What if you could donate to your favorite aspect of heavy metal and receive a private drum lesson with Sacred Reich drummer Greg Hall? Or 25-year-old Metallica shirts that were never even for sale, just given to the crew? Or lunch with Veronica from Benedictum, a recording package at a top-notch studio, or even a chance to be a VJ host for four hours on one of the most unique television stations in the world?
Two years ago, Mesa was ground zero for a new type of heavy metal bomb. It was cutting-edge and some people weren't too sure about it -- but it was a hell of a lot of fun, too. And yes, you may have seen those wandering around town that have clearly been exposed to it, wearing paraphernalia that says "Thank You Satan."
But then they turn around, and you see the front of their shirts: "Heavy Metal Television."
It started slow, combining an old favorite television format from the '90s with modern technology. The Internet station is 24/7 heavy metal videos, a classic schedule of VJs, musician interviews, and promotions from your favorite bands. If you haven't checked it out yet, go to www.heavymetaltelevision.com, and see for yourself. It just pops up, as if you had turned on your TV. There's no log-on, no subscription -- just a rotation of more than 8,000 music videos, and hundreds of thousands of viewers that span from Russia to Taiwan to Tennessee.
A year later in August 2013, New Times ran a feature on Heavy Metal Television. My main questions were about the promise that every other music television station has failed to uphold: Will Heavy Metal Television stay true to its original format, and continue to stand up against pushy sponsors and labels, an onslaught of commercials, and the brain-frying reality TV that mucks up our current cable boxes?
Now, on the station's two-year anniversary, I finally believe that this AZ-based wonder -- now smart device-compatible, HD and on Filmon.com -- is bringing our local heavy metal scene to another level. But eh station needs help.
Braverman is reaching out to heavy metal fans to keep the station's business model strong; keeping it free for all metalheads alike -- and that includes the way it benefits bands and labels. According to Braverman, the station pays better royalty rates than Pandora or Spotify to bands and labels, so it is a solid resource for them as well.
"I'm launching this Fund Anything crowdfunding campaign beginning October 1 and ending November 1 to ensure that this network remains on the net with minimal commercials, no pop up or banner ads," explains Braverman. "Part of the money raised will go to updating our gear to bring you faster, better streaming and to create more specialty shows."
Fund Anything is something that many local bands have successfully used for album releases as of late -- bands even played on Heavy Metal Television.
"In rotation, we have 40 years of heavy metal," says Eric Braverman, founder and director. "Everything from Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin to Amon Amarth and Butcher Babies." It also plays local bands, including Job for a Cowboy, St. Madness, and Soulfly.
"It's not just limited to local signed bands," adds Braverman. "We'll play local unsigned bands if they've got a cool video. Why not?"
There are lots of big things in store for the station's third year, and donated funds are needed to keep it free.
Donations will also go towards new specialty programming like exclusive live streaming concerts, a daily Metal News show, a History of Metal show, a Metal Book Shelf show with authors of the newest heavy metal books, a "We are the Road Crew" reality series about life on heavy metal tours, and a Heavy Metal game show with fantastic prizes.
And what will your donation get you? Ah -- that brings us back to those prizes mentioned earlier.
On the low end, you'll get Heavy Metal Television t-shirts and stickers, mid-level you can get Heavy Metal memorabilia from Eric Braverman's vault of metal minutia like Metallica tour shirts only the road crew got. And high-end donations can get premium packages, such as a recording session at SoundVision Studios, a bass lesson from Badlands and Red Dragon Cartel Bassist Greg Chaisson, a drum lesson from Sacred Reich drummer Greg Hall. There's even a chance to do your own specialty show on Heavy Metal Television, or lunch with Heavy Metal Television V.J. Veronica "The V" Freeman of Benedictum.
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