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Youtube: Exploring The New Frontier For Metal Musicians To Earn A Living

Posted by on January 23, 2019 at 1:15 pm

If it isn't clear by now for all, the nature of the music industry is that of a dynamic entity where trends and technology are always changing and influencing the overall structure of this complex system. The most clear example of this phenomena is the growing metal community on YouTube. While it has been over a decade since the site launched, it seems that YouTube has now proven to be a stable platform for artists who are driven by heavy music. As I stumbled upon an increasing amount of channels whose videos consist mostly of metal music-related content, I began to wonder why these individuals felt compelled to take their musical talents and thoughts to YouTube instead of going the traditional route of forming bands, writing for sites, or going in another direction within the industry.

Overall though, my biggest epiphany on the topic of metal music YouTube channels is the commonality that they share with "actual" bands. Between both metal communities, I would say there is an equal amount of a desire to have creative control, livable income for their artistic output, and a relationship with their fanbase. Although, there may be a negative stigma when it comes to YouTube-based artists, I sense that the perhaps negative connotation associated with artists on YouTube is slowly decreasing and this article can provide more insight and hopefully bridge the gap between YouTube artists and artists within bands.

Enough of my opinions though, you can hear more info from the YouTube-based artists below, which range from humor-based skits and parody content to album reviews and music discussion videos.


FROG LEAP STUDIOS

Frog Leap Studios Youtube

Literally any song you can imagine, Leo Moracchioli at Frog Leap Studios has either already covered it in a metal fashion or he will in the inevitable future. Pop radio hit "Hello" by Adele? Check. 80's sensation single "Take On Me" by A-ha? You know it! But my personal favorite by Leo is probably his rendition of Twenty One Pilots' "Heathens."

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

I think I found a niche with covering popular songs in a heavy way. I feel like I have my own voice, the production is pretty good, and I go totally apeshit in the video which probably makes it interesting to watch. I guess it's something with being able to do a whole package and not just be very good at just one thing.

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

I've had the channel for many years and started to use it as a promotional tool for my studio. After doing acoustic covers to promote my live shows in my area, I did a metal cover of "Poker Face" one day just for fun since I come from a metal background. That went kinda viral and then I thought, hey I like this and it looks like I can make a living out of it.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

Yeah, definitely. YouTube is a great place for doing whatever you want, build yourself as an individual, and not be dependent on record companies. You reach the whole world in a click and if people like what you do they will support you cause they probably see you as someone thats not a corporate thing, but just a guy/girl/group that's doing this all by themselves.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

Well, I feel pretty lucky and haven't had so much of a bad experience. Some vile comments here and there will certainly occur, but you really just have to see past that. It's still weird for me talking to people saying "I'm a 'YouTuber'," and I don't think a lot people really realize that you can make it your job.

Which other YouTube channels do you see as supporting the spread of metal music awareness?

There's lots. A few of the bigger ones would be Rob Scallon, Ola Englund, and Jared Dines.

What bands do you see as currently at the forefront of the metal community?

I'm actually not so into the whole metal scene these days, the last big metal band I was into was probably Lamb of God and I guess they're still going strong.

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

Right now I'm really content with doing YouTube. I don't have the rock star dream with touring all the time, so this kind of work fits me perfectly. It would be fun to do some shows one day, but time will show.

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JARED DINES

Jared Dines Youtube

Jared Dines is a charming YouTube personality focusing his videos on a mix of humorous tutorial videos, tongue-in-cheek critiques of modern -core genres, and list-based countdowns revolving around the metal genre. If you're a fan of Hot Topic-esque metal, the djent movement, etc. all while not taking metal music too seriously, definitely check this dude's content out. His annual djent videos are quite silly to the extreme, yet quite musically impressive too.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

Probably just the way I approach my videos. I like to be very light-hearted and make people laugh while still incorporating metal, instead of metal always being the main focus. I try to use the music more like a catalyst to reach the community and make them laugh. I don't ever feel that the music is the main attraction. It has always been about putting a smile on someone's face for me. Don't get me wrong, I still very much love metal.

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

It was one of the only available places where I could post content that people could watch on a daily basis. I didn't have to go through some label or try and get on the next underground compilation CD. It allowed me complete control of my content, to post whenever and whatever I want too. And it's free.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

Absolutely. When you can play metal and achieve 1M+ followers, that's a pretty good platform in my opinion.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

Obviously, the financial aspect is nice. I think one of the coolest things is being able to post whatever you want to post. Say whatever you want to say, when you want to say it. Nobody is telling you to do this or do that. You have complete control, and you reap all the benefits yourself. You don't have to answer to a label, there are no restrictions. It's great. I would say the potentially bad thing about it is falling into a creative rut or having to keep yourself motivated. It can be pretty daunting at times always trying to come up with a good video idea. Sometimes you nail it, sometimes you don't.

Which other YouTube channels do you see as supporting the spread of metal music awareness?

Oh man, there are a lot. Rob Scallon, 331Erock, Pete Cottrell, Sarah Longfield, Pellek, and TenSecondSongs to name a few.

What bands do you see as currently at the forefront of the metal community?

That really depends on what kind of metal genre you're referring to. Obviously bands like Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth, and Lamb of God will always be staples in the community. If you go more underground you get bands like Whitechapel, Carnifex, Thy Art is Murder, Suicide Silence, etc. who in their own right are kind of up front in the pack with the more extreme styles of metal.

Are there other avenues of the music industry that you are currently a part of or would like to explore in the future?

I think if I ever were to stop doing YouTube, I would just want to join a band and go play shows. The thing with being a YouTuber is you really don't get out much. You work from home 90% of the time and it can get pretty monotonous at times. I think I would just want to get out, meet people, and play music.

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

I'm not a fan of exclusive dedication. Variety is key for me, especially when it comes to creativity and music. It would have to be something pretty damn good for me to want to stop YouTube and pursue something else 100%.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Life is too short to always be serious. Even in the metal community, it's okay to laugh at yourself from time to time. Have fun and help build up the community. We need all the help we can get.

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MEYTALLL

Meytalll Youtube

Meytal Cohen is a female Israeli born drummer who performs spot-on covers of hard rock, alternative, and heavy metal songs. In 2015, she teamed up with Eric Emery (Skyharbor), Travis Montgomery (Threat Signal), Doc Coyle (God Forbid), and Anel Pedrero (Sweet Child) for her debut LP, Alchemy. After assembling a live band, they went on tour as the opening act for Queensrhyche. Currently, Meytal is working on her second record, so keep your eyes out for the upcoming release. Her most popular listed videos include covers of "Toxicity" by System of a Down, "Nightmare" by Avenged Sevenfold, and "Psychosocial" by Slipknot.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

I feel that a lot of times metal is associated with a darker, self deprecating attitude. It's possible that my channel gives a more simplistic, lighthearted approach to being a metalhead.

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

The first video to go viral was my electric violin cover of "Toxicity" by System of a Down. That video was made as an audition tape for America's Got Talent. The show didn't think much of us, but when we put the video up on YouTube it quickly gained millions of views. I moved to LA from Israel hoping to make a career as a musician, but I honestly had no clue on how to make that happen and the videos were the one thing that just made sense.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

This platform allowed me to do what I love full time. I was getting better and better practicing my favorite songs, while obtaining a large following and making a name for myself. It actually blows my mind to think that I now have over 170 million YouTube views. It was never my plan and I never expected to receive the amazing support that I now have. I think that if nothing else, YouTube provides a stage for any artist, to put their work out there and gain recognition. It's an amazing tool which can be used as a launchpad to anything you wish to create.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

That’s a tough one because I feel like there’s so many of both. For musicians covering songs owned by major labels, the greatest most obvious downside is not being able to monetize your videos. Not a lot of people know this but commercials placed on cover videos are placed by the labels, so the content creator is making $0 off of those videos. In addition, the label can decide to block the video in certain countries or remove the video all together, so it is a struggle to make a living doing that. On the other hand, if people love your videos and you can stick with it in a consistent way long enough to build a following, you might be able to find other ways to create income through merchandise, sponsorship deals, or product placements. The most important pro is having a relationship with your audience and as a result having the freedom to pitch your ideas directly to them and get their support. I was able to fund my debut album Alchemy through kickstarter and it charted number 1 on Billboard’s heatseeker chart and as a result, my band and I got on a full US tour opening for a legendary metal band, none of which would have been possible without the support of my fans.

Are there other avenues of the music industry that you are currently a part of or would like to explore in the future?

In the past six months I’ve been co creating a platform called Erlybird. Erlybird combines the excitement of a crowdfunding campaign and a simple ecommerce site. The idea came through the release of my album Alchemy. When my album was ready I wanted to release it in a big way. I didn’t have the support of a label to create a clever marketing plan, but I also didn’t want to simply put the album up on iTunes, so we created a page on my website, which essentially was the prototype of Erlybird. The response to the album release was amazing, but the album ended up selling more during the one month of the Erlybird release than in the eight months that followed combined. To support independent artists everywhere, we decided to create this platform which will allow others to have the same tools, to premiere their new releases in an impactful and exciting way. The site was launched recently and our first Erlybird launch is an album from the band RA.

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

I see YouTube as a home base. Posting videos on YouTube and Facebook allows me to share my passion with millions of people from all over the world and that to me is amazing. With that said, I would love to continue crossing over from YouTube into the "real world” as it has been an amazing journey, yet not a simple one, so far. I’m having to find my next step as I go along, discovering more and more things about today’s music industry, and then finding ways to crack the system and make it work anyways. For the longest time I had the notion that I needed a label to support this dream, but this year I have a fresh outlook on things with no middle man needed. I plan on using the amazing tools that are available to me to make whatever it is I want to create come to life through the support of the metal community, through social media, and crowdfunding.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Thanks for reading and come say hello on my Facebook page.

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ROB SCALLON

Rob Scallon Youtube

Rob Scallon is a an extremely talented musician with some serious skills on the guitar, banjo, ukelele, bass, cello, harp, and more. While his content has a certain amount of silly faces and absurdity, the mass appeal of Rob's videos come from his sheer experimental virtuosity across multiple instruments and genres. We've showcased a good chunk of his content on Metal Injection such as uke covers of Slayer and Cannibal Corpse, however his full channel is most definitely worth looking into.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

I think one big factor that helps my channel is simply that I’ve been doing it a long time. I’ve had a lot of experience learning how to create music videos for the internet over the last decade. 

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

Metal is just something I’m really interested in, alhough bringing metal playing to my YouTube channel was actually really delayed. The first metal video I did was a cover of "Scalding Hail" by Cannibal Corpse in 2011 and there’s a disclaimer prior to the video that warns that it’s a bit out of the ordinary from my regular videos. I have always been a big fan. I was constantly playing metal and was a drummer in a metal band when I started the channel but I didn’t think there was a market for metal on YouTube. I was so very wrong. Maybe that was true ten years ago, but the platform has obviously really expanded since then. I was really relieved to learn that much of my audience were also into Cannibal Corpse when I posted that video. Nowadays what genres I choose to explore and work with are more broad and anything I’m interested in is fair game. So naturally, metal is a huge part of what I make.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

Absolutely, but it takes a lot of commitment to really get the ball rolling.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

The best part I’d say is that you can run it as your own business. The amount of creative freedom I have is amazing and I’m really grateful for that. I can work on whatever I’d like and release it however I’d like. It’s all up to me. The hardest part of the job is probably that same thing. I have total control, which also comes with being in charge of every aspect of it. If I want to sell merchandise or edit a video or record music or negotiate sponsor deals, I either need to learn how to do that myself, figure out what company to work with, or hire the right person. There’s some stigma, but I think that’s been steadily going away for years. Most people now realize that being an internet creator is a real thing and not just people who have too much time on their hands.

Which other YouTube channels do you see as supporting the spread of metal music awareness?

There’s a lot of great channels out there. I think Pete Cottrell is a really great example and one of the finest. He has solid stuff that always inspires me to pick up a guitar and start riffing.

Are there other avenues of the music industry that you are currently a part of or would like to explore in the future?

I’m currently diving into TV a little bit. Pressing vinyl has been really rewarding. Touring occasionally has been a blast, but overall my home is definitely on the internet and with video.

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

You never know how the internet or media in general will change. But certainly for the foreseeable future, my YouTube channel is my main focus. 

Anything else you'd like to add?

Muhammed Suiçmez, please release another album.

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RYAN BRUCE

Ryan Bruce Youtube

Ryan Bruce (aka Fluff) is one of YouTube's best tech geek when it comes to heavy music. His channel features a plethora of demos on guitars, pedals, amps, and other equipment. He also collaborates with other guitarists for his Riff Wars series and presents tutorials for home recording amongst other hard rock and metal discussion videos.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

I really try to have a little bit of everything in my demo videos including a tune, casual playthrough, and commentary. The FAQ stuff is simply to just be informative so I think maybe presenting information that allows the viewer to make their own conclusions on whatever it is I am showing or playing with is a strong point.

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

I grew up in the Seattle area in the 90's and was huge into the Grunge scene and I think because of that, I was most comfortable presenting something related to heavy music. When you start uploading stuff to YouTube you really feel vulnerable and just sort of alone at first, so that gave me something to lean on, so to speak.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

I do, yeah, at least to an extent. Because it's the internet you do tend to get the entire range of society at your door so you can and often do get tons of shit for not being more like (insert Sumerian band you have never heard of here), but overall metal fans are awesome and more open-minded to things like sub-genres and different forms of metal.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

Some of the pros are that you get to help and educate people all over the world right from your comfort zone. Often, you are emailed and messaged with stories about how your work and art helped them in a huge way and that is so gratifying. That never gets old. As for cons, you are expected to act and work within the proverbial walls you have created for yourself, so any amount of change and anything new can make people very defensive over your own brand. After all, these folks watch you pooping, waiting for food, etc. and you are a part of their lives, ya know? There are also the weirdos, stalkers, creeps, and folks like that, but they are a very small part.

Which other YouTube channels do you see as supporting the spread of metal music awareness?

I have always thought of Ola Englund and Keith Merrow's YouTube channels to be the two YouTube channels that really bridged a gap for metal in particular. Up until that time (about 2010 or 2011) no one was doing what those two did for metal and guitar playing as a whole on the internet. I could have never started my channel if those guys hadn't already blazed the path.

What bands do you see as currently at the forefront of the metal community?

That is a tough question as it depends on what you would classify as metal. I do think bands like Architects, Gojira, Parkway Drive, and even Ghost are absolutely at the forefront of metal right now. They are all very accessible and are all doing really amazing things.

Are there other avenues of the music industry that you are currently a part of or would like to explore in the future?

I have always wanted to be the Chris Hardwick of the music industry. I want to be involved in it all. I am the artist rep for Joey Sturgis Tones plugins and am looking forward to really diving into the audio engineering world as well. The sky is the limit.

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

I would probably choose (or have chosen?) another aspect of the music industry. The YouTube thing cant last forever, but it does provide some wonder opportunities. I suppose thats where my head is already at with working for a plugin company. Never put all your eggs in one basket.

Anything else you'd like to add?

If you are ever feeling cold, try sitting in a corner. Its 90 degrees. #dadjokes

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PETE COTTRELL

Pete Cottrell Youtube

The creative juices of Pete Cottrell has previously been featured a few times on this site. The UK-based guitarist is known for creating twisted renditions of bands' songs. Are you a fan of Metallica, Meshuggah, Slipknot, or Korn? Inquire within for wacky versions of your favorite songs. Additionally, Pete also showcases plenty of different gear and guitar models.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

Honestly, I'm not sure if I'm that unique among other metal or guitar channels. I just try and make something good. I guess we're all influenced by each other and we all borrow elements that we incorporate into our own stuff. That being said though, people have told me that they like the way I write songs and how I edit my videos, which is something I tried to focus on from the beginning. I try to use camera angles that look cinematic and edit the videos so they flow nicely from beginning to end. I designed my own split screen elements and transitions so there's no blank space on screen and try to be consistent from video to video.

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

It was kind of just a natural progression really. I got into watching sketch comedy and vloggers on YouTube, channels like TomSka and Freddie Wong, which had nothing to do with metal but they showed me that this isn't just a website with funny cat videos. It's actually a place where people create things and build audiences. Later I found gear demos and the guitar playthroughs from Ola Englund and Keith Merrow that inspired me to turn a camera on myself and give it a try.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

Sure. I've seen YouTube get some criticism in recent years, but in general I've always found it to be a great platform for artists, not just in metal, but any genre. It's still one of the only platforms where you can earn money from your content, Twitch would be the other one that comes to mind, but it's primarily focused on gaming. I don't think you'll see YouTube itself start making content or features dedicated to metal though, but you never know. It's focused a lot of its attention on music in the last few years and as long as people keep creating metal based content it'll find an audience there.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

Pros are that you're in control, and you're not limited by anything really. You set your own schedule, work in your own time, and collaboration is super easy. There's a whole community of creators and viewers to throw ideas back and forth and work with. On the negative side, there's sometimes a stigma that YouTube musicians are somehow failed musicians. I've read comments in the past implying that the person in the video isn't touring or playing live because they couldn't "make it." In reality it's just a different way of reaching an audience. It's something that I see less and less of though which is nice. The money element is both good and bad. It's awesome that YouTube allows its creators to share revenue. It varies from person to person, but unless you're getting hundreds of thousands of views on a regular basis you won't pay the bills on ad revenue, which is why a lot of creators have side things like merch and utilize crowd funding sites like Patreon.

Which other YouTube channels do you see as supporting the spread of metal music awareness?

Anyone who makes a metal based video really. It's not something I've thought a lot about but it's nice to see anyone making playthroughs, vlogs, news, even top 10's or react videos. Actually one of the coolest things I saw on YouTube recently was the Fine Brothers video where kids reacted to Metallica. It's really awesome to see metal on big channels like that.

What bands do you see as currently at the forefront of the metal community?

I like Sylosis, I think their last album was pretty special. And Josh [Middleton] from the band has a YouTube channel too. But, I'd probably say Periphery. Aside from making cool music, each of the dudes from the band seem very in touch with their audience and the music industry as a whole. They interact with their fans a lot and they all have various off shoots of music that they're involved with.

Are there other avenues of the music industry that you are currently a part of or would like to explore in the future?

I think audio production is something I'd like to explore more. I've taught myself how to record and mix as I go, trying to improve with every song and video I make. Even though I don't get it right every time I enjoy it, so I think it's definitely something I want to do more of.

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

I'm good with YouTube at the moment. I want to do more videos and have plans for an EP this year so I want to see how far the YouTube adventure goes. I've made friends and collaborated with amazing people doing this so I just want to do more right now.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Big thanks for the interview and to Metal Injection and all the other online metal news sites that have been incredibly supportive of the YouTube metal and guitar community. Would it be cliche if I asked you to like, comment, and subscribe?

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COVERKILLERNATION
Coverkillernation Youtube

Mark of Coverkillernation is predominantly known for his prolific amount of album reviews, but has also branched out to videos discussing hot trends and topics in the metal community. His style his very raw and straight-forward. You can expect a multitude of reviews on the weekly basis from underground acts to the most mainstream.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

There are many heavy metal album reviewers on YouTube these days. I'm proud to be a part of that community. Reviewing is one thing, but to be able to present a list of recommended bands or spotlight 5 albums a week in a series known as "5 Recently Released Metal Albums You Should Check Out" gives a viewer options. There's a ton of metal out there these days, and the more that can be discussed the better. Plus, instead of being done from an overly technical viewpoint, the content is done with a little more end-user gusto, focusing on what someone may feel when listening to it, while still outlining positives and negatives.

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

Honestly, it was a happy accident. I uploaded an "angry" review about Metallica's St. Anger and things sort of took off. I did a few other angry reviews, then saw some albums being released that I was excited about. Those deserved exposure, since they were brand new, with the hopes of making more metal fans aware of the release, or bringing new fans to the groups discussed. The community aspect became very important as the viewership grew.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

I see YouTube as a terrific tool that metalheads can use to discover new artists or for newer fans to quickly listen to recommendations and get their feet wet in the metal universe. Artists have been able to get their work heard with the platform, which is great. But exposure alone doesn't keep these bands going and making great music. YouTube should be that stepping stone toward an album purchase. It should breed further investigation and immersion, not just be a fancy mp3 player.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

One of the biggest pros is that anybody can do it. Anybody with a message or talent can upload content and have it be seen by an audience. That's also the con, considering parody is everywhere. The fanbase has grown every year and been terrifically supportive, so I cannot thank them enough for that. Being able to communicate with some of the musicians that are reviewed is also an amazing experience. I can't talk much about money, but will disclose for anybody planning on starting a career in content creation… don't quit your day job. In fact, if you can ever quit your day job and focus only on content creation, then you've been quite fortunate. Technically, my work is primitive compared to many other creators. I'm more message-centered, but the audience wants modern technology. We get spoiled by new toys, so evolution is needed when funds are available.

Which other YouTube channels do you see as supporting the spread of metal music awareness?

This is what makes the YouTube metal community neat. Other reviewers such as Fulton's Reviews, runnerjma, CountBlagorath, etc. bring a unique voice and passion to their work, but there are also commentators like InfidelAmsterdam. Then there are the Jared Dines of the world that play music instead of talk about it. Many metal artists will offer playthroughs of songs, lessons, and other supportive material. Even TenSecondSongs is worth mentioning, considering metal styles are often included in his viral videos.

What bands do you see as currently at the forefront of the metal community?

Believe it or not, metal is going through a bit of a youth movement right now. Our legends are still keeping our heads banging with terrific material, but there are bands just 2 or 3 albums into their careers releasing landmark material. Aneaon is a Greek avant-black metal band that is just spellbinding, similar to a Hail Spirit Noir, who is from the same country. An Abstract Illusion released one of the best albums of last year with Illuminate the Path and showed that Ne Obliviscaris has some serious company. Vektor just knocked it out of the park last year with Terminal Redux. Astronoid had a brilliant debut, while Caricature had two great EP's in 2016. Those are just a few of the younger groups looking to turn metal on its head. At this point, so many of us are familiar with the bigger names of heavy metal that the Metallicas, Slayers, and Opeths of the world are expected to always be mentioned. We know those bands are great, we talk about them all the time. We debate about Ghost and Pantera. But the younger bands mentioned, they need investigated. The more people scope them out, the more they'll like them.

Are there other avenues of the music industry that you are currently a part of or would like to explore in the future?

I worked in a music store for a number of years and just loved the environment. It was a chain store, though. I'd love to own and operate an independent music store dedicated mainly to metal, but also willing to cater to other styles of music as well. Most metalheads may not want to admit their eclectic tastes, but we all know they have them. I'd consider doing some further journalism if given the chance and having a bit more time to kill. Hell, part of me would love to have a label, or just work in a warehouse surrounded by this music we love. Once this is in your blood, you want to help it survive.

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

I'd attempt to do both for as long as I could. Having a record store or label would make it easier, considering you want to be able to both advertise your product but also show your knowledge of it. Imagine going into a store where the workers weren't just clerks. They were metalheads that want to serve other metalheads. It's just perfect. But I like making content, streaming for the fans, and just talking about anything. I'm not going anywhere anytime soon, which I'm sure will anger at least a few people.

Anything else you'd like to add?

Heavy metal gives us so many gifts with each passing year, so we must continue to return the favor. Support your artists, content creators, etc. Also have to give a major metal meow out to my three heavy metal cats: Mittens, Pippin, and Nemo. Yeah, I'm that guy that shouts out his cats in an interview.

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RIFFSHOP

Riffshop Youtube

Hosted by Cyborg Octopus guitarist David Wu, Riffshop is a channel exploring comedic skits and how-to videos with an overall metal theme. There are also plenty of talented vocalists and musicians that make guest appearances. Be sure to also follow the channel on Facebook as David posts many similarly hilarious short videos there too.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

We're most known for our educational metal videos where we teach people everything from driving stick shift to coding in HTML to even shaping up your resume to get that job you were applying for.

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

Being in the band Cyborg Octopus (shameless plug), I understand first-hand how difficult it is for a metal band to get exposure through simply touring and putting out records. After being thoroughly entertained by non-metal youTube channels for a while (NigaHiga, Simple Pickup, JKFilms, ProZD, Super Eyepatch Wolf, and Primitive Technology to name a few), I really believed in the platform as a way to connect with fans in a way that music alone couldn't do.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

Let's put it this way, if a channel that focuses on rolling marbles can amass a subscriber count of 241,000+ subscribers (Jelle's Marble Runs), anyone has the possibility of making it big on youTube.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

Pros are this has exponentially strengthened my brand as a musician as well as my band's brand. And this has allowed me to connect with fans on a personal level instead of just a musical one. Cons are that the most difficult part about being a content creator is the ability to juggle quality and consistency. Making good videos takes time. However, it's important to post regularly in order to stay relevant and grow. How will you balance the two? If you also play in a band, it is extremely difficult to juggle the needs of your band and your channel as managing your YouTube channel is almost a full time job.

Which other YouTube channels do you see as supporting the spread of metal music awareness?

Oh man, there are so many good ones that have inspired me in some form or another. I'm going to point out some of the lesser known ones. I think LinzeyRae is awesome as her personality puts a really awesome quirky spin on her metal videos. My friends in Bloodywood all the way in India do a great job of covering really popular pop songs and make the genre more accessible for the casual listener.

What bands do you see as currently at the forefront of the metal community?

Ironically, I don't listen to a whole lot of new metal these days. My favorites are Native Construct, my buddies in Fallujah, and The Dillinger Escape Plan (RIP).

Are there other avenues of the music industry that you are currently a part of or would like to explore in the future?

Anything music/marketing related would be great. Once I get to a certain point, I would love to help other bands/musicians do the same.

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

YouTube 110%!

Anything else you'd like to add?

The benefits of succeeding within YouTube are extremely rewarding. However, don't be mistaken, it's a lot of hard work. It took us 8+ months of putting out videos each week before we got our first viral hit, and even since then, it's still been an uphill battle. If you get into this looking for quick success or fame, you're not gonna last.

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 NIK NOCTURNAL

Nik Nocturnal Youtube

Nik Nocturnal has an undeniably impressive amount of cover videos stacking up in his channel. But here's the catch, this guitarist will record and upload covers within a couple hours or less of the song actually publicly premiering. Last year, his milestones included covering the entire newest Northlane album within 24 hours as well as releasing a full-length record of originals. While checking out his covers, I would recommend scoping his instructional and list-based videos too.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

The biggest aspect of my YouTube channel that I see as unique amongst other similar channels is simply how fast I learn and cover new tracks. As well as doing every cover live, which is surprisingly rare to see nowadays since everyone seems to do a lot of different shots of them playing the song, which can be visually pleasing, but in the end I personally think a cover is meant to show the viewers how well a person can really play a song from start to finish, which is actually the reason I do covers.

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

What inspired me the most to start focusing on YouTube as my main music platform is the marketing potential for it, in the sense that it allows me to share all of my music in the most accessible way possible. When I was younger I would post things just on Soundcloud and sometimes Facebook to share what I love doing with others, but when I got a little more serious about it, I started focusing on my YouTube channel. YouTube just seemed like the best place to share my music in terms of being able to reach the biggest diverse audience possible.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

I think YouTube is a very supportive platform for anything music related. It's just very simple and easy to find music you like as well as easy to promote your own music.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

The pros are there is a lot of feedback very quickly and it is easy to market yourself and your content. The cons would be that it requires a lot of monitoring, making sure to keep your content coming and updated, as well as small technical issues regarding copyright rules and such.

Which other YouTube channels do you see as supporting the spread of metal music awareness?

A lot of the main comedic 'personality type' music creators such as Jared Dines and Jarrod Alonge, who get a lot of metal as well as non-metal viewers to watch their content simply because it's very relatable to the general public. Also, a lot of major record labels such as Sumerian Records or Fearless Records' YouTube channels make it very easy to discover new music, which is mainly metal based.

What bands do you see as currently at the forefront of the metal community?

A lot of older metal bands like Metallica, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, and a few modern ones such as Periphery, Asking Alexandria, and Animals as Leaders. All these bands are making metal a lot more accessible in terms of making it easier to listen to for people who are not naturally attracted to metal music. They are expanding metal from just a minor part in modern pop culture through their making of music that is like a gateway into the different genres of metal.

Are there other avenues of the music industry that you are currently a part of or would like to explore in the future?

Even though my YouTube channel is mainly based on me doing lightning fast covers, my love and passion for music has always been in composing and producing my own music. I have released a lot of my own original music content on my channel already, but I want to continue to expand that by just fully creating and producing more albums, which I hope people can enjoy listening to just as much as I enjoy making.

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

I would always choose composition before any other aspect of the music industry. Composing music is what made me love music 7 years ago. The ability to just use your imagination to compose a cool melody or riff and being able to actually bring it to life is beyond words. I love YouTube and it's an amazing platform to expose my music and really get my work out there for all sorts of people to enjoy what I do as well as being my main platform for any of my music endeavors, such as covering songs and my recently made tutorial video. But ultimately, I don't see YouTube as my "career" but more so as just a way of building up my solo composer and producer career.

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BLOODYWOOD

Bloodywood Youtube

Of the listed channels above, we've had content creators from Norway, Israel, US, UK, and Canada, so naturally, we arrive at India. Bloodywood takes pop, hip-hop, rock, etc. hits and brings the heavy. Their rendition of Chainsmokers' "Closer" got stuck in my head for the longest time.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

Politically Correct Answer: Most metal cover channels on YouTube tend to add distorted guitars and drums over the original song to pass it off as a "metal cover." We tend not to use the original melodies and structures. Harsh vocals, fast guitars, blast beats – that's what you'll get in our versions. Some people like the fresh take, some don't because they can't relate it to the original. This kinda works against us but it ain't metal if it ain't upsetting someone amirite?

Voice Inside Head: FUCK YOUR BASIC POWER CHORD VAGINA-METAL-COVER. WE AIN'T AFRAID OF BEING HEAVYYYYY.

What inspired you to take your interest in metal music to the YouTube platform?

Politically Correct Answer: We always wanted to make a living out of metal (believe it) and playing local shows was getting us nowhere near our goal. Out of boredom, we made a metal version of a silly Bollywood song and had a lot of fun doing it. It got more views than the number of days we've been alive combined. That's where we started off.

Voice Inside Head: YOUTUBE MONEY.

Do you see YouTube as a supportive platform for metalheads and artists?

Politically Correct Answer: Yes. If you want to get noticed today, just audio is not going to cut it. Videos are the way to go, at least if you're starting out.

Voice Inside Head: YOUTUBE IS A MONOPOLISTIC MOTHERFUCKER FAVOURING SUB-STANDARD BULLSHIT OVER QUALITY MATERIAL BUT WE CANNOT DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT BECAUSE NOBODY WATCHES VIMEO.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

Politically Correct Answer: There aren't any cons of being a YouTuber really. It's the only platform available and it pays so there's not much you can do about it.

Voice Inside Head: TRY EXPLAINING TO YOUR INDIAN PARENTS WHAT "YOUTUBER" MEANS.

Which other YouTube channels do you see as supporting the spread of metal music awareness?

Politically Correct Answer: Frog Leap Studios definitely is a gateway for a lot of people to get into metal. We love Rob Scallon and Jonathan Young's channels too.

Voice Inside Head: GLEN FRICKER, IF YOU'RE READING THIS YOU BETTER CHECK OUT OUR ENTRY FOR THE #SMGOLDIESBUTBADDIES CONTEST, MOTHERFUCKER. THAT SHIT WAS A PAIN IN THE ASS TO MAKE.

Are there other avenues of the music industry that you are currently a part of or would like to explore in the future?

Politically Correct Answer: We're trying to put all our eggs in one basket with this one. It's a huge risk but being a musician on YouTube requires 110% of your time. Nevertheless, we are seeing progress and hope we can keep the graph pointed in the right direction.

Voice Inside Head: SECRETLY WANTS TO START A GUITAR MANUFACTURING COMPANY AND DOMINATE THE ASIAN MARKET, JUST LIKE ROB CHAPMAN DID, BUT IN ASIA LOL

If given the choice, would you prefer to continue your career on YouTube or exclusively dedicate yourself to another aspect within the music industry?

Politically Correct Answer: Given a choice, we'd stick to this as we love what we do and don't get tired of it. That's what everyone wants in life, amirite? Doing what you love and getting paid for it.

Voice Inside Head: NODS IN AGREEMENT

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WYATTXHIM

Wyattxhim Youtube

Wyattxhim has a variety of album reviews as well as discussion videos on controversial topics. The majority of the channel's content is usually based on extreme or underground metal. If you're more into pursuing obscure artists and metal styles, this is the guy for you.

 

What aspects of your YouTube channel do you see as unique amongst other metal-themed channels?

The music I show is very "different" in terms of how I like a lot of avant-garde, experimental, and noise related music for the sake of it being different and that I'll have a different experience with each of those genres.

What are the pros and cons of being a YouTube content creator?

Pros are getting the satisfaction of helping people discover music and helping the artists with exposure. Surprisingly, a lot of artists have thanked me for my videos. As for cons, all the negative comments are pretty much a standard thing on YouTube, but I've just come to ignore and even laugh at them time to time.

Anything else you'd like to add?

I also love post-rock and abstract hip hop, sometimes more than metal. My YouTube channel is a hobby where I can have fun just talking about metal, rock, or rap and help both fans and artists out with music.

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