Burst Magazine, Issue 8, August 2013
This is issue #8 of Burst Magazine with Scott Ian of Anthrax on the cover. Also featuring interviews with Elize Ryd, Two Steps From Hell, Enter Shikari and much more. Special article on the Top 20 Rock & Metal Entrance Themes on WWE. On the film section read about director Jean Pierre Jeunet and 4 movie reviews!
August 2013, Issue 8 Elize RYD young, beautifull and sexy! My career is what Iâ€™m proud of two steps from hell Special interview scott ian The fabulous world of 9 772241 538000 ISSN 2241-5386 08 Jean Pierre Jeunet 2 Burst www.burstzine.com 3 Burst Magazine Scott Ian One of the things I like in this business is the chance I have to talk to people I admire and respect. For some, that’s not a big deal, but for me, talking to guys I’ve only seen in videos, or heard on a cd, is definitely making this worth. Read the whole interview with Scott Ian of Anthrax on page 28! pages 6-26 Article/Tributes pages 28-57Inter- views pages 58-60 Album/EP reviews Karolina Pacan On Voices of The Soul Nicoletta Ceccoli Stathia’s Track page 27 ner r o C p Po page 62 page 66 Director’s Cut page 68 Burst www.burstzine.com 4 publisher/editor in chief Raphael Aretakis managing editor Spiros Smyrnis art advisor Aikate D. editors B|S|Orestis Cristina Alossi Danae Christopoulou Dialekti Angeli Eleni Lampraki Eleni Leonida Helen Marie Joyce Korina P. Pana Apostolidou Sissy Fanouraki Sobieski Sisters Stathia S. Pedioti contributing editors Alexandros Nalbanis Andy Phelps Dimitris Tsantoulas Giorgos Kotrozinis Gogo Apostolaki Jo Gogou J.Roberto Zenteno Jimenez Kalliope Tsouroupidou Petros Xatzistilianos Sophie Tsekoura Sotiris Stilianos Vana Valma editor/proofreading Marianna Kofinaki Matina Katsarakou photographers Apostolis Kalliakmanis B|S|Orestis Eileen Von D Jo Gogou Kalliope Tsouroupidou Myrto Cat Raphael Aretakis USA photographer Joe Prostredny Spanish photographer Nat Enemede special guest Karolina Pacan Design & Layout Raphael Aretakis Burst www.burstzine.com Join us Do you want to be part of the Burst crew? We are looking for live reporters, columnists, news writers and photographers from around the world. Contact us now at firstname.lastname@example.org Advertise Send your request to our advertising department at email@example.com and we will work out the best deal for you and your needs. Connect www.burstzine.com www.issuu.com/burstmagazine www.facebook.com/burstmag www.twitter.com/burstzine Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Landline: +30 211 800 1916 Mobile: +30 697 915 7815 Purchace Online www.scribd.com/burstzine 5 www.argophotography.com Burst www.burstzine.com 6 charity work and was awarded with the Outstanding Contribution title at the 2008 Q Awards. On 22 May 2008, Gilmour won the 2008 Ivor Novello Lifetime Contribution Award, while on 11 November 2009, Gilmour received an honorary doctorate from the Anglia Ruskin University. Undoubtedly, Gilmour is mostly known for his lead guitar work. Gilmour’s solo style is often influenced by the blues, expressive note bends and sustain. In 2011, Gilmour was rated the 14th greatest guitarist by Rolling Stone. In January 2007, Guitar World readers voted Gilmour’s solos, “Comfortably Numb” (4th), “Time” (21th) and “Money” (62th) into the top 100 Greatest Guitar Solos. As for Gilmour’s famous solo on “Comfortably Numb”, it was voted as one of the greatest guitar solos of all time in several other polls by listeners and critics. In autumn 2008, he was awarded for Outstanding Contribution to music by the Q Awards. He dedicated his award to his bandmate Richard Wright, who passed away in September 2008. All of the above might remind us of multi-talented people from the Renaissance Era, such as Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo and their ideal of the “universal man”, a freethinking, polymath individual excelling not only in art, but also in their overall contribution to society by means of developing several aspects of their interests and their personality and by trying to achieve an in-depth perspective of things. No exaggeration here. You’re going to find out the reasons soon if you’re still not convinced; but first things first. David Gilmour Modesty and knowing yourself are definitely traits of a mind of an actual genius. We’re talking about one of the best musicians of all time for that matter and a multitalented individual in many aspects, some of which you may find amusing, or even surprising. By Marianna Kofinaki Except for playing the guitar, Gilmour is also a proficient multi-instrumentalist. He also plays the bass (which is evident in many Pink Floyd tracks), keyboards, synthesizer, banjo, lap steel, mandolin, harmonica, drums (as heard on the Syd Barrett’s solo track “Dominoes” and other songs where he opted to play all the instruments) and lately, the saxophone. Although David often stated in interviews that he doesn’t believe in the afterlife and that he’s an atheist, his contribution on a humanitarian level is also remarkable. Gilmour has also demonstrated significant social responsibility, by having been actively involved with countless charities over the course of his career. Ultimately, in 2003, he was appointed CBE (e.g. Order of the British Empire, e.g. receiving the ultimate honor to become an honorary knight) for his Burst www.burstzine.com David Jon Gilmour, born 6 March 1946 in Cambridge, UK, is an English musician and multi-instrumentalist, who was the guitarist, lead singer and songwriter of one of the best and most influential groups of all time, Pink Floyd. Along with the band’s huge musical heritage to “rock ’n’ roll” (as the band members themselves describe their music) , it should be noted that the group has also enjoyed huge commercial success, since they have sold over 250 million records worldwide, including 74.5 million units sold in the United States. In addition to his work with Pink Floyd, Gilmour has worked as a producer for a variety of artists, and has also enjoyed a successful career as a solo artist. From an early age, David Gilmour and his brother Peter have been encouraged to pursue their musical abilities by their parents and they both took up guitar. In 1954, he bought his first single, “Rock Around the Clock” by Bill Haley, while at the age of 13 he was given his first guitar, a Tatay, by his neighbor. Gilmour attended The Perse School on Hills Road, Cambridge, which he “didn’t enjoy. About that time, he met future Pink Floyd guitarist and vocalist Syd Barrett and bassist and vocalist Roger Waters, who have been attending Cambridge High School for Boys, also located in Hills Road. Gilmour and Barrett spent their lunchtime in Cambridge Technical College they both attended in 1962 practicing guitar together. Although they weren’t bandmates yet, they started playing in the band Jokers Wild, which Gilmour left in 1967, since they weren’t very successful…oh wait, that’s an understatement: Gilmour stated in an interview with Nicky Holme on BBC that he ended up being treated for malnutrition in a hospital. Fortunately, this was about to change for good. In late December 1967, Gilmour was approached by drummer Nick Mason, who asked if he would be interested in joining Pink Floyd, which he did in January 1968, making Pink Floyd briefly a five-piece band. He filled in for Syd Barrett’s guitar parts when the frontman was unable to take a consistent part in Floyd’s live performances. Syd Barrett left the group due to his erratic behavior—it’s a common secret that it has been caused by excessive use of LSD—when the band chose not to pick Barrett up one night for a gig; and Gilmour by default assumed the role of the band’s lead guitarist. Further to Barrett’s leaving the band, Gilmour had to take over the mic, with bassist Roger Waters and keyboard player Richard Wright also occasionally singing in Barrett’s stead. However, after the back-to-back successes of “The Dark Side of the Moon” and “Wish You Were Here”, Waters took more control over the band, writing much of “Animals” and “The Wall” by himself. As for Wright, he was fired during “The Wall” sessions, resulting in further deterioration in the relationship between Gilmour and Waters, which reached its peak during the filming of the homonymous film and during the release of the 1983 Pink Floyd album “The Final Cut”. Consequently, after recording “Animals”, Gilmour thought 7 that his musical talents were being underused, and channeled his ideas into his selftitled solo album (1978), which showcases his signature guitar style, as well as underscoring his songwriting skills. A song written during the finishing stages of this album, but too late to be used, was incorporated into another song by Roger Waters, which became “Comfortably Numb” “on “The Wall”. The negative atmosphere surrounding the creation of “The the band and they intended to continue without him. Gilmour assumed full control of the group and produced “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” in 1987 with some contributions from Mason and Richard Wright. Wright officially rejoined the band after the release of the album for a lengthy world tour and helped create 1994’s “The Division Bell”. Gilmour explained: “I had a number of problems with the direction of the band in our recent past, before Roger left. I thought the songs were cluding Roger Waters— at Live 8. The performance resulted in a temporary 1343% sales increase of Pink Floyd’s album “Echoes-The Best of Pink Floyd” Gilmour donated all of his resulting profits to charities that reflect the goals of Live 8 saying: “Though the main objective has been to raise consciousness and put pressure on the G8 leaders, I will not profit from the concert. This is money that should be used to save lives”. Shortly after, he called upon all artists experiencing a surge in sales from Live 8 per- much less complicated to work alone.” As for his agreement to play at Live 8, he said: “There was more than one reason, firstly to support the cause. The second one is the energy consuming an uncomfortable relationship between Roger and me that I was carrying along in my heart. That is why we wanted to perform and to leave the trash behind. Thirdly, I might have regretted it if I declined.” On 20 February 2006, Gilmour commented again on Pink Floyd’s future when he Photo by Polly Samson Wall” album and subsequent film, compounded by “The Final Cut’s” virtually being a Roger Waters solo album, led Gilmour to produce his second solo album About Face in 1984, which was a manner of personal expression of his feelings about various issues, from the murder of John Lennon to his relationship with Waters. He has since admitted that he also used the album to distance himself from Pink Floyd. Waters declared that Pink Floyd were “a spent force creatively in 1985”. In 1986, Gilmour and drummer Nick Mason issued a press release stating that Waters had quit very wordy and that, because the specific meanings of those words were so important, the music became a mere vehicle for lyrics, and not a very inspiring one. Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here were so successful not just because of Roger’s contributions, but also because there was a better balance between the music and the lyrics than there has been in more recent albums. That’s what I’m trying to do with A Momentary Lapse of Reason; more focus on the music, restore the balance.” On 2 July 2005, Gilmour played with Pink Floyd—in- formances to donate the extra revenue to Live 8 fund-raising. After the Live 8 concert, Pink Floyd were offered £150 million to tour the United States, but the band turned down the offer. On 3 February 2006, in an interview with the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, David announced that Pink Floyd would most likely never tour or write material together again. He said: “I think enough is enough. I am 60 years old. I don’t have the will to work as much anymore. Pink Floyd was an important part in my life, I have had a wonderful time, but it’s over. For me it’s was interviewed by Billboard. com, stating, “Who knows? I have no plans at all to do that. My plans are to do my concerts and put my solo record out.” In December 2006, Gilmour released a tribute to Syd Barrett, who had died on 7 July of that year, in the form of his own version of Pink Floyd’s first single “Arnold Layne”. Recorded live at London’s Royal Albert Hall, the single featured versions of the song performed by Pink Floyd’s keyboard player (and Gilmour’s band member) Richard Wright and special guest artist David Bowie. The single entered the UK Top 75 charts at number nineteen Burst www.burstzine.com 8 and remained steady for three weeks. Since their Live 8 appearance in 2005, Gilmour has repeatedly said that there will be no Pink Floyd reunion. Especially after the passing of Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright in September 2008, another reunion of the core group members became impossible. Gilmour said of Wright: “In the welter of arguments about who or what was Pink Floyd, Rick’s enormous input was frequently forgotten. He was gentle, unassuming and private but his soulful voice and playing were vital, “About Face” peaked at No. 32 in 1984). Other album collaborations: In 1985, Gilmour was a member of Bran Ferrry’s band. He played on Ferry’s album “Boys and Girls”, as well as the song “Is Your Love Strong Enough” for the US release of the Ridley Scott-Tom Cruise film Legend. Sir Gilmour also participated in the tenth studio album released by ambient techno group The Orb in October 2010 along with Killing Joke bassist Youth. Gilmour co-wrote every track and their subse- Rowland Rivron and fellow British musicians Mark Knopfler (Dire Straits), Lemmy (Motorhead), Mark King (Level 42) and Gary Moore. Aviation enthusiast: Gilmour is also an experienced pilot and aviation enthusiast. Through his company, Intrepid Aviation, he had amassed a collection of historical aircraft. He later decided to sell the company, which he had started as a hobby, feeling that it was becoming too commercial for him to handle. In a BBC interview, he stated: “Intrepid “My technique is laughable at times. I have developed a style of my own, I suppose, which creeps around [...] I don’t have to have too much technique for it. I’ve developed the parts of my technique that are useful to me. I’ll never be a very fast guitar player. I don’t really know what to say about my style. There’s always a melodic intent in there”. – David Gilmour magical components of our most recognized Pink Floyd sound. Like Rick, I don’t find it easy to express my feelings in words, but I loved him and will miss him enormously. I have never played with anyone quite like him.” In May 2010 Roger Waters confirmed the impossibility of another reunion too, by telling the Associated Press that Gilmour “is completely disinterested in anything like [another reunion]. After Live 8, I could have probably gone for doing some more stuff, but he’s not interested, so it is what it is.” So let’s head back to the characterization of Gilmour as a “universal man”. Except for his active involvement in to Pink Floyd, Gilmour’s huge contribution not only to music but to society in general is quite remarkable in many aspects: Solo Albums: Four solo albums, all four of which charted in the US Top 40 (2006’s “On an Island” peaked at No. 6 in 2006, 2008’s “Live in Gdansk” peaked at No. 26, his 1978 self-titled solo debut peaked at No. 29 in 1978 and 1984’s Burst www.burstzine.com quent parts, and produced, played guitar and sang. The album spent 3 weeks on the UK charts, peaking at number 12. Production-Sound Engineering: Gilmour also took up various roles as a producer, sideman and even concert sound engineer for many artists, such as former bandmate Syd Barrett, Paul McCartney. Kate Bush, Berlin, Grace Jones, Tom Jones, Elton John, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Seal, Sam Brown, Jools Holland, Bob Dylan, Pete Townshend, The Who, Supertramp, Levon Helm, Robbie Robertson, Alan Parsons and various charity groups among others. Aviation was a way for me to make my hobby pay for itself a little bit, but gradually over a few years Intrepid Aviation became a business because you have to be businesslike about it. Suddenly I found instead of it being a hobby and me enjoying myself, it was a business and so I sold it. I don’t have Intrepid Aviation any more. I just have a nice old biplane that I pop up, wander around the skies in sometimes.” Social Sensitivity/Activism: On 25 May 2009, he participated in a concert at the Union Chapel in Islington, London, which was part of the ‘Hidden Gigs’ campaign against hidden homelessness, organized by Crisis, a UK-based national Music for Video Games: In charity campaigning against 1994, Gilmour played guitar homelessness. Surprised? Not for the video game Tuneland, at all: In May 2003, Gilmour along with Scott Page, the ad- had already sold his house in ditional saxophonist for Pink Little Venice to the Ninth Earl Floyd. Spencer and donated the proceeds worth £3.6 million to Comedy: David Gilmour also the organization in question participated in a comedy skit to help fund a housing protitled “The Easy Guitar Book ject for the homeless and he Sketch” along with comedian has been named Crisis’ vice president ever since. Other charities to which Gilmour has lent support include Oxfam, the European Union Mental Health and Illness Association, Greenpeace, Amnesty International, The Lung Foundation, Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy, Teenage Cancer Trust and PETA. He even donated £25,000 to the Save The Rhino foundation in exchange for writer’s Douglas Adams’’ name suggestion for the album that became The Division Bell. In regards to the latter, on 11 July 2010, Gilmour gave a performance for the charity Hoping Foundation with Roger Waters in Oxfordshire, England. During that event, it should be noted that Gilmour and Waters were seen laughing and joking together along with their respective partners and seemed to be the best of friends. Plus, there’s more: Waters subsequently confirmed via his Facebook page that Gilmour would play “Comfortably Numb” with him during one of his shows on his upcoming The Wall Live Tour and so it happened: Gilmour performed the famous guitar solo on 12 May 2011 at the O2 Arena, London and, along with Nick Mason, played with the rest of the band playing “Outside the Wall” at the end of the show. This hopefully means that the rivalries of the past between the two musicians are finally over. That actually reminds me of the verses of the beautiful Pink Floyd song, “Childhood’s End”, that goes like this: Who are you and who am I To say we know the reason why Some are born some men die Beneath one infinite sky There’ll be war there’ll be peace But everything one day will cease All the iron turned to rust All the proud men turned to dust And so all things time will mend So this song will end. 9 cinderella By Sobieski Sisters The 80’s was the decade that glam-metal scene popped out with hundreds of bands of this style coming and going. Somehow, like this an american band named Cinderella was formed but their fate would last after midnight! Their music exceeded the music barriers of the genre with the addition of blues sounds and the characteristic voice of their frontman who was also a charismatic musician. With a big number of ear-catching songs, including some of 80s favorites power ballads, they managed to succeed. Cinderella were formed in 1983 when multi-talented musician Tom Keifer (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards-piano, mandolin, dobro, saxophone, harmonica) and Eric Brittingham (bass guitar)decided to create another hard rock band. Something common back then (you know, glam clothing, big hair, high vocals) but it turned out a lot more interesting! Guitarist Michael Smerick and drummer Tony Destra would complete the original line up and so the band started playing in various clubs around Pennsylvania creating little by little their first fan base.A performance in Empire Rock Club was meant to change their fate as they got spotted by Jon Bon Jovi (who also made an appearance in their “somebody save me” video).This acquaintance got them in touch with the Mercury /Polygram record company that signed them in 1985.The guitar and drums places were taken by Jeff LaBar and Jim Drnec and they were ready to begin the recordings of their debut album! Their first album Night Songs was released in 1986.It signaled another change in lineup with Fred Coury joining the crew just in time to participate in the album cover photo shoot and start touring in order to promote their work. Their debut proved to be surprisingly successful and made it to number 3 in Billboard charts in 1987. Not bad for a starting artist in the scene. Their hit videos “Somebody save me “, “Shake me” and “Nobody’s Fool” were MTV favorites. The band was at once embraced by the audience and so “Night Songs” finally got triple platinum. Right after releasing their album they start appearing in big venues as an opening act for Loudness or Bon Jovi’s “Slippery When Wet” tour. In 1987 they croseds the US boarders and toured in Europe and Japan. Soon enough they released their next album under the name “Long Cold Winter” that signaled a blues-ier perspective in their music style, differing them from other glam-rock bands of the day. With their fun base growing more and more popularity and successes coming, they reached number 10 in charts resulting in “Long Cold Winter” getting doubleplatinum.”Gypsy Road” and “Don’t Know what you got till it’s gone” could be heard in every radio station. The band also started touring as headliners this time with more money invested in their shows making them bigger and more impressive(e.g. snow falling in Long Cold Winter song ).Their tour lasted for more than year and one major moment was their performance in Moscow Music Peace Festival where monster names of the rock scene stared. Their third album Heartbreak Station came out in 1990 getting more and more into the blues spirit. We see the usage of acoustic instruments, more slide guitar and saxophone and a few songs are performed by a full orchestra. The MTV promotion and support started reducing little by little, however the song “Hot and Bothered” was included in the soundtrack of Wayne’s World movie. Bad news began coming with Keifer facing problems with his vocal cords in 1991 that put their next album on hold for some time. After three years they managed to release their fourth album “Still Climbing”, with Kenny Aronoff on drums.90’s swift in music style, with grunge bands being the new favorite took a toll in glam-rock bands including Cinderella. MTV support ceased,album soon dropped from charts and it seemed that big venues era was over. On top of all this Mercury records broke their record contract and the band took a couple years off. In 1997 Mercury Records released” Once upon a..” which was a best of album. From this point the band made some efforts to have a deal with other companies but eventually didn’t achieve a stable deal in order to release another album. Despite that fact they were very active in the live area, touring worldwide in big and smaller venues like Sweden Rock Festival, Monsters of rock and Rocklahoma Festival. It’s impressive that although since end of 90’s they have no new material they still have faithful fans that keep attending their concerts in order to enjoy their all time favorite hits. After all Cinderella managed to lead their own story and it’s impressive that with only 4 albums they managed to make 15-million-albums sale worldwide and leave a mark in the scene in their own way. Burst www.burstzine.com 10 global by Dialekti Angeli and Sissy Fanouraki The terms… The dictionary refers to the term language as “the human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, and a language is any specific example of such a system”, while the term music is “an art form whose medium is sound and silence”. We use both these terms in our everyday lives. Music lovers usually stress on the fact that music is the only language that unites us all… The word ‘music’ derives from the Greek one “μουσική” (“art of the Muses”) and played an integral part of social and cultural life in Ancient Greece. Nowadays, music has no limits and knows no boundaries and, therefore, is a significant ingredient in the recipe of joyful moments in life. When the music meets the language… As far as music and language are concerned, each country has two “stages”; the mother-tongue-stage and the English-tongue-stage. In fact, bands and artBurst www.burstzine.com ists have more possibilities to become POP (aka popular) worldwide when they choose the latter. While the majority of the world speaks and/or understands English, there are a lot of great bands who prefer singing in their native language. Someone might say that it could be annoying not to understand what a song is about, but for the majority of metalheads the language doesn’t really matter. It is how the music sounds after all. But what happens to the rest of the artists or bands, who choose a less pop path and prefer to sing in their own language? From Spanish to German, Russian to Japanese and so on, the metal genre manages to knock down the linguistic barriers and have an international audience all around the world, proving once again that music – along with mathematics - is the universal language. This article is an attempt of presenting just a few of a whole load of great metal bands out there so, let’s start our mini-trip around the world to find out some of them… We have to admit that the selection process was extremely difficult, as there are so many incredible bands in each and every country. So here we are… First stop, Russia! We present to you a heavy metal band which comes from Moscow and is called Ария (Aria). The band formed in 1985. Their first album “Megalomania” – a true masterpiece – sounded very professional and it looked like nothing performed in USSR before. Most of Aria’s lyrics have been written by the professional poets Margarita Pushkina and Alexander Yelin. One of their most known songs is Штиль (Calm), a song which Till Linderman and Richard Kruspe of Rammstein themselves have also covered. The media call them “The Russian Iron Maiden”; no surprise there, since their NWOBHM (New Wave of British Heavy Metal) sound does remind us of the legendary British band indeed. If you are into fast riffs and signature vocals of the heavy metal genre, it is enough to listen to Баллада о древнерусском воине (The Ballad of the Ancient Russian Warrior) or Бои без правил (Ultimate Fighting) and Кто ты? (Who are you?) in order to love these guys. 11 metal We now move to France, where Aes Dana (“People of Arts” in Old Irish) is a French Celtic black metal band, which formed in 1994 and still performs to the day. The band has released one demo “Chroniques du Crépuscule” (Chronicles of Twilight) in 1997, and two full length albums: “La Chasse Sauvage” (The Wild Hunt) in 2001 and “Formors” in 2005. The result which derives from the mix of growling vocals and Irish flute or Bombard, is extravagant. Echo of Dalriada is a Hungarian epic folk metal band which formed in 1998 but later, at the beginning of 2007, the name was simplified and it’s now known as Dalriada. The band manages to incorporate the incredible rich heritage of the Hungarian folk music without missing out death and gothic elements. Their first studio album was released in 2004 by the name “Fergeteg” (which means “January” in ancient Hungarian). Six more albums followed, each one of which bearing the name of a month in ancient Hungarian, with the exception of the “Arany” album, which was named after the famous Hungarian poet from the 19th century, Janos Arany. The lyrics are mostly sung in Hungarian and are entirely written by the band itself, with the exception of those taken from folk songs. Next stop, Iran! Kahtmayan is an Iranian Heavy metal band formed in 2003 in Tehran. The band has released one live album in 2004, two full length albums; “Exir” (2005) and “Virtual Existence” (2009) as well as a DVD, “Live in Studio: The Last Station” in 2006. Their songs are exclusively instrumental and there is a complete lack of lyrics; however we considered it necessary to mention these guys here, since they are a living proof that the music has no boundaries and, last but not least, because their sound is simply extraordinary. In Finland, yet another country with great music industry, we meet so many heavy metal artists and bands… Teräsbetoni is a great example; they became “pop” when they competed in the Finnish National Pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008. The band won the nomination (38.9% of the final votes cast) and represented Finland with the song “Missä miehet ratsastaa”. Formerly known as Shaman (1996-2003) or Shamaani Duo (1993-1996) Korpiklaani is a folk metal band, which started with folk music before becoming a metal one: acoustic guitar, shamanic drumming and yoik singing! Korpiklaani is best known for the party-attitude in live gigs and in albums alike. Finntroll is another folk metal band from Helsinki, combining black metal elements and folk metal. The lyrics are mostly in Swedish: the band’s first vocalist Katla used Swedish was part of a Swedishspeaking minority in Finland, so he thought the sound of this language would suit better to the band’s “trollish” outfit. Going from the one corner of the planet to the other, let’s introduce you Hurd, a Mongolian heavy metal band which was formed back in 1993 by the drummer Dambyn Ganbayar. Along with the revolution in Mongolia, Hurd is considered to be Burst www.burstzine.com 12 the first band to introduce the heavy metal music into the Mongolian music scene. Mezarkabul is a pioneer Turkish heavy metal band that amalgamated many elements of rock music and easily gained popularity in Turkey. Former guitarist Demir Demirkan wrote the lyrics and produced the 1st Turkish song ever to win the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003, “Every way That I Can” performed by Sertab Erener. Al-Namrood stands for “the non-believer” and comes from a Saudi Arabia’s ancient historical autocratic character that cruelly ruled the world and declared “I am the God of all creation”. Al-Namrood sound similar to Melechesh (from Israel) with a black metal–ish sound. Japan has always been a measurable metal music industry with too many heavy, power and progressive bands. Galneryus is only one example of excellent progressive power metal with lyrics written mostly in Japanese, although there are some choruses in English as well. Another country with excellent music scene is Germany… Countless amazing bands, clubs and pubs! Apart from Rammstein, who are already known worldwide, In Extremo is also a great example of the “extreme” metal music genre. It’s neither heavy nor gothic; it combines various elements and traditional sounds such as hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, Uilleann Pipes, shawm, harp, cittern, klangbaum, and various types of drums and percussion… Their first album had lyrics written in German, while the second had French, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian and Swedish! After several releases the band mostly uses German or Swedish lyrics. Apart from English, there is also another language which is spoken by the other half of the world: Spanish. There are so many Spanish-singing rock/metal bands that we would need an extra 1800 words just to name them! In any case, we chose three, amongst 100, just to give you a clue. Mägo de Oz is a metal band of diverse influences from power, progressive metal, Celtic and Hard Rock, Blues Rock and of course Rock ‘n’ Roll. With 11 studio albums, Mägo de Oz is one of the most re- spected Spanish metal bands. In 1992 the band was among the finalists in the Villa de Madrid contest and in 1995 was declared as “Revolution Rock Band”. Avalanch combines heavy metal with elements of hard rock, pop and folk and along with Mägo de Oz have been described as the “leading” Spanish-language heavy metal bands. Metal united… No one can deny the indisputable role of the metal genre in getting people to drop their prejudices and actually get to communicate with each other, by lowering their cultural barriers, as well as by finding pleasure and common ground interests-wise. It doesn’t matter where they live in or what language they speak. As long as they listen to music, they can connect and come closer to understanding – and respecting - both the differences and similarities of their fellow metalheads on the other side of the globe. If only politics had been like that, the world would have been such a better place to live. Greek, music portal www.in2music.gr Facebook facebook.com/in2music.gr Burst www.burstzine.com Twitter twitter.com/in2music 13 200 live Albums you must hear without labeling music by marianna kofinaki “Without music, life would be a mistake.” Friedrich Nietzsche Who could imagine life without music? Music is but a single They’re all works of art, regardless of musical genre or era. entity, devoid of “labels”, destined to speak to our very souls. And of course listening to our favorite artists performing live Burst Magazine is proud to present all those live musical is a priceless, unforgettable experience. diamonds, traveling you from the end of the ‘50’s till now. Are you ready for the trip? Brace yourselves and let us begin! Have you ever wondered how many beautiful live albums are out there? There’s no need to prioritize them by preference. Special Thanks to George Kofinakis band released album info 1 Duke Ellington 1958 Ellington at Newport Ellington at Newport is a 1956 live jazz album by Duke Ellington and his band of their 1956 concert at the Newport Jazz Festival, a concert which revitalized Ellington’s flagging career. Jazz promoter George Wein describes the 1956 concert as “the greatest performance of [Ellington’s] career... It stood for everything that jazz had been and could be.”. It is included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, which ranks it “one of the most famous... in jazz history” 2 Ray Charles 1958 At Newport Ray Charles at Newport is a 1958 live album of Ray Charles’ July 5, 1958 performance at the Newport Jazz Festival. All tracks from this album, along with all tracks from his 1959 Herndon Stadium performance in Atlanta, were also released on the 1987 Atlantic compilation, Ray Charles, Live. This cd reissue includes a previously unissued number from the Newport concert, Swanee River Rock. 3 Ella Fitzerald 1958 Live at Mister Kelly’s Ella Fitzgerald Live at Mister Kelly’s is a live album of a 1958 Ella Fitzgerald performance at Mister Kelly’s, and released in 2007. Released to coincide with the 90th anniversary of Fitzgerald’s birth, this is one of several live albums that Fitzgerald recorded in the late 1950s. # cover Burst www.burstzine.com 14 # cover band released album info 4 Stevie Wonder 1963 Little Stevie Wonder-The 12 Year Old Genius Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius is the first live album by Stevie Wonder. The album was released on the Tamla record label (catalog #240) on May 31, 1963, the same month as the single release of “Fingertips” (catalog #54080). “Fingertips” topped both the Billboard Hot 100 chart and the R&B Singles chart,and Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius topped the Billboard 200. 5 Etta James 1964 Rocks The House! Etta James Rocks the House is the first live album by American R&B singer Etta James and her fifth album overall. It was recorded live on the nights of September 27 and 28, 1963 at the New Era Club in Nashville, Tennessee and released in 1964, becomingthe artist’s first recorded live album under Argo Records. The concept was to catch James in a raw and fiery performance outside the recording studio. The album is among her finest live recordings. 6 The Yardbirds 1964 Five Live Yardbirds Five Live Yardbirds is the live debut album by English blues rock band The Yardbirds, released in the United Kingdom in December 1964 by Columbia Records. The album has been re-released and remastered by numerous record companies ever since. 7 The Beach Boys 1964 Concert Beach Boys Concert is a live album by The Beach Boys, released in 1964. It is their seventh album in all, and their third alone in the same year. What is perhaps most notable about the album is that it provided The Beach Boys with their first #1 album in the US, remaining at the top for four weeks during a sixty-two week chart stay and becoming another gold seller. 8 Frank Sinatra 1966 Sinatra at the Sands Sinatra at the Sands is a 1966 live album by Frank Sinatra, accompanied by Count Basie and his orchestra, conducted and arranged by Quincy Jones, recorded live at the Copa Room of the Sands Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.It was Sinatra’s first live album to be commercially released, and contains many definitive readings of the songs that are most readily associated with Sinatra. 9 Bob Dylan 1966 The Royal Albert Hall Concert Live 1966: The “Royal Albert Hall” Concert is a two-disc live album by Bob Dylan, released in 1998 and recorded at the Manchester Free Trade Hall during Dylan’s world tour in 1966, hence the quotation marks around the misinformation attribution to the Royal Albert Hall. Extensively bootlegged for decades, it is an important document in the development of popular music during the 1960s. Burst www.burstzine.com 15 band released album info 10 Otis Redding 1967 Live In Europe Live in Europe is a live album from soul singer Otis Redding. It was Redding’s first live album as well as the only live album released during his lifetime, issued exactly five months before his passing on December 10, 1967. The album was recorded during the Stax/Volt tour of Europe and Redding is backed by Booker T. & the MG’s. Recorded at the Olympia Theatre, Paris; March 21, 1967. 11 The Temptations 1967 Live Temptations Live! was the first live album to be released by The Temptations. Recorded on October 3, 1966 in the Upper Deck of the Roostertail club in Detroit, Michigan, and released on album by Gordy (Motown) Records in 1967, the album features David Ruffin, Paul Williams, Eddie Kendricks, Melvin Franklin, and Otis Williams performing their regular live repertoire for a highly receptive crowd mostly consisting of young women. 12 Johnny Cash 1968 At Folsom Prison A live album and 27th overall album by Johnny Cash, released on Columbia Records in May 1968. Since his 1955 song “Folsom Prison Blues”, Cash had been interested in performing at a prison. Backed with June Carter, whom he married later that year, Carl Perkins and the Tennessee Three, The Man in Black performed two shows at Folsom State Prison, CA on January 13, 1968. 13 Ten Years After 1968 Undead Undead is the second album by Ten Years After, recorded live at the small jazz club, Klooks Kleek, in London, May 1968. Their eponymous first album was bluesy, but less emotional and passionate, and so the band decided to record the album live. The result was a combination of blues, boogie and jazz playing that merged more traditional rock and roll with 1950’s-style jump blues. 14 The MC5 1969 Kick Out The Jams The debut album by American protopunk band MC5, released via Elektra Records, was recorded live at Detroit’s Grande Ballroom over two nights, Devil’s Night and Halloween 1968. It peaked at No. 30 on the Billboard 200 chart. Although the album received an unfavorable review in Rolling Stone magazine upon its release, it’s considered an important forerunner to punk rock music, and in 2003 was ranked number 294 on Rolling Stone’s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time” . 15 The Grateful Dead 1969 Live Dead The first official live album released by the San Francisco-based band Grateful Dead, recorded over a series of live concerts in early 1969 and released later in the year on November 10. Upon its release, Robert Christgau wrote that side two of the double album “contains the finest rock improvisation ever recorded.” # cover Burst www.burstzine.com To be continued on issue 9, september 2013. Keep bursting! 16 TOP 20 ROCK & METAL ENTRANCE THEMES by Alexandros Nalbanis All photos used in this article are property of wwe.com or any other rightful owners. Burst has no rights on any of the photos whatsoever. WWE and rock music have a long and impassioned relationship. The first rock and metal wave hit the then-named WWF during the New Generation Era (1993-1996) and set it’s very basis during the legendary Attitude Era which lasted from 1997 to 2001. Until the present day, WWE and metal music are tied with strong bonds, and many metal songs of all genres have been used as the show’s title themes, PPV themes or wrestlers’ entrance themes. The latter will be the ones to concern Burst www.burstzine.com us here, as I made an effort to pick the The final ranking is totally based on Top 20 of those from a very long list personal taste and it took WAY too of quality songs. much discussion and thought. There was a big effort to put away any To be able to rate such music using the favor about the wrestlers connected most objective criteria I could, I set with the songs, thus ranking them as the following rules for participation: music pieces and nothing else. no instrumental themes and no preWWE released songs. Well, hang on ‘cause... “it’s clobbering time”!!! The Top 20 consists only of songs composed for the WWE. As for the pre-released ones that were used later by the WWE, there is a specific honorable list. 17 HONORABLE MENTIONS – THE PRECEDED SONGS *Back in mid-80’s the Junkyard Dog was one of the first to enter the arena under a famous rock bass line, the opening line of “Another One Bites The Dust” by Queen. *This one wasn’t the only Queen song to be used by WWF, as The Dream Team (Brutus Beefcake & Greg Valentine) used the all-time sports favorite “We Are The Champions” during their World Tag Team championship reign. *The U.S. Express (Mike Rotunda and Barry Windham) were as patriots as rockers; they used Bruce Springsteen’s “Born In The U.S.A.”, which worked perfectly when they battled anti-american tag teams like Iron Sheik & Nikolai Volkoff. *Around the same period, 1984-1986 to be exact, Hulk Hogan capitalized the fame of his Thunderlips character from Rocky III and used “Eye Of The Tiger” as his WWF theme, thus making the Survivor classic even more iconic. *During his return to WWE in 2002, thennicknamed “Hollywood” Hulk Hogan was a part of the nWo and used another classic piece, this time being “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by Jimi Hendrix Experience. *The Undertaker is arguably the most “metal” wrestler all around, but he used actual rock/metal themes only for a three years period. That was when he embraced an earthly gimmick, between 2000 and 2003. The first time Taker used a song not written specifically for him was in 2000, when he entered the arena on his super cool motorcycle under “American Bad Ass” by Kid Rock. The song’s title eventually named the gimmick, so Undertaker was nicknamed American Bad Ass at the time. *Kid Rock’s song lasted eight months, before ‘Taker changing it to Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin’ (Air Raid Vehicle)”. At Wrestlemania X-Seven in 2001 Limp Bizkit played the song live during the Deadman’s entrance, leading him to his first Wrestlemania match-up against Triple H. *The third time The Undertaker used a pre-WWE song was in 2011, during the “Wrestlemania month” (March 7 to April 6). The late Johnny Cash was singing “Ain’t No Grave (Gonna Hold This Body Down)” with the Deadman walking terrifyingly down the ramp. Absolutely matching lyrics, don’t you think? *WCW was bought by WWE in 2001, and a year later ex-WCW president Eric Bishoff reintroduced himself to the wrestling world as the new general manager of WWE RAW. He was back, and there was no better way to express that than the AC/ DC anthem “Back In Black”. *ECW defunct back in 2001, but during the ECW One Night Stand in 2005 (under WWE production) the “Hardcore Icon” Sandman entered the arena with his most successful ECW theme, Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”, driving crazy the capacity crowd. *In November 2004 Edge adopted “Metalingus” by Alter Bridge as his theme, with the song being released only a few months earlier. That’s still his theme whenever he sparingly appears on the WWE, as he retired from wrestling in 2011 due to a serious neck problem. *The Nexus, one of the most prospective and populous stables ever (13 members overall), used “We Are One” by 12 Stones between 2010 and 2011. *On April 3rd 2011 Wrestlemania XXVIII was held, and the night’s biggest match was Triple H vs The Undertaker, ten years after their first Wrestlemania collision. The “Cerebral Assassin” made a really special entrance under the notes of “For Whom The Bell Tolls” by Metallica, with that metal classic serving as an prelude for his signature theme “The Game”. *The most recent use of a classic rock song in WWE is that of Living Color’s “Cult Of Personality”, CM Punk’s current entrance theme. That 1988 top hit was used by CM Punk during his independent circuit days and he chose to reuse it in WWE starting from 2011, after five years with “This Fire Burns” by Killswitch Engage. Burst www.burstzine.com the countdown 18 20. “Ain’t No Make Believe” - Stone Free Experience John Morrison Well, this one lacks the greatness of the original Jimi Hendrix stuff, but I guess that’s why Stone Free Experience are a Jimi Hendrix cover band... All jokes aside, Ain’t No Make Believe is a good old school psychedelic rock song, and has one of the most recognizable beginnings of all wrestling themes (that nasty horn). Regarding the “not-so-greatas-Hendrix” comment I made before, I should point out that the song is not composed by Stone Free Experience, but from the long-time WWE chief composer Jim Johnston. They only remixed and re-recorded the song to make their much-betterthan-the-original version. John Morrison used the original instrumental for a couple of months in 2007, before changing to the complete version we ‘re subjecting here. That entrance theme found great success, as Morrison used it for approximately four years before he left WWE in 2011. To the present day, many fans hope that during the annual Royal Rumble match the horn will sound once more and that great athlete will appear under the titantron, making a surprise return that will be much debated! Key lyrics: “Watch me, I’m takin’ your heart today. ‘Cause you know the best in the business, babe. Hey! You should’a never showed up to play. ‘Cause I collect on the mistakes that you made. Too much wastin’ time, ain’t gonna waste no more. You got nothing to say, so watcha keep talkin’ for?” 19. “Just Close Your Eyes” - Waterproof Blonde/Story Of The Year Christian Here we have a song with two different versions, and I’m not gonna pick a favorite; you are! Jim Johnston did the composing again, and in 2004 Waterproof Blond recorded their version for Christian’s “Captain Charisma” gimmick. To be honest I think the female vocals are average, but the melody is catchy and the mid-tempo heavy guitar work is worthwhile. Christian used that one for a year before he left WWE for TNA in 2005. Upon his surprise return in February 2009, the crowd popped out of their seats listening to a new version of Just Close Your Eyes, this time by Story Of The Year. That post-hardcore version made quite an impact, as many think it works better as a wrestling entrance theme due to it’s more aggressive touch. It’s faster and heavier than the original, and this time the vocals are slightly better for my taste. That second version is Christian’s theme song to the present day, more than four years later. a special announcement on MySpace, including a video with Bourne’s new-themed live entrance. Unfortunately Evan Bourne’s career isn’t equal to his abilities so far, mostly due to some bad choices he made. There is always a possibility to turn things around though, so we wait and see! Regarding the song, it seems that WWE has a good sense of when a theme really works, as this one lasts from 2009 ‘till now; a nearly four years overall that we also noticed on the previous two songs of that list. Good work Mutiny Within! Key lyrics: “If you close your eyes, your life, a naked truth revealed, dreams you never lived and scars never healed. In the darkness life will take you to the other side, and find me waiting there you’ll see if you just close your eyes.” 18. “Born To Win” - Mutiny Within Evan Bourne Burst www.burstzine.com That’s a pretty fast and powerful song, perfectly matching the restless and fearless high flyer that Evan Bourne is. Mutiny Within are known for playing mainly metalcore and power metal music, so this should give you an idea of how Born To Win sounds. The lyrics are well written too, telling the story of a super fast punisher that becomes the nightmare of his enemies. The night that “Air Bourne” used this song for the first time Mutiny Within made Key lyrics: “I move as fast as the speed of light, I’ll take you into the darkest night, make you believe what you don’t want to see, for the rest of your life you will answer to me! Some are born to fight, some are born to sin, I was born to light the fire, all that you fear. Some are born to fight, I was born to win! ” 17. “This Fire Burns” - Killswitch Engage CM Punk The Chicago Made Punk used to enter the ring with that Massachusetts made metalcore song for five years, from 2006 to 2011. Does this mean it’s a good song? As the late Randy Savage would say, “Oh Yeah!” This Fire Burns was meant to be Randy Orton’s new entrance theme at the time, but for unknown reasons the idea was abandoned and the song was used for the first time as WWE Judgment Day’s theme on May 2006. Three months later CM Punk debuted on WWE and from then on This Fire Burns first notes meant “The Voice of the Voiceless” was coming out looking for trouble. The lyrics are absolutely prophetic, as they are about an impassioned person who’s destiny is to succeed. In other worlds? CM Punk. The guy is probably the only wrestler to be that much popular for so long time since the beginning of the Cena mania (duh...), and that takes a lot of skill and charisma; and pretty good entrance themes! Remember, he dropped that one only for “Cult of Personality” by Living Color, a real classic! Ah, that guy is charismatic. I suggest that you listen to this song with his entrance video playing! The music is based on Taker’s previous instrumental theme “Dead Man”, a mid tempo heavy rock piece. As you can tell from the title, the lyrics are about The Undertaker punishing his coward opponents with his badass methods, making them pay for their mistakes. The highlights of the song are the bell sound and “Dead man walking” trademark phrase in the beginning and the masterful guitar work, with a pretty catchy solo at the top of it. Key lyrics: “You’ve done it now, you’ve gone and made a big mistake. And I can’t allow you to think you can just walk away. So turn around and face the piper you’re gonna pay. ‘Cause the end is now, this is gonna be your judgment day. You’re gonna pay, you’re gonna pay, there’s no forgiveness this time.” comes and then you ‘re like Stone Cold Steve Austin’s catchphrase: What? Well, maybe it’s just me and maybe you’re throwing rotten vegetables at me right now... Another thing that troubles me is the lyrics: they are aggressive and in-your-face as they should, but they are only four phrases sang over and over again. Overall, I think it’s an idea with a huge potential, that for some sad reason was never reached. This theme was used by SCSA for 1,5 year during the early 00’s, and it’s replacement was mostly due to the WWF’s agony for innovation: Austin changed his theme six times (!!!) during 2001, all of them being remixes and rearrangements of the same original tune! Key lyrics: “This is the proving ground, misery begins to rise, turn away from yesterday, tomorrow’s in my eyes. Nevermore to be held down by the weight beneath me, nevermore to be cast aside, this day is mine. Even through the darkest days this fire burns always.” 16. “You ‘re Gonna Pay” - Jim Johnston The Undertaker Yes, the master himself sings this one! The Undertaker evolved from a creepy demon to a macho biker in 2000, starting to use various rock songs as his themes. “You ‘re Gonna Pay” was his last one before changing back to his undead persona, a song which makes you smell gas and leather. Mr JJ wrote and performed this one with a voice effect that sounds like he is a tough guy himself, thus making it more believable and matching to the whole idea. 15. “Glass Shatters” - Disturbed Stone Cold Steve Austin If the chorus wasn’t so flat and monotonous that one would have been much higher on my list. Disturbed took one of the best (the greatest?) Jim Johnston instrumental theme, the iconic “I Won’t Do What You Tell Me”, and... Disturbed it! The guitars hit your neck like hammers, the groove is perfect, and Drainman’s trademark rap vocals are pure sickness! All these make you think you ‘re listening to the best metal wrestling theme of all times, then the chorus Key lyrics: “Step up! Cause you’re the next one in line for the kill, you don’t believe me but I’m betting that you will. Step up! I’ll let you live a little bit with the pain that I bring, you know it’s only the beginning.” Burst www.burstzine.com the countdown 19 the countdown 20 14. “King Of My World” - Saliva Chris Jericho Full of symbolism, this song is bonded with the most bright period in Y2J’s illustrious career. It was December 9th 2001 when he beat both Steve Austin and The Rock in the same night to become the first Undisputed Champion in history, meaning he was the World Heavyweight Champion and the WWF Champion simultaneously! His reign lasted for three months, and during that period he was truly the king of the wrestling world. The song is a typical Saliva heavy rock mid-tempo with absolutely arrogant lyrics, expressing the majesty of Jericho. The guitar work is the best thing in my opinion, with a noteworthy solo near the middle. Some will find it too soft (particularly the chorus) for an entrance theme, but I think it’s perfect for the superiority and kingliness in Jericho’s attitude, that period more than ever. The entrance video that WWF made for him as an Undisputed Champion is absolutely fitting too, as it shows him beating his opponents and then celebrating with both belts on his arms. If that’s not royal then what is? individually and leaving comparison aside, I would say it’s a deep and emotional one, with lyrics that we rarely encounter on wrestling themes. Drew McIntyre uses this one since 2010, temporarily changing it while part of a tag team or stable. Despite the song having quality, “The Chosen One’s” WWE career is been pretty average so far. He certainly has the potential though (his nickname says so too), and since he’s only 27 he will probably have some chances to turn things around. Key lyrics: “My mind alone is filled with rage for you, I am the pastor to your sheep. I am the master of my destiny, I am the king of all I see. I’ll open your eyes and make you see, I’m the king of my world, I’ll break down the walls around you down.” 13. “Broken Dreams” - Shaman’s Harvest Drew McIntyre OK, I know there is an issue about this song. It’s like Turn The Page by Metallica. But like a lot. The arrangement is almost identical, Hamler sounds like Hetfield, even the performance is very similar to Metallica. If you need to blame someone for this I guess that would be more Jim Johnston (yes, him again) who composed the song and less Shaman’s Harvest, as they only recorded the song and, well, that’s how they sound! Concentrating on the song Key lyrics: “Almost to the mountaintop, you slip and fall just like a stone, rolling ever faster to this nightmare you have sown. You had it all right in your grasp, but in a breath your minute passed, now at last the end has come, you are all alone. Out of time, so say goodbye, what is yours, now is mine. And I dream broken dreams, I make them come true, I make them for you.” 12. “Live For The Moment” - Monster Magnet Matt Hardy, The Hardy Boyz Burst www.burstzine.com Those pillars of stoner metal created a theme that was used for no less than eight straight years. Eight years! That’s Monster Magnet ladies and gents, one of the heavy sound’s privileged few. The song is written and recorded by Magnet themselves, as opposed to most of WWE songs (this list included) that are Jim Johnston’s creations. The song begins ideally, with an erratic guitar riff and an “OH YEEEEEEAH!!!” scream by Wyndorf that makes you wanna scream along every single time! The verse is mild mannered in a genius way, that prepares you to sing the chorus as impassioned as you can! The lyrics are hyper-optimistic, speaking about a guy that feels like he can achieve anything and living only for the moment. Serving as Matt’s entrance theme from 2002 to his departure from WWE in 2010, it was also the theme of The Hardy Boyz at some occasions. All in all Live For The Moment was the soundtrack of an illustrious career for Matt, both as a single competitor and as a tag team with his brother Jeff. Key lyrics: “Well the man tells me my future, there’s not so far away. And get ready for tomorrow, I gotta waste my whole today. My inner luck knows better, well it’s what I wanna hear. Just like a diamond bullet where it’s crystal clear. Oh yeah! I can slap a tornado, I can dry up a sea. When I live for the moment, there ain’t no in me.” 11. “Break The Walls Down” - Adam Morenoff Chris Jericho If you don’t move with the rhythm while listening to this rap metal wrestling classic, then my friend there is something wrong with you. Jim Johnston did his magic again and Adam Morenoff gave his powerful rapping, only to create one of the oldest and most successful entrance themes still used today. Jericho debuted WWF in 1999 with this song, in what was probably the most memorable debut in modern history of wrestling. Undergoing many minor remixes that made it only better with the years, this will probably be Jericho’s theme until he retires, as he still uses it today only with brief breaks. Overall, BTWD accompanies Y2J for ten years and still counting. The music is simple but addictive, and the lyrics are about Jericho’s greatness. It’s worth to note that the lyrics even mention Chris’ signature move Walls Of Jericho, one of the most famous submission holds in the wrestling world. defeat. I am the master of your whole heap, I am the pack that flock ya like sheep. Step into the town and break the wall down, your heart beat is the only sound. Step into the light and then you’ll know, you were stopped and dropped by the Walls of Jericho.” Key lyrics: “I wake up from a deep sleep, you’re all weak, you’re living in the agony of 10. “Break It Down” - The DX Band D-Generation X What a song, what a stable, what an era! D-Generation X (or simply DX) was the most successful stable of the WWF Attitude Era (to say the least), with it’s original members being Shawn Michaels and Triple H with Rick Rude and Chyna as enforcers. The DX Band was based on one person, rap metal singer Chris Warren, and was created specifically for the needs of Break It Down and other related songs. The song is another Jim Johnston brainchild, so perfectly executed and well suited to the DX provocative attitude that it still seems sublime. The only thing that’s not perfect about Break It Down and the main reason it lies on number 10 on this list, is the production. It sounds too quiet, like it needs more power, more guts. One more guitar maybe, or more intense drums could help, but without the proper production nothing works. It seems that Mr Johnston agrees with me, as he remixed it two times over the years, each one a bit more thuggish than the previous. DX lasted originally from 1997 to 2000 and reunited sporadically over the next years, always with the same trademarks: the crotch chop, the green pyrotechnics, the “Suck It!” slogan and of course Break It Down. we all know. The title and lyrics are very significant, as they defined Triple H’s “King of Kings” persona and nickname, one that he’s called after ‘till the present day. It was April 2, 2006 when he appeared at Wrestlemania 22 sitting on a throne and dressed as Conan the Barbarian, with King Of Kings playing from the speakers. That would arguably be one of his best and most memorable entrances ever, worth watching it if you haven’t already. Even at his current status as a semi-retired wrestler and Executive Vice President of the WWE, he enters the arena with the entrance screens saying “Vocare ad Regnum”, meaning “Call to the Kingdom”. Need I say more? Motorhead wrote wrestling history once more with this one, as they also did two times in the past. Continue reading and you ‘ll find out yourself... Key lyrics: “King left none living, none able to tell. The king took their heads, and he sent them to Hell. Key lyrics: “Are you ready? You think you can tell us what to do? You think you can tell us what to wear? You think that you’re better? Well you better get ready.” 9. “King Of Kings” - Motorhead Triple H This one is not a typical entrance theme, as Triple H used very rarely. It served as a prelude for his main theme “The Game”, a regular entrance theme when he entered the ring more than once in the same night, and also for some of his promos. The song is a typical WWE Motorhead job: they take a Jim Johnston creation, they execute it their own way and the result is a masterpiece. There is no much to tell about the music, as it’s the familiar Motorhead sound with the heavy and brisk guitar work Burst www.burstzine.com the countdown 21 the countdown 22 8. “Slow Chemical” - Finger Eleven Kane Here we have another successful theme song based on an iconic instrumental, much like the Steve Austin and Disturbed case. Kane’s original instrumental theme “Burned” (by Johnston again) loaned it’s main riff to Finger Eleven, and they created the Big Red Machine’s most used theme to date. Kane began it’s use on 2002, and a year later the most dramatic fact of his career took place: he removed his mask, revealing his macabre face. He changed Slow Chemical in 2008 and put on his mask again in 2011, so this song is considered his main “unmasked period” theme. The whole composition sounds very good for Kane; the music renovates his wellknown theme refreshing it significantly and also adding new ideas that fit pretty well. The lyrics are about a sick and needy love, which doesn’t sound right superficially. If you listen more closely though, it talks about defeatism, a troubled mind, a lost wonder, and flames. Well, you have to agree with me, that’s all Kane! They call him The Devil’s Favorite Demon for a reason after all! To sum up, Kane has changed five themes since his 1997 debut on WWF, all of them based on the same original. That tells the whole story of greatness regarding that song! After all this unbelievable story, WWE and Our Lady Peace swore off Benoit and Whatever respectively, a decision that is still (and always will be) a matter of discussion among the fans. Speaking about the song, it’s based on Benoit’s previous instrumental theme “Shooter” and the first thing you notice is the improved killer riff. The Canadian Crippler used it as his theme from 2002 to the very end in 2007, serving as the soundtrack of epic battles and championship wins, most importantly the World Heavyweight Championship in 2004 Wrestlemania XX. Benoit acting such gruesome ruined (among so many others) a great concert highlight, as Our Lady Peace used to play it live quite often, always receiving an enthusiastic reaction from their fans (check on YouTube). Not anymore... known for... singing this one. WIMF epitomizes The Celtic Warrior. It’s a heavy metal song with symphonic elements, telling the story of an apocalyptic punisher that when the Judgment Day comes he will send the unworthy straight to Hell. Many would say that the subject is more Undertaker than Sheamus, but the Undertaker does not send people to Hell; he brings Hell to them! As for the music, it’s much more intense and perky than the Undertaker’s dark and doom persona, symbolizing Sheamus’ energy and burst. I can’t think of a better entrance theme for a huge, aggressive guy that walks down the ramp beating his won chest and shouting “FELLAAAAAA!!!” than this one. Key lyrics: “The wonder of the world is gone, I know for sure. All the wonder that I want I’ve found in her. As the hole becomes apart I strike to burn, and no flame returns. Give me what I could never ask for, connect me and you could be my chemical.” 7. “Whatever” - Our Lady Peace Chris Benoit Chris Benoit is the most controversial pro wrestling person in history. He was a deeply respected performer throughout the wrestling world, one of the most innovative wrestlers in history and probably the best technician ever to set foot in a WWE ring. He was also a friend and compatriot of Our Lady Peace. All those were overshadowed by the horrific last incidents of his life that you can read extensively in Wikipedia, on the article entitled “Chris Benoit double murder and suicide”. Key lyrics: “There’s no holding me back, I’m not driven by fear, I’m just driven by anger. And you’re under attack, I’m just climbing up slowly, I’m the one and only.” 6. “Written In My Face” - Sean Jenness Sheamus Burst www.burstzine.com If you see Sheamus wrestling once, you remember him for a lifetime. He is a red haired and pale skinned Irish of impressive statue, with a kind look in his face that opposes his brutality on the ring mat. He joined WWE’s developmental territory in 2006 along with Drew McIntyre, and by 2009 he was a member of the main roster. That’s when we first listened to Written In My Face, a song composed by you-know-who and performed by Sean Jenness, an Irish singer best Key lyrics: “It’s a shame for they, lost their head. A careless man who could wind up dead. You wear your sin like it’s some kind of prize. Too many lies, too many lies. These words are true, and I’ll make you believe. You fight for air and struggle just to breathe.” 5. “End Of Everything” - Stereomud Raven Stereomud lasted only too years, from 2001 to 2003. Raven’s WWE stint was only a year longer, 2000-2003, and the era was not ideal for him: he came right at the end of the Attitude Era as an ECW legend, thus fated to be a mid-carder holding only the disdained Hardcore Championship. The fact that the Hardcore title was retired in 2002 says it all. Despite all that, Raven made quiet an impact to the old school fans due to his unorthodox and gory style, and of course his entrance theme. End Of Everything is one of Johnston’s most complete creations, with a strong bass line, jerky guitar riffing and perfectly balanced vocals by Stereomud. They know why they are aggressive or calm, faster or slower, louder or quiet. It’s a really intelligent piece of heavy metal music, thanks to all coefficients. The lyrics describe Raven’s fearless and frightening existence, a serious threat for every opponent. An important detail that gives a different vibration to the song is the creepy raven caws that sound here and there, making it even more dark and atmospheric. A superb song for an influential and underrated wrestler. Caw, caw!!! rhythm and social-related lyrics that we seldom find in WWE songs. Listening to it, you realize that Batista isn’t just walking away from his wrestling past, but makes a personal revolution as a citizen of the western civilization. That masterpiece never left The Animal ‘till his retirement in 2010, a retirement that was never fully accepted by the fans that really loved him. WWE even tried to find a replacement in the face of Mason Ryan, but he just could match Batista’s impact in any way. To the present day the fans discuss a potential return for him, that if ever happens will probably be the showstopper of the year in pro wrestling. Will that guitar riff tremble a WWE arena ever again? Dunham, they deserve every credit for their traditional, bulky riffs and tasteful solos. The lyrics are somewhat shallow, as they where written back in 1999 for a 7 feet high giant that levels everyone and everything. Brand New Sin added some verses of their won, making it more of a “real song”; Anyway, I don’t think the lyrics take anything out of the song’s quality after all. Big Show uses this one since 2006, and I ‘ll be glad if he never changes it. I suggest that you check also “Crank The Walls Down”, a song by Maylene And The Sons Of Disaster that Big Show used when he was teaming with Chris Jericho, and consists by Crank It Up and Break The Walls Down (no. 11 on this list) mixed together. Key lyrics: “This will be the end of everything that you know, I know we’re killing for the raven so here we go. Don’t even try to hold me down, watch me, be afraid. This is the way that it is. Get ready, here I come dropping down on you. Don’t want and try to run, and when I’m finished with you watch me, be afraid. Have you ever been afraid of someone? I’ve never been afraid of no one. I do not fear.” 4. “I Walk Alone” - Saliva Batista Batista was the powerhouse of Evolution (more on the subject coming further) for two and a half years, evolving from an average muscular guy to The Animal that won the major WWE title six times. It was February 2005 when the end came for that iconic stable, and since Batista “walked alone”, destroying everything on his path. Based on his previous Jim Johnston theme “Animal”, Saliva created a flawless song to symbolize Batista’s independence, with memorable Key lyrics: “This television has a poison on its breath, this counter culture of both wicked lives and death. It makes my eyes bleed every time I turn around, how will they all feel when I bring them to the ground?” 3. “Crank It Up” - Brand New Sin Big Show Absolutely loveable. That southern hard rock seduction could easily be a perfect striptease soundtrack, lyrics aside. Brand New Sin took Big Show’s classic theme “Big” by Mr JJ and revised it magnificently, creating the best mid-tempo rocker in WWE’s history. Joe Altier sounds wonderful behind the microphone, traveling us to the US south with with his deep, old school vocals. As for the two guitarists, Kris Wiechmann and Kenny Key lyrics: “Well it’s the Big Show, It’s a big bad show tonight. Well it’s the Big Show, crank it up, turn on them lights. It’s the Big Show, come to set things right. Yeah it’s the Big Show, he’s gonna burn this house tonight.” Burst www.burstzine.com the countdown 23 the countdown 24 2. “The Game” - Motorhead Triple H “It’s all about the Game and how you play it” say the opening lyrics. That’s the whole Motorhead story. Their Game is heavy metal and they are it. That’s the whole Triple H story too. His Game is wrestling and he is it. The Game is Triple H’s entrance theme for twelve long years and counting (since 2001), and the song that became not only his nickname, but his whole wrestling existence. That song is a complete metal dominance, as Triple H is a complete WWE dominance: starting form 1996, he held the major titles no less than 13 times, the secondary 7 times, and the tag team 3 times. Yes, that guy is a 23 times champion, carrying a belt for more than 1500 days overall! Motorhead did with The Game what they usually do in WWE. The original song (written by Johnston of course) was performed by The DX Band and used only once as Triple H’s theme. So, Motorhead took that original and... Motorheadised it, creating an instant classic. Many WWE fans suggest this one as the best theme in his- tory. My opinion is only a bit different, but still, the only ones who can be better than Motorhead are... themselves! Key lyrics: “It’s all about the game, and how you play it. All about control, and if you can take it. All about your debt, and if you can pay it. It’s all about pain, and who’s gonna make it. I am the game, you don’t wanna play me. I am control, no way you can change me. I am have heavy debts, no way you can pay me. I am the pain, and I know you can’t take me.” 1. “Line In The Sand” - Motorhead Evolution Triple H, Ric Frair, Batista, Randy Orton. The Game, The Nature Boy, The Animal, The Legend Killer. No matter how you call them, they were the best stable in modern history of pro wrestling. Two of the most iconic wrestlers ever, Ric Flair and Triple H, took from the hand Batista and Randy Orton and walked them to the top of the wrestling world. Yes, this IS evolution. This IS what “passing the torch” is all about. Evolution’s wonderful trip started in early 2003 and their theme was a Jim Johnston instrumental theme entitled Evolve. A few months later, Motorhead did the same they did with The Game in 2001 and King Of Kings in 2006: took a Johnston creation (Evolve) and turned it into a Burst www.burstzine.com world class metal anthem. The lyrics are wonderful, the rhythm and the guitar solo are exceptional, Lemmy’s singing is flawless, the clock ticking in the background is so symbolic and brilliant, the production is huge and deep... It’s a piece of art my friends! Evolution’s disband in 2005 meant that we’d listen to this greatness no more in wrestling arenas, a sad but inevitable fact. The certain thing is that if they ever join again, even for a one night stand, it will be heaven on earth for the fans. The whole puzzle of Evolution majesty completes when you realize one thing: by 2013, the four guys that formed Evolution have held the astronomic overall of 30 major titles in the WWE as single competitors. How much more greatness can there be? The Chairman himself, Mr Vince McMahon said it all: “Anything can happen in the WWF”. Key lyrics: “Evolution is a mystery, full of change that no one sees, clock makes a fool of history. Yesterday’s so long ago, don’t agree with what I know, tomorrow becomes a place to be. I see the line in the sand. Time to find out who I am. Looking back to see where I stand; Evolution.” Special thanks to Aristea, Irini, Nikos and Kosmas for their valuable opinion and advice. 25 Burst www.burstzine.com 26 A Pepper or Not? A guitarist so special with a unique selftaught technique; his solos in Californication are unrivaled, carving their marks through time and making the Red Hot Chili Peppers one of the most famous mainstream bands. John Frusciante made us look him up in every Red hot’s album and to had us disappointed each and every time he decided to leave the group. But first things first. band. The ones left behind, e.g. Flea, Kiedis had been looking for a way of keeping the Peppers alive. Flea made the suggestion and Frusciante was simply running around his house screaming full of joy. The album “Mother’s milk” became a reality, with John trying to follow Slovak’s style. That resulted in a contradiction between him and the album’s producer, who sought for a more metallic sound. Born in New York in 1970, John saw his parents divorcing and moved to Los Angeles with his mother, where his stepfather encouraged him to take up guitar. He admired Red Hot from the age of 15, as well as the technique of the guitarist Hillel Slovak; those two managed to meet just before Hillel’s passing. What he always admired and found peaceful about Red hot’s live shows was the fact that the band was one with the audience, the band’s exact ability to be famous without looking that way, plus their power of grooving in such small places seemed magical and extraordinary for Frusciante. Two years later and with a different producer (1991) John had started smoking marijuana and the “Blood sugar sex magik” was very successful. That was the time when problems started once again. John realized that, all of a sudden, he had become famous; he didn’t want the publicity, the pressure, all lights looked as if someone was interrogating him and the Pepper’s magic was gone. In 1992, John opted out of a tour, leaving the band and entering a period full of drugs. Five years of addiction later, Frusciante manages to get detoxified from all those substances -marijuana, cocaine, heroin- and started following a more ascetic lifestyle, including yoga, meditation and healthier eating. At the same time, Peppers, featuring Dave Navaro on guitar, released “One hot minute”, an album that moved them from the funk world and changed their style. Dave was not interested on grooving, so he Soon he met Flea and they realized a connection between bass and guitar such as they had never seen before. In 1988, Red hot had been dealing with a crisis, further to Slovak being found dead due to an overdose and their drummer quitting the Burst www.burstzine.com by Christina Alossi official artist photo was out of the band. Everything took its course on the way of writing history. John was out of drugs, in a state of clarity, Peppers had no guitarist, so the reunion was inevitable. “Californication” gave them a push and brought him back to the No1 of the mainstream charts. “By the way” (2002) and “Stadium arcadium” (2005) were dominated by John’s guitar, plus he did the vocals in most of the songs. Rising from the ashes of heroin brought him to another level and, at the same time, he was focusing on his own projects and his solo career. In 2008, rumors were spreading again and Frusciante officially stated that he was going to leave the group for good in order to evolve and follow his musical quests. Although Frusciante left behind a very good, experienced guitarist, Josh Klinghoffer in Red Hot, he still remains one of the most fitting members of Peppers. His bonding and the magic they shared are truly one of rock’s miracles. Flea’s bass seems to be always looking for his friend, remembering and hoping that one day, somewhere, they will meet on stage and set peppers afire!!! Frusciante was -and always will be- a pepper to avoid its destiny… but till when? 27 Stathia’s Track by Stathia Pedioti Smoke On The Water - Deep Purple We all came out to Montereax, On the Lake Geneva shoreline. To make records with a mobile, We didn’t have much time. But Frank Zappa and the Mothers, Were at the best place around, But some stupid with a flare gun, Burned the place to the ground. Smoke on the water and fire in the sky. Smoke on the water... They burned down the gambling house, It died with an awful sound. (Uh) Funky Claude was running in and out, Pulling kids out the ground. When it all was over, We had to find another place. But Swiss time was running out, It seemed that we would lose the race. Smoke on the water and fire in the sky. Smoke on the water... We ended up at the Grand Hotel. It was empty cold and bare. But with the Rolling truck Stones thing just outside, Making our music there. With a few red lights, a few old beds, We made a place to sweat. No matter what we get out of this, I know I know we’ll never forget. Smoke on the water and fire in the sky. and The Verdict is... Smoke on the water... One of the most well-known songs in the history of Rock music. A rock anthem, some say. I don’t know if it is overrated -I am not here to judge this-, but it sure has one of the most recognisable riffs in the world -no matter the music preferances anyone might have. I read somewhere that this song was written as a filler to complete the album. Don’t know though, if this is true. Anyway, this new column HAD to begin with a legendary rock song -and “Smoke on the Water” -imo- fitted better than any other song. This column is a lyrics’ analysis of songs we listen to, that we respect and which definitely mean “something” to any of us. The song is decribing an event that occured on December 4th, 1971, while DP was recording their album, at a rented Rolling Stones Mobile Studio (“...to make records with a mobile...” / “...the Rolling truck Stones thing....”). They were doing the record outside a Zappa and Mothers of Invention concert. Then, out of the blue, someone fired a flare gun. The curtains caught fire and the Montreux Casino was burnt down (“Funky” Claude -Claude Nobs- was the founder of the casino, and helped some people to escape the fire). “Swiss time was running out”! This probably is a referration about their album that had to finish and they had no time -the object “swiss” is ‘cause swiss watches are famous about their precision, and ‘cause by the time they were writing this they were at Switzerland). The whole “smoke on the water, fire in the sky” thing, is about DP watching the Montreux Casino burning down to ashes, by the shoreline of Lake Geneva, where it seemed like the lake was on fire. Burst www.burstzine.com 28 Scott Ian By Raphael Aretakis | photos by Andy Buchanan one of the things i like in this business is the chance i have to talk to people i admire and respect. for some, thatâ€™s not a big deal, but for me, talking to guys Iâ€™ve only seen in videos, or heard on a cd, is definitely making this worth. without further ado, I would like to present to you the legendary anthrax guitarist, scott ian, in a discussion between an artist and a fan! enjoy! Special thanks to Hakos Pervanidis for the arrangements Burst www.burstzine.com 29 Hi Scott, this is Raphael from Burst magazine. Hey, how are you? Fine man, how are you? Good, good. What are you up to these days? I know you’re in the middle of your summer tour... Yeah, we’re actually home right now and then we start again soon. We leave for Europe in like 3 weeks or something. Awesome! And how’s the tour going so far? You’ ve played at a lot of festivals, plus you have festivals coming up. Tell us a bit more about it. Well, we’ve been out for 2 years, on this album and everything’s been great so far. I got nothing to complain about. You know, it’s been a really good run on this music album. The shows since September 2011 have been awesome. you were featuring covers from bands like AC/ DC, Rush, Thin Lizzy etc. What’s the feedback you received so far? People seem to really like it. It’s doing really well and, you know, people seem to be excited about it. It’s just cover songs for us; we just did it because cover songs are just fun for us to do. And we recorded those songs over the last, couple of years -maybe over 2 years- and then it just gave a new album. Basically we said “we like the way this came out and go ahead, put it out, do whatever you want with it”. It’s just cover songs, you know, we don’t put much thought into it. Is there any other song that you would like to cover? I can’t think of any right now, no. But, once we start touring again and we get back out on the road, it’s usually when we start messing around with other songs; when we’re sound checking, cause we get pretty bored at sound checks. Once we get back out again, maybe we’ll have some new ideas. Would you release a full length album featuring covers? I don’t know! There’s no plan, so I don’t know. During all these years you basically kept your musical style pretty much intact. On which aspects do you believe that you have evolved as a band? I don’t know, you tell me (laughs)! I don’t focus on that stuff. We just write songs, you know. We just know what we’re doing. We write songs. We know what we wanna hear when we’re writing and that doesn’t mean it’s got easier over the years. It’s never been easy to write songs, but I, I just think, if anything evolved, it’s just that. I think we just know what we want to hear. But, getting there is the hard part. When we’re actually in a room writing songs together, we’re all very much in the same place, on the same page, in the same attitude and knowing what we want Anthrax to sound like. That’s about as much as I ever think of it. I think that’s the best part, to be on the same page with the rest of the guys; not just in a band, but in any team. Exactly! Heavy metal: Is it a man’s world or women can do it as well? Would you ever have a female member in your band? I can’t say; I have no idea. I’d like to think we won’t ever be changing members again, but that’s a hard question to answer. But I have no problem with women playing heavy metal; I think more women should play heavy metal (laughs). Glad to hear. It’s been two years since your latest full length album. When should we expect something new? Maybe next year; I mean, I can’t say for sure, but that’s what we’re hoping for. We can’t wait! Do you believe that major bands like Anthrax, which have been out there since forever, should only be releasing albums when they have something to say and not simply to mass-produce them in order to gather portfolio? I don’t know about other bands, I have no idea - but, we make a record when we have songs. You know, when we feel we have something that is strong enough to put out. That’s when we make a record. So we don’t really think about it too much. We just write songs, and if we love the songs that we have, then we’ll make an album. In your last EP, Anthems, Burst www.burstzine.com 30 Cool! There are bands like Metallica for example, that kicked off by playing thrash metal and were transformed into something completely different now. Do you think that bands should find their identity and then stick with it, or is it good to transform, to evolve? Well, we don’t try and do anything. As I mentioned before, we just write songs. No one can really understand unless they become Anthrax. We just have a way that we work. And that’s just basically getting into a room and writing songs. We don’t talk about it, we don’t think about it, we just get together and we play. I don’t care! Every band should do whatever it wants to do. There are no laws, there are no rules. It’s music. Do whatever you want. Awesome! Back in January, Rob Caggiano left the band and Jonathan Donais has been with you as a session member since February. Have you found any permanent replacement? Of course it is, but I was basically asking about you: If you would ever consider changing the music style of your band. I don’t know, I don’t know. We don’t think about it. We just write songs. If in our next album we wrote songs that sounded completely different than everything we ever did, then that’s it. But we don’t think about it. You don’t try to stick to a classic recipe or something that people love. Burst www.burstzine.com really great line up. mean a lot to us. Yeah, Maiden always put together a great show for the fans. We’re really excited about it, because that’s actually our last show of the tour so it’s just such a great way to finish this whole touring cycle with such an amazing gig. We’re also excited about it, because we’re friends with all those bands. There will be 25.000 people there going crazy for us. So, I just love that Iron Maiden will do that, and put together such an amazing package for the fans here. It’s gonna be a great day. Let’s go to something different. You have appeared on various episodes in TV series or movies, like, Calendar Girls, Metalocalypse, Married With Children etc. How did all those things come up? What’s the difference? Jonathan is in the band. I really don’t understand why people need so much information. Jon is in the band, that’s basically all people need to know. Recently in the Kerrang Awards you had the chance to present and pass the Inspiration Award to Iron Maiden. How did you feel about it? What is Iron Maiden to you? Point taken. You see bands like Iron Maiden, Megadeth, Anthrax, Testament, all of which under THE BATTLE OF SAN BERNARDINO. What the hell is gonna happen on that stage? I mean, it’s a It was an honor for me because it was the Inspiration Award, and for me, it makes sense to be able to give them that award, because there is no band that was more inspiring to me -or to Anthrax- than Iron Maiden. So, they certainly Your manager gets a phone call and asks if the band wants to be involved and you say yes or no. It’s really simple. You didn’t pursue something like that yourself? No, no. People, just get phone calls, and people ask you to do things. Sometime you say yes, sometimes you say no. The very first time I saw you, it was on that episode in Married With Children. Could you share a few memories from back then, maybe a special moment within the shooting? (Laughs) I don’t know, it was really fun. I was a really big fan of that TV show. 31 So, to get to hang out with Edd O’Neill and everyone else in the cast for the whole week and get to be a part of their world was really exciting for us, because we had never done anything like that before. It was just really exciting that they wanted us to be a part of what they did. It was really great. I wish we could have done more things like that, but nobody ever really asked us to be on more TV shows, but, yeah, Married With Children was a great experience. Really, just a really fun thing, cause it was so you found happiness? And what is happiness to you? I just love playing guitar and I love writing songs, you know, and I love playing in shows. That’s why I love being in a band, and that’s still fun to do. If that wasn’t fun to do, I wouldn’t do it anymore. But it’s still really exciting to do all of those things. Just picking up a guitar and playing. It’s still fun for me. So, the fact that I get to be in a band and I get to make albums and I get to play shows is just gravy on first time ever on stage was just by myself, when I was probably, maybe 9 or 10 years old? I played in a talent show, and I played three songs, just me with an acoustic guitar and I was singing as well. So that was my first time ever playing on stage in front of people. How did that go? It went well, (laughs) I really liked it. Obviously it went well cause I wanted to do more (laughs). because it was just impossible to look that far ahead, to think what I’m going to be doing in 20 or 30 years. It’s something I never really thought about. So, being able to look back on it now and think that I’ve been to Anthrax for so long, is the thing I’m most proud. My career is what I’m proud of; the fact that my first album Fistful of Metal came out in January 1984, that’s just, it’s been a long time. Oh my, 1984 was the year I was born… When we’re actually in a room writing songs together, we’re all very much in the same place, on the same page, in the same attitude and knowing what we want Anthrax to sound like. different than anything we had ever been a part of. If such a proposition comes up, would you consider taking a more active part, you know, as an actor on a TV show? No, I have no time (laughs). You have played in front of thousands of people, you have sold thousands of records and you’ve done a whole lot of things. Have top. It’s just icing on the cake. Just playing the guitar is fun. It’s great to be in Anthrax. It’s something that I really enjoy doing and I’m just glad that after all these years, that, it’s still so exciting for me. That’s really great Scott. Do you remember the first time you set your foot on stage? Yeah, my first show ever was actually before Anthrax, in other bands. But, actually my Did you ever think back then that you were gonna end up being the man you are now? The musician you are now? No, no. Well, I don’t think so. Maybe Gene Simmons, when he started Kiss, was able to think that he would still be doing it, 40 years later, but I don’t, I can’t tell you that in the 80s I ever thought that would be something that I’d be doing for over 30 years. I never looked that far ahead, Yeah, so there you go. We have a global economic crisis, what does that mean to you? Has that affected you? It definitely affects the bands, because you go on tour and you hope people can come to your shows. But we understand that there is a global economic crisis, so it just makes it harder for us and for anybody to do anything. People have priorities, they have their Burst www.burstzine.com 32 responsibilities to their families and whatever, you know, they have the responsibility of themselves. You need to be able to eat, you know what I mean? To be able to pay your rent, you need to have clothes on your back. I mean obviously, these are priorities for people and buying albums or going to concerts are some things that obviously wouldn’t be the first thing on your mind. We understand that things are very hard for people all around the world and, you know, we just do whatever we can, when we’re planning headline shows Burst www.burstzine.com we try to keep the ticket prices, as low as possible. But outside of that, there’s just not much more that we can do, you know. People are gonna take 20 dollars and go and see an Anthrax show, and we have to give them the best show that we can. Because we understand how hard people work for their money, and the fact that there’s probably a lot of other things they should be spending their money on, but they came to see Anthrax... We understand that and we hope that, if anything, people that come to see us, that at the time that we have our show, it’s an escape for them. We entertain them for 2 hours and make them forget about their problems, about their troubles and they just come and have fun and that’s really what we hope for every night we play a show. Let’s give these people 2 hours of fun to take their mind of their everyday problems. That’s really great what you said man. I don’t have any other questions, if you want to send a message to the readers of Burst, go ahead. We’re just really excited to come back to Greece again. It’s been a couple of years actually since we did the Big 4 I think, and it’s the last time we played there, right? Yes, at Sonisphere. Yeah, so, we’re just really excited to be coming back and playing in Athens again and it’s always been a great pleasure for us. The fans are fucking crazy! We’re really looking forward to it. 33 Burst www.burstzine.com 34 Elize Ryd he is young. She is beautiful. She is multi-talented. Her name is Elize Ryd and it seems that she is the next best thing in the metal scene right now. For the past years I have been following up Amaranthe and their really outgoing frontwoman Elize Ryd. I would not call myself as a diehard fan of Amaranthe but I would only be a liar if I say that I don’t enjoy their music. And-let’s face it- fans all over the world are going crazy when they see Elize and her boys performing on stage. Amaranthe is a much more different music act, love them or hate them. Yet, no matter how hard you try, you will not find any other band similar to them: they are one of a kind. And I guess this is the most important goal they managed to reach through the years. Elize is a really sweet and talkative person. She took off some of her really precious time and she answered to all of our questions. The interview you are going to read below is more In less than 3 years, Amaranthe have created a small wonder like a fairytale. In fact, she draws a parallel between her perand managed to receive all spotlight! Their videos have mil- sonal story of her life and that of Cinderella’s fairytale. One lions of views, their albums sell like crazy and Elize has been thing is for sure, it’s a wonderful story. Enjoy! invited to participate in numerous and various projects. By Korina P. | photos by Ville Juurikkala Burst www.burstzine.com 35 Hello sweet Elize! First of all, I would like to thank you for this interview and for your time. So let’s begin! The second Amaranthe studio album is out. You wrote that the album is an absolute monster and you are totally happy and proud with the final result. By the way, congrats on the new album, it’s a killer one! You describe your style as “power/ melodic/death metal”. To be honest, by what I have heard on both Amaranthe studio albums I would call you “a band that contains a little something of everything”; your music is really diverse! You have harsh vocals, clean vocals, female vocals, sharp guitars, crazy solos here and there. You also kept this style in your second album. I would say that the sound of this album is rather “futuristic and ultra-modern”. The very special fact about you guys is that there is not any other band like you! I think you are one of a kind! So, how would you describe your musical style? What do you think are Amaranthe’s specific characteristics, plus if you have to put one label on Amaranthe’s music which would be? I would say, as you just mentioned, that Amaranthe’s music style is more like a mixture of different music genres and as a result it is very hard to put just one label on our music. Personally, I prefer to call our music PEPP-music: Powerful, Energetic, Passionate and Positive music. So, you have created your very own label for Amaranthe’s music! That’s cool (laughs)! While listening to your new album The Nexus, the first thought that crossed my mind was that your new studio album is kind of a sequel to your first album. Is that true? I guess with your second album you wanted to continue what you started with your debut album in a way, right? At least, this is the feeling I’ve got while listening to the album. Plus, I have to admit that both albums feature some very strong choruses that get stuck in someone’s head for months! This is very impressive and quite hard to achieve nowadays. your music has no certain identity. Have you ever thought of that? Does it scare you? In my opinion, music is globalized nowadays and I consider this as some kind of evolution in music. Of course people like labels, however we are living in a globalized world, right? Music should follow this evolution! Plus, I have heard metalheads saying “What is this? Metal riffs combined with pop music and lyrics? No way!”. I mean, some fans maybe are not that openminded. Do you get a little bit scared of this? Has it ever occurred to you to read or hear not so positive comments about your band? And how did you feel? I think that labels are more like a twoedged sword: labels do connect people in a way, but it is important to remember that they also divide people. I grew up in a family in which everybody was listening to different kinds of music like death metal/rock/classical/jazz music. I think it has been long time since something really new and avant-garde/innovative came up in metal music scene and, if you ask me, I believe the most important thing is to keep on evolving and giving to people something new. If it weren’t us, someone else would do it, I guess. We create music that all members in the band like, each of us comes from a different musical background and each of us listens to different kind of music in his/her personal life. However, when we get together and create music, we are getting connected to each other in a way. We have the same kind of experiences and the same point of view about life. So, yes, Amaranthe want to give people the chance to get and experience a little bit of everything. Luckily, the majority of the fans don’t care about the label of our music. I think most of our fans are open minded people like us. They like our music and it makes them feel good. This is what matters the most to me. I consider you as one of the luckiest bands ever: You got a contract with a very good label (Spinefarm Records) from your early days. I consider this as a huge success for a new band. Do you feel lucky? First of all, thank you so much for your kind words and feedback! In fact, yes we tried to focus on the style we introduced to our fans. Yes, we feel very lucky (laughs). It’s really hard to get a great record deal in our days. But the guys in Spinefarm Records believed in our music and they have been very supportive towards us from the very first moment. This makes sense. And by the way, do you like labels? I mean, as I said, Amaranthe’s music seems that does not have any boundaries and limits. As I already said, your music seems to have a little bit of everything, plus many fans would say that And apart from being lucky, you also seem to be very popular lately. You are kind of “the talk of the town”: you collaborated and toured with Kamelot and Nightwish. Plus, a few months ago, you participated in Timo Tolkki’s new album/pro- ject! Of course you should be proud of yourself. You are so young and you have achieved so many things already. Congrats! However, do you feel a little bit scared? I mean all these artists you have collaborated with are huge names in the music industry. In my opinion, all these collaborations required courage and nerve from your side. I guess your way was not always so easy in your life, especially when you were younger. People see you as one of “the next rising stars” in music industry but I guess back then, when you started, things were not that easy for you, were they? What did it take to get all this recognition and fame? How was your way in the very beginning, before getting all this fame and recognition? Well, I will be totally honest! I was a little bit scared before going on my first tour with Kamelot; I was afraid that the audience would not like me and my voice. It was a huge challenge for me, but I must admit that I was proven wrong back then because I have never met so many nice people and felt so much love ever before in my life. I finally felt like I belonged there. I have been going through a lot in my life, a lot of things that apparently have made me stronger, you know. And I really want to thank you for your words! I do feel honored and proud that I am where I am and I have achieved so many things. Sometimes, when I think about what I have done until now, I still find it pretty hard to realize what happened to me. It’s hard to understand how all these things *did* happen you know. I have been fighting for all these things for a long time and I have never let go of my goals and dreams. Actually, I have been working as hard as possible to be able to become an artist. I hope for every person out there to feel that there is always hope and chance to fulfill every dream of his/hers. Hey people, just don’t ever give up your dreams and hopes! The road can be very hard sometimes, but that’s also a part of the journey. I wish to be able to continue working in the music business for the rest of my life, so I still have a long way to go in order to reach my goals. All those things sound great to me! Really great! Well, as I said, you have been kind of the “talk of the town” during the last 2-3 years, Elize. I have been wondering if the guys in Amaranthe have ever felt afraid of losing you? Is Amaranthe your no1 and absolute priority? Or maybe you also have some other plans in stock in the future? You are also a professional dancer. Are there any plans regarding this? My bandmates know that I really want to Burst www.burstzine.com 36 be a part of this band. I think they feel that I need them as much as they need me. I couldn’t imagine doing this, or going this far, without them. It has been great to create, work and share every experience with my friends (because I consider them as good friends of mine). Indeed, I used to work as a dancer, but I have been so busy with the singing and touring and I didn’t have any free time to practice my dancing skills lately. It takes a lot of energy to continue as a professional dancer, so right now and in the near future I don’t think I will have enough time to practice and continue. As for my future in the music scene, I have a big vision of making a side/solo project, but right now my focus lays 100% on Amaranthe; so everything else can wait for now. 4 singles have been released from your debut album: I consider this as another success for Amaranthe! Furthermore, you embarked on a legendary tour alongside Evergrey and Kamelot. And during 2013, you also did a European co-headline tour with Stratovarius! As I read over the internet, you totally nailed it guys! How was it being on the road with Stratovarius? Do you have any impressions or memories to share with us? had some really great moments together with many of them. I keep each and every gift I have received during the tours in my home, so that makes me always remember and think of them. designer, whose name is Gustavo Sazes. Gustavo together with Olof creates our “image”. The concept is, as you correctly said futuristic, powerful and colorful. Let’s go back to your new album again: You decided to work with Jacob Hansen again. It seems that you were very satisfied with his work on your first album, weren’t you? Are there any certain reasons that made you decide to work with him again? Is this bright triangle some kind of the band’s trademark? And if so, is there any special meaning behind it? Yes, Jacob was a great choice for us. We chose to work with him again since he was already familiar with our sound. He owns a great studio in Denmark as well, so we just didn’t have any serious reason to choose someone else over him. Can you give us some details about the artwork of The Nexus? It seemed to me a little futuristic let’s say! In your first album you chose to feature a picture of the band on the cov- The triangle symbolizes the A in our band name (Amaranthe). So, the first letter of our band name, the letter A, is our logo. There are a couple of different meanings and associations behind it. For example, you can associate the three A’s in AmArAnthe with the fact that the band features 3 singers. Ohhh that’s pretty damn brilliant! I knew there was a story behind this triangle (laughs)! Plus, I have been always wondering about the name of the band. Amaranthine is a flower It was a great tour! I got very well along with the guys, they were super nice and super funny, a great company to spend time with and hang out! I hope we can make another tour together in the future. As always, many great things happened during that tour. Generally speaking, what I remember and miss the most is all the great personalities I have met. Elize, is there something very special that happened to you while being on the road? I mean, was there anything that happened to you, which you are going to remember in your whole life? Maybe a very special reaction from a fan or a very special gift or meeting? Or maybe something not so positive? Something you still think about before going to bed? One of the worst things that have ever happened to me on the road was when I got an infection in a scar on my foot. It got so infected that I had to call an ambulance and go to the hospital. If I would have waited another day just with the medication the doctor said it would have probably needed to amputate my foot. So, that was the scariest experience I have ever had on the road and I will certainly remember it for the rest of my life. I think about it every time I see the scar on my foot. I am very careful now and also extremely grateful that I still have two feet. Besides that unfortunate event, I value meeting fans a lot and I have Burst www.burstzine.com er. This one is quite different but the shapes are here again (this triangle which appeared in your first album too if I remember well). Is there any special concept or idea behind this artwork? Since the very beginning of the band, we have been working with an amazing art (and also a song of yours!). Is there any special story or meaning behind this name (Amaranthe)? How did you guys come up with that name? The name of the band was firstly Avalanche but we weren’t allowed to use that name because we found out that it was already trademarked, so Olof came up with 37 the brilliant idea to call the band Amaranthe instead. It looked good, almost like Avalanche and it also sounded good to us. It is actually the name of a beautiful flower which is filled with life and colors. It is also connected to the old Greek word “Amaranthos”, which means “Never Fading”. Your video for the song The Nexus reached 1.000.000 views in less than a month! And now it has reached the amazing number of 2.500.000 views! That’s awesome guys! Congrats! I guess you feel hon- ored and thrilled! You also worked with Patric Ullaeus once again. Both videos for Hunger and The Nexus are like short action movies and you all seem to play some kind of role (like acting etc.). In addition, the new album includes some songs, which feature sci-fi and futuristic lyrics (Stardust and Future on Hold for example) which is another special fact that makes you a band “one of a kind”. Why so? Why this “action movie” feeling? Is there any special message you want to pass? This is just us, you know, we love action generally speaking and yes in this way we want to send out an interesting and powerful message. In everything we do we act and think like it’s our last mission. We always think “if you had just one chance, what would you do?”. Take it all the way right! We all love acting. I will share a small secret with you: Jake, Johan (the bass player) and I have all taken up acting lessons! If you ask me, they are great at this; we didn’t want to waste this special talent of ours, so we decided to use it in the making/creation of our videos. Jake actually wrote the story, in which the video for Hunger has been based on and he also worked hand in hand with Patric Ullaeus on the video for The Nexus. The first single of your new album is the title track (The Nexus). Were there any specific reasons that made you choose this song as your first single? We chose this song to become the first single of our new album because we thought that it represents the new album in a perfect way. It was the first song we wrote for the second album and, while we were writing it, each one of us had different material thoughts in mind. Both, we and the guys from Spinefarm Records, thought that it turned out to be great so that’s the main reason we chose it to be the first single of our new album. Burn With Me will be the second single out of The Nexus. Plus, there will be also a video directed by Mr. Patric Ullaeus once again! Cool news Elize! Can you give us some details on this single? The song is rather emotion- al and the video is certainly not an “action-movie-like” one (laughs). Burn with me is a ballad track and it was written many years ago by Jake. Olof picked it back from the trashcan and transformed it into a modern super hit with his amazing arrangement. And you are totally right! This video is much more different from our previous ones. We gave totally free hands to Patric Ullaeus in order to do whatever he wanted, so the script was written by him alone. The video has already got 500.000 views on Youtube so I guess people liked it (laughs)! Lately we have read in the press that you were one of the singers who participated in Nightwish auditions. You stated about this: Yes, it went pretty well for me during that tryout. It was Jake and Olof who did send in the application on behalf of me. I had no idea who Nightwish were when I wasn’t a part of the industry (laughing). I was way too young and because of my lack of experience, they did choose Anette Olzon instead. Olof promised me that he would start a new band and that I could be the lead singer and that made me really happy of course (laughing). So, Olof kept his promise to you in the end in a way (laughs)! How do you feel about that now, after this tremendous success Burst www.burstzine.com 38 with Amaranthe? OK, you were not chosen back then but you finally made it in the music scene. Let me tell you that I am super grateful for everything I have succeeded until now but I still have a long and hard way ahead of me to go. If I would have been chosen as the new frontwoman of Nightwish back then, it could have been great, but it could also have turned into a nightmare. I was very young, immature and inexperienced at that point in my life. I can’t really imagine how it would have been to start a career like that and becoming super famous in just one night and also always being compared to someone else. With Amaranthe I got the opportunity to be a part of the creation of something totally new from the very beginning and to personally develop together with the success. This is what I am mostly proud and happy about today. Speaking of your relationship with Nightwish, you stepped in for Annete Olzon in a Nightwish concert; after this concert Annete left the band and she seemed to be quite annoyed by the band’s decision to put two other female singers (you and Alissa White-Gluz) singing the Nightwish songs during a show that was supposed to be cancelled. As I said in the previous question, you took part in the auditions in order to become the new Nightwish vocalist when Tarja Turunen left the band. So, you finally made it in a way and managed to play with Nightwish even for just one show. Was it some kind of dream come true to get on the stage with them even for just one night? Can you describe to us how exactly did you feel that day? One thing is for sure, sharing the stage with Nightwish was an amazing experience! I love Nightwish’s music and all their songs really “speak” to me, so I would say it was like stepping into a dream of mine for a couple of hours. I would describe myself more like Cinderella when she got a spell. Do you have any idols from music industry? Do you have any people that actually have a special meaning for you? Or any artists that really influenced you? Oh yes, I have and they are many: Abba, Queen, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Beyonce and Mariah Carey. Jesus, when I was listening to their wailing voices my mother was always closing the door of my room (laughs)! There was something special about their voices that really blew me away and made me want to practice my voice. But my one and only, still standing favorite singer is Freddie Mercury. And speaking of idols, have you been listening to any “femme metal” band when you were younger? I mean, before joining Amaranthe as a professional singer? Yes, I was listening a lot to Hole and Evanescence later. They both inspired me a lot. How did you guys meet and end up together? You used to be a performer in a theatre or something like that if I am not mistaken. How did you find the guys and how did you all stick together? Could you tell us the whole story of your meeting? Sure I can! I met Jake in a night club back in 2004. I started talking with him and I found out that he was a singer, just like me. He had just written a duet and he needed a female singer to cooperate with. So, he asked me if I was interested on it and I answered “yes” of course (laughs)! That song was released in 2005 and it was called Fade Away (performed by Dreamland). Then Jake became friends with Olof, as they shared the same rehearsal room. Later on, Olof contacted me and asked me if I was interested in recording some guest vocals and harmonies for his album with Dragonland. And so I participated in that album and in the end we became really good friends. Since that day, we used to meet often and share our common interest in music. Finally, one day Jake and Olof decided to start an all-star project together. We recorded two songs and I clearly remember that after listening to Andy’s, Jake’s and my own vocals being combined together with the music, they all said that “this could be a band instead of an all-star project”. And so it became and here we are now. Burst www.burstzine.com 39 Elize, this is a quite personal question but kindly allow me to ask it. Do you feel happy with your life in general? Do you feel fulfilled? I guess that your dreams are coming true. You have been touring for some years with Kamelot , you have toured in Japan with Amaranthe, you have already confirmed some huge summer festival dates and I should not forget to mention the tour along with Kobra And The Lotus in USA! And you are still in your second studio album! Things are going very well for you! Do you think that there is still a long way for you to go? I feel happy, especially after listening to what you just said (laughs)! As I mentioned in the beginning of this interview, I feel more like I am in the beginning of something that will last for a quite long time if we keep up the good work, stay healthy and continue to deliver great music to the fans. I want to continue and do this job for at least another 40 years (laughs)! Speaking of your upcoming plans, apart from the summer festivals, you have confirmed a headlining North American tour along with Kobra And The Lotus! This is actually your first USA headlining tour. How do you feel about that? You have recently visited the States with Kamelot and now you are going back with Amaranthe! How cool is that? It seems that you will not take any rest! When you are not on the road with Amaranthe you do shows with Kamelot! Seriously, Elize do ever you take any rest (laughs)? Now that you mentioned it and I think about it you are right, I have not gotten any rest lately! I’d better to consider it more seriously (laughs)! My motto has always been “I’ll rest when I’m dead” (laughs). But I will of course end up there earlier if I don’t take it easier sometimes. The Kamelot/Nightwish tour in the USA was just fantastic! It was great, I love touring in the USA. Going back there with Amaranthe is just another big dream coming true! We are extremely excited about this tour! I’m also happy about the fact that we are going to visit and play in Las Vegas during this tour. I used to live there for a while, when my boyfriend was playing in the Las Vegas Ice hockey team back in 2009. I have beautiful memories from LA. One of your latest works is your participation in Timo Tolkki’s new project, Avalon. Apart from you, there are other many well-known and reputable singers; however you seem to have the main “role” in the entire album (I use the word role since it is a metal opera). How did working with Timo and all these guys feel like? It was great; it has been another awesome experience for me! I have met Russell Allen a couple of times before when we’ve played with Symphony X and he is the definition of a true talent. I love his voice, so it was a big honor for me to participate in the same album with him. I also really love Sharon Den Adel and singing a duet with her was like… Do you see? I can’t even find the words to describe it! I can only say this: Thank you, Timo Tolkki for making this album! And speaking of rock operas, you are also a classically trained singer if I am not mistaken. Have you ever thought of participating in a real opera? Yes, I actually have! It would be super cool to participate in an audition for a real opera but I don’t really think that I have so much time in order to make this happen right now. You know, my sister always insisted that I should become a full-time soprano opera singer. Maybe I will consider about this more seriously in the future when I will not be able to jump around in various metal stages all over the world anymore (laughs). Are there any plans on touring with Avalon as far as you know? Not really, as far as I know. It would have been great to go on tour with this project, I would love to do that if you ask me, but I don’t know whether it will happen. I guess the hardest thing that we have to achieve in order to make this tour happen is the fact that we will have to find a period of time that all the artists who participate in this project would be available and free to tour. But let’s cross our fingers and hope it will happen! Elize, I have another rather personal question for you (laughs). You seem to take a good care of yourself: you always pay attention on your image on stage. In every video you participate, you always pick some very nice and classy clothes. Especially, in the Kamelot shows, it seemed to me that you paid attention in every tiny detail and you even gave a more theatrical feeling to the whole show. Do you believe that image plays an Burst www.burstzine.com 40 important role? Is it an important part of the whole performance? Oh yes, that’s true! I am also very interested in fashion but the most important thing for me is to wear something that helps me get in the right mood on stage. Regarding what you said about the Kamelot shows, they had already a clearly theatrical concept being featured in their shows before I joined them on stage. Most of the clothes and costumes have been picked by Mr. Thomas Youngblood, who actually Burst www.burstzine.com used to work in the fashion industry before he started Kamelot. I think the clothing part is super important in order to create the right image and mood on stage. I remember that once you stated that Amaranthe as a band want to bring new energy in people’s lives and make your fans think positive and become fighters. Do you think that you have achieved this target? I hope so and it really seems like we have achieved this goal. When I look at our audi- ence the only thing I can see is real fighters! So, Elize, this is my last question for you. It is a rather typical one but I always ask it (laughs)! Do you have any message to your fans? Do you have any promises? I am from Greece and I must assure you that you have MANY Greek fans (laughs). Ok, that sounded very exciting in the beginning (laughs). I promise you that we will come to Greece as soon as we get the chance. I always wanted to visit your country. Stay strong and brave. And please do me a favor and don’t stop believing in the future. Thank you for this very creative and happy interview! Lots of love to everyone! Thank you, Elize! See you on the road! *A special thanks to Thomas and Roaddust Management Group. 41 Burst www.burstzine.com 42 TWO STEPS FROM HELL an interview by Kalliope Tsouroupidou What happens when a challenge-hungry Trondheimnative, clearly “born-in-the-wrong-country”, starts arguing on a online music forum over samples, with a London-born, “unfriendly-classmate-&-stray-dogfighter”? Years later, love at first sight consummated on Valentine’s Day and Two Steps From Hell were created. Music composers Thomas Bergersen and Nick Phoenix joined forces, forming a pioneering music production company that has taken the trailermusic industry by storm. Like the two sides of one coin, with a pretty lengthy bio in the music industry and respectable solo careers till that point, their collaborative work managed to eject the trailer music production into a genre podium of its own and introduce it to the mainstream audiences. Despite minimal PR, their work has gone from strength to strength, steadily gaining grounds amongst the hardest to convince sets of ears. And for good reason! Most OST fans out there were blown away at their first encounter. Go down the YouTube rabbit hole and Burst www.burstzine.com you will soon find their tunes over-populating your “Favorites” list. Dig deeper and you will find their music is somewhat familiar, causing a stir of alternating emotions. It’s been featured in motion pictures, movie trailers, TV and radio advertisements you have been exposed to. The music composition is powerful, carefully orchestrated, loudly instrumental, with a distinct identity of its own. Deciding to swim against the current, Two Steps From Hell have formed their music based on the traditional pop music format, rather than the typical 2-minute (or less) single-tension build-up & release format, religiously followed by the trailer music industry. The result of the experiment has been a rather unique stand-alone product that has easily held its audience captive, as opposed to a product, which plays a supporting role in other items of art such as motion pictures, art installations, dance performances, tv spots, trailers, video games, opening ceremonies, etc. Burst had the opportunity to talk with both halves of Two Steps From Hell about… a little bit of everything. Enjoy! 43 “Two Steps From Hell”: So, where does your name come from? It’s not your box-standard brand name. Nick Phoenix: Thomas will answer. Thomas Bergersen: When we launched our company in 2006 we wanted something that stood out, even if like a sore thumb. The old adage “all PR is good PR” sprung to mind. The name was kind of tongue in cheek to catch attention from the right people. I got the idea for the name from a nightclub I once saw in Norway that had a similar theme going on. So, nothing out of religion then? TB: We have no religious intentions in the name, we just thought it sounded cool. Everyone’s been Two Steps From Hell in one way or another… I mean, “let he without sin throw the first stone…”. epic. Trailers seemed to suit me well. Well, we’re glad you took the leap! You have mentioned in the past that you do not work together per se; rather you compose your pieces separately and then see how they come together. In which ways do you feel that your skill set and approaches complement each other bringing in a balance? NP: We both are self-sufficient and are interested in many musical genres. We do most of our work separately, but we discuss direction and themes. We also master and name our tracks together, as well as decide on art direction together. Do you ever clash? NP: Our tracks are always very different from one another because we both just follow our instincts and random inspira- NP: No we just try and write exciting music. We also write other material that is used on TV programs and ads. Our catalogue is quite diverse. Out of the numerous works you have produced in your common path as ‘Two Steps From Hell’, is there one item of work that you have particularly enjoyed the working process of, and why? NP: For me it’s all enjoyable and difficult at the same time. I am never really happy and always look forward to the next project. Releasing Invincible on iTunes and seeing what happened was a thrill. Do you ever revisit or rework what goes to the *trash bin* or do you tend to recycle work that was left abandoned for one reason or another? NP: No I leave the trash in the ability to recognize potential in seemingly simple things, and then turn them into something worthwhile. Like Beethoven did with his four famous notes “dadadadaaaaa”. I believe it was Hans Zimmer who said “any 5 year old can accidentally land upon those notes on the piano, but it takes a visionary and a composer to realize their potential”. We’ve heard your work featured in video games, trailers, commercials, tv shows…it sounds like you’ve done it all. Is it really the whole nine yards though? Is there an area you haven’t yet explored but would like to be challenged to do so? NP: We have many ideas. Stay tuned!!! That sounds intriguing! We look forward to see what the future brings from TSHF. Is there a par- Having two very different backgrounds in so many ways, how did your paths cross? NP: We were arguing about samples on a sample forum around the year 2000 and we discovered that we shared many of the same passions about music. Thomas then came to the states to help with some sample based orchestral software I was developing. This was a very popular orchestra software called EWQLSO. So, at which point did you two decide to form this partnership? What were the main reasons for your reaching that decision? NP: I had been scoring film trailers since 1997, but it was never my primary focus. Thomas and thought it would be interesting and see if we really focused on epic trailer music, what we could achieve. TB: I was living in Norway, writing music for some decidedly uninspiring commercials and felt like there was never enough room for me and my inclination toward the big and tions without any formula or rules. Your track record of featured work lists a huge number of blockbusters, a lot of which are action films. Do you tend to write for a specific film genre and pitch for it, or is it the other way round: being headhunted to write for particular film, under a particular contract? trash. I did fix up a few cues for our recent release “Classics” though. These were finished cues that needed more orchestration and mixing. TB: Nothing ever goes in the trash bin! Can’t you tell?! **Burst laughs** Seriously, no idea is so bad you can’t somehow hide it with proper orchestration technique and deliberation. The difference between someone who can compose and someone who can’t, is the ticular living artist/musician/composer you would like to work with? NP: Yoyo Ma, Annie Lennox and David Gilmore. TB: There are simply too many incredible musicians to mention! Any deceased ones you wish you could raise from the dead to collaborate with? Burst www.burstzine.com 44 NP: Jerry Garcia, Beethoven and Bernard Hermann TB: I would raise Gustav Mahler from the dead, but only for selfish reasons. I want him to finish his last symphony, and if time permits, perhaps write some more. Then I’ll raise him terpieces and why? What would you put on your Hollywood Hall of Fame, out of your own work? NP: I like some of my more offbeat stuff, but I guess I also like some of my simple but effective epic cues like Master evolved without it? NP: Yes YouTube has facilitated the spread of our music. We decided not to try and block our music from being shared on YouTube. And you will always be loved for that! **laughs** gistical nightmare and administrative proverbial step from hell. But we somehow pulled it off and I’m incredibly thankful to Nick for convincing me to go through with it when I was ready to blow the whole thing off (it was getting scary expensive and stressful). NP: But concerts will be easier now that we have the first one done. It must be a wild experience for a strictly-based studio duo, stepping out to the wilderness of a live show. Being your first concert, how do *you* feel it went? Any last minute near-disasters you could have done without? NP: The concert was absolutely amazing, from our perspective. There was something unique about it. again because I forgot to ask him how the %$#! he did it all. **Laughs** Of Shadows, Am I Not Human and 1000 Ships Of The Underworld. So, dead and alive musicians from your wish list aside, where do you draw your inspiration from? TB: I don’t have any favorites, but I have some that I’m more proud of than others. “Femme Fatale” from my album “Illusions” and some of the music I’m writing right now. From Two Steps From Hell. I am very proud of the incredible amount of attention I have gotten for tracks such as “Heart of Courage”, “Protectors of the Earth”, “Archangel”, “To Glory”, “Moving Mountains” etc... NP: Pain, failure, the desire for beauty and testosterone. TB: Whenever I’m stuck I just think of Beethoven who somehow managed to turn, literally two notes, into gold. Our tendency to overthink (can’t see the forest for the trees -type mentality) has ruined many great pieces of music. I find it incredibly inspiring to think that the holy grail of melodies is literally right in front of us at the piano... always elusive, though, kind of like the Yeti… I had a dream the other day where I found the ultimate melody. Unfortunately upon discovering it, I suffered an immediate death. Maybe a plot for a Hollywood movie? (Laughs**) Coming soon, at a theater near you! So, what would you consider your own top-3 masBurst www.burstzine.com I admit “Archangel” was the first of your tracks that I ever come across while looking for powerful and moving music on YouTube, one chilly evening. 3 hours later, I instantly became a Two Steps From Hell junkie! But YouTube really is also great tool to track and evaluate a certain track’s expected success, from the artist’s side. Do you account a large portion of your own success amongst the mainstream fan-base to YouTube? How do you think things would have Stepping away from YouTube though, you are primarily studio-bound. You don’t generally perform your music live in front of an audience. However, you recently (June) had your first live gig; a fullon, philharmonic concert in LA’s Walt Disney Concert Hall. How did this come along? NP: It was a long and difficult process. I could write a book! TB: Preparing for the 2 hour or so long performance was practically a full-time job for 3 months if not more. It was a lo- TB: It was an incredible experience, one that I will never forget and one that I will forever cherish. All of our fans, friends and family were there. It felt like a big collective musical group hug. NP: The staff at Disney were really excited about it and said it was unlike anything they had seen there. The audience was great. Predominantly composing away from concert settings and tour distractions, how was your experience of direct interaction with your audience, some of which is reported to have flown in from the opposite side of the planet especially for this concert? NP: It felt great to connect 45 with people. It makes me rethink how I will compose in the future, as live performance with an audience is a very satisfying, human experience. Organizing a concert of such magnitude is draining. Still, should we hope to see you in other US location or across the Atlantic at some point too? LA concert was originally planned to be crowd-funded and to be taking place in Germany but the project was abandoned. Any thoughts of revisiting this idea in the future? NP: We are thinking about Berlin, Prague, Moscow and maybe other cities. NP: No. But we would like to find out which cities in Europe are possible venues. We would like to play in London, Paris, Vienna, Oslo, Amsterdam and Venice, but we need to find out if they are really viable for us at this time. I am guessing no. TB: Paris, London... If I’m not mistaken, the What should we expect to see from you in the near future? TB: We have some exciting projects that we will share with everyone when the time is right. NP: We are working on a new epic public release, but it could be a while as we are trying to push the envelope a bit more on this one. In the meantime I released an epic electronica SCI-FI album on iTunes called “Speed Of Sound”. It’s not what Most Two Steps Fans are looking for but it’s a fun, fast moving album. TB: We are always composing, right down to the nights before the concert in my case. I just can’t help myself. No matter how often I tell myself I need a break I always end up doing something. I’ve been working on a follow-up to “Illusions”, called “Sun” for about 2 years now. I hope to release it soon, but it will probably be a while. Many thanks to Nick Phoenix and Thomas Bergersen for taking their time to talk to Burst. Reach TSFH www.twostepsfromhell.com www.facebook.com/twostepsfromhell www.youtube.com/user/TwoStepsFromTheMusic Burst www.burstzine.com 46 Enter shikari What do you listen to when you are happy, when you are in high spirits? I listen to Enter Shikari and it seems that many other people apart from me have been listening to their music since they are one of the most popular acts in UK and Europe! Enter Shikari perfectly combine heavy metal subgenres (such as metalcore and alternative metal) with elements from electronic music (dubstep, trance, industrial etc). Burst magazine had the chance to have an interesting chat with Rou, who is the bandâ€™s frontman. Are you ready to swing? by korina p. | photos by Joe Dilworth Burst www.burstzine.com 47 Hello Rou and thank you for this interview! There are certain labels in music industry nowadays. Your label is quite interesting, post-hardcore and alternative metal music combined with electronica and dubstep music. So, I guess your music features elements taken from hardcore metal music and post rock and also from electronica? How can this happen? You mix many and different elements that’s for sure, right? We have grown up in a quite thriving musical scene, we are quite lucky. So, we had the chance to get influenced by punk music, hardcore music and many other subgenres. We have been influenced by, for instance, motown to classical and so on. I remember when my uncle introduced me to Prodigy’s music when I was about twelve years old. So, we have always been quite confused by people saying like “maybe they call themselves a metalhead or a raver” and define their whole selves by just one type of music. It is really confusing us, you know. It is like eating one type of food or something like that. It doesn’t make sense you know. So, yes our music includes many elements and people call us a musical spectrum (laughs)! These all are very interesting facts but only one question crosses my mind right now: Have you ever been afraid of people calling you a band without a certain musical identity? No, I am not afraid of that. In fact, I would welcome that comment (laughs)! I think that we would get really bored if we would play the same kind of music for too long when there is so much beauty and there are so many possibilities within music. We are always keen on exploring. You also have some dubstep elements and some drum and bass elements featured in your music. Those two music genres are very popular nowadays. When you began back then, did you have in mind that thing, popularity? I mean the fact of mixing some very popular elements would help you to achieve your goal easier and become more well-known and liked in much less time. Did you bear that in mind? No, I can’t say that we had that in mind. We just wanted to make music simply because we enjoyed it. And I think people in England are going crazy for you guys (laughs)! I took a look in the charts and comments and stuff like that and I got the impression that people from your country (UK) really love you. Yeah, that’s true. We have had a huge support coming from our country. Maybe the main reason for this is the fact that we spent a lot of time touring up and down in UK. It’s really paid off in a way, yeah. And now I will go on by asking you a rather predictable question (laughs): You mix many and different music styles, as we already said. I would say that your music is kind of a volcano! Do you feel like breaking the boundaries of music in a way? Music has been always a kind of service for us, it’s a small purpose if you are trying to explain what type of music somebody is, why don’t you just guys listen to it and make up your own mind for yourselves? Boundaries are really something that we take no note of (laughs). How did you guys meet up and conceived this whole idea? I think everything started in 2003 if I am not mistaken. We actually knew each other from school; we went to the same primary school so we knew each other for years. Chris (bass) and I have been known each other since we were 10 and 12 years old. It was quite obvious for us to get together and make a band. Great! There is a very interesting story behind the name of the band. Could you share with us the story behind the band’s name? Sure! I was first introduced to these words by my uncle who owned a boat named shikari. I loved how this word sounded. It means “the hunter” in various languages like Indian and many others; It kind of fit in with the band’s sound and everything. You just announced some shows over Europe. I have seen that you have been touring a lot through the years. You have been to Europe, Japan and USA. November is coming fast, so I wonder if you feel ready for your next tour? We have toured in Europe so many times (laughs)! It’s nice to go back and see some friends and some well-known faces and maybe also some new faces. It’s always exciting and sure we are looking forward to it. I noticed that all the 4 bandmates are singing lead or backing vocals. That’s pretty interesting. So, I guess you all have great voices (laughs)! Seriously, how did that happen? I mean, all the 4 bandmates contributing in the vocal parts? Yeah, that’s true! We have so many harmonies and things it’s quite important to get involved with the vocals. One of our biggest influences is The Beatles! That’s pretty typical for a band coming from the UK (laughs). Yeah! (laughs) You played in Glastonbury, in Download and many other festivals during this summer. Also, your third studio album, A Flash Flood of Colour was positioned at the top of the UK Album Chart for almost its entire week of release; however it eventually debuted on the chart at 4. Awesome things happen to you guys! Do you feel that this is only the beginning of a very bright career full of success? Do you feel more like there is much more to come? Who knows? I hope so (laughs)! You know, we have not really been that type of band who looks into the future a lot. We don’t really apprehend or plan much. We just make the music we love to make and if people like it that’s great. So you don’t really have too high hopes or something like that. I don’t really think about it. We are lucky enough to have a big fanbase, to keep creating music that people enjoy. You just released a new video for the song Radiate. It is a pretty interesting one: the faces and the eyes of the bandmates are not displayed. Could you tell us whether there was any concept or any special idea behind this video? It’s a video about freedom of expression and how that can be taken away… We learned a lot about the musicians in different countries. There are musicians who can’t really play specific parts of their music in their country or they have to get their music checked and approved by their government and before playing it they have to get a permit. This is video is clearly about the importance of freedom of expression. I noticed that you travelled in Bangkok in order to record your third studio album. Was there any special reason for this to happen? Actually, for me, it’s the first time to see a European band going to Thailand in order to record their album! There was a brand new studio there. Actually, our producer had a friend who knew the people who owned it and they wanted to get some new bands over their new studio. So, we took a look at the place and it Burst www.burstzine.com 48 looked absolutely amazing. Also, the weather there was awesome (laughs)! And speaking of recording sessions, on 20 January 2013 you announced that you are writing music for the band’s recording session in February. I guess you are getting yourselves prepared for a new studio album. Could you tell us anything about your upcoming studio album? All we did in February was recording 3 tracks. Radiate is one of them. The writing process for the new album will start in a few months; we just have to finish with the festivals and gigs firstly. So, we won’t be going back to the studio until late this year. So, it’s hard to tell anything about how the new album will sound like. But there are some certain plans about a new studio album. Burst www.burstzine.com Yeah, definitely, later this year. I am asking this question to every single musician: How was your progress so far? Has it been easy? Not so easy? Entertaining? Tough? I would say a bit of everything you just said. Obviously, in the beginning, we had years and years of continuous touring in a shitty little van that used to break down and we had to do everything on our own. It was fun, though! But when you see people passionately singing your lyrics and stuff like that it makes everything ok. Do you feel satisfied with the things you have done as a musician until now? Yeah, definitely! We never really dreamed of getting this far. For us, it was more like a hobby, playing music with some friends. We are very happy with the results! ticular? I noticed that you play rather happy music. I mean you don’t play depressive black metal or something like that (laughs)! Do you have any special purpose? Do you want to pass any specific message to the world? Hmmmm that’s a hard question (laughs)! People always impress me during our gigs. I can recall awesome things like human pyramids or swinging for us or getting in the pits. Stuff like that. Usually our audience is really energetic and fun. We are trying to balance things out because we believe that so much music in this world is made to continue the division between people. Some certain music is made in order to glorify violence and greed. There is certain negativity, especially in mainstream music. We try to promote positive things and we try to direct fans in a more positive manner. We continue what punk bands promote like unity and things like that. So, your plans for 2013 are maybe a new album and a European tour. Do you have any promises for your fans for the future? Can you recall any memory of a really crazy action by a fan, anything that really impressed you in par- Awesome, thank you too for having me on the magazine. We will continue making music and stay fearless in terms of musical and lyrical content. Well, Rou thank you very much for your time. I wish you all the best and I hope to see you on the road! 49 BAND INFOS, MERCHANDISE AND MORE: W W W . N U C L E A R B L A S T. D E W W W. FA C E B O O K . C O M / N U C L E A R B L A S T E U R O P E Burst www.burstzine.com 50 SoundtrucK Soundtruck is a 5-membered southern hard rock band from Athens, passionate and talented people, who have made their breakthrough last summer with their opening act for the Lynyrd Skynyrd World Tour 2012. Now here in Athens, they talked about their experience so far, as well as their future plans. We met with Billy and George, the band’s two guitar players, and had a chat for Burst Magazine. The wheels of rock ‘n roll have been set in motion! BY DIALEKTI ANGELI Tell us a few things about the members of the band and the music genre you play. G. Soundtruck is a southern hard rock band, consisting of 5 members: Nikos Melas is the singer, Dimitris Lykakis the bassist, Alex Papalexiou is behind the drum kit and the two of us, Billy Panagopoulos on the guitar and me, George Mpountalis, on the guitar as well. We started during the autumn of 2008. Vassilis, Alexis and Nikos had been playing in a heavy doom band. For some reasons they had to quit. Truth Burst www.burstzine.com is we knew each other long before we started playing together. B. Nikos asked me to join the band. We had an idea about remaking songs. We all like Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, AC/ DC, Led Zeppelin etc. Deep down, we all wanted to do something, but the timing was wrong. G. Having good chemistry among the band mates is a hard thing to achieve. The years were passing by and each one of us was playing in different bands. But when the time is right, everything goes well. B. It was George’s idea. As a “remake band” we had performed live several times; we have played over 30 live shows all over Greece. At some point, we got bored of playing the same old songs, so we started writing our own material and we were in the studio in less than a year. You somehow answered to the question I was going to ask you next, about your influences. B. You know what? The best thing about it is that we all have different influences. Imagine that Nikos is the classic metalhead, who attends live concerts and does some headbanging. George is more of a classic rock guy, I am kind of modern,more like heavy hard rock. The bass player is the weirdest case. He combines rockabilly and country. As for Alex, who is the eldest, he listens from poser to anything you can imagine! I see. In Greece, southern rock doesn’t have such a big audience. How come you ended up playing southern and not another genre? 51 B. We didn’t think about it in terms of audience size, but in the terms of what we enjoy playing the most. We all got the southern sound inside of us. G. The first songs we played as a remake band was southern rock and that is how the style was bound somehow. As for what you said about southern rock not having a big audience, it may not have that many bands, it does have a huge audience though. Southern rock belongs to the broader field of classic rock. This genre had crafted all the genres that followed afterwards. Therefore, everyone who listens from rock music, to blues or any other similar genre is very familiar with the sound of southern rock. B. This is like when a big band performs live and everybody pays a ticket to see them. Southern rock is exactly the case. Even though it started differently, it ended up being commercial – in a good way. Your first album with the homonymous title “SOUNDTRUCK” was released in June 2012. What was the reaction of the Greek audience and how is this depicted in terms of sales? B. The whole idea was that the CD had to be released on a specific date, that of the live show with the Lynyrd Skynyrd, on June 18 2012. Look, for the current Greek standards, the sales were something unprecedented. We sold so many CDs! We received positive feedback and everything was awesome! We wanted to do it on that specific date for one reason only: because on that day, the audience in which Soundtruck addresses to, would be there. G. During that time we had been in the talks with a record company, but when we learnt about the concert with the Skynyrd we thought “now or never”. We didn’t have the time for more talking. We had to have it ready till the concert. How was it afterwards? B. It went very well. The opening act for the Skynyrd gave our band the necessary boost. We tried to proliferate from it ‘cause we wanted to further promote our work. G. Look, we didn’t have a label… B. …and that worked out both positively and negatively at the same time. G. Nevertheless, it went very well in general, keep in mind that we’re a new Greek band. B. Most importantly, we didn’t stop in this live... That is to say “a live with the Skynyrd and the Soundtruck are dead”. We headed towards the opposite direction. That is to say that the Soundtruck began after the live show with the Skynyrd; and that’s the point where you have to prove if you worth it or not. collaboration that we didn’t expect, like some live shows in some music scenes, some festivals... I personally believe that the live in “KYTTARO”, in January 18 2013, was the ultimate reward. G. There were so many people and we had such a good time. There were our friends as well as some fellow musicians. It was great! Foreign lyrics: That is to say that you address your music to a specific audience, or that it’s an attempt to approach an audience outside the Greek borders? B. We address our music to everyone, both in Greece and outside Greece. G. The music industry doesn’t favor the Greek lyrics and if you mind my personal opinion, the Greek lyrics rarely fit in the rock music. Of course, everyone is welcome. B. And that’s the best of all. For example, in our case the album was a great success in an audience which is not purely metal. You work on your second album now, right? G. We’ve already started the pre-production. Was there any collaboration afterwards? When do you think will it be ready for release? B. Yes. There was much collaboration in many levels. We performed live many times. A lot of people got interested in us, in listening to our CD. There were many interviews in the radio. We even had some B. We’ve already written two songs, which basically, are acoustic remixes from the first album. As for when will it be ready for release, I reckon we will be in the studio by the end of the summer, so the album will probably be released in January 2014. Do you shows? plan any live G. There is nothing confirmed yet. We mostly work on the second album now. How do you see the band and yourselves in 10 years from now? G. I will have less hair, that’s for sure! *laughs* B. …. 2 kids… more weight… *laughs* It’s something I’ve been thinking for quite some time now. I believe that nothing will change. We will simply keep on creating good music and trying to do our best. In fact, that’s the main objective of a band after all: not to rest. Therefore, I wish we have 3-4 albums, a bigger audience, I wish we manage to go abroad and manage to make a living from what we do from some point on. G. I also wish, we have some good songs in our record, and our work to be likeable and recognizable. The future is always latent. I try not to forget about the future, however I don’t think about it all the time. I live every single day and try not to lose my focus. B. Actually, I wish us to still be productive and not to have hung our guitars and drums on the wall. Thank you very much. Thank you and we wish you guys all the best! Want to be part of the burst crew??? We are looking for photojournalists from around the world, able to take quality photos, write live reports and conduct face2face interviews with artists. send us an email at email@example.com be creative about yourselves and give us a top10 of your best live photos! Burst www.burstzine.com 52 dark moor Greetings to all our friends! This time, our friend Enrik Garcia of Darkmoor said a few words to us about his new album, his tour in Mexico and what will come after that, as well as the collaboration with Alfred Romero and the debut album of Anna Fiori of Mexico, so... let’s go to the interview! Also we had a little chat with our friend Anna Fiori! by J.Roberto Zenteno Jimenez Can you tell us about your visit in Latin America and especially for your first time in Mexico??? We are thrilled to play in a land so close and brotherly country like Mexico! We hope that a lot of people enjoy our show and will work hard to make this happen. What will be the surprise that we, in Mexico, are going to have, the whole new album or a musical repertoire of its greatest hits??? We will do a concert based mostly on the last album, and that’s what we do in every tour, but considering it is the first time we played in Mexico we have prepared some special hits from the previous CDs so they can enjoy them live. I assure you will not get bored! As for the new album, it took quite a while to happen, right??? Was it the composition, lyrics or does it have a more comBurst www.burstzine.com plex background??? We just take a little more time between CD and CD ... companies got chance to take some more time and prefer to do so. In this way we could clear our minds well when creating the new album. In September we started to write new songs and in three months we had everything ready, went very smooth this time, really. We are very pleased with the new job and hope that will please all of our fans. What will be the theme of the new album? Is it a continuous story or each song is separated in the album??? Each track is independent from the others. As in the previous album are several songs dedicated to the culture and history of our land and our roots, but in this new work we have also some more personal and interior as the own single “theroadagain” for example. Who contributed to its creation, both lyrics and composition??? Does it have much folk music??? The main musical composer and lyrics were by my good friend and poet Francisco José García. We’ve been working together a long time, not only in Darkmoor and the truth is that we understand each other to perfection. Luckily I had a very good musical training as a child because I grew up next to an audiophile and was listening to all kinds of music. My brain had to archive all that somewhere and now is coming out all as a torrent! Hahaha! It’s great. Tell us a little about the single Road Again, How did it came up and what is it saying??? Is it different in terms of style? The single’s chorus came to me in Italy, I was producing another band at the time and one day as I was coming from the supermarket, walking on the road and then the melody of the chorus came to head. Once I got to the apartment I wrote it and I knew it would be a candidate to be the new single as it has been. The song is about self-improvement and is a breath of hope for the people who are having a hard time, for to not give up and keep on the road. This song is right in the middle of styles that can be found on the CD, there are themes and issues metal rockers, it is right in the middle, I think. What does the name ArsMúsica mean?? It’s Latin, it means Musical Art. It is our philosophy as a band, for us the group has always played its music as an art in its purest form. So for this record we feel that there are more of us who never wanted to put this title. As for the musical analysis, which is of these is more in the album, guitar, bass, piano, or a combination??? 53 Depends on each song or each phrase, each element is important in Darkmoor and none is a more important character than another. Except, of course, for the masterful voice of Alfred, which is what stands by far, but is that as you highlight a singer as well! It leaves the guy! we let our director, Martin Oscar Eye Mechanic, completely free to do what he wanted. We gave the music and lyrics and he came up with an absolutely great idea and it fits perfectly with what the song conveys. We are really happy with the end result. Can you tell us about the clip Road Again??? A small preview! Does that mean the cover of Disco??? What does that reveal about you and your music? Well I think it will be a pleasant surprise for all our fans; It means a lot. The cover is how we feel and we see our- selves in the world and the music industry. We see Darkmoor like that child locked in his attic, full of romance and art, while outside you can see the modern world, where real gray and raining non-stop as a sign of their hardness. About Alfred Romero, you participated in the recording with Anna Fiori too, so tell us a bit about your experience and working together on this album? working with Anna Fiori. As I confessed I was very happy with her work. I think one of the dates will agree with ours, so it will be great to meet her in person and certainly new ideas to work together in the future. Thank you very much for your words my friends! The latter are of you to our readers! Alfred has been delighted to be Thank you for your support. A greeting to all Mexican fans! See you at the concert! We’ll be doing our best! artists, full of talent. This video corresponds to our single “The Day of Rage”. Hopefully in the future we will have another video of one of the other singles. thing for me, it’s like listening in a better way ... I’m emotionally involved in all this disc. Tell us a bit about your new projects you have in mind? On this trip to Europe, tell us that’s what happened, was to assemble the album? Promotion or to give more structure in music? My husband/bassist and I have an international project to door, which, because of the record, we cannot comment much yet ... I still play with Metal Tribute to Tolkien Rob Zendys as a guest guitarist. And I hope to relive the experience by recording a second album for this project. Also I’m giving all my work, which are the singing lessons. Anna Fiori About the collaboration of the debut album, with Alfred Romero. Tell us Anna, what should we expect in this debut album? The album has many nuances, I’m working with great musicians of international stature and committed and talented Mexican musicians. You can expect that this album has worked, recorded and mixed, and all were done with the best possible quality. It’s an album filled with lots proud Mexico and falls short of many international records. It was recorded a choir of 15 people (including me), special guests participating Alfred Romero (Spanish frontman of Darkmoor) in a guitar solo, Emiliano Obregón (guitarist Argentina Lorien) and in a guttural, Robert Munguia (throaty singer and keyboardist of Winter Haven, proudly Mexican) Give us the main idea of the album, more symphonic, melodic, dark? It’s very fluid, everything has a part of something, but sometimes it has more symphonic, sometimes tinged power, sometimes it is darker ... Some have pinned riffs and more times, while others use more Arabic scales ... minor, major, there around a bit but amalgamated to my style. In this I relied to compose the music ... to give it a little dynamic. Let us discuss emotions about your new music? The disk always has a purpose, as had to throw my cover on my network. All the visual image is very dark, but the album’s lyrical purpose is very positive. It represents this stage of my life. In which, from experience, I learned that you can get out of the negative and start a positive life. The lyrics do reflect and get emotions we have stuck inside, some more motivated ... There is a message that is very clear, which makes things right, good people (not hypocritical, not dishonest, prejudiced, but the ones who care about others and their environment rather than attack it), will do well in life, to the more difficult challenges that life has to propose. And the goal of this album is to convey that everyone can have a better life and achieve what they want. Will you have a video clip? Yes, the making of the video was provided by CUBE ALTERNATIVE, who are quite dedicated and professional The trip to Europe was the occasion of my marriage with my band bassist, who also all, is a renowned Argentine musician, thanks to his career and legendary Power Metal band “Azeroth”. In August we will have a family trip to Argentina, but there if you take the opportunity to assist with some means to publish this material. Do you really expect people to listen to this album? First, I hope that you hear it two or three times, so you can hear all the details. It’s a song that has many details and intentions from start to finish. It’s an album that has more complex executions, is played with “complex emotions”, has much “feeling”, and sometimes it’s hard to hear bands that convey things up with the instruments ... Each of the album’s songs represent some- Does it have a traditional sound or does it add something new into the national metal? It is important to note that it is very common in Mexico that when you are a female singer, you get cataloged in gothic metal. However it is not so ... It is the first album Symphonic Power Metal made entirely by a Mexican woman, besides someone being solo: And one of the few who use our beautiful language, Spanish. Thank you for this interview, as always it is a pleasure to work with you. A hug to all readers and thank you for your support ... Metal Top Mexican! Burst www.burstzine.com 54 Hidden in the Basement Hidden in the Basement is an ass-kicking heavy rock band from Larisa/Greece, which blew my mind a long time ago. I wrote an article about them on It’s Not Greek to Me column and this time BURST asked for them and they answered back. What? Go down and read that loud! by spiros smyrnis Please give us a brief bio of Hidden in the Basement. The band started in late 2007 with Filippos Zoukas, Kostas Tsiavalias, Thanos Dimkos and Thanos Vovouras. Till now we have played a lot of live shows in Greece and Turkey, participating in some major Greek festivals in different cities and have opened for bands like Sepultura, Karma to Burn, Orange Goblin, Burst, Rotting Christ and Nightstalker. We released a demo in late 2010 (Hope for a new day, Self released), and a full length in 2012 (Ego, self-released). Hidden in the basement is a heavy rock / metal band. What’s the story behind the band’s name? The band’s name is actually a true story. We started the band in the drummer’s basement studio. The studio’s door was hidden behind a stack of chairs. So… Hidden in the Basement. Any favorite groups and influences of Hidden in the Basement’s? All four of us come from different “music families”… so the influences involve a quite wide range of music. Some of them are: Pantera, Rage Against the Machine , Down, Tool, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Clutch, Parkway Drive, Radiohead , Guns and Roses, Foo Fighters, Burst www.burstzine.com Rolling Stones, Deftones, Machine Head, Korn, Muse and many many more. Few months ago you released your first full length album under the name Ego. Production, mixing, mastering, music style: Please talk to us on everything about this release. The album was recorded and mixed in Fabric Studios in Larisa, Greece and the mastering was done by Jeff Mortimer in England. The artwork was conceived and created by Tolis Smaropoulos. Ego features 9 tracks and it is a full-range groovy metal album. The title refers to someone special or is it ironic? The title refers to EVERYBODY. We all have quite a strong EGO and in our days we unleash it much more easily to the others. We can’t open ourselves to others, we think that our own problems are bigger, we don’t share, we try to look better but not be better individuals, we don’t care, we don’t live, we... we... Is self-release the only option for an underground rock/metal band nowadays? It’s not the only one, but surely it’s the safest. You have the full control of cost, quality and quantity. The things that the most labels ask are too many for the things they offer. So the best solution is the self- release or the release through a small, but trustworthy label. Ego is available for free download through Bandcamp. Why did you choose to do that? Not only are we musicians, but also fans. We have been also buying or downloading music all these years. So we thought as fans, and the best solution was to have our music available for free downloading till we sign to a label. “Reckless” video is available on youtube. Tell us more about it. The acoustic version of Reckless is just the result of being able to jam with your band, the result of always trying to be able to find new ways even through the old ones. We were playing some riffs while chillin’ and we tried some acoustic styles to our tracks and that one was quite beautiful… So one guitar, one voice and one camera. That’s all. Stoner/southern/sludge/ heavy rock or name it as you like music attracts more and more fans over the last years. Why’s that? It’s groovy, it’s raw and it’s rock! Three good reasons for people who want to see some good live shows and have fun and enjoy the music. Maybe it’s because this kind is closer to our roots, the roots of electric music and guitar, the blues. You can’t hate the blues. You have given many live shows through the years. Which is the one you will never forget? Every show is special for some reasons and we had a lot of unforgettable shows so far... but we think our favorite one was at festival in Ioannina playing in a festival of the local university; It was awesome, people paid attention to our music and we really gave them one of our best shows. Any tour plans? Not for now because we are working on some new material but we are planning our next tour in the winter of 2014. The last words are yours. Thanks a lot for giving us the opportunity to express our ideas, thanks for being there for music. Thanks to every reader who loves and supports music. Our first official video clip will be out very soon, so watch out. Listen to music, search for music, be yourselves! 55 Tardive Dyskinesia is probably one of the best Greek bands out there. Few months ago they released Static Apathy in Fast Forward, which was among the best stuff I listened to the last 2-3 years. Burst met Manthos at his house with his sweet lovely daughter and discussed with him about everything. Read that loud! by spiros smyrnis Please give us a brief bio of the band. It was 1997 when we formed a band named Override at Nea Makri just to play the music we were in. After 3 demos and some line-up changes in 2003 we changed our name to Tardive Dyskinesia, we walked in more progressive lands and finally in 2006 we managed to release our debut album, titled “Distorting Point of View”, via Venerate Industries, which dived us in the Greek underground scene, while at the same time we were the opening acts for important bands. In 2009, we released from”The Sea of See Through Skins” via Coroner Records, followed by a European tour with Pro Pain and two supporting acts on Dillinger Escape Plan and Meshuggah’ s shows at Gagarin. At the time of speaking, our third album “Static Apathy in Fast Forward” is available in stores. Which is the story behind the band’s name? Tardive Dyskinesia is a difficult-to-treat form of dyskinesia, a disorder resulting in involuntary, repetitive body movements. In this form of dyskinesia, the involuntary movements are tardive, meaning they have a slow or belated onset. This neurological disorder frequently appears after long-term or high-dose use of antipsychotic drugs. A friend of ours baptized us Tardive Dyskinesia when we had been looking for the band’s name. On our shows we observed that the audience due to the rhythm complexity could not “headbang” the classical way, because the riffs change very fast so it seems like they do some spastic movements. Static Apathy in Fast Forward is the third official album of Tardive Dyskine- sia. What is the feedback you received so far? So far the feedback is excellent. We have been given great reviews and many people characterized it as our best album. As you can understand, we are very happy about it. I can understand this feedback because this album is easier for the listener comparing it with our previous works so far. In my opinion, your latest album is easier for the listener, e.g. less complicated than the previous ones. Did this come naturally or you did that on purpose? Even from our first album we had some melodic parts. We were not afraid of playing with melody and this time we write the songs without any inhibitions. Besides, the music we listen apart from death metal and progressive has always some space for melody in our stereos. So the result came naturally. More and more releases in the underground music scene are self released, while the 95% of them are self-financed. Which is your opinion? I think that this happens because the labels are dead and gone. The bands finance their works, release their merch and tour around the world. They don’t need anybody. The helps too so it is fucking cool. We have to mention also that the band knows exactly what money gain or expend by their releases, comparing to what was happened with labels and contracts. Have you ever felt that Greece limits your choices to communicate your music to the rest of the world? No, we’ve never felt that way. From the starting years of Tar- dive Dyskinesia we believed that our music was addressed towards the whole world and in the internet era this is a thin line. If your music is interesting, then people from all over the world will listen to it. The fact that we will go in Germany this October to play with our favorite bands is the living proof. about a man, whose time has stopped and he tries to put his life back to order by repairing this old broken clock he finds. How is your collaboration with Cts Productions so far? Congratulations! Having the experience to work with the Italian Coroner records, this time we decided to work with some “buddie” We think that CTS Productions is one the very few Greek labels that work professionally and they try to roll the things the best way they can. In addition, they are very cool people and by the time of speaking, our cooperation is great. Crawling in the Mud is some kind of release. More info, please! In 2008 we had recorded 10 tracks for “The Sea of See Through Skins”, which was released by Coroner Records. The official release has only 9 nine tracks. So we kept “Crawling In The Mud” to probably use it as a track in a split 7’inch. 4 years later we decided to upload this “ghost song” on our bandcamp account. You shot an official video for Time Turn Planets song. Do you have any interesting stories to share on that aspect? This video was shot, directed and edited by the former Tardive Dyskinesia guitarist, Fotis Tsakos. Petros Koublis (the beardy actor) also helped him. The short story behind this video leaving us –the handsome sexy idols- aside is a Any tour plans for Tardive Dyskinesia? You are going to play on Euroblast festival this October; a great achievement indeed. Thank u very much. It will be a great time, that’s for sure. We just finished a headline tour across Greece, we played at Rockwave Festival and then we have Euroblast. We also discuss the possibility of a European tour as well and I think that we’re gonna have some exciting news soon enough. Mousika Kymata Fest is more than a tradition and you are the man behind that fest. This year was the 10-year anniversary. 18 of the most active Greek metal bands, 2 euros entrance, tons of beer, souvlaki, camping for the audience. I think that this was the biggest celebration in Greece dedicated to the heavy metal sound. The fest changed its name this year to NEW LONG FEST. Manster Designs are responsible for many interesting artworks over the last years. Anything you have on schedule this time? Thank you very much! There are many interesting artworks on the road about Still Falling, Above us The Waves, Veil, Heretic Cult Redeemer and some T-Shirt designs for Speedblow and Serenity Broken as well as many more to come. Thank you very much for this interview and good luck to Burst Magazine! Burst www.burstzine.com 56 Are you open-minded towards music? Do you like experimentation regardless of labels? Ladies and gentlemen, meet a2athot, an interesting project from Italy featuring diverse influences. Burst magazine is happy to have a chat with their mastermind in order an interview by marianna kofinaki to shed some light in their music. What’s the story behind A2aThoT? How did you decide to create this musical project? I was in a musical hiatus after some years with my previous band, a post-rock Italian band named Idromele. I wanted to start making music again after a couple of years, when I did absolutely nothing but reordering my ideas on music and my role as musician. Then, I decided to do some recording, so I started with some electronic sounds, some drone sounds, some metal sounds... very random! I tried to order everything in my first album, “A2aThoT”, but I have to say it was very confusing apart from a couple of songs, where I really see myself very focused in what A2aThoT is now. So I wanted to start again in a different version, focusing on what I really liked doing in music, what I really felt was “*my* music”. It was psychedelic music, metal, doom, drone, experimental music. How did you come up with the name? Azathoth is a character from Lovecraft’s works; I used a misspelled, a little bit “cybergeneration” version of that name: A2aThoT, mixing the old-fashion love for Lovecraft (like many others in metal and similar musical genres), but with this modern way of writing it, like a nickname in a chat... I think it represents the Burst www.burstzine.com duality of modern/old taste in my music. You stay away from typical musical labels by characterizing your music “experimental”. How do you define musical experimentation? Are there any limits? As I said before, what I wanted my music to be was psychedelic, metal, doom, drone, experimental. I tried to mix everything into my first EP, “Trust Your Ear”, using these musical genres together to create “my sound”. I see many bands around, who are using psychedelic music into metal, but not so much drone, or a lot of psychedelic drone but no metal, or they are not very experimental, just repeating the same songs someone else has done... I mean, I really like the originality of bands like Pink Floyd, Sunn O))), Black Sabbath, Radiohead, System Of A Down, Jane’s Addiction and Tool, and I try to mix everything I like from them with my influences, other bands I like, and so on, to do my music. I know that no one can be “the original one” because it’s something very naïve to say, but I try to do something I can’t find in other bands’ music! That’s where I try to be original, and experimenting with weird sounds, strange structures I don’t find in the music I listen to. Sometimes I experiment with instruments, sometimes with vocals... As a rule of thumb, I use very low tunings on guitars, many overdubs on vocals, sometimes I don’t use any bass in a song, where I use a guitar like a bass... you know, things like that. Also, I use a lot of sampled drums, which I mix in many layers and I try to do everything only once, so that I will not repeat myself. That’s where I put no limit at all, otherwise I will be boring, for me first! Your music is difficult to be “labeled” indeed and you mention a diverse range of influences, coming from many different musical genres, ranging from Pink Floyd to Sunn O))). I take it that you’re a fan of good music in general and that you generally keep a truly open mind towards it. Is the name of the EP “Trust Your Ear” some kind of message you wanted to pass on to music fans on that aspect? Yes, not only about music, but also about the sounds I create: “Trust your ear” was something I kept saying to other people when I was very into chat rooms and forums about music effects... We have always been arguing about a guitar or a pedal, as if it’s possible to elect “the absolutely perfect guitar/pedal/instrument”. I think everyone has their tastes, their needs and that’s something to be respected. So I always thought “Why should I care if this guitar has a brand on it? Maybe that’s your favorite brand of guitars, but not mine... so I need what it’s good for me, for my ear! So... I just trust my ear, and it’s something everyone should do when talking about musical instruments”... now it’s something I extend to everything, music in primis. If I like a band, I don’t care about other people saying it’s shit... I listen to so many different things, and I like to think that people who like A2aThoT are open minded ones, who like many musical genres and different bands. Your 3-track EP “Trust Your Ear” features 3 songs: “Delirium of the Sane (part I), “So Pure, Everything leaves life” and “Andromeda’s Misunderstanding”. It is now available via Bandcamp in digital form and via ReverbNation in physical format. Could you shed some more light on the record? What would listeners expect? The songs, I think, are very different to one another... “Delirium...” is very dark and noisy, I think there are many influences by Neurosis and Tool. It’s about madness and I think the music represents very well what the lyrics mean. I think it’s one of my favorite songs from my recordings. “So Pure...” is a catchy metal song, I think it’s more direct but with a lot of occult references about 57 Wicca, even the title is a notso-hidden reference to occult (laughs). “Andromeda...” is some kind of a love song; it’s more of a dark rock song, with many influences by Radiohead, but also Pink Floyd. I wrote the lyrics when I was in high school, more than ten years ago! I hope listeners will enter this dark world where madness rules, like in a haunted forest or something similar, and they would feel the haunting, the oppression I tried to put in the record. My music is not to feel better, it should make you go mad! Are you satisfied with the outcome? I’m very satisfied with what I’ve done, but I have to say that every time I listen to it I always find new parts that I could improve... I always think “mmm I could have sung that part better, I could have played a different solo there...” and so on! But I think that’s normal. Do you prefer working alone with the aid of a few close collaborators whenever needed or do you intend to add more full-time members to your musical project? I would like to add some fulltime member to my project, but not very much as musician, more of technics! I mean, I would like to do a live show, where lights, screen projections, special effects, dancers would be as important as the music itself. In the studio, I like to work alone, in writing and in composing the tracks... but sometimes I like to add other people to a track, like a guitar solo, or a backing vocal. I really like people to listen to a song of mine and say “I would like to do a part here” and I go “ok, let’s record it!”. I really like to use other people’s ability in things I can’t do, like playing instruments I don’t play, like the violin! Do you think that selfproduction and the entire DIY philosophy was something chosen deliberately? Would you treat your mu- sic in a different manner if you signed with a label or you prefer to set your own standards, completely freely? I like to do the music part with no pressure, so I like to feel the freedom of DIY philosophy in studio. But I have to say, promotion, production, mixing, mastering, are a real pain in the ass! I really like to do everything by myself, but it’s very hard, so I would really like to have someone to do that for me (laughs). Of course, I like to make a kind of music that can’t be limited to something like “ok, now you have to write a hit-single! Please do it before lunch and it has to be 4.30” long!”. So I need to have my freedom in the studio... maybe I could be a little bit difficult to work with, but I think I have a vision of what my music should be, and no one could understand it better than me! What are your plans for the future? Maybe another full-length album after your self-titled one re- leased last year? I hope to make a new record in next year but I really like to promote the EP as much as I can for now. Also, I would like to prepare a live show, but I need to do it very carefully because I want – as I told you before – to do something very good, not just any live show. My biggest goal for this year was to release “Trust Your Ear” and do a good record. I think I did it, and I’m very happy about it. The last words are yours. Keep it metal... Metal is the only genre in modern music that keeps experimenting and evolving, it constantly mixes genres and tries new things... I mean, who would think of Funeral Black Metal in 1985? :) Anyway, hope to receive some feedback on my music. For any other info, please refer to my official website www.a2athot. com Thank you very much! \m/ Feeling Numb? Coming soon... Burst www.burstzine.com ALBUM REVIEWS 58 El Camino - Gold of the Great Deceiver Every time I heard of the el Camino word musically speaking I remember the last Black Keys album, which bears the same title, so I prepare myself to listen to something cool and nice. I didn’t know that there was also a Swedish band named El Camino. The press kit informed me on a heavy rock band with doom elements, so as a heavy rock fan I was convinced to listen to Gold of The Great Deceiver album. After giving a listen twice of El Camino’s second full length, I would note down doom rock with heavy elements if I had to write the press kit from the start: A fine mix of Orchid, Uncle Acid and The Deadbeats with the occult lyrical and image style of Year of The Goat and Blood Ceremony. Heavy, man! The second El Camino album is heavy: Slow, crawling in muddy waters with the hammer of doom airing up from his head. Even from the starting notes of “The Gold of the Great Deceiver”, the doomy riffs made my head bang in their rhythm: A passionate rhythm section with stable drumming and sharp guitar themes. The band worships Venom and this is loud and clear in the “Gold of the Great Deceive” as the satanic- unholy spirit runs through the whole album. “This Land of Mine” is my favorite track with its ultra melodic guitar lines and the cutthroat vocals. Up-tempo song shows a very interesting approach on the so-called heavy rock term by El Camino. “The One of Evil” and “The Wizard” based on Sabbathic riffs praise the Great Great Tony Iommi, by spreading his legacy. “Torn” reminds me the High on Fire early days. In conclusion the album sounds fucking heavy and I recommend it to heavy/doom rock fans out there. Spiros Smyrnis Pet Shop Boys - Electric Electric, this is the name of the new album of the Pet Shop Boys, a title totally justified! It’s an album that travels us back to the 80’s at its best moments, a time that music was turned upside down and may have gave birth to the best records ever. The grandfathers of electro music, having sold a great number of albums during their career, treated us with a heavy dose of music that will stick to our minds for a long period... until their next one! From their very first track, Axis, they manage to get you deep to the rhythm and make anyone to realize what electro-pop means. The production was made in London, Berlin and Los Angeles by Stuart Price. It contains a collaboration with Bruce Springsteen in The last to die, and all that together are going to leave a huge impact. Vocal is the strongest outcome of this album. What it all comes down to is a record that has been created in the way only PSB can create. Its mood ranges from erotic, like in Love is a Bourgeois Construct, to the refreshing Inside a Dream. It is truly one of the greatest flash backs of an era that one could expect and the technology of today has made it so much easier to achieve. Although it contains classic elements of the band, somehow it is innovative at the same time, something that is not easy to happen. It is definitely one of those records that should be played loud only, with eyes closed and just dance! We suggest that you listen to it and tell us your opinion too! Well Done Sirs! Jo Gogou Oliva – Raise the Curtain Jon Oliva is one of the most distinctive musicians worldwide. From Savatage, Doctor Butcher to Trans-Siberian Orchestra and of course Jon Oliva’s Pain, Jon Oliva has always been the signature voice behind the microphone. Now, his first solo album “Raise the Curtain” isn’t as metal as you might expect… It’s mostly progressive rock with various metal elements; an amalgam of Savatage and Jon Oliva’s Pain carefully mixed with 70’s and today’s progressive rock and lots of theatrical attitude, such as in the track “Ten Years”. “I Know”, “Soldier” and “Can’t Get Away”, as well as the bonus track “The Truth” , are the so-called ballads of the album. I could characterize it as extravagant musical soundtrack! Jon Oliva is, for me, the mad scientist of rock/metal music… This album is in fact an artifact, Jon Oliva’s artifact that illustrates within 56 minutes what’s going on in this head, his creativity and philosophy! “Raise the Curtain” will certainly be one of the best non-metal albums of this year just because he succeeded in constantly shifting between various moods and vibes without being tiring or boring. He definitely raised the expectations… A mixture of symphonic and Broadway-style sounds with lots of experimental and Jazzy influences are put together on a rock/metal path; an unlimited combination of complex and pop!!! Not to mention the excellent production and overall sound engineering of this album; just magnificent! According to Jon Oliva himself, the material in this album is actually his brother’s, Chris Oliva’s (1963-1993), unfinished music. Even the cover artwork (the guitar on the left) is a direct reference to Savatage covers and the late Chris Oliva. Foremost, it’s a surprisingly well structured album conveying tender emotions to nasty ones and then back to relaxing vocals and sounds to groans and heavier vocals and rhythms. Conclusion: It’s an unquestionably great album! Go get it! Sissy Fanouraki Burst www.burstzine.com 59 Anastasio Farini - Lil’ Angel Anastasio Farini’s debut album, titled “Lil’ Angel” is out now via De Fox Label, and it is certainly a very interesting release. Hailing from Thessaloniki, Farini has proven to be a very talented and promising guitarist, a fact that has also been widely recognized by the press. Influenced by guitar heroes such as Vai, Malmsteen and Norum, he has created his personal style that finally led to the present release, which features 9 songs, ranging from hard rock and glam to poser and hair metal sounds with prominent neoclassical solos. What is more, Farini collaborated with 6 different singers, providing a pleasant diversity, as each one of them gave their own mark in the final result. The song “Lil’ Angels” is probably the highlight of them all, featuring Dean Mess of the promising band “W.A.N.T.E.D”. In addition, “Borther to Brother”, featuring Reuben Archer and the Duran Duran cover “Wild Boyz”, featuring George Gakis, stood out for me with their solid sound and amazing, technical guitar riffs. The album includes even more collaborations, such as “Sweet Lovin’ Girl”, featuring the great melodic singer Rob Mancini, “Anytime All the Time”, featuring Pelle Saether (Grand Design), “I will be loving you Forever” and “Like my Way of Love”, featuring the Australian Darren Grant (Eruption, Daz of Oz). The other musicians who collaborated with Anastasio Farini in the album are Kostas Domenikiotis (Bass) ,Giannis Katis (Drums),Christos Gougoumas (Keys), Panagiotis Voulgaris (keys) and Giannis Giouras. Even though someone could say that this type of songwriting has nothing new to offer to the genre, I have to say that I was very pleased with its amazing guitar riffs, its vocal diversity and overall solid sound. The album was mixed and mastered by Ghayath Samman (Risa). The cover design was created by George (Snaki) and Sofi (Heaven) from BeRock Radio. Petros Xatzistilianos Amon Amarth - Deceiver of the Gods The Vikings are here! Amon Amarth are back with a new album, this time produced by Andy Sneap (Arch Enemy, Kreator, Megadeth, Dimmu Borgir, Accept ect). Once more, it’s lyrically focused on Norse mythology, this time on the battle be- Powerwolf - Preachers of the Night POWERWOLF is a German Power Metal band, with Romanian werewolfthemed lyrics. The band was formed in 2003 and “Preachers of the Night” is their 5th studio album. For many decades now, gazillions of bands try to stand out with such a power-ish (heavy) metal combo… It’s pure power metal alongside church-choirs and theatrical attitude. It’s certainly power metal and not rocket-science; slay the dragon, save the girl or, in that case, the wolf!! However, Powerwolf quickly managed to stand out! They smartly combined catchy riffs, choirs, church organ and dominant Attila Dorn’s unique operatic vocals alongside a unique ‘gothic’ (if I may say) grey-wolf image. “Amen & Attack” the opening track (and video) is the highlight of this album; operatic, theatrical with heavy riffs and catchy chorus. “Sacred & Wild” is more hard rock while “Cardinal Sin” is the speedy power metal version of Powerwolf. “Nochnoi Dozor” and “Extatum Et Orate” are the tracks I didn’t like that much. Overall, it is an album with excellent production, catchy rhythm and riffs. It sounds simple with repetitive choruses, which are easy to remember; the perfect songs for live concerts! I don’t know whether being easy-heard without too philosophical lyrics is good or bad… some melodies got stuck in my head immediately but I would definitely ‘skip’ some other tracks. Its bombast, the heavy metal attitude enriched with giant church organs, lyrics and choirs in Latin, epic choruses and pompous riff are some of the main characteristics of this album that make it so damn different from the other power-ish metal albums out there. If you thought that “Blood of the Saints” was Powerwolf’s sound-twist you should really listen to “Preachers of the Night” as well! Sissy Fanoyraki tween the mighty Thor and ferocious Loki (also referred as Loke) to be precise. The track “Shape Shifter” speaks of betrayal and the balance between light and dark through the life of Loki. Yes, I’m a great fan of Amon Amarth and of course I’m convinced that this is another headbanging-kickin-ass release. However, if one is more focused on the details, this particular could be described as flat, since the band got stuck to a successful formula and that’s it! Nevertheless, “Deceiver of the Gods” is a good death-ish metal album featuring some awesome riffs, classic Amon Amarth rhythm guitars and drum blasts. No one expects the band to suddenly enrich its aggressive Viking style with electronic elements or hard rock riffs. By the way, the deluxe edition includes a rather interesting EP, entitled “Under the Influence” with the following covers: Judas Priest’s “Burning Anvil of Steel”, Black Sabbath’s “Satan Rising“, AC/DC’s “Snake Eyes“ and Motorhead’s “Stand Up to Go Down“. There you can see the other-side of the band. Generally, Amon Amarth have a solid, genuine ‘wrath’ and remain loyal to it. Fans of the band will definitely not be disappointed. Ten great songs (but sadly only 10!) composed by a superior metal band that has proved its worthiness throughout the years. The collaboration with Messiah Marcolin for the track “Hel” is one of the album’s highlights while “Warriors of the North” summarizes in approximately 8 minutes the entire concept and attitude of both the album and the band “We were the warriors of the North, notorious and brave we’d never lost a fight in war, we feared not the grave” [...] “We! March again, first in line to reach Valhalla’s mighty gates!”. Sissy Fanouraki Burst www.burstzine.com ALBUM REVIEWS 60 Five Finger Death Punch - The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell, Vol. 1 “Lift me Up” was the first single of the upcoming album of Five Finger Death Punch, plus their collaboration with Rob Halford raised fans’ expectations… The song is 100% Five Finger Death Punch and I guess all fans loved it! Five Finger Death Punch has rightfully risen to the top of hard rock/heavy metal scene around the world and it’s not pure luck that this year they’re co-headlining the ‘Rockstar Energy Mayhem Festival’! Having a great previous album, “American Capitalist”, the highly-anticipated new album was more or less as expected. Apart from legendary Rob Halford, there are also collaborations with Max Cavalera for “I.M. Sin”, Jamey Jasta “Dot Your Eyes” and Maria Brink for “Anywhere But Here”. There is also a surprising guest appearance of rapper Tech N9ne for a LL Cool J’s cover of “Mama Said Knock You Out”. So many of you probably think “wtf rap/ metal in 2013?” well, it’s not that bad, but first thing first: “The Wrong Side of Heaven and the Righteous Side of Hell” (Volume I) is another overall great effort of Five Finger Death Punch. It combines both aggressive and harsh vocals as well as heavy riffs and drum blasts with more melodic parts and clean vocals. The title track “Wrong Side of Heaven”, “Anywhere but Here” (feat. Maria Brink) and “Diary of a Deadman” have the most profound lyrics, by being inspired by life choices, right or wrong. The rest of the tracks have the same aggressive attitude (and lyrics) against the system, but mostly about ‘false’ beliefs and emotions. For me, it’s a 5-star album despite the rap-metal singing, which is brilliantly executed, so as to match the general atmosphere. Key tracks: “Lift Me Up”, “You”, “Burn MF”, “I.M. Sin”, “Dot Your Eyes”. Sissy Fanouraki Pester the Pure - Pester the Pure There’s something sick going on with the Greek Death/grindcore scene, mates: Mortal Torment, Delete the Mass, Progress of Inhumanity, In Utero Cannibalism, Head Cleaner –just to name a few- have released some exxxtremely insane albums over the last years. So we can proudly announce that we have already made a scene here in Greece. Pester the Pure is another band which is gonna bring death metal to you all by their first, self-titled release, a mini album. Let the band speak for themselves, quoting a memo on their Bandcamp account. “Pester The Pure is an anti-fractal entity, molded by its sheer tendency for the total negation and eventually dissolution of the human factor. Is created in order to bring disorder anxiety, obscenity and an inhuman perspective towards everything living. Bears no signs of remorsefulness or pity over anything natural or unnatural. Pester The Pure is not.” Let’s focus on the music side of Pester the Pure: Brutal Death Metal motherfuckers! Simple as that! If you’re looking for complicated post-something stuff you’re probably have to look somewhere else. Brutality goes on and on even from the starting notes of “We are the Order”. Flaming riffs and never-ending blastbeats full of anger and hatred to the human nature. No, this music is not for sensitive ears; no fucking way! This album is about men with cannibalistic tendencies, ready to break every limit that society throws in their way. Anthropophagic instincts, monstrous images titles like “Regurgitation’s Eulogy” and misanthropic lyrics fill the blanks. Personally I didn’t care about the rest and I don’t care if you do too. Death fucking Metal bitches! If anyone is interested, there’s an amount of 100 hand-numbered physical copies of “Pester the Pure” available by the band. You are free to contact them via Facebook or Bandcamp in order to get your own. Spiros Smyrnis Phil Anselmo and the Illegals - Walk Through Exits Only Love him or hate him, you can’t deny Phil Anselmo, who is “a dream to some, a nightmare to others”. Walk Through Exits Only is Phil’s first solo album, featuring eight tracks full of rage, anger and in-your-face brutality. If you can’t stand the above, you’d better “walk through the exit” now. Same applies to those fans who had actually anticipated for a Pantera/DOWN/ Superjoint Ritual clone, or to people who’re desperately looking for one specific “label” in order to characterize music. If quoting a reference is absolutely necessary whatsoever, I would say that the disc kind of reminds me of Pantera’s “The Great Southern Trendkill”. Prepare yourselves for ultra-heavy guitars, explosive drums, lacking any subtlety and/or southern swing, with a ranting and raving Anselmo at the helm, spitting venomous lyrics of hatred towards the music media (“Music Media Is My Whore”) and whoever else judges him and/or gets in his way. But first things first: Phil’s partners in crime, Marzi Montazeri (guitar) Bennett Bartley (bass) and Jose Manuel Gonzales (drums), seem to work pretty well together after being held captive in Phil’s studio “Nosferatu’s Lair” for several years and that definitely shows from the record’s very beginning. As for the production, I must say that it is really fitting to the album’s musical direction. Speaking of musical direction, they keyword here is “improvisation”: Typical example of such is the homonymous song “Walk Through exits only”, being some kind of amalgam between 90s extreme metal and a bit of death metal, at least to my ears. I cannot really tell whether this effect was spontaneous or it took the band some time. I cannot say that the record is “good” or “bad”; I’d say it was quite enjoyable. As for Phil himself, I reckon that he doesn’t give a rat’s ass over norms or labels created by the music business. Anselmo doesn’t seem to care on whether he gets chaos into order or creating chaos. He just does as he pleases. Marianna Kofinaki Burst www.burstzine.com 61 Karolina Pacan Santa Claus from 80’s When I think back, I can really say that I miss my childhood, especially when we all were waiting for Santa to come ( yep! we all believed in him once ;)) with his sweet gifts. Full of hope, all of us went to bed. So when the sun woke up, we could run to the living room and grab our little packs. Can you even guess what we received? Well, it was always chocolates, candies, oranges, apples etc., and sometimes we had books with tales for kids. It was soooo simple but soooo beautiful. Nobody ever wanted a bike, dolls or anything fancy or expensive; just the feeling that someone comes once a year to bring us piece of simple happiness, created big amount of smiles. When I look now on what children receive, I am feeling sad because all the passion is almost gone. Not many kids would be happy by getting just chocolate. They want new video games, i-phones, computers etc... They WANT... They EXPECT... Do you want your children to be simple? Well, teach them simplicity and give them things that really will make them happy (who can say no to an orange? hahah !). Don’t give them the gifts that the media tells you to ;) Media just wants to sell. But if you want your children to be good and sensitive one day, the choice is yours ;) Now, let’s eat the chocolate ! Burst www.burstzine.com 62 r e n r o Pop C ogou By Jo G Lana Del Rey vs Adele ...for a little bit of ink What’s the connection between Adele and Lana Del Rey? Now, there’s something you couldn’t imagine the two artists quarreling over: Miss “Someone Like You” Adele, tattooed her hand with the word ‘Paradise’. Although it may sound as a common word, especially an ink-related one, another lady wasn’t so happy about it. Except for tattoos, both artists seem to bear other similarities, such us the decade which inspires their style and make up. Both of them have adopted that style in the best way possible. The picture of Adele was posted in Facebook, where she and the artist showed the tattoo. The comment wrote: “The lovely Adele came in to get tattooed today.” Stay tuned!! We thought it was just a new way of expressing art; however someone else had a different opinion, suggesting that it is not anything innovative but just a copy of the design and word. Young Lana possesses her own paradise at the same spot. It comes from her album Paradise. As she commented in the German newspaper Der Spiegel: “Death and paradise for me are linked. I expect after my death, something that is very calm and relaxed. This can already be described as paradise. It is so loaded with meaning. I just like the word ‘paradise’. I even tattooed it on my hand. I love the meaning of the words. I have tattooed on my arm the names of my favourite authors, Whitman and Nabokov. Whenever I look at it, I remember that life can be great.” Burst www.burstzine.com We will definitely keep an eye on these two young talents because the future seems bright and long for both of them. 63 Beyonce ...and photo reporters For quite a while now, Beyonce seems to have issues with photo reporters. In February 2013, and, to be more precise, in the middle of the Unflattering tour, an important musical event will change the history on photography as we know today. For you who may not know about it yet, many pictures from this concert were released showing Beyonce making faces and more. We cannot decide on whether that was the most shocking part or the fact that her managers managed to withdraw all the pictures from Google (!) and to forbid any future photo coverage. Plus, the artist has hired a photographer of her own, who will work for her and he will be kept under her control. videos as well. In a recent show in Atlanta she scolded a fan who was taping her with their mobile. Saying: “put that damn camera down”, was the final blow, signifying that the end for that kind of technology has come in her shows as well. She continued: “See, you can’t even sing because you’re too busy taping. I’m right in your face baby, you gotta seize this moment, baby. You better put that damn camera down!” Get ready for more of these coming and keep in mind that soon all we will have from concerts will be memories. All this has cleared the path to other musical production to go down the same road by forbidding photo coverage or by having to approve the photos already published (3-5 photos only). The next step was to ban fan ELTON JOHN cancelled tour due to health issues Sir Elton John had to deal with health problems during the concert in Hyde Park, London. A few moments before getting on stage, he had to be taken to the hospital due to abdominal pain. He had recently been submitted to medical examinations and although he had been informed of the abnormality, he decided to continue his tour. Eventually his body had a mind of its own, so he was moved to a hospital on the very same day of the concert. He was diagnosed with acute appendicitis and it was successfully treated with antibiotics. The surgery will probably take place within this week. His spokesman stated that although the concerts (with Ray Davies and Elvis Costello) may have been postponed, the tour will continue when the artist recovers. “Elton is incredibly sorry for postponing these tour dates. Knowing that he made such super-human efforts and continued to perform to thousands regardless of his illness only confirms his dedication to his European fans.” Sir Elton sent a message via his website, expressing his gratitude towards God and his fans that everything is going well and he is still alive. Burst www.burstzine.com 64 Nicoletta Ceccoli Written by B|S|Orestis Burst www.burstzine.com 65 I have found myself many times jealous of the ability of the very few to live in a world far from the ordinary. They’re mainly authors and writers, sometimes actors(!), but, when it comes to painters, it almost becomes an envy. Their gift is magnificent, and requires special skill… to speak with the 1000 words. Looking out for those gifted people, I saw a cover of the famous story of Pinocchio online. It was a late-fall landscape of trees with yellow leaves, with one of those being a boy’s nose, integrated with the rest of the environment, as if he was sleeping under a worm blanket! It was then that I discovered Nicoletta Ceccoli. Italy has always been giving birth to artists, and that is also the case for Nicoletta, who was born in San Marino and studied at the Institute of Art In Urbino. She had stated that it was that museum-like city that gave her the urge to draw and illustrate. Her themes come from children’s tales, however viewed by a totally different perspective, which also involves her painting techniques. Everything from ratios and proportions to the constructiveness of fantasy beings is exaggerated and a bit twisted as if through the eyes of a kid. The magical thing about her drawings is that if you talk to a child about them (which I tried myself with my little one) you will find out that everything looks normal to their eyes, and the dreamy sensation gives them notion of the story even if they cannot read! All figures look like porcelain with amazing detail and distinctive expressions, kind of melancholic and grim (like all children stories, right?), leaving you with a sensation of happiness and relief through the image. You should definitely seek out the “Beautiful Nightmares”, an amazing 200-page art book (Publisher: Venusdea Label, Soleil, 2010France). Ceccoli’s other works include famous fables like Cinderella, Red Riding hood and many many more. “The girls of my paintings express a delicate nostalgia and at the same time are vain and fragile, beautiful and cruel.” --N.C. Her main characters are mostly little girls and strange animals, walking toys, mermaids, insects and other unimaginable beings! The landscapes and background always seem restrained and confound but also reveal a concealed vastness, exactly as it would be in the mind of a youngling. The colors are very vivid and emerge from scenes full of life, like the imaginary has a will “I doubt that the imagination can be suppressed. If you truly eradicated it in a child, he would grow up to be an eggplant.” Ursula K Le Guin of its own, and the vision takes act to center the viewer’s attention to the protagonist, to make him pause and to think. I believe Nicoletta is one of the best book illustrators out there, not just for children. She is creating a reality out of imagination, which can be depicted through the mysterious film studio of our minds. The expression of gothic surrealism to the common people (kids) is so effective that even folk not used to non-realistic art embraces and applauds it. She manages to combine violence with innocence, sexuality with childhood, in such balance like an airplane left at the bottom of the ocean for years… Hope you Bursters get a chance to see one of her exhibitions, and if not at least go buy her illustrated books for your child, or your inner child itself… www.nicolettaceccoli.com www.facebook.com/NicolettaCeccoliPainter Burst www.burstzine.com Written by Aggeliki Rouska 66 The Wolverine is another of this summer’s blockbusters; one of my favorite heroes in the universe of X-Men, who unfortunately has not been developed to the fullest. In this new installment, we follow Logan/Wolverine who has been secluded from the world and lives like a lone ranger in a mountain. Each night he faces his past demons, re-living Jean’s (Phoenix) death, feeling unbearable guilt and remorse and cursing his mutation. But ultimately his past summons him to the present. An old “friend” is calling him to Japan for a final goodbye as he is seriously ill. During the 1945 when U.S. bombed Nagasaki, Logan saved a soldier named Yashida. Yashida remained eternally grateful and now he asks Logan for another rescue from the death. Only this time this salvation will mean Wolverine’s end. No-one is what appears to be and Logan is caught amidst a game of fabrications and traps. The Wolverine, like Star Trek Into Darkness, is a blockbuster, which attempts to focus on its main character’s development and for what it is, it succeeds. Logan is haunted by his past, is grieving for his losses and this time he has to face his vulnerability. However, through this vulnerability he accepts his actions up till now. Hugh Jackman is good at this. Although he has become Written by Aggeliki Rouska I have never been either a Trekkie, or a fan of the TV series, so keep in mind that this a total non fan based review. If I am familiar with one thing about Star Trek, that is the Wrath of Khan. You see, my brother is a scifi addict, so two or three times in a year the following conversation takes place between us. Brother: “Do you have any new sci-fi movie to watch?” Me: “Which one do you want?” Brother: “The Wrath of Khan! I don’t remember it at all!” It takes me two to three hours to find it and when I do, he doesn’t want to watch it anymore. So there goes my big opportunity to enter the original Star Trek universe. But remakes are being made and I’m a blockbuster addict, so it is inevitable for me not to watch the Star Trek films. I liked the last one and I enjoyed very much STID. But first things first: Captain Kirk is always there to break the law and Spock to follow it. Master and commander come in juxtaposition once more during an expedition, where Kirk reveals the existence of the Enterprise in order to save Spock. As a result, Spock is being transferred to another ship and Kirk replaces him as a commander now, under the supervision of Captain Pike. Burst www.burstzine.com more “square” and looks like The Rock, this role was made for him-fact. The movie is rich in Japanese history and culture; an admirer of this land will enjoy the background and all the references that follow the main story. So, for me it gains one point more. Director, James Mangold (Girl Interrupted, Walk the Line, Copland) has fully taken advantage of that. His filmmaking is giving a breathtaking note on the action scenes and the battle choreographies are at least fulfilling. It would be a shame not using Hiroyuki Sanada’s battling attributes (remember the disappointing final battle between him and Jackie Chan in Rush Hour 3?), but Mangold has made every Japanese character an expertise on martial arts, especially Yukio’s character portrayed by the Japanese fashion model Rila Fukushima. While this flick looks satisfactory, it lacks in originality. Certainly, you will realize that you are watching a familiar story; the “emo” action guy finds the meaning of life in the arms of a pure girl and must rescue her. The possibilities of following a different pattern are trivial, so you comprise with this and enjoy the movie. Every surprise is welcomed though. On top of this the villain is so uninteresting; and although Hal Yamanouchi is doing his work just fine, Svetlana Khodchenkova’s Viper is the most unneeded villain (watch out guys, Russian Svetlana looks like a rising star in Hollywood). But let’s not forget that The Wolverine is a passage to the X-Men new installment The Days of Our Future Past (after end-credits scene proves it). Therefore, there is no time for a nemesis. While they try to adopt these new changes, a terrorist attack takes place in the heart of London and specifically to the supposed library of the Starfleet. Responsible for this is -guess who?- Under these developments the team is re-united and the hunt for Khan starts. STID has a solid plot and focuses on the relationship between the two men. While Spock tries to overcome his human part, Kirk is there to question it. Maybe this time too, Spock is the protagonist as he tries to balance his human-Vulcan personality and-guess what?- He is more human than all the humans in the movie. Of course Zachary Quinto’s and Chris Pine’s acting as well as their superb chemistry makes it a pure fun to watch them on screen. One thing is for sure, that you will never get bored during this movie. On the other hand, there is Khan; serious, grandiose and powerful: A man with a plan of revenge and domination, portrayed by the charismatic Benedict Cumberbatch, cannot seem to fail. What I appreciated the most is the moderate use of destruction scenes. Unlikely Man of Steel, STID is not flooded with useless extravagant battle and action scenes. On the contrary, there’s a sequence in them and they are there to deliver their purpose. J.J. Abrams creates a complete sequel; simple, light and enjoyable, accompanied by an amazing soundtrack, powerful with feelings. Believe me; the music of this movie transcends it to another level. When I heard that “On the Road”, the emblematic novel by Jack Kerouac that marked the Beat Generation, would become a movie, my first thought was ‘at last’! And I say at last because this was the desire of the writer himself. He would take the part of Sal, his alter ego, opposite to the young back then, Marlon Brando as Dean, with whom they shared many miles in the highways of America. But it was never realized until today, when the Brazilian Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries) undertook the direction of the writer’s autobiographical odyssey. We’re back in America of 1947. I’ll start with one of my favorite quotes from the book, that we also hear in the movie through the narrator, writer Sal Paradise (Sam Riley): “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles, exploding like spiders across the stars”. This is the exact description of the charming, free-spirited and thrill-seeking Dean Moriarty (real life Neal Cassady, embodied by Garett Hedlund) who will instantly become brotherly friends with Sal, who, after the death of his father, has lost his appetite for writing and has run out of ideas. Not only will Dean provoke Sal’s admiration, but also he will become his inspiration and the catalyst for his travels. Lust for life and the youthful desire to hit the road will lead the two young men into the ultimate road trip. Sometimes alone, sometimes together “The Lone Ranger” is an American western film, produced by both Walt Disney Pictures and Jerry Bruckheimer films (“CSI series”, “The Pirates of the Carribean” etc.) and directed by Gore Verbinsky (“The Ring”, “The Pirates of the Carribean”). The “Social Network” actor Armie Hammer stars in the homonymous role, while Johnny Depp plays his counterpart, Comanche Tonto. The film was released on July 3 in th U.S., receiving negative feedback from the critics and a box office below expectations. It’s not the first time that we have a movie based on a previous novel/comic/movie etc. This time we have “Lone Ranger”, a very popular 1930’s radio show in America, which concluded to an equally popular television show from 1949 to 1957, comic books and movies. For those like me, who didn’t know “The Lone Ranger” legend, (it’s more than 30 years that he hasn’t appeared in a feature film), this is not a problem. One of the positive facts of the 2013 movie is that it narrates the story from the beginning, without leaving any blanks to the viewer. The movie starts back in 1933 at a San Francisco circus, where, and sometimes with the company of friends, family members or hitchhikers, they will cross the country, in a journey (both real and inner) which will fill Sal’s notebook pages with experiences that would later become the milestone book. The truth is that before seeing the movie I was negatively preoccupied, since the film didn’t receive the best reviews- mainly because it doesn’t conjure the energy of the book. But how many novel-to-movie adaptations are completely convincing? The magic a book has cannot be attributed in a movie, just because movies have their own magic. In this case I tried to “distance” myself from the book and watch the movie as something different. And -except from a few tedious scenes- I enjoyed it! It is really difficult (and perhaps impossible?) to transfer the splendor of Kerouac’s marvelous prose into a movie, but this was a considerable and respectful attempt! Besides wanderlust and the strong bond between the two men, a basic triptych of the film is sex, drugs and... jazz! Our heroes, as the absolute representatives of the Beatnik generation, are experimenting with drugs, having liberalized sexual experiences, drug-fueled conversations and all these followed by the phrenitis of jazz music. A strong part of the film is the atmosphere it creates. The nostalgic-colored picture transports you in late 40’s America through vintage cars and underground clubs. Eric Gautier’s cinematography captures the freedom, gives you the sense that you’re also a passenger in one of these old cars, admiring the endless highways, the breathtaking landscapes, the grandeur of nature changing through the seasons. On the Road movie can’t `really trigger what the landmark book does, but sure it’s a pleasant and enjoyable to watch. during the exhibition, a little boy meets Tonto, an elderly Comanche Native American, who recalls the days when he first met John Reid, the man who became the Lone Ranger. The action sets in Texas in 1869, where the first railway station is under construction by railroad tycoon Latham Cole. John Reid, a law-abiding lawyer returns to his hometown Texas by train. On the same train Butch Cavendish is held captive, a severe criminal who was captured by John’s brother Dan, a Texas Ranger, and sent back to be hanged. Cavendish’s gang hijacks the train and saves Butch. Meanwhile John meets Tonto, who is also hidden on the train, in order to kill Butch himself, as he believes he is a “wendigo”, an evil spirit. John disapproves, Tonto’s “an eye for an eye method”, arrests him and puts him in Texas jail. At the same time, John leaves with his brother and his fellows, looking for Butch and his gang through the desert. During a fight, Butch kills Dan and eats his heart. John is thought to be dead but he is saved by Tonto who has escaped. At that point, John wears a mask in order to remain hidden from his enemies and decides to bring justice by punishing his brother’s murderer. Although at first I found the movie boring and slow, at the end I found myself being amused. It’s a typical western with cowboys, Indians, explosions and guns, but an honest one. And Johnny Depp is once again funny in his own serious way, a kind of Jack Sparrow but with Indian costume. Ok don’t go to the cinema, rent the DVD. Burst www.burstzine.com Written by Spiros Smyrnis Photos from www.tiempodebalas.cl Written by Eleni Lampraki Written by Danae Christopoulou 67 68 Directorâ€™s Cut by Pana Apostolidou Burst www.burstzine.com Jean Pierre Jeunet 69 “Quand le doigt montre le ciel, l’imbécile regarde le doigt” “When a finger is pointing up to the sky, only a fool looks at the finger” Burst www.burstzine.com 70 Born in 1953 in Roanne, France, became interested in cinematography at a very young age. He recollects the times of being 8 years old, building a small theater, creating a miniature set and using lights from his parents’ house (lights which he apparently destroyed). At the age of 12 he had a device called View-Master, (that old red vintage stereoscope which contains pairs of color photographs on film) and by recording random sound effects and dialogues, a dramatic tone was given to this boring sequence of images. He also remembers that “Clockwork Orange” made him realize the importance of visual artistry and that he remained speechless while watching “Once upon a time in the West” directed by the mighty Sergio Leone. But Jeunet was not meant to follow this style. He was 17 when he bought his first camera and started making short movies. At that time, he was really keen on animation, which was, of course, a huge step towards direction. For Jeunet, animation is a great chance to learn how to coordinate each and every aspect of the film production. He befriended Marc Caro, a comic book artist with whom he shares the same aesthetic lines and together they worked with puppets. “L’ evasion” and “Le Manege” were their first short animations. Then they decided to snuggle into live action films and “Le bunker de la dernière rafale” (“The Bunker of the last gunshots”), a sci-fi film about some soldiers hiding in a bunker and waiting for an unknown enemy, was the outcome. After that Jeunet kept busy producing commercials and video clips as well as a solo short film “Foutaises” (“Things I Like, Things I Don’t Like”), which kinda resembles to the characters’ presentation in “Amelie”. Jeunet is a self-taught director with a genuine visual sense and aesthetics, oriented in surrealism. He declares that he is a sworn enemy of realism and that drifting away into fantasies and stupid little jokes comes naturally for him. Humor occupies a special place in his work and modern French cinema finds it refreshing (and cute). His films are set either in future, or in fairytale worlds, and even those that are not based in alternative realities are deeply surrealistic. In 1991, the time had come to release his first movie, along with Marc Caro. “Delicatessen” is set in an undefined, postapocalyptic era, where people, living in a dark, misty and hostile environment, are starving and where money buys neither happiness nor food. The action takes place within an apartment complex, whose landlord operates the butcher shop downstairs. The story centers around the new tenant’s love story with the butcher’s daughter, an affair that doesn’t allow the butcher to use him for his cunning deed: to sell his meat to the rest of the tenants. Cannibalism is astonishingly overshadowed by awesome black humor surrounding the tenants’ idiosyncrasies, which turns this nightmarish script into a romantic comedy. The brilliant and grotesque direction, the eccentric characters and the ingenious (and highly metaphoric) script highlight the directors’ rare, multifaceted talent and their passion to express their abilities to the fullest. In their first effort, Marc Caro was in charge of the artistic direction, costumes and make up, the set and the aesthetic lines in general, with Jeunet being in charge of the direction and the narrative aspect of the film. The same balance led to their second film, “Le cité des enfants perdus” (“The city of lost children”), in 1995, a tale about a scientist’s plan to steal children’s dreams. They followed the same lines as in “Delicatessen”, (something between the darkness of Tim Burton and the exuberance of Emir Kusturica I would say, directors whom Jeunet admires because of their recognizable style). “Delicatessen” is obviously superior to “The city of lost children”, mainly because of its story, as aesthetically, they both reach the level of perfection. When he was offered to direct “Alien: Resurrection” he said “Why me? You have so many great directors!”. Jeunet was really glad that Hollywood embraced him, as he learned how to work on a film whose story does not belong to him. “Writing a script is an emotional investment and being objective with your story is really hard.” Does this mean that if a film doesn’t fall under the auteur theory, is more easily manageable? Well, obviously, “Alien” is his weakest moment. For me, he didn’t accomplish the main directorial purpose: to put a personal stamp on the film. That was when he realized that it is easier to work in France, unlike America, where you have to “convince” a lot of people to make movies and to get the grants you need. “In France, I am so free. I have more freedom than most American directors could dare to even imagine. In the States, I learned to fight for every idea. Sometimes, a director has to be a tyrant to keep the quality.” Many directors, especially Europeans, show the same hesitation for the use of special effects as they had been showing to the sound when it first appeared back in the 30s. Sometimes the viewer thinks that effects are fake in his movies (like for example, the bug that turns people against each other, in “The city of lost children”) but, above all, the viewer should take into account the connotation of the imaginary that he wants to underline. For Jeunet, special effects are just a tool of improving some ideas and extend some of his visions. He uses them, not only to change people and situations, but also environments. Another example is the Paris he created to place Amelie, a Paris so vivid and colorful which doesn’t correspond to reality, but adjusts perfectly to the mood of the characters. Nominated for 5 Oscars and a multiple award winner, “Amelie” became an all-time classic and definitely a must-see. Jeunet managed to bring together daily life and magic. Time is defined as it is set around the death of Princess Diana, contradicting the old fashioned but nostalgic atmosphere. “Le fabuleux Destin d` Amelie Poulain “ is an optimistic, cheerful and sweet movie, Burst www.burstzine.com 71 combining the naivety of fairytales and the technical features of a surreal film. Jeunet is really proud of this film, stating that “Amelie” is his first personal one. Making a personal movie is the most important thing for him, in directorial terms. An artist has to create, above all, for himself, because if he is not happy with his work, nobody else can be pleased. The winning recipe for the French director is honesty and, in his opinion, everybody should take the risk. He had been preparing “Amelie” for a long time, even before “Alien”, having a box in which he was continuously putting ideas until he (luckily for us) ended up being obsessed with the whole project. For Jeunet, the ultimate delight means writing a personal story, transferring it into cinema and making a huge commercial success out of it. And not only the French, but the whole world adores the positivity and the nostalgia “Amelie” brings out. In this film he didn’t collaborate with Caro, as “it was definitely not his cup of tea”, he says. “Un long dimanche de fiançailles” (“A very long engagement”) was made after Amelie’s wide commercial acceptance. It is a film about the diachronic love story taking place in the trenches of World War 1. The directorial approach composes visually wonderful images, which emphasize the romantic aspect of love, leaving you with a sense of nostalgia Jeunet always creates, combined with the exquisite art direction, costumes, sets and representation of time are giving one the best films of the director. In this film, Jeu- net’s obsession about all the details is evident. When asked about the story of his last film, “Micmacs à tirelarigot” he said: “I mixed three different feelings. One of them was a preoccupation about weapon sellers because I had a fascination for these strange people who are able to invent things to give suffering. Also, I wanted a story of revenge…I love a story of revenge. And the third thing was to make something with a band of original, weird people like the Seven Dwarves and Snow White.” A homeless man, whose father died in a minefield and he lives with a bullet lodged in his head after accidentally being shot in a gunfight, decides to take revenge from those responsible for all these, two arms dealers. His last film combines excellent visual characteristics with a very interesting subject, but frankly it cannot reach the levels of excellence of “Delicatessen” or “Amelie”. Making an overall assessment, Jean-Pierre Jeunet went through three periods: the first one including the cooperation with Caro is literally his darkest (“The city of lost children” is really difficult to be watched even if a small amount of light exists in the room). His second solo period is dedicated on his opening to Hollywood and on satisfying his personal longing. “Alien” and “Amelie” are two diametrically opposed examples. The first one is subdued to the spectacle and the second one is motivated by his soul. And his third final period showcasing his mature work, is not missing the element is insouciance. Overall, his ingenious style wins in all cases. Burst www.burstzine.com 72 Written by Spiros Smyrnis Just give yourself a moment. Just go back to your personal hobbies. Imagine your biggest achievement in them and multiply by 1000. Maybe then you can realize what Rotting Christ managed to do with their hobby: playing music. Correction number 1: playing addictive, unholy Hellenic black metal. Correction number 2: playing metal because a listener can spot main differences among “Thy Mighty Contract” “A Dead Poem” and “KATA TON DAIMONA EAYTOY”. The band that was cofounded by Tolis Brothers: Sakis a.k.a Necromayhem on vocals and guitars and Themis a.k.a Necrosauron on drums is the biggest and most distinctive band in the history of Greek Metal. The fact that they have played more than 1000 shows all over the world in front of die-hard Rotting Christ fans speaks for itself. So the most common question among the Rotting Christ fans is the following : Which is your favorite Christ album? Thy Mighty Burst www.burstzine.com Contract is the most popular answer I guess, while Non Serviam and A Dead Poem are the top-choices for many fans. Mine, on the other hand, is Triarchy of The Lost Lovers, the album that made me a sworn fan of Sakis Tolis and his crew. Triarchy marked an end of an era. Many things have changed after this album. The original line up of Rotting Christ split up as Mutilator (bass) left the band and Andreas (also a Nightstalker member) replaced him. The R.C logo has changed to as well as the music direction of the band. Rotting Christ sealed the Hellenic Black Metal period with their third official album and started the Dark metal period with their fourth under the name of “A Dead Poem”. This album has many Rotting Christ concert hits like “King of A Stellar War”, “Archon” and “The First Field of The Battle” (unfortunately the younger fans didn’t listen to this one many times over the last years) and I was more than happy when Sakis told me during our last interview that Triarchy … is a very special album for him as well. Triarchy opens with the ultimate Rotting Christ hymn: “King of A Stellar War”: Melody and Brutality united under the sign of Lucifer through atmospheric guitar themes. This divine war commenced and the King rises again from the dead. He conquered our souls by establishing a “Dynasty from the Ice”. All of us call ourselves servants and praise the lord. “Archon” thy name. Maniac riffs and abysmal melodies from the depths of Hell thy fucking game. As I was writing these lines “Snowing Still” started streaming out of my speakers so I left instinctively my keyboard away and started automatically some air-guitar, banging my head at the same time like a fifteen-year old boy. As Mutilator wrote “all my dreams take me backwards”, take me back to this moment when I first came in touch with Rotting Christ. Since then it’s snow- ing still. You can call “Triarchy of The Lost Lovers” a nightmarish soundtrack, where “Shadows Follow” you, swallow you and two eyes get lost in the forest. Sakis’ accent marks the cult-ometer, while Themis’ passionate drumming in addition to the characteristic Mutilator’s basslines bring us melancholic music anthems never forgotten, such as “Diastric Alchemy”. After the violent riff-machine of “The opposite Bank” we reached “The First field of the Battle”. The drumming like horses stampeding prepared us all. Ancient warriors ride them, while fallen angels guide them. The battle is about to begin. The guitar whistles signaling the beginning. The unforgettable solo in the middle of the song haunts the souls of those who fight on this unholy ground. Non Serviam! 73 Absinthe Cafe location: Herakledon 19, Thiseio tel: +302103424224 www.apsenticafe.gr firstname.lastname@example.org Burst www.burstzine.com 74 195 million children worldwide suffer from the effects of malnutrition. In 2011, MSF treated 408,000 children in more than 30 countries. Copyright: Francesco Zizola Burst www.burstzine.com