My name is Ariel May, and I am a music journalist. I started a little thing called Immortal Music officially as the world is currently aware of it on September 16, 2011. It unoffically started in different forms earlier that year, but the current website began on that day.
Since then, a lot has changed. Immortal Music has changed from an outlet of sorts for me, and a place for me to share my love of music with the world, to a dedication of mine that I would not give up for the world. Believe me, I've thought of giving up several times, but the thought alone makes me extremely sad. This has become a huge part of me, and while most people see this as a 'hobby', I see it as the beginnings of so much more.
Now you may be wondering -why did you ever want to quit? Its not a fast paced career, and it does sometimes feel like you're going no where. I'm going to give more insight on that, so keep reading. Maybe you'll understand. So many people want to do something in the music industry. Whether its on stage in front of the crowd, behind the scenes or promotion wise, a lot of people want to be involved with the industry. I've gotten into so many conversations regarding my neck of the industry (Music journalism), and recently I've had two separate people ask me for advice on how to get into this.
Normally, I hesitate to give advice on this subject, but this time I'm going to just let it all out there. If you're contemplating becoming a music journalist, keep everything I'm about to say in mind...
That's really all I have to warn people about, that I think people forget about. I have an example though, of something that really happened to me. Back in January, I saw Papa Roach and Seether live with Kyng and Islander. I did write about this show previously but when I told the following story to someone who asked me how to get into all of this, he suggested I tell everyone the story all on its own. If you want to read the full review of the show, you can by clicking here, but just to hear this one key moment, just read on.
Just to give you a quick over view of what happened leading up to this, I was on a rickety parking garage that was taller than a roller coaster, my photo pass was late getting to the venue, and the lights were that evil red that hates cameras and I had a massive headache. Obviously, I was not in a good mood, despite the fact that I had been very excited to attend this show. Now that you were filled in on the back story, I can get on with telling the story of this crucial moment..
Seether was about to get on stage, and I actually walked in front of the barricade wiping tears of frustration from my face. I leaned on the stage, and faced the crowded venue. As I was looking around, hearing all the voices chatting amongst themselves, I all the sudden thought to myself, "Why do I do this to myself?" I was disgusted with everything, and all the issues, that would have been minor to people just attending the show. Then Seether took the stage, and through their whole first song, I was still mad because the light was red and messing up just about every picture I took. Then the lighting changed and it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Fast forward to about an hour later, same spot, but this time waiting for Papa Roach to take the stage. I still had a headache from hell, but I was happy to be standing where I was, and was frankly just thrilled it was finally happening.
Little things like that start to get to you here and there at shows. They're still fun, but you don't just see concerts as a good time anymore. You see them as opportunities to get more content for your outlet, and grow further as a journalist. Which is great, and the experiences generally are wonderful, but with every great thing, there usually is some sort of headache as well.
So, you've been warned. Being a music journalist is not all fun and games, but yes it is fun. I realize I didn't really talk about the fun aspects, so I will do that now. My first two in person interviews were with Cale Gontier of Art of Dying and Rick DeJesus of Adelitas Way. Both were on the same night, in a venue which we shut down with the bands. I didn't even ask for my interview with Rick, and then he told me to follow him around and bother him with the questions because he didn't have much of an attention span. He's genuinely a sweetheart, but was totally right -his attention span is that of a chipmunk. Art Of Dying's manager, TJ, just told me to bug one of the guys about the questions. I was going to ask Jeff, their drummer, the questions but Cale came over and asked what I was doing. I said I was waiting to do an interview, and he asked who with. I responded with, "Well, you, I guess." It was seriously one of the most incredible nights of my life.
Or Uproar 2012, where I scared Deuce, and accidentally made him think he was in trouble when really all I wanted was my interview -and then getting along with him, despite me being nervous to meet him. Or later that day, on Redlight King/ Candlelight Red's tour bus, and seeing Redlight King's singer, Kaz in his underwear. He was embarrassed, and I was enjoying the air conditioning far too much to even care. Or getting to cover sets for some of my favorite bands, like Papa Roach, and All Time Low.
Its an adventurous career, and this is only the beginning, but before people go, "You're so lucky", they need to realize it does not come easy and it is a lot of work that not everyone can do.
If you're serious about music, and want to help spread the word of music -then feel free to start and know you must never give into discouragement. It will be there, like I said, but don't do it. If you keep going, you could say you're going to be interviewing one of your favorite bands, or covering some big event. Good things don't come to those who wait, good things come to those who work their assses off.
If you're thinking of being a music journalist simply to meet bands -get a VIP pass and call it a day.
Blogs of various topics go here, and all are written by Immortal Music's creator. You never know what you may find here, so have a look around.