Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.
He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.
Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Welcome to the Dream, a Documentary by Rat Skates
When I produced my debut issue of Retaliate digital magazine, I'd sat down with former Overkill drummer Rat Skates, one of my thrash metal heroes I've since become friends with. Rat has recently issued two critically-acclaimed documentaries related to his time spent in the music industry, Get Thrashed and Born in the Basement. Born in the Basement especially delves deep into the foundations of Overkill and how effective the DIY ethos was for Rat and the original lineup of the band. Watch it and learn, folks. This is a blueprint to marching your way up through the underground.
Rat is currently filming a new documentary about the music industry and since we've interviewed together, I've become involved in this project, plus a separate venture Rat and I will be undertaking in the immediate future.
Welcome to the Dream: The Rude Awakening of Stardom is an investigative analysis of truths and realities behind making it in the music industry, as conveyed by Rat's guests, which include members of Lynard Skynard, Twisted Sister, Megadeth, Anvil, Living Colour and former Dream Theater/current Avenged Sevenfold drummer, Mike Portnoy.
While a large portion of Rat's film has been completed, the bottom line to this independent enterprise is, of course, needing a new bottom line to finish the project. Rat's objective to Welcome to the Dream is to serve as a wake-up call and a warning to up-and-coming musicians and artists that the industry should be approached with certain caveats. Nobody who's ever come into music without the proper knowledge has ever not been taken for a ride.
Even with all the Behind the Music specials and deep probing backstage in other documentaries for new artists to consult, the youth of today starting a band still comes in blind. The music industry is seductive, everybody wants to become the next overnight sensation. The internet may serve as a key inside that has previously never been there, however, the unspoken rules are still there and still...well, unspoken. Until now.
Please have a look at my interview with Rat Skates to get deeper into his mindframe behind Welcome to the Dream and then visit his site with a mere click below. If you want to get involved or you know of a financier who would like to help back this project, please contact myself here or through Rat's site. Your support is genuinely appreciated...
Welcome to the Dream website