S.A.Q.

Seldom Asked Questions
--or--
Save yourself an email

Every site has a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section, so this is the SSMT version of that long-cherished internet tradition. The original SAQ was written probably in 1998 or so and was infrequently updated since questions were infrequently asked.

Satan Stole My Teddybear - The History and Behind the Scenes
1. What exactly is SSMT?
2. Where did you get the name for the site?
3. How did Satan Stole My Teddybear come about?
4. Are you pushing an agenda?
5. Where on earth did you find these writers?

Satan Stole My Teddybear - Reviews and site functionality
6. Can I become a contributor to Satan Stole My Teddybear?
7. Why isn't my favorite band (insert band name) mentioned in your index?
8. Why isn't such and such album reviewed and what's with the discography?
9. Who the hell do you think you are trashing my favorite band?
10. What's with the Email Hall of Shame and where did it go?
11. How do you base your reviews?
12. Why aren't there any ratings for albums?
13. What's with this Retro Review Nonsense?
14. Can I get my band reviewed in Satan Stole My Teddybear?
15. You're my favorite band and I'm your biggest fan

Satan Stole My Teddybear - Commercialism
15. Is (insert favorite band) going to be touring in my town soon?
16. Do you have the email address of my favorite band?
17. Where can I find [insert album name]?
18. Dude, do you have MP3s of [insert band name]?
19. Dude, do you have guitar tabs for (insert band name)?

Satan Stole My Teddybear - The History and Behind the Scenes

1. What exactly is SSMT?

Satan Stole My Teddybear is simply a resource guide for learning and reading about various bands in several genres, including punk, metal, hardcore, ambient, industrial and rock. It is designed to help you find information, opinions and act as a guide in your musical discoveries. The site is neither a corporate entity nor a typical webzine as this site both features reviews of newer releases as well as exploring the past releases of the bands covered. Satan Stole My Teddybear provides a fan's perspective on music. One could consider this a formalized equivalent of sitting down with some friends and talking about music. Satan Stole My Teddybear does not pretend to be the vanguard of good taste nor the only website you'll ever need, but rather a decent resource covering a wider spectrum of music than any other fan oriented website.

2. Where did you get the name for the site?

The origin is from an old interview with Wargasm from Metal Mania magazine, which existed in the late 80s. They had a demo called "Satan Stole My Lunch Money". Somewhere along the line, I morphed that original title into "Satan Stole My Teddybear" with some silly song I wrote lyrics for when I was maybe seventeen. Naturally this song will be a major #1 hit someday.

3. How did Satan Stole My Teddybear come about?

The original idea for a website began in late 1996. My parents had finally gotten a computer with an internet hookup and I discovered a new world of information concerning music, particularly metal, which had seemingly vanished in the United States during the 90s. To my amazement, bands I thought had broken up had been releasing album after album in Europe with utterly no stateside press. During the summer of 1996, I downloaded and printed out literally hundreds of pages of ezines, interviews and other music related information from the various sites in existence back then to read during the times I didn't have internet access. Concurrently during that time, I was being utterly blown away by a variety of albums, including the likes of The Gathering's Mandylion, Tiamat's Wildhoney, Frank Black's Teenager of the Year and a wide range of others. The more I explored the internet, the more I wished for my own site to try and spread the word on those albums which I loved. By November of 1996, I was both attempting to create a website of some sort on AOL (I believe it consisted of some random links, a photo of Frank Black, a blurb about The Gathering, and some other inane, amateurish blabberings) and scribbling down reviews in notebooks of both live shows I had attended and albums I was listening to. By January of 1997, I had taken to posting a list of my music collection up to that point and began putting little one line descriptions next to many of the records. That particular page began to be entirely too bulky and I started splitting each band's set of releases into separate pages, including links to other sites on the web. One thing led to another and by February, the embryonic Satan Stole My Teddybear was in existence. I knew I wanted to do some sort of webzine that was modelled slightly after Chronicles of Chaos (still one of the best ezines ever) and The BNR Metal Pages and thus came up with the idea of reviewing albums of my collection and whatever new stuff I happened to purchase. By summer, I had a few hundred one-liners and quickie "reviews" in place, with a handful of actual reviews interspersed in the site. At that point, a couple record labels contacted me based on reviews I had written and they started sending promos for review. By July of 1997, I more or less had the concept for Satan Stole My Teddybear intact. As time passed, the one-liners and Flipside-esque reviews were deleted so that each review would be much more substantial and worth the reader's time. Ever since then the site has grown from a paltry dozen or so visitors per day to nearly 3000 per day. The site has gone from a hobby to a nearly fulltime job (done without pay) that consumes nearly three or four hours of every day.

The bulk of the site's material was written between 1997-2002. In 2003, some of the other contributers apparently found better things to do with their lives and I found myself busy selling used CDs online. Around the time period of 2003-2004, I found myself entirely burnt out on reviewing music since the vast majority was based on promos that essentially were awful. I cut ties with most of the record labels sending me music and only wrote a handful of reviews in the years 2005-2007. As a result, SSMT has gone from being a resource for current music releases to an archive of older releases as the majority of the albums reviewed fall into the time period of 1997-2003 or so. Now that I've rekindled my interest in reviewing music (but not necessarily promos sent in by the record labels), SSMT will focus mostly on whatever strikes my whim and may or may not be up to date with new releases.

4. Are you pushing an agenda?

The main motivation for SSMT is simply a love for music in all shapes and forms. There is no underground-only or other political agenda at work. The original intent of the site way back in the embryonic stages was to simply let the world know of the bands I loved and the albums I worshipped.

5. Where on earth did you find these writers?

Most of the writers have found the site, became avid readers and offered their services to me through email. I used to tell people bars, but that'd be a lie and I save the blatant lying for the NoMeansNo website.

Satan Stole My Teddybear - Reviews and site functionality

6. Can I become a contributor to Satan Stole My Teddybear?

At this point I am not actively looking for any more contributors. However, if you are a fantastic writer, you can always feel free to send a sample review or two.

7. Why isn't my favorite band (insert band name) mentioned in your index?

With nearly a dozen active contributors writing for SSMT and scouring their record collections, not every band is necessarily going to be listed. As of this writing, there are 1400+ bands in the index and more being added all the time. We'll try to include as many possible down the line, but in the meantime, don't bother sending email demanding inclusion of specific artists. The site is always expanding to include more and more artists.

8. Why isn't such and such album reviewed and what's with the discography?

Please refer to Question #7 for the first part of the question. Essentially it boils down to far too many albums and not enough time in the day to listen to and review every album imaginable. Meanwhile, Satan Stole My Teddybear provides a select discography of full length studio albums, major EPs and mini CDs, and live albums. Singles and bootlegs are only included in the discography if reviewed. If you note any inaccuracies or omissions in the discography, do not hesitate to email john@ssmt-reviews with a correction. Some of the information was very hard to find while building each individual band discography. For most discographies, I rely on a) official artist websites (which aren't always entirely useful) b) Metal-Archives.com c) Wikipedia and d) Allmusic.com

9. Who the hell do you think you are trashing my favorite band?

One of the most annoying aspects of this site so far has been receiving emails consisting nothing more of "You fuckin' suck because you don't like my favorite band...bite my ass." I have a theory that the only people who should be allowed on the internet are ones who are able to pass a test proving they are capable of intelligent thought. If you disagree with a review, that's fine...it's your choice. And if you feel compelled to email me about, that's great. But be prepared to write something with some depth to it and don't resort to four letter name calling. This isn't junior high. I am happy to receive intelligent emails discussing opinions or you can discuss a review on the message board.

10. What's with the Email Hall of Shame and where did it go?

Back in the earlier days of the site, I got a huge barrage of nasty email from (mostly) AOL users. To counteract the complete idiocy shown by their emails, I posted them with my own sarcastic comments. Wonderously, my influx of harrassing and abusive email has disappeared. My whole thing is that once you're behind the keyboard and monitor, you should act no differently than you would in real life. The anonymity of the net does not excuse behavior you would not attempt were we face to face. However, while this page of cynical humor has been a favorite of many, I do not want the site to be known more for that single page than the thousands of reviews. For awhile, I removed the direct link, particularly after people tried to forge angry emails for inclusion, but since the page was so funny, I'm going to post it with the 2008 site makeover.

11. How do you base your reviews?

It's rather simple: either the reviewer likes it or he/she doesn't. This is not a fanpage for individual bands and the reviews are a reflection of the honest opinion of the reviewer. Reviews are not done simply to garner free promos from record labels (trust me, sometimes these promos are hideous examples of bands who shouldn't be near a studio). I appreciate the music of a wide range of genres and styles, but most genres are clogged with second rate bands who don't know an original lick even if it slapped them upside the head. Reviews are given a date for when they were posted so that you can see where the reviewer's head was at when the review was written.

12. Why aren't there any ratings for albums?

Ratings often become inaccurate misrepresenations of actual reviews. Too many zines and sites rely almost solely on numbers or a one-to-five symbol rating. The review may suggest one opinion while the rating suggests another or becomes arbitrarily inaccurate. Moreover, the lack of ratings forces a reader to read the review rather than glance at ratings.

13. What's with this Retro Review Nonsense?

Part of Satan Stole My Teddybear's charm, if you will, is that older records are regularly reviewed and featured. Rather than being a publication that only focuses on the current times and the future, SSMT looks equally to the past. Most fans of metal and punk are rabid record collectors who wish to know more about past releases of bands, not just current releases. Therefore, SSMT provides a relatively valuable service to those wishing to learn more about the past.

14. Can I get my band reviewed in Satan Stole My Teddybear?

Maybe. There are some rules for promo submissions at the Contact page. However, between this site and the tours working for NoMeansNo, a lot of bands would be advised to dramatically improve their music. Just because you can record something doesn't automatically make it art.

15. You're my favorite band and I'm your biggest fan.

What I can't understand is why someone would assume that I am in a band when the page is full of critical reviews. I guess this isn't really a question, but this keeps occuring. And to that guy in Boulder who thought I was Milo Aukerman: he's much more handsome than I.

Satan Stole My Teddybear - Commercialism

15. Is (insert favorite band) going to be touring in my town soon?

You know, as much as I pretend to be the all around music knowledge guru (that should be good for a laugh or two), I don't know when Slayer or the Descendents or whoever is going to be playing in your town. Heck, I don't know who's going to be playing in my own neck of the woods half the time. So before you go emailing me, try visiting the band's myspace page or reading your local weekly entertainment paper. It baffles me in this day and age that people can't figure out how to use the internet or a search engine to find information.

16. Do you have the email address of my favorite band?

There is a reason I try to include links to band websites in all my entries (providing they exist, of course)...I'm not maintaining fan pages for every single band in the index. If you can't figure out how to contact a band through their website or myspace, you probably shouldn't be using the internet.

17. Where can I find [insert album name]?

There's a reason why I have those affiliate links set up. Well, aside from the fact that they provide a paltry income (basically enough to cover my hosting costs every year as well as a few coffees here and there)... Anyhow, the links should help you track down albums you are after. Musicstack may be the most comprehensive, but be sure to check Amazon and Ebay as well for bargains. Secondspin.com often has great bargains as well.

18. Dude, do you have MP3s of [insert band name]?

No. I don't provide full MP3s nor will I ever plan to in the future. If you don't know how to find an mp3 as of 2008, there may not be much hope for you.

19. Dude, do you have guitar tabs for (insert band name)?

Sigh...I get more requests for guitar tabs (mostly from AOL users so I think that may indeed be a sociological clue) than I know what to do with. Again, I do reviews. If you check out the fan page links, there is a chance one of them might have guitar tabs. I have absolutely none. So quit emailing me on the matter. And haven't you ever heard of Google?