24th, 2000 www.WeGotYourRock.com was
Luck wasn’t on our side, within a month we received
the news that Mike Ruzek died during a carcrash on
his way to Prague June 16, 2000 ….
After the shock of losing a good friend wore off, we
decided to continue with the site as planned.
However, with KISS starting their "Farewell Tour"
around the same time, we decided to make some
slight changes in the plans for the site.
With the original KISS Related Recordings website,
many people from the US e-mailed me to ask where to
purchase the European Kiss related releases, such as
Crown Of Thorns,
Mystic Healer and
With the increased interest in Kiss related
recordings, as well as an article (see below)
that appeared on the
site, we thought the time was right to start a new
radio station, one that would promote Melodic Rock
music in an effort to help bring this type of music
back to the USA.
During summer 2000 we decided we would do two
more stations: one for the AOR/Melodic/Pop rock, and
another for Hard Rock & Heavy Metal !
Now, with three Internet radio stations -- AOR/Melodic/Pop
Rock, Hard 'n' Heavy, and KISS'n KOUSINS -- there
was no doubt that WE GOT YOUR ROCK !!!! …..
editorial, published July 8, 2000.
& MELODIC ROCK IN THE U.S.:
Interesting that VH1 should this week
announce that they will focus less on rock music
video's and more towards a younger audience with
more specialist shows.
This decision shouldn't effect the European side of
this genre, but for the established rock acts of
years past - that VH1 have been focusing on, it is a
worry. If the coverage of such bands on shows like
Where Are They Now and Behind The Music
should diminish, there isn't likely to be any other
mass media outlets that could take up the slack.
Straight up rock and hard rock in the US is
seemingly heading further towards the underground
scene that has been in place for many years in
Europe. The difference is that the scene in Europe
is now far healthier than in the US.
Bon Jovi's album
debuted at #1 in much of Europe, this week passing 1
million units sold (Achieving the new IFPI
Platinum Europe status), but it dropped from #9
to 25 in the US. Interestingly, the band's label
Universal is looking for and intend on reaching
sales of 10,000,000 for the world outside North
America. I wonder if the U.S. arm of the label have
such a strong belief in the album?
Add to that the fact that the majority of working
rock bands/musicians from the U.S. these days are
propped up almost entirely from the European and
Japanese album deals.
What's going to help? A combination of many
traditional things: more PR, exposure, touring and
ideally - record sales.
But there remains the problem of distribution and
obtainability. For those reading this, that problem
is largely solved by the excellent online retailers
that supply much of the product available on this
site and others for us all.
But the fact remains that there is still nothing
that beats walking into a record store and flicking
through the racks in search of that cool new
release. Even with my friends here, nothing beats
sticking a CD in their face and saying 'here, listen
That problem is even larger for new artists. People
will take a punt on a new release by a
pre-established band, but a new unheard artist is
different. Even online that general barrier is
At least the Internet offers the opportunity to hear
these bands with MP3 samples and free downloads etc.
For those in the U.S., I know you guys would love to
see these titles in stores. It's the same here in
Australia - nothing! All I can say is for now, get
used to ordering online and give the specialist
retailers (like the ones that advertise here) a
shot, it's still going to be your best way to get
The labels all are aware of the demand for their
product in North America and have varying views.
Khalil Turk, co-owner of UK AOR label
says the US market is very tough.
"...we have tried with few different distribution
companies there but none of them wants to commit
themselves, all they want is the maximum profit with
very little input from them..."
He counts that label's market as Europe and Japan.
But even then, Khalil says the market in
those territories is very small these days.
He adds, "We would like the fans to be loyal and
supportive to this music, as you know there are
labels whom are totally devoted to this music.
Support these labels."
Magnus Söderkvist - A&R for European rock
label MTM Music
agrees the U.S. market is tough to break into and
adds that the sheer size of it is also a problem:
"...and due to the fact that the system with
distributors work so much differently compared to
Europe is it very tough to find it economically
possible for a small independent label as to take
the risks. Also the marketing and promotion machine
in the US is very expensive.
We also feel it is of more importance as to set the
focus on Europe, to get that under control first. We
however do look on various alternatives as for
getting better distribution for our products over
the internet and some other plans were dealing
The label have been offered several distribution
deals, but the set up with them without major
financial backing would mean that the label would
only have their titles as numbers in distributors
catalogues - not actually in the stores!
Magnus finishes by saying "....with everyone
still caring and supporting the melodic rock, they
can only spread the word about it and support the
music as much as they can....what needs to be done
is that we need to try to make the wave strike
higher and higher for the bigger companies to take
notice and actually understand that there is life in
the genre...If that could happen then will the US
fans also find the CDs in their local stores...and
even possibly hear some new classic rock tunes on
radio...and not just the standard 80´s - 70´s
Italian based distributor and Now & Then
partner Frontiers Records have recently
struck a deal with Sumthing Distribution in
New York to release some titles in the US.
Promotions manager Mario de Riso said
"...the territory is so big and the market so tough
we had to count on some serious representative over
the territory. Therefore we opened a promotional
office over there which can be reached via email at
The promoters are taking care of the local
manufacture of CDs and of the promotional
activities. Of course not all the records released
in Europe can be accordingly released in the USA
(this is just for a matter of rights) therefore it
is possible that many records can be very difficult
to be found over there..." For instance
Frontiers will not be releasing the
Two Fires CD in
the USA because they don't own the rights for that.
Instead it will be available through Kevin
And what is their view for supporting the genre?
"The fans can get in touch with our office and ask
them where they can find the releases, to which
radio they can ask for the music they like and how
to be supportive for the scene..."
John Kivel of Kivel
Records has a slightly different angle.
He is actually one of a rare breed of American rock
labels, but still has to fight the same battles.
He says his label has people promoting our bands in
the clubs, handing out flyers, Promo CD's, Shirts,
Hats and "...of course getting every club and
station and a few Strip clubs (haha) playing our
bands....". He adds "...then we have our
website, mail order companies, local stores..."
John says in order to get CDs into stores, he has
talked with other companies to try and form a better
game plan. "...but you have to realize that just
having it in the store on the shelf doesn't mean
squat if the customer doesn't know it's there.
That's why I think it pays to keep it with in the
AOR/MHR market with companies like AOR Heaven,
Metal Mayhem, Target, Dream Disc and countless
others that get the disc out there to the right
That way it's not sitting on a shelf next to the
hottest new rap album in a store in the Bronx. I
think with the growing scene on the internet with
websites like melodicrock.com, Strutter and Majestic
for example, bands can move better numbers with them
and the right kind of self-promotion. Remember, the
bigger the budget the harder it is to make a profit.
You see John Koldner and CMC International,
had the right idea. Lets reduce the spending and
leave us open to a better chance to profit. Once you
realize you don't have to pay off a $100,000+ it
becomes fun again. And when it's fun your positive
and when your positive you get motivated."
And to help the scene - "Keep buying the CDs!
Screw MTV and the radio, don't let them tell
you who to like and not to like. As long as you buy
it from a band or a company that supports melodic
rock / AOR, it doesn't matter who's selling it or
who's playing it, what matters is people out there
are ENJOYING IT!"
President of Z Records
Mark Alger says his label tends to use
different tactics than most of the labels. They have
already advertised within Metal Edge, and
also managed to get some radio support but mark adds
"...that's really hard to get as most stations
want to be prompted if you know what I mean!"
"Z believes it can break the US, as previously
stated we are adapting. However it will take a few
years for any label to gain a strong foot hold so
people must not expect miracles over night, remember
we are a relatively small label.
Europe is our priority without a doubt, we have
developed and expanded our market share very rapidly
over the past 6 -8 months and we intend to step up
our activities here even more. Remember the more
success we have here the more we can back our
efforts within the US. Japan obviously plays a big
part in our plans."
My final thoughts:
I think we all have to encourage others to help
spread the word of sites that are as describe above
- melodic friendly. I will certainly be a part of
that and have some expansion plans in the works.
But for the benefit of those not online, we should
all call radio stations and media in your local
areas and try and get some airplay/airtime for these
new artists and also the classic artists with new
Now the old fans are still out there! The million
selling artists of the 80's sold records to these
people, but where are they now? Buying Playstation
games and DVDs I think! The problem is these old
fans don't know the new titles exist until they are
told by a fellow fan or they go out of their way to
Getting connected to the Net has brought so many
fans together, let's hope it continues to grow and
benefit the great musicians that thankfully haven't
New music and new fans are the only way we are going
to get this music out of the restraints on the
current circles and into a wider spectrum.
Basically, if you have just bought a killer CD, then
don't be afraid to spread the word.
Andrew McNeice (MelodicRock.com)