Describe the magazine
Metal Hammer is primarily a heavy metal music magazine, but also covers rock and punk. It features heritage bands in the main section, as well as new bands in the Incoming segment and extreme acts in the Subterranean part.
You just won PPA Consumer Editor of the Year. To what do you attribute this achievement?
I wanted to make the Incoming section an almost standalone fanzine. But mostly I wanted us to do exactly what we say on the tin. The music industry is changing and we have to subtly reflect that.
Who reads Metal Hammer?
Predominantly 18- and 19-year-old males, but it does not exclude older readers. We aim to be accessible but not talk down to readers. They are loyal and treat metal as a way of life, not just a musical choice.
What makes a great feature for Metal Hammer?
Many are very topical and informative, such as the release of massive records from Iron Maiden or AC/DC, but sometimes they are just great features, such as the truth behind the album or a band's life story.
Of which feature are you most proud?
Going to the Amazon in Iron Maiden's plane with their fans takes some beating. Or our Metallica cover last year in a metal sleeve. Metallica have sold 90 million records, but they still make time for us.
How much contact do you have with PROs?
All the time. Music PROs help us out a lot, but we have to know what's happening before they call us telling us the news. Mostly we ring them as we can't wait around for press releases.
PR pet peeves
If I get a call on deadline, that's annoying, but the PROs with whom we work know when to contact us. We sometimes work up to five months in advance, but if it's an exciting new band, we can turn it around in days.
Media must haves
Classic Rock, Classic Prog, Rolling Stone and Revolver, and I also always read Newsweek, The Spectator, The Week, New Scientist and National Geographic.