Although I am writing this on the 30th, by the time I post this it will be July 31st and Hellbound will be on the final day of its second month. Hurrah! Not the most monumental achievement ever, but it feels like a major hurdle for me to have managed to update this website each weekday with new, fresh metal content for the past two months.
As I’ve mentioned before, this site was a long time coming. It really should have happened four or five years ago but, well, life happened. Two children, a major death in the family, a postponed marriage that finally happened – things don’t always go as planned but I had to get off my ass when Metal Maniacs went into “hiatus” and do something and am glad I did.
I really loved writing for MM and was absolutely stoked to write for Liz Ciaverella. I had known her for at least a decade before she asked me to write for her somewhat out of the blue. Of course she’s been in the NY metal community for a long time. I believe she started her zine when she was 12 or 13 and has also spent time working for both Earache and Nuclear Blast. I also used to send her CDs for review during my brief period at Relapse in1996/97.
We always kept in contact over the years and I was so excited that she took over the MM throne when its finest editor ever IMHO, Mr. Jeff Wagner, abdicated it for country living. I never even considered asking her for a writing job, somehow figuring I wasn’t nearly metal enough to be considered a maniac, so when she asked me to join the club I was fucking psyched.
I had a lot of fun writing for Liz and pitching her on crazy ideas that I didn’t think she’d go for but did. I got to interview some people I never thought I’d get to and did it for an audience of readers that were interested and were picking up the magazine just to read about metal. Most of my previous writing experiences (barring a few Doomhauled columns and Unrestrained! features) were writing about metal in more mainstream or indie rock based publications and I often wondered if writing about Bathory or interviewing Anathema in places like Exclaim! and Vice was turning on new people to metal or being skipped over to get to articles on the newest hip bands. Maniacs was different.
I feel almost like a broken record mentioning it again, but the day MM was put on ice by Zenbu Media was a real down point for me. It was the most disappointing day of 2009, not because I had written a bunch of stuff that might not get published, but because one of metal’s old standbys was gone. The magazine had been a regular read for me since the early 90s and I knew it was for many others too. It was one magazine I always looked forward to reading and only one of a handful I always read every issue of.
I would love it if Hellbound were a print zine. Actually, I think that it would be much better if it were something you could hold in your hands instead of scrolled through via IE or firefox, but that’s something that’s way beyond my means right now. Internet it is, which quite possibly saves me time and definitely saves you money for more metal purchases.
It’s not all about the money for me though. Actually, it’s not about the money at all. My reason for wanting to do H is to create a discerning, opinionated voice that is written by metal fans for metal fans. Hopefully that’s something that readers are getting from it, since I see there are readers that are coming back to the site as regular visitors already.
A good example is the Megadeth review that was posted on Wednesday. When Keith Carman offered me an early review of the record, I said yes to it hoping that his review would offer something I didn’t see in the other published reviews I had seen so far. One of the major UK metal publications posted a track by track synopsis of the album earlier in the week that read to me more like a recycled bio gush than an opinionated review. When I read it and then re-read the review Mr. Carman submitted I decided to print his review as soon as the cover was made available. Not because I wanted to compete with what said UK publication was saying, but because I wanted to provide another opinion.
My point in creating Hellbound is really to offer another voice. One that is Canadian based and that is willing to give people another viewpoint on albums, bands, tours, etc. I’m not interested in competing with other metal publications. Truth be told, I think we all should be working together and that’s the philosophy I believe in.
Earlier tonight I rewatched the film Anvil: The Story of Anvil with my family. It was my second time seeing it, but their first. It reminded me just how out of the mainstream metal can at times be, as well as what an uphill battle the metal lifestyle can be. Of course, my life is nothing like what Lipps and Robbo have lived through trying to live their artistic dreams, but their drive and unwillingness to quit is pretty amazing and it reminded me how much I do love metal and just how much fun I’ve been having being the editor of this site.
To those still reading, thanks for coming and checking us out on Hellbound- no matter if this is your first or your fiftieth visit. I hope you’ve enjoyed the first two months as much as I have and, in the immortal words of Lips “keep on pounding!”