Kerrang! - Love it or leave it
Ok, some words. The reason for this page. Well, I think that
currently the quality of Kerrang! magazine is, well, it's not very
good. Coverage is unbalanced, shallow, one dimensional. UK bands are
virtually ignore, and the magazine is insistent on self-congratulatory
Well, that's my opinion anyway. At least a very minor part of it.
So, I thought I'd use this page as a forum to start expanding some
of these points. I've discussed them with the magazine. To a
point. I still think they are valid, and despite a reasonable reply to
them, they still smack of contradiction and not really doing anything
I suggested polling readers. Maybe that will happen in time. Until
it does, this is maybe a forum for it. If you agree, or not, with some
of the views that I air here, then let me know. Maybe it could be
pointed out to them and then they would take some notice
I've yet to decide, but I may include the messages I've sent to them.
This isn't an excuse to start swearing or anything like that. It's
meant to be constructive. I appreciate the amount of work that is
required for such a magazine, and the you can't please all the
people all the time syndrome. But, well, there are, I believe, some
fundamental flaws at the moment, and these are the issues I'm looking
for them to address.
Ok, so what are my main gripes? Here they are:
Coverage is unbalanced. Certain bands, often American, receive unfeasibly large amounts of coverage, even when there is nothing new to say about them. This is detrimental to the band, as it means that people get sick of them, especially non-fans. Therefore the chances of converting people in the long term are diminshed.
Uk bands receive virtually nothing. A UK band releases an album and gets (maybe) 1 page coverage. This week, there was a 3 page feature on Sean from White Zombie's side project. NO DEAL. NO ALBUM. NO DATES. When was the last time a UK band received that amount? With or without an album? It's a case of balanced coverage.
One dimensional interviews. If you're female and in a band, then they go for the lowest common denominator and talk sex. If there's a sex angle to be had, they'll go for it. Human Waste Project have split up. My personal point of view is that Kerrang! coverage didn't help. Sure they got coverage, but it was always HWP = Aimee, Aimee = Sexy, therefore HWP = Aimee and Sex. And the piercings. This was so much more to them as a band and people than that, but Kerrang! never looked for it. Anything they found was merely glossed over and superficial, with witty headlines or captions for pictures.
If it's a stoner band, then they talk drugs. That's it. Boring and crap, and more often than not, missing the real point and interest of the bands. If you look like freaks , then appearance is the sole point. Now someone define for me what a freak looks like anyway?
Self congratulatory and egotistical. Kerrang!'s mates. Our friends. We bring you this FIRST. They don't. A little more humility from them would go a long way.
New bands. They told me they rely on their writers to bring bands to their attention. Then said UK bands don't tell them enough about what they're doing. Uh, contradiction somewhere? Give away free tapes. That's great. But when did they last feature a new, upcoming UK band in this offer? They haven't. New bands get about a paragraph coverage, yet Sean's band had 3 pages. Balanced? Fair? I don't think so.
Support the scene. Come on, encourage people to go and see new bands, support the scenes.
Wasted coverage. the 100 Whatever features. Complete and utter garbage and a waste of the space that they claim they only have so much of to fill each week. Then fill it with relevent material. These features merely smack of filling space because they have nothing better to write about. And that is so wrong. There are so many great new bands out there. They may not sell much, or magazines, but they deserve coverage and respect. And they can be covered, if Kerrang! balances things by not wasting 21 pages on the 100 coolest stars, or 8 pages on a feature on one band which ultimately merely tells us they smoke a lot of dope.
Wasted Coverage Pt 2: Recently there were reprints of old interviews. Fine, they highlighted the banality of many of their current interviews. But why re-hashed. There are back issues. They could create a web site and archive them. It once more smacks of them not having anything else to write about, or having not got out there and found something.
News coverage. Marilyn Manson smudges his makeup and he's given a page. Alternative Tentacles record label have a court case wherby they initially are fined 2 millions dollars, and it receives a derisory paragrah. Surely for the record industry and music fans, that should be much more important, irrespective of whether you like the music they put out or not.
Honestly, I could go on and on. I already have to them. I just ask they get their act together. Be balance and be honest. They are not giving UK people the chance to hear System FIRST with this weeks giveaway offer. Tapes have been available in the country since before Christmas. Be honest, don't congratulate themselves for something which isn't true.
I'll add more to this little lot soon. This is just the initial rumblings. I think I was more articulate in the messages I sent them, which is why I might add them up at some point. Like I said, swearing and everything isn't going to help. Trying to be constructive in the criticism may help. If they pay heed to it. They seem to be under the illusion that most of their readers believe them to be doing just fine and dandy. Is this true? Do people really believe that? The majority of people and bands I've spoken to seem to leave me with an opinion that is just so slightly opposite to that.
So what do you think? Should Kerrang! cover more bands with a fairer balance. Should it cut down on the garbage paper filling aspects. Should it get out more and tells us about new bands, and encourage those bands to tell them? Should it be honest in it's claims? Or should it simply remain a cog in the evil music industry?
Ok, maybe I shouldn't do this bit, but I don't see why not, but I've now added the messages that I've sent to Kerrang! They're text files, and pretty long messages.
The follow up