Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Writer Wednesday - Chad Arnold

I first met Chad Arnold in 2004, shortly after Roger and I started dating.  I could probably embarrass him with lots of stories of when he was just a teenager, but I'll be nice and just say that he's pretty awesome and despite being mostly passionate about thrash metal, he once spent an entire five-hour-long drive with me talking about financial planning, because that is something I like talking about.  When he first started Global Thrash Assault, Roger and I weren't sure what to think, but in the two years he's been writing it, he's gained literally thousands of fans.  (To give you an idea of what this means, I've been working Call & Response for seven years, and we have 68 fans.)  Couldn't be more excited for him.

Chad Arnold, enjoying a Christmas beer.

Who are you? I'm Chad. Avid thrash metal fan and the brother of Roger Arnold who is the long-time boyfriend of the very person who was kind enough to send me these questions for her blog, Kristin Maffei.

Where can you be found online? Do you have a blog or other online receptacle for your work? If so, how would you describe it to a stranger you've just met while on vacation? I run a blog that focuses mainly on "underground" thrash metal (think 80's Metallica and Slayer) from around the world called Global Thrash Assault. Occasionally I'll discuss bands that every fan of the genre knows about but my goal is to highlight the bands that no one has ever heard of. I do this in any way, shape or form possible, whether it's by sharing a bands song on the site's Facebook page, urging people to follow a band on the site's Twitter account, or writing an article about a band on the main website itself. I've been blogging about my favorite genre of music for nearly two years and in this time things have grown beyond my wildest dreams.

What started out as a hobby that I thought would never last has turned into nearly 3,000 Facebook fans, 200+ Twitter followers (let's be real, who uses Twitter?) and damn near 200,000 views on the blog itself. Just about every day I receive emails from bands scattered throughout the world containing links to Facebook, ReverbNation and BandCamp pages saying something along the lines of "love your blog, check us out!"

I don't just share links and write about bands though. In the early days of the blog I made a few videos that featured five or so bands from different parts of the world.  I called them "video podcasts" for lack of a better world. It was basically me telling everyone how great a band was and then playing a track by said band. I did two or three of these before I decided to stop with them all together. Instead I focused my attention on a much larger project, one that, as a fan of the genre, I knew would be enjoyed by both bands and fans from around the world. Last December all my efforts finally paid off when I released "Wreck Your Neck: Volume 1," a free digital compilation featuring 26 bands from North America, Australia and throughout Europe. Countless emails were sent, an all-nighter or two was pulled and some of my hard earned money was spent having my buddy Tom Martin design a Global Thrash Assault logo and some pretty sweet artwork for the release. It was all worth it. Every dollar spent, every hour of sleep lost, and every key pressed. At last check the compilation had over 700 downloads. Volume 1 was so successful I announced there would be a Volume 2 earlier this year. I enjoyed putting together the compilations together so much that I became interested in a possible career in broadcasting. I'm currently looking into starting a podcast where I play nothing but killer music and interview different bands/band members. I would love to make the whole thing interactive where fans can call in and ask questions or share there thoughts but I'm taking it one step at a time, I want to focus on making a quality show more than anything else.

What inspired you to start writing/blogging? When did it happen? I started Global Thrash Assault just under two years ago out of pure boredom. I had just quit a retail job I worked at for six years after they passed me up on a management position I should of had four years prior. Disgusted with the thought of running a register I decided to take some time off and enjoy life a little, I had another job so it wasn't like there wasn't any money coming in. Well "some time off" turned into "I'd rather be dead than work retail again", so I eventually succumbed to the couch potato life style. Sitting on a couch drinking beer may sound glorious but it gets old pretty damn quick. I needed something to do. Anything. So I weighed my options. Heavy metal music has been a constant in my life since I was a teenager so I knew I wanted to do something involving that. I don't exactly know how I came to the decision to start Global Thrash Assault but eventually the kid that hadn't written a sentence since high school (which was four years prior) and was too damn lazy to even read the Spark Notes decided to start a blog on thrash metal. Best decision I've ever made.

Why do you write?  If you told me two years ago that I would still be doing this I would of laughed and been like "no way!" I honestly thought I would write a few entries and never touch the blog again. I think the reason I keep writing is because I enjoy sharing my passion for thrash metal with people who are just as passionate about the genre as myself. There's nothing like seeing a band share what I wrote with its fan base. Having people from the other side of the world reading what I write and then writing me about their own band. Meeting people who follow my blog at a show and talking to them for hours like we're life long friends catching up. Introducing myself to a band I've written about and shaking their hands while they tell me how my support means to them. These are all things that I've experienced since I started this blog nearly two years ago and they're the reasons why running Global Thrash Assault has become one of my favorite things to do in life.

Your writing inspires me. Who inspires you? From a writers perspective I don't really have any inspirations. As I mentioned earlier I was the kid growing up who couldn't be bothered to even read the Spark Notes. Speaking in general though I'm pretty inspired by musicians, and not just from the heavy metal genre either. Musicians in general. I struggle with forming sentences at times and these people are writing music and lyrics. I really don't know how they do it. Just thinking about it blows my mind.

In keeping with the admittedly loose travel theme of Not Intent On Arriving, if you could have an all-expenses paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go? Traveling is something I've been really getting into the past few years. This past Spring I spent an entire vacation touring through the mid-west with two bands I've discussed on my blog, Lich King and Smash Potater. I saw St. Louis, Kansas City, Des Moines, Minneapolis, Madison, Chicago and Toledo on the tour and had the time of my life. I slept in my car most nights and ate greasy fast food for every meal but I loved every minute of it. I would totally do that again on a moment's notice. I would love to see the West Coast but if it's an all expenses paid trip it would have to be Europe. The heavy metal scene over there is absolutely insane. Some of my favorite bands are from Europe and the thought of seeing them live in front of their hometown crowd is something that I've been dying to witness for quite some time now. I've actually been asked to sponsor a small festival in the UK next year called Full Thrash Assault. The date and line-up were confirmed a year in advance so I'm trying to schedule next year's vacation around the event. I don't know if it will work out but I'm hoping it does.

What is your favorite place on earth? I don't really have a favorite place on earth. I spend a lot of time in my room just listening to music but I don't think that's the kind of place you're talking about. I do however enjoy the Autumn season in upstate New York. It's not uncommon for me to get in my car this time of year and drive north for hours just to get a cup of coffee and enjoy the foliage. It sounds crazy, and it probably is, it's just nice to take nature in every now and then.

Anything else you'd like us to know? There's really nothing else to say. I'm really a simple guy.

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