NYC’s Nylon magazine music director Krissi Murison is the new editor of NME – good job!
It’s been seven years since Conor McNicholas took over from the former Melody Maker writer Ben Knowles as The New Musical Express’ editor.
And when it was announced McNicholas was set to leave the post in June to take up the same role at Top Gear Magazine, there was a collective – albeit slightly veiled – sigh of relief.
Sure, the top dog’s role in UK music-related print journalism is a bit of a poisoned chalice, but for too long the publication has felt staid and underwhelming.
And let’s face it Oasis, and latterly, The Libertines – and the skinny jean movement – have presided over too much of its content.
No wonder then that sales slumped to just over 45,000 a week (down 24.3%) – considerably less than rival niche titles Kerrang! and Metal Hammer.
So, news today that the head honchos at IPC Media have appointed New York-based Nylon magazine‘s music director Krissi Murison as the new editor of NME can only be greeted with quiet assurance.
Why? Here’s why:
* Firstly, let’s not beat around the bush (sorry), she’s a woman – the first female editor in NME’s 57 year history. She was also the magazine’s first female deputy editor.
The move should finally put to rest dull categorisation of bands simply due to their sex.
But most of all, Murison’s appointment will surely lead to the inevitable, and long overdue, demise of all things ladrock.
Of course, this genre never really existed, but the machismo and inherent one-upmanship, blokey, competitive nature of NME during the past TWO decades has led to the rise of not only shoddy bands but shoddy writing where a cocky swagger, garbled fighting talk and a half decent pair of trabs has been championed over any musical pedigree.
Only NME would compose a feature of The Twang holed up in a grotty bedsit doing a running commentary on Oasis’ new dvd while getting smashed on Special Brew.
* Murison loves music – and most importantly loves good music. You’d think this would be an obvious point. But don’t be so sure. McNicholas’ background was from the on-trend world of dance at Musik and Mixmag and under his reign NME has continually been a closed shop of drab cover stars drawing a straight line from the long-dead Britpop ship.
Murison, conversely spent six years at NME as a staff writer, earning her dues as a work experience bod to become New Music Editor championing the finest in UK talent as well as the best from oversees. Such was her keen ear for spotting a choon she won the industry’s Breaking Music Writer in 2005 and the likes of Zane Lowe would regularly come running inviting her to sit on his Gonzo couch to give opinion and comment on the latest round of newcomers.
Oh, and if you need proof as to what she’s into dig this. Clue: She hates White Lies. Huzzah!
* Murison has earned her stripes over in the Big Apple as well as in the UK. If there’s anything the NME need more than ever it’s a pair of ears that’s been observing the UK music scene from outside these shores.
For too long the magazine has been a closed shop – the face of big established bands – cover stars from the UK range from Coldplay, Oasis, Muse, Blur, Arctic Monkeys with only one band – Glasvegas – given the time, gravity and momentum to build up to anything approaching a credible big future. Where is ‘the next big thing’ from Britain?
This is surely part of NME’s writ. It was one of the main reasons why so many people used to buy it but it seems the pendulum as swung firmly stateside for many, many years.
And it’s too unfathomable to believe this is due to a dearth in talent. So what if the magazine hits and misses – it’s the function of the music press to get listeners excited.
Hopefully, Murison can give the UK music scene a much-needed kiss of life.
* She’s HAWT, doesn’t take herself too seriously and is downright ‘lovely’ (so says one NME scribe who wouldn’t be quoted) – need further proof watch this:
Proof positive VOTE KRISSI!