Rock Hard (magazine)
Rock Hard logo
|First issue||November – December 1983|
|Company||Rock Hard Verlags- und Handels- GmbH|
Rock Hard (also RockHard) is a German music magazine published in Dortmund, Germany, with other language editions in various countries worldwide, including France, Spain, Brazil/Portugal, Italy and Greece. The magazine contains reports, interviews, specials, reviews, news and all other content regarding hard rock and heavy metal music. Next to the German edition of Metal Hammer it is the leading magazine for metal and hard rock in Germany. German news magazine Der Spiegel called it the "Zentralorgan" ("Central organ") of the heavy metal fans in Germany, others dubbed it a "Kultzeitschrift" ("cult magazine"). Founded by Holger Stratmann, it has published in Germany more than 300 issues since 1983 and since 1989 has become monthly. Rock Hard magazine is independent from major media companies. Its slogan is "critical, competent, independent". Since 1990, the magazine employees have been 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 by WDR television under the Rockpalast label.
Götz Kühnemund has been editor-in-chief of Rock Hard since 1990. In January 2014, he and some other editors had to leave the magazine 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 metal scene, was known for his efforts to preserve what he called "real heavy metal" instead of going more commercial, opening the magazine to influences from different metal substyles. Kühnemund's leave was compared to "the pope leaving the church". Kühnemund then founded a new magazine called Deaf Forever. Boris Kaiser and Michael Rensen became the new editors-in-chief in a dual leadership. Since February 2016, only Boris Kaiser is editor-in-chief, while Michael Rensen works as an editor again.
Rock Hard has its own music streaming channel on the internet video portal Putpat.tv. It also publishes its own mobile app in addition to the magazine which is available on iTunes and Google Play. This development was due to the sinking sale numbers of copies of the printed magazine, a phenomenon which affected all music press in Germany in recent years and forced also Rock Hard to "concentrate on the core business", using the online sector for marketing and additional services.
- Holger Schmenk, Christian Krumm: Kumpels in Kutten. Heavy Metal im Ruhrgebiet, 1st ed., Henselowsky + Boschmann, Bottrop 2010, ISBN 3-942094-02-9.
- "History of Rock Hard". Rock Hard. Retrieved 3 September 2016.
- GITARREN zu Pflugscharen - Der Spiegel, February 1, 1994, in German
- "Als würde der Papst aus der Kirche austreten" - Freiepresse.de
- Und Schluss! Das Rock Hard Festival live - Spiegel online, in German
- Rock Hard, February 2016, Impressum, p. 130
- Weiterrocken im Netz: Was aus Musikvideos geworden ist - Süddeutsche Zeitung - sueddeutsche.de, in German
- iTunes - Rock Hard app, in German
- Google Play - Rock Hard app, in German
- Musikmagazine: Abgehört - Frankfurter Rundschau, in German