are always hugely appreciated and go a long way. You can donate via Paypal link below.

- Head on over to and grab any one of the MelodicRock Records releases and take advantage of several discount deals running currently.
- Preorder any one of the new MRR titles out this month!
- Join the MelodicRock Xtra Members Area for some cool offers, exclusives and downloads.

Many thanks for reading and to those that always support the MRR pre-orders and have donated in the past.
Lots still to come – including two incredible albums from MRR in May!


Monday, June 16, 2014
I’d like to thank the majority for their vocal support for the major changes that have been undertaken here.
I’ve only heard of one “Melodicrock sucks now” thread on a message board someplace, perhaps there will be more!
But no matter what – there’s no going back. The old site was easy to read news in one place, but it has zero functionality. No search function, no search engine optimization, no social media interaction, no individual URLs. It really was a very very basic site.
The 2014 site has all of the above and more and I’ve already seen a good uptick in social media shares and follows.
I can understand some not liking change and not liking the fact you have to click on headlines to see news. I hope those people come around.
What I don’t and can’t understand is several that have said they cannot navigate around the site.
I really just don’t see why – if you don’t want to read the headlines on the frontpage – then click on the MENU links (pictured below) and see the ENTIRE list of added news/reviews/showcases etc…. all in one place, just like it was on the old site!
Please feel free to send in any questions, but do take some time to get to know the workings and layout of the site before you fire off a pissed off email.


Hi folks,
Welcome to MelodicRock 2014 – a website that is finally compliant with all the latest SEO and Social Media demands of the Internet in 2014 and beyond.
A few points to make!
- First of all – there is still work to be done here and there, little tweaks that many won’t notice and as the site is opened to a full audience, there might be a few other little issues that come to light. By all means, if you have a question or an issue to point out, please do so!
- The site is fully compliant with mobile devices and tablets and will automatically adjust to whatever platform being used at the time. However, there is some tweaking still needing to be done on the mobile platform, so watch for improvements there.
- At this point in time, there is both a sign in and register option for comments as well as full Facebook comment integration. If I find the two conflict with each other, I may be forced to choose one method over the other.
- Please feel free to comment anywhere on the site on any topic or post and please also share those articles you wish to do via the tool provided! Spreading the word helps the artist and the site.
- There are a few graphics below to help show a few of the site’s new features. If ever in doubt when looking for anything, use the search function or the main MENU links along the top of the site. On display within the frontpage are all the latest articles/posts, but using the MENU will uncover many MANY more topics/posts/reviews – listed in order of post date.
- There is a LOT more content to be added to the site. Over the weeks and months ahead I will start bringing in ALL old Reviews and Interviews from the Old Site – which is still linked from the frontpage (along with both message board systems and MRX etc…)
- The site has a mega-accurate search engine and full cataloguing capability, so once I get the chance to add more of the old content and interviews and reviews, you'll be able to search and find anything and everything that I've done over the past 16 years.
Thanks a million for your support and patience and I sincerely hope the wait will be worth it. Go check it out and can't wait to hear your feedback. Add it into the comments below!
PS. The site will always be evolving....plenty more to come...
Best Regards,



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