About / FAQ / Contact

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 long-running zine ended. Negative, short and obtuse reviews as J-Cyco entertained some and infuriated others, I was a 17 year old hardcore punk/crossover kid at the time. Negativity begets negativity, and this’d been a valuable dead end to start. I didn’t begin publishing writing online until 2009, primarily to reflect upon the value of various hobbies. In the space between I’d received about six years of college education (Microbiology, research and technical writing) primarily in Oregon and Washington state, where I now reside. I’ve had many jobs throughout my life yet none have involved my passion for music and art; The goal of GrizzlyButts.com and any related ventures isn’t to make make work of any of it, only to push the limits of the conversation on music towards the existential and important (or mundane) resonances of the human mind and write something I’d want to read.

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 am pulling from what I grew up reading: Independent music ‘zines and big heavy metal magazines of the early-to-mid 90’s — An era where reviews/features were often long, in-depth, and honest without resorting to feigned personality or “branding”. 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 -any- writing be worth reading? I believe the effort musicians put into music is worth serious time and meditation, even if they don’t realize it. My philosophy of earnest criticism, extensive listening, and (usually) thorough research stands out in the suffocating metal blog biosphere. 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.

Why the stupid site name? It is a reference to a natural area near Eugene, Oregon where I’d spent 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. It reminds me of youthful idealism and the free-thinking sense of exploration that sustains me in adulthood: No gods, no masters, nothing self-conscious or debasing. Objectively speaking, it is a memorable name that repulses the self-serious attitudes I hate most. I didn’t intend it as this sort of “failsafe” towards obscurity but to subvert pretentious attitudes, avoiding folks who take themselves too seriously, and ensuring this thing doesn’t become more than a small and independent joy.

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.

Thanks.

<strong>Help Support Grizzly Butts’ goals with a donation:</strong>

Please consider donating directly to site costs and project funding using PayPal.

$1.00

FAQ

FAQ (I): If you are a band, PR firm or record label:

  • You’ll reach me a lot faster if you just use grizzlybutts@hotmail.com
  • The only genres I guarantee I will NOT review:
    • Hip-hop/R&B/Rap/Funk/Nu-metal
    • Country/Bluegrass/Americana. Some Neofolk is okay.
    • Singer/songwriter. Unique and “outsider” solo projects excepted.
    • Absolutely everything else is fair, but nothing is guaranteed.
  • If you are an independent band self-promoting (this does not apply to labels):
    • Send ONE e-mail, ONCE.
    • Do not contact me on social media repeatedly if I do not respond.
    • “Likes” on social media do not grease the wheel, I do not care about social media presence or metrics.
    • I am not your PR, I deal in a combination of information and criticism. Pay for a PR firm, they are more affordable than you think. Alternately, partner with a label who has experience pushing their own shit.
    • I guarantee consideration, I do not guarantee or “owe” you a review.
    • I do not care, at all, under any circumstance what you think of my review or coverage of your art. None of it is aimed at you, it is not a conversation with you, and you are not required to read or respond to it. If you want to drop in and say thanks, I appreciate it but please don’t feel obligated to stroke my ego or whinge.
    • If you or your band complain about coverage on social media or over chat/e-mail with me (yes, this happens occasionally) I will without a doubt overlook future releases for the sake of giving whatever opportunities I can to grateful, reverent, and mature artists who have impulse control and confidence enough to be criticized.
  • Digital file/EPK submissions:
    • Should be in MP3  (320kbps preferred) and not WAV when possible. If you’re worried about fidelity then I will accept a physical copy. E-mail me or use the contact form.
    • Please send the files using a service like PromoJukeBox, Haulix, HeartheMusic, Dropbox (or similar service). Google Drive is also fine but you’ll need to properly label folders so they don’t just say “mp3”, I won’t always know what it is. Likewise, WeTransfer is not always ideal since links can expire. If your links expire in less than a week, forget it man.
    • Please have your MP3‘s labeled or at least files named in order in your EPK.
    • Please include at least one minimum 1200×1200 sized version of the album art in the EPK. 300dpi resolution on all files is best, since I might use press materials for printed coverage as well.
  • Private Streaming submissions:
    • As of January 9th, 2021 I will no longer accept private streaming links for long-form reviews. I will still consider these releases for short reviews, news, album of the month, and mentions AFTER release. The stream must have a VOLUME CONTROL.
    • This binds me to sit at a computer while listening and I am no longer willing to do this for a full review. I might listen to an album 10 to 20+ times for longer reviews and cannot stand to be seated for the entire process, I work at a desk enough as it is.
    • If you are concerned about piracy or it is the label/firm’s policy: Tough shit? We will both manage. I’m no pirate and take this stuff too serious to ever infringe upon the rights of artists/labels.
  • If you wish to submit a physical CD or LP copy of your promo:
    • E-mail me for an address to send it to.
    • It’ll be a United States mailing address
    • I hugely prefer vinyl!
    • The review may be extended 1-2 paragraphs that examine the packaging, artwork, and might include several photos of the product itself.
  • It may take up to 3-4 weeks for a full review.
    • Independent bands are given some extra priority, if sent early.
    • I won’t always remember to inform you of the review, follow me on Instagram or Facebook.
    • If it is not reviewed after 3-4 weeks, e-mail me and I’ll let you know if there has been an oversight on my part.
  • I will not censor controversial music.
    • I will maintain abject neutrality when possible.
    • It might not be promoted on social media depending on imagery.
    • Politics and/or controversy won’t factor into coverage.
    • Photographs of dead bodies, victims, and real (not illustrated) gore aren’t my thing in general. This is out of respect for the dead, their families and not intentional censorship. I will certainly cover music that uses gore etc. for imagery but generally won’t use photographed images of real death on the site [as of January 1st, 2021] I know it sounds lame to edgy folks but, again, it is a matter of respect.
    • I do not personally support fascism, homophobia or racism.
    • I do not consider anti-religious art as controversial. I encourage the defiance of all religion and the implementation of self-defined spirituality and/or philosophy.

Please use this form [Hint: Enter your own name/e-mail, not mine!] if you have any questions, or if you would like to submit content, media, or discuss any sort of business. I am always looking for a front/backend/site designer as well as a banner artist, my needs are specifically tuned towards hand-drawn art, paintings (on canvas), and grimy 90’s demo tape art.

<strong>Help Support Grizzly Butts’ goals with a donation:</strong>

Please consider donating directly to site costs and project funding using PayPal.

$1.00