Quality books written about metal used to be a rarity on store shelves. Fortunately, the shortage has abated in recent years, buyoed by Keith Richards’s tell-all autobiography.
Indeed, there are rock books of all stripes hitting the shelves – both physical and digital – on a monthly basis.
Interestingly enough, when I wrote my second book, Bang Your Head, there was another book titled “Sound of the Beast” that came out at just about the same time. Penned by Ian Christie, the author would later start his own publishing company, Bazillion Points, which is dedicated to cool underground metal titles.
Christie has already put out a metal cooking book (Hell Bent For Cooking), a tale about progressive metal (Mean Deviation), a photo gift book about the history of San Francisco thrash (Murder in the Front Row), which we also covered here on TG, and much more.
What’s especially cool about Bazillion Points is it’s a DIY (Do It Yourself) company. And indeed, Christie does it all himself, without distribution via major publishers. As Christie recently told Made Loud, “I’m a big believer in teaching yourself what you need to know and pressing forward as best you can. The DIY approach to life is the only way to go. I got a lot out of school, but as far as the work of running a publishing company on a daily basis? Trial by fire! But I had lots and lots of experiences in life that led up to this, being in bands, releasing music, going on tour, performing around the world. I picked up a lot of random knowledge along the way like a sponge, and now I get to use it all.”
Yes, the rock book is hot right now, but Bazillion Points is a true underground company. As Christie told me, “When every member of Motley Crue now has multiple books, you know the rock bio is facing a glut and some trouble is up ahead. You know the score — when our books were released back around 2003, there was nothing. Now there’s a good variety, but also a lot of second rate slop that degrades the hard-fought advances metal books have made in the past decade.”
He also promises that Bazillion isn’t going to go all digital any time soon.
“The new iPad has 2048 pixels on its longest side. A Bazillion Points book like Only Death Is Real (about the legendary Swiss band Hellhammer) or Murder in Front Row is about 4000 ink dots in height. So there’s really no comparison, print quality still kills screen quality. If you want to see every wrinkle in Cliff Burton’s snarl, pick up Murder in the Front Row.
“If you want to see a pixelated digital impression of a photo of Cliff Burton, the Internet is probably fine for you. Our non-fiction books are available in ebook format. In those cases, our printed copies are still a better keepsake. We will keep printing books as long as readers want them, rest assured! The Internet is still where only a minority of books are sold,” he added.