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Interview: Malcolm Dome (Journalist & broadcaster)


A legend in rock journalism, having worked for 'Kerrang!', 'Raw' and currently 'Classic Rock' & 'Metal Hammer' magazines amongst others. Also one of the guiding lights behind UK based rock radio station Total Rock. A pleasure to present Malcolm Dome...

How did you become involved in the music business?

I started writing for Record Mirror in 1979. Basically I had the idea to do an encyclopedia of metal and approached various journalists, such as Geoff Barton, to collaborate on it. Understandably, nobody was interested, but Steve Gett, who had just left RM for the Melody Maker, told me that if I wanted to write about music then why not contact Record Mirror, as they were looking for somebody with an enthusiasm for metal. So blame Steve!

What are you currently up to (e.g. projects)?

Primarily working for TotalRock Radio, although I do write for Classic Rock and Metal Hammer magazines as well.

How did Total Rock start and will it ever (deservedly) get a national UK licence? How do you view the current state of radio in the UK?

TotalRock was born out of a station called Rock Radio Network, which began life in 1997, with no money but considerable belief and commitment. When funding arrived in 2000, the name was changed. We'd love to get a national licence - yes please! And the UK needs a national FM rock radio station. Right now, the state of UK music radio is pathetic. Lots of Top 40 clones.

Of the many people you have interviewed over the years, who have been the most fun/honour to interview? Anyone else you would still like to interview?

So many have been fun. Dave Brock of Hawkwind springs to mind, mainly because he was the first (November 1979), but others I'd include are late Led Zeppelin manager Peter Grant, Jon Bon Jovi, Axl Rose, late Ratt guitarist Robbin Crosby, Noddy Holder, Iron's a long list. Who would I like to interview? Anyone interesting.

Is the Internet helping or hindering new bands in your view?

I think it's been a huge help. I understand why bigger bands are wary, but it keeps them firmly in the spotlight, even during downtime.

Any hints/tips for people keen to start out on radio?

Oh dear. Persevere. It's the only way. Never give up.

Heard any good music lately?

Lots and lots. There's good music coming out all the time. This is a very creative era, especially in the UK. Two tips? Black # 5 (a GRTR! Rising Star earlier this year!) in the UK and Slitheryn in the US.

What has been the highlight of your career so far? Anything else you still want to achieve?

So many highlights...working on Kerrang!, being involved in starting RAW, being able to work with so many talented people form Geoff Barton to Tony Wilson, Jerry Ewing to Maria Herreros, Dave Ling to Krusher, Dante Bonutto to Tommy Vance.

What has been your most embarrassing moment?

Ahem....every day there's something embarrassing.

Any good rock 'n' roll tales to tell?

I shall save those for a later occasion. Lots of crazy drunken Donington moments.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career?

Phew! Steve Gett for getting me started, Ray Bradbury and Edgar Allen Poe as writers, Geoff Barton...I like to think I can take something from everyone.

Oh is this a career? At least now I know!

Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie

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