DOUG VAN PELT: Death of a Music Magazine

I do these video blogs on YouTube as part of the Sanctuary International Matrix. Why I don’t promo them on here when I release one, I don’t know. But hey, now’s a good time to start. If you hate the idea, think it’s a big piece of self-promotion (or a piece of something else), let me know. I’ll probably stop then.

Here’s a video I made as part of the SXSW Panel Picker entry form. I proposed having a panel or discussion on “Death of a Music Magazine.” I experienced it up close and personal and have lots of stories to tell about it. I figured. Why not? Part of the panel proposal is to furnish a video url, so that got me off my butt to crank out another one of these video blogs. Sometimes I’m pretty good about cranking them out regularly. Weekly is the goal, but most of the time I find myself uninspired to get behind the camera and jaw away. SXSW said to “keep it under three minutes” and mine is closer to five. I hope they don’t hate me for that.

I talked about forming a music magazine in 1985 – the same year that saw the launch of Spin Magazine (did you see that debut issue? It featured an article on Stryper), Alternative Press (who later became very friendly to Christian hard music bands like Underoath, The Devil Wears Prada, August Burns Red, Anberlin), Metal Edge (who featured Stryper a fair amount during the 80s), and Heaven’s Metal. Three out of those four magazines are out of print now. Cue the kleenex.

I pinpointed a few of the highlights of what may be construed as the “Glory Years” of HM, such as:

Judging numerous battle of the band contests (those were always fun), including The New Union, and Famecast

The Gold Record plaque that P.O.D. gave me after The Fundamental Elements of Southtown went gold

The Bloggers Tour to Uganda, sponsored by Compassion International

The HM Magazine stages at festivals, like Cornerstone, Sonshine, Purple Door, and Creation

Rolling Stone Magazine calling me for a reaction quote in the midst of the As I Lay Dying / Tim Lambesis situation

Being asked to join the Board of Advisors for the Visible Music College in Memphis

The Dove Awards changing the name of its Hard Rock / Metal Song (& Album) of the Year categories to “Hard Music.”

Tour sponsorships, like the Scream the Prayer Tour

Being part of every big label (Atlantic, Tooth & Nail, Metal Blade, Facedown, Rise) marketing plans when they had a release for the Christian hard music market

I also mentioned three take-away points for the panel:

Why print died

How some survived. Monetizing rock journalism in a post-Napster / iTunes age

What an INFLUENCER looked like circa 1989
What an INFLUENCER looks like circe 2024

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