Category Archives: Features

Parent category for all our assorted feature narratives. Each is filed under its proper theme.

Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” @ 25 Years (1984-2009)

Let me hear you say “I’m a sick Mutha F**ka”!!!! You readers can respond whenever you feel like it but wow, how about that news – Twisted Sister’s seminal release “Stay Hungry” is now officially a quarter of a century old. I think I best leave it as “twenty five years old” because saying it the other way really starts to make me feel older than I am comfortable with realizing but that being said “Happy Anniversary” to this incredible release.
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PiercingMetal Talks with Alissa White-Gluz of The Agonist

Logo - The Agonist

I had caught The Agonist for the very first time when they opened up a show for Epica back in September of 2007 and I was immediately impressed with the way that singer Alissa White-Gluz does her thing. She is a kick ass straight-edge Metal chick with a number of interesting aspects to her life which made setting up an interview something that would generate a lot of interest for our readers. Of course, the girls absolutely hectic and insane schedule led to our exchanging emails and doing it via that medium. Having met a few times at the clubs you will find that we managed to hold our internet conversation just as if we had done it face to face. The Agonist is among the hot new signings to Century Media Records and a band that delivers up the Melodic Metalcore with crushing abandon. The four piece group is led and fronted by Alissa White-Gluz who is a young woman of talent, strong conviction and incredible focus on her reasons for doing things. We met up with Alissa backstage at one of the shows in NYC to talk about all things The Agonist but the often hectic nature of appearances led us to having this done via email. Read on to find out what makes this beautiful young lady tick and how she plans on keeping the audience thrilled as the band continues to rise.

PiercingMetal: It’s nice to get a few moments of your time Alissa based on the bands apparently rigorous touring schedule. Before we talk about the group let’s go back to your own beginnings as a performer first because I am wondering how you even got your start as a musician. Care to enlighten me?

Alissa White-Gluz: Thanks Ken! I actually really just got started in my first metal band because I happen to be friends with a lot of bands seeking singers. To help out I told them I would search around for freelancing vocalists. After not really finding any, and not wanting to let my friends down, I decided maybe I would suffice! My house has always been full of musical influence, my mother being a great appreciator of good music. My older sister also has a band, called Badflirt (very different from the Agonist!). So basically, music was never a foreign concept to me, but I also never really thought I would be playing it to this level.
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PiercingMetal & Social Networking: Woozyfly.com

Continuing the series on the existing Social Networks and how they are being used by the PiercingMetal outlet. This is WoozyFly.

Woozyfly: We had an account on WoozyFly but we never did anything with it, and then after not checking it out for some months we chose to see how we could make it work out for site proliferation. Sadly we found the domain gone from the Internet and inquires led to discovering that it no longer existed. Eventually it came back up as a lead to something totally different and our account was gone. I guess not all things take off like MySpace and Facebook after all. I had to say that this was one of the more interesting of the new Social Networking things since it was so focused on music and video delivery. Every subscriber had the chance to be either a fan, or a band or some kind of online DJ. You were able to host your own show and bring your own musical interests to the masses. One of our long time friends even had one and he called it “Buckshot’s Bonanza”. The host was Steve Seabury aka “Buckshot” who was the bass player for the band Dirty Rig as well at the time. He took a lot of video and I am hoping that this stuff is somewhere on YouTube.com since the whole shebang is gone and the material lost to the servers of the Internet.

Learn more about what Woozyfly.com was all about by clicking their Wikipedia entry.

Official Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woozyfly

PiercingMetal & Social Networking: MySpace.com

MySpace.com is without question the former Big Kahuna of the Social Networking sites and at last check had over 150 million accounts signed up for it. When I first heard about the service I created a personal profile for the chance to network what I am up to in real life as well as reacquaint myself with long lost friends from the past (barring one or two minor exceptions).  This would essentially replace my use of Friendster and slowly start to dominate the time I was spending on Tribe.net.  Since I noticed some music related profiles existing on the at the time exciting service, I created a profile page for PiercingMetal.com and this profile became the one that I primarily used when I would log in.  In the beginning we were interested in adding everyone and anyone if the belief that it would expand the reach of PiercingMetal existed but over time we realized that most bands were just posting show announcements for areas we weren’t near and limited the adds to individual accounts or bands that had written to our headquarters in search of coverage.   When it came to the addition of bands we just had one criteria, and that was to please at least contact us like a professional medium that you wanted to work with.  Too many bands were starting to add everyone they could to post tour announcements or gigs they were doing that were not accessible by most of the people in their friends list.

I stood by that rule because it was becoming rude to just get blasts of emails that expected you to investigate on your own and learn about who was contacting you.  When one is trying to work through a pile of CD’s from label representatives and publicists, your free time to be a researcher is not always a large window.  In terms of its popularity, it has waned quite a bit from its original heyday but there are those who use it still and get what they want from it.  Many of the sites truest believers have our profile on the top of their friends list, and are always telling their own friends to come check us out which is never a bad thing.  I used all the aspects available when I saw that we could use them and while we had both a Group for the site along with a Blog, each of them were used to direct people right over to the main site where there was more PiercingMetal.com action to enjoy.  Bands of the world started to jump on MySpace.com with levels of zeal and would use this medium instead of paying for their own secure domain site. That made sense in some fashion since they were able to load in their own music and tour dates for free instead of paying for it. The down side was that for every great band there were hundreds of crappy ones and as more and more accounts got created, just try and find something with any ease. At the time of this writing, the rising star for Social Networking was quickly becoming Facebook.  The roller coaster of this new realm continues it would seem.

There were sweeping changes to the resource from top to bottom and many will tell you that simple maintenance became an impossible task and it was so annoying that many decided to drop their page and delete the account entirely but not before telling their fans, friends and family that they were exclusively using Facebook for future promotion.  As far as PiercingMetal.com is concerned I have left my account alone because the status now allows me to broadcast what is being posted on my sites official Twitter account.  Since the Twitter often refers to our Facebook page or Blog, I feel why delete something that reaches a few more people every day. At this point its just there and we politely ask those interested in PiercingMetal to come find us on either the Facebook or Twitter accounts.

Official Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myspace

UPDATE 12/3/2017: Despite leaving it in place for years after this narrative went live, today the two long standing accounts on the medium have been deleted in full. Goodbye MySpace, we used to really like it over there.

Reflecting On My “Metal Edge” Magazine Tenure (2006-2007)

Hey there Metal Legions and any of you who have somehow just happened by while surfing the web and decided to read some of our musings. This narrative is a bit of a reflection about my tenure as a freelance writer for the mighty Metal Edge magazine. It was about a month ago that I shared the sad news about the publications folding up and ceasing operations. If you missed that post, please click on THIS LINK to review it when time allows.

This part of my writing world comes with a little bit of a backstory about how it came to pass and very simply I made this connection thanks to some positive cross-networking that I did at an area show. When the Editor at the time found me to be someone with a keen observational view on the existing Metal scene of the day, we sat down and discussed what they needed and how I could help them out if I was interested in doing so. Like many magazines, you had your feature articles and interviews and then ever so informative reviews section. In Metal Edge, it was broken up into two areas by product type and had their DVD reviews in one part of the magazine and the CD reviews a few pages later. I don’t think that the DVD section had any official title but that didn’t matter in the overall scheme of things. What mattered was that they needed four DVD pieces each month and for a few months I would have the run of the column unless another writer submitted a pitch that was something that Editorial wanted to feature. This would be my first time in “official print” even though I had been a web-based journalist for about three years at the time. The benefits were not only having a couple of magazines to give out to close friends or family but that it was a paid gig. The DVD reviews generally needed to be at least “400” words and that came at a certain price. I had to admit that it looked rather nice when I held the finished issue in my hands.
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