101 Rules for… NWOBHM

February 21, 2016 § Leave a comment

1. The more obscure the better.
2. Hearing Metallica‘s cover of “Am I Evil?” does not make you a NWOBHM fan.
3. Without Diamond Head, there would be no Metallica.
4. Without NWOBHM, there would be no Thrash.
5. Constantly complain that Thrash “killed off” NWOBHM; while secretly liking Thrash.
6. When someone asks you what NWOBHM stands for, tell them something like “the best genre of music, ever.” Make sure they still don’t understand what it means.
7. Iron Maiden after “Killers” is not NWOBHM.
8. Complain that Iron Maiden “stole” Bruce Dickinson from Samson, while praising him for his work in Iron Maiden.
9. Dress like you’re from the ’80s, this includes long unkempt hair, ripped jeans, ripped denim jackets with obscure band patches and an even more obscure band t-shirt.
10. Pagan Altar are gods amongst men, this is unarguable.
11. Def Leppard really really suck! (Apart from their debut).
12. When forming your own NWOBHM “tribute” band, record your album in the key of A.
13. In fact, record your whole career in A.
14. Make sure at least one song has the main riff lifted from “2 Minutes To Midnight”.
15. Which was CLEARLY a rip-off from “Welcome To Hell” by Venom anyway.
16. Ballads must have a clean picked intro, a crushing middle section, followed by a fast outro.
17. Only write songs about sex, drugs and rock n roll…
18. And the Devil.
19. Never down tune your guitars, ever (unless you’re Venom).
20. You’re not Venom and never will be.
21. Bad production values are a MUST, if it’s highly produced, it’s not NWOBHM.
22. Spend exactly £5.35 on producing your album.
23. Did I mention the more obscure, the better?
24. Constantly complain that band X “should’ve made it big.”
25. Complain about bands making it big and going commercial.
26. Kevin Heyborne is a living legend, even if he can’t keep a stable Angel Witch line-up for more than 5 seconds.
28. Track down every demo, EP and single of your favorite NWOBHM band; go as far as contacting a former member and conducting an interview with him.
30. Start up a Neo-NWOBHM band…
31. But realize your only fans will probably be in Germany and/or Sweden…
32. And you can’t afford to move there…
33. Nor would you want to because then you wouldn’t be NWOBHM.
34. Major record companies are evil; they killed off every NWOBHM act.
35. Only sign with small independent record companies…
36. Or Neat.
37. Brian Ross is your idol.
38. Anything past 1986 isn’t real metal….
39. Unless it’s a NWOBHM reunion.
40. Deliberately spell your band name wrong: substitute vowels for consonants (mainly y’s) e.g. Tygers Of Pan Tang, Tytan, Phyne Thanquz, etc.
41. Name your band something completely irrelevant to the subject matter you sing about, e.g. Satan.
42. Worship Diamond Head. Daily, if necessary.
43. Talk to mainstream metal fans about your favourite obscure NWOBHM act and tell them they’re better than anyone they say (which is right, right?).
44. NWOBHM is the only genre that bad songwriting is acceptable.
45. When recording your “live” album (keep in mind rule 21 and 22), dub in a few of your mates drunkenly shouting after every song has finished.
46. Constantly remind people that Garage Inc. is far inferior to the original songs (especially the Diamond Head and Blitzkrieg covers).
47. Release your demo as a sleeveless 7″ only make 500 copies; that way it’ll be obscure enough to be classified as NWOBHM.
48. Go to every NWOBHM reunion concert ever, even if they are held only in Germany and/or Sweden.
49. High pitched vocals are a must. This is non-negotiable, unless you’re Venom (see rule 20).
50. Keyboards are optional, keyboard solos however, are not.
51. Never keep the same line-up for more than one single/demo/EP. Fire someone if you have to…
52. It’ll probably be the drummer anyway.
53. Motörhead and Judas Priest are not NWOBHM…
54. But they’re pretty kick-ass nonetheless.
55. To put your band in good light, tell people you used to perform at the Soundhouse, even if you weren’t born in the ’60s/’70s…
56. They’d probably never find out anyway.
57. NEVER under any circumstances give up on your quest for obscurity, no matter how far you dig, there will ALWAYS be a more obscure band out there (see rule 1).
58. Scorn Metallica for stealing Diamond Head‘s glory…
59. Even though they played together on at least one occasion.
60. Lars Ulrich is an ass.
61. Barry “Thuderstick” Graham isn’t.
62. Track down all of Bruce Dickinson’s early recordings with Speed, Xero, etc.
63. Even though they are pretty average at best.
64. In NWOBHM, women are acceptable band members unlike that homo-erotic Thrash malarkey….
65. Keeping in mind rule 12, record a really heavy and fast song in the key of E…
66. Make it a B-side of a lightweight melodic rock song recorded in A…
67. The A-side is intended to get “recognized.”
68. Getting recognized and becoming mainstream is not NWOBHM.
69. Urchin are not NWOBHM but Dave Murray and Adrian Smith played in them so it’s okay.
70. There’s much more to Holocaust than just “The Small Hours” but their version was better than Metallica‘s.
71. Their version of “Master Of Puppets” is also better than Metallica‘s.
72. Bass MUST be audible, but keep in mind rules 21 and 22.
73. Twin guitars are a must, this is essential…
74. Unless you’re Venom (see rule 20).
75. Record a load of demos, stuff them in a box, break the band up and wait 20 years until “finding” them again, release them as “The Complete Anthology.”
76. Instead of recommending the more known NWOBHM bands to interested friends, show them your collection of obscure 7″ singles and demo tapes, tell them “you can look but not touch”…
77. No, you haven’t listened to them either.
78. The NWOBHM Encyclopaedia by Malc McMillan is your bible…
79. You have it by your bedside table and read it every night.
80. Owning a few Iron Maiden albums does not make you NWOBHM…
81. Even if they are self titled and Killers.
82. Track down your favorite NWOBHM bands elusive out of print “second album.”
83. Realize it’s crap, but keep in anyway because you just shelled out 100quid for it on eBay.
84. Following rule 83, debut albums are ALWAYS a NWOBHM band’s best work, this is unarguable.
85. You thought I was going to say “unless you’re Venom” didn’t you?
86. Venom‘s debut IS their best work, period.
87. And possibly the worst produced album, ever.
88. Re-release all your albums “remastered” with all your demos and EPs tacked on the end.
89. Your debut album must be raw and frantic; your sophomore album must be either hair metal or AOR.
90. Your album and/or single cover must be a black and white sketch done by your mate who does art in college (part time, of course) of either your band, the Grim Reaper, skulls, or some valiant warrior on horseback.
91. Don’t sing about the Grim Reaper, skulls, or some valiant warrior on horseback.
92. Following rules 65 and 66, record a cheesy ballad with synthesizers, make it 9 minutes long and release the lot as an EP.
93. Paul Di’Anno is still cool even if he was fired from Iron Maiden and done precisely nothing since then.
94. To preserve your legacy, DON’T record an album, just singles, demos and EP’s, this will ensure your place in the NWOBHM hall of fame…
95. After that see rule 75.
96. Record all your material in your front room or garage.
97. Paradoxically, foreign members are allowed in NWOBHM bands, hell, even full foreign bands can be classified as NWOBHM as long as they played at least one gig in London during the ’80s.
98. Progressive elements ARE allowed in NWOBHM, unlike that boring Thrash malarkey…
99. Thrash is actually really really cool, even if it is American.
100. Remember kids, the more obscure the band, the better they are!
101. Don’t take this list too seriously.


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