“Pre-PiercingMetal Beginnings” or “The Origins Of What I Do”

PiercingMetal.com hit the two year mark only a couple of weeks ago and now that its broken the “sophomore curse” this little narrative was penned about how it came to pass in the first place.

I grew up on Spider-Man and Batman comics so a detailed origin story always appealed to me. I mention it like this since one of the questions that I often find myself getting is how I even started up with the reviewing music and concert coverage stuffs. So for those that are interested here is the “official origin story” of this little adventure. It began in the Summer of 2003 when the band Nightwish was making an appearance at the once legendary and now closed L’Amour club. I had been a Metal fan for most of my life since I once was a performer in several local bands of note from my area. The weird thing was finding myself attending a lot more shows around this time since so many fresh and exciting sounds were becoming more available from Europe and some were beginning to travel to our regions. I felt that if they could make the thousands of miles trek then I could certainly hop a car service from one neighborhood to the next.

For the Nightwish concert, I had expected it to be myself and my group of friends along with the members of Nightwish. I had felt this way since no one in a rather large circle of Metal listeners that I knew had ever heard about or seemed to care about who this band actually was. Walking into a completely jam-packed venue was a pleasant surprise and the band kicked several levels of ass that night. My faith in the Metal concert attendee was renewed that night and I was so excited about it that I penned some comments to a popular website that focused on Metal information and news. The site was Bravewords.com and they actually featured my note in one of their sections. The little post got the notice of the editor of the huge The Metal Circus site out of Barcelona Spain, and they were interested in more detail about this show for their news column. Nightwish was a rapid climber at this time so all the online providers of Metal information clamored for the inside scoops especially from across the Atlantic. I politely indulged them on this and then it seemed like they wanted me to do some more for them. After several emails and online discussions had been exchanged it was planned for me to be the US Representative of their site. My role would primarily be that of concert reviewer and they would try to get me in to do this. I was also welcome to report on shows I was hitting on my own for the sake of their articles. This was a fun beginning, and I was able to convince them to post my stuff in English so a larger reader demographic could be captured. After several shows had gotten reviewed, I noticed that there were hardly any DVD’s reviewed and since I had a mess of them I asked if I could start filling a much needed section. They guys had given me permission and blessing to start building my own contacts list and I guess this was because even Verizon wasn’t able to offer cheap International rates for them to call on my behalf. The shows started becoming a little more regular and then the CD reviews started to get done and the guys in Spain felt that they had unleashed a part of me that I did not know ever existed. I guess they were right, because now I needed to cement more ground here in the States.

Clicking around the Net found me dozens of amazing websites and after awhile I found myself as a contributing Staff Writer on Maximum Metal, a US provider of the Metal based out of Virginia. I essentially became the main guy for their “Road Report” section which covered the concerts and since I had an armament of back written product reviews I got them featured on their as well. It seemed like a good arrangement for I was just contributing and being featured, I was part of the team but not in some stances. I liked their overall style and relative grasp of the genres. It wasn’t long before I was hitting the only area appearance of Marillion where I met Pete Pardo, the Publisher of a Progressive Rock & Metal website Sea Of Tranquillity – originally I had thought him to be one of my contacts and basically just did a bombastic “who are you” as I introduced myself. We talked for a moment and he said he needed Metal guys so I passed along my card. Despite my rather animated introduction he called and a fast friendship was built as I became one of his regular team members. The best part of this collaboration would be the chance to work together with someone in the same area and that makes for excellent brainstorming. Of course, even though this was working out swimmingly I had some other notions about this stuff to address and they would soon begin to manifest.

I think I was getting ready to check out UFO at B.B. King Blues Club with my friend Joe and we were sitting in Smith’s (my favorite watering hole before adventures at this particular venue). After a couple of pints Joe started asking me when the launch for “Ken’s Own Brand” would be happening so I could just do it all myself without all the channels. I mused about the idea, since it had dawned on me once or twice in recent months based on frustrations from misread or lack of communication at times. Email is great for planning things out but when you are too remote – there is a chance for disconnection and I admit that at times I felt this with my Circus Maximum reports. It wasn’t long before I found myself at dinner with a particular Label Rep as a performer was in town for interviews and media dialogue. As the performer did his thing with another member of the Metal community we spoke of ideas about the music now and going forward into the future. He asked what was next for me, and since writing on three different sites was arduous at times I brought up Joe’s conversation. He agreed that it would be a good idea at this point and since my self-belief system was fueled with a couple of shots of strong Saki I laughed and said “yeah Man, PiercingMetal.com”. Instead of laughing with me he grew serious and replied “you realize that works right?”.

Suddenly I was in a proper mind set again and I swore him to secrecy while I mapped out how to make this happen and how to have it feature that which I like about websites and drop things that I find wastes of time. I partnered up with a webmaster who had been doing work for a friend of mine and after a couple of weeks of planning and brainstorming we had a fully loaded site ready for your examination. The webmasters idea to use every piece of existing work was genius since it gave the reader a lot to see from Day One Go Live. I liked this because I always found sites that had “coming soon” to be annoying and a disappointment. When should I check back to see whats missing? Better to circumvent all that stuff from the beginning if you ask me. You only need to click on the site to know more about its layout, but in brief we also tried to make a few different strides for the music we love to bring you information about. Each review is embedded with an Amazon.com link to the product being discussed or related to the concert that is focused on. If we could drive the sales of music up by our words then that can’t hurt anyone can it. We also loaded in a calendar that would line out as many of the upcoming shows to my immediate area that I was aware of. Since the site launch two years ago it has built up a solid foundation amidst the Media Peeps for the bands as well as being somewhere that the fans of the music can enjoy themselves on a regular basis. There is always more to come and I look forward to bringing it to your attention.

OK so I admit that this is not as impacting as “with great power comes great responsibility” but its all that I got and it saves me from repeating myself once in awhile. Happy Surfing.

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