Here’s another interview I did with a prominent blogger. This time I talked to Al Necro who writes for sites like Cvlt Nation, Nine Circles and Echoes and Dust.
Thank you for agreeing to do this interview! First of all can you tell us a bit about how you got into writing (Primarily music writing)
I was posting some comments on Bandcamp when Peter Browne saw them and asked me if I wanted to do some lengthier reviews for his then-zine Summoning Spirits. I fell in love with doing reviews because I would listen to music more intently, and enjoy the albums more.
While you seem to be primarily a black metal fan, you also cover other sub genres occasionally. Are there any sub genre’s you *won’t cover?
I won’t cover any NSBM shit, mainstream shit, or nu metal shit. I would review goat shit. But bands should note that I typically don’t review brutal death metal, grindcore, post metal, or party thrash because I typically have a harder time getting into them.
Your work has appeared in more and more places recently, what do you feel have been the successful actions you’ve taken to get yourself on numerous sites?
I’m very prolific so I can spread the wealth. Zines love a guy who loves to contribute – not just a guy who likes doing one or two articles a year. Besides that, my editors have very little to edit with regards to my articles. They’re usually ready to go after a minor tweak or two. I’m meticulous with my proofread, as I am mainly a fiction writer and manuscript consultant.
Are you happy with where your writing production is at presently? Do you have a goal of writing in a print mag like Decibel?
Writing for Decibel would be fun, but I’m happy writing for underground zines because I love covering underground records. I wouldn’t say that it’s a goal. Just that I’d be willing to reach a larger audience to desecrate more temples, sacrifice more virgin ears. hehe
Are you more inclined to review a band if they have a publicist? Why or why not?
I love covering music. I don’t consider business arrangements. If a band self-released and I thought their record was killer, I’d give them more consideration than any band with major label hype.
What makes you decide to review a band? Is there anything specific that a band/publicist should do to get your attention?
Strictly music, and my editors. My editors turn me on to new records sometimes. They get pitches from PRs and that doesn’t necessarily guarantee coverage, but I check out the stuff they forward me and if they are legit listenable, I go out of my way to write about bands that have very little coverage because the scene is all about the bands and fans. I am utterly insignificant in my own eyes.
For promo kits, what should bands include when submitting to you?
Just the mp3s, cover art, and some info on the band and album. Just treat a promo kit like a professional band if you’re serious about coverage. No lameduck pitches that deter most writers from getting interested in bands.
What’s the *best* example of a band/publicist submitting an album to you the wrong way?
Best way to turn me off from reviewing your work is sending me a barrage of unprofessional messages, using a very unprofessional bio and album press material, or declining to give a promo copy of the music.
You are very active on social media (Specifically Twitter), how has that helped you in growing the blog?
I am no longer on Twitter actually. I don’t promote my articles from my end. I let the blogs promote my articles. I’m all for the bands and music. I don’t profess to being the biggest writer in metal, so I don’t self-promote. I share my articles on my FB page though.
Thank you for your time, anything else you would like to say?
If music is your passion, treat it with professionalism. Attitude doesn’t win over writers. Be nice to a metal writer and take a chance, but be aware that writers can only write so many articles and coverage isn’t guaranteed, but if your music has some merit, someone will take notice. If your music has merit and you’re not a dong, more writers will give you coverage.