Today marks a very special occasion for us at Metal Master Kingdom, and that is the fact that we are celebrating our 10th year of existence.
To celebrate the occasion, we thought we'd put together a little piece, including a couple of write-ups from both Ingrid Newton and Alex Stojanovic, some well wishes from some of our friends, and a video reflecting on the many great memories of the last decade up to this point.
When I joined The Metal Review in the summer of 2011, I knew that I was on the right path. The reviews I did then exposed me to bands I may not have encountered otherwise. In essence, a whole new world was opening up for me, and I wanted only to delve further into the far reaches of the globe to help bands share their passion with others. I became aware of the passion rising within me when listening to new music and I knew that I wanted more of it. I actually can say I became addicted to networking and discovering new bands as each day passed.
During my days at TMR, I helped the webzine grow by introducing roles for the team, and developing worldwide international teams, which in my case, was starting a Canadian team. During that process, I met the one and only Navneet Johal (photographer) who was the first to join me. At this time, the process of creating a national TMR team hit some hiccups, and that is when I met Daryll McKeighan of Your Record Label. It was his prompting that initiated me to create my own webzine, and quite frankly, without him, I am unsure I would have pursued my own path in this crazy world of metal. I give him full credit for being the push I needed when I was starting to feel others pulling back from me. Together, we created what became a real love for me, METAL MASTER KINGDOM. The site launched on December 8, 2011, and it is still running today with the support and love of so many contributors and supporters.
Over the many years, I have included photography and journalistic enthusiasts within the MMK team. Kudos to everyone that became a team member, and extra kudos to those still holding on. I would like to include a list of people, but first off, I do not want to bore you, and second, I do not want to omit anyone in error. Having said that, I do need to thank some by name, and that starts with Alex Stojanovic. Without him, I would have been missing my right arm, literally. As a work partner, he is indispensible, loyal, determined, committed, knowledgeable, and as a friend, he is loved dearly. He has kept me motivated more times than I want to acknowledge, and anyone who has worked or hung out with him can attest to the truth I speak. The first photographer, other than myself, to help out at live shows is Navneet Johal, pixel captivator extraordinaire. Without her creative artistic photography skills, the webzine might not have grown as fast as it did.
Of course, there were the MHM admins who also became interested, or coerced, to join the MMK team. They too were instrumental in helping this little project get off the ground: Bob Gundy, Sergio Cesario, Melaine Schweighardt, Eric Widing (creator of video intro), Chris Soutsos, Erin Allen, Richard Jaspering, Serena Orton, Jasmine Hatton, and Keith Ham. Many of these people were a tremendous help in the beginning with a couple of die hards still hanging on for the ride. Those that also need recognition for their huge contributions are Kirsti Heitz, Maggie Bolcsfoldy, Karina Regev, Xavier Cattarinich, and more recent additions are Marty Adem, Rob Botten, Aaron Chatterpaul, Alex Ott, Amina Abdelwahab, Anna Sklavos, Rob Singh and Ananda Elora. Apologies to anyone I have inadvertently left out.
When I think of the many movers and shakers of the metal industry that I have connected with over the last many years, I am in awe of their unwavering and invaluable counsel to MMK and myself. There are many in the industry who have taken the time to advise, include, and just plain help MMK team members with navigating through live shows, band interviews, album/song review requests. My deepest thanks to all our contacts and bands who helped MMK achieve a respectable and undeniable presence in the metal genre.
I would like to publicly applaud the efforts of Jon Asher of Asher Media Relations. His tireless work ethic has helped a vast number of bands throughout Canada, and it is my hope he will succeed even further in the future. I want to express my deep gratitude to Heather Billings (formerly Nealy) for providing the very first MMK logo design with the red banner, and taking part in write-ups and interviews. As for the updated logo and current website design, I have to give kudos to Jenny Ingles Prada, who worked tirelessly to ensure MMK had a good home. Without a doubt, I must also acknowledge my son Kiefer, who assisted me at shows in the beginning, and even though this endeavour was and is my project, he nonetheless stepped up to help in every way he could. I would also like to give a shoutout to my husband Fred for his encouragement.
Metal/hard rock has enriched my life and kept me sane through all of it. You know you are a music lover when a song reminds you of a time or event within your life, and sometimes bring you a smile, and other times, bring you a tear or two. Music will always be an integral part of mine and for many of you out there too, I am sure. MMK was created out of love and also in the vein of helping many artists with exposure to new and old fans and sharing their live stage presence in words and pixels. For me, music and MMK will be sharing this passion and vision with me. If you do not see me at the front of the stage banging my head or standing outside between bands, know that I am always there in spirit and cheering you on. Peace and love to you all!"
METAL MASTER KINGDOM
At the turn of the last decade, when I was in college, I started becoming more of a frequent concertgoer, whereas before that, I would only attend maybe 1 or 2 shows a year. In April 2012, I went to see British thrash legends Onslaught at what was their first-ever Canadian show in their 30 years of existence at the Annex Wreckroom (RIP), not having any idea that I would end up crossing paths with a lady that ran a local Toronto metal website, but I did. That lady was Ingrid Newton.
After seeing me have the opportunity to sing into Sy Keeler's microphone due to me knowing a majority of the lyrics to the songs Onslaught played, she nudges me and compliments me on the opportunity. She then handed me her business card and said that she had interviewed Sy Keeler earlier in the day.
At that time, I was already starting to write album reviews on my Facebook notes just purely for pleasure. On a quick side note, I have to give a huge shoutout to my best friend Steve Jones (not the one from the Sex Pistols), for somehow sparking that fire in me to pursue journalism. Seeing that Ingrid ran a metal website, I reached out to her a couple of months later, realizing that this could be a great opportunity to take the next step in terms of review writing, and asked if she was looking for writers, and she was. She then brought me on board into the Metal Master Kingdom family, and I've been here ever since. The rest is history.
When I first came on board, I was kind of limited with the amount of activities I could participate in, due to the fact that I was still in college when I joined, so I just submitted album reviews when I could. When I graduated college in 2013, I had more time on my hands to focus on MMK. This is when I started submitting more album reviews, and I worked my way up to show coverages, and conducting interviews; all things I hoped to do at some point when I was in my teens first getting into metal.
The more album/show reviews and interviews I did, my love for journalism just grew and grew, and I still love it today just as much as I did then. As I started to take on more responsibilities with MMK, Ingrid eventually made me general manager, which is still pretty surreal to me, but something I'm incredibly thankful for. Even with my busy schedule with work, commitments with my bands and everything in between, MMK is just as important to me as it ever was.
Every day, I'm so thankful to Ingrid for bringing me on board, and becoming someone who I can gladly call not just a friend and a work partner, but an extension of my own family, along with her husband Fred, and I'm so glad to be working with such a talented and dedicated team of writers and photographers. Ingrid has put a lot of love into this project, and we have to thank her and everyone who has had a role in helping get Metal Master Kingdom get off the ground, and still be here today. Ingrid is truly the heart and soul of MMK, and has had a monumental role in bringing us all together.
The last year and a half was stressful for all of us for obvious reasons, but we're so glad to still be here and thriving after 10 years of existence. We want to thank all our readers and all the publicists, bands, promoters, and other music industry people we've worked with over the years, and continue to work with, for being astronomical parts of our journey up to this point, and we look forward to serving the local and worldwide metal community for many more years to come! Horns high to you all! Thank you all so much, and here's to the future! CHEERS!"
- ALEX STOJANOVIC
General Manager / Journalist / Chief Editor
METAL MASTER KINGDOM
- "Congratulations on Metal Master Kingdom’s 10-year anniversary! Thank you for the dedicated support and contribution to the many reviews, interviews, and my artist tours over the years. Your media outlet provides in-depth coverage to your readership and the metal community. Look forward to another 10-years"!
-Dustin Hardman (AFM RECORDS)
- "Happy 10th year anniversary Metal Master Kingdom! Thank you for shining a spotlight on local musicians, bands and promoters. During a time when the world stood still, we were endlessly reminded of the importance and significance of heavy metal and music in general. Cheers to another 10 years. \M/"
-Karina Davy (NEUROTIC ENTERTAINMENT)
- "Strong supporters of metal in Toronto and always giving much needed attention to our local scene. Ingrid and her team have a metal heart!"
-JJ Tartaglia (SKULL FIST / THUNDEROR / OPERUS / WACKEN METAL BATTLE CANADA)