Neil Daniels Interview – author for such biographies as Metallica, Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, Journey, Judas Priest, Robert Plant and lots more.
Neil Daniels Interview
1. You have two new books coming out Rock & Metal Chronicles – Volume 1 and AOR Chronicles – Volume 1 how much time did it take you to write them?
These two collections feature album reviews I’ve written over the past ten years of writing about rock music. The AOR one is doing pretty well at the minute and covers some of the recent AOR albums. The Rock & Metal one obviously covers the heavier side of music that I’ve been writing about from Motorhead to Megadeth and some lesser known bands. They’re both hefty 400 page paperbacks published by Createspace. I have an Amazon author’s page so all the details are on there if you type in my name. I’ve also just published a book called Hard Rock Rebels – Talking With Rock Stars which features dozens of interviews with members of Guns N Roses, Europe, Judas Priest, Journey and many more. It’s 476 pages. They’re pretty cool books and are part of a series of collections I’ll be releasing during the next year or so via Createspace.
2. How many books have you published up till now?
I’ve had 18 books published with titles on Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Journey and Metallica as well as AC/DC and Bon Jovi et al. I’ve got commercial biogs out this year on Pantera, UFO, Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet and ZZ Top. It’s pretty exciting. I’m not quite as prolific as Martin Popoff or Dave Thompson but it’s not a race and I admire those guys immensely.
3. Are you keeping busy this summer with concerts and music?
I don’t go to as many concerts as I used too. This year I’ve only been to see Santana , Eric Clapton and Thunder/Whitesnake/Journey but I also have tickets for Neil Young, Crosby , Stills & Nash, Roger Waters, Billy Joel and Black Sabbath. I’m spending my money on artists that I’ve never seen live before. I like a wide range of rock to be honest from singer songwriters to thrash via prog, AOR, hair metal etc.
4. Would you say bands have less importance today than in the 1980s?
Not really. I just think they’re less exposed these days and the press don’t give them as much attention as they used to preferring instead to concentrate their time on one hit wonder boy bands and controversial rappers. Bands matter to people that listen to rock. It’s just not as popular as far as the mainstream, publics consciousness is concerned but it’s emphatically not dead.
5. Do you have a huge collection of memorabilia for rock and metal?
It’s pretty big. My main focus is on albums and books and magazines. I have a huge CD collection and hundreds of books on music as well as a massive music magazine collection. Stuff comes in all the time. I also collect comics, fiction and DVDs. Since watching Toy Hunter I’ve resisted to going back to collecting toys.
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6. Without Social Media could bands today manage to survive?
Probably not. It’s the same with writers. The music and publishing industries were too slow to react and now they’re fucked. That’s partly why I’ve gone down the Createspace route. It fills in the gaps between the commercial books. I’m on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Linkedin and I also have a website band a blog. It’s very time consuming but it’s good press. However, there’s only so many hours in a day.
7. What were your earliest influences in life?
I was and am a huge film buff so mostly filmmakers like Spielberg, Lucas and Scorsese. I was a big fan of the 70s American directors. Still am. I love writers from Clive James to Harlan Ellison and Stephen King. Arthur C Clarke was an early influence. Too many to mention. I love comic book writers like Alan Moore and Warren Ellis too.
8. What would be some of your main influences today for writing books?
Warren Ellis because he can move between commercial comics and indie stuff as well as trying out new self publishing ventures. Dave Thompson and Martin Popoff in the music writing world are great at what they do. Clive James because he’s so perceptive. Alan Moore is a genius.
9. What could we find obscure in your music collection at home for 2013?
Much of what I listen to predates grunge so I guess it all depends on your knowledge of music. I’ve got a lot of the Rock Candy reissues and they’re pretty obscure. At the minute all I seem to be listening to is Billy Joel’s back catalogue.
10. Will the music industry pick up again or is it all the internet now and forever?
It’s obviously a struggle but I think CDs are dead now and only appeal to collectors. Most people buy online. I doubt any kid under 18 buys CDs or DVDs for that matter. The internet has screwed over anything that’s a physical atheistic object – books, DVDs, CDs and it looks like it could do the same with comics. It’s sad. I love collecting this stuff and won’t stop. My house is like an Aladdin’s cave.
Extra questions for Neil Daniels
Life without music would be : quiet
Favorite movie : The Shawshank Redemption
Favorite sport : None
Favorite food : Indian
Favorite drink : larger
Favorite saying : get fucked
Favorite car : don’t drive
Favorite book : The City & The Stars by Arthur C Clarke
Favorite band : Black Sabbath
Star Wars or Star Trek : Star Trek
PC or Mac : PC
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