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Kerrang! is a rock music magazine published by Bauer Consumer Media in the United Kingdommarker. The magazine's name is onomatopoeic and refers to the sound made when playing a power chord on an electric guitar.


Kerrang! was first published on 6 June 1981, edited by Geoff Barton, initially as a one-off supplement in the Sounds newspaper devoted to the current New Wave of British Heavy Metal (or 'NWOBHM' for short) and the rise of other hard rock acts such as AC/DC, who appeared on Kerrang!’s first cover. Original owner United Newspapers sold its music magazines to EMAP in 1991.

During the 1980s and early 1990s the magazine placed many thrash and glam metal acts on the cover (like Mötley Crüe, Slayer, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Poison, Testament, Venom) but later discarded them when grunge acts such as Nirvana rose to fame. Readers often criticise the magazine for repeating this process every time a new musical trend becomes popular; for example, Prince was heavily featured around the time of the release of Purple Rain, including a cover, and there are also issues in the 1980s featuring U2 and Big Country. More recently, there are many complaints about Kerrang!'s current emphasis on emo and metalcore music, particularly stemming from the fact that the magazine continually printed issues with My Chemical Romance on the front cover for several weeks, following the release of their album, The Black Parade.

EMAP sold its consumer magazine to current owner Bauer Media Group in 2008.

The current format

Kerrang!'s most successful period came under editor Paul Rees at the turn of the millennium, at which time, the nu metal genre, featuring bands such as Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park, were becoming more popular. Rees went on to edit Q and Ashley Bird took over as editor from 2003 to 2005. Unfortunately for Bird, the decline of nu metal in 2003 meant Kerrang!’s sales went quickly into decline which eventually prompted his sacking.

Kerrang! also includes a satirical comic strip called Pandora (originally Pandora Peroxide ), named for its main character, who is seen every week making fun of recent events in the rock world. The strip is written and drawn by Ray Zell. Other characters include Wek and Web. Wek, the "work experience kid" is a love interest who leaves Pandora and opens a tearoom. He is featured occasionally in strips. Web replaced Wek, and is a "work experience brat". Web has an obsession with Ville Valo of the band HIM. She even has a locket with one of Ville's discarded cigarette butts in it. Other minor characters included in the series are: Auntie P (the original Pandora Peroxide), Orgasm Girl, Billy and Bludwyn.Kerrang! is sold in the UK at £2.20 and is easily found in most shops.

International editions

Emap launched Kerrang! Australia in the late 1990s. Unlike its weekly counterpart in the UK, the Australian edition was published monthly due to stiff competition from free local music publications. Kerrang! is also published in Spanish.

Other media

Kerrang! radio

In 2000 Emap launched Kerrang! as a digital radio station, across the UK. This was principally a 'jukebox' station, playing a back-to-back sequence of rock and alternative music.

On 10 June 2004, Kerrang! 105.2 was launched as a regional radio station in Birminghammarker with an advertising campaign by London-based creative agency ODD. During the day the Kerrang! Radio network broadcasts more accessible acts such as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oasis and Kaiser Chiefs. In the evening and at weekends they have a number of specialist programmes dedicated to the many subgenres of rock music. The radio output includes interviews with those affecting popular culture and society as well as those involved with music, e.g. the Cyborg populariser Kevin Warwick. Following the launch of Kerrang! 105.2, the DAB Kerrang! switched from a jukebox service to carrying a relay of the 105.2 content.

In 2006 Kerrang! stated on their website that they would apply to launch a radio station to South Wales, after Ofcommarker advertised a new FM frequency for the area. However, Kerrang!'s bid for a second station was unsuccessful as Ofcom ultimately decided to award the frequency to rival bidder Xfm (who later sold the South Wales station mere months after launch; it is now broadcast as Nation Radio).

Kerrang! awards

Since 1993, the magazine have been holding an annual awards ceremony to mark the most successful bands in the interests of their readers. The annual poll, which runs alongside the awards usually bears a likeness to those who win at the ceremony. Although in recent years, the winners do not bear such a resemblance to the opinion of the general public, the awards still have an importance in the media coverage a band receive after winning an award.

The first time the awards were televised, was in 2001 via a recording on Channel 5 in the UK, with Channel 4 also showing a recording at late-nights until 2004. The 2007 awards were televised on the now defunct Hits music channel, and the 2008 awards were televised on the new 4Music music channel, owned by Channel 4. In the awards early days, MTV UK used to show the award winners collect their award alongside an interview.

The 17th edition of the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums, highlights Feeder's award win in 2003 for "Best British Band" in their annual-round up of the year, including Metallica's Hall of Fame induction. It also mentions artists who have Kerrang! award wins if it's their biggest award, in the individual biographies for artists in their top 500 of all-time.

Kerrang! TV

In 2001 Emap launched Kerrang! TV. As with the radio station, the TV channel covers the more mainstream side of the rock music as well as classic rock bands like Aerosmith, AC/DC, Guns N' Roses and Metallica.

Kerrang TV is now a joint venture between Bauer Consumer Magazines and Channel 4. The current 'Head Of Music' is Mark Adams.

Kerrang! Tour

Kerrang! Tour is now in its fifth year. It goes around the country and has featured bands such as Bullet for my Valentine, Mindless Self Indulgence and Dir en grey to name a few. Tour is usually announced in October and is held throughout January.This years Kerrang! Tour will feature pop-punkers All Time Low, Welsh post-hardcore band The Blackout, My Passion and Young Guns.

Kerrang! messageboard

In 2001 Kerrang launched its own online forum with the "rants and raves" section taking up most of the traffic. Though initially extremely popular, the number of users began to peter out around 2005 with the number of people online dropping to as low as 10 when previously it had been closer to the 100 figure.

Recent events have seen a surge in the popularity of the old boards as past and present members re-unite to mourn the loss of the legendary Brian.


  • Nichola Browne (editor)
  • Daniel J. Lane (deputy editor)
  • Caroline Fish (art editor)
  • Lucy Williams (production editor)
  • Simon Young (news editor)
  • Nick Ruskell (reviews editor)
  • Katie Parsons (introducing/gigs editor)
  • Scarlet Borg (picture editor)
  • Pamela Steuri (designer)
  • Alex Shellim (junior designer)
  • Bobbie Lane (sub editor/editorial assistant)
  • Phil Alexander (editor in chief)
  • Stuart Williams (managing director)

See also


  2. Roberts, David (2004). British Hit Singles and Albums 17th Edition. Guinness. ISBN 0-851121-99-3

External links

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