Last November I got the idea to start a blog featuring new wave of thrash bands and their influences.
Now, a year later, The NWOTM Blog is going strong, highlighting bands both signed and unsigned from all over the world. The NWOTM Blog Facebook page has gained a stunning amount of followers, and I am thankful to all the bands and fans who frequently visit that page.
When I began The NWOTM Blog, the original intent was always to feature the local band from down the block. Your friend's band. The local thrash band that kicks the hell out of that 7th tier signed metal group they opened for last weekend. Of course I would write about some of the big boys from the old and new school, but the grassroots is where it's at. There are so many hidden gems floating around the dark corners of the internet that it would almost be a disservice of this blog to not bring them to the forefront.
The hidden gems appeal to me so much because I remember what it's like to be in a band, trying to get your name and music out to the potential fans. Getting a band's name in articles, reviews and on posters is a big deal and although some don't want to admit they need it, such promotion gives a little validation to all the blood and sweat a band pours into their art. When others take notice, it's freaking cool.
Of course, beyond the "cool" factor of having your band included in an article or review is the solid promotion. It adds a few more Facebook "likes" and maybe a couple more albums sold. Ah, the swelling of the fan base. That's where I like to help.
First and foremost, I am a fan of thrash metal (obviously). So naturally, I want to see killer thrash bands thrive.
A year ago I would do a lot of digging for new bands, with successful discoveries almost every time I searched the net. The amount of incredible thrash bands out there writing new music is astounding. I can't keep up!
When I came across bands such as Sword of Judgement, Unhoped, Shredhead, 4ARM, Ecopolis, Hellbrain, and many others, I was blown away with the discovery, eager to share them with you all.
Now since The NWOTM Blog has taken flight, I don't have to do too much digging anymore because I get flooded with requests from bands all over the world for a demo feature or review. I'm not complaining - I freaking' LOVE it! My only problem is the time to write about all this great music I am hearing. Although writing about ALL these awesome bands is near impossible, I do the best I can.
The ROCKS! and the Weekend Breakdown posts (as well as this whole blog) are essentially love letters to my favorite genre of metal as well as a Thank You to those flying its flag.
Now I can't end this post without mentioning a few words about the one and only Lenny Troo Frasher.
Lenny was born of the ridiculous and self-contradicting insults that are spewed all over the web regarding the NWOTM. The "thrash elitist" (hahaha) who believes that new = sucks. Frankly, the attitude of "I love thrash so much that I hate thrash" confounds me. Although the absurdity of such an attitude is maddening, absurdity leads to good comedy.
Enter Lenny Troo Frasher.
His elitist take on new thrash makes him the butt of the joke, even through his own scathing insults hurled toward the genre - a genre of music he claims to love as long as it's not put out after 1990.
The addition of the Lenny Troo Frasher comic to the blog had the site hits go through the roof every time a new one is posted. I'm happy you all enjoy the running gag as much as I like writing it.
Now as far as what I really like about The NWOTM Blog (other than getting free music) is the correspondence with the bands and their fans. I love talking thrash! One guy named Christopher G. commented to me, "Dude, this is the only blog I even care about."
That meant a lot to me, offered me a ton of validation for the love I put into promoting my favorite genre of metal, and helps me keep going.
So thank you all for sticking around to watch this blog grow. My hope is that The NWOTM Blog will be around for at least another year.
- r. lawrence blake