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Andy Lye is a noted music journalist from England. He started at the reviews website Jukebox, joining founder Vikki Roberts on the editorial team, before joining Zero Magazine and then Burn Magazine.

Online



Andy's first online review was written at the age of 19 for the Deep Purple fan-site The Highway Star ( external link), following his first concert experience seeing Deep Purple at the Cliffs Pavilion Theatre in Southend-On-Sea.

A second, for the Monsters of Rock tour featuring Alice Cooper and Thunder was written the following year for the University of Kent rock society magazine, but was not used. Instead, the review was contributed to Jukebox, which had started a few months earlier that same year.

From 2003 to 2005 Andy contributed regular reviews of albums he was buying and concert he attended to the site, until in mid-2005 he realised that Jukebox had become a bona fide part of the music press, and concluded that other publications and websites couldn't possibly be operating in the same way Jukebox was, i.e. reviewing only the things the writers were paying for as fans.

He started emailing the record labels for some of the albums he had already reviewed to request promotional review copies of their future releases. Several labels agreed and soon Andy and Vikki started to work closely with PR companies and record labels for the first time, rapidly expanding the site's readership.

Over time more labels and companies were brought into the fold and Andy began to conduct interviews via email, creating the site's "Focus" section, and started the now popular "Festival Details" service, collecting together all the line-up, ticket and location details of every major festival in the World into one place for easy reference. With the help of some of the PR companies Andy ran the site's first monthly competitions and started the mailing list, later creating the very well received 'glossy' PDF newsletter, based around the website's design.

In late 2006 noted web-designer and computing author Paul Haine ( external link), creator of the original Jukebox website, began work on a complete redesign of the site with Vikki. As part of this rebirth Andy took the opportunity to work on bringing in new features and services to the site. First he brought in a new writer to focus on some of the more eclectic music that neither he nor Vikki felt able to review. Once Paul had finished the basic look and feel of the main site Andy then designed and created the site's new forums, using the Suddenlaunch site after seeing it put to use on the official website for the Brighton-based rock band McQueen.

With the writers finding they had less and less time in their busy schedules to transcribe and edit interviews for the Focus section, Andy ventured the idea of a "Guest Columnists" section, where people from inside and outside the music industry would contribute their own musings to the site. Andy's basic idea with this section was to provide material that fans and readers would not normally have the opportunity to read. To get the section started Andy brought in famed Canadian comedian Glenn Wool, followed quickly by The Almighty front-man and Circus Diablo guitarist Ricky Warwick, Hull-based singer/songwriter Emma Rugg, Guns N' Roses guitarist Bumblefoot and Bald Freak Music founder Ron "Q-Ball" Scalzo.

Together, Andy and Vikki successfully relaunched Jukebox in February 2007, pleasing readers and industry people alike with the slick new look and new features, and continue to drive the site forward.

Publications



Andy has so far worked for two music print publications, both under the same editor. Both publications are no longer in print.

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Zero Magazine


In June 2005, while reading the message boards on the official website of Rich "The Duke" Ward, Andy came across a post by the editor of a brand new rock music magazine called Zero. After exchanging emails with the editor Andy became a writer for the magazine and featured for the first time in it's second issue. Although uncredited, Andy actually wrote the cover story for that issue, about Marilyn Manson, just four days before print deadline when Manson pulled out of an interview at the last minute.

Andy contributed heavily to the next three issues of Zero before the magazine's deputy editor conspired with the head of the publishers to change the direction of the magazine, leading to the firing of the editor. Andy promptly left Zero, along with almost the entire staff.

Burn Magazine


Just a month later the same editor restarted the magazine he had created prior to taking the reigns at Zero, taking Andy on as staff writer and live editor. Forgoing any publisher involvement Burn operated as a self-financed, self published magazine, garnering much respect from industry folk and rock enthusiasts alike.

Burn continued for a few issues, including Andy's second cover feature, an interview with Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro of Lacuna Coil, before bad organisation and a lack of financing led to it folding in the Autumn of 2006.

Andy's contributions can be found in issues 2, 3, 4 and 5 of Zero Magazine, and issues 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 of Burn Magazine which include several CD, DVD and concert reviews, and interviews with Ian Gillan, Primal Fear guitarist Tom Naumann, Doug Pinnick, The Tea Party drummer Jeff Burrows, Lee Dorrian, Ryan Peake and Daniel Adair, John Corabi, Bruce Kulick and Bonz.

Management



From late 2006 Andy has been working very closely with Essex-based acoustic duo Tizzy Simple, having previously worked alongside both guitarist Leon Ormes and vocalist Nick Renton as a secondary school teacher from October 2003 to April 2005.

Still very much in the early stages of their career the pair recorded their first original song, If Nobody Speaks in April 2007 on home recording equipment. Armed with this first song Andy wrote the pair a press kit and started contacting record labels who accepted unsolicited, electronic demos. He also started work on the band's official website, which currently remains under construction.

Books



Andy has talked about writing a book with a heavy metal band who have had major influence on the metal scene, but discussions have been put on hold while the unnamed band tour their new album. He plans to meet the band's leader when their tour reaches England to pick up the discussions and perhaps begin to gather some material.

A fictional work was started in 2004 over the internet with a friend in the USA, the subject and story of which is unknown, but various personal commitments on the part of both authors led to the project being shelved. Andy still records ideas for the book from time to time, and fully intends to complete it, but it remains on hold at this time.

External Links

  • Jukebox
  • Jukebox Forums
  • Jukebox on MySpace



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