Imagine this: you get to drink, take selfies and share sordid stories with your metal heroes. That’s what some people think public relations professionals do, and while it does happen, much of it is actually coaching bands, business deals, spreadsheets, endless phone calls, late nights and a whole lot more.
If you had to boil it down to very simplistic terms, a music publicist’s job is to get their artist’s album, single, show or tour coverage by connecting with relevant media (webzines, mags, TV, radio, YouTube, podcasts, streaming services). Depending on the situation, this is usually achieved through press releases, video premieres, scheduling interviews or other pitches.
PR pros generally go about their day quietly in the background, rarely getting any praise. Indeed, there’s a few sayings out there along the lines of “the best PR is invisible PR”. This mantra is king in many industries (especially in TV, film and music) because some think that if the masses knew how everything worked, it’d kill the magic. Well, today we’re pissing on that idea for a moment and giving the best metal PRs pros in Australia a pat on the back. That’s because without them, quite a bit of the reviews, photos, interviews, and even music you take for granted would never reach your eyes and ears.
While some of these publicists are exclusively metal, others deal with a range of genres.
John Howarth – Nuclear Blast, Sharptone
John Howarth has been in the metal industry since 1996, representing everyone from Slayer, Anthrax and Dimmu Borgir to Lamb Of God, Meshuggah, Opeth and Sepultura. He runs Nuclear Blast and SharpTone Records for Australia and New Zealand and soon to be expanding into other territories. He has racked up a stack of top 10 ARIA charting albums with the likes of Lamb Of God (highest ever), Slayer (highest ever), Sabaton (first ever top 10), Nightwish (first ever top 10), Meshuggah (first ever top 10), Machine Head and Opeth and often obtaining the world’s highest chart entries for these albums.
Along the way there have been Australian highest chart debuts for bands like Anthrax, Epica, Testament, Fear Factory and more, along with cracking the Australian ARIA charts for the first time with bands like Kreator (top 30), Killer Be Killed, Nails, Corrosion Of Conformity, As I Lay Dying, Nile, Soilwork, Hatebreed and many more. He calls himself an accidental publicist but loves the work, as it is the only part of the job description that goes into running the Nuclear Blast machine top to bottom.
Over the years he has worked for promoters such as Metropolis Touring, Silverback Touring, SBM Presents, Select Touring, Live Nation, Hardline Media, DRW Entertainment, Destroy All Lines and more, while also working for labels such as Caroline Universal, Spinefarm, Golden Robot Records, eOne and others. He has been deeply involved on many international tours, working in a wide range of roles, and also gone out of his way many times to help up-and-coming bands with free advice and servicing.
Chris Maric – Maric Media
Since 1998, industry veteran Chris Maric has worked with some of the world’s biggest music companies and artists. Various roles such as publicity, artist relations, marketing and radio manager have given Maric high level and broad hands-on industry experience. With the added insight from years of long nights in dark venues and endless miles on the road, Maric incorporated his vast range of skills and passion to launch Maric Media in 2013.
In the earlier days, he was Sony Music promotions manager for Epic Records, and then artist relations manager for Sony. Universal Music was his next stop. He got a plaque for his Australian PR work on Metallica’s St Anger and got to work with the band on their 2004 tour. Then came EMI.
Today, Maric Media continues to work with international labels such as AFM Records, Better Noise Music, BMG, Dinner For Wolves, Ear Music, EVP, Mascot, Metal Blade, Napalm Records, Peaceville, Pelagic, Silver Lining, Universal Music and Wild Thing Records. There’s also the promotion companies like One World Entertainment, Destroy All Lines, Empire Touring, Live Nation and TEG Dainty.
Maric also offers consults to small, indie and up-and-coming artists who are interested in taking themselves to the next level. Maric Media
Janine Morcos – Dallas Does PR
Janine Morcos has worked in the music industry for over 19 years and in PR for 14 years. After countless years working with companies such as Roadrunner Records, Warner Music, Soundwave Festival and Cooking Vinyl Australia, she launched her own firm, Dallas Does PR in January 2018.
Morcos has been involved in many #1 ARIA album debuts with artists such as Paramore (Self-Titled), Parkway Drive (Ire), Slipknot (All Hope Is Gone), Nickelback (Here And Now), The Amity Affliction (Chasing Ghosts), Bring Me The Horizon (amo), Tool (Fear Inoculum) and most recently Marilyn Manson (WE ARE CHAOS) just to name a few, alongside countless top 10 ARIA album debuts by local and international artists.
The Melbourne-based firm works with clients such as Sony Music Australia, Century Media, Pure Noise Records, Live Nation, Destroy All Lines, Good Things Festival, Concord Records and Resist Records just to highlight a few.
Morcos has represented and worked with a variety of artists and bands across all genres of music. She has represented Bring Me The Horizon, Marilyn Manson, Polaris, Northlane, Body Count, Slash, Prophets Of Rage, Judas Priest, Tool, Airbourne, Plini, Evanescence, Ghost, blink-182, Frank Iero, The Offspring, Bullet For My Valentine, Zeal & Ardor under the Dallas Does PR umbrella as well as working with the successful Good Things Festival for the last two-years. Dallas Does PR
Tim Price – Collision Course
Pricey has been living and breathing heavy music since attending Big Day Out in 1999. He went on to found Collision Course in 2013 – a champion of metal, punk, prog, hardcore, hard rock and all associated genres.
Collision Course has worked with international acts such as Rise Against, Avenged Sevenfold, Steel Panther and AFI, and with Australian acts like Twelve Foot Ninja, Windwaker, Gravemind, sleepmakeswaves, Dead Letter Circus and Voyager. They’ve also handled tour PR for bands such as Meshuggah, Devin Townsend, Steel Panther, The Acacia Strain, and Knocked Loose.
They’ve even released records for The Butterfly Effect – and have helped bands such as Twelve Foot Ninja, sleepmakeswaves and Dead Letter Circus garner ARIA Nominations for their records. To top it all off, Collision also run 24/7 heavy radio station and app The Faction. Collision Course
Michael Lueders – Black-Roos Entertainment
Michael Lueders has always been a metalhead. After moving to Australia from Germany almost a decade ago, he crossed over from fanboy to webzine owner, creating Metal-Roos. He went on start PR firm Black-Roos Entertainment and kick-started the Australia-wide project, Metal United Down Under, which has now developed into Metal United World Wide. MUWW is the ambitious plan to unite the world’s metalheads for one day every year. He finds bands to play in a bazillion cites across the globe at the same time and then turns it into a party.
Lueders has worked with a vast array of international and Australian artists, including Tony Martin (ex-Black Sabbath), Wreck-Defy (ex-Annihilator, Testament) EWIGKEIT (Into the Woods frontman’s side project), Demonhead, Envenomed, In Malice’s Wake, Tempest Rising, Temtris, Chaosaint and Christ Dismembered. Black-Roos Entertainment
No doubt we’ve missed a few people, so stay tuned for the second edition.
This is not a paid article. Its purpose is purely for recognition.