The world of metal, like the world in general, is a constant bombardment of shit. Metal news sites and blogs are usually a pile of negativity. There is a lot of “OMG Dave Mustaine said something stupid again!” or “Justin Beiber spotted in a Slayer shirt. Get outraged!”. Most sites that cover metal seem to be more interested in the clicks that negativity and shit talking bring them than actually covering cool things that happen in metal or promoting up and coming bands. How many times can someone really read a ranking of Metallica songs or a post making fun of something the singer from All That Remains said?
Last week, in the midst of a bad night, a friend of mine on Twitter named Jeremiah Nelson (@_jeremiahn on Twitter) decided to go onto Bandcamp and send people gifts from their wishlists, trying to turn his bad night into something positive for his friends. In the morning, as people were waking up and seeing emails about new albums they were gifted, Zachary Issac (@MannyOWar on Twitter) came up with the simplest of ideas: people should randomly gift Bandcamp albums to each other all the time. Thus, the #MetalBandcampGiftClub was born.
The idea is that anyone who was interested in partaking, get on Twitter and post your Bandcamp profile with the hashtag #MetalBandcampGiftClub. People follow you, you follow them. You gift people albums from their wishlist (or if you know their email, you can send them albums you think they would like) and you get albums gifted to you. The first day, I received 13-15 new albums, most from people I had never even talked to before and now we have back and fourths on Twitter daily. It’s incredible. You’re receiving the gift of new music, the gifter gets the satisfaction of making someones day a bit brighter, and bands / labels are getting their cut, while metal sites have settled for just writing scathing takedown pieces aimed at dismal Spotify rates without, you know, actually offering a solution of any kind.
There have been some pretty amazing positives that have come out of this whole idea in the last week alone. A lot of people will gift albums from bands they are friends with when they see them in a wishlist. We actually got the Couch Slut album ‘My Life As A Woman’ into the top ten best sellers for about 2 days straight and a bunch of Slaves BC albums into the top ten as well. It’s extremely gratifying to see bands be like “Hey, we were able to fill our gas tank and buy ourselves dinner for the first time in a week!” all because of some metal fans being nice for once. Funny story: David Hall, the man behing Handshake, Inc., actually tweeted out about how he was worried someone from Couch Slut had died because of the spike in sales. Which in itself is a sad condemnation of the way the media in general works. “Oh, someone died? I guess I should buy their album now.”
It’s amazing to me how many metal news sites basically decided that this rad thing “wasn’t news.” But so be it. That’s the world we live in now. If it isn’t clickbait-y enough, who cares? All that matters in the end is bands are making at least some money from fans being nice to each other instead of bickering endlessly about how everything is terrible. Bandcamp has taken notice and has contacted some of the people who spearheaded this whole thing about interviews. They’ve stated that in the first 4-5 days, over 250 albums were gifted. Take into account that a majority of those albums are at least $5, meaning bands and artists have made roughly $1250. IN FIVE DAYS! All from the simple idea of giving things to friends and trying to put a smile on someone’s face. Viva #NiceMetalTwitter and the #MetalBandcampGiftClub.
If you are interested in getting involved, check out the Metal Bandcamp Gift Club website (created by Mr. Skull Toaster and all around excellent human being, Seth Werkheiser) for all of the details. (There is also a list being compiled of everyone’s birthdays so you can be bombarded with a bunch of new music on your birthday!)
Also, the podcast As The Story Grows had Jeremiah and Zach on to talk about the whole thing. It’s about 30 minutes and a fun listen. Check it out HERE!
And a shameless plug: My Bandcamp profile is HERE if you want to follow me. And follow anyone I follow on their because they are all amazing people and linking 65 something people on here would be too much.