Metal mascots – Mortal Sin

Metal mascots with Mat from Mortal Sin

MMM: Who designed the classic Mortal sin logo and what was the design process for the Mayhemic Destruction album artwork?709_logo

Mat: The Mortal Sin logo was designed by our original guitarist Keith Krstin, but the ironworks type font was what we all wanted, but it was Keith who actually drew it.

The Mayhemic Destruction artwork was something that we all wanted, we felt it was a great way to show that we were Australian and also just look brutally metal. The original cover was drawn by the graphic designer at OK Signcraft whose last name was O’Keefe but I don’t remember his first name. The Demon was given the name Oscar Kilo which was the call sign for OK.

The second version of the album that was released by Phonogram Records in the United Kingdom was designed by Simon Bisley who went on to become famous for his work on the comic 2000AD and also several Danzig albums among a million other things.

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Was the Demon on Mayhemic created with the intention of making it the Mortal Sin mascot, or did the fans adopt it first?

Not really, though it soon became evident that the Simon Bisley design was going to become something big, and was really popular among the fans. The album also featured in an album cover display of Australian artists at The Powerhouse Museum as well.

Did merchandise featuring the Mayhemic Demon sell better than other merchandise items on offer?

Our two best selling shirts are the Mayhemic Destruction prints and also our large logo print.

Do you think the metal mascot was just an 80’s thing or should newer bands think about creating their own mascots or characters?

It seems like it is an 80’s thing, I haven’t really seen too many bands these days creating one, most just create a really good logo and use that on their merchandise. I think it’s a great idea to have a mascot, especially if it’s a really good one that can be reproduced as either an action figure or a plush toy, and can even be used in film clips. I think fans could identify really well with a good creation.

Who is your favourite metal mascot and why?

I really like the Overkill one, it was so good that a (very) similar version was used by Avenged Sevenfold (lol), but for me Eddie from Iron Maiden has to be the pinnacle. When I saw them at the Capitol Theatre back in 1982 and this monstrous 12ft high Eddie came out on stage, the whole crowd went apeshit! They’ve used him sensibly and consistently throughout their career and if you showed his picture to any metalhead 100% of them would be able to identify him.

Bonus question – did the Mayhemic devil ever have a name? Or should we start a competition for the fans to give him a name?

As mentioned above, his original name was Oscar Kilo, but was mainly only known to us. It’s a silly name and very unbefitting of such a brutal character. I have looked around at PVC manufacturers to find out if I could get some small action figures produced so you might see something in the near future, so YES, I think it is time a proper name was given to him!


Do you have a name for the Mortal Sin Demon?

Submit your entry via the form below.
Competition closes Friday 24 June!

The 5 best names will be chosen by Mat from Mortal Sin. These names will be put to vote on the Mortal Sin Facebook page on 27 June 2016 for the fans to vote! Voting closes on Friday 1 July 2016.

The name with the most votes on the Mortal Sin Facebook poll will receive a Mortal Sin merchandise pack.

Please make sure you enter a valid email address. The winner will be contacted via email.

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Like Metal Marketing on Facebook to go into the draw to win a Mortal Sin t-shirt!

Competition closes 5pm AEST 1 July 2016. The winner will be announced on the Metal Marketing Facebook page.

Metal mascots – Eddie the Head

Eddie the Head

One of the most famous and memorable metal mascots is Iron Maiden’s Eddie.

Eddie, also known as Eddie the Head, has featured on all of Iron Maiden’s album covers and has appeared in their live shows. Eddie was originally created as a papier-mâché mask used as part of their live backdrop. The character was then turned into an illustration by Derek Riggs and used on their first self titled album cover.Iron_Maiden_album_cover

Eddie has famously evolved over the years, appearing as a crazed killer, a psych ward patient, an ancient Egyptian, a cyborg and even the Grim Reaper to name a few.

Iron Maiden’s frequent use of the character over the years has helped him to grow into the beloved mascot he is today.

He has become an icon in his own right, and is known as the ‘face’ (or head) of the Iron Maiden brand.

iron_maiden_-_powerslave_maskEddie’s evolving character has given the band new and creative ways to promote and sell merchandise to fans with him being used on everything from clothing to bed spreads, kitchen items to collectable figurines, halloween masks, skateboards and jewellery. Eddie has even been tattooed, painted on bodies and had an aircraft named after him.

The marketing of his character through various forms or merchandise only helped to secure his fame, he even got his very own video game!

In 2008, Eddie won the “Icon Award” at the Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards.

Will there ever be another band with a mascot as famous as Eddie?

Other bands have had their own successful mascots from Metallica’s Doris, Megadeth’s Vic Rattlehead, Anthrax’s Not Man and Motorhead’s Snaggletooth, but they haven’t quite stood the same test of time as Eddie.

So why do I think he’s the most well known metal mascot? Eddie mummy

Eddie was there from the beginning, he’s original and he’s dependable. Eddie has appeared on each of the album covers and he has been present in their live shows.

Eddie has evolved with each album and has grown with the band. He has always been there through thick and thin, regardless of which members were in the band at the time, Eddie is there carrying the fans from album to album.

Who is your favourite metal mascot? Leave a comment below.

Online authenticity

5 ways to be authentic online (1)

Authentic [aw-then-tik]
1. not false or copied; genuine; real.

I recently listened to Andy Dowling’s podcast, The Andy Social with James Norbert Ivanyi. In it, they discussed authenticity and it got me thinking about how musicians and bands (and anyone really) should portray themselves on social media.

If you’re a musician or you are in a band, I’m sure at some point in your time on Facebook you’ve received a friend request from someone you haven’t personally met, but may have many friends in common with. You thought you’d accept it considering how many friends you have in common, because maybe you have actually met once at a gig or maybe you just thought sure, why not?

Once you click accept, how many of you have then received an inbox message from this person saying, “Hey, check out my band <insert band’s Facebook page here>” and never heard from them ever again?

This can be quite frustrating, as yes, Facebook can be used as a networking tool but it is mostly used to share personal photos and updates with your friends.

I understand that it is difficult to get new fans on social media when you are starting at the beginning and yes, even I sent initial requests to my friends to support me and like the Metal Marketing Manager page.

This road hasn’t been cheap, but I have used more traditional methods like Facebook advertising to try and reach out to musicians online so that I remain an authentic source.

Here are my top 5 ways to be authentic online

  1. Gain followers organically, don’t beg for fans or turn to untraditional methods to gain fans, such as spamming users or buying fans.
  2. Produce valuable content, if what you share on social media is interesting or useful to your fans, there is a good chance they will be interested in what you have to say. Ask your fans questions or for their opinions, promote musicians who inspire you. Engage with the people who follow you, give them a reason to like or comment on your posts.Before you post something think, would I like this post if I saw it on Facebook?
  3. Produce regular content, consistency is key on social media. Make a plan for how often you will share content on your pages and stick to it. Consider using a scheduling tool to help keep you consistent. Be in it for the long haul, with time comes credibility.
  4. Be an influencer, don’t make everything about you. How can you help the local music scene, your community, your fans and other like-minded musicians? When networking, don’t wonder how that person can help you, think about what you can do for them to create genuine long lasting relationships.
  5. Be passionate, don’t do it for the likes. Do it because YOU want to, because you love it.

5 ways to be au

Video clip Q&A with Caligula’s Horse

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I was lucky enough to speak with Jim Grey, vocalist of Caligula’s Horse about the quality and concepts of their video clips and how it has contributed to their success.

MMM: Congratulations on the release of your new video for Turntail, it’s sitting at nearly 23,200 views after just a few weeks. What was the concept behind this clip?

Jim: Thanks! We’re all totally stoked at the response, it seems like people have really latched onto what we were trying to say with the video. Basically we wanted something to capture the nature of the song. Turntail is a song about standing your ground and taking courage in the face of adversity. The dancer in her stone-like black and white form represents her fear and anxiety, something that can be all-encompassing and controlling. She gradually learns that the things controlling her are of her own making, and learns to control them in turn. The colour returns to her and she is free.

To me, this represents Australia and our need to step up in the face of the refugee crisis. Our callous and nonsensical approach, all this offshore detention with no end in sight, is utter cowardice, driven by the hubris of our so-called leaders in an attempt to maintain their status, nothing more. We need to embrace the courage of compassion and respond to this crisis with humanity and reason. And that’s what Turntail stands for.

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From the beginning Caligula’s horse has taken a very professional approach to their videos. At that time were you thinking of an overall image or brand for the band to portray and how you wanted to viewed by your audience?

We just try to do everything to the best of our ability, really. We know that with the right amount of effort, diligence, and objective criticism of our own work, we can create something that is close to the flawless image we initially imagined. It’s hard, but that’s what it takes when you’re on a shoestring budget like we have been for years. So if we do have an image or brand, like you say, it’s more of a result of the fact that we like our art to be as polished as it possibly can be, even forsaking sleep and real life, haha.

Do you think the quality of your clips (as well as the awesome tunes of course) has helped the band to secure support slots for international artists and international tours?

It’s definitely helped, yeah – having a strong presence online, having clips that are a good representation of the band’s message, all of those things tend to add up. Plus I feel like it’s a connection with our fans that we haven’t yet been able to tour to, especially in the US. Those guys are all hanging out for a tour (and hopefully we’ll make it there soon) and a clip is a way for them to connect with our performance, in a way.

Do you work with the same team for each of your videos and do they give creative input into the video concepts?

Early on we worked with a few different crews, directors, editors and the like, but the last few clips (A Gift to Afterthought, Firelight, Turntail, and a number of live clips) have been through our mate Adrian Goleby. Basically because when you’re onto a good thing… why stop? Adrian’s awesome to work with, versatile and creative.

In terms of the creative input, most of the time Sam and I have a complete concept and image in our heads before we take it to the team. Once we’re working in pre-production with Adrian, there is of course a whole heap of back-and-forth and brainstorming until we have something that is close to our initial concept but actually achievable in reality.

Recently, the band has been releasing their videos through InsideOutMusicTV, do you think releasing your videos exclusively through a channel that is not your own has helped to get your music out to people who ordinarily wouldn’t have heard of Caligula’s Horse?

Absolutely. That basically sums up why it’s been so great working with Inside Out. Not only are they supportive creatively and give us the freedom we need, but their well-deserved and well-established fan base gives us a global platform for our music that we hadn’t reached yet.

Watch the clip below

A day in Montreux with Freddie Mercury

It’s not too often that I publish personal blogs and this is only my second, but I wanted to write about my day with Freddie.

At a very young age I asked my dad how too much love can kill you? So young in fact that I have no memory of it.

I grew up listening to mostly metal, prog rock and classic rock with both parents fans of the genres. My dad was always a huge Queen fan, while my mum fell asleep at one of their concerts. Terrible, I know.

I had always been an unknowing fan of the music growing up, liking most of the popular songs as a child and forgetting that some of the songs I liked were even by them (e.g. You’re my best friend). It was almost impossible not to love Bohemian Rhapsody, I recall seeing the video clip in pre-school and hearing some of their songs at primary school discos and sporting events.

I got into more of their material when I started to sing in high school falling in love with songs like Somebody to love and You take my breath away. I even had the opportunity to sing Bohemian Rhapsody with a choir and full band behind me during a lunch time concert in high school. It always saddened me to know that I would never have the opportunity to see them live, like many other bands I love.

I was always a fan of Queen, and I was intrigued by Adam Lambert on American Idol, both my parents and I loved his performances on the show. It still never occurred to me that I would ever have the chance to see them live.

In 2012 when the announcement was made, I started to plan a trip to the UK to see them perform with Adam Lambert at Sonisphere, which was cancelled before I had made any concrete plans. I had to wait another 2 years until the tour came to Australia, where after attending the show with my family, I immediately bought tickets to the second show in Sydney the following night. The second night saw an impromptu guest appearance by Lady Gaga during Another one bites the dust. It was after seeing them live that I really felt a strong connection to the band and I started to explore much more of their back catalogue.

This weekend my partner and I went to Switzerland for a Black, Avantgarde metal show that he really wanted to see, so I made a request to stop in at Montreux so I could visit the Freddie Mercury statue.

Walking along Lake Geneva I looked out over the water to the snow capped mountains, swans are floating by, and it really was like a landscape painting in the sky… All of a sudden the songs A Winter’s Tale and It’s a beautiful day made so much more sense. It really was so quiet and peaceful, tranquil and blissful. There’s a kind of magic in the air, what a truly magnificent view…IMG_1493.JPG

My day in Montreux was much more than just seeing a statue. After a quick Google search I found out that I could visit the Queen Studio Experience in the famed Montreux Casino – yes the one Deep Purple wrote that song about. IMG_1495

The casino was reopened in 1975 with the newly equipped Mountain Studios, which was owned by Queen between 1978 and 1995 where they, and many others recorded a number of their albums including their final album Made in Heaven.

Brian May and Roger Taylor opened the Queen Studio Experience on 2 December 2013, the exhibition was humble yet powerful, free to enter, asking only for a donation to the Freddie Mercury Phoenix Trust. I walked into the main room of the exhibition to find myself alone with Freddie’s voice roaring through the speakers singing It’s a beautiful day, my eyes welled up with tears. I will admit that I still struggle to listen to Made in Heaven with dry eyes, and being in not only the city, but the studio where it was recorded was quite overwhelming.
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The exhibition was filled with stories and information about the recordings, including how Under Pressure came to be. The cabinets were filled with merchandise from Brian May’s personal collection and also included hand written lyrics by Freddie, Brian and Roger. There was a set up of what the studio looked like back when they recorded there with both original and replica gear from the band.

There was a mini theater playing an excerpt of their documentary Days of our lives, where Brian and Roger spoke about the time they had spent in Montreux. There was also a replica of the sound desk where the album was recorded. You could play around with the mix for two songs off the album and stand in the spot where Freddie last stood to record these songs, and more tears were shed. IMG_1519

Montreux has such a rich musical history, from the Montreux Jazz Festival and Mountain Studios alone, a lot of magic has been created in this beautiful place.

I highly recommend a visit to Montreux if you ever have the chance.IMG_1534

 

 

 

Lyrics from A Winter’s tale have been used to describe Montreux.

Don’t unfollow your followers on Twitter

On Twitter, everyone wants a hoard of followers to show their popularity.
Twitter Marketing

If you’re not already famous and are starting from scratch, this can be achieved with a few different methods, some more traditional than others.

1. Write great content, engage with your fans, use appropriate hashtags and retweet content that your fans will want to read. Mix this with some patience and you will slowly build a genuine list of active followers.

2. Follow for a follow. This is where you follow users who have similar interests and hope they follow you back. Some users will automatically follow you back and some profiles will unfollow users who don’t follow them back within 2-5 days. Slowly but surely you can build your followers list using this method.

3. Businesses and celebrities have been caught out for buying followers, I wouldn’t suggest using this method. There are plenty of blog sites out there claiming to get you 10K followers, but what’s the point if they aren’t actually into your music and ignore all of your tweets.

There is an unspoken “follow for a follow” rule on Twitter. If you follow a user back, you should only unfollow them if you no longer like their tweets. I have noticed a growing trend of people ignoring this rule, growing their lists using this method and then going back and unfollowing most of their followers to make their stats look better, breaking the unspoken rule.

On Twitter I will follow back any genuine musician or band because we’re all playing the same game trying to increase our followers. Yesterday I realized my followers had dropped over the last month, because bands I followed back had now unfollowed me. Now some could say they unfollowed me because they don’t like my content, which I’d be ok with but some of them were new and unknown bands with tens of thousands of people following them and they were following less than 500 people, which as a stats person isn’t easy to achieve on twitter.

So what did I do? I cleansed my list. I used the website friendorfollow and had a look to see who had unfollowed me and then I unfollowed them, because to be honest their music wasn’t my style and their tweets weren’t engaging. There are still over 150 accounts that I follow that don’t follow me back and probably never will because they are well known international bands who can grow their lists more organically. This is the kind of content I like to occasionally retweet to my fans because we have similar interests in music genres.Friend-or-Follow-Pic-2

So why shouldn’t you unfollow your followers?

Don’t unfollow your fans! Twitter is meant to be social, and nothing is more awesome than when your favourite bands follow you back. This creates a positive connection with your fans and they will feel more likely to tweet to or about you to their followers, making them a positive influencer or ambassador for your band. This is how your band’s name will spread organically, by word of mouth from current fans.

Secondly, don’t unfollow other bands. This industry is hard enough to crack as is, so support your fellow musicians and follow them back.

But, if after two weeks they unfollow you, you have my permission to unfollow them back…