Dead Simple Accounting Signs Up for HMA20

Highly-regarded financial experts Dead Simple Accounting have partnered with the Heavy Music Awards for 2020 as an Official Supporter.

The Reading based firm works closely with musicians, creatives, freelancers and small businesses to take the hassle out of finances, with a client list that speaks for itself – including the likes of Architects, Sylosis, TesseracT, SikTh and more – offering a full range of services relevant to every corner of the music industry: self-assessment tax returns, book-keeping, VAT returns, company formation, year ends, payroll, forecasting… Even mortgages.

DSA’s Director James Clayton – otherwise seen as guitarist in The Arusha Accord – has a musical background which means his team understands such music-centric subjects as PRS royalties, merch splits, record advances, multiple revenue sources, touring and subsistence rates. He said, “Loud music and beer you say? Count us in! We’re stoked to be supporting the 2020 HMAs: a very important part of the music calendar.”

HMAs co-founder Andy Pritchard said, “Obviously it can be easy to look at the show on stage and forget about the very real behind the scenes challenges facing everyone who works in the music industry. Quality accounting can be the difference between being able to make a tour work, record another album or simply keep tabs on cashflow, it’s that important. You don’t have to look far beyond Dead Simple Accounting’s client list and reviews to know that they’re one of the best in the game. We’re proud to welcome them to the HMAs for the first time in 2020.”

Find out more about Dead Simple Accounting at their website.

Ticketmaster Returns to Sponsor Best Festival at HMA20

Global ticketing giant Ticketmaster will partner with the Heavy Music Awards for a third consecutive year, stepping up their involvement to act not only as Official Ticketing Partner, but also for the first time as sponsor of the Best Festival category.

Having been involved with the HMAs since 2018, this agreement sees a significant step up in support for the scheme, and will once again provide market-leading ticketing support for the event on Thursday 21 May 2020.

Bonita McKinney, Ticketmaster’s Business Development Manager – Music & Festivals, said, “From alt to prog and the heaviest of the heavy, metal and rock has always been massively important to us at Ticketmaster.

“This was our 16th year working with Download Festival and also saw us working with venues and promoters Fuel Rock Club, Sin City, Marshall Live and Damnation Festival to name a few. It really meant a lot to us when Slipknot got number one back in August as we’ve worked with their team for a while, and continue to champion heavy artists such as Black Futures, Holding Absence, Vukovi and Yungblud across our discovery platforms.

“We are really excited to be sponsoring the Heavy Music Awards for a third year, and look forward to celebrating the achievements of this loyal and passionate industry.”

Heavy Music Awards co-founder Dave Bradley said, “Ticketmaster have been a wonderful partner of the HMAs for a long time now, so it’s great to be welcoming them back in a significantly expanded role for 2020. Ticketmaster’s team are incredibly passionate about pushing the rock and metal cause on the biggest stage. It’s a real privilege to work alongside them for HMA20.”



The Best Festival category was won by Bloodstock Open Air in 2019 (pictured above), with Download Festival and Hellfest Open Air picking up the award in 2017 and 2018 respectively.

Public voting for the fourth annual Heavy Music Awards will open on 12 Feb 2020.

HMA Young Photographer of the Year Returns for 2020

The Heavy Music Awards Young Photographer of the Year competition is back for a fourth year to celebrate outstanding talent among young photographers in the rock and metal scene.

The 2020 edition will once again invite amateur photographers aged 16-21 to submit their images in the hope of snaring the prize. For 2020 we’re excited to announce that the winner will have the chance to be mentored by legendary rock lensman and HMA19 Best Photographer Paul Harries at an exclusive London photo shoot.

Paul will also be responsible for selecting the finalists, before the public is invited to cast their votes and decide the winner.

Paul Harries

Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, Babymetal and Bring Me The Horizon’s Oli Sykes – by Paul Harries

Paul Harries – known around the world for a portfolio bursting with iconic images of artists including Nirvana, Muse, Green Day, Metallica, Biffy Clyro, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden, Slash, Bring Me The Horizon, Ghost, My Chemical Romance, Twenty One Pilots, Blink-182, Slipknot and countless more – said, “It’s a privilege to be asked to provide a short-list for the Young Photographer of the Year competition. I’m regularly asked for advice by budding young photographers so this is a great opportunity for me to edit for the most promising 16-21 year olds. I’m already looking forward to working with the winner on a shoot next year so I can offer advice, hopefully inspire, and perhaps share a few trade secrets.”

Enter Shikari by Dan Mills

The winning shot from YPOTY 2019 – Enter Shikari by Dan Mills

The Young Photographer of the Year competition has become hugely popular since its inception in 2017, and the winner of 2018’s contest, Eleanor Sutcliffe, became a full member of the HMA19 photo team, shooting the red carpet attendees and winners.

Heavy Music Awards co-founder Andy Pritchard said, “YPOTY has become one of the most fun and exciting elements of the HMAs each year – the quality of the photographs we receive is astounding, and we’re incredibly proud to be able to offer this platform to those who will undoubtedly be at the vanguard of heavy music photography in years to come. Having Paul Harries involved for 2020, a genuine legend of the scene, is a real honour.”

Entry for YPOTY20 is open now this location.

For 2020, entrants are asked to submit two photos.

To be eligible, you must be aged 16 to 21 on the date entry closes – 18 December 2019.

Finalists will be announced on 20 January 2020, when public voting will also open. The vote will close on 31 January 2020. The winner will be announced 5 February 2020.

Young Photographer of the Year 2020

Heavy Music Awards Moves to May for 2020, Returns to O2 Forum Kentish Town

The Heavy Music Awards will move to May for its fourth annual celebration, returning once again to London’s 2,300 capacity O2 Forum Kentish Town on Thursday 21 May 2020.

Having taken place in late August from 2017 to 2019, the event is now situated at the front end of the European festival season, and closer to the previous calendar year which forms the basic criteria for entry.

HMAs co-founder Dave Bradley said, “HMA19 was a huge success at the O2 Forum – the entire team is superb and the venue worked perfectly for the Heavy Music Awards. We’re excited to return to Kentish Town with some great new additions to the day to create an even more memorable event for attendees, and even more value for our amazing sponsors and supporters.”

With the new timetable, the nominations and public voting process will now take place much earlier in the year. Exact dates – as well as the line-up for HMA20 and details of the Young Photographer of the Year 2020 competition – will be announced in due course.



For further press enquiries please email pressteam@heavymusicawards.com.
For HMA20 sponsorship enquiries please email team@heavymusicawards.com.

Heavy Music Awards 2019 Winners Announced

The winners of the third annual Heavy Music Awards have been announced at a packed O2 Forum Kentish Town, hosted by Laura Jane Grace alongside live performances by Cancer Bats, Loathe, Nova Twins and Delaire The Liar.

Following wins at both HMA17 and HMA18, Architects continued their run with two awards here – the first time any winner has picked up multiple awards at the same HMAs. The Brighton act picked up Best Album for ‘Holy Hell’, as well as Best Live Band.

Australian heavyweights Parkway Drive picked up Best International Band, capping off a summer that saw them smash a headline performance at first-time Best Festival winners Bloodstock Open Air.

Elsewhere, Best UK Band was taken out by Bring Me The Horizon in the year they topped the All Points East line-up and celebrated a number one album in ‘amo’, while Dream State picked up Best UK Breakthrough Band.

HMA18 headliners Fever 333 won Best International Breakthrough Band, Ghost won Best Album Artwork for the second time in three years thanks to Zbigniew M. Bielak’s work on ‘Prequelle’, legendary snapper Paul Harries won Best Photographer, and Dan Weller picked up Best Producer.

Finally, the hugely popular Dixon family received The H for their services to the heavy music scene. The family are revered on the live circuit for selflessly offering accommodation to bands touring the north east for many years.



Heavy Music Awards 2019: The Winners

Best AlbumPresented by EMP
Architects – Holy Hell
Epitaph Records, Produced by Josh Middleton and Dan Searle

Best UK Band – Presented by Spotify
Bring Me The Horizon
RCA Records

Best International BandPresented by The Pit
Parkway Drive
Epitaph Records

Best Live BandPresented by O2 Forum Kentish Town
Epitaph Records

Best UK Breakthrough BandPresented by Believe
Dream State

Best International Breakthrough BandPresented by Fireball
Fever 333
Roadrunner Records

Best Festival
Bloodstock Open Air

Best Photographer
Paul Harries

Best ProducerPresented by Allianz Musical Insurance
Dan Weller

The H
The Dixon Family



For further press enquiries please email pressteam@heavymusicawards.com.
For HMA20 sponsorship enquiries please email team@heavymusicawards.com.

Behind The Desk with Allianz Musical Insurance: Dan Weller

As part of our series of interviews with producers in partnership with Allianz Musical Insurance – sponsors of the HMA19 Best Producer category – we are discussing career highlights, studio set-up and great advice with some of the finest producers operating in rock and metal today.

For the third edition, we’re talking to Dan Weller. Based primarily in London, Dan is also known as member of SikTh and has produced releases by the likes of Enter Shikari, Young Guns, Dream State, Bury Tomorrow, Babymetal and many more.

What studio are you based at?
For many years I had my own places in London. These days I travel for most of my work. However, when I’m writing a work at my publishers (Bucks Music) studio in Chalk Farm, London.

Could you give us an overview of your career?
My route into production was via forming a band (SikTh) in 2000. We signed a record deal and had the pleasure of visiting some amazing studios. I became obsessed with recording and never looked back. Along with Justin (one of the sikth vocalists) we set up a business where we travelled to bands’ homes recording them. We cut our teeth by working cheaply and frequently – sleeping on floors and learning on the job. Eventually we were getting enough work that we set up a studio in Old Street, London and both took on our own work separately.

What have you been working on in 2019?
Dream State debut album which is amazing. A band called North Atlas from Glasgow, and co-writing/producing an artist from Nashville called Jeffrey James.

What has been the proudest moment of your career as a producer?
I would say Bones by Young Guns going active number one in the US. We had worked together from the very start so it was special to see them rise to notoriety in America.

What would you say are the pros and cons of owning your own studio?
Pros: It looks great to clients, enables you to make the acoustics your own etc.
Cons: If you travel a lot it’s just a massive waste of money and sits gathering dust.



What do you see as the biggest pitfalls when starting out as a producer?
In the current climate it would be the massively competitive nature of it all. Everyone is selling themselves far too much. Focusing on your own skills and staying in the real world as much as possible is key – try not to get sucked into being a name on the internet. Meet people as much as possible.

What has been the most important technological advance you’ve seen in production since you started out?
The fusion of the internet. We used to have to post CDs 🙂 now we can upload files, Skype bands, order parts from Amazon… Completely changed the game. Yes – I now feel very old.

How important is it to insure your equipment? Have you ever had to deal with theft or damage that required an insurance claim?
I’ve never owned huge amounts but the little I do own I have always insured. Luckily, I’ve never suffered a theft.

What is the best piece of production advice anyone has ever given you?
Colin Richardson once told me that I had a “producer’s ear” and that I should pursue a career. I’m sure he was just being polite but I took it in and used it as motivation.

Finally, what one prediction would you make for music production in the next 10 years?
I have absolutely no idea. But people will always want to make music.

You can find out more about Dan on his website.

And you can find out more about Allianz Musical Insurance, sponsors of the HMA19 Best Producer category, at their website.

Cancer Bats Set to Headline Heavy Music Awards 2019, Laura Jane Grace to Host

Canadian punk heroes Cancer Bats are set to headline the third annual Heavy Music Awards at the O2 Forum Kentish Town, London on Thursday 22 August 2019.

Liverpool’s Loathe will support, alongside the genre-destroying Nova Twins, with punk duo Delaire The Liar opening proceedings. All four acts will be performing full sets, between the presentation of the Heavy Music Awards themselves.

In addition, we are immensely proud to welcome the legend that is Against Me!’s Laura Jane Grace as host for the evening.

Tickets are available via a random ballot to HMA19 voters. If you’ve missed out, look out for competitions in the run-up to the awards for further chances to win.

The Heavy Music Awards 2019 are supported by our headline sponsor EMP.


Heavy Music Awards 2019


Check out all the bands right here:





PPL Becomes Official Music Licensing Partner of HMA19

Music licensing organisation PPL is sponsoring the Heavy Music Awards for a third consecutive year, becoming the Official Music Licensing Partner of HMA19.

Sarah Mitchell, Director of Member Services at PPL, said, “Rock music has produced some of the most iconic recordings of all time, evolving over the years and pushing creative boundaries. It is also an important genre for PPL and continues to provide a significant contribution to our music industry’s success at home and abroad. We are honoured to support an event that showcases its foremost talents, and wish everyone shortlisted the best of luck.

PPL has become increasingly important to the industry as it works tirelessly to collect money for tens of thousands of performers and record companies, and this partnership geared towards helping those who may be missing out on what’s rightfully there’s by focusing on exactly what PPL does, and how.

Founded in 1934, the company licenses recorded music in the UK when it is played in public or broadcast and ensures that revenue flows back to its members. These include both independent and major record companies, together with performers ranging from emerging grassroots artists through to established session musicians and influential festival headliners.

Co-founder of the Heavy Music Awards, Dave Bradley, said, “It is wonderful to be welcoming PPL back to the HMAs for a third year, we are excited that we will be working alongside PPL’s incredible, passionate team once again to help spread the word about the very important work they do. Simply learning about what PPL does is compelling enough, so helping artists and record labels recover funds that they didn’t know they were due is a huge added bonus! We can’t wait to get started.”

Click here for more information about PPL.

Palaye Royale to Play Intimate Heavy Music Awards Charity Show in Aid of Nordoff Robbins

Indisputably one of the most exciting bands in rock right now, Canadian trio Palaye Royale are set to play a one-off, intimate charity show at London’s famous Borderline in aid of music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, presented by the Heavy Music Awards.

The show will take place on Monday 17 June 2019, with support from fast-rising UK act Black Futures.

Tickets will go on sale at 9am Thursday 6 June via Ticketweb priced at £20. All proceeds will be donated to Nordoff Robbins.


Palaye Royale - Nordoff Robbins


Heavy Music Awards co-founder Andy Pritchard said, “We are so proud to be working alongside Nordoff Robbins for this year’s Heavy Music Awards, and we could not be more excited to have Palaye Royale on-board to help raise awareness of this inspiring charity’s work, and obviously to play what will be a crazy show in such an intimate setting. We’d like to express our sincerest gratitude to the band and their team for making this happen.”

Nordoff Robbins is the largest independent music therapy charity in the UK, dedicated to enriching the lives of people affected by life-limiting illness, disability or isolation. They support thousands of people through their own centres and by working in partnership with a wide range of organisations including care homes, schools and hospitals.

In the hands of a trained practitioner, music therapy can be used to support people living with a wide range of needs. It can help a child with autism to communicate, unlock forgotten memories for those living with dementia or provide comfort for someone facing a terminal illness.

Their music therapists support people to develop their own ways of being musical in order to explore their potential and connect with the world around them. Their music therapists are trained to work flexibly in a range of settings with people of all ages, responding to their specific needs to evoke positive change.

You can find out more about Nordoff Robbins on their website here.


Behind The Desk with Allianz Musical Insurance: Carl Bown

As part of our series of interviews with producers in partnership with Allianz Musical Insurance – sponsors of the HMA19 Best Producer category – we are discussing career highlights, studio set-up and great advice with some of the finest producers operating in rock and metal today.

For the second edition, we’re talking to Carl Bown. Based at his own Treehouse Studio in Derbyshire, Carl produced the HMA18 Best Album ‘You Are We’ by While She Sleeps, as well as the band’s recent follow-up ‘So What?’, and releases by the likes of Bullet For My Valentine, Fightstar and many more.

How did you get started in music production?
I grew up in bands as a teenager and kept getting demos done that I really didn’t like the sound of, so just started doing them myself with really REALLY basic public domain software, a £99 Zoom FX unit and a reel to reel tape machine in whatever space with whatever we could borrow… It was so basic but I enjoyed the guerrilla nature of it… Next thing I knew I’d got other bands asking me to make their demos etc… Honestly: I had literally no actual idea what I was doing I just used a bit of common sense but I guess it got results!

Could you give us an overview of your career?
Like I said above, I started out as basic as you could get and got busier and busier, in about 2005 I built myself a small studio in a garden shed and took a year out from university to see if I could do production as a full time job. It was demos and local bands singles and low budget albums mostly, until I started getting some signed bands interested to do demo work. I guess that was the turning point. I knew that if I made the demos sound awesome then it would be hard to beat when they came to record them for real! So I stayed up and pulled out all the stops. The plan worked with a band called Fightstar, on the back of that I got nominated for the Music Production Guild “Breakthrough Producer” award… I didn’t win but it led me to find management and ultimately to work with and be mentored by Colin Richardson, a guy who I’d looked up to and who’s work I had revered (and still do) to be the very best of Record Production and mixing. From then on I got to work with bands like Trivium, Carcass and Machine Head as an engineer for Colin whilst also working on my own Productions with While She Sleeps, Gunship etc, and a couple of albums with Bullet For My Valentine.

What have you been working on in 2019?
I started 2019 by taking a bit of time off production and built myself a new mixing studio. At the end of While She Sleeps’ “So What?” I felt like I needed a new space to create and mix in. I ripped out the whole inside of my original Treehouse studio and started again… It was well worth it as I’ve created an incredible mixing environment to work in. I’ve now got two very exciting projects on the go but nothing I can really talk about as the bands haven’t released anything about the projects yet!

What has been the proudest moment of your career as a producer?
This is a tricky one because its kinda like picking a favourite child… Impossible! Maybe when one of the Bullet For My Valentine albums I produced hit number 1 in the UK midweek charts, that was super cool, I loved the album and I think my folks actually believed I had a “proper job” at that point so that was pretty rad. Or maybe WSS selling out the Roundhouse in Camden – the first show I saw them at had less than 50 people in and I KNEW I wanted to make their record and create them a massive sound… Four albums later seeing such a large, passionate crowd singing so loud and so ferociously to the songs that we had produced was a real moment for me. I dunno – one of those, I can’t choose!

What would you say are the pros and cons of owning your own studio?

  • I have more control over time (not literally – but you know what I mean!) – I’m not clock watching and I can work as early or late as I want… I find this really important because I’m quite a night owl and can become more creative at night.
  • The same goes for bands – I want artists to feel chilled and not worried about time running out etc… It’s really important for me to have a comfy room and having full control of the studio allows me to provide that.
  • From the technical side of things it’s fantastic to have a place that has all of my go to gear ready to go and working just as I like it.
  • It was very expensive to do properly – it’s like taking a gamble on yourself to a certain degree, then there is the general wear and tear…. I seem to be forever buying replacement headphones and adapters for things etc.
  • It takes time to do! like I said before I had to take a couple of months off to build my new mix room… time I couldn’t earn any money and just haemorrhaged it on building materials and new gear for the studio!



What do you see as the biggest pitfalls when starting out as a producer?
Unless you come up as someone’s engineer or assistant it’s very hard to get to work with larger/higher profile artists. It’s all about proving your worth when you get the chance – and getting those chances is very tricky and hard to come by. A very real pitfall is making enough money. When starting out trying to become a producer or engineer it’s almost like a chicken and egg thing – you kinda need to make great sounding records with your name on them to help convince bands to work with you, but without great bands you can’t make the records that sound great… Then there is the rub, you need to get paid enough to survive as well. A certain amount of faith is necessary to see it though.

What has been the most important technological advance you’ve seen in production since you started out?
I have to say two things really – one being the development of the Kemper guitar amp modeller. It has quite literally revolutionised the way I can work… I know other producers that feel the same – quite simply it was a game changer in recording guitars. The other is an odd one but I’d have to say the advancements in manufacturing things like microphones have made incredible mics and other equipment much much more affordable and accessible. For example a company called Aston make some insanely good, high quality mics that say 15 years ago just wouldn’t be possible or would have been thousands of pounds to own.

How important is it to insure your equipment? Have you ever had to deal with theft or damage that required an insurance claim?
Very. I’ve had a few bits stolen, nothing massive BUT there was one time most of my studio got blasted in a lighting storm… It was right on top of us, whilst pulling the plugs out we were struck – I got shocked, gear got shocked, stone fell off my house roof… It was a bad time. It was quite early in my career and without insurance it could have really held me back. Now I’ve got two studios fully insured: a mix room and a recording studio – for example my recording studio has some really bespoke bits of gear in it including mixing desk/sidecar that it would be insane not to have insured – it gives me piece of mind that it is protected.

What is the best piece of production advice anyone has ever given you?
After asking Colin Richardson for mixing advice he said “I guess it is all about making sure you can hear what you’re meant to hear, when you’re meant to hear it”. I was expecting something technical and he gave me some Yoda style advice that has really stuck with me.

Finally, what one prediction would you make for music production in the next 10 years?
Hard question! The next ten years are going to be interesting because of the way we listen to and pay for music has nowhere near settled… The way we release music will probably change and therefore the way we produce the work will follow suit. For example the production of individual singles or a short EP is very a different to the mindset of producing a full album of say 12 songs… Perhaps we’ll see shorter bodies of work being produced more frequently and that will potentially lead to more eclectic productions as artists will have a shorter cycle touring before they need to go in the studio again… Either that or grunge will come back and we’ll all be back on 16 track tape… Both sound SUPER FUN me.

Check out Carl’s website right here, and follow him on Instagram here.

You can find out more about Allianz Musical Insurance, sponsors of the HMA19 Best Producer category, at their website.

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