Raziq Rauf has more than blood in his veins; music permeates his every molecule atom down to the bone marrow. For over the past 15 years, he’s written as a music journalist for BBC, The Guardian, Kerrang!, Drowned in Sound, Classic Rock, Prog, and Metal Hammer to name a few. He also runs the successful music blog Thrash Hits; a necessity if you’re a fan of metal, hard rock, punk, and more.
Needless to say, we jumped on the opportunity to learn how Raziq started his career and hear his favorite artists so far in 2015.
What was the inspiration behind the genesis of Thrash Hits?
It was part of an umbrella group of specialist sites started with Drowned In Sound in 2008. I’d been writing for them since 2000 so it was a natural partnership. I figured that if I wasn’t being serviced with enough new music of my heavy, London-oriented tastes from an online portal, there would be others that would enjoy that service as well. I also didn’t really enjoy the humourless style of the music press in general, so decided there would be more puns. The problem is that I’m not very funny.
— Raziq Rauf (@RAZIQRAUF) March 12, 2015
Favorite future hits you’ve covered so far in 2015?
I really love Mord, a black metal band from Iceland that I discovered when I was over there last summer for the very, very awesome Eistnaflug festival. There’s such a wealth of talent in that country.
One closer to home is Prosperina, who sound like “Mastodon having a wig-off with Tool,” if you like that kind of thing. The title Future Hits is a funny one because we shine a light on the most ridiculously uncommercial music around, it’s very, very unlikely any of the bands ever get more than a very committed cult following, but we like that.
Advice for artists looking to reach bloggers with DIY PR?
It’s very difficult, so don’t give up. I have hundreds of new bands in my inbox every month and it’s literally impossible to listen to them all because then I’d have no time to actually write about anything. Generally, if you’re good enough, you’ll find a way through to somebody, somewhere. It sounds simplistic but it’s as meritocratic as it can be.
Latest cool discoveries on Fluence? Any exciting connections with people on the platform?
I found an awesome, brand new prog metal band from London called Orca. There are Incubus and Tool vibes in there and I very much look forward to hearing their forthcoming album.
Your undying love for burgers using a metaphor.
Tip: watch your cholesterol. That’s not a metaphor, just advice.
Best burger place you’ve been to in the past year?
Grill ‘Em All in Los Angeles. You can not beat a full menu of heavy metal burgers full of flavour combinations concocted by gourmet chefs.