Rock Hard (magazine)

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The Rock Hard (also RockHard) magazine is a metal and hard rock magazine from Dortmund, Germany, with subsidiaries in various countries worldwide, including France, Spain, Brazil/Portugal, Italy and Greece. Founded by Holger Stratmann it is published since 1983 in more than 300 editions (Germany alone), since 1989 in monthly regular. Next to the German edition of the Metal Hammer it is the leading magazine for heavy music in Germany. German news magazine Der Spiegel called it the "Zentralorgan" ("Central organ") of the heavy metal fans in Germany,[1] others dubbed it a "Kultzeitschrift" ("cult magazine").[2] Since 1990 the magazine employees are also organizing the Rock Hard Festival, which is held - annually in Gelsenkirchen since 2003 - on the pentecost weekend. The festival is streamed by news magazine Spiegel online, the internet edition of Der Spiegel and the WDR television under the Rockpalast label.[3] The Rock Hard magazine is independent from major media companies. Its slogan is "critical, competent, independent". The magazine contains reports, interviews, specials, reviews, news and all other content regarding hard rock and heavy metal music.

Editor-in-chief of the Rock Hard magazine was since 1990 Götz Kühnemund. In January 2014 he had to leave the magazine with some other editors due to financial needs and creative differences with the magazine's founder and publisher Holger Stratmann. Kühnemund, who is a well known figure not only in the German heavy metal scene, was known for his efforts to preserve what he called the "real heavy metal" instead of going more commercial respectively opening the magazine for influences from different metal substyles. Kühnemund's leave was compared with "the pope leaving the church".[2] Kühnemund then founded a new magazine called Deaf Forever. Boris Kaiser and Michael Rensen became the new editors-in-chief in a dual leadership.

The Rock Hard magazine has an own music streaming channel on the internet video portal[4] It also publishes an own mobile app in addition to the magazine which is available on iTunes and Google Play.[5][6] This comes with the development of sinking number of sold copies of the magazine which is affecting all music magazines in Germany within the last years which forced also the Rock Hard magazine to "concentrate on the core business"[7] and use the online sector for marketing by offering additional services.


  • Holger Schmenk, Christian Krumm: Kumpels in Kutten. Heavy Metal im Ruhrgebiet, 1. ed., Henselowsky + Boschmann, Bottrop 2010, ISBN 3-942094-02-9.


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