Bill Knowlton Of ‘It’s About Real Music With Real Instruments’

TThere’s a great blog out there called I recently sat down with my buddy Bill Knowlton at to pick his brain. This is definitely an interesting and well-spoken read, so I encourage you to soak it all in!

Alex Gilbert (Dotted Music): Blogs (web-based) and Magazines (print-based) have a lot of similar material. With how technology exponentially increases, how do you see the future for both blogs and magazines? Regardless of technology, both do still spread the good word, eh?

Bill Knowlton (We Love Metal): I agree that both do spread the good word, but in much different ways. For some reason bloggers aren’t taken as “real” journalist as compared to our print market peers. The unusual part of that is magazines are near death. Blogs are free to read and contain the most up to date information. Magazines have a printing deadline so they often get left behind and report old news, which the reader has to pay for.

Magazines will often get the biggest and best interviews which surprises me because We Love Metal and sites much bigger than ours get more readers in the run of a day than the larger magazines even print, let alone sell.

What I will say to the magazine defense is often they have journalists with education and background in written media. Most of us “bloggers” are self-taught fans that get better as time goes on. I will forever find it funny that magazines mock bloggers, but they are all switching over to digital media.

We Love Metal

What are some of your favorite blogs and magazines out there right now?

Two blogs that I read every day are with Alyson who is one of the reasons we started our blog. Her honest fan based approach appealed to us and made us decide that being nice to musicians can actually work. She is great at taking the negativity out of the music industry. On the other hand I read because those guys say things I can only dream of saying.

As for magazines, I will occasionally pick up Revolver, but not as a norm.

The internet is instant international access. With such an abundance of websites out there, it’s hard to get people to click automatically like one would a What are some of your marketing methods for

We have tried a lot of different techniques for marketing of We Love Metal and we don’t have unlimited money so it’s difficult to pay for constant ads. We went through a time of link building and reading every Search Engine Optimization book out there, but ultimately it came down to writing good stories that people want to read.

We have been around 2 years as of this month, but only started to take this very seriously last year with a new design and constant updating. The results have been phenomenal. We picked some target words and ran with them. We now have the #1 position for “Heavy Metal Blogs” and that has helped greatly. Although not a majorly searched item on Google it’s a great niche market for us.

To really answer the question: you have to write to get fans, those fans will bring fans and so on. When we first started I hated people saying the only way you can get ahead is with solid, original content, but it’s true.

What advice do you give for aspiring music journalists out there?

Two pieces of advice:

  1. Expand your horizons and don’t be scared to ask what seem like stupid questions. A good example would be when I first started covering harder metal I asked a musician flat out what a “blast beat” was and apologized for not knowing. He gave me the definition and explained that most writers use the term, but really have no idea. People can see through you faking it, so get your facts and knowledge down. Write, write, and write.
  2. Don’t be an asshole. It seems that the negative guys get ahead, but when you are black balled by every major label and musician because you act like a smart ass; you’re not going to get ahead or be much of a respected journalist. Every artists who puts their music out there deserves a form of respect, you don’t have to like it, but finding some merit in someone’s passion is worth investigating.

When we come to party out with you in Canada, where would you say some good places to catch a show, grab a bite to eat, party it up, and get a good grasp on the area would be?

You would need to hit two places. Montreal is the mecca of metal in Canada. You could hit shows of all nature in Glam, Hard Rock, Death, Black, or a bunch of Cores. The drinks are cheap and the music rules the streets. Doesn’t matter where you eat because your ears are going to be bleeding from the bass. Montreal does have a couple of booty clubs as well. Just a couple!

Than you would have to head over to Halifax because that’s where I’m at and we would be tearing up a city that has the most bars per capita in the world. Mix that with local bands like Black Moor, Orchids Curse, and Broken Ohms and you are in for one hell of a party.

Bill Knowlton with Dan Donegan

If you were to create a dream tour, who’d be on it?

My dream would be a one day festival show with tickets sitting in the $60.00 range. The line-up would consist of 10 bands and leave you speechless at the end. In order:

The WorshypMastodonBlack Label SocietyMotley CrueTestamentAnthrax (Belladonna) – Guns & Roses (Original) – MegadethMetallicaBlack Sabbath (Dio)

There are others, but these 10 on one day would be the day I could die. I think we could have an after party with Quiet Riot (Dubrow) as well.

On the promo side for We Love Metal, are you looking for any more writers (of course one’s that know how to handle the digital pen)? If so, how can they get in touch with you, send you some samples, etc.?

I’m always interested in new writers and their take on things. I can’t imagine why people want to hear us over and over again… lol! Anyone can submit samples to me, but must realize that payment can be low. Sometimes very low. They can send it to with a PDF attachment.

Bro, thanks for your time, and I always enjoy reading! Any last words?

Only last words would be keeping the metal alive to all. We need to teach the mainstream of the talent and charisma Heavy Metal stars have. For me personally, media pushing music that is played with a machine corrupts real music and real musicians. Kids thinking they are musicians by putting samples together not only degrades Metal and Rock stars, but also people ranging from classical musicians to someone’s grand pappy playing the fiddle in the kitchen.

It’s about real music with real instruments. Just like real metal news on

Thanks for doing this man; you’re a class act and a pleasure to work with.

Interview by Alex Gilbert.