Heavy words from an angry metal fan (is there any other kind?)

Yesterday, I received a lengthy and bitter missive from a local headbanger about the absence of metal representation in our local music issue. While he was clearly uninformed and presumptuous  about most things relating to VCReporter’s music coverage, he was right about one thing: there was, indeed, no metal in the that issue.

In this letter, I will systematically highlight some of the “minor” points that your insular rag overlooked. Michael Cicero, Chris Jay, and Chris Mastrovita, I’m calling you out by name (*though I can’t spell your names) to pay close attention, because despite the fact that all three of you have been in music scene for years, perhaps age is getting the better of you and you require a wake up call.

In all fairness, were I some kid in a metal band, keyed up on energy drinks and guitar solos, thumbing through the weekly’s annual local music issue, I too would have been disappointed to find no trace of my beloved genre. Whoever you are, I feel your pain.

I mean, how could you know that from our very first discussions about the issue, I was all about the metal. I had every intention of doing a large piece on metal in VC. But, alas, the best laid plans of mice and men . . . in the end, due to resources, timing and other horrors inherent to publishing, it crumbled and at the last minute we replaced it with an ode to 805 hip-hop–a genre far less represented in our publication than metal.

I don’t have a problem with criticism, when it’s warranted and I’ll be glad to listen to anyone’s beefs about the section of the paper for which I’m responsible. What I do have a problem with is the assumptions people make about those of us who write for the paper and our editorial processes:

Despite the fact that the VC Reporter believes that the majority of it’s readers ane getting drunk at Bombay’s three nights a week, there still exists a thriving and growing all-ages scene.”

Gosh, we’re transparent. While there have been some great shows, metal and otherwise, for all-ages, most would say it’s a stretch to call that scene thriving.

“Perhaps you weren’t aware that the majority of Warbringer’s members are from Ventura , signed to Century Media, and recently opened up for bands like SLIPKNOT, and MEGADETH just to name a few.”

I confess, I did not know this.Would have been cool if someone clued me, like maybe even the band. It’s called public relations.

“The Oxnard Hardcore/Deathcore Scene:  it’s an atrocity that the VC Reporter neglected to at least pay some sort of mind to hundreds of kids continuing a tradition of hardcore music that has evolved into local bands with huge draws like GRAVESLUT.  Last time I check, Oxnard is Ventura County too.”

This only shows me that the writer doesn’t actually read our publication more than every so often. Criticism works better when it’s informed.

“As epic as the metal scene in Ventura County is and always will be, the only thing epic about your local music issue, is how it failed.”

Yes, we both saved the best for last. The letter writer and I had a mostly civil phone conversation, though he still plans to dedicate an entire 2-hour radio show to discuss the  Local Music Issue, “or the lack of local music rather. (www.errorfm.com) on Monday, April 26 at 6 p.m.,  on The Dungeon Awaits Podcast.

I think my wish for the music scene is that people involved with music would learn the basics of promotion, and would approach the press with a friendly, cooperative, rather than combative, attitude.

If you feel we’re missing something, egads, let us know. We’re only human and need to be loved too. 😉


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