I've been pondering this campaign I've created, "Support Underground Metal", quite a bit lately. Not only is it in the interest of the Metal Abyss brand, but it is genuinely because one of my main goals is to expose the thousands of quality bands who will never "make it". These other shit metal news sites, who really add up to nothing but click-bait gossip and politics, will never use their immense leverage to do what we are doing.
I, like probably the vast majority of metal heads, have played instruments (guitar & drums, in my case) and have joined with other like minded individuals in bands. There's is nothing quite as much fun as jamming, even if it is in the basement of your buddy's house. I'm biased, I think both the bands I was part of were pretty good, but, we were doomed from the get go.
Maybe that means we sucked, I don't know, but I suspect we were pigeon-holed from the get go. Just like the myriad bands out there who, without a doubt in my mind, are talented, fantastic bands and deserve immense success and recognition.
In my many years of playing guitar, and meeting other bands, I recall meeting guitarists who could play just about anything you threw in front of them. These guys would play circles around a lot of popular guitarists out there, if given the chance. I had a lot of admiration for them and aspired to be able to play as well as they did. But, one guy worked doing metal fabrication and the other guy was a loss prevention officer at a large chain store. They both taught guitar on the side, but, sadly, their talent was completely wasted. They never made it. Who knows if they even play anymore. Life gets in the way. Metal doesn't pay the bills.
So, this "Support Underground Metal" campaign really means a lot to me, because I was there. I'm still there, spending tons of money on this website trying to gain a following and make at least enough cash to break even. It's the same struggle unknown bands face every day. The struggle is real, and expensive.
In all honesty, there are days that I want to say "fuck it" and quit, because some metric I put into my head was not met and I get frustrated. Then, I get a kind letter of thanks from a band who is struggling just the same, and doing it not for fame or fortune, but because they love heavy fucking metal. It reminds me, I love metal too. The time and money I spent over the years on music equipment and websites aren't a waste, it was an investment. An investment that, perhaps foolishly, I continue to make. But I don't make this investment alone.
Heavy metal is, and always has been, driven by the underground, by the fans. Because no other genre of music is as passionate as we are. I could give a shit what sub-genre of metal you are talking about. Not one genre of music aside of heavy metal has the dedication as we do. Popular bands in other genres are fly by night, bullshit. People like it because they are told to like it and most don't even understand it.
I kind of miss the tape trading days. When I got in to metal CD's were becoming more prevalent and the internet was just starting to creep into everyone's home, it was still very much of a word-of-mouth, hand-to-hand transaction sort of deal. Now, you download shit and watch a YouTube video. Something is missing. Maybe I'm just old and grumpy now.
I AM GUILTY! This website and support campaign are my penance. As we've touched on before, in this day and age bands make fractions of a penny from music streams. And I am one guilty fucker. I stream pretty much everything through Google Play. I am ripping these bands off! I don't have the cash I used to when I didn't have a wife and kids, so I rarely buy merchandise or physical copies. Quite frankly, I've come to prefer digital. I can't afford to go to concerts anymore, nor do I have the time. So, here I am, downloading shit and watching YouTube, and ripping hard working stiffs off.
But there will always be a passionate underground, even if they aren't trading tapes anymore. Hopefully this website will make my old ass feel part of the scene again, and help some bands out in the long run.
As always, if you are a underground band, contact us.