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Webzines, Heavy Metal and payed reviews


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Are webzines the last wheel of the large music machine? It would seem so.
What is a webzine? The word "webzine" is an abbreviation of "web magazine", magazines published (only and exclusively) on the web. The updating of articles in a webzine is not always regular, since it is not a periodical, the timing may vary.  Webzines are free magazines that are not subject to specific legislation and are different from e-zines, as the latter are nothing more than transpositions from paper to digital. Nor does a professional webzine have a journalistic character and its editorial line that differentiates it from any blog.
Let's also disprove the notion that a webzine has no costs, there are costs, there is the platform to pay and if we want, we add the connection.

There is the conception that everything on the net is equivalent to something free, false. Writing is a work writing about music too.


Bands, labels and press offices, especially on Italian soil, take it for granted that the support on webzines is due and continuous exclusively for free, just like the radio stations. Having spent more than a year selecting tracks for a heavy metal radio show, I can assure you that practically never a single physical CD arrives, and even less a retribution.
The webzines have no subsidies of any kind, not even state subsidies as newspapers can have, they have no paying advertising, there are those who continue at passion and hobby level to review and interview both underground bands and the best known, the passion is there but there are those like me who have decided to do their work, based on intellectual property.
A paid review doesn't mean that the album speaks well regardless. If the music is well played, the record is good, then the review is positive, if the music is bad, you don't have to write praise just because you are paid to talk about it.

It often happens to review albums, publish reviews and not even see them shared by the bands that have applied, sometimes pressing. This discourse is worth for interviews as well, they ask for them and do not share them, but not only,
there were bands who never even answered, or who thought to change the questions and do the interview at will.
The question arises spontaneously, why don't these bands write their own demands and answers and then find the webzine complacent in publishing them? Why ask for reviews and then not even read them? And, above all, why do they complain about having no space in Italy? Space is given to the bands, and some people still give it to you, for free.

Writing a review is not as simple as it may seem when you read it, you listen to every single track several times, just to capture all the nuances and the technique and also find some good in what comes and not always the good is there. Albums that are often sent with YouTube or Spotify links, not even in MP3 with an EPK. The biography, even if short, is often missing and it is often searched on the net, with the risk of finding bands of the same name.

Writing questions for an interview requires a minimal knowledge of the band on duty, which is significant for making intelligent demands, unless bands, labels and press offices are satisfied with copying and pasting questions, all the same and useless.

From a reflection and a personal experience I have had in 6 years, two of which spent in various collaborations, including foreign ones, I can say that writing about music has become my job, as well as the press office I created and my label.

In 5 years I have had the pleasure of meeting musicians of a certain artistic depth and with great experience behind them who continue to be very kind people with whom interesting friendship relationships are established and above all they are humble people, as opposed to bands that are just starting out or at most 3 years old, of an amazing arrogance, what I call 'the new Steve Vai’, not because they approach his skill but simply because they believe it.

It is nice to find those who prostrate themselves and those who adapt to what has always been a servility that, by the way, leads nowhere, let us refute the urban legend that the work of others is worth nothing and that everything is due to everyone.

We cling to the support metal that has never existed in Italy, and do you know why? Because it's a typical Italian attitude not to support each other, moreover the metal culture in Italy doesn't exist at all. Well, let's say that the reviewer and the interviewer work is a real job, an intellectual job, a musical knowledge and a value in writing and capturing passages and nuances mentioned before.


Valeria Campagnale

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