An Open Letter To DrummersThere was a time not very long ago when I wouldn’t have foreseen writing a blog. And it would have been an even wilder stretch of the imagination to think that I would write this blog in particular. But here goes …
After editing DRUM! Magazine for the past 19 years — while ushering it from a modest, regionally distributed free tabloid printed on newsprint to one of the most respected drumming magazines in the world — I have, as of last Monday, handed the reins for the print version of DRUM! to Dave Constantin. In the process, I promoted Dave from associate editor to managing editor and changed my job title from editor in chief of DRUM! Magazine to editorial director of Enter Music Publishing.
In doing so, my editorial contribution to the print magazine will be limited to my monthly Perspective column. As of the June, 2010 issue, all other duties — from issue planning to managing freelancers to interfacing with publicists to editing copy to losing sleep and fretting ceaselessly — are now fully in Dave’s more-than-capable hands. For the record, Dave is a drummer and a crackerjack journalist who graduated from the University Of Oregon with a Masters degree in journalism. Regular readers will recognize his byline from many of our best cover stories in recent years. He can also grow a beard in ten minutes, but I digress. Dave’s simply the perfect guy for the job.
Okay, I bet you’re wondering why I would decide to make such a dramatic change. Before I explain, I’d like to excise a few potential rumors from the mill — I’m not retiring to a small Pacific island, going on tour with Alice Cooper, checking myself into a rehabilitation facility, or becoming a Buddhist monk. In fact, my decision had everything to do with last year’s relaunch of this very website. For the first time in the history of our little company, we actually had a web presence that equaled the same high level of quality as the print magazine continually has enjoyed.
I was thrilled. But nobody was actually in charge of it. Once the site was up and running, virtually every member of DRUM!’s creative team contributed to populating it with content. But when publishing deadlines became particularly hairy, drummagazine.com could practically become dormant for days at a time — sometimes even weeks — which is contrary to the spirit of the Internet, with its promise to post content quickly, daily, hourly — right now!
Clearly, somebody had to steer the ship, so I decided to turn my attention to the digital domain and swan dive into DRUM!’s emerging and ongoing online initiatives. In addition to the website, I will also begin penning LeftRightLeft, our bi-weekly newsletter, which features lots of original content, news, new gear info, and lessons. You can sign up to receive it free by going here. And I will begin overseeing our Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube accounts — so you’d better be ready to hear a lot more from me. Pieced together, I’m looking at a full-time gig that will keep me really, really busy.
Now please hear this — my decision to change job descriptions doesn’t signal a sudden disinterest in print media. That couldn’t be further from the truth. As far as I’m concerned, print is here to stay and DRUM! will always be my first love. While the experience of turning it over to Dave has been bittersweet (I can’t lie about it), I’m excited to see how it will continue to evolve under his expert guidance. And I’m confidant that DRUM! will remain the smartest, best written, most thoughtfully edited, and elegantly designed drumming magazine on the newsstand.
Editorial Director, Enter Music Publishing