Record Collector magazine is the leading authority on all things
collectable in music, as well as having comprehensive reviews and
interviews on all spheres of music. Joel is a metal nut and current
Production Editor (ie the engine room!) of the magazine. Thanks to
Batttttty for passing on the questions to Joel.
How did you become involved in the music business?
I was a freelance reviewer from 1996-1999, when I joined the staff at
Record Collector magazine, where I am now the Production Editor. I
wrote my first book in 2000 and am now writing my sixth -- see
Who have you enjoyed interviewing most and who was a complete
Good interviewees who have something to offer and take time to answer
your questions intelligently include Lemmy, Gary Numan, Steps
(believe it or not), Tom Araya of Slayer, Roger Glover and Ian Gillan
of Deep Purple, Slash and most of the metallers. Lazy, rude or
couldn't-be-bothered people I have manfully tried to interview
include Jon Bon Jovi, Roland Orzabal of Tears For Fears and a few
others. Sometimes a bit of animosity can give an interview a certain
edge though -- when I interviewed Boy George, for instance, we both
took the piss out of each other constantly and the results were
What has been the highlight of your career in journalism and rock
Getting e-mails from readers of my books on whom my writing has made
You are a big Slayer & death metal fan. What would you recommend to
a fan wanting to start listening to bands like these?
This music is not for everyone, but I recommend listening to classic
80s thrash metal by Metallica, Anthrax, Megadeth and Slayer and if
you like that stuff, moving on to death metal bands such as Morbid
Angel, Deicide, At The Gates and Death. Also try the heavier end of
nu-metal -- Slipknot for example. Ultimately this music is just rock
taken to an extreme, so if you have a good grounding in classic rock
there's no reason why you can't get into metal too.
What has been your most embarassing moment?
There have been a few instances where I've got my facts wrong -- e.g.
I asked Dave Mustaine of Megadeth if it was true that producer Bob
Rock had caught him shooting up in the studio. It turned out that the
two men had never met, it was Desmond Child I was thinking of, not
Rock, and Mustaine was clearly annoyed. But these things aren't
too embarrassing -- you admit your mistake and move on. Admitting
that I listen to a lot of cheesy pop is more embarrassing than that.
Anyone you would love to meet/interview but you haven't as yet?
Oh yes -- Prince, James Hetfield of Metallica, the Gallaghers,
McCartney, lots of others. There are also a lot of actors, directors,
authors and politicians who I would love to interview.
How do you view the current UK rock scene?
Healthy, if you've got an open mind. However, it can be a bit
annoying when Britney Spears etc attempt to woo the rock audience,
who then fall for it. If you're a pop artist, admit it and be proud
of it, but don't try to be something you're not.
Any rock'n'roll tales to tell?
None I'm afraid -- the most daring I've been is to piss off a few
musicians by telling them exactly what I think of their new album. Mike Oldfield comes to mind.
Who are your musical heroes and why?
Metallica for bringing thrash metal to the masses (although they fell
from grace with the black album), the Beatles, Hendrix and Prince for
obvious reasons. I'm also a bass guitar nerd so I worship a few
players like Flea, Jaco Pastorius and John Entwistle.
Any bright hopes for the future (bands/labels/venues)?
I usually can't predict which new bands will be successful so I won't
try, and there are too many likely-looking labels. But I will say
that the future of UK music lies, as it always has, with the indie
scene -- it's full of snobs and luvvies but you can't argue with
the quality of the music.
Interview © 2002