We had the good fortune of connecting with John Erigo and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Insanity?! LOL! I have a long history in the World of Heavy Rock Music dating back to 1981. There were no cell phones, no internet, no MTV. So I learned the hard way, using word of mouth and old school marketing tactics to grow what I was doing then. That same attitude still gets used today, but through different methods to a much wider audience. Starting a heavy metal/hard rock “news” website 2 years ago (2018) was kind of crazy because of SO many well established ones already existed. I just thought I could do it as good, or better so here I am talking to YOU about it!!!!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In 1981 myself and my good friend, the late legend, Bob Muldowney (RIP), started what is called a “fanzine”. For those that don’t know a fanzine is a fan made sort of magazine. It’s a DIY, plain and simple publication without big money behind it. We were the first of our kind in our area, The East Coast of America. KICK ASS MONTHLY was born! We had seen fanzines popping up in the late 70’s into 1980 but they were all themed around one band. At the same time as we started branching out to find other bands that played this hard rock/heavy metal music we became very frustrated. This style of music, at the time, was really shunned upon by the industry. Radio stations wouldn’t play it and Major Record labels also steered clear. So the challenge was to find bands we didn’t know about. So one day it dawned on me to start our own fanzine but instead of it being about ONE band, why not write about all the bands we like? Then maybe, just maybe, people will write to us about bands they know about, that we don’t know about. Well it worked and before you know it, bands were coming to us! I know in the way we live today this is all hard to believe but just imagine your cell phone and computer crash, no internet service so ALL your devices stop working…….how do you find new music? Yeah, I know LOL! So my pedigree goes way back and I have applied that “I gotta find a new band to listen to and promote” to today’s cyber world. The challenges are really the massive amount of competition and how to try and expand the business as I go.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well I live in FL so everybody wants to come here for a vacation! LOL! FL has changed a lot over the last 25 years or so. It’s not JUST for retired people anymore. There are tons of places to go out for concerts, dinner, night life. I would take them to Clearwater Beach, one of the best beaches in the World. Also, there are parts of nearby Tampa that have a great concert scene, cool clubs.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I draw lots of inspiration from the bands I have been into since the mid 70’s. They keep going and stay true to what they do, so I stay onboard supporting them. Kick Ass Forever was supposed to be a 4 man team from the beginning, but that didn’t last long! LOL! So I am a one man wrecking crew. My girl, April Hoffmann, deserves lots of credit for pushing me and believing in me, If it wasn’t for her constant belief, the site/business would’ve never started.
John Erigo, Dalila Kriheli aka Rock Star Pix, Mike Schutzman (Slipped Disc records)