PRINT’S NOT DEAD

This month the guys over at Vive Le Rock and Big Cheese Magazine made the bold move into launching a brand new print magazine covering everything indie and alternative, including old and new artist. For this they received much exposure in Music Week and other music industry media because for so long people have said print is dead. Consider the fact that NME’s distribution fell to just 12,000 in recent years and subsequently the magazine is now free (with sponsors paying the bills), their distribution has upped to over 200,000.

Yes it’s very true that people simply do not buy physical magazine like they once did. Just as music consumption itself has changed beyond recognition in the internet age – people want this stuff for free. I grew up in London and Reading so I have watched them change. It’s sad to see independent stores last 6 months and fail. It sucks to see all your favourite venues become o2 arenas – owned by a faceless phone company rather than real music-obsessed heroes. It’s worse to remember record stores and small venues that used to bring so many people in the community together and feel uncertain that future generations will ever have those memories. My little brother talks to his friends through a playstation whilst he sits in his room alone and isolated from the rest of the family. Will that grow to be a fond memory? There are millions of people like him, doing this every night. Society is so splintered because everyone is socialising in such fractional minorities. I feel I learnt more from speaking to people from all walks of life at gigs and youth clubs when I was 14, than I ever could have playing fifa in my bedroom after school.

I am really passionate about so comment below and I’d love to get a discussion going! Cheers, Paula

* The new magazine is called LOUDER THAN WAR and available now in WHSmiths. Turn to pages 34, 40 and 44 for my interviews with Slaves, Seaford Mods and Maximo Park.

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Joel-11

7 Comments

  1. Hey.
    We picked up a copy of Way Out Music the other day. So great to see printed media zines again! It is great and we wish you every success with it. Paula you are a true heroine of local music. Great articles and content.

    We (this is mainly Kerry’s project) have very recently put together a “zine” called BOO! Having started gigging a year ago as Tiny Ghost and playing with a diverse and interesting variety of bands, in weird and wonderful venues, we realised how isolated everyone is.

    There are pockets of great endeavour and achievement bubbling under the surface. Only a few people get to access these. Plus some “scenes” are pretty much isolated to their home town/venues and rarely connect with other local organisations.
    Communication and co-operation are our power, our strength…we need to share and support each other.

    We seem to have picked up many talented people on our short journey; artists, writers, musicians and instigators. Therefore BOO! zine in conjunction with UCA Canterbury (as a venue) have become platforms for those people to perform/write/experiment/express themselves.

    I think people are (culturally) tired of websites, online content and attention spans need to be challenged. Print on paper allows pause and contemplation that seems to have dissipated online. To hold, read, possess something that speaks to you requires commitment and engagment with the material (in a similar way an album on vinyl does). People crave this…we all need to identify with and invest in music in order to fully appreciate it. Zines, printed media, expand and develop that whole ethos.

    It doesn’t have to be retro, or hipster nostalgia…music, related discussion and community can and will re-imagine formats and create something new and forward looking. But we need to engage people first…printed media is a tactile and aesthetically pleasing way to do this.

    All power to the cultural revolution.
    Mike.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for getting in touch Mike, really enjoyed seeing your band Tiny Ghost recently and I am looking forward to reading Boo! Keep fighting the good fight and I hope the Canterbury and Margate scenes continue to grow together and integrate. Best

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  2. Bang on Paula!
    Having worked as a music journalist for over 40 years I can categorically tell you that most commercial publishers have got their their heads up their collective kazoo’s.
    Why?

    Because instead of watching the ball they are watching idiotic publishers who are watching the advertisers who are watching the focus groups which consists of people mostly like me (i.e people that will do anything for a few extra pounds including dumb focus groups) who will tell these arseholes what they want to hear (but that’s another story).

    What’s happening now is actually what happened when Napster came out.
    The music business is so rigid and run by a clique of egoistical twats who are total control freaks and not adaptable to change.

    When I worked for a music paper it went with the flow.So we were allowed to write about what we wanted to write about but at same time were happy to write about the latest pop idol because there was always somebody in the team who liked them-and it sold papers to people who would not normally buy them.Also the pop idols then were cool anyway (I’m talking David Essex,Elton John,The Sweet etc).And ten we produced a magazine called……..Pop Idol.
    Oh sure,people are going to say ‘that was before the age of the internet.’
    That’s like people in the early 00’s saying ‘oh sure records sold tons before the radio.’
    That’s what happened then and big record companies banned their artists from the radio and guess what? Small labels sent their products and some great shit got exposure all over America.
    I’m not going to go into the lack of young talent in music journalism (you being an exception Paula) but the fact that someone like me who is boldly teetering towards his 60’s and is still being offered work is shocking.But in the 70′ I was surrounded by female journalists,PR’s,Records label executives,while today I could only name two journalists and maybe two pr’s and most young kids I talk to are doing media courses.

    So what are the commercial music press doing wrong?

    They are being followers not leaders.They are terrified of the advertising teams and bosses.They give real new music very little space (not the music they feature which has already been groomed by labels and stylists) and are obsessed with the internet and believe having a 1,000,000 followers actually means something.
    Nowadays it’s not the amount you sell,it’s having loyal readers who believe what you say but also have an opinion.And making a profit.
    I’ve purchased Vive Le Rock and Louder Than War.I’ll check out the other one out.

    My only comment about them so far is don’t be obsessed by genres,write about music
    full stop.A lot which isn’t being covered.

    I shall watch the progress of Louder Than War for at least a year before passing further comment.
    But in the meantime-WELL ‘FUCKEN’DONE!!!!

    Peter Makowski (ex SOUNDS magazine RIP)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Cheers Peter, I’ve never done a journalism course – my English qualifications are school standard as good as anyone else but listening to music, reading poetry and literature alongside passion for great gigs are where I take my inspiration from. I’ve written for NME and the others and its always the same. You’ve got it kid but theres no money in Journalism anymore. Thats why I do my blog. Its an outlet because I have to write and share the notions I feel are important and it gives me so much joy when people pop their heads up and say ‘yeah I feel that too!’. All the best 😉

      Like

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