The Metal Minute Awarded 2009 Best Personal Blog By Metal Hammer Magazine

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Take 5 With Metal Sanaz

In the eighties, journalists involved in heavy metal were largely behind-the-scenes people you may have known simply by name; for instance, Lonn Friend comes to mind for most Gen X 'bangers. Of course, the original Headbangers Ball on MTV had the benefit of actual faces planted before the show's guests such as Riki Rachman and Adam Curry before him. Still, with print media being a dominant format of the day in a cyberless world, the anonymity of journalists covering heavy metal was nearly as protected a secret as the original foursome of the kabuki-shielded Kiss during the seventies.

In today's metal revival scene the internet has not only turned the average band into potential underground stars, it has also boosted the face value of hosts and journalists. Until recently, Mistress Juliya was the most-recognized female hostess of metal music on Fuse and her oft-watched show Uranium. Unfortunately, the powers that be drummed Juliya out though now she can found continuing her work online.

Metal Sanaz is now perhaps the most-recognized metal maven in cyberspace, given a monster boost as ringleader of A Place For Metal at MySpace and soon her own internet channel will be coming online. Cue up anything metal at MySpace and Sanaz is usually front and center with her microphone as one of the genre's top visible reporters. As much a character in her own right as her many guests, Metal Sanaz may go down as one of the figureheads of the revival scene at the relentless pace she keeps. The Metal Minute caught up with the always moving Sanaz for a quick howdee-do in light of her recent post at A Place For Metal...

The Metal Minute: What I feel even as a journalist that has been missing in heavy metal coverage is the one-on-one televised interviews with bands. The original Headbangers Ball was great because of its memorable interviews and for awhile the next-Gen HBB had interviews done by Jamey Jasta of course, but now they just run the same random question spots over-and-over to the point where I feel HBB has lost its soul. Where in the world has all of the interpersonal coverage gone these days? As you get to do your interviews in a video format, do you nevertheless feel that we're grossly missing out as a scene by the lack of real-time coverage?

Metal Sanaz: Yeah, I agree with you that we don't really have full coverage interviews with bands these days. The problem is most interviews are done while the bands are on tour and they have about 10 to 15 minutes with the journalist at the most and that's never enough time to get personal and get deep into what's going on. I have been working on doing more shows with bands while they are recording or on their time off. Now that does limit the interviews, but spending a few days with them and getting to know them personally helps a lot and brings up things that we never even know was going on!

MM: I agree with you, naturally! Extending that last thought, yourself, Tera Wray and Mistress Juliya are relegated primarily to direct-to-video and online video segments for your interview slots while of course the mainstream is only interested in corporate-churned paper doll cutouts for TLR. Do you feel insulted in any way that the work you do hasn't been extended into a broader televised broadcast situation?

MS: I've been upset about this way before I started what I am doing. It hurts to see the media not care about the metal lifestyle and people who are involved in it. I wish there was more people to push the genre and get it out there. Metal has helped me through my life with all the issues of growing up. It made me strong, gave me power and helped me understand life in a new light, and kids these days should be exposed to it as well, rather than thinking life is only about being beautiful and living a certain way of life with money and shit. There is way more to it then what kids see on TV nowadays.

MM: As you and I and our industry peers have been fortunate enough to learn for ourselves firsthand! So, congratulations on your MySpace slot at A Place For Metal! How much more responsibility do you feel this has added to your already busy schedule?

MS: Being the host of MySpace Metal has been a great honor. Having MySpace back metal is a huge deal to me even if I was not the host of it. As far as adding to the responsibility, there has been nothing I wasn't willing to do and everything is well worth it.

MM: Right on. I enjoyed your one-on-one with Dave Navarro and one of the points I especially found amusing was you guys discussing reactions from fans who get demanding about being included on your Top Friends list. First, how does all of this manic attention at MySpace make you feel and two, what's the zaniest piece of fan mail you've received since starting your post with A Place For Metal?

MS: Ah, Dave is a great guy. I always enjoy his company and his thoughts on everything. The top friend thing is a pain in the butt! (laughs) I would love to give everyone the opportunity to have a spot there, but it's impossible. My friends and fans are amazing! I would not be here with out their support and love. They are the ones who cheer me up when I am down and make me get up and deal with shit, when I don't want to. As far as crazy... I have had gifts delivered to my mailbox from kids as young as 13! I have even had cookies and candies and little stuffed animals in my mail. I have kept them all and I love them all.

MM: Too cute! Go to Japan once, from what the musicians tell me! Obviously you're twice as busy as the majority of us metal journalists, but I can tell you I seldom get any time or place to check my head with my own itinerary. For yourself, how and where do you go to check your head from all of this, since the metal revival has gotten hotter and hotter the past few years?

MS: There is really no time to do that. My life has become work pretty much 24/7but sometimes I hide from everyone for a couple of days. I don't answer calls, I don't do nothing. I just sit at home and listen to music. Wish I could take a week and go to a hotel and sit in a hut tub 'til I can't stand it anymore but that ain't gonna be happening any time soon! (laughs)

Links: Metal Sanaz MySpace Page

Copyright 2008 Ray Van Horn, Jr. / The Metal Minute

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