How to Get Your Promo Rejected
Seeing as how I vet through all the email queries we get about sending promos to us for review, I thought I would compile a list of the things that will get your email deleted without so much as a backward glance. This may sound asshole-ish, but the truth is that we get a fuckton of promos these days, and we don't really need more. Given the volume, I am happy when a promo email trips one of these and I can just delete it. That's less work for everybody. I'm pretty sure none of the people who send us stuff will read or care about this list, but I'm sure going to feel good writing it.
Sending Us A Promo For Something That Is Not Metal - This is the number one offense right here. When I get an email the first thing I do is scan through the promo copy (if any) for the word 'metal' in any kind of combination. Any of the following words will mean immediate rejection without a backward glance: Sludge, Hardcore, Punk, Stoner, Grindcore, Dubstep, Shoegaze, Avant-Garde, Post-Metal, Crust, Slam, Metalcore, Deathcore, Math, Funk, Lounge. Yes, all of these have come across the transom at some point. Using one of these words is bad enough, because it means you are sympathetic to non-metal bullshit at the very least. More likely your music is actually proud to be part of one of these piles of felch masquerading as a genre and is therefore not something we are going to waste time with. Using two or more of these words with a / in between them indicates that you are a horrible excuse for a life form and should probably be incinerated.
Not Saying What Fucking Genre You Are At All - I find this one even more annoying. Listing nothing under 'Genre' or worse some made-up category like "Super-weirdo music" or "Abuse Metal" just makes me want to kill you. You force me to click through to your fucking Myspace and read the band bio before any of the red flag words pop up. Making me read through four paragraphs before you whip out "Grindcore Reggae Dance Hall Music" is like filling a Twinkie with shit - we didn't expect it to be great, but we were not expecting anything this awful.
I mean, it's not that fucking hard. We are a metal website, tell us what the fuck you are. "Thrash Metal", "Death Metal", "Doom Metal" - the genres are there for a reason, people. Use them. Hiding your shoegaze horseshit under a pile of laudatory quotes from ass-sucking magazines makes it look like A: you are ashamed of what you are - which you should be, and B: that you think you are "too big" for one genre - a hallmark of amateurish and awful musicians everywhere. You are not a Special Snowflake, you are a fucking band. If you are not a metal band, say so upfront and everyone will be happier.
Sending Us Streaming Links - We are busy, we don't get paid for this, we are in this because we love metal. We don't know who you are, and we are not going to sit in front of our screen and listen to your album as it streams. You can send us a download link like everybody else. Of especial note are streaming services that want me to download some fucking app to play your super-duper music. No, I am not installing that shit on my computer for one promo that I will never listen to again. Fuck you.
Sending Us Links That Don't Work - I mean, is it that hard? Can we not manage to work Sendspace or even Megaupload? How hard is that really? How are you planning on promoting your band when you are so inept that you can't even send a fucking download link?
Sending Us Links Where We Can Download One Song At A Fucking Time - Do you know how much time I would spend downloading and unzipping songs if everyone did that? Zip and send the whole fucking album at once or get out of my face.
Sending Us Links Through Some Bullshit Service - I mean there are only about fve hundred well-known and solid file-sharing services: Rapidshare, Megaupload, Filesonic - hell, make me ecstatic and use Mediafire. There is no reason to be using fucking ifolder, I don't fucking read Russian. And enough with the goddamned Bandcamp links - Bandcamp is worthless shit. This one time? At Bandcamp? Your album sucked.
Sending Us Anything But An MP3 - Gosh, it's only the most widely-used music file storage format ever. If you send me some horseshit like .ogg then I have a choice: I can waste my time converting the files, or I can just delete your album and assume it sucked horse balls, guess which one is more likely? Oh, and don't send your shit on m4a you Mac fag. MP3 or GTFO.
Sending Us Files That Have No Track Info - I won't always delete these on principle. After all, by then I have made it past all the other hurdles. But here's what happens: Several weeks later when your album finally comes around in my que, I look at your folder labeled "52dff" or some shit, I open it and the songs are named "Track 1, Track 2" with no tags. I have no fucking idea who you are and no way to find out, so into the trash it goes. You might say I should re-label them as soon as I unzip the file, but bitch it could be weeks before I even get around to unzipping it, and by then I have no clue where it came from. And really, you expect me to take your music seriously when you can't be bothered to name your files? What the fuck ever.
I'm not being a Nazi here, you know. None of this stuff is that hard. All we ask for is some neatly-labeled MP3s in a single download link - why is that so difficult? I can go to a hundred music blogs right now and find exactly that, but I see these same fuckups time after time after time. The whole point of a promo is to get people who have never heard your music to listen to it and tell other people they liked it. Every single obstacle you throw in the way of that makes it harder for anyone to hear your music, and thus reduces your chances that anyone will either like it or buy it. Bands put a lot of thought and effort into making their music, I wish they could put the same energy into letting us hear it.
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