Monday, September 13, 2010


Rob Campbell in his early days
(Blogosphere in-joke)
As an avid follower of a variety of different genres of music, I've been a regular reader of Kerrang for about 10 years. It's always been a reasonable barometer of what is interesting and exciting in the world of rock, metal and alternative music, but with a good sense of history, remembering the greats of the past and how they influence the present.

The thing that struck me this weekend though, is how inconsistent the values of Kerrang appear to be when moved into other media, and how balancing mass appeal with loyalty to your core values is a tricky thing.

On the way 'Dahn Sowf', we drove through Brimingham, and we tuned into Kerrang Radio to see if would play decent music during the day (as opposed to the trite enforced retro blandness of most local radio).

What I heard confused the hell out of me. I listened for about 8 songs, which included The Kooks, The Police, Blur and Coldplay. Fucking Coldplay. On Kerrang.

Never in a million years would Kerrang even consider writing about Coldplay (unless they have taken an unexpected death metal turn on the next album). Yet here it was being played out attached to the Kerrang brand. One of the trailers then said 'we don't play the same pop as everyone else, we play rock'. Not on this listen you didn't.

I'm not expecting them to go all out: "You're listening to the Kerrang morning show, coming up we have Slayer, Cannibal Corpse, and Cradle of Filth." But under any appropriation of the Kerrang brand the stuff they were playing just does not fit.

The Kerrang TV channel has always been somewhere in the middle. Playing decent stuff in the early hours, but suffering from an obsession for soft rock at all other times. I used to switch off because there was only so many Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Foo Fighters and sodding Nickleback tracks I could take.

It's a brand that in print has always felt like it had a solid set of values and yet in TV and radio it always feels like it is compromising those values in the name of a bigger audience. I wish Kerrang TV and radio would decide what they are, and either change their content or change their branding.

1 comment:

Rob said...

How did you find that photo of me???