Specialized in co written songs, guest appearances on other recordings,

KISS Related discography and demo recordings,

KISS tribute albums and other cover versions




May 24th, 2000 www.WeGotYourRock.com was officially launched.
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, Garbo Talks, Mystic Healer and Stream. With the increased interest in Kiss related recordings, as well as an article (see below) that appeared on the MelodicRock.com 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 !!!! …..

MelodicRock.com editorial, published July 8, 2000.

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 to this'.
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 there.
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 music.
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 Escape Music 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 with..."

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 tunes..."

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 frontiers@majestic-rondelrecords.com.
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 Chalfant's own Clique Records.
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 people.
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 material.
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 look.
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 given up.
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 (




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