SIDNEY — Nate Pence is one of those guys who just doesn’t give up — even when giving up is what he most wants to do.
Pence, of Sidney, said in January that he was going to start a new magazine. The first issue of Rebel Iron came out in April. It sells in hard copy for $7.95 and online for $7.78.
Getting that inaugural edition into print was not an easy task. Although he had worked previously for a magazine, Pence had no idea what it would take to establish such an enterprise. It didn’t take him long to find out.
“It’s been a long road in a short amount of time. It was frustrating and stressful. Late late nights, early mornings, always on the go. It was 90 percent work and 10 percent fun. I’ve had to learn everything in four months, including sales, marketing, publishing, design and layout software, the basic business aspects of it and yet focus on the direction I want this to go, all the while chasing down content, attending concerts and events,” he said recently. “Not only am I driving the bus, I’m washing the windows, changing the oil, everything.”
The magazine covers motorcycling and heavy metal and rock music.
“Music has been part of my life since I was a little kid,” he said. “And I’m a motorcycle enthusiast.”
He sees it as a quarterly publication, available in print and online editions. He hopes for national distribution and pictures the magazine for sale on racks in gas stations, book stores, and formatted for mobile devises.
“I’m doing this all myself. I don’t have time to do the business nend. Right now, it’s not available by subscription. I’m working toward that,” he said.
The first issue is stylish, reverse-printed on sleek, black pages. It is a kaleidoscope of color featuring photos of bands in performance, models posed on motorcycles and articles written by Pence and a few others.
“This is an opportunity for people who want to get involved — musicians, up-and-coming models,” he said. The models are called Rebel Angels and they help to market the publication. For the most part, it’s Pence who is covering the events and writing about them. The bands he has written about have been hugely supportive of his efforts, he noted.
“These are bands I looked up to and they think what I do is cool,” he said. “Since I’ve started this, I’ve been fortunate to cover shows with Jackyl, Dokken, Firehouse, Trixter, Nova Rex, Jasmine Cain and the band Wayland and Mr. Speed KISS Tribute Band and have made some amazing contacts. I also cover this area’s local metal/rock band scene. For them to be enthusiastic about what I do when I tell them I’d like work with them and what I’d like to do, to having them welcome me on stage to photograph their stage performance to put them in my magazine … is, well for a lack of a better word, amazing.”
Pence has big plans for Rebel Iron. He hopes to sell advertising and establish subscripton distribution. He has already produced the first Rebel Iron RebelFest rock show event — in Troy — and more are in the works. He has begun to build partnerships with rock radio stations and he envisions a line of Rebel Angel-branded apparel. He wants to be able to contribute to charities and award scholarships.
One thing he doesn’t want is for Rebel Iron to be what he called a cookie-cutter magazine. The entrepreneur who holds an Associate of Applied Science in computer graphics and design from ITT Technical Institute and a certificate in heating and air conditioning from Northwestern Ohio University, put a lot his own personality into the first issue.
“Should I put myself in my very first issue?” he asked himself. “Yes, I should,” he answered. “This whole thing is my way of just me being me. Trying to live up to my potential. I want to show people that it doesn’t matter whether you’re from a small town or a large metropolis. What you want is out there and you can get it with the right mindset. If you have a dream, you have to protect it. You have to be enthusiastic and highly motivated and never back down.”
To see the first issue of Rebel Iron, visit the magazine on Facebook.