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Interview: Joel McIver (Record Collector magazine)


Record Collector magazine is the leading authority on all things collectable in music, as well as having comprehensive reviews and interviews on all spheres of music. Joel is a metal nut and current Production Editor (ie the engine room!) of the magazine. Thanks to Batttttty for passing on the questions to Joel.

How did you become involved in the music business?

I was a freelance reviewer from 1996-1999, when I joined the staff at Record Collector magazine, where I am now the Production Editor. I wrote my first book in 2000 and am now writing my sixth -- see

Who have you enjoyed interviewing most and who was a complete nightmare(and why)?

Good interviewees who have something to offer and take time to answer your questions intelligently include Lemmy, Gary Numan, Steps (believe it or not), Tom Araya of Slayer, Roger Glover and Ian Gillan of Deep Purple, Slash and most of the metallers. Lazy, rude or couldn't-be-bothered people I have manfully tried to interview include Jon Bon Jovi, Roland Orzabal of Tears For Fears and a few others. Sometimes a bit of animosity can give an interview a certain edge though -- when I interviewed Boy George, for instance, we both took the piss out of each other constantly and the results were excellent.

What has been the highlight of your career in journalism and rock music?

Getting e-mails from readers of my books on whom my writing has made an impact.

You are a big Slayer & death metal fan. What would you recommend to a fan wanting to start listening to bands like these?

This music is not for everyone, but I recommend listening to classic 80s thrash metal by Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer and if you like that stuff, moving on to death metal bands such as Morbid Angel, Deicide, At The Gates and Death. Also try the heavier end of nu-metal -- Slipknot for example. Ultimately this music is just rock taken to an extreme, so if you have a good grounding in classic rock there's no reason why you can't get into metal too.

What has been your most embarassing moment?

There have been a few instances where I've got my facts wrong -- e.g. I asked Dave Mustaine of Megadeth if it was true that producer Bob Rock had caught him shooting up in the studio. It turned out that the two men had never met, it was Desmond Child I was thinking of, not Rock, and Mustaine was clearly annoyed. But these things aren't too embarrassing -- you admit your mistake and move on. Admitting that I listen to a lot of cheesy pop is more embarrassing than that.

Anyone you would love to meet/interview but you haven't as yet?

Oh yes -- Prince, James Hetfield of Metallica, the Gallaghers, McCartney, lots of others. There are also a lot of actors, directors, authors and politicians who I would love to interview.

How do you view the current UK rock scene?

Healthy, if you've got an open mind. However, it can be a bit annoying when Britney Spears etc attempt to woo the rock audience, who then fall for it. If you're a pop artist, admit it and be proud of it, but don't try to be something you're not.

Any rock'n'roll tales to tell?

None I'm afraid -- the most daring I've been is to piss off a few musicians by telling them exactly what I think of their new album. Mike Oldfield comes to mind.

Who are your musical heroes and why?

Metallica for bringing thrash metal to the masses (although they fell from grace with the black album), the Beatles, Hendrix and Prince for obvious reasons. I'm also a bass guitar nerd so I worship a few players like Flea, Jaco Pastorius and John Entwistle.

Any bright hopes for the future (bands/labels/venues)?

I usually can't predict which new bands will be successful so I won't try, and there are too many likely-looking labels. But I will say that the future of UK music lies, as it always has, with the indie scene -- it's full of snobs and luvvies but you can't argue with the quality of the music.


Interview © 2002 Jason Ritchie

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