I started Monster Riff back in 2019 with a simple purpose: I wanted a place where I could practice some of my search engine optimization skills. As a content marketer by day, I was simply aching for a platform that was completely under my control, where I could test out ideas and perfect a few skills without client interference.
But it quickly blossomed into something bigger than I could have imagined—and that’s 100% thanks to people like you. The readers have kept Monster Riff going. I may have very well retired Monster Riff a couple of years in if it hadn’t been for the community around it.
Instead, I’m currently celebrating the fact that Monster Riff has reached 200 published articles!
With that, I’m taking a look back over the last few years…
I remember the first time a band reached out and asked Monster Riff for a review. It was early 2020, and I’d never written a formal album review before.
At the time, I felt like a fraud. I was a guy who could barely play his guitar in drop D, writing listicles about an underground Rock genre—and people were asking me for their opinions on their music.
But as my knowledge of the Stoner Rock genre expanded into the Psychedelic space and then the Doom space, my confidence and list of reference points grew as well.
Eventually, Monster Riff became almost exclusively an album review site (something that nearly burned me out multiple times, as writing review after review is a grueling process).
But I persevered, and I gradually found a community sprouting up around the website. And after I finally started the social media component (something I had resisted for a long time because I knew exactly how much work it would be), I found my community ties deepening even further.
By June of 2021, Monster Riff published its 100th article, and I wrote a similar post on Instagram:
I’ve been incredibly lucky.
My efforts on Monster Riff have introduced me to dear friends across the US and around the globe. I’ve made guest appearances on a few different podcasts and have become a recurring fixture on The Fuzz Club. I’ve gotten to use my marketing knowledge to work with bands, labels, and stores. I’ve become a Doom Charts contributor. And I’ve interviewed musicians from some of my favorite bands, including John Garcia of Kyuss, Jean-Paul Gaster of Clutch, and Brandon Carter of We Hunt Buffalo.
More importantly, the list of Monster Riff contributors has grown. Since 2019, articles have come in from:
- Ryan Foster of Slightly Fuzzed
- Nick Pipitone of Third Eye Psych
- Justin Morrison (a long-time scene supporter and frequent Bandcamp reviewer)
- Gustavo de Beauville (who wrote the immaculate Second Sun in 2021)
- James Landsdown (a scene insider)
- Joshua Courter (a journalist)
- Kyle Dellinger (a musician)
…But Room to Grow
Despite all of this, Monster Riff is still relatively small potatoes in the Stoner Rock scene. Guys like JJ from The Obelisk and Joop Konraad of Stoner Hive continue to publish great content at an incredibly quick clip—way more than my once-or-twice-a-week cadence.
But Monster Riff has never been about volume, and I certainly don’t have the stamina to even think about such a herculean publishing rate—at least not while working on Monster Riff part-time.
Instead, Monster Riff has become and remains a personal passion project that helps me support the scene while still getting to play around with some marketing concepts.
And that’s still fulfilling.
Rock out and fuzz on!