Global Metal Apocalypse on 10th November 2012, caught up with one of the most influential metal music sites around of which documents almost nearly every existing and split metal band since the music began in the in 1960's, of course not all metal bands are accepted as you'll find out, so without further ado, this is what Hellblazer had to say:
How long has Metal Archives been going and how did you come about the thought of creating the site?
The site has been around since July 2002, so it's been about 10 years now. I wanted to have a centralized place where people could look up information about any metal band, as similar sites that were around at the time either focused on a specific sub-genre, or were missing a lot of information. After a quickly abandoned attempt at creating each band page manually, I learned more about web programming and created the current system, which allows any registered user to contribute information that is missing from the site. This has allowed the site to grow very quickly and surpass all our expectations.
Since it's inception, do you feel that Metal Archives has brought attention to bands outside of the core North American and European Metal scenes to fans from North America and Europe?
I would think so. I know that a lot of people use the site to find out about new bands, so hopefully this has allowed many to discover new scenes from little-known regions. I think the review section and forum can also help with that, allowing people to share their discoveries with others and spread the word about unknown gems.
What is your opinion on the submissions in that if a band only releases online material and that it is not on the Metal Archives despite it say being from an obscure country like Grenada?
Yeah, the physical release rule can be a bit of a problem in that sense. It's clear that there will be more and more digital-only releases and the site will need to adapt. That rule was originally put in place to avoid the database being swamped with bands who put a couple poor quality mp3s on MySpace (or mp3.com way back then) and call it a demo, and then never produce anything else. Now, the difficulty comes in establishing guidelines to determine what constitutes a professional and serious digital-only band that the site should feature, and what doesn't. The moderation team is certainly aware of the issue, it has been discussed quite a bit, and we may start accepting digital bands on a case-by-case basis (chosen by the mods) and see how it goes.
Why do you not accept bands from the Nu Metal, Industrial Metal or other metal genres not listed by the website, is it that they are not 'true metal' genres?
Well, we evaluate each band individually for metal elements, and give them a chance regardless of genre. It mainly comes down to riff style; a band has to use predominantly metal-based riffs to be accepted. When it comes to fusion genres such as the ones you mentioned, often the songs have some influence from metal, but also combine other elements from hardcore, grunge, industrial, hard rock, even rap, depending on the particular sub-genre. It's up to the moderators to evaluate a band's output and determine if they have at least one album that can be considered wholly (or at least the vast majority of it) metal. It can be noted that some initially rejected bands, such as Ministry or Soulfly for instance, were later added when they released an acceptable album.
What notable events and stats has the site achieved throughout it's history?
For statistics, as of right now (10/11/12), there are 87,881 bands and 70,288 reviews on the site, as well as 226,588 registered users. Without a doubt this is way beyond anything we could ever have imagined at the beginning. Hell, I didn't even think there existed more than say 10,000 metal bands at that time. The site now gets roughly 80,000 unique visitors every day, which is also quite mind-blowing.
As for notable events, well the major one would be the release of the long-awaited version 2.0 of the site last year. It's a complete rewrite of the site's code that includes many new features, and it took us a few years to write (progress is slow when you're also working full-time). I think people are quite satisfied with it over all, and it allows us to continue development on a more solid foundation.
Do you have any plans for the website in the upcoming year? If yes what are they? If no what would you like to see done to it?
Well, we will continue adding new features to the site. Just recently for instance, there is a new one that allows entering date ranges for a band's periods of activity, so you can see an history of the band's name changes and periods of activity/inactivity. One future feature that we've promised for some time and that can hopefully be released in the coming year is the ability to add details about the various versions and editions of each album.
What else can you tell us about the Metal Archives?
Hmm... I'm really not sure what to add. :)
Finally are there any hello's and/or thank you's you wish to say?
Definitely a big thank you to everyone who has contributed to MA over the years, all the site's accomplishments and success would be impossible without you.