As you will have noticed on the contents page of this week's magazine, we've dedicated the issue to the very talented and respected music journalist James McLaren, who died tragically in a traffic accident in South Wales on August 6.
James, who was just 34 years old, was based in South Wales and was a fervent champion of the local music scene. Members of The Blackout, Bullet For My Valentine, Exit_International and A Thousand Arrows contacted Kerrang! to pay their respects.
Sean Smith, The Blackout
"James treated all bands equally. From the moment I first met him to the last time I saw him, he was always happy and interested in what we were up to. It's been and will continue to be a big loss to all music, not just the Welsh music scene."
Mike Lewis, Lostprophets
"I first met James about 10 years ago upstairs in Clwb Ifor Bach and we spent about half hour discussing Gorilla Biscuits, Quicksand and the South Wales scene. I would always see him at local shows - I think he was working for the Welsh Music Foundation at the time. He became a prominent part of the South Wales scene before writing and working for the BBC. He tirelessly supported so many local bands and gave most of them a leg up before anyone else. Over the past 10 years, the South Wales music scene has been one of the strongest in the UK, and James was a massive part of that. His passion and knowledge of music always blew me away; you knew he absolutely loved what he did. He will be missed by everyone that knew him or met him. We were all completely devastated when we heard the news. It still hasn't completely sunk in. Aside from all of his contributions to the scene at large, I just feel like I've lost a friend. RIP James."
Scott Andrews, Exit_International
"When I think of James McLaren, I think of respect, fierce intelligence and wit, consuming passion for music and a wicked sense of humour. He was a mentor to me, and I haven't met anyone who had known James and heard the news who wasn't heartbroken. He was vital in encouraging and supporting what I do when I first appeared on his radar, and without him things would've been so different. An absolute star, the man has left a chasm behind that will struggle to be filled."
Bullet For My Valentine
"We are totally shocked to hear of the sudden death of James McLaren. He was such a passionate music fan, and gave us the most incredible support in the early days of our band. His death is a huge loss for the music world and our deepest condolences go out to his family and friends."
Daf Williams, Panel/A Thousand Arrows
"James was such an approachable, enthusiastic, yet modest dude. Whenever I saw him, he always had about 10 different places to be at once, but always made time for me, and my old band, Panel. He and his friend Louis Pattison agreed to release our mini-album on their label, Cascade Records back in 2005.The whole music scene in Wales owes him a huge debt of gratitude. My heart goes out to all his family and friends."
James' funeral will take place in Cheltenham on August 20. Donations can be made in his memory to Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust or Young Promoters Network. For more details, click here.