I acutally would have love to see their faces when the results came in. They must have not believed their own eyes that the band they always had disregarded to make it through. The fact is that nothing will change their opinion even now probably, but it was a great feeling after all.
When I filled out the form to enter ourselves into a contest run by the german Metal Hammer Magazine by hope of winning anything at all were limited at best. Their reputation wasn’t really anything other than being „The Sun“ of the metal scene. You buy their ad space and they write great stuff about your band. Bigger bands were doing it like this for years. We never had that kind of budget lying around.
We sent in our finished albums anyway every time. Truth be told, we never got anything in return, other than a rushed four-sentence-review that did not do anything for us. The Metal Hammer stands for the mainstream within a supposedly pretty independent music genre. And that’s how they always treated bands like us. To small to even bother. Didn’t surprise me all. They are owned buy the biggest newspaper publishing company in germany, which says it all right away from the get go.
The winner of the contest would earn a slot to play at the annual Metal Hammer Awards. Some pretty well known artists like Udo Dirkschneider (Ex-Accept), Doro Pesch or Tobi Sammett (Edguy, Avantasia) were making appearances, play live and accepting awards every year, so it would be a big show for us.
We reached the online voting phase, and a buddy of mine said right away: „You got to buy votes man. That’s how it’s done today.“ He said he did it with his band recently. „You just go to this website and they take care of it, everybody is doing it. If you want to win, you have to play the game bro.“
I knew about these fake votes from god knows where before of course. But I thought to myself, well fuck that, we have enough fans so that we can make it without cheating, we just have to mobilize everybody. Would not be cheap but cheaper that buying ourselves some votes.
And so we did, we fired on all cylinders. Worked our butts off by engaging friends and families. Gathered every fan in every corner of the world and FUCKING WON THE THING IN A LANDSLIDE! Eat your heart out metal hammer!
To be fair, we were treated very professionally at the venue and got to meet a lot of awesome people there. Hell, they even let us walk the „black“ (as opposed to red) carpet before the event.
It shows that a small band like us can reach highs that seem to be unreachable at first. But especially with the help of the metal community that spreads all over the world, you can do it. You can make you dreams reality. Each one will be earned with hard work and you have to take it one step at a time. Again I have to say “thank you so much“ to everyone that voted again every single day to get us there, you are the true heart and soul of this band.
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