Hi, my name is Josh.
I’ve been writing about music since the summer of 1998 starting with my own zine Raze (four issues, photocopied, 50 copies each) and as a result I quickly became a reviewer for Pasadena, CA based publication Flipside from 1998-2000 when the zine ended. I became quite hated for my short and obtusely negative reviews as J-Cyco because quite frankly: I was a 17 year old hardcore punk/crossover kid at the time. Todd (editor-in-chief post Al Flipside) was amused enough by my idiocy at the time to send me stuff, anyhow. I didn’t begin writing about video games, or much of anything else, online until 2009 primarily to reflect upon their value. In the space between I’d received about six years of college education (Microbiology, research and technical writing) primarily in Oregon and Washington state. Though I’ve had many jobs throughout my life none have involved my passion for music and art. The goal of GrizzlyButts.com isn’t to make money or make work of it, only to push the limits of the conversation on music and write something I’d want to read.
Why the stupid site name? It is a reference to an area near Eugene, Oregon where I would spend a number of summers in my early twenties. Heavy drug experimentation, crust and hardcore punk, do-it-yourself counter culture, communal hippie culture, lawlessness, eco-terrorism and live music spring to mind when I see the name as it reminds me of youthful idealism and the free-thinking sense of exploration that sustains me in adulthood: No gods, no masters. Objectively speaking, it is a memorable name that ensures the site will never get “big” or notable to a certain degree. I didn’t intend it as this sort of “failsafe” but as a way of subverting pretentious attitudes, avoiding folks who take themselves too seriously, and ensuring this thing doesn’t become a “job” or dour “business” beyond a small and independent joy.
Grizzly Butts is a venture driven by a compulsive heavy music obsession. Every waking moment of the day I’m an overly enthused fan, compelled to write every free second I get to show appreciation; An effort meant to be as selfless as possible but still entertaining. My methodology is ‘old school’ in the sense that pull from what I grew up reading: Independent music ‘zines and big heavy metal magazines in the early 90’s — an era where reviews/features were often long, in-depth, and honest without resorting to asshole generalizations for the sake of personality. You won’t get a messy, snarky-assed 200 word blog entry from me, every release deserves at least 500-1000 words of thought and extensive repeat listens. Without serious consideration and effort, why would writing be worth reading? I believe the effort musicians put into music is worth serious time and meditation. My philosophy of earnest criticism, extensive listening, and (usually) thorough research stands out in the suffocating metal blog biosphere. If you’d like more general context, I was interviewed on a podcast in 2020 which you can view/listen to [Here]. At the very least I do my best to try to focus on the best art I encounter and give due love to that which speaks to me most.
The cost of maintaining an advertisement free website with zero sponsored content and a custom domain name is roughly 125.00 USD per year through the advertisement free option offered by the site host. To achieve this goal I ask readers to consider donating $1.00 whenever they see fit. If ~150 people do this, we’re in a good place. If I cannot inspire the base minimum cost to keep the site ad-free, I’ll consider that the most honest form of feedback. I move forward by my own will.
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