Available now from Amazon following the link below:
(UK: AuthorsOnline, 2009; 316 pages, PB. ISBN: 978-0755211555)
All Pens Blazing - A Rock & Heavy Metal Writer's Handbook Volume I is now out of print and available as Rock 'N' Roll Sinners Volume I, published by Createspace in 2013. It's available in paperback and eBook.
Ever wondered what it takes to be a heavy metal journalist? In this comprehensive collection, Neil Daniels has interviewed a staggering 65 of the world's most successful writers of heavy metal and hard rock. Many of these writers are successful biographers, editors and long-standing freelancers who have interviewed some of the genre's leading artists from KISS to Metallica and Black Sabbath to Slayer. They've travelled the world over, lived in tour buses, got drunk with their idols, attended some of the greatest gigs in history and are still alive to tell the tale. It's all here; the wild stories, the anecdotes... and the advice! All Pens Blazing offers a potted history of the genre as well as the publishing industry from the legendary Sounds and Melody Maker to metal bibles Kerrang! and Metal Hammer to modern day magazines like Terrorizer, Powerplay and Classic Rock. There's also a wealth of information on fanzines and webzines as well as long-gone magazines like Metal Forces, RIP and RAW. With a foreword by the Canadian metal historian Martin Popoff, this collection makes essential reading for the heavy metal fan. It is also a worthy historical document for the serious enthusiast and can be used as a handy reference tool for the aspiring metal writer.
"A combination of music history, war stories, the metal scene and practical advice, All Pens Blazing is a great compendium about heavy metal writers and writing. Whether you're a current or aspiring metal writer, a music historian, or just a fan of metal, there's something here for you."
Chad Bower – About.Com: Heavy Metal (www.heavymetal.about.com)
"With APB, the artists themselves are completely cut out of the picture. Both volumes concentrate on the most important ingredient of all, the writer... Every year there is a new crop of aspirants however, and with the advent of the blogosphere the opportunities to wax rhapsodic about one's favorite band have increased exponentially. With both volumes of All Pens Blazing, there is at least a road-map to show how it has been done in the past."
Greg Barbrick – BlogCritics (www.blogcritics.org)
"...the aggregate of this book is an at minimum interesting and at max fascinating read for any rock fan, 'cos you get the whole deal, the history of Sounds, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, BW&BK, all the mags, plus the mechanics of book writing, and more mainstream, who's a good interview and bad plus proof, crazy road stories... friggin' well all of this would be interesting to any rocker. Period."
Martin Popoff – Bravewords.com (www.bravewords.com)
"... All Pens Blazing supplies a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes during the heyday of certain metal mags as well as more recent developments, and is well worth the price of entry. Daniels' decision to favour the question-and-answer style reaps dividends, because he never intrudes – he lets the interviewee chat away, and spill their guts in whatever fashion they please."
Robert Gray – Colossal Pop (www.colpop.net)
"This latest work is a novel approach to heavy metal and helps dissect the genre from a journalistic point of view and will no doubt raise the pangs of nostalgia amongst readers...Neil Daniels, with his evident enthusiasm and industry in compilation has done us good service. And, like the best rock writing, this book does make for strangely compulsive reading."
David Randall – Get Ready To Rock (www.getreadytorock.com)
"The APB books are collections of interviews spanning journalists from the late '60s to those who started their careers in the late '90s. Altogether there are 136 journalist interviews – nine of whom are women. Nine. The subjects span the biggest of the big in metal pubs – editors of Creem and Kerrang – to writers of smaller cult fanzines. It was really interesting to pull out the common threads...I guess that after reading this, the number one thing I took away besides reignited jealousy for the golden age of rock journalism was that in 10 years, perhaps what I'm doing now will actually have some significance."
Jamie Harvey – Hard Rock Chick (www.hardrockchick.com)
"All Pens Blazing presents a view of music writing from the inside and a glimpse of the music industry from the prospective of wordsmiths rather than guitar warriors... All Pens Blazing is less a guidebook and much more a map to heavy metal writing. Anyone interested in a back-stage view of the rock music industry will get a kick out of these two volumes."
Natalie Zed – Hellbound (www.hellbound.ca)
"All Pens Blazing is a must read to find out the trials and tribulations these writers had to go through. Good, bad or indifferent, it's a real behind the scenes collection of interviews that go all the way back to the late 70's to present day. I strongly suggest getting your own copies of both volumes of All Pens Blazing. I was so intrigued that I read it twice... Great read, Neil Daniels is a dynamic writer and writes about what we all love, MUSIC!!"
Brooke Horsley – Rock Eyez Webzine (www.rockeyez.com)
"Every interview is published in the same way: a short introduction by Neil Daniels, followed by a certain number of Q & A. I enjoyed this book very much...There good news is that there will be a part 2."
Chris Lambert – Rock Report (www.rockreport.be)
"There is plenty here to delve into and this is a book that will be read in one sitting and revisited many times. Whilst some interviewees are more guarded the majority willingly recall their on the road stories when travelling with the major bands of the 80′s and beyond. Daniels has done a fine job in pulling everything together in an easily digestible format and this is one of the most original rock and metal books I have read this year."
Dean Pedley– Sea Of Tranquility (www.seaoftranquility.org)
"This book is a sincere tribute to the blazing pens that made our rock n roll heroes look like pioneers of our fantasy and modern leather rebels of today."
Billy Yfantis – Skylight (www.skylight.gr)
"All Pens Blazing – Volume 1, by Neil Daniels is an essential read, packed with interesting anecdotes and insightful commentary... but, for a new generation of writers for whom both music and opinion are as easy (and cheap) to obtain as water, it's also an indispensible primer, a potted history of rock writing to date, and, simply, a highly entertaining read."
Rob Sayce – Subba-Cultcha (www.subba-cultcha.com)
"These two volumes of interviews celebrate the art of rock journalism."
Emma Johnston - Classic Rock
"The book is very insightful... [It] is a great read especially if you are interested in writing."
Shari Black Velvet – Black Velvet
"These two volumes of interviews celebrate the art of rock journalism."
Emma Johnston – Classic Rock
"...this is an incredibly interesting book that you will pick up and re-read over again."
Nickie Hobbs – Devolution
"Neil Daniels' latest book is a very simple idea but a very entertaining one – to interview a lot of the writers who moulded our listening habits and publish those interviews in this book...the content is great and it's ideal for just dipping in if you have a few minutes to spare as you can read it in any order you wish – and probably will!"
Phil Ashcroft – Fireworks
"Ever wondered how Metal Hammer's and Classic Rock's contributors go their jobs? Most of them reveal the truth behind the art of the music hack in this collection of over 60 interviews with the world's best-known rock writers."
Joel McIver – Metal Hammer
"...just about everyone who has written about heavy metal at some stage seems to be included. For anyone in the business, it turns out to be a surprisingly enjoyable read."
Jerry Bloom - More Black Than Purple
"All the major rock mags are covered here, with no scribe outstaying their welcome. Read this because you remember these great writers from happier days, read this because you want an insight into what drives them..."
Steve Swift – Powerplay
"Now this was a good idea...Don't even think about becoming a music journalist until you've read this."
Ryson Dahl - Record Collector
"...a fascinating compilation of interviews with a variety of rock journalists..."
Dave Lewis – Tight But Loose
"Brought back a lot of memories of my own time working on one of the less-celebrated eras of Metal Hammer, and music-industry stuff I remember getting a little taste of, if not quite being at the epicenter of... Not to mention the reminder of how much I used to pour over every issue of Kerrang as a reader in those pre-internet days, soaking up as much information as a single photograph could convey. It's a little scary to realize how long ago that is now, but I hope you do find an audience of like-minded 40-somethings for your book. Nice work."
Mark Day – ex-Metal Hammer scribe
"It has good honest stuff from Steffan Chirazi, Pete Makowski and Dante Bonutto, whose interview reminded me of being young and working on Kerrang!. I recommend it."
Ross Halfin – (www.rosshalfin.com)
"It's a fascinating glimpse into the psyche of the writers who have chronicled the genre for nigh on forty years- from biographers, long standing freelancers, fanzine writers etc. The whole book reads like a history of rock publishing with countless behind the scenes anecdotes of life in Sounds, Kerrang, Raw, Classic Rock etc."
Dave Lewis – (www.tightbutloose.co.uk)
"Top of the list is, Neil Daniels' book, All Pens Blazing: A Heavy Metal Writer's Handbook, which collates interviews with an impressive list of more than 60 fellow music writers, most of whom are friends and/or colleagues past 'n' present."
Dave Ling – (www.daveling.co.uk)
Hi Neil. I got your book last weekend and have just finished it, thoroughly enjoyed it. Am 47 years old so can remember Sounds, Kerrangg! etc. Really good times! Anyway, as I said, a really great book, keep up the good work.
All the best,
Hi Your book sounds very interesting, but I must add a little disappointment – where is Kelv Hellrazer?! He kept the hard rock flag flying more than almost all the others (and unlike some of them, did not lose interest in hard rock/metal when it was less fashionable!) Anyway, congratulations on the endeavour otherwise!
I just got your book APB. Great read!! It is a very interesting perspective and I think that Christe commented on it in his interview. The UK Metal press was so much more mainstream! The vast majority of these writers had virtually no exposure over here in North America. Their respective mags were hard to find and/or expensive imports, especially here in Western Canada. Even now the big mags are not racked in regular stores, they are imports/specialties only. From reading the interviews, the UK scene seems to be a very inter-locked with many writers having quibbles and/or jumping back and forth for competing magazines. I think if you do Part II you could interview some of the big next generation writers/authors and specifically web-zine owner/operators. And...hate to say it...larger font! It was a tough read at times. Overall it was very interesting and it is a great addition to the library. Keep up the great work,