"some music was meant to stay underground..."

Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

We get way too much email, so please read these frequently asked questions before contacting us. All inquiries we receive that are answered here will be summarily ignored. (We have better things to do with our time - like run this site, which is already a huge undertaking!)

  1. Users
    1. How do I get my own avatar for my user profile and comments?
  2. Bands
    1. Will you check out my band?
    2. How do I get my band listed on Metalunderground.com?
    3. Does my band need to be signed to be listed or reviewed on Metalunderground.com?
    4. Can you update my band info?
    5. Can I update my band info?
    6. Can you interview/feature my band?
    7. Can you help promote my band?
  3. News
    1. How do I send you news about my band?
    2. I sent you news and you never posted it! Why not?
    3. What is considered newsworthy?
    4. Why don't you have a current photo of [Band X] on this news article?
  4. Reviews
    1. Will you review my demo/promo/CD/DVD?
    2. Do you review demo/promos/CDRs of unsigned bands?
    3. Do you review MP3s?
    4. Where do I send review materials?
    5. I sent you a promo package and you never reviewed it! Why not?
  5. Links
    1. Do you want to trade links/banners?
    2. How can I (or you) add a link to my site
  6. Miscellaneous
    1. Can you remove an article, review, band listing, comment, etc?
    2. Why are you using this old/wrong band photo?
    3. Why do you post news on [Band X]? They aren't metal/aren't underground/suck!!!!!!!!!!11 This is supposed to be METAL UNDERGROUND!

Answers

Users

How do I get my own avatar for my user profile and comments?

Avatars are implemented via a third-party interface with Gravatar.com. There are two requirements: 1) You must register a (free) user account here on Metalunderground.com and 2) you then create an account on Gravatar.com, which has the email address you used to register with Metalunderground.com linked to the image you want to use as an avatar.

You can use any image you want that does not contain pornographic material. Outside of using album art or the like, here are a few places you can create your own themed avatars to look something like you (or not):

Avatars may take close to 24 hours to begin showing up on Metalunderground.com due to caching on Gravatar's end and your local machine. Avatars generally show up on your profile page before the comments pages due to the way they have been implemented on both pages.

Bands and Labels

Will you check out my band?

If you send an email with "Check out this/my band" and a link, we probably will not check it out. We're busy, so give us a reason, such as sending news or a CD for review. You might even get listed that way! (What the hell good would it do if we just checked out your band/MySpace anyway?)

How do I get my band listed on Metalunderground.com?

The best and fasted way to get listed on Metalunderground.com is to send us news about your band. See below for what's considered news.

Does my band need to be signed to be listed or reviewed on Metalunderground.com?

Of course not! This is MetalUnderground.com.

Can you update my band info?

Not exactly. Ideally, the band "bios" on Metalunderground.com should be very general and not include dated material that needs updating. We leave the updating to the reporting of news, so please send us news in order to update fans about your band. We absolutely will not post hype-filled bios or ridiculous open-ended, forward-looking statements.

Can I update my band info?

No. Bands do not get special logins to update information on the site, as we maintain all band info and related news on the site. Ideally, the band "bios" on Metalunderground.com should be very general and not include dated material that needs updating. We leave the updating to the reporting of news, so please send us news in order to update fans about your band.

Can you interview/feature my band?

Possibly. We get tons of interview requests already, and it's hard to even accept 1% of them. It helps if one of our contributors can meet your band in person before a show and/or we have someone on staff who is into your style of music (and the planets have aligned). We hope to have a mechanism to facilitate interview requests and fulfillment in the future.

Can you help promote my band?

Yes and no. We are happy to help spread the word of all metal bands - even unsigned ones - by posting news, updates and reviews, and sometimes an interview. It helps if you're already good at promoting yourself/your band. Help us help you. Send us newsworthy updates and/or promo packages for review. But we do not do promotion per se. If you want extra exposure beyond this, you can always advertise with us.

News

How do I send you news about my band?

You can send us news via our contact form. If you represent a label or PR company and have your own email lists, please inquire as to where you may send news by email. If you have an email newsletter, MySpace page, and/or RSS feed, please feel free to mention those things as well.

I sent you news and you never posted it! Why not?

If you send us news and we don't post it, please do not take it personally. We get tons of email and there are a number of reasons your news may not have gotten posted, including:

  • we didn't get it or it got filtered to spam
  • email client crashed and I lost track of all of my open action items
  • we were simply too swamped at the time of your submission and it fell between the cracks
    • this is even more likely if you send minimal info
    • this is even more likely if your release is poorly written
  • it wasn't newsworthy
  • it wasn't coherent

In general, if it's metal-related, newsworthy and coherent/well-written, we should post it. If we don't, then I apologize in advance. We are very busy/swamped.

What is considered newsworthy?

Stuff that passes for news includes:

  • break-ups and reunions
  • member movements (leaves, joins, replaces, rejoins, fills-in on tour/studio, fill-in becomes permanent member, etc.)
  • band activities (label signing, writing, recording, touring)
  • activity updates (from tour, studio, bathroom, etc.)
  • tour dates or special events such as festival confirmations, in-store performances and signings (just not single shows, please)
  • album updates (announcing of release date, title, tracklisting, cover art)
  • single and video updates (progress, expected debut on radio/tv/online)
  • new music or videos posted for streaming or download (not every single song replacement on your MySpace though, please)

Just try not to milk it and send us tiny little updates for every item! The more complete a news article, the better chance we will post it.

What's NOT news:

  • signing of any type of deal other than record deal (management, booking, endorsement, etc. - we don't really need to know)
  • "vote for us!" - this is not news and we're not your personal promoters/advocates
  • sneak peaks for songs and videos are getting old. We will think hard before posting a 30 second clip of something less than 5-10 minutes anyway
  • contests that are more self-promotion than a benefit to Metalunderground.com and/or our readers
  • announcements or anything that is more self-promotion than news

"Check out my band!" is not news and won't get you any coverage, as we are way too swamped already. Making an effort to send something newsworth, as noted above, will most likely will get checked out and even covered on Metalunderground.com.

Why don't you have a current photo of [Band X] on this news article?

With thousands of bands in our database that we are reporting news on, it's hard enough to post photos of most of them, much less keep them updated for every member change, especially when some bands change members like underwear. Band photos on news articles are automatically pulled from the band's profile on Metalunderground.com, and in the case of multiple bands being related to an article, it picks the most popular one, having no way to select the most relevant. To further confuse matters, sometimes a band's classic lineup is a more appropriate representation of the band than the latest lineup. But in the end, our goal is to bring you the latest metal news, not to keep updating band photos. Nevertheless, we are working on a more robust assets library, which should be out before the end of 2010.

Reviews

Will you review my demo/promo/CD/DVD?

If your music is heavy, you may send us a review copy or promo for consideration. Rock, classic rock, prog-rock, psychadellic, post-rock, post-hardcore, and grunge/post-grunge bands without a seriously heavy element and punk bands without a seriously heavy hardcore element need not bother.

Do you review demo/promos/CDRs of unsigned bands?

Absolutely! As long as you meet the above requirement (of being heavy), we will consider your material for review.

Do you review MP3s?

Sometimes. MP3s tend to take a lower priority than physical CDs, so we don't recommend it.

Where do I send review materials?

Please send review materials and promo packs for consideration to:

Metalunderground.com
c/o Doug Gibson
9008 Harris Street
Frederick, MD 21704
USA

I sent you a promo package and you never reviewed it! Why not?

We get a lot of material to review and unfortunately what gets reviewed in a timely manner is largely a function of reviewer tastes and availability. Rest assured that anything you sent (that meets our above review criteria of "heavy") will still be under consideration for review. We apologize if your release has not been reviewed in a timely manner, but it will still hopefully get reviewed by us. Sending us follow-up emails about your promo package is usually a futile effort as well as we get far too many emails to be able to respond to them all in the first place.

Do you want to trade links/banners?

First, we do not post banners, as we already have far too many links in our links database to make this feasible. We would gladly trade links with relevant metal sites, but we're much too busy to accept formal link trades. In the near future, we will have open (but moderated) link submissions so that you can get your metal site(s) listed in our links section.

Right now, you cannot add links to our links database. This will change eventually, however, but don't email us about it.

Miscellaneous

Can you remove an article, review, band listing, comment, etc.?

No. We have a strict policy against removing material from Metalunderground.com. If we post something that is incorrect, we are happy to ammend or update it, post a clarification or statement, etc., given the proper evidence of our error. There really is not much point of removing articles, as once we've posted something it is syndicated out to dozens of sites and cached in hundreds, if not thousands, of RSS feed readers (and Twitter) around the world within minutes.

As far as comments are concerned, please be responsible for your own commenting. We don't get involved in removing comments upon request just because this is a big waste of our time.

Why are you using this old/wrong band photo?

The site was originally designed (10 years ago) to pull in a band photo from a related band to the article. Unfortunately, I did not plan on the fact that bands have frequent member changes. As a result, we cannot possibly keep photos for 10,000+ bands in our database up to date.

While I am working on a more robust assets library, we are not replacing any photos with newer ones. Doing so would also replace the photos on older articles with the new ones, which would be inappropriate as well.

Another side effect of the current implementation is that sometimes a photo is shown for a band related to the article who is not the primary focus. Quite simply, the reason for this is that the photo of the most viewed band in our system is chosen over the others on any given article. It's not perfect and will be moot once the new assets library is completed.

Why do you post news on [Band X]? They aren't metal/aren't underground/suck!!!!!!!!!!11 This is supposed to be METAL UNDERGROUND!

First of all, we take an inclusive view of "metal" and cover many bands that are influenced by metal or contain a heavy element (e.g. Nine Inch Nails, Alice In Chains, grunge, nu-metal, hardcore, metalcore, etc.). Second, most metal bands can be considered "underground" by most standards. But our love is for metal music, so we do still report on well-known metal bands (e.g., Metallica) as well, as we enjoy some of them as do our readers.

There are some bands that get covered that are not strictly metal but 1) contain members of former metal bands (e.g., Velvet Revolver) or 2) were previously heavier, but are not any longer heavy or relevant to metal at all. In the latter case or the rare cases that someone reports on a non-metal band that should not be covered, there will be a mechanism to designate such bands on the site shortly.

I have two more points to make on this topic, however:
Just because you've heard a band on the radio or their single, don't assume you know what they sound like. We hear whining that [Band X] is not metal all the time because judgemental readers have not heard anything but what is on the radio.

Finally, don't even say that we only report on mainstream bands, because we are reporting on and adding new bands to our database of 9000+ bands daily.

In short, helping our readers discover new metal music has always been one of our goals, and is one that we are taking additional steps toward in recent months as well.