Thursday, August 6, 2015 at 7:43 a.m.
Courtesy of Heavy Metal Television
While you go and check to see how well those knuckleheads are doing, may I remind you that Heavy Metal Television not only still lives and thrives in 2015 but has expanded into to the Internet Television Factory, which creates similar 24/7 networks for anyone who desires that same capability for their company. This Saturday, August 8, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Heavy Metal Television returns to the very same Zia Records Exchange on 19th Avenue and Camelback it held its first Video Host open audition (please don't call them veejays or MTV will come out with a cease and desist). All the heavy metal televsion video hosts will be on hand as well as a panel of guest judges like Sacred Reich drummer Greg Hall, record producer and former Guns N' Roses manager Alan Niven, our very own Metal Mondays scribe Lauren Wise, and of course, Heavy Metal Television founder Eric Braverman. You'd think that Braverman would be excited that his network is coming on its fourth anniversary and that the network now has paid sponsors, 150,000 returning customers daily and 200 people a second tuning into the network. He is excited. And he's also incensed that they haven't already erected a statue in his honor for bringing this innovation to the world, that there's always some shoestring operation claiming to be the world's first Internet network, that tech magazines and business journals aren't beating a path to his door to cover this event and his company. It's hardly a consolation that the press this Valley-run Internet global network has gotten is strictly as a music or entertainment story. That a New Times writer is showing interest is hardly comfort since I'm a friend of Braverman's and as he puts it, "You music writers will show up if some guy is blowing on a harmonica under a palm tree." "Do you realize that we are the fourth wave of television?" he says as he rattles off what the other three waves were so fast my tape recorder can barely hear them. "Cable, satellite, dish, and then us. We even do our own streaming now. LiveStream, the biggest streaming company in the world, couldn't handle the volume of streaming we needed and broke our contract. I can show you the letters." Then he showed me the letters. "And now that we're the Internet Television Factory, we are bringing other networks out that will allow people to have the same 24/7 access to an audience that Heavy Metal Television has had. We've got the Ironboy Boxing TV Network and we're building the Dinosaur Network now. Who doesn't love dinosaurs? There are people who don't love heavy metal music. I don't want to know them but they exist. And once those other people realize what Internet Television Factory is, we won't be just a music story anymore. No offense." Part of the lack of recognition lies in the ghetto that heavy metal music finds itself in, a demographic often labeled ignorant and hooliganistic by people who don't examine facts closely. Says Alan Niven, who actually managed Axl Rose when you could still get him to do something, "Heavy metal is not ignorance. It's the blue collar man's anti-authoritarian way of protesting as well as celebrating. A lot of heavy metal is about celebrating life. It's also about saying fuck you, we know what you're doing, and we don't approve." "And as a genre, it's transgenerational," says Braverman, who also points out that this demographic is the one advertisers drool all over themselves for, largely male and between 21 and 55 years of age. Or as Braverman puts it, "the guys who buy shit." But enough tech talk. What will YOU, gentle reader and potential video host, get for auditioning for Heavy Metal Television? "Just for auditioning, everyone gets an energy drink," Braverman says. "Who couldn't use an energy drink in a record store this size?" And he promises new T-shirts with the "Thank You Satan" legend on the back that is a real conversation starter, depending on where you wear it. The first, second and third place candidates selected by the judges will not only get to be Heavy Metal Television Video Hosts but will also be eligible to win one of the following prizes: FIRST PLACE: Free Tickets for 50 Concerts, courtesy of LiveNation SECOND PRIZE: A goodies package which includes a Zia Gift Card THIRD PRIZE: 10 hours of studio time at Oasis Rehearsal "Fifty concerts! When have you gone to 50 concerts in one year. Seriously, this could change your life," adds Braverman. "Just ask any of the video H=hosts who will be at our event how it changed their lives. And then seek out the people who are no longer our video hosts and see how far down the evolutionary chain they've fallen." The Heavy Metal Television Open Auditions for Video Hosts will be held at Zia Records Exchange on 19th Avenue and Camelback on Saturday, August 8, at 3 p.m.
Two years ago, when Heavy Metal Television held its first open auditions for video hosts at Zia Records Exchange, the Internet network was barely more than a year old and always seemed like it could be in danger of being squashed like a bug by Google TV, Vevo, Apple or Roku — big entertainment conglomerate giants who were also trying to bring the cable TV experience to the Internet.