Hit Parader was one of the quintessential music magazines from back in the day. Growing up you had Rip, Cream, Circus, Metal Edge and Hit Parader. They even had their own commercials during Headbangers Ball.

Here’s a commercial for the Hit Parader heavy Metal Hotline back in 1988 (Courtesy Of Sean Mc):

But that was then, and this is now. Variety reports Ash Avildsen, Josh Bernstein and Matt Pinfield are teaming up to relaunch Hit Parader, not as a magazine, but as a production studio. The name that probably jumps out at you immediately is Matt Pinfield. He was a VJ on MTV back in the day, has been an on air personality for years on radio, and a variety TV shows. His name lends Rock N Roll street cred to that of Avildsen, and Bernstein, who was name dropped on the old HBO series Entourage a few times.

I say that it adds street cred because a lot of people know him as a public figure, and often bring him up when discussing well known proponents for rock and metal. That being said, for those not in the know, Bernstein and Avildsen are more than just names thrown out there by Eric Murphy and the Queen Blvd crew.

Avildsen is the founder and CEO of one of the biggest independent rock and metal labels, Sumerian, which features bands such as Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, Body Count, Poppy, Animal As Leaders, Palaye Royale, and released the solo studio debut by Korn front man Jonathan Davis.

Bernstien biggest dent in the hard rock and metal world comes from producing the Golden Gods Awards, the Alternative Press Music Awards, and XXL Freshmen. In the event that you’re not familiar with any of these, they’re essentially a celebration of the past year in music mixed in with some awesome performances. Essentially what we’d all love the Grammys and American Music Awards, etc. to be.

For fans of hard rock and metal that have felt slighted for years when it comes to award shows, the Golden Gods were a bright spot for us. It was our awards show, recognizing albums and bands that we love that where over the head of most at those other awards shows.  The AP Music Awards do much the same featuring younger artists like the aforementioned Asking Alexandria, Black Veil Brides, Motionless In White, Paramore and the like. While mixing in veteran acts like Weezer, New Found Glory, and Panic At The Disco. Where as the Golden Gods has featured acts like Guns N Roses, Judas Priest, and Metallica. The Golden Gods is scheduled to return in 2021.

Initial plans are for scripted shows Paradise City, and the animated Roadie Rage. The Pinfield hosted No Cover, reminds me a lot of the premise behind Farmclub, the Jimmy Iovine backed show which Pinfield hosted on the USA network between 2000 and 2001. I loved that show, I still have a lot of the episodes on VHS. They reeled me in by having acts like U2 and N.W.A. headlining various episodes. But then they made me want to stick around to check out the unknown artists they were featuring. The show introduced me to At The Drive-In, Stereo Mud, and a bunch more.

Much like Farmclub, No Cover will be a way to help young artists get exposure. The idea behind the show is that bands will need to perform original material, and not rely on a proven hit to help propel them, hence the name No Cover. The show will leverage what has been done on successful shows like American Idol, but focus it on rock based music.

The trailer for Paradise City has been viewed an excess of 14 million times on YouTube. That demonstrates that people want to see shows based on music. This has been tried in the past, but focusing mostly on older personalities. Which means that the coveted teen/young adult audience probably isn’t tuning in for the most part. Paradise City is aiming to change that. The eight episode first season is already in the can.

Paradise City is a spin off of the movie American Satan which Avidsen wrote and directed. He says it is “A mix of the young angst of Euphoria, the entertainment biz authenticity of Entourage and the supernatural fun of Sabrina”. He goes on to say about Hit Parader that “We will create, produce and/or acquire original IP. We will then do our best to get that content out to the masses and monetize it every way we can.”

Other shows planned include Mayhem Festival, The Rock N’ Roll Roast, and a bio-pic on A&R guru Tom Zutaut, known for signing such bands as like Motley Crue, and Guns N Roses.

This is all very exciting, and hope that it really takes off. We are all craving good rock based programming, and everything discussed in the article checks off all the right boxes for me. Hopefully they will look to expand and obtain the rights to European festivals like Waken, Download, and the such. It further shows that resurrecting proven names like Night Flight, or Hit Parader instantly adds brand recognition.

Hit Parader is a name that people know, and trust. Using it will immediately kick the door open, and curiosity of its targeted fan base. Very much looking forward to them delivering the goods.

You can read the entire Variety article here.

Article by Victor M. Ruiz of Mars Attacks Radio & Podcast, and Galaxy Of Geeks Podcast.  Connect with him on Twitter:  @vmr907


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