This FAQ was originally created by our
then East Coast Editor Christopher J. Kelter, more than fifteen years ago.
A lot has changed since then, both for the world of music and for Rough Edge. So we decided to update the FAQ with our changes and notes in Italics.
FAQ – Frequently (and not so
frequently) asked questions for Rough Edge
Questions and Answers for Readers
Questions and Answers for Bands
Questions and Answers for labels/PR and Publicity Folks
FAQ for Readers
Q: What is this site all about?
A: Rough Edge is a website dedicated to rock, hard rock, heavy metal, and other forms of extreme music. Primarily we review CDs and secondarily we provide interviews and news about the bands we review (and even some bands we don't review). We are an equal opportunity review site where you can read up on the latest and greatest bands as well as some obscure and underground acts.
1) We review CDs and downloadable mp3s. We don’t review streaming links; it’s too difficult to work with.
2) We no longer do interviews
3) Our news site is located at www.roughedge.news. There’s two of us doing the news these days and we keep it updated as best we can.
4) Unsigned and “unknown” artists are always a priority.
Q: Who maintains this site?
A: Slaves to metal, namely the Rough Edge posse. Seriously, we're just a collection of music fans from across the country that prefer our music loud, gritty, and aggressive.
1) This has not changed. There are just fewer of us.
Q: Why is 'such-and-such' band reviewed? They are not metal, hard rock or any other form of extreme music.
A: One of the guiding principles of Rough Edge is that we review virtually everything that we receive. Sometimes that means we review bands you haven't heard of. And occasionally it means we review something that wouldn't necessarily be considered metal -- but it probably falls in one of the other seemingly limitless number of guitar-based genres. Our rule of thumb is that, if it has loud guitars, it belongs on Rough Edge. But even that rule gets stretched sometimes, by bands like Ohgr.
1) First of all, we no longer review everything we receive. Oh, how we’d love to, but the reality is there’s too frigging much out there, and too few of us. We still try to pump out between 5 and 10 reviews a week but we receive about fifteen new review requests a day.
2) Yeah, there’s some decidedly non-hard rock and non-heavy metal bands reviewed in Rough Edge. Why? Because someone asked us to review them or because we’re fans of that music, too. We try to mark them with a special graphic so you know why they’re here.
Q: Why isn't 'such-and-such' band reviewed? They certainly are metal!
A: Once again time and availability become factors in why certain bands aren't reviewed on Rough Edge. Nearly 600 CD reviews are posted annually to Rough Edge -- it's a pretty eclectic mix of extreme metal, heavy metal, hard rock, punk rock, instrumental guitar, and other various forms of (mostly guitar-based) music. Sometimes you'll get the latest Metallica CD review or a brand new band out of Peoria, IL -- either way you'll get our honest opinion of a certain band's style and execution.
All that being said, if you’d like us to review a certain band or artist, just send an e-mail to email@example.com. We’ll make a special effort to hunt it down and get it reviewed.
Q. Do you really do two new CD reviews a day?
A: We try. Sometimes, life gets in the way, especially during football season (Monday nights are a bitch; Fridays aren't much better). Because we have only one webmaster, we are at his mercy. Hence, when he's on vacation, we're all on vacation and the site isn't updated. But we still manage about 600 CD reviews a year.
Okay. Sadly, this is completely off the mark these days, due to our limited staff. Our new reviews appear on Sundays now (sometimes Mondays) and we manage about 5-10 CD reviews a week. On the low end, that’s still close to 300 new reviews a year. And we’ve stepped up our act so we’re reviewing more new music and fewer classic selections. (That being said, we will ALWAYS review older stuff, too).
Q: Can I become a Rough Edge reviewer?
A: Sure, but only if you're serious about it. We are looking for people who are passionate about heavy music as well as those who are knowledgeable and good writers. We're also looking for people who can write at least a few reviews a month and who are willing to stick with it. Oh, yeah -- and be willing to work for free (or maybe free CDs). Still interested? Send your material to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
We’re always open to the possibility of new reviewers but we work for free and are hesitant to ask others to do the same. If you think you’d like to be part of Rough Edge, send us an e-mail and we’ll talk. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Q: I'm looking for 'so-and-so' of 'such-and-such' band. How can I find him/her?
A: We cannot answer these questions -- mostly because we don't know the answers. But even if we did, we wouldn't for reasons of privacy. Feel free to post your inquiries to the Guestbook section of Rough Edge -- perhaps someone or the person you're looking for will see the Guestbook entry and get back in touch with you. It's happened before.
1) We still get e-mail and calls from people asking us to put them in touch with a band or artist. We can’t do that. First of all, as stated above, we don’t have that kind of information. Secondly, we don’t have the time to do the research for you. May we suggest Google? That’s probably your best bet.
2) The Guestbook is dead. It was fun while it lasted but spammers put a wooden stake through its heart.
Q: How do you rate albums?
A: Although Rough Edge has a scale of 0 to 4 chainsaw guitars (click here for a breakdown) with half-chainsaws for delineation (look it up), that scale means something different to each individual reviewer. Hence, one reviewers classic may be another reviewer's beverage coaster. So before you decide to send hate mail please consider that we all love metal in its various forms – just because we rated something 2.5 chainsaws out of 4.0 doesn't mean we think your favorite band sucks. And just because your favorite CD got 3.0 stars and another got 3.5 doesn't mean the latter is better. The ratings are as individual as the writers. Of course, if you favorite band got zero chainsaws or the little guy on the crapper, that does mean we think it sucks. Sorry.
1) This isn’t so much of an issue these days because of the amount of material we receive. We tend to review the stuff we like, so most of the reviews today are positive. That doesn’t mean if we don’t review your band, we think it sucks. It just means we haven’t got around to it or something else got in the way. By the way, if you’re a artist or band that you think Rough Edge might think is interested, pester us to death. Eventually, we’ll get to you.
Q: What makes Rough Edge worth reading?
A: For one thing variety is a solid hallmark of Rough Edge. We've covered everyone from The Stash? to the bigger-than-big marketing geniuses KISS. We've covered everything from the biggest bands in metal to unknown artists struggling to make a name for themselves. We've covered instrumental guitar rock to pop-metal to black metal to hardcore to power metal to grindcore to punk and everything in-between. Just check out our news section. We mix news about the biggest bands in the world to the newest garage band playing in the garage just down the street from you. Hell, sometimes we beat the market to the punch – we were one of the first sites to sing the praises of Dog Fashion Disco and Pressure 4-5 - and sometimes we're late to the game: We've still not managed to post reviews of great bands like Enslaved. (But we'll get there).
This still stands. We do like to review hard rock/heavy metal/punk of all styles and, Jesus Christ, are there a lot of styles! But another thing that makes Rough Edge worth reading is our passion and the quality of our reviews. We give it to you like we feel it: Straight and to the point. Too many music reviews sound like craft beer labels. They’re full of flowery prose and ponderous metaphors. We just tell you what it is, if we like it and why. Usually, that’s enough to tell you what you might think of it.
Q: Does Rough Edge have any t-shirts, etc.?
A: Click on Rough Gear and see the many items available for sale through Café Press. Your purchase will help support Rough Edge. And our stuff is pretty cool, too.
Yeah, we still do, but it is woefully out of date. We’re working on that and hope to have some new merchandise available soon.
Q: I, too, have a heavy metal website. Can I copy, past and post your reviews there?
A: You most certainly may not. Everything on Rough Edge is covered by copyright law and we take every step necessary to protect that copyright. If you would like to re-post or re-print a Rough Edge review, please write to email@example.com to ask permission. You must have written permission from Rough Edge in order to re-post or re-print any of the material found on RoughEdge.com. The exception to this rule is for bands who would like to post Rough Edge's review of their material on their websites. This is permissible; all we ask is a text link leading back to RoughEdge.com and that the reviewer's name be posted on the review.
Nothing in this paragraph has changed. Please don’t make us come after you.
FAQ for Bands
Q: How can I get my band reviewed on Rough Edge?
A: It's so easy, it's almost sickening. Click here to go to the Contact page and send CDs and press kits to the address found there.
We still make it so easy it’s almost sickening. But now you can send us downloadable links to albums as well as CDs to our mailing address. The only issue here, once again, is our limited staff. If you send us a CD or a download link … and we don’t review your music … write to us until we do. I promise you we’ll get to it. Unless you’re a dick about in which case you can go fuck yourself.
Q: When will the review of my band's CD be available?
A: With very few exceptions (stuff that really doesn't fit the Rough Edge criteria) the staff at Rough Edge reviews every CD that is received. Every attempt will be made to review your band's CD it in a timely manner, but don't be surprised if it takes a couple of months to get the review posted to the website. For unsigned bands we will make an effort to notify the band when their review is posted to assist the band in completing their press kits. One of the things you can do to speed up the process is to e-mail the editor for updates. Some sites may not like to be bugged that way. We think of it as part of the process. If you need a review by a certain date, we're willing to work with you there, too. Just remember this: We may promise to complete the review for you by such-and-such a date, but we can't promise you a great review. That's up to the music.
As mentioned previously, we no longer review everything we receive. That’s just plain impossible (at the moment). That being said, we try to review as much as we can and, also as mentioned above, unsigned and unknown bands are priority. As for a time frame, it may take weeks, possibly months but probably not. If you don’t see your review up within, say, three weeks of sending it out, start pestering us just as described above. We promise we’ll get to your music. Unless you’re a dick about it, in which case, as previously stated, you can go fuck yourself.
Q: How can I get my band interviewed by Rough Edge?
A: One thing we are short on is time and interviews are very time-consuming, especially the long, laborious process of transcribing from tapes. Hence, e-mail interviews are preferred. By the way, we're not always looking for reviewers but we are always looking for interviewers. If you're one of those people who has the time and the inkling to interview artists -- and you can write up a half-way decent interview -- please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Note from Rough Edge staff to unsigned bands and artists: if you e-mail us and tell us you're going to send a CD/press kit and fail to do so you will pretty much eliminate yourselves from future consideration for promotion on the Rough Edge website. Simply said, you will be quickly forgotten. We get dozens if not hundreds of unsigned band CDs each year. If we had a dime for every band that promised to send a CD/press kit but never followed through on the promise we'd be able to quit our day-jobs and focus our time and energy on Rough Edge. So, as the cliché goes, mean what you say and say what you mean. The bottom line is that we don't have the time to follow up on making sure you sent stuff.
No. We are no longer doing interviews at Rough Edge. If that changes I the future, we’ll make an announcement.
Another pet peeve of ours is receiving "sampler CDs." If you've got a full CD completed, send us the entire CD. Don't just pick and choose your two or three favorite songs, burn them to a CD-R and expect us to do a full review. We do review samplers, but your band will never get the full consideration they deserve if you only send us a couple of tracks from a full CD. Demos are another thing entirely - if you've only recorded two or three songs then, by all means, send us just those two or three songs. We love demos.
Something else that doesn’t happen as much these days but this still stands. If you’ve got a 12-track CD, and expect us to review the album based on a three-track sample, that just ain’t gonna happen.
As for web-based music, we'd love to visit every site and review the .mp3s available there. But, again for reasons of time, we cannot. Please take the time to burn your music to a CD and send it to us at the address below. It'll help us help you.Of course, there are always special circumstances. If that's the case with your band, just write us and let us know at email@example.com. We'll try and work something out.
1) CDs are no longer required. Downloadable links for full albums are always welcome. Please do not send us streaming albums, however. They just don’t work for us.
FAQ for Publicity/PR Folks
Q: How do I send press kits and CDs for review on Rough Edge?
A: Visit our contact page for full address information or drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can send downloadable album links as well. Please do not send streaming links. They don’t work for us.
Q: How can I get news about my bands, touring schedules, and other important information on Rough Edge?
A: Send all news related items to email@example.com. We may not post everything you send, but we'll do our best to regularly feature the bands you represent and other acts your label supports. We also post news for unsigned and underground artists so feel free to send any of that information along as well.
This has not changed.
Q: How can I advertise on Rough Edge?
A: Go to the Ad Rates link found on the bottom of the Rough Edge homepage or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Don’t bother with the “Ad Rates” page. Just write to email@example.com and we’ll get back to you.
Note to publicity/PR folks: in addition to the questions answered in this section it would behoove you to read the Q&A for bands, above, especially those of you who are representing unsigned acts or represent independent labels.
Copyright © 2021 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.