The 25 Most Important People in Metal: #12, Amy Sciarretto

  • Axl Rosenberg

As much as metal is a genre of music and a lifestyle, it is also a community. And like all communities, it has its leaders — men and women whose work, be it by design or circumstance, affects all lovers of extreme music on a regular basis.

Throughout November, MetalSucks will celebrate these industry leaders by counting down The 25 Most Important People in Metal one per day. To be clear, this is a list of the people we believe are most important to metal today, in 2016 — not necessarily the most important people overall in the entire history of the genre. Some of them are musicians. Many of them are not. Some of them are people you’ve heard of. Many of them work behind the scenes and do not routinely get to take a bow. But they all have one thing in common: more than just cogs in a machine, they are truly, undeniably irreplaceable.

Besides booking agents, publicists are probably metal’s greatest unsung heroes. While producers, managers, and sometimes even A&R folks are capable of achieving some level of recognition for their contributions to fans’ favorite bands, no one knows who the hell their favorite band’s publicist is. And that’s understandable — a publicist’s job is to get her or his clients into the spotlight, not step into that spotlight themselves. But it’s also kind of ludicrous when you consider how important they are to the business. Any time you’ve learned about a band you now love as the result of a magazine or web article or any kind of interview, there is a 99% chance that said article/interview came about because of a publicist. Ditto if you learned about a band you now love via a track or music video premiere. And it’s a hard job, too, one that requires the correct balance of patience (spoiler alert: musicians aren’t the easiest people to work with sometimes, and journalists and bloggers probably aren’t much better), pushiness (their job is to get people to listen to a band, after all), and an ability to read people (if you’re too pushy, you’re likely to irritate members of the media and have the opposite effect that you intended). Having a good publicist is very, very important to a band’s career…

…and few publicists are as good as  Atom Splitter PR‘s Amy Sciarretto. The impressiveness of her current client speaks for itself: Killswitch Engage, Hatebreed, Trivium, Ihsahn, Royal Thunder, Candiria, Electric Wizard, Steven Wilson, Toothgrinder, Vanna… and that’s just a small sampling of a fraction of the bands she works with that I personally enjoy, and doesn’t even get into the various tours, events, and labels with whom she currently works. It also doesn’t take into her years working as Director of Publicity, Media, and Artist Relations for Roadrunner Records, during which time she worked with Megadeth, Slipknot, Korn, Opeth, Machine Head, Cradle of Filth, Soulfly, DevilDriver, Dragonforce, and a few other jillion other artists. You’d have to be crazy to think Amy just fell ass backwards into such an illustrious resumé; she’s been so successful because she’s great at what she does.

A lot of that has to do with her tireless work ethic, and a lot of it has to do with her sincere passion for extreme music. When she’s not writing press releases and band biographies, she’s writing about metal, and has been doing so since she was still in high school. The list of print and online publications she’s written for, in fact, is as impressive as the list of bands she’s represented as a publicist: Decibel, Alternative PressGuitar WorldMetal Maniacs, Hails & HornsOutburn, Spin.com, VH1.com, Noisecreep, ARTISTdirect, friggin’ Teen People, some terrible website that must have tricked her into contributing one time… the list just keeps going and going. She also co-authored the book Do the Devil’s Work For Him: How to Make it in the Music Business (And Stay In It), the subject of which she clearly knows a lot about.

Oh, right, she’s also been a DJ and radio host, perhaps most noticeable for Sirius XM’s metal channel, Hard Attack.

And I’m not kidding when I say that’s all just the tip of the iceberg. If you’ve been listening to metal anytime during the past fifteen years or so, there are almost certainly bands you know and love largely because of Amy’s work. She may not be as famous as the bands for whom she works, but we all owe her a massive, massive debt.

#25: Mark Riddick
#24: Robb Flynn
#23: Rob Scallon

#22: Kim Kelly
#21: Fenriz
#20: Rob Halford

#19: Ash Avildsen
#18: Steve Joh

#17: Karim Peter
#16: Misha Mansoor

#15: Dan Rozenblum
#14: Joey Sturgis

#13: Randy Blythe

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