A LETTER FROM ROCKWiRED'S EDiTOR:
In December of 2019 ROCKWIRED came up with the hashtag #thisisnotthend to signal to our readers that after a year long hiatus ROCKWIRED.COM was not gone. In fact looked to the new year with tremendous optimism and a plan to go forward as an online publication just as we had throughout our fifteen year history. For a while it even seemed that our hopes and plans for 2020 were going to work out and I as the chief officer of this enterprise (and currently the only officer) felt that I had gotten my mojo back. My "hiatus" from ROCKWIRED through much of 2019 wasn't mucha hiatus. I worked a job as a legal assistant and am still doing so and the challenges of working a day gig along with everything that goes along with running ROCKWIRED successfully seemed impossible. However, around Christmas time of 2019 I had come to the realization that I needed ROCKWIRED in my life again.
The first couple of months of running ROCKWIRED.COM again felt exhilarating. Everything felt as if it were falling into place with readership reaching over 100,000 unique visitors. ROCKWIRED was going through the motions of being an enterprise in the throes of an exciting relaunch. And then COVID-19 hit.
Since the website's founding in 2015, ROCKWIRED survived a paralyzing global recession which took years for me to recover from. Money and happiness was scarce and worries and personal obstacles were many but my entrepreneurial drive was challenged by those uncertain economic and political times and as a result ROCKWIRED prospered. And eventually I did. ROCKWIRED went from a mere website to the home of the semi-daily podcast series ROCKWIRED RADIO PROFILES, a weekly jazz show JAZZED AND BLUE: PROFILES IN BLUES AND JAZZ and a podcast series dedicated to American Indian and First Nations music makers called ABORIGINAL SOUNDS which was titled ROCK IS RED in an effort to sound less Canadian.
In 2012 ROCKWIRED stepped it up again with the launch of its montly publication ROCKWIRED MAGAZINE, a vibrant and exciting monthly journal dedicated the latest and the greatest that active rock had to offer. For five years, we thrilled readers with in-depth interviews with bands and artists through the continental U.S. and beyond as well as some of industry's most innovative entrepreneurs and business folk. When the magazine ceased operations in August of 2017, ROCKWIRED.COM carried on the role of the magazine until early 2019.
I knew the world of music making was in danger this year when SXSW was cancelled due to fear of a then possible COVID-19 outbreak. This was still in the days when people thought you could get coronavirus from drinking Corona beer and many, like myself, felt that maybe this was too drastic of a call. Slowly, but surely, other music events and eventually entire tours were getting canceled. Before you knew it the music industry was in shambles and the world was on fire with everything from a global pandemic, civil unrest and a legion of fucking Karens. Almost overnight, a new, fractured world emerged filled with video conferencing, wearing masks, conspiracy theories, fist fights over wearing a mask or not and the politicization of a global pandemic. With chaos everywhere you turned I started to wonder if this was a world where ROCKWIRED was going to continue. I certainly had no interest in the lead singer for TRAPT going on with a bunch of his racist bullshit. Regrettably, I took a step back from ROCKWIRED once again and had no intention to do so.
In the days prior to COVID-19 I had always imagined ROCKWIRED as this colorless island where rock music thrived and politics could be ignored. Now, I don't think you can ignore the world outside in writing about or dicussing new music from a band that is struggling to make it in a time where public gatherings can't happen for fear of spreading a virus. If my frustrations or political leanings show in something I'm writing, folks are just gonna have to deal with it or go somwhere else. In my experience, rock n roll wasn't always about escapism. That was disco. However, rock n roll is about abandon and letting it all hang out and cutting loose and not giving a flying fuck and it is that recklessness that is fueling my desire to return to doing ROCKWIRED again.
Four fifteen years, ROCKWIRED.COM has done its part to bring to help promote and the increase the profile of independent music makers who get lost in the hustle and bustle of a music industry that is all to fixated on talent shows such as THE VOICE and AMERICAN IDOL. At ROCKWIRED, the artist and the entreprenuer are celebrated and there are no plans to change that core mission as our publication looks with anticipation to our next fifteen years, virus be damned.
Of course that doesn't mean that there aren't going to be a few changes along the way. While we find it exciting to have a foot in the present in terms of what is out there musically, these uncertain times call for the comfort of the past. Therefore, ROCKWIRED.COM will also dedicate a good portion of its editorial to articles on pop culture and classic albums and films. Rock music has always informed the culture and has never stood alone or separate from culture and in a time when the world seems to be getting smaller and smaller because of the impact of COVID-19, ROCKWIRED sees no reason to simply continue as a publication with only one single interest.
At the time that I am preparing this statement I find myself struggling with KOMPOZER software that I have been using for a decade and a half to bring this little website of mine too life and finding myself amused and annoyed by all of the steps that I have to go through to get something like this done. However, those thoughts are tempered by a sense that the toils and tribulations are all worth it. Hell, I'm even getting a little giddy at the slightest changes that are coming to the website but the giddiness is being kept in check by the knowledge of all of the work that lies ahead. Maybe I was a little too obvious in bringing up the hashtag that ROCKWIRED.COM had been using since the begining of the year but there is tons of hope packed in those five little words and they mean so much more now than they did before the world changed. This is not the end!
CONTACT BRiAN LUSH AT: firstname.lastname@example.org