Editor's Desk: Chris Barnes, Rhythm

Who reads Rhythm?

Chris Barnes
Chris Barnes

Drummers who are passionate about their instrument and enjoy the banter and cameraderie that exists within our close-knit community. Most are either semi-professional, or at least gigging regularly and playing/rehearsing with other musicians. Our average reader is mid- to late-thirties, but we have also maintained many readers from our launch 25 years ago and younger readers continue to come on board.

What is your editorial agenda?

To strike the right balance between informed content and exceptional educational material compiled by experts, and offering our readers a light-hearted break from the day-to-day with engaging, enjoyable articles.

What makes an ideal feature for the magazine?

Something with a real drum focus, naturally. My goal since becoming Editor has been to ensure that every feature presents real value, either by offering ideas that readers can physically apply to their kit, or aspirational content that encourage readers to set new goals.

What plans do you have for the magazine's 25th anniversary?

The special anniversary issue is done and dusted. Myself and the team spent the last six months tracking down and interviewing 25 of the most important drummers we have featured on the cover over the last 25 years, including our first ever cover artist, Simple Minds’ Mel Gaynor. Other key figures include Vinnie Colaiuta (played for Sting, Jeff Beck), Taylor Hawkins (Foo Fighters), Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Stewart Copeland (The Police) and so many more. I also commissioned some retrospective pieces looking at how the drum industry has changed since the magazine launched. The issue will be bagged and include four collectors prints of drum icons including John Bonham and Keith Moon. It truly is a bumper issue.

Online we have already run a  readers poll to crown the best drummer of the last 25 years. The response was phenomenal. We received over 103,000 votes in one week, and the traffic since announcing the winner was record-breaking. The victor was Joey Jordison from Slipknot. A surprising but deserved win.

Once the issue goes on sale we will run a gallery celebrating our favourite Rhythm covers, plus a collection of memories from past editors, writers and photographers, about their time on the magazine. 25 years is a long time and I really wanted to celebrate that longevity.

How can PR's best work with the magazine?

Simple. By contacting us in a timely fashion about news, products or artists. We work particularly far ahead with the majority of our content so the more warning we have, the better chance your story has of consideration. Importantly, when making contact please be conscious that Rhythm is a specialist magazine for drummers so familiarise yourself with our content and remember that we’re unlikely to run stories on DJ competitions or the new saxophonist you’re promoting…

What kind of talent do you feature in the magazine?

Everyone from platinum-selling, named drummers to emerging talent. We even let Math Priest (from ’90s indie band Dodgy, remember?) loose on reader demos. The results are interesting to say the least.

What is your competition, and how do you try to keep ahead?

We have one main print competitor in the UK. We have consistently maintained a very strong position in the market and we remain at the forefront with regards to our contacts and industry relationships, and we are lucky to have such a strong and loyal core group of contributors.

Rhythm’s USP is the Drum Lessons disc, which has been covermounted since 2003. It features companion video lessons for our in-mag tuition columns and includes backing tracks of popular tracks, both contemporary and classic. We have just re-designed the disc interface to be more user-friendly and the feedback so far has been excellent.

What are your own media must-haves?

I’m a self-confessed technology geek, so I get all of my necessary media beamed straight to my iPad. My first port-of-call is always the BBC News app. I also spend an unhealthy amount of time checking my Twitter feed to see what’s going on in drum/music/media land. Rhythm has recently been made available on Zinio, so I’ve been looking at my new subsciptions to Rhythm and Total Guitar on the iPad and dreaming about the possibilities for magazines like Rhythm. For my gadget fix I pick up both T3 and Stuff magazines, and visit TechRadar.com daily.

 

Current ABC: 8,700

 

Contact details:

Chris Barnes, Editor

Rich Chamberlain, Staff Writer

Chris Burke, Production Editor

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