Rockdetector.com reached a landmark tally of 30,000 bands. Not only does this represent the world's biggest database, online or otherwise, of international rock and metal bands, it is the more remarkable for every single band biography being a uniquely penned history.
Rockdetector is owned by Garry Sharpe-Young, known previously for designing album covers for the likes of SKYCLAD, GRIM REAPER, SAVAGE and QUEENSRŸCHE, journalism for U.K., U.S. and German magazines and numerous A&R credits across more than 30 albums. Garry also designed and made Rob Halford's famous "Painkiller" jacket.
"I never imagined in my wildest dreams Rockdetector could get so big — and still have so far to go. I started out just by logging all the facts I could from all the interviews I did and it just grew and grew. Hitting 30,000 bands was quite a stunner."
Rockdetector went online in December 2000. It has already spawned nine accompanying books. Next up is "Classic British Rock" (info) and "Classic US Rock" (info), the first to see full international distribution across USA and Asia through Helter Skelter Publishing in London.
"These books cover all the classics from ZEPP, PURPLE, SABBATH, PRIEST, MAIDEN, VAN HALEN, B.O.C. — progrock, heavy metal, boogie, southern rock and AOR. They also include the major thrash names and come right up to date with today's 'classically' styled bands like THE DARKNESS, VELVET REVOLVER and WINTERVILLE. I still have my next BLACK SABBATH tome in the background too, then all the previous Rockdetector titles will be amended. Black metal, death metal, thrash metal, doom — they are all going to be updated."
In December 2004, Rockdetector launched the Global Gig Guide, a fully searachable international rock and metal concert guide. Within weeks it held data on thousands of concerts around the world.
"The gig guide is just amazing. Bands sign up for a one-off, lifetime fee then enter all their gigs for life — past, present & future. They get quite addicted, putting in future shows and adding in old tour dates too. Bands are signing up really fast."
For the future Rockdetector is focusing on independent bands. Independent CD sales for U.K., Europe and Scandinavia launches this summer.
"I'm getting hundreds of CDs every week now from all over the world and most of them are independent, self-financed releases. Soon bands will be able to sell their CDs straight to fans through the web site and get paid for every one they sell. They'll also get all the regular data updates, soundclips, photos and the gig guide all into the bargain. It's going to be amazing."