My musical education took off when I discovered the Metal Hammer Podcast. It was the show that kindled my love of hardcore and introduced me to a whole host of bands that I still love today. When it ended, I was genuinely gutted. It was a weekly insight into heavy music provided by a group of guys who knew what they were talking about. Therefore, I was rather chuffed when Terry Bezer and Stephen Hill, who were both on the aforementioned podcast, started That’s Not Metal. A new podcast which is looking to fill the gap the death of that show left in my life.
However, as they release more and more podcasts and have started up their premium service, I’ve begun to realise that it’s not just two good blokes chatting about music that makes this podcast essential. It is also important because it has become one of the best independent music shows around. Now, I write for websites like RAMzine and RockNReel, both of whom are awesome independent reviewers of music. If there’s pressure from anyone to edit their words they’ve never shown it to me and they let me say what I want about music good or bad. However, there’s no denying that these sites don’t have the pull of these guys, they have been on the inside and they know how this industry works.
Which to a certain extent we should all know. You are being incredibly naive if you believe that magazines like Metal Hammer don’t have advertorial pressures. They’re too big not to and you just need to scroll through Team Rock’s social media accounts to see that they are toeing the party line and pushing certain acts. And you know what, that’s cool. I don’t actually mind it because I know about it. I know that they will push certain things but mags like Hammer have introduced me to hundreds of great bands. Old and new. However, it does become a problem when there is no alternative and it’s great to have one that could be big enough to make a difference.
This isn’t limited to music either. It’s the same reason that when I talk about video games I will consistently go back to Videogamer.com. They get funding from Patreon and are giving freedom because of that and That’s Not Metal have now filled that gap in my musical life. They are able to rep for brilliant bands like Employed to Serve (my review of whom can be found here *cheap pop*) and have no problem ripping into Iron Maiden, although I can’t pretend I agree with that. There is so much brilliant music out there at the moment and some of it needs people to stand up for it. Bands like Metallica are always going to be huge and they don’t need help staying there, but bands like Twitching Tongues (seriously, stop reading this and go and check them out they’re much better than me) don’t have that luxury. Having a show that will go to bat for them is important.
It also keeps the big boys on their toes. If That’s Not Metal make enough noise these massive magazines will have to listen. If nothing else I’m sure it will piss them off. It’s the ICW or ROH effect. If you are a big enough thorn in their side, they might just have to adapt what they do to deal with it. I don’t think I’ve ever explicitly pushed something like this before but if you are into heavy music, rock and all things nice then this is something that you need to get involved in.