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Speakers, Moderators and Panellists

General Information

Friday, October 2, 2009
at Ramada Downtown Hotel
For information on the Metal Music Conference Hotel click here: Venues
Events times TBA

A one day conference format for metal bands and fans that will include a variety of topics including live interviews of band members performing at the festival; and panel discussions on how to get ahead in a highly competitive environment and a dwindling pool of label money. A number of high profile speakers and panelists from the international metal music scene, including metal label A&R reps, music journalists, tour managers, agents, and promoters will be joining us for the day. Topics will include things like: what it takes to get signed these days, tips on landing tours, how to get endorsements and distribution deals, how to promote your band, how to improve your live metal music photography, etc.

Festival Hotel and info on special room rate for Out of Town Concertgoers: Click Here


Band Stream
- How can bands get ahead in a highly competitive environment and a dwindling pool of label money?
- What does it takes to get signed these days; what labels are looking for? How to get label attention
- Choosing to stay Independant; what it takes to "Do It Yourself
- How to get Endorsements and Distribution Deals
- How to Promote your Band and other DIY tips
- Getting reviews and radio play; is the press pack passé?
- Tips on landing tours and working with promoters
- How do you get an agent? What is the current touring climate like?
- The cost of touring and the return on investment; planning your own tour

Fan Stream
- Improving your live metal music photography
- The future of music journalism; the demise of print music magazines
- The metal music documentary
- Live interviews with selected band members who will be performing at the festival


Conference starts at 12:30 pm and will end at 6:30 pm
Schedule for the topics will be announced soon.

Speakers, Moderators and Panelists

Special Guests:

Martin Popoff Martin Popoff

Martin Popoff has been described as "the world's most famous heavy metal journalist." At approximately 7900 (with over 7000 appearing in his books), he has unofficially written more record reviews than anybody in the history of music writing. Additionally, Martin has penned 27 books on hard rock, heavy metal, classic rock and record collecting. He was Editor In Chief of the now retired Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles, Canada's foremost metal publication for 14 years, and also contributes to Revolver, Guitar World, Goldmine, Record Collector, bravewords.com, lollipop.com and hardradio.com, with many record label band bios and liner notes to his credit as well.

Born in Castlegar, British Columbia, Canada and raised in nearby Trail, Martin went on to complete an MBA, work for Xerox, then co-own a graphic design and print brokering firm, before becoming a full-time rock critic in 1998. Gillan, Max Webster, Deep Purple, ZZ Top and Black Sabbath are his favourite five bands of all time. An incurable collector, Martin's music archive consists of approximately 12,000 LPs, 15,000 CDs, 3,000 45s, 1400 backstage passes, 2900 personally obtained autographed items, and the tapes, digital files and hard copies of his approximately 1500 interviews conducted since 1994 (but he really wants to paint and maybe have his work appear on a ZZ Top album cover one day).Martin currently resides in Toronto His website www.martinpopoff.com, includes detailed descriptions and ordering information for the 23 or so books of his that are currently in print.

Paul Masvidal Paul Masvidal

At the age of 16, Paul Masvidal would pioneer one of today’s most noteworthy progressive jazz / rock / metal -fusion bands, Cynic. After releasing four demos with the band, Masvidal joined the tech death-metal band Death to record “Human” (1991), arguably Death's most critically acclaimed album. After the release, Masvidal returned to Cynic to work on their debut album; “Focus” (1993) which would become a landmark in the genre of technical-progressive metal. 1994 would see the break-up of Cynic and the birth of various projects including: Portal, Gordian Knot and most recently Aeon Spoke who released an album on SPV Records in 2007. In 2006, Masvidal announced the reunion of Cynic. The release of “Traced in Air” (2008) would follow, along with a streak of live performances beginning in November 2007. Masvidal possesses a vast range of musical styles, from pop, jazz, classical, rock, to progressive metal. In between band commitments he writes and performs music for television and motion pictures. Currently, Masvidal is touring with Cynic.

Sean Reinert Sean Reinert

Sean Reinert is a jazz / rock / metal drummer who at the age of 16 formed the jazz-fusion powerhouse, Cynic with his childhood friend Paul Masvidal. After four years into Cynic, both Reinert and Masvidal joined Death to record the 1991 album “Human.” After a brief Death tour, Reinert as well as Masvidal began working with Cynic once again to release their debut album “Focus” (1993). During these sessions, Reinert stepped away from his double-bass death-metal drumming style as heard in Death, and moved toward a more creative grooving drum approach fused with moments of smooth jazz playing. After the disbanding of Cynic in 1994, Reinert worked with several other bands, including Gordian Knot, Aghora and most recently Aeon Spoke; an acoustic rock band who have had several of their songs in motion pictures, and television. In 2006 Reinert participated in Cynic's reunion and entered the studio to record “Traced in Air” (2008), Cynic's second studio album. Currently Reinert is actively touring with Cynic.

Michael Berberian Michael Berberian

Michael Berberian, CEO, Season of Mist Records, Marseilles, France - In 1996 Michael Berberian founded Season of Mist; an independent record label, and record distributor. Through the years Berberian’s label has risen to be a top-notch roster of metal bands, signing artists such as Cynic, Destroryer 666, Mayhem, Watain, Kampfar, and many more. Berberian currently resides in Marseille, France. This is also home to one of two Season of Mist offices, the second of which is located in Philadelphia, USA.

Mira Born Miranda Born Fom ICT System Engineer at Maastricht University to Freelance Metal Photographer, Mira Born has no trouble keeping busy. Photographing roughly 30 European metal festivals in a given year for Metalshots.com and eight different metal publications including: Metal Hammer (GER), Terrorizer (UK) and Zero Tolerance (UK, US, AUS), Born includes a fine balance of passions in her life, some of which are being a vintner, flying an ultra light, and farming organically.

Born’s photography gear consists of: 3 x Canon EOS 400 D. Lenses: Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM, Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS USM, Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4.5.
Tomislav Crnkovic Tomislav Crnkovic

Tomislav Crnkovic manages a local Calgary music instrument store Axe Music and fronts an up and coming Power Prog band Viathyn. Born into a musical family and exposed to guitar/piano at an early age, he found his passion first in playing instruments and later expanded into recording and production. Recently finishing his first full length album for Octillian, Tomislav has also contributed to other local acts such as Divinity, Caveat, Exit Strategy and Nebucadnezzer to name a few. Tomislav is well immersed in the local music community and helps out anyway possible live or in the studio.

David Ellefson David Ellefson

Electric bassist David Ellefson has become a mainstay in the rock and metal communities now for over 25 years. Internationally acclaimed as former Megadeth bassist, David's work has garnered him seven Grammy nominations, multiple gold and platinum records originating from over 20 studio albums and countless world tours. He is currently active as a songwriter and performer, record producer, bass guitar clinician and recording artist with his own bands F5 and Hail!.

David holds a Bachelor's degree in business and marketing and authored the book "Making Music Your Business...A Guide For Young Musicians". He continues to lecture and educate on the subject of business in the music industry from the artist's perspective, including his online YouTube series "David Ellefson's ROCK SHOP".

Michael Faley Michael Faley

Michael Faley has been a part of Metal Blade Records upper Management since January 1997. His duties include dealing with Artists, Managers, Agents and securing talent. In conjunction with Brian Slagel (Metal Blade CEO) they have secured the talents of As I Lay Dying, Cannibal Corpse, Whitechapel, Six Feet Under, Unearth, King Diamond, newcomers Bison BC (from Vancouver) and Lazarus AD to name but a few. Michael Faley also manages the career of World Renowned Bass Player Billy Sheehan.

David Gold David Gold

David Gold formed the Ontario based black-doom band, Woods of Ypres and released the demo Against the Seasons: Cold Winter Songs from the Dead Summer Heat in 2002 to critical acclaim. Since then, though remaining independent, the band has released two full-lengths, and are set to release their newest album in the fall of 2009. Woods of Ypres set a new record when their third album "Deepest Roots & Darkest Blues" became the number one selling CD through The End Records distro and was the only independent band to be featured the cover of Unrestrained Metal Magazine. Gold is not only a musician, but an entrepreneur as well. In between band schedules, he runs his own record label, Krankenhaus Records.

Josh Hogan Josh Hogan

Over the past three years Josh Hogan has had one goal in mind, to expose the seedy underbelly of the East Coast music scene. His unrelenting conquest began with launching Diminished Fifth Records which over the past 3 years has elevated the east coast metal scene to new heights; securing distribution for his artists across Canada (Sonic Unyon), the United States (Relapse Records) and the United Kingdom (Code 7 / Plastichead) as well as having his artists reviewed and recognized on National and International levels.

With the label firmly planted on the ground Hogan launched his own publicity company, Hogan Media Relations in November 2008 which is home to a wealth of artists in the region. Hogan’s strong DIY ethic, belief in the independent music industry and ability to think outside of the traditional marketing world has earned him the respect and praise of independent artists. For more information please visit: http://diminishedfifthrecords.com

E.J. Johantgen E.J. Johantgen

E.J. Johantgen started as the head of college metal promotions for Sony Music in 1991. After experience at both Sony and Columbia Records in Los Angeles, he co-founded Prosthetic Records in 1998. Prosthetic Records released the first two albums by Lamb of God, and is currently home to a number of heavy metal bands such as Animals as Leaders, Skeletonwitch, Gojira, Beneath The Massacre, etc. Prosthetic currently manages The Black Dahlia Murder, Despised Icon and Cynic.

Thérèse Lanz Thérèse Lanz

Thérèse Lanz is a nationally-acclaimed musician, visual artist, and writer. A veteran of the Canadian touring circuit, she has contributed loud growls and ugly chords to acts such as Kilbourne, ¡Ole!, Exit Strategy, and most recently, her two-piece noisecore project Tosca.

A bachelor’s degree holder in media studies from the University of Calgary, she has written for publications such as Beatroute and Nerve, and her mixed-media artistic vomitings adorn websites, walls, band merch, and album covers all over Canada. In her virtually nonexistent spare time, she also enjoys organic gardening, dice-and-paper roleplaying, parking in handicapped spaces, soaking Jehovah’s Witnesses with a hose, and kicking your ass at Warhammer Online PVP with her Disciple of Khaine.

Sacha Laskow Sacha Laskow

Playing guitar in the bands: Divinity, The R.A.C.E., and Enditol , Sacha Laskow is known as one of the most accomplished metal guitarists in Alberta. Those skills are now being showcased to a worldwide audience since his band, Divinity, was signed to Nuclear Blast. Born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Sacha enjoys collecting guitars, recording, and teaching guitar which he has done for over a decade. Sasha also is the creative force behind "Broke Bands" (http://www.divinity.ca/brokebands/) a resource to help musicians create great recordings at an affordable cost. It is not all music with Sacha, to balance his days he works in communications; specifically the web/media industry.

Alex Melzer Alex Melzer

Born and raised in Germany's Bavaria free-state, Alex Melzer soon discovered the magic of rock and then metal. In 2000 he founded acclaimed international Hard Rock/Heavy Metal webzine The Metal Observer, which soon sported contributors all over the globe and gained an excellent reputation among Metalheads. In 2004 he moved to Calgary, thus bringing Alberta a fully established online Metal publication. Over the course of the last nine years he has written thousands of reviews and interviews with some of the world's most renowned acts as well as obscure undergrounds from every corner of the planet.

His musical evolution began with British Pomp Rocker Magnum and from there expanded through the likes of Viper, Blind Guardian, Dark Tranquillity and Dimmu Borgir. An avid fan of football, Vikings and Quebecois cuisine he is now working as music journalist (without pay) and international moving coordinator (with pay), trying to find the middle way between the clashing cultures of the old and new world. Through a twist of fate, the magazine also brought him together with the love of his life and at the moment (end of July) he is awaiting the arrival of his first child, which surely will upend his world as he knows it...

Greg Musgrave Greg Musgrave

Greg Musgrave has been performing and recording musician for well over a decade in such Calgary metal acts as Stonewater, Blacksky and Caveat and has recorded and released 7 albums over the last 10 years. Currently he contributes bass and vocals for death/grind band Exit Strategy as well as vocals and guitars to progressive metal band Phantom Limb.

Greg has also contributed session vocal work for such acts as Kilyakai, Rob Spencer Band and performed on Nuclear Blast recording artists Divinty's debut album Allegory. Greg helps moderate albertametal.net and he also organized the Calgary metal compilation "The Greatest Underground Show on Earth - Volume Two," released in 2008.

Derek Orthner Derek Orthner

Guitarist Derek Orthner originally had his start with black/death metal band Begrime Exemious on bass in early 2006, but by the next year had moved to guitar, his more native instrument. He has since been as busy as ever, between gigging around Western Canada, writing material for the yet-to-be recorded Begrime Exemious full length, and writing for his own webzine, Nihility. Derek has worked with several other musicians in various projects over the years, and is currently working with two others in a doom band known as Cygnus. An avid fan of metal in its most extreme and heavy forms, Derek plans to continue his musical output and expand into recording as time progresses.

Pamela Porosky Pamela Porosky

Pamela Porosky is the editor in chief of Alberta-based Pitch Black Magazine, as well as a freelance writer/photographer whose work regularly appears in Bass Player, Metal Underground, and numerous other internationally distributed magazines, newspapers and webzines. After attaining a Bachelor of Arts in History and English literature from Concordia University College of Alberta, she narrowed her studies to Journalism Arts at SAIT where she received an honours diploma in print media.

Over the years, Porosky has worked with a number of independent and major label acts, and remains committed to the promotion and sponsorship of local level musicians, and readily mentors budding music photographers. She is also a musician herself, keeping her keyboard and vocal chops sharp between assignments.

Porosky's photo gear consists of: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 350D, Canon EFS 17-85 mm F4-5.6 IS USM, Canon EF 24-70 mm/2.8L USM, Canon EF 50 mm F1.8 II.

Dan Rozenblum Dan Rozenblum

Dan Rozenblum is the owner and sole agent for Thunderdome Touring. He started booking tours in 1994, starting with his own band, which led him to spending over a decade on tour. He simultaneously was the Metal Director at one of the oldest and most prestigious college radio stations in the US, as well as having been an independent talent buyer for over a decade and having owned an all ages venue for 5 years.

James Stangroom James Stangroom

James Stangroom is a Calgary-based freelance photographer specializing in shooting live music of varying genres. In addition to contributing images for local publications Beatroute Magazine and FFWD Weekly, James also provides his expertise to a number of music festivals, artists and bands, and other music-related events. When he is not shooting music shows, he can be found hanging with his trio affectionately referred to as "the bitches", dachshunds Daisy and Penelope, and wife Angela.

James shoots primarily with Canon 30D and 10D bodies and his favourite lens tandem for shooting shows consists of the 70-200 f/2.8L IS and the 16-35 f/2.8L.

Josh (JP) Wood

Josh (JP) Wood

Life-long metal enthusiast and trivia hound, Joshua Wood entered the metal market in 1999 with the creation of Metal Mental Meltdown, the world's first Heavy Metal trivia board game. Very shortly after, he became co-host of Megawatt Mayhem, one of the world's longest running Metal radio shows, now in it's 24th consecutive year. Joshua is also the official Canadian contributor for Musicmight.com (formerly Rockdetector) the world's largest Heavy Metal internet database. Joshua has also written hundreds reviews and interviews for local and international newspapers and webzines such as Metal-Rules.com and has contributed to many books on the subject of Heavy Metal.

A tireless and devoted metal fan, he has dabbled in many metal related concerts promotions and events, including movie screenings, organizing a Heavy Metal blood drive, as well as creating and hosting Calgary's only live Metal night which ran for five years. Joshua has amassed a collection of nearly 10,000 albums partly because over the years he was not discriminating enough to weed out most of the junk. Most of it now clogs up his office or gets played on-air every Saturday on Megawatt Mayhem. However, he is still completely jealous of Martin Popoff's collection and continues to bore his friends (and whoever will listen) with useless metal-related trivia and excited tales of purchases of second-hand cassettes by obscure bands no one has heard of in the first place.

Kevin Woron
Kevin Woron

In 1976, Kevin Woron got his first Kiss album and his love affair with Hard Rock and Heavy Metal began. A lifelong fan and musician, Kevin began his media pursuits of all things loud as a volunteer and co-producer of Metal Man on Calgary Cable television while in high school. He also wrote music reviews for Canada’s national High School independent newspaper, The Plague. In the fall of 1985, Kevin volunteered at CJSW radio at the University of Calgary and soon after Megawatt Mayhem was born. Still rocking the FM dial, Kevin has interviewed almost all of the big names of metal and presented them to his listeners. He also gained notoriety as one of Calgary’s best rock club DJs, spinning in the legendary Franky & Johnny’s clubs, The Live Wire and The Back Alley. He continued to write as a western correspondent for M.E.A.T. magazine, and authored reviews and columns for both VOX and ffwd magazines.

In this time, Kevin was recruited as the front man for Torment’her, who performed on the local area circuit for four years. Kevin also has worked in the concert industry as a rigger and stage hand to a promoter and publicist. Jonesing for the stage led him to pursue a different angle and he now entertains thousands as a licensed pyrotechnician at Canada Days, the Globalfest International Fireworks Festival and the Calgary Stampede when he isn’t arguing with JP over the nuances of speed versus style in Malmsteen guitar solos….


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