Wednesday 14 January 2015

The Sludgelord News: A Heavy Metal Travel Guide – Kickstarter Campaign Launched

Phil Weller, Editor of the website Manchester Rocks, Sludgelord Contributor and a freelance journalist has launched a Kickstarter campaign to help fund his new book. The book, a heavy metal travel guide, will see Phil and an Australian photographer, Natasha travel across Europe for 3-4 months exploring the underground rock and metal scenes, finding the best places for a metal fan to go in not only Europe’s biggest cities but also in smaller, less well known places too. Written in a gonzo journalism style, with influence being drawn from the likes of cult figure Hunter S Thompson, P.J O'Rourke Lester Bangs, the book will also look at how social, political and economic factors in each of the cities and countries visited will affect the success, popularity and overall health of the underground metal scenes. The book will paint a colourful and vivid picture of the current state of the continent's metal scene, detailing the characters they meet along the way and the stories that unfold - of both highs and lows in equal measure. Phil is happy to share any embarrassing moments in the name of entertainment.

This book will include everything from the bars and clubs they visit, the bands they see, the beers they inevitable drown in and any other things that may interest a fellow metalhead - things like visiting Jim Morrison's grave to Cliff Burton's crash site. It will be a travel guide for the discerning metalhead, while aiming to appeal to a wider audience as well; something your mother could even bare perhaps.

Together, they want to find out where rock and metal are blossoming, where it is depleting or non-existent and the reasons for that. For instance, how will the Athens scene, in a country struggling economically differ to scenes in Germany (Berlin, Essen) which is a nation currently flourishing? In Russia gigs are being cancelled last minute on the ground's of blasphemy, coupled with the high profile story of Pussy Riot, how does this impact upon the rock and metal scene over there?

The Kickstarter Campaign – a website dedicated to helping creative types realise their ideas through crowd funding – will help raise the funds needed to keep the pair on the road as well as covering all Editorial and Publishing costs. Rewards on offer range from a simple £1 contribution to receive updates of the book’s progress to the chance to have a say in how the finished book looks through their feedback on drafted chapters sent along the way. There is also an option for a signed copy of the book – with both physical and digital copies being made available.

While on the road, Phil will also be writing weekly blog updates for Metal Hammer online.

There really isn’t a book out there that puts the whole of Europe’s metal scene under the microscope like this and the project has already garnered a large array of support:

“This is a great concept and something that I’m surprised no one has done before with rock and metal being such a worldwide phenomenon.” - Andy Turner, Metal Blade & Napalm Recorders
“You’re gonna love it – it’s gonna be an interesting book” - Marty Friedman

“With Metal being such a diverse genre, I’m really keen to see how Phil brings this all together. Working at a label that deals with a variety of different genres, I see first hand the similarities and differences between fans but to have someone put this together in one concise piece is really exciting. I can’t wait to read the book already! On a side note, dealing with Phil is always an absolute pleasure - I couldn’t think of a better person to take on this awesome adventure!” - Lisa Cope, Nuclear Blast Records
"There's not enough written on the underground metal scene. I believe this book is just what we need to fill that gap. It sounds like an awesome idea." - Sophie Sparham, Total Rock

"Duff Press has developed a professional relationship with Phil Weller throughout the years. Phil Weller has always proved himself to be a creative and talented writer. He is always reliable to work with. At Duff Press we work with some of the most high profile and prestigious rock acts and we always trust Phil will do a great job. " - Christopher Dean, Duff Press
For more information on the project, visit their Kickstarter page here. Phil is also available for interviews via phone, Skype or email. Any support you can offer the project in terms of publicity would be hugely appreciated.