Good day all,
When I was a young long-haired metalhead finding information about my favorite band happened in one of two ways, either by the magazines that came out monthly or by MTV News or Headbanger’s Ball. I was raised in a time before the Internet and instant answers. When Vince Neil decided to be a moron and get behind the wheel of a car, drunk and kill Hanoi Roxx drummer Razzle we received the news via MTV. Now, some of you younger readers are probably a little confused, but MTV once showed music videos 24/7 and would have a music news update about every half hour if I remember correctly. Anyway, if it wasn’t MTV giving us our music news we were waiting for our monthly issues of Circus, Hit Parader, Metal Edge, and Powerline, to bring us not only up to date with our favorite bands, but sometimes up close and personal with a feature about a specific artist or band. That is how we got our metal news back in the day.
Today, it is a landscape of magnificence, the ability we have to be in touch with and know what is happening in the metal world in the blink of an eye is nothing less than a modern miracle. With the use of social media by some of our favorite artists we now have the ability to “virtually” hang out with some of our favorite artists. Scott Ian, the guitarist for Anthrax is an avid Twitter user, he will hold impromptu question and answer sessions with fans for hours and answer questions as inane as whether he prefers skim or whole milk. The beauty of Twitter is that it is the artists choice if they want to be on the site and what they want to convey to the people who follow them. It is much more personal than a simple interview by a magazine or Internet fan site. These people are sharing their personal lives with the fans in an effort to be as accessable as prudently possible.
Heck, since I signed on to Twitter I have found out that Johan Hegg (Amon Amarth) is a big hockey fan and he is currently enjoying the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs. I am not sure why that matters or why I care, but the fact that he is willing to share that with me (and his hundreds of other followers – he is new to Twitter) makes me appreciate him as a person more, as well as an artist. But the point is that our access to heavy metal and the bands we love has become easier than it has been in the history of music. If it wasn’t for Twitter there is a good chance that I would have missed the release of an obscure band that I would have never heard of and in turn never listened to, but that doesn’t happen anymore.
MySpace did a great job of giving bands a place to showcase their material without having to depend on a record label. More recently Facebook is doing a decent job of taking over the music scene and giving it a place in their social media landscape. But believe me when I tell you that Twitter is the place to be to get up close and personal with your favorite bands and artists. The additional beauty of Twitter is you only have 140 characters to use so you can’t waste words or over burden a feed with non-sense. It is perfect!
Twitter is also a great source for record companies and labels as it is basically free advertising for these companies and a venue for them to promote their bands to the specific audience that wants the information. Targeted advertising to the people who are going to be spending their money on your product, awesome. Plus, some of the heads of these record companies have their own accounts which allows you the fan a look inside how these people think and what may make them choose to sign one band over another. A great example of a record company CEO who communicates frequently on Twitter is Brian Slagel of Metal Blade records, give him a follow and you will see what I mean.
Finally what might be my favorite thing about Twitter, the RETWEET! I love the retweet, to be able to follow people is great, but the retweet allows a person to send out something someone else has written that they like or find interesting. This is great for metal because when someone finds a great band or a new album and you want to pass on the information, BAM! The retweet. It is like the lazy man’s version of the telephone game from grade school, except it is a little more difficult to screw up the message. The genius of the retweet is that you don’t even need to be following the originator of the tweet, someone you follows retweets it and you get the information.
If you are a metal fan you should be on Twitter. All of the information you could possibly want is right there you just have to find the people to follow. The information age has given you a great in road to your favorite artists, bands, websites, blogs and everything else you could possibly want out of your social media. As an added bonus and since today is #FF (that is Follow Friday in Twitter lingo) I will post some of my favorite people, bands etc… that I follow to help get you started or maybe someone who you do not follow if you already Tweet. It boggles my mind that in my lifetime we have come from Pong to Twitter and I have seen it all.
Heavy Metal Twitter Follows this is just a few, I don’t want to overwhelm you:
@AmonJohan @Allegaeon @ForWhomBlogToll @exumerofficial @DuffMcKagan @metalbuzz @suicidesilence @metalbandcamp @brianslagel @metalinjection @EddieTrunk @metalundergroun @Scott_Ian @noisecreep
And don’t forget me @ICHeavy
Song of the day: http://youtu.be/JnhkuWKrp9w
Until Later, Peace