I have been told I am the only metal publicist on this continent I call home. I’m not 100% sure If this statement is true, but a big part of me hopes that there are a few more of us out there.
I’ve been in the industry for around 20 years now. It all started off in the mid 90’s when I began playing in a metal band, since then I have always been involved on the heavier side of the scene. I played in rockabilly band called The Diesel Whores and a hardcore band called Bloodline. I ended up as Label manager at Just Music under the mentorship of Karl Anderson which was an amazing learning experience. We were a small team and because of the size of our team at the time, we had to be able to do everything, it was the perfect foundation for my career. I left Just Music in 2009, I’d recently had my 1st son. At the time I was tired of the scene and the industry and I felt that I needed a change. I started managing a Tattoo shop and I did my apprenticeship which was fun, but at the end of the day music has always been in my veins and I could not deny it, or move away from it.
In 2011 I started Plug Music Agency. I wanted to take everything I’d learned through my years spent in the industry to help as many independent bands as I could. Having played in bands for many years as well as being involved in the business side of music I do think it gives me an advantage over other publicists. Knowing how it feels to be a musician and a publicist enables you to know what both parties need to grow. I’m very happy to be the middle man between the bands and the media.
I didn’t start PMA as a metal or rock PR agency, even though this genre of music is my passion, I don’t pigeon hole myself into one genre when it comes to publicity. My roster is varied across numerous genres – Everything from pop, hip-hop, Rock, Indie, death metal and everything in between. I have become known as the rock/metal guy though which is great as far as I’m concerned. This genre of music is my passion, it’s who I am. Playing in metal bands impacted my personal life as well. I met my wife at a music festival the year my band played, I also met my best friends through playing in metal bands.
When I started playing music, I realised how many great rock and metal bands there were in SA at the time, bands that weren’t getting the recognition they deserve, this inspired me to step in, work with them and get their names out there. I’ve managed to get some pretty heavy stuff some mainstream coverage, a task many thought was impossible. RSG (National Afrikaans radio station) interviewed Fear Factory when they toured SA. I’m sure it’s the only time they’ve ever played a Fear Factory song.
Sunday Times covered Krank’d Up Festival last year and they featured a full page interview with Norma Jean. As I mentioned, it’s definitely way more difficult getting mainstream media coverage for the heavier bands, especially today, but I have proved that it’s not impossible – It’s all about relationships.
I’ve worked with the likes of Pestroy (I’ve known those guys since they were teenagers basically), Fuzigish, Newtown Knife Gang, The Drift, Urban Vitamin, Subject To Slaughter, Slashdogs, All We’ve Known, Juggernaught, Savage Lucy, Deity’s Muse and Man As Machine to name a few. I also handle PR for Turning Tricks Entertainment and Witchdoctor Productions, these festivals are two of the bigger rock and metal promoters in SA. Through them I’ve had the pleasure of working with some of the tops bands in metal including Behemoth, Fear Factory, Protest The Hero, Karnivool, DevilDriver, TesseracT, Periphery, Norma Jean, 36 Crazy Fists, Unearth, Aborted, Eluviettie, Finntroll, Monuments and Dead Letter Circus (I may have missed a couple).
It’s a privilege to have worked with these great bands and artists, helping them get their music heard and having their words published in news papers and magazines is what makes me a very happy metal head who loves his job so much.