Nicky Baldrian

Fireworks & Rocktopia Contributing Writer
Nicky Baldrian
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Just like my other main passion surfing, music has always been a huge inspiration to me, I grew up on bands like Van Halen, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Foreigner, Boston, Sabbath, Al Di Meola, Kiss, Rainbow, Billy Joel, Motorhead, Cheap Trick, Sammy Hagar, Mother's Finest, Journey, Whitesnake, Dokken, Pat Travers, Yes etc. I've been a fan of some many styles within the rock spectrum; I hate categorsing music, a song is a song to me, I either like it or I don't.

I started getting more involved in writing in early 90's but it wasn't until the mid 90's that my first printed articles came into play in Powerplay magazine, with a feature interview I wrote on Joe Satriani. I wrote for a further few issues for Powerplay during which time the internet became my home and I hooked up with Gabor at Strutter Magazine. Many of my articles are still up on the Strutter website at It was a fun time in music and we enjoyed discovering and writing about new obscure bands, a passion the both of us still live for, and we also remain friends to this day. I also contributed articles too a few other websites and joined up in 1999 with the guys from independent rock magazine Sound Barrier, and featured interviews with bands like Mr.Big, Nelson and Lillian Axe etc.

Moving on into the new Millenium I found myself hooking up with Hans, owner of We helped each other for the next two years, helping the labels and bands to get signed, running an online unsigned bands contest each month and eventually getting sponsorship from the melodic rock labels. During this period I put together my first CD, which ended up being two CDs. This was a mammoth two year project that I put together for guitarist Jason Becker, who shot to fame with David Lee Roth but became very ill with Lou Gehrigs disease. Check out the info on the CD here.

Moving on, AOR Dreamzones became a very popular website, to the point that we eventually put out our own FREE CD which we gave away to our readers, again many of my articles are still on the website During the course of this time I helped many bands to get signed. Over the years I had the pleasure of helping artists such as Ken Tamplin, XYZ, Rox Diamond, Silent Rage, Ronnie Le Tekro, Steelheart, Talon, Urban Tale, Crystal Blue and Takara. My next plan of attack was Classic Rock magazine, I started writing for them for 2 or 3 issues only to find that they never paid me for the articles. A few personal issues arose after this, resulting in a bit of banter here and there between people, and in this time I became disillusioned with writing the same things about the same rock ballad and rock anthem etc It seemed that magazines were afraid to be musically open minded.

I became jaded with this scene and finally quit writing. Everywhere you go in this small music scene, people seem to want to rip you off. There is no honesty. However, three years later at the request of a band who had a new album to promote and needed my help, I found myself refreshed and back in the hot seat again, writing for Fireworks Magazine on a new column called 'The Music is Out There' for new bands, a column I orignally started seven years ago. Damn, has it been that long?

So here I am, fighting the cause, fighting the future for what seems to be even darker times for AOR and melodic rock in general than what it was back then. Everyone is cutting corners trying to save a buck, labels issuing albums with bad productions which to me is an insult to the fans who are the ones spending the money and keeping this scene alive. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, with shows like the Firefest creating a huge buzz here in the UK and attracting fans from all over the globe the scene once again is surviving and moving on. So pick your bums up off your seats, and get yourself down to this year's Firefest in October, and let's rock the shit out of the place.

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  • Hombre 444 : Got mine reading it now,best Rock Mag out on Market by far.
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