YAZ Vs Kerrang! - Round 2
Ok, Ive got a bit of a gripe with Kerrang! at the moment. I think theyre crap. Ive told them, and well, as you expect, you get fobbed off with the same old stories all the time. Which is fair enough I guess. But not enough to stop me acting all high and mighty. So, I thought Id edit some of the messages I sent them and pull out a few of the points that I think standout to my mind. I did a rant a couple of YAZs ago, but well, its just such a good source of ammo every time isnt it. Even better, its their own ammo they give you with which to shoot them. Which is nice of them. So here goes, YAZ puts Kerrang! to rights in however many easy lessons.
Ok, first, why am I bothered? Surely thats why I do a zine. Because Im against those corporate bastards, standing up for the little band, promoting independance that we dont want to see in the hands of influential major corporate wankers blah di blah. Well, yeah. Except I dont pretend to operate at the most underground level. Plus theres the fact that Kerrang! is the only weekly source of information available nationally in the UK. Therefore it has a duty to do things, and to do them fairly, balanced and well. And going hand in hand with that is that more people read and take notice of it than do so with zines. So they should encourage those people to go out and experience more, support scenes, bands, zines, etc more than they do. And like most things, it should actually coexist peacefully with what people like I am doing. Theres room for all ways. But while mainstream ignores underground, then underground will always fight back. Its the way of the world. And here you have essentially the underground fighting the underground.
But now some of the latest gripes.
Well, my first message to them covered most of the things that were mentioned in the previous YAZ rant. So lets pick up from there. After complaining about the 100 whatever features, they treated us to another. This time we get 21 pages of 100 Coolest Stars. Wow, just what we needed. This in an issue which, rather inaccurately, claimed to also have 10 MAJOR new interviews. Uh, like, I dont think so.
At the same time I complained about the lack of coverage given to new UK bands. Responses. Well, there was we rely on our writers to bring them to our attention and UK bands dont tell us enough what theyre doing. Ok, so theres only a slight contradiction there. Well let that go. For now! They tell me that King Prawn, Lockdown, Cynical Smile and a few others HAVE been covered. Oh yeah, in all of their one paragraph glory. As much as wed like to do 8 page features on these new pages, we simply dont have the space cometh the reply. Um, like so why waste 21 pages on 100 coolest stars. Hmmm, Ill ponder that one. Dont get me wrong, Ive nothing against the scope of the bands Kerrang! features. Ill always dislike something. Thats not the point. Its not feature what I want or who I like, its feature everything, but in balance and with equality.
And then, in the very weeks issue which accompanied such a statement, we have a 3 page feature on a US band with no deal, no album and no tour over here. Thats 3 pages. THREE. Trois. More than 2 but less than 4. When was the last time a UK band of similar status got that coverage? Any of the bands they said theyd covered. Correct, the answer there is they havent. But thats probably because theyre not the side band of another of the K!sters favourite bands. So weve got a bunch of issues here. How much can we believe the big K! given their inability to accurately include the same number of MAJOR interviews that they claim on the cover (I count major to be more than so whats your favourite boozer then), and their real coverage of UK bands.
Now, I also complained that those Kerrang!sters just sit on their arses, waiting for the latest next big thing to be given to them by labels, and patting themselves on the back in selfcongratulatory ego massaging. Of which they assured me this wasnt the case. Which is ok then, cos I believe them. No really, I do. But then, we come to one of my favourite bands. The very wonderful System of a Down. Youve heard of them right? Youve read about them in YAZ since well, issue 1 in September of 97. Youve listened to them as well havent you? Well no, apparently you havent.
Because Kerrang! always bring us something first. Like, ooh, lets say, just for arguments sake here, the opportunity to hear System of a Down FIRST. Thats FIRST. In the WORLD. Before the REST OF THE WORLD. As in FIRST. So the 30,000 tapes that have been given out worldwide are actually a cunning new time travel device because they dont actually exist until after Kerrang! has given people the chance to hear System FIRST. And those tapes, which have been available in the UK since BEFORE Xmas actually dont exist. So if youve been listening to them, forget it. You havent. Because you cant have. Because Kerrang! are FIRST.
Sorry, but thats is just such a total and utter lie, and one that I can be confident about as being a lie. They can sue me on whatever else I say if they so desire, but that I know to be factually incorrect. Exclusive YES. FIRST. NO, thats NO. Which is a minor thing, but in the matter of a few weeks its another example of my questioning whether you can actually believe what Kerrang! says.
But at least they didnt pat themselves on the back with that one. I mean, imagine if they were like claiming you could hear the band because of this wonderful service brought to you by Kerrang! I shudder at the mere thought of it.
Like did you know that that the Kerrang! sponsored gig that the Deftones are doing to make amends for pulling the London gig was actually booked months ago. Actually before they pulled the other gig. As in, its been there all the time. Theyve been going to do it as a warm up for the Reading Festival. So where does Kerrang! get off on claiming that they are doing it, and pulling it together in response to the outrage from Kerrang! readers. Um, its a lie. Thats A LIE. Just in case the lawyers are having trouble with this.
Going back to the free tape offer. And the WONDERFUL support and coverage of UK bands. How many UK bands have featured in these Kerrang! free FIRST exclusive tape giveaways. Ill help out with the answer here in that its definitely a number, and its most certainly less than 1.
So theres a few of my gripes. Maybe Ill actually print the full messages I sent them, which surprisingly enough havent been in the magazine. But one thing I asked them to do, in order to prove they do care, and they do listen, was to poll people. Would people like to see more balanced coverage? More interviews which are, well, good rather than one-dimensional pieces of tosh. Would people like to see more new bands featured, and given fair coverage. And that means UK, European etc as well as US bands. So, what do you think? Have I just got a chip on my shoulder and I should get over it, or are there some reasonable points in what Ive just written. Tell me. Or tell Kerrang! Maybe if people actually do point out its crap, er, sorry, it has areas for potential improvement, then they may do something. While people continually slap them on the back and go, youre wonderful you are, I really like you, no, I mean I REALLY LIKE YOU. YOURE MY BESTEST MATE YOU ARE<burp> then theyre going to do sod all, and I just have to rant on all the time. After all, its my job as a whingeing zine writer to complain about those corporate sell-out bastards blah di blah. Either that or they should just actually do their bloody job properly. And truthfully.