Lockdown listening 6: The Metal Hammer podcast

Lockdown listening 6: The Metal Hammer podcast

Need something to listen to during lockdown? No problem, let Music Week recommend some key podcasts. Monthly title Metal Hammer were early adopters of the medium, launching theirs all the way back in 2010. Here, editor Merlin Alderslade and deputy editor Eleanor Goodman explain why…

Was the Metal Hammer Podcast conceived as a promotional tool for the magazine, or does it have a different remit?

Merlin Alderslade: “When the Metal Hammer Podcast first started, the impression I got as a listener was that it was very much conceived as its own thing: an extension of the brand more than a reflection of it at that point. When I joined the podcast a few months after joining Metal Hammer in 2011, we decided to bring it a little closer to the tone of the magazine without undermining what had made it a success to start with. We felt like podcasting was a necessary brand addition and a vital promotional tool in the modern era, so we relaunched last year with a view to providing another platform through which Metal Hammer’s core values and ethos can be amplified.”

Eleanor Goodman: “I think, perhaps, podcasts are reaching an audience who turned off from traditional radio, but are happy to engage with something that targets their specific area of interest and is accessible wherever and whenever they want. The barrier to entry is also lower than with a print magazine, where you have to go to a shop or website to purchase it (though in Hammer’s case, it’s totally worth it!). It sounds cheesy, but as with any good radio show or magazine, a good podcast should feel like a good friend. Something that understands you, that you want to spend time with, and that brings you joy.”

How has the Hammer Podcast grown over the years?

MA: “When we relaunched, we knew we were entering a very different climate to the one the original Metal Hammer Podcast left behind. Nowadays there are a lot more podcasts out there, so it was key that we offered something a bit different. We decided to go with a streamlined, no-nonsense presentation: an honest dissection of the issues that matter to fans. We also wanted to make sure that we were keeping the Metal Hammer brand itself at the heart of the podcast, which is why you’ll often hear us talk through some of the most interesting things in each month’s magazine or take a deep dive in the things blowing up on our website. And it seems to work; recently it’s helped us secure a great partnership with Deezer, and we’re looking into other ways to expand and improve upon the Podcast moving forward.”

EG: “Since relaunching, we created a dedicated readers’ group where people could chat and ask us questions for the podcast and there have been some brilliant reactions on there, from people telling us about new bands they’ve been listening to following our recommendations. We also joked on our first anniversary that we wanted a cake, and someone sent one to the office!”

What are you particularly proud of in terms of the content you’ve put out so far?

MA: “The Live Podcast we did in London in 2012 was a real highlight, as we packed a hundred or so listeners into a club in Leicester Square. It felt like a true celebration. Recently, we’ve put out some great, personal interviews with the likes of Nergal [from Behemoth] and Andrew WK!”

You can read the first part of our Lockdown Listening series here.  

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