September 2013, Issue 9
FLOOR JANSEN 9 772241 538000
Be careful... she bites!
3 Burst Magazine
pages 6-26 Articles
pages 28-62 Interviews
pages 64-66 Albums
pages 67 Karolina Pacan
pages 68-69 Other Arts
Floor Jansen is one of the most remarkable female metal singers of all time. She is a true metalhead with a powerful voice and a huge talent in songwriting and in performing live... Read the whole interview with Floor Jansen of Revamp on page 28!
page 70-75 Film Section
publisher/editor in chief
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
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 Viktor Merit
Marianna Kofinaki Matina Katsarakou
Apostolis Kalliakmanis B|S|Orestis Eileen Von D Jo Gogou Kalliope Tsouroupidou Myrto Cat Raphael Aretakis
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By Sobieski Sisters
Lenny Kravitz Charismatic and multi-talented musician, unique style and sex appeal, electric grooves that get stuck in your head: Even from the start, Lenny Kravitz went his own way, even if that meant playing music that was not in fashion the decade he got started. With influences of ‘60s and ‘70s rock, soul and funk, he made music, which varies from hard and soft rock to pop, funk and R&B, managing to take over a wide audience and record hits that translated into 4 Grammys and numerous other awards.
Son of TV producer Sy Kravitz and actress Roxie Roker, from a very young age Leonard Kravitz has expressed his inclination to music, so by the age of 5 he started exploring the magical world of guitar and the drums. When he turned 10, his family decided to move from NY to LA in order for his mother to participate in the Jeffersons TV series. In LA, Lenny had joined in California Boys Choir for some years, which was his first real musical experience and sang for the Metropolitan Opera later on. Having listened to different genres that his parents used to listen to like blues, opera, r&b and jazz, it was really interesting for Lenny to discover rock music in LA portrayed by Led Zeppelin, The Who, Cream, Hendrix, KISS and others. He graduated from Beverly Hills High School, where a lot of today’s celebrity musicians and actors have attended and was actually accepted in school’s music program. In that period he learned to play the piano and bass all by himself and met Zoro, with whom he would collaborate some years later. After reaching adulthood, he decided to leave home and tried to make his first steps to commence his music career in NY under the name Romeo Blue. Although Lenny’s family could help him by financing Burst www.burstzine.com
him and by introducing him to their connections, he rejected that scenario because he wanted to make it on his own hard work. In the beginning, Kravitz had a hard time with the record companies, because they were not satisfied with his sound. That resulted in him deciding to record his own album “Let love rule”, in which he played most of the instruments and used the help of Henry Hirsh, with whom he shared common views on music production. Having completed the album recordings, he approached an old acquaintance, Stephen Elvis Smith, in order to manage his career and help him to settle a record contract deal. After only a few days, Smith had made contacts with five top record companies that were doing their best to convince Kravitz to sign with them. Finally, in January 1989, he signed with Virgin and after consulting with his manager, Kravitz abandoned his Romeo Blue Persona and has been using his real name instead ever since. A few months after his signing, Let love rule was released, receiving both good and reluctant reviews but it didn’t make much of a success in USA, while in Europe it made a bigger impact on the audience.
In the 90’s his production of Madonna’s “Justify my Love” which he had co-written with Ingrid Chavez, put him well into the radar. The next year he releases his second album “Mama Said”, in which most songs were about his wife and expressed his feelings about their separation. This work was well-received by the audience and sold pretty well, giving him a big hit “It ain’t over till it’s over” (number 2 in Billboard) and “Always on the Run” that was marked by Slash’s contribution in guitars. A couple of years later, his new work comes out under the tile “Are you gonna go my way”, which reached number
12 in charts and brought him a Brit Award for best international male artist in 1994. His fourth album, Circus, came out in 1995 and made a major success reaching number 10 in the Billboard Charts. However, only two tracks featured in the album were considered hits like “Rock n Roll is Dead” and “Can’t get you out of my mind”. Circus dealt with various topics like religion and the album’s recordings were made during his mother’s illness, something that is evident as a feeling in some songs. Just a breath away from the new millennium, Lenny releases “5” which included the hit Fly Away, which earned him his first Grammy Award (Best Male Rock Vocal Performance).In this album digital technology was used introducing something new in his sound and expanded his audience even more. Two more hits were to follow Fly away, “If You Can’t Say No” and the erotic “I belong to you”. His second Grammy Award (2000) would be earned by his killer cover “American Woman” that was included in the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me movie Soundtrack album. In 2000 Lenny proceeds in the releasing of his first greatest hits album, which ended up being his most successful album so far (#2 on the Billboard 200) in the commercial field, selling almost 11 million copies all over the globe. Again, his single that succeeded his greatest hits release granted him his third in a row Grammy Award (2001) or the Best Male Rock Vocal and got in the top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100. The years after the new millennium bring Lenny, except the release of three successful albums, a significant number of collaborations with acclaimed names in music industry, as well as his first attempts in acting and a completely different for the talented musician project. His first album of the
new decade, named “Lenny”, came out in stores in 2001, revealing hits like “Dig in”, that managed to reach #10 in world and US adult charts, “Stillness of the Heart” and “Believe in Me” plus the song “Bank Robber Man”, which is based on Kravitz’s experience while a policeman took him for a wanted bank robber and arrested him. During the next year Lenny won his fourth consecutive Grammy for Best Male Rock Vocal. The next disc was released three years later, under the name “Baptism”. The tracks “Where are we Running” and “Lady” (which was dedicated to the actress Nicole Kidman, who was Lenny’s date at that time) went really well on charts and gave a big boost to the album. “It is time for love revolution” follows in 2008, it was supposed to be promoted by a big tour in America and Europe, however a big part of it was either postponed or cancelled due to a serious illness that Lenny was suffering from. 2009 was the year that our star tried his luck outside the music field and his fans enjoyed him in his acting debut in the Oscar-nominated film “Precious”. He also had the part of Cinna in “Hunger Games” (2012) and two more movies are today in the making. His latest release in his music making is the album “Black and White America” (the title was changed a couple of times) and we now can’t wait for “Negrophilia”, which is set for release soon. During the whole decade, except from his albums, Mr. Kravitz recorded a number of covers (Fats Domino’s “Whole Lotta Lovin’”, John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey”, Jimi Hendrix’s “Have you Ever Been (to Electric Ladyland)”) and songs like “We want Peace”, which was a protest against the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He also collaborated with names like Jay-Z and P. Diddy. Lenny Kravitz was amazingly
7 active not only in the studios. His live appearances were numerous as he is continuously touring worldwide and had opened concerts for rock legends like Aerosmith and U2, as well as he has appeared on stage with many famous art-
ists, including Steven Tyler and Madonna. Countless words pop in your mind when you think about the artist: groovy, funky, sensual, dynamic, eruptive, a real rockstar! Variety and experimenting could apply in all aspects of his music
figure, music making, style, on stage appearances, persona and in his life in general. Restless spirit and not hesitating in risk-taking, Lenny has even started his own interior and furniture design firm, as design is his other big passion!
In the end â&#x20AC;&#x153;Mama Saidâ&#x20AC;? but Lenny dug his way in music and we hope heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll keep on doing it for a long time what he does best!
Photo by Gregory Harris Burst www.burstzine.com
By Sobieski Sisters
1-2-3-4! Dee Dee’s signature voice counting off the tempo before almost every Ramone’s song (at least in lives) seems an ideal way to start talking about the first punk rock band. With their unique original style and their simple but catchy sound they represent and induce the punk rock idea, with no unnecessary stuff. During their 22year career they have released 14 studio albums and made 2.263 concerts! Despite their hard work, it took them quite a long time to become recognized, but today Ramones’ name is one of the most famous in the rock and roll field. But how did it all start? Let’s take a ride into the Ramones world…Hey Ho Let’s Go! Forest Hills, Queens, NY. 1974. 4 guys next door decide to create a band. Nothing really special back then, as almost every youngster who was into music was playing in a band. But these guys had something new to show that would make Burst www.burstzine.com
them symbols. Ramones were originally conceived when high school friends and ex bandmates John Cummings and Thomas Erdelyi met Douglas Colvin and Jeffry Hyman and started playing together. Some of you may have started wondering who are these guys and where is Johnny, Tommy, Dee Dee and Joey, the names we see in their famous eagle logo and all have connected with. Well, these nicknames were invented when the band members, inspired by Paul Mc Cartney’s pseudonym Paul Ramon, started calling themselves Dee Dee Ramone (Colvin), Johnny Ramone (Cummings), Tommy Ramone (Erdelyi) and Joey Ramone (Hyman). The distribution of the posts, except from Johnny who was always the lead guitarist, ended up totally different from the original scheme. At first Dee Dee was on lead vocals and rhythm guitar but soon switched to bass and Hyman who was the drummer became the lead vocalist. After some fruitless auditions for the position of the drummer , It was evident that Erdelyi, who was at time responsible for the management, was the man for the job. Ramones started with the idea of playing something different and in some cases opposite of what was in fashion during these years. All four of them grew up with some ‘60s pop and surf music and classic rock bands like the Beatles, the Kinks , the Rollin Stones, and they were also attracted by protopunk bands like the Stooges. But they were fed up with the popular radio music of the 70s, that many times was over the top. As Joey stated: «We decided to start our own group because we were bored with everything we heard. In 1974 everything was tenth-generation Led Zeppelin, tenthgeneration Elton John, or overproduced, or just junk. Everything was long jams, long guitar
solos...We missed music like it used to be.» The result was bringing rock n’ roll to its bare essentials. The key word was simplicity in both sound and image. Characteristic guitars repeating the same riffs, vigorous rythms, loud and fast sound, fun childish lyrics that bring cartoonish images to your mind. Slim, caricaturelike guys, with similar haircut, dressed in torn jeans, leather jackets and sneakers. Ramones didn’t need more to start rocking the world. Their first gig with this line up was on 30 March, the same year, but their most significant shows were thrown at the famous club CBGB’s, with which Ramone’s name is connected until now. In one year they performed there 74 times and this is where they were firstly spotted. Their performances were something completely different from what the audience was used to in early 70’s. Incredibly fast and short songs would make their gigs last about 20 minutes and their casual outfit was original and far away from the fancy image of other dominant bands of the scene. By the next year they had already signed a contract with a record label (Sire). Their first complete work “Ramones” was released in 1976. The overall production cost of the album was really low –
it didn’t cost them more than 6000 dollars. The tracks included in the album were following their lives’ attitude: super short ( the longest song is hardly reaching 2.30 minutes!), dynamic, that provokes the up and down motion of the head. Their unique music style was already established and Ramones’ characteristic energy is present in all of the album tracks, like all-time favorites Blitzkrig Bop, Now I wanna sniff some glue or Havana Affair. Catchy melodies, fast tempos, silly childish lyrics. Simple as that. And it seems that this back to basics philosophy granted them really good reviews and put them in the spotlight of rock critics. Nevertheless, the album didn’t meet major commercial success, reaching only No 111 in US album charts. First live appearances after releasing “ Ramones” were not that successful outside NY. But in England they took the recognition they deserved. At the Roundhouse live and during the tour in UK they were embraced by the English audience and became a big influence for hatching new bands of the UK punk scene. Actually members of the Sex Pistols and The Clash attended one of their lives and Ramones’ manager Danny Fields remembers a conversation between Johnny
9 and Paul Simonon (the Clash bassist) where Johnny asked Paul: What do you do? Are you in a band?’ Paul said, ‘Well, we just rehearse. We call ourselves the Clash but we’re not good enough.’ Johnny said, ‘Wait till you see us—we stink, we’re lousy, we can’t play. Just get out there and do it.’” Next year brings 2 new albums. “ Leave Home”, where we can find the tune “Pinhead” with the characteristic phrase Gabba Gabba Hey that became one of their signature phrases, comes out in early 1977. The album failed to make an impact in US, in contrast, it caused a big sensation in England where it made it to No 48. In the fall of 1977 “Rocket to Russia” is released, featuring the hits “Sheena is a punk rocker” and “Rockaway Beach” , and -comparing to their previous worksthis album was well received and it was identified as the “best American rock n’ roll of the year” by a Rolling Stone critic.
Phil Spector that lead to the recording of “End of the Century”. Being a master in pop productions during the 60’s, Spector insisted on having a certain softer sound in the album which brought some discomfort to the band. On the one hand, it was their highest charting album in their whole career and their cover on Ronettes’ “ Baby I love you” became a Top Ten British hits, on the other hand, the outcome was not original and as Johnny
ing only, they tried to return to their music roots with an 80’s aesthetics, with “Subterranean Jungle”. With this attempt they’re trying to expand their fan base but it turned out having the opposite effect, losing some of their loyal fans. With bad news keep coming, Marky was fired due to his alcohol issues and was replaced by Richie Ramone (Richard Reinhardt). His coming was a breeze of fresh
performed twice with Blondie’s Clem Burke, Elvis Ramone but it didn’t work out). The exit sign followed Dee Dee in order to run his own projects. With new basist, Christopher Joseph Ward who joined the Ramones family as C.J., they recorded the last album for the 80s decade “Brain Drain” which was released in 1989. One of its most significant hits is the theme song that the Ramones wrote for the homonymous titled horror movie of Stephen King, “Pet Semetary”.
o H y e H ! o G s ’ t Le
A few months later Tommy took the decision to call it quits a n d became Ramones’ record producer. Marc Bell took his place behind the drums, changing his name to Marky Ramone and started working on their new album “ Road to Ruin”. This album is their first attempt to change their sound, adopting some 60’s pop and surf elements, adding acoustic guitar in some of the songs and increasing the duration of the songs-it’s the first album that surpasses half an hour! Although the new sound was friendlier to the general audience, it didn’t grow their fan base noticeably. The lukewarm response continued to exist after the release of the soundtrack from ‘Rock n Roll High School’, a movie where Ramones had a major part, and the live album “ It’s alive” which was recorded during a concert in 1977. New decade brings collaboration with the noted producer
mentioned “End of the Century was just watered-down Ramones. It’s not the real Ramones”.
“Pleasant Dreams” (1981) took the same path, as far as the sound is concerned, under their record company’s pressure to create a sound differentiated from the original Ramones’ minimalism. The truth is that, if by chance you come across a song from this album, if it wasn’t for Joey’s distinctive voice, you could hardly recognize at once that this is Ramones. Either way, the audience wasn’t convinced and it was considered a flop. Gossip alert! It is rumored that the song “The KKK took my baby away” which is featured in the album and was written by Joey, is referring to Johnny (KKK is probably used because Johnny was a Republican while Joey was a liberal) who not only stole Joey’s girlfriend, but married her as well! After spending a year on tour-
air for the band, contributing with compositions like the hit “Somebody put something in my drink” and doing back and sometimes lead vocals.
In 1984 the Ramones got serious and made a real comeback to their speedy and short, original tracks. With “Too tough to die” they finally restored their reputation. “Bonzo goes to Bitburg (My Brain is hanging upside down)” , a political satiric song that Joey wrote to express opposition to president Reagan’s visit to a German cemetery where SS members were buried, also helped in the band’s pace. The song was part of 1985’s album “Animal Boy”, where Ramones experimented once more in the songwriting area, making again their sound more stylized and less evolutionary, something that followed until the end of their career. The next album “Halfway to Sanity” (1986) signaled the departure of Richie and Marky’s comeback (in between they
In the 90s Ramones changed record label for the first time, moving to Radioactive Records. After two releases, “Mondo B i zarro” in 1992 and the covers album “ A c i d Eaters” in 1994, t h a t didn’t go well c o m mercially , Ramones announced that if their next album had the same fate they would disband. “Adios Amigos” (1995) stayed only two weeks in the charts and the band made its farewell tour, which lasted until the end of ’95. They also appeared in the 6th Lolapalooza festival and they performed for the last time as Ramones in August 6 1996, with Dee Dee and several guests like Motorhead’s Lemmy or Soundgarden’s Chris Cornell joining them on stage. Today almost everyone knows at least one Ramones’ song and their logo appears frequently on T-shirts and accessories. Despite their contribution in rock n’ roll music, their value was not acknowledged until the last years, when it seems that more people are listening to their music than the years when the band was working hard. In the 00s the band finally took the recognition it deserved. Ramones are listed in 50 Greatest Artist of All Time in Rolling Stone magazine, in VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock, they were ranked the second Burst www.burstzine.com
10 greatest band of all time by Spin Magazine and in 2002 they were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Unfortunately, most of the members couldn’t enjoy the fruits of their efforts as they’re no longer with us. Joey died of lymphoma in 2001, next year Dee Dee was found dead in his home from heroin overdose and in 2004 Johnny passed away after a long battle with cancer. Having a whole museum dedicated to you (Ramones Museum in Berlin), thousands of teenagers-and not only- all over the world wearing a T-shirt with your band logo, inspired a band like Motorhead to write a song in your honor and being hailed as the Beatles of punk rock it’s not something you can overlook as meaningless. Ramones were doing what they were doing because they really believed in it, and this is probably what brought them success, even in the very end. It’s all about enjoying what you do and everything else will happen in the way.
By Stathia Pedioti What can anyone say about the massive music production in England that could ever possibly be enough? Countless music genres popped out or radically developed on those “Holy Grounds”, such as hard rock, heavy metal, new/dark wave, punk, electronic and many, many more. Leeds, for instance, is known for its notable dark wave/gothic scene. Bands like The March Violets and Red Lorry Yellow Lorry, where destined for international success. In this thriving environment and under the influence of The Stooges, The Birthday Part, Motorhead, and Leonard Cohen, Sisters of Mercy emerged. In 1980 Gary Marx (guitars) and Andrew Eldritch (drums) formed the band to fulfil their dream to listen to themselves on the radio! Their first single “The Damage Done” was gothic and rock/punk oriented. Unfortunately the quality of the production of their first attempt was below the standards and therefore the overall assessment was not that promising. In 1981, Graig Adams (bass) and Benn Gun (guitars) joined the group. Andrew gave up drumming (many people felt thankful for that) and Doktor Avalance (which is a drum machine) took over. And this was the first line up... All time classic singles such as “Alice” and “The Reptile House” were then released. Benn Gun argued with Eldritch, who was pretty much cranky and peculiar, and was soon replaced by Wayne Hussey (Dead or Alive, The Mission). This new line up,
which was about to change many times due to Eldritch, resulted in their first album “First and Last and Always”. In 1985. Marx and Hussey wrote the music and Eldritch dealt with the lyrics. At this point allow me not to be objective. This piece of art is my best and the ultimate gothic rock album. A must- have for the fans of the genre. Brilliant and gloomy, it produces an atmosphere of addicting decadence emanating from spooky and melodic bass lines, melancholic guitars and haunting vocals. Success led to friction. Eldritch was highly addicted to drugs and alcohol and in the middle of a tour, Marx decided to give up because he could not work with him anymore. After a while Marx and Adams also left the band in order to form another band named “Sisterhood”. Of course Eldritch disagreed and won the court battle, forcing them to name their band The Mission. Their next album “Floodland” is released in 1987. It is not as prestigious as “First and Last and Always” but in general it is a great album. Experimental, ethereal, synth-based and with a clearly unique character amongst their works. Patricia Morrison took over the bass. This cooperation was not about to last either. She left the band after a financial strife with the front-man who continued to behave as a troublemaker. Her presence contributed to the band’s image though. Pale, dark and beautiful, she fit perfectly in the style of
the band. Rumour says that “Lucretia my reflection” was written by Eldritch for her. 1990. New line up. Again. New album, new style and attitude. “Vision Thing” is the noisiest album of the three. Definitely a rock album, based on the hard reefs of Brunh and Bricheno. Many fans were disappointed though. It is not a bad album. On the contrary, it contains really fine tracks, such as “Doctor Jeep”, “When you don’t see me” and “More”. But it does not sound like typical “Sisters” album. Their last releases in 1992 and 1993 include “Some Girls Wonder By Mistake”, a collection of all their singles produced until 1984 and “Slight Case of Overbombing” showcasing their greatest hits (which-in my humble opinion- are not their greatest). After that they kept giving concerts, Eldritch kept replacing his associates and their current state is a total disappointment for the fans. Many unreleased tracks which are not o the road to get released, prerecorded instrumental parts and vocals in concerts… “We are a rock’n’roll band. And a pop band. And an industrial groove machine. We are intellectual love gods.” This is taken from their official site. It is widely known that they were continuously refusing their involvement into the dark culture via press, claiming that they are a “rock” band. This is weird; I wonder why they even bother… Apparently Eldritch has an overall “bad ass” rock star attitude.
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
In Person At The International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
From Memphis to Vegas/From Vegas to Memphis is the tenth studio album by The King, released in October 1969 on RCA Records. Recording sessions took place at American Sound Studio in Memphis, on January 13–15 and 21-22, and February 17–18, 1969, and at the International Hotel in Paradise, Nevada on August 24–26, 1969. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard 200, and has been certified Gold on December 13, 1969, by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Bless Its Pointed Little Head
Bless Its Pointed Little Head is a live album by Jefferson Airplane recorded at both the Fillmore East and West in the fall of 1968 and released in 1969 as RCA Victor LSP-4133. Five songs on the album had not appeared on any of the band’s previous studio recordings. The songs that did appear on previous albums, however, are now completely transformed into much heavier versions.
Live At Leeds
The first live album by English rock band The Who. It was the only live album released while the group were still actively recording and performing with their best known line-up of Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon. Initially released in the U.S. on 16 May 1970, by Decca and MCA and the United Kingdom on 23 May 1970, by Track and Polydor. Since its initial reception, Live at Leeds has been cited by several music critics as the best live rock recording of all time.
14 # cover
The Rolling Stones
Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out
Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!’ The Rolling Stones in Concert is a live album by The Rolling Stones, released on 4 September 1970 on Decca Records in the UK and on London Records in the US. It was recorded in New York and Maryland in November 1969, just before the release of Let It Bleed. It is the first live album ever to reach number 1 in the UK.
Band of Gypsies
Band of Gypsys is the eponymous live album by the blues rock band that was formed by Jimi Hendrix after the dissolution of the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Hendrix is backed by Billy Cox and Buddy Miles. Songs were recorded at the Fillmore East on two separate nights (December 31, 1969, and January 1, 1970), totaling four concerts, with songs from the final two appearing on the album. Produced by Hendrix and released just six months before his passing in 1970, this was the last album he authorized.
Live Cream Vol. 1
Live Cream (also called Live Cream, Volume 1) is a live compilation album by the English rock band Cream, released in 1970. This album comprises of four live tracks recorded in 1968 and one studio track “Lawdy Mama” from 1967. The instrumental track for “Lawdy Mama” is the same as heard on “Strange Brew” with a different vocal and guitar solo by Eric Clapton.
Mad Dogs & Englishmen
Joe Cocker’s 1970 live album, featuring a fusion of rock and soul. The album title is drawn from the 1931 Noël Coward song of the same name. Mostly Cocker’s album is made up of covers, drawing equally from rock (The Rolling Stones, Traffic, Bob Dylan, The Beatles) and soul (Ray Charles, Sam and Dave, Otis Redding). Accompanying Cocker is an enormous choir, a two-piece horn section and several drummers.
Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More
Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More is the live album of the 1969 Woodstock concert. Originally released on Atlantic Records’ Cotillion label as a set of 3 LPs in 1970 (later reissued on the Atlantic label), it was re-released as a double CD in 1994. Veteran producer Eddie Kramer was the sound engineer during the three-day event. The date of release of the original LP set was May 11, 1970.
Live in Cook County Jail
Live in Cook County Jail is a 1971 live album by The King of The Blues B.B. King, recorded in Cook County Jail, Chicago, Illinois. It was ranked as number 499 in the book version of Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. It spent three weeks at #1 on the Soul Albums chart.
The Allman Brothers
At Fillmore East
At Fillmore East is a double live album by The Allman Brothers Band. The band’s breakthrough success, At Fillmore East was released in July 1971. It ranks Number 49 among Rolling Stone magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and remains among the top-selling albums in the band’s catalogue. The original album was released in both conventional two-channel stereo and four-channel quadraphonic mixes. The album has been certified as platinum by the RIAA as of August 25, 1992.
Ike & Tina Turner
What You Hear Is What You Get: Live At Carnegie Hall
Ike & Tina duo/couple were at their peak of popularity when this hour-long performance was recorded in New York on April 1, 1971. Of course Turner’s volcanic stage presence can’t be fully translated onto disc, and the set list goes heavy on predictable covers like “Sweet Soul Music,” “Honky Tonk Women,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” “Respect,” and a ten-minute-plus “Proud Mary.” The opening two numbers are sung not by Tina, but by the Ikettes.
Live At Fillmore West
Aretha Live at Fillmore West is a gold-certified album by Aretha Franklin, released in 1971, which was reissued on compact disc in the 1990s through Rhino Records. An expanded, limited edition 4-CD box set entitled, Don’t Fight The Feeling: The Complete Aretha Franklin & King Curtis Live At Fillmore West was released by Rhino in 2005. This was limited to 5000 numbered copies. In addition, there is a guest duet vocal by Ray Charles on “Spirit in the Dark”
Curtis/Live! is Curtis Mayfield’s first live album, after leaving The Impressions. Originally released in May 1971 as a double LP on Mayfield’s Curtom label (distributed through Neil Bogart’s Buddah Records), the album’s twelve tracks — along with Mayfield’s raps on the politics of the day — were recorded at Paul Colby’s Bitter End nightclub in New York City.
Made In Japan
Made in Japan is a double live album by English rock band Deep Purple, recorded during their first tour of Japan in August 1972. It was originally released in December 1972, with a U.S. release in April 1973. A Rolling Stone readers’ poll in 2012 ranked Made in Japan the sixth best live album of all time.
Amazing Grace is a 1972 live album by Aretha Franklin. It ultimately sold over two million copies in the United States alone. As of 2013, it stands as the biggest selling disc of Aretha’s entire fifty-plus year recording career. The double album was recorded at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church, LA in January 1972. It won the 1973 Grammy Award for Best Soul Gospel Performance. The LP is the biggest selling live gospel album of all time.
Burst www.burstzine.com To be continued on issue 10, October 2013. Keep bursting!
a tribute to Quorthon by Andy Phelps Thomas Börje Forsberg, better known to many by his stage name Quorthon, was born on February 17 1966 in Sweden. In the early 80’s he played in a punk band Stridskuk, shortly after he formed the band Bathory in 1983. Little did he know that he would be responsible for being a major influence on more than one genre in the metal scene! After recording a few demo tracks, the band had a lucky break, Quorthon’s father who owned a record label, was releasing a compilation album of Swedish metal bands called Scandinavian Metal Attack. Luckily, one band opted out of the deal, so Bathory submitted two tracks to the album: Sacrifice on side A and The Return of Darkness and Evil on side B. The fan mail received by the label was at least overwhelming. Quorthon’s father Börje Forsberg (aka Boss) formed a sub label called Black Mark Records; it was here he intended to release all Bathory’s albums. The self-titled album was to become a landmark in the black metal community. Even today, that album is still regarded by many fans (including myself) as the ultimate example of how black metal should sound. Although Venom coined the phrase with their second album Black Metal, Bathory took one step further, being more aggressive, powerful, faster and darker than Venom dared to be. I remember listening to the album when it was released; never before had I heard such a haunting sound on an album, although Venom’s Black Metal and Slayer’s Hell Awaits were quite daunting to me as a youngster of the tender age of 9. In 1985, when The Return was released, the production was slightly better, but the rawness was still dominant. The third Burst www.burstzine.com
album Under the Sign of the Black Mark (1987) was to be the last in the range of the band being a satanic based band lyricwise. In an interview Quorthon hinted: “why write lyrics about Satanism when I can write about the Viking ways as it has its own religious views that were also against Christianity”. I don’t think anyone saw the change in music and lyrics coming or for it to be a dramatic change, from being as raw as can be to almost thrash paced. To be totally honest I don’t think anyone actually knew the Blood Fire Death album was actually lyrically based on Viking mythology; the only reference was in the album artwork. 1988 seemed to be the year when bands changed or did something out of the norm from their previous releases. Slayer had released South Of Heaven, Iron Maiden released Seventh Son, Megadeth So Far So Good… all albums which caught both journalists and fans off guard. What happened with the release of Hammerheart in 1990 led to a further shock the metal community. Not only had Bathory changed the lyrical style, but also they had done away with playing fast material all together. I remember sitting in my room having raced home from the record store eager to play the new album and thinking to myself do I have the album on the right speed? In all honesty it is a great album; I just did not expect the album to be so slow after being used to the furious power unleashed on previous works. After giving it more than one listen, I realised what Quorthon was trying to do, it was an attempt to have the lyrics play a bigger role than the music, which previously was not necessary due to the concept at the time ”the harder and faster the better” which is what fans wanted to hear. From this album the epic video for One Rode To Asa Bay was
released, which further enhanced what the new Bathory was all about. The video shows the tale of the invasion of Christianity on the shores of Scandinavia, to which the Vikings were forced to convert to in later years, leaving their Norse beliefs behind. Twilight of the Gods (1991) and Blood on Ice (recorded in 1989 but completed in 1996), were to follow on from the ancestral theme only to be followed by another strange change in Quorthon’s song writing patterns. In between the Bathory releases, Quorthon released albums under his own name, Album (1994),Purity of Essence (1997) and When Our Day Is Through (1997), which seemed to carry on the Viking theme, but not quite as heavy as the Bathory version. With Requiem (1994) and Octagon (1995) with all signs of Viking and Black metal topics burnt out, for some unknown reason the albums were retro thrash. A career move that seemed to have not done the band any justice at all and further left everyone confused as to what was going to happen next. With the releases of Nordland I (2001) and Nordland II (2003), Quorthon seemed to have redeemed himself as a songwriter and the Viking theme was reborn under the Bathory banner. Sadly, shortly after the release of Nordland II, Quorthon was found dead at his home; his ongoing heart problems that he suffered from in the past had led to heart failure. On June 7, 2004, the metal world lost a great ambassador, the founder of Viking metal and the creator of the definitive black metal sound. The second wave of Black metal bands from Norway and Sweden adopted the unique sound created on the first 3 Bathory albums and will forever be in his debt for giving them the inspiration to be able to play such music.
Johnny Cash 18
The Legend of The Man in Black by Marianna Kofinaki
Have you ever thought what is the stuff, legends are made of? The answer is plain and simple: Legends are people who opt for thinking outside the box, by doing things their own way; thus, they are able to create their own boundaries, while, at the same time, becoming an example for others. What about music? Should “good” music involve virtuosic technique and complex solos? Not necessarily: Music has the ultimate power of awakening
of today. In our case, all you need is a powerful voice, a guitar and a unique anti-conformist individual, all dressed in black, struggling between his own personal darkness and light and telling the story of the people who lead a less easy life, to put it mildly. A life that’s not much different than his very own.
from the American South with a deeply lined face, possessing a signature deep, baritone voice immediately comes to mind. Regardless of his limited vocal range of his (technically unstable) voice, Cash had the power to speak to the listeners’ very souls, by invoking feelings of regret, hope, melancholy, fury, lust and, what always dies last, hope, something he had John R. Cash (1932-2003), never given up till his very last the son of Southern Baptist breath. Like a bard of today, he sharecroppers, is an American told the stories of prisoners, heartaches, and tales of everyday life. His lyrics are always spot-on, dealing directly with the subjects in question, such as religion, love, the hard life of prisoners and Native Americans. Cash’s upbringing in the rural south played an integral part in this religious and musical heritage alike, since he had been listening to folk ballads and songs of work and lament since he was a child. However, it was much later on, during his military service in Germany in the early 1950’s, when he first took up guitar and began songwriting. After his military service, Cash settled in Memphis, Tennessee, in order to fulfill his dream and pursue a career Photo From ‘House of Cash’ By John Carter Cash as a professional musician. He commented: “That was the big thing when I was growing up, singing on the radio. The extent of my dream was to sing on the radio station in Memphis. Even when I got out of the Air Force in 1954, I came right back to Memphis and started knocking on doors at the radio station”. Cash started performing with the Tennessee or stirring emotions and feel- and universal musical icon, Two (later Tennessee Three) ings. No matter if you believe who defined the American and appearing at county fairs in magic or not, you have to music of the 20th century. A and other local events. In 1955, admit that music is the magic black-clad outlaw-like figure Cash got his first contract af-
“I’d like to wear a rainbow every day / and tell the world that everything is o.k. / But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back. / Until things are brighter, I’m the Man in Black.”
ter he was auditioned by Sam Phillips of Sun Records. That was the beginning of his taking a place in the spotlight, by releasing songs such as “Cry, Cry, Cry,” “Hey, Porter,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “I Walk the Line”. By 1957, Cash ended up in becoming the top recording artist in the country and western music and a widely recognized artist not only in the American South, but all over the U.S. by writing over a thousand songs and releasing dozens of albums. Although Cash is mostly remembered as a country icon and that’s the way he defines himself, he was the main inspiration of diverse musical genres, such as rock and roll and rockabilly, blues, folk and gospel, despite its minimalism. No surprise there, since his entire career is marked by a variety of musical references: His early recordings were mainly influenced by gospel music, he inspired country classics like “Folsom Prison Blues” during the fifties, while his notable swansong, the haunting cover of Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt”, all influenced not only his fellow country musicians, but also iconic rockers from U2’s Bono to Bob Dylan, who also became his friend. No wonder why the man in black was honored for his crossover contribution with his induction in the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Cash, considering himself “The Voice of America”, was also honored to get personally acquainted with every U.S. President, starting with Richard Nixon. He even became close friends with Jimmy Carter. For
19 the record, when Cash was invited to perform at the White House for the first time in 1970, Richard Nixon’s office requested that he play “Okie from Muskogee” (a satirical Merle Haggard song about people against youthful drug users and war protesters) and “Welfare Cadillac” (a Guy Drake song which denies the integrity of welfare recipients). Cash declined to play either and instead selected other songs, including “The Ballad of Ira Hayes” (about a brave Native American World War II veteran who was mistreated upon his return to Arizona), and his own compositions, “What is Truth” and “Man in Black”. His official explanation for denying Nixon’s song choices were not knowing them and having fairly short notice to rehearse them, rather than any political reason. However, Cash added, even if Nixon’s office had given Cash enough time to learn and rehearse the songs, their choice of pieces that conveyed “antihippie and antiblack” sentiments might have backfired. In this article, Burst Magazine attempts to focus on the very distinctive persona Cash has established for himself since the early 1970s, “The Man in Black”. Unlike most of the major country acts in his day, who opted for rhinestone suits and cowboy boots, Cash regularly performed dressed all in black, wearing a long black knee-length coat, resembling an outlaw, a gunslinger of the Wild West, an image quite fitting to his rebellious nature. So what’s the story behind this persona? The first part is not so mythical as it might seem: Johnny and his band had initially worn black shirts because that was the only matching color they had among their various outfits. And here’s a trivia: To this day, the U.S. Navy’s winter blue uniform is referred to by sailors as “Johnny Cashes”, since the uniform’s shirt, tie, and trousers are all solid black. Apparently, except for mere aesthetics, there were more profound reasons for his choice of color in question, which Cash himself explains in detail in the lyrics of the song “Man in Black”: He wore
black on behalf of the poor and hungry, on behalf of “the prisoner who has long paid for his crime”, and on behalf of those who have been betrayed by age or drugs”. “And,” Cash added, “with the Vietnam War as painful in my mind as it was in most other Americans’, I wore it ‘in mournin’ for the lives that could have been... Apart from the Vietnam War being over, I don’t see much reason to change my position... The old are still neglected, the poor are still poor, the young are still dying before their time, and we’re not making many moves to make things right. There’s still plenty of darkness to carry off.” The statements above are more understandable when focusing on Cash’s life itself and his own struggle between his “good vs. bad boy side”, his own heaven and hell, the continuous battle between darkness and light raging within him. No wonder why he strongly believes in every man’s continuous struggles with the dark side; in his own words “Sometimes I am two people. Johnny is the nice one. Cash causes all the trouble. They fight”. It should be noted that this doesn’t necessarily mean that Cash simply condemns the dark side: He believes that although the wild man takes a walk on the dark side, he seeks redemption for his actions at the same time. As for the dangers lurking in the dark side itself, he seems to speak of them with reverence and respect in his own, unique way. To be more specific, most of the characters presented in his songs are people on the edge, such as prisoners and gangsters: some of them repent, while others don’t. In his own words: “I love songs about horses, railroads, land, Judgment Day, family, hard times, whiskey, courtship, marriage, adultery, separation, murder, war, prison, rambling, damnation, home, salvation, death, pride, humor, piety, rebellion, patriotism, larceny, determination, tragedy, rowdiness, heartbreak and love. And Mother. And God.” Ultimately, not only do those stories contribute to his own myth, but also are bound with his own personality as an integral part of his own life, which was, in
truth, no bed of roses: In other words, Cash’s personal struggle is the backbone of his own stories, while he “nourishes” his own persona by the stories in question - and vice versa. Cash comments: “You’ve got a song you’re singing from your gut, you want that audience to feel it in their gut. And you’ve got to make them think that you’re one of them sitting out there with them too. They’ve got to be able to relate to what you’re doing.”
his own life. In his own words: “ How well I have learned that there is no fence to sit on between heaven and hell. There is a deep, wide gulf, a chasm, and in that chasm is no place for any man”. Kris Kristofferson commented: “The power of his performance came from the tension between this man who was deeply spiritual and also a real wild man” (Rolling Stone). Time Magazine remarked that Cash had “been to that inside war of souls,”
Photo by Don Hunstein
“I was wearing black clothes almost from the beginning. I feel comfortable in black. I felt like black looked good onstage, that it was attractive, so I started wearing it all the time”. Apparently, Cash is not some kind of narrow-minded religious preacher who condemns extreme attitudes and people on the edge. On the contrary, he seems to tell their stories with reverence and respect for any choice they ultimately make. After all, how could he, since he’s no saint himself and he’s fully aware of his situation. His continuous struggle with drug addiction, his health issues, his unstable personal life and his trouble with the law are the core elements of
walked the line, no doubt, and became a kind of “gunman turned Pentecostal preacher.” Bono told Rolling Stone, “You had the sense that he had spent his time in the desert…It gave his songs some dust.” Based on the above, no wonder why Cash felt great compassion for prisoners. That was the reason he began performing live at various prison facilities starting in the late 1950s. His first prison concert was held on January 1, 1958, at San Burst www.burstzine.com
20 Quentin State Prison. These performances led to a pair of highly successful live albums, Johnny Cash at Folsom Prison (1968) and Johnny Cash at Saint Quentin (1969). As for the former, the record was introduced by a rendition of his classic “Folsom Prison Blues”, while the latter featured the crossover hit single “A Boy Named Sue”, which reached No. 1 on the country charts and No. 2 on the U.S. Top Ten pop charts. Cash also performed at overseas prisons, such as the Österåker Prison in Sweden in 1972; the performance in question was recorded as a live album, which was released in 1973. The Man in Black is not just a persona on stage. In several cases, he had more or less trouble with the law. In June 1965, his truck caught fire due to an overheated wheel bearing, triggering a forest fire in Los Padres National Forest in California. The fire destroyed 508
acres, burning the foliage off three mountains and driving off 49 of the refuge’s 53 endangered condors. When the judge asked Cash why he did it, Cash responded, “I didn’t do it, my truck did, and it’s dead, so you can’t question it”. As for the catastrophe caused, Cash was unrepentant and claimed, “I don’t care about your damn yellow buzzards.” This resulted in Cash being sued by the federal government and he was awarded $125,172 ($911892 in 2013 dollars). Cash eventually settled the case and paid $82,001. He said he was the only person ever sued by the government for starting a forest fire. Anyhow, although Cash carefully cultivated a romantic outlaw image, he never served a prison sentence. Despite landing in jail seven times for misdemeanors, each stay lasted only a single night. One of the most well-known issue with the law occurred during his
“People call me wild. Not really though, I’m not. I guess I’ve never been normal, not what you call Establishment. I’m country”.
1965 tour. Cash was arrested October 4 by a narcotics squad in El Paso, Texas. The officers initially suspected that he was smuggling heroin from Mexico. Instead, they found 688 Dexedrine capsules and 475 Equanil hidden inside his guitar case. Cash received a suspended sentence since the pills were prescription drugs rather than illegal narcotics. Cash had also been arrested on May 11, 1965, in Starkville, Mississippi for trespassing onto private property late at night to pick flowers. (This incident provided the inspiration for the song “Starkville City Jail”, which he spoke about on his live At San Quentin prison album.) As for Johnny Cash’s final arrest, it took place in Walker County, Georgia, where he was taken in after being involved in a car accident while carrying a bag of prescription pills. Cash attempted to bribe
a local deputy, who turned the money down, and then spent the night in jail in LaFayette, Georgia. A long talk with Sheriff Ralph Jones, who warned him of his dangerous behavior and wasted potential, finally led to his release, something which Cash never forgot and acknowledged the sheriff’s great aid in saving his life. That was the reason he later came back to LaFayette to play a benefit concert that attracted 12,000 people (the city population was less than 9,000 at the time) and raised $75,000 for the town’s high school. In a behind-the-scenes look at The Johnny Cash Show, Cash claimed to have “tried every drug there was to try”. Cash’s use of drugs and addiction to drinking led him to even graver issues: In 1968, after an alleged spiritual epiphany in the Nickajack Cave, he tried to commit suicide while under the heavy influence of drugs. He descended deeper into the
“When I was a kid, I always knew I’d sing on the radio someday. I never thought about fame until it started happening to me”.
Photo From ‘House of Cash’ By John Carter Cash Burst www.burstzine.com
21 cave, trying to lose himself and “just die”, when he passed out on the floor. He reported to be exhausted and feeling at the end of his rope when he felt God’s presence in his heart and managed to struggle out of the cave (despite the exhaustion) by following a faint light and slight breeze. To him, it was his own rebirth. It was his love June Carter, who in fact acted as his guardian angel, when she moved into Cash’s mansion for a month to help him conquer his addiction. Cash proposed onstage to June at a concert at the London Gardens in London, California on February 22, 1968; the couple married a week later (on March 1) in Franklin, KY. June had agreed to marry Cash after he had “cleaned up”. It was then when Cash rediscovered his Christian faith, taking an “altar call” in Evangel Temple, a small church in the Nashville area, pastored by Rev. Jimmie Rodgers Snow, son of country music legend Hank Snow. Johnny’s longtime friend Marshall Grant commented that Cash’s 1968 rebirth experience did not result in his completely quitting amphetamines. However, in 1970, Cash managed to end all drug use for a sevenyear period. Grant claims that the reason for this decision was the birth of John Carter Cash, Cash’s son. Sadly, Cash began using amphetamines again in 1977. By 1983, he was once again an addict, and entered the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, California for rehabilitation and managed to stay off drugs for several years but this didn’t last too long: By 1989, he was dependent once again and entered Nashville’s Cumberland Heights Alcohol and Drug Treatment Center. In 1992, he entered the Loma Linda Behavioural Medicine Centre in Loma Linda, California for his final rehabilitation, while several months later, his son followed him into this facility for treatment. Except for the drug-related health issues, Cash’s health deterioration was unavoidable: He was initially diagnosed with Shy-Drager Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder, which often resembles Parkinson’s disease and causes pro-
gressive failure of the nervous system, including a part that controls key body functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, and bowel and bladder control. It can cause tremors, impaired speech and blackouts. Unfortunately, his illness would sooner or later get the better of him: Ultimately, his condition made him appear much older than his years: he was red-faced, had white hair, his skin was wrinkled and his jaw was misshapen from all the surgery he had been submitted over the years. Cash didn’t give up on life no matter what: He was a true fighter, struggling with his disease as much as he could and in any way possible. The second diagnosis found him to have autonomic neuropathy, which left him susceptible to bronchitis and pneumonia. This grave news didn’t hinder him from continuing working and participating in more recording projects regardless. Although there were days when Cash was incapable of producing a vocal sound of decent quality, resulting in sessions having been cancelled or postponed, and despite his regular visits to the hospital, he managed to record dozens of songs. Despite his poor health, he often said he was looking forward to the day when he could walk again and toss his wheelchair into the river near his home. Cash never allowed himself to be a slave of his disease. No, that’s an understatement: Cash in fact denied having *any* disease. He wanted to forget about his health problems and considered himself as a man of strength and power, by refusing to allow his soul to be confined by a body that was failing. He kept on traditionally starting his concerts with the signature introduction “Hello, I’m Johnny Cash”. ‘Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be accepted in thy sight’ reads Johnny Cash’s grave marker. This prayer from the Book of Psalms is more than fitting for The Man In Black. Cash was “the vocal bedrock of American country music for more than four decades… Known as the Man in Black,
“I’m not bitter. Why should I be bitter? I’m thrilled to death with life. Life is the way God has given it to me was just a platter - a golden platter of life laid out there for me. It’s been beautiful”. both for his voice, which projected the fateful gravity of a country patriarch, and for his signature look, which suggested a cowboy undertaker, Cash was one of the few performers who outlasted trends to become a mythical figure rediscovered by each new generation… For all the grimness of his Man in Black persona, Cash insisted that he was not a morbid person. ‘I am not obsessed with death—I’m obsessed with living… The battle against the dark one and the clinging to the right one is what my life is about’” (New York Times). No wonder why, upon his death, Cash was revered by the greatest popular musicians of his time and the one who fought his disease with full courage
and zeal. And who said that The Man in Black is actually dead? As mentioned above, he’s made of the stuff of legends and legends never truly die. “The Master of Life’s been good to me. He has given me strength to face past illnesses, and victory in the face of defeat. He has given me life and joy where others saw oblivion. He has given new purposes to live for. New services to render and old wounds to heal. Life and love go on. Let the music play”.
“I was taking the pills for awhile, and then the pills started taking me”.
Photo From ‘House of Cash’ By John Carter Cash Burst www.burstzine.com
Slipknot vs Stone Sour by Sissy Fanouraki
Long story short… Corey Taylor: one man three faces, the singer, the songwriter, the writer. Born and raised in Iowa, Corey Taylor developed a drug addiction at a young age. During his first marriage with Scarlett Stone, he also had alcohol abuse problems and once attempted to jump off the balcony from the 8th floor… Before Stone Sour’s second studio album recordings in 2006, he was finally sober. Slipknot and Stone Sour were -and still are- two of his greatest achievements. Lately he wrote two books revealing another side of his personality. From “Before I Forget” to radio hit “Through Glass” Corey Taylor’s voice and lyrics Burst www.burstzine.com
are so controversial and, as he has stated many times: “ It’s all about creating music that lasts”. Corey Taylor the writer: “I’d been threatening to write a book for a long time, and I just went for it. I think people are going to be really surprised, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Corey Taylor’s literary debut was “Seven Deadly Sins”, published in July 2011 via Da Capo Press. It’s about a small-town hero in the early 90’s who ‘threw himself into a fiercedrinking, drug-abusing, hardloving, live-for-the moment life’. “A Funny Thing Happened on
the Way to Heaven” features many of Taylor’s ‘most incredible experiences’, published in June 2013 via Ebury Publishing. “House of Gold & Bones” comic series (1-4) published by Dark Horse Comics. “Nobody is only one side. Everybody is multi-faceted and multi-dimensional. I don’t want to be that cardboard cutout rock star. I never have, and I never will. I want to be the guy who wants to have it all.” “I can’t just be the angry guy in Slipknot or the dark guy in Stone Sour. People have to hear the other music as well because it’s a big part of the story.”
Did you know? Apart from his own projects, Corey Taylor has also appeared as a guest musician in the albums of Soulfly, Apocalyptica and Damageplan. “Bother”, the 2nd single from Stone Sour’s debut self-titled album was originally released as a solo song by Corey Taylor himself in 2003. Its cover artwork features Taylor’s hands and rings. One of them is a Spider-Man ring, since the song was featured on the movie’s soundtrack and it was credited to Corey Taylor as a performer, instead of Stone Sour. The other ring had the number 8 on it, representing his number in Slipknot. He was involved in the record-
23 ing of Anthrax’ latest album “Worship Music”; however, up until now, these sessions remain unreleased. In 2005, he contributed to the Roadrunner United All-Star
album for the song “Rich Man” and made an appearance in Steel Panther’s singles “Death to All but Metal”, “Eyes of a Panther”, and “Asian Hooker”. In 2006, Corey Taylor founded
the record company Great Big Mouth Records and produced two albums: Face Cage “Face Cage” and Walls of Jericho “Redemption” In 2007, he was the narrator
on the track “Repentance” for Dream Theater’s album “Systematic Chaos” In 2009, he revealed he’s writing new material for his 1st solo project.
Official photo Origin: Des Moines, Iowa. U.S. Studio albums released: Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat. (demo-1996), Slipknot (1999), Iowa (2001), Vol.3 (The Subliminal Verses) (2004), All Hope Is Gone (2008) Other releases: 9.0: Live: Gold (2005), Antennas to Hell (compilation, 2012) Slipknot Image: The word Slipknot brings me three things to mind: The uniforms and the unique masks, as well as the numbers of the members! (Corey Taylor was/is number 8!) The band developed that concept in late 1997, when they decided to wear unique masks and matching uniforms. When Corey Taylor was asked about the masks, he commented “It’s our way of be-
coming more intimate with the music. It’s a way for us to become unconscious of who we are and what we do outside of music. It’s a way for us to kind of crawl inside it and be able to use it.” This extravagant look, alongside their extreme sound, had been the subject of severe criticism but as the band members had stated several times, wearing the masks also helped them keep their personal lives
private. Slipknot developed a sole image and changed uniforms and masks with every release. The masks don’t have radical differences, thus following a similar style enriched with new elements. In the early days, Slipknot were wearing homemade masks. Since 2001, they have been customized, made by the special effect artist/musician ‘Screaming Mad’ George. The death masks
worn by the members during their videos and live shows from 2004 to 2005 were made from casts of their own faces. In 2008, prior to the release of “All Hope Is Gone”, the band wore the so-called “purgatory masks” (also seen in “Psychosocial” video). In 2012, Slipknot released the application for iOS and Android “Slipknot: Wear the Mask” where fans construct their own masks!!!
1995, Joey Jordison suggested changing the name of the band to “Slipknot”. This happened after having finished writing the song “Slipknot”. In December, Slipknot began
recording material for the first time… The cost of their first self-financed amounted to approximately $40,000. Long after the complicated mixing and mastering, Slipknot man-
aged to release “Mate. Feed. Kill. Repeat.” on October 31st, 1996. This album is now considered a demo and not a studio album.
In September 1995, Shawn “Clown” Crahan (drums) and Paul Gray (bass) started a band named “The Pale Ones”. In late
24 1997 Although Slipknot’s demo received a small amount of airplay on local radio stations, the record labels showed no interest whatsoever and the band entered the studio again to write and record new material. Slipknot recruited Corey Taylor. 1998 Slipknot produced a second demo, featuring 5 tracks for the eyes and ears of record labels only and the band began receiving lots of attention. In February 1998, Slipknot collaborated with producer Ross Robinson, who attended the band’s rehearsals in Iowa, and, soon after, DJ Sid Wilson was recruited as the ninth member. Later that year, in June, Slipknot received $500,000 for a 7-album deal from Roadrunner Records (signed on July 8th, 1998). 1999 Slipknot’s debut self-titled album was released on June 29 1999 and the band released their first video clip “Welcome to Our Neighborhood” as well as two singles, “Wait and Bleed” and “Spit It Out”. World Domination Tour was the first worldwide headlining concert tour (1999-2000), in support of their debut studio album “Slipknot”, and their first major headlining tour alike. Earlier that year, Slipknot also participated in Livin La Vida Loco tour. Inspired by Ricky Martin’s song “Livin’ la Vida Loca”, this was a concert tour headlined by Coal Chamber and organized by Roadrunner Records. The band also participated in Ozzfest alongside Pantera, Marilyn Manson, Mudvayne, Godsmack, Rob Zombie, Incubus, Linkin Park, System Of A Down, Chevelle and Disturbed among others.
at position N#3 on the Billboard 200 charts and at N#1 on the UK album chart. “The Heretic Anthem” (promo single), “My Plague”, one of the three singles of the album, was featured on the soundtrack for the Resident Evil movie. 2002 In 2002, Slipknot performed the song “I Am Hated” in the remake of “Rollerball” movie (original movie directed by Norman Jewison in 1975) and that was the band’s first-ever participation in a movie! Despite the promo efforts and tour schedule, Slipknot went on hiatus due to internal conflicts and the members then focused on their own projects. Corey Taylor and guitarist Root breathed life into Stone Sour, whereas Joey Jordison (drummer) created the band Murderdolls. 2003-2004 In late 2003, Slipknot collaborated with producer Rick Rubin and completed another album, “Vol. 3: (The Subliminal Verses)”, which was released on May 24th, 2004 and entered at N#2 on the Billboard 2000. The band then embarked on The Subliminal Verses World Tour and recorded their first live album “9.0: Live” while touring. 2005-2006 In 2005, Slipknot went on hiatus for the second time. In
2006, they were nominated and took home a Grammy Award for the ‘Best Metal Performance’ for the single “Before I Forget”. 2007-2009 Slipknot started preparations for yet another studio album at the end of 2007; however, the actual recording started in February 2008. “All Hope Is Gone” was released on August 20 2008, debuting at N#1 on the Billboard 200. On September 9 2009, Slipknot celebrated their 10-year anniversary from their debut album with a release of a special edition of “Slipknot”. On October 31 2009, Slipknot went on a third hiatus. Once again, Corey Taylor and other members focused on other projects. Taylor founded Junk Beer Kidnap Band and returned to Stone Sour again. 2010–2011 On May 24 2010, bassist Paul Gray was found dead in a hotel room in Iowa; cause of death: an accidental overdose on morphine and fentanyl. The band grieved and the future of Slipknot was uncertain. “He was everything that was wonderful about this band and about this group of people. The only way I can sum up Paul Gray is ‘love’” Corey Taylor commented. After Paul Gray’s passing, Corey Taylor commented in an interview (NME) that Paul
would want them to continue. Slipknot returned onstage in 2011 through a European tour, they headlined the Sonisphere Festival and Rock in Rio and performed at Graspop Metal Meeting in Belgium as well. Corey Taylor stated that these shows served as a ‘celebration and tribute’ to Paul Gray and he commented “If this tour doesn’t work, this band might be over — straight up. And I’m not gonna lie; I’m not the guy that’s going to lie to the fans”. In response to his comments, Joey Jordison stated that “Slipknot will continue with or without Corey Taylor”. 2012-present In May 2012 Corey Taylor posted on Twitter that Slipknot are to release a greatest hits album on June 17 2012; Thus, “Antennas to Hell” was released. Trivia:
Slipknot Vs Mushroomhead
Mushroomhead claimed that Slipknot ‘stole their image’. Corey Taylor commented that both bands started at the same time “neither one of us knowing anything about each other”. He made known that, during a gig in Cleveland, Ohio, Mushroomhead’s fans threw objects at them. To conclude with this ‘feud’ in 2009, Mushroomhead’s vocalist Waylon Reavis stated “They’re not the first masked band, we’re not, no-one was.”
2000 In 2000, Slipknot was certified platinum and in early 2001 the band began recording a new album. The conflicts between members soon arose, mostly due to the extensive touring and recording schedules. 2001 “Iowa” was released in August 2001. Slipknot embarked on Iowa World Tour and entered Burst www.burstzine.com
Photo by Paul Brown
Photo by Chapman Baehler Origin: Des Moines, Iowa. U.S. Studio albums released: Stone Sour (2002), Come What(ever) May (2006), Audio Secrecy (2010), House of Gold & Bones – Part 1 (2012), House of Gold & Bones – Part 2 (2013) Other releases: 9.0: Live in Moscow (2007), Live at Brighton (2012) 1992-1996 Stone Sour, founded by Corey Taylor at the age of 19, was named after a so-called alcoholic drink; one part whiskey, one part orange juice, with a splash of sour mix! The band recorded 2 demo tapes in 1992 and 1994. In 1995 Jim Root (Slipknot) joined the band as well and the band recorded another demo tape in 1996 some of those songs were used in 2002’s self-titled debut album. 1997 In 1997, the band went on hiatus till 2002 and -obviously during that time- Corey Taylor and Jim Root were 100% in Slipknot preparations for gigs and writing new material. 2002 In 2002, the band felt the need
to show the world some more, so Corey Taylor literally resurrected Stone Sour with the release of their self-titled debut album. Stone Sour embarked on a worldwide tour and Corey Taylor commented that “Stone Sour was there before Slipknot”. 2003-2004 The band was nominated for a Grammy Award for ‘Best Metal Performance’ for the singles “Get Inside” and “Inhale” in 2003 and 2004 respectively. “Inhale” debuted at N#18 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The album was certified Gold. 2005-2006 Stone Sour’s 2nd studio album “Come What(ever) May” was released on August 1 2006 and sold approximately 80,000 copies in its first week of re-
lease, debuting at N#4 on the Billboard 200. Taylor’s fans experienced the diversity of the songwriter and performer on the radio hits “Through Glass” and “Sillyworld”. “Through Glass” single debuted at N#1 on the Mainstream Rock Chart, N#2 on the Modern Rock Tracks, N#12 on the Adult Top 40 and N#39 on the Billboard Hot 100. On the same year, Stone Sour were nominated for a Grammy Award for ‘Best Metal Performance’ for the single “30/30150” 2007 The band was on tour for a year and a half and released “Live in Moscow” album exclusively to iTunes on August 14 2007. 2010-2011 Their third studio album “Au-
dio Secrecy” was produced by Nick Raskulinecz and released on September 7, 2010. Corey Taylor had then stated that this album was “the summation of everything we want, everything we crave and everything we fight for...The dimensions go further than anything we’ve ever tried before. It’s metal, rock, slow, soft, hard, fast, bitter, beautiful and most importantly, it’s real. You can’t get an album like this out of a band that doesn’t exist. We’re throwing caution out the damn window.” “Audio Secrecy” features two versions of the song “Imperfect”, which was originally Taylor’s project with Junk Beer Kidnap Band. In 2011, it was announced that Stone Sour will release another live DVD, featuring the live show at The Brighton Centre in the U.K. The band also toured Burst www.burstzine.com
26 with Avenged Sevenfold, New Medicine and Hollywood Undead on the ‘Nightmare After Christmas Tour’; however, in May 2011 Stone Sour canceled the remaining dates of their headline tour since the band’s drummer, Roy Mayorga, suffered a minor stroke. 2012-present
Stone Sour started recording their 4th studio album in 2012. Corey Taylor described it as a double concept album; “House of Gold & Bones” part 1 and 2. On March 27 2012 the band released the song “The Pessimist” as a free download on their Facebook page – a song that was previously available on the iTunes deluxe version of
the soundtrack to “Transformers: Dark of the Moon”. “Live at Brighton” was released in 2012, featuring the band’s performance in the UK back in November 2010. “House of Gold & Bones – Part 1” was released on October 23 2012, debuted at n#7 on the Billboard 200 with sales of approx. 31,000 copies in its first
week of release and “House of Gold & Bones – Part 2” was released on April 9 2013 - debuted at N#10 on the Billboard 200 with sales of approx. 35,000 copies in its first week of release. In 2013 Corey Taylor was nominated and won the Golden Gods Award for ‘Best Vocalist’.
Black Dog - Led Zeppelin
by Stathia Pedioti
Hey, hey, mama, said the way you move, Gonna make you sweat, gonna make you groove. Ah, ah, child, way you shake that thing, Gonna make you burn, gonna make you sting. Hey, hey, baby, when you walk that way, Watch your honey drip, can’t keep away. Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh, oh, oh Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh, oh, oh I gotta roll, can’t stand still, Got a flamin’ heart, can’t get my fill, Eyes that shine burning red, Dreams of you all through my head. Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah... Hey baby, oh baby, pretty baby, Tell me would you do me now. Hey baby, oh baby, pretty baby, Move me while you groove me now Take too long b’fore I fou nd out What people mean by down and out. Spent my money, took my car, Started tellin’ her friend she’ goin’ be a star. I don’t know, but I’ve been told A Big legged woman ain’t got no soul Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh, oh, ah Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh, oh, ah All I ask for, All I pray, Steady Rollin’ woman gonna come my way. Need a woman gonna hold my hand tell me no lies, make me a happy man. Ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah... Ahhhhhh! Ooooh-ahhhh
You have the lyrics, I’ll give you a fact. While LZ were recording their fourth album, a black Labrador retriever was wandering around the studio. Some say that that’s just it. The title was given because of the dog, that’s just a reference. This is quite “unbelievable”, maybe a little poor. At least I (and I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one) want something more to hear than this. A black dog is part of many cultures: English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Mainland European, Latin American, even of Islamic. It’s usually associated with death, a dark and scary creature, more malevolent than actually violent. Here’s our story: A guy whose woman took his money and car, and left him all alone.
and The Verdict is...
Broke and broken-hearted, his anger feels him up, and turns him into a “Black Dog”. His eyes glow red through the night’s darkness -and that scares the people away. “Love” made him a monster, and love could calm those mad, glowing eyes down.
name -but couldn’t find anything “Zofo”related on the net). Well -it’s a symbol, an image, not a word. Could also be read as “Zoso”, so the “studying” about it has begun. Nothing, nothing, nothing -’til something!
On the other hand, this “Black Dog” could be the woman on this story. She is but a gold digger, no hard feelings, sweetie. “A big legged woman ain’t got no soul” -she’s just a “hound” with no tears to fall.
“Alford’s Occult Crimes Investigations “Signs and Symbols of Occult/Devil Worship” list also includes a sigil that looks like the word “ZOSO” with the interpretation: “Demon: 3 headed dog that guards gates to hell.” “ZOSO” has been popping up in various so-called manuals on “occult related crime” for years. It is usually defined in these manuals as: “ZOSO: The three headed dog that guards the gates of Hell”. “ (urbandictionary.com)
In search for this issue’s “Stathia’s Track”, I noticed the cover’s symbols a bit more -in an almost desperate research for “something” to give you. And voila! Page’s symbol, the first symbol. I read it as “Zofo” (and was pretty sure I knew a story with a black “dog” with this
floor jansen By korina p.
Floor Jansen is one of the most remarkable female metal singers of all time. She is a true metalhead with a powerful voice and a huge talent in songwriting and in performing live: if you dig a little bit more in her lyrics, melodies, words and thoughts, you will totally understand that she is one of a kind. Apart from her exceptional talent, Floor is also a great person: She is down-to-earth, straightforward, self-confident, intelligent, spot-on in her responses and has a strong sense of humor. Talking with her has been real fun and pleasure. I will not go on analyzing her special talents and natural gifts, since we are all aware of them! What I’d like to point out though is the fact that Floor has been a prolific artist and a true fighter, who managed to make many of her dreams come true, no matter how much difficulties she had to face. When After Forever officially disbanded in 2009 the fans -including me- were really crushed, simply because they were (and still are) my favorite band of all time. And then some more bad news came up: Floor got sick and cancelled her current
tour with Revamp. In the video she filmed back then, in order to inform us all about her condition, I could see that she was also crushed, since Floor lives and breathes for the tours and she is born to play live. Fortunately, Floor got better and went straight back in the studio. No, she is not the kind of person she would give up on anything she loves; she is a real fighter. During the fall of 2012, more tremendously great news came up: Floor would join Nightwish on the road, as their singer for the Imaginaerum World Tour. For several years, some of us -the fanshave been saying again and again that Floor is the most appropriate singer for Nightwish. Who knew that our hopes would finally become true? So here we are in 2013: Floor has just finished her tour with Nightwish, her new album with Revamp has been released and she is ready to hit the road again with Revamp. We talked with Floor about everything: Wild Card, Nightwish, touring, personal goals and dreams. This is more than an interview. Keep on reading and be aware of the “floorgasms” that you will certainly experience!
30 Hello Floor! I hope you are fine! Your new album is entitled Wild Card. Why did you choose this title? Does it have any special meaning? Wild Card could be an unforeseen and unexpected factor. The music of this album is so diverse. These are the two words that would totally cover it all and every song is a bit of a wild card, you don’t know what’s going to happen while you are listening to the album. The first song comes and then the second and then the third and still you don’t know what’s going to happen in next couple of minutes. So, mainly, that’s why I chose this title. This makes sense! The title of the album is being connected in a perfect way with its cover which displays the queen of hearts. You stated that this queen is sometimes nice and sometimes is nasty and vicious. And this specific contrast has to do with the diversity of the music of the album. I wanted to ask you, apart from all these things, does this queen represent you personally in any specific way? No. My image is meant to be used only for the purpose of the artwork. We also used my image on our first album and we decided to do that again, in order to make the album recognizable for the fans. But I do not appear in the cover of the album as a person, as myself. It’s used in art form. Plus, we used again a white background and one main color. On our first album, the main color was pink and now the main color is red. If you put the two albums next to each other, you can easily see and understand that those albums are released by the same band. But it’s not about me personally.
already have the physical CD (laughs)? Of course not. But I would love to have it (laughs)! I noticed this on the e-shop of Nuclear Blast. Okay, okay now it makes sense (laughs)! No, it’s not any kind of a statement made by me, don’t take it like that. It’s just a picture. You also stated that the bleeding heart that one of the queens holds represents your own bleeding heart. Yes this is true. Once again, the lyrics of the album are written by you and are based on your personal experiences. There is a trilogy entitled “The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown,” which refers to your recent burnout. If you ask me, this requires huge balls. These lyrics are about a very difficult situation you have experienced in your life. Sharing your thoughts about this event (the burnout) with your fans requires a brave heart. In the previous Revamp album, the lyrics were again very personal. I just wanted to ask if it is hard for you to perform live these songs again and again. Do you feel like memories are coming back to you while you perform these songs? Do you feel like experiencing past situations again in a way?
Furthermore, there is a picture on the physical CD, in which you are being displayed showing the middle finger. Is this specific picture some kind of a statement from your side?
I have always been writing about this kind of things, hard things and experiences; I don’t avoid that as an artist. It’s good to be aware of what happened, even if things weren’t so nice for you. Ignorance is not helping either, in my opinion. But it’s not like every time I sing these songs I live through these situations again. Sometimes, yes, it’s more difficult for me to remember this stuff but writing about these situations helps me in a way to let things go easier.
Ummm, no, don’t take it in this way. By the way, do you
According to another of your statements, “this al-
bum resulted some heavy stories and some open heart screams I needed out of my system”. So, do you consider the writing process as a healing process for you personally? Like facing your own demons, embracing them and making peace with them? Yeah definitely! As I said before, it is good to be aware of what happened in your past, especially with my burnout thing, because it was a major warning for me. It was my system telling me “stop, you
ern sound and more rifforiented compositions, something totally different from the usual female fronted albums. Yes, yes these were my own words (laughs). While I was listening to Wild Card, bands like Nevermore and Meshuggah crossed my mind. Oh really (laughs)? Yes, yes definitely (laughs)! And if you were not the front woman of the
“You can meet new audiences anytime, anywhere you know. But this album was not written for a different audience or something like that.” can’t continue the way you did things”. First of all, I had to go back to my previous health state and then the next challenge came. Apparently, the way I have been doing things is in charge of this burnout thing. I am not a different person all of a sudden and my ambitions have not changed. I think I am not approaching things in the same way anymore; my point of view has changed if you know what I mean. This burnout thing has been a wise lesson for me and I need to remind myself of this incident every now and then and writing about it is a good way to do it. This is a rather personal question, so if you don’t want to answer I will totally understand. What this burn out issue left inside you? What kind of feelings did this thing left you in the end? Just listen to the new Revamp album and you will get your answer to this question!(laughs)! That’s another good reason for the fans to listen to this album then (laughs)! Let’s talk about the music and the composition of the album in general. You said that you wanted to achieve an album with more mod-
band, someone would easily imagine a male vocalist performing the vocals of the songs of this album. I guess that the vocal lines were written by you and it was your very own way to trick us? And did you consider of targeting to a totally new audience with this album? Hmmmm… not really. I was thinking that people who already know me from my work with my previous band (After Forever) were aware of the fact that there is always something new coming from my side. We never really repeated ourselves in the past and the same applies with Revamp, too. So, I hoped that people who have been following me through the years will enjoy this album. And I can totally understand if fans think that this album sound too different to their ears. However, with this album, I was hoping of reaching some other people again. It’s good that people understand that it’s not always the same thing. You can meet new audiences anytime, anywhere you know. But this album was not written for a different audience or something like that. This is the first time you decided to work with other metal singers on the
31 choir parts of the album. You have said that on all your previous works Joost Van Den Broek wrote choir scores and you had classically trained singers do the parts. Apart from Marcela Bovio Daniel de Jongh and you of course, there are not any additional vocalists participating in the choir parts, right? No, it’s just me, Marcela and Daniel. Great, I am asking you this question because the final result sounds amazingly incredible (laughs)! Speaking of the people you teamed-up for this album, Mr. Joost Van Den Broek was part of the album. You have worked with him again and he used to be your bandmate in After Forever. Yes, that’s true; I’ve known Joost for many years. This was the first time that I worked with him as the producer of my band’s album.
Nightwish while the guys along with Joost were working on the album. And he was kind of the head of the whole recording process. Yes, I totally trusted him and my bandmates, of course. These guys have proven themselves throughout the whole writing process. I knew that they are good musicians, they know what they want. So I trusted, Joost and my bandmembers, too! You guys decided to launch a kickstarter campaign in order to raise funds for your tour. As far as I know, it was a totally successful campaign. Congrats! Yes, yes totally! Thank you! However, I want to ask you this: Do you think that nowadays, it is harder for bands to record an album, go on tour and promote their work? It seems to me that the music industry is in crisis. Labels go
bankrupt, tours are being cancelled because of lack of funds, bands disband because they can not pay their bills anymore by playing music and stuff like that. The world faces a tragic economic crisis((and not only that). What is your opinion about this? Yes this is true. Of course it’s obvious that our world is in crisis. Some countries face more problems than others, at least if we’re talking about European Union. I think that even before the economical crisis of 2008, the music industry was already going down. I think this is a big problem because nobody seems to step up. For some reason, it seems that many people think that music is a free item that you can download from the internet. The same thing applies to the movies, too. And as long as it’s possible to do that people will continue to do it. There are also other things, like the existence of legal and official websites and companies, which provide music for
5 Euros per month or the existence of websites, where you can legally stream music. I consider all these things dangerous for the music industry. Of course, the good thing is that everyone can listen to your music while you live in Djibouti or Bolivia or USA or Europe, it doesn’t matter, still everyone has access to your music. But it should not be for free and as long as that is possible this industry will suffer. And yeah there are lost budgets of money and lost money in general, invested for recordings and stuff like that. Tours have always been expensive but now part of the income has to come in through live shows so, the tickets become more expensive for the fans. It kind of shifts a bit and that should definitely change. Things such as kickstarter campaign is a good way to be creative with getting money to still do it and it’s a great way to have a very direct interaction with your fans, but it should not be necessary. And I know that loyal fans will never download your music for free anyway, so those are the ones that get hit twice.
Oh really? I thought that you two were long-time co-workers. In the first Revamp album I was a co-producer along with him. Are there any specific and special reasons that you have chosen to work with him? Definitely. I know Joost for more than 10 years now and we have always worked together really well. He is one of the very few people that I would really trust. He is always on time, he is always good in what he has to do and he is always organizing. If you ask him to do something you know that it’s going to happen, he is going to get his work done. He is this kind of guy that you can rely on. In addition, working with him is a very enjoyable process. So these are definitely some really good reasons that made me choose him as our producer. And if I am not mistaken, you were on tour with Burst www.burstzine.com
32 This thing is not just bad for the artist or for the whole music industry; it’s also bad for the closest music fans. I really hope we can join forces with the big governments on the world because one of the most beautiful industries in the world is being ruined. Revamp will tour in Europe along with Kamelot this fall... and this is a killer line-up if you ask me (laughs)! It’s good to know (laughs)! Nightwish toured with Kamelot last year in the USA as well. Yeah that’s how we got in touch. We spent several weeks
Yeah, that’s the plan! In the beginning of 2014 we are planning to do some more shows in Europe and we are also looking for some options for North and South America and maybe Asia, if we manage to fit them into the schedule. I mean, oh God, the world is so big and it is always great to see that there are so many possibilities for Revamp today. In addition, the success of our kickstarter campaign helped a lot to make all these options possible for us. You owe us (fans) a killer tour because the last Revamp tour was cancelled because of the burnout thing. Yeah that’s true.
to play some After Forever songs during the previous Revamp tour. That’s true but we did that because we only had one album and it was the first album after After Forever, so it was a nice crossover. I don’t think that we will repeat it in our upcoming tour. We should leave that in the past. O.K., that’s a respectable decision. So, I will not go on and ask you if you will stay or if you want to stay with Nightwish because so many people before me have already asked this question (laughs). You have already said that all the decisions will be made during 2014. Nothing has
them (laughs). Oh thank you very much (laughs)! I think it’s mutual. We are happy with each other. It would be nice for me, it would be nice for them if we continue together. Like I have already said, there are many other options as well, so let’s not be ahead of ourselves here. I was wondering why do you consider this as an overhaul. Is it so important for you to stay with Nightwish? It seems to me that you really want to stay (laughs). If you had a great time with a group of people like I had with Nightwish you would certainly want to stay. Of course career-
“For some reason, it seems that many people think that music is a free item that you can download from the internet. The same thing applies to the movies, too. And as long as it’s possible to do that people will continue to do it”
sharing the same stage so it was easy (laughs). It was a nice chance to talk about that (laughs). This is more or less how the idea for this tour came up. You are planning to tour in the USA and Asia as far as I know. So, you will meet many fans in all over the world. Burst www.burstzine.com
Are there any plans for guest appearances on stage with Kamelot?
been planned yet.
Hmmmm let’s see (laughs)!
You declared that you would love to stay with Nightwish, you would be very flattered and it will be a major overhaul in your life and career. If you ask me, the boys are lucky to have you, not you having
Ohhhhh a veil of mystery is all over this issue. That’s nice (laughs)! Will the setlist of the upcoming shows feature any After Forever songs? You used
Yeah that’s true.
wise, it’s a great opportunity and personally I get along so well so, of course I want to continue. In the past you have toured again with Nightwish with your previous band After Forever if I am not mistaken; so in a way you already knew the boys personally.
33 Yeah that’s true but of course back then we did not get to know each other as well as we do today. OK, let’s say that you stay in the band. Tuomas Holopainen is a brilliant composer. Are you afraid of being compared to a composer to him? Plus, generally speaking, do you think you could contribute to Nightwish as a composer? I am asking you this because as we have already said before, you have stated that you as a musician want to do something totally different than any other female fronted band, that’s why you released Wild Card, and Nightwish is the most typical and famous female fronted band so it will not be something really different for you. Nightwish has been a big source of all the music that has been sort of copy-pasted from other bands. I wouldn’t say that they have been doing the same thing during all these years they exist. What you said is true: Tuomas is a brilliant composer and really a class above if you ask me. I don’t say this in an arrogant way, it’s just an observation made by me. The music should always go first. Music should go before ego. If Tuomas writes something, if I would stay, if everything would continue this way. It’s not about me wanting to write something or wanting to change anything in what Nightwish is. But all these are things that will be considered once I know what is going to happen. We can, you know, spend many hours talking about all kind of hypothetical situations that “could be” and “what if” but I am not spending so much time thinking of all these things because here and now so many great things also happen to me. So, let’s just cross all these bridges when we get there next year. So, I am not sure if I should go on with my next question which would be what would do with Revamp if you stay with Nightwish (laughs). I knew that you would ask me
something like that but I think that you just got your answer a few seconds ago (laughs). Yes, yes I totally got my answer (laughs). I know… a lot of people want to know all these things and so do I! I think I am the first one who wants to know what is going to happen but once again I will say that it makes no sense to really think about the situation because I just don’t know anything yet (laughs). I think that it will totally stress you up of you sit down and think about all these questions. Exactly! And I will get stressed for nothing if you consider it. There are so many things happening right now, touring with Nightwish, appearing in the biggest festivals you can think of, trying to release a new album with Revamp. Trust me, I have got my hands totally full right now! (laughs) In a few days I will do the biggest show I have ever done in my entire life. I don’t think about what is going to happen next year. That was a crystal clear answer Floor (laughs). And when you say “I will do the biggest show I have ever done in my entire career” makes me think that you are talking about the upcoming Nightwish show in Wacken Open Air Festival. And we just received some great news about this show: It will be filmed, so a DVD will be released later this year! That was a great surprise and also a gift for your fans. This will immediately make people think “hey they can not release an official live DVD with a session singer, she will definitely stay” (laughs). Do you think of this release as a clue about the usual question people ask me lately (laughs)? This period of time will end next week. These are the last shows of the Imaginaerum World Tour and this DVD is a nice memory of the entire Imaginaerum period. This is something great, whether I sang the Nightwish songs or
not. It’s still the Imaginaerum World Tour DVD. This DVD still catches all these moments we had. And please don’t take it as a clue about the band’s future; it doesn’t say anything about Nightwish’s future. With this DVD we just want to say “hey we had a great time we had hopefully done a great show and we have recorded and filmed this show in order to share it with everyone. This was the Imaginaerum tour”. This is just a DVD; I don’t think that anyone should make any further assumptions or have any expectations because of this release. Once again, you made it clear, Floor… Great! Did you like the latest Nightwish album (Imaginaerum) because the opinions of the fans about it were kind of divided: Some fans said that it was a weak album, while some others thought that it was a brilliant one. It was not like Once, for example, which was an album that everyone loved and supported. What I really liked about this album is the fact that it is a different album indeed. They did not get stuck in the same elements and characteristics. They even did a song called Slow Love Slow, which is almost a jazz song and they just put it on the album because they wanted to do it and because they thought it would fit. In a few words, I really liked this album. However everyone is entitled to have their personal opinion. Awesome! Things happened really fast last year. Annete Olzon left and you immediately joined the band, while they were on the road. However, I would say that something really weird happened in your case. All these years, Nightwish fans have been moaning about Tarja’s departure and Annete’s arrival in the band. I did a small research during the past months that you have been on the road with the band and I noticed that once you joined the band the majority of the fans seem to be really pleased
at last! Finally some peace have been made between Nightwish fans, there are not any complaints, no fights over the internet, no moaning. Everyone is happy with the fact that you joined Nightwish! So, Floor, if you ask me, this is a really good reason for you to stay with them (laughs). First of all, thank you for the nice and encouraging comments and the research on my “case” (laughs). Of course it is heartwarming to see all these positive reactions, especially when you know that it has been more difficult for the fans to accept some facts in the past. What I like the most is that people have the feeling that the interpolation that I bring and the emotion that comes along with it matches with their experiences…Because in the end, it’s such a subjective thing. Like we just said, some people loved Imaginaerum and some others did not. And of course some people do not like me, I am aware of that. That’s always possible, I can not change the way I am and it’s perfect to see that some people or, -even better- the majority of them, like me. This is a very positive thing for all of us, and whatever the future might bring, this is the best gift you can get from your audience as an artist. I see. Also, you have studied opera singing and musical theater if I am not mistaken. I studied in Rockacademie and I did one year of musical theater and one year of opera singing. So, I did not have any classical studies. Have you ever considered of studying opera singing and working as a full-time opera singer? No, not at all. I like singing opera in metal and occasionally singing some arias but I am a rocker. I am a metalhead, you know, and I think I am exactly where I should be right now. Singing opera is not just singing the songs, it also involves the world of theater. Opera and what I do right now are like two different worlds. I am Burst www.burstzine.com
36 happy with my world. Maybe when I get older, you never know what the future brings… but for now I am right where I should be. Through the years you have managed to be able to sing and perform in many and different styles. You even perform harsh vocals in Wild Card. Floor: Yes, that’s true! I guess this ability has been one of your personal goals as a professional singer and you managed to achieve it finally. And speaking of goals also, when you started Revamp you had a certain vision in your mind about this band. Do you feel that you have accomplished this vision? And generally speaking, have you achieved your dreams? Or do you feel more like that there is still a long way to go and many things to do? There were some steps in what I was hoping for and sound wise I definitely feel that with Wild Card the image that I had in my mind has been accomplished. And the great thing about that is that it’s not just the sound it’s also the fact that Revamp became finally a true and real band. It’s a group, it is not just me. We are a band, we do things together and we have managed to come where we are today. Of course I would love to see Revamp grow even bigger; you know, reaching the level that After Forever once had. That would be something that I would love to see happening but the funny thing is that we are going to tour more than maybe we ever did with Revamp, if all the plans we have for 2014 will happen. We will do so many great things that make me feel like that much more chances are there than I could ever hope for or dream of or expect as far as you can have expectations of course. I am super proud for Revamp. I am listening to you talking about all this stuff and I can’t help but ask you: Do you consider the fact that you joined Nightwish Burst www.burstzine.com
as a lifetime’s dream? Yeah I think so. Part of my dreams have become true. My lifetime’s dream was to become a full-time musician and have been doing this job for the last 14 years. But to be able to do tours and shows like we do now with Nightwish, yeah, this definitely has been a big dream for me. But it’s not just doing big shows, it’s also the vibe of being in a group where you can be yourself and where you feel that the chemistry between you and other people is super good. I have the feeling that all this feels good; yeah, what we do is something special not because it’s a big show but because of what we are and who we are and that is something I realized since the beginning with Nightwish and since it has been growing in what it is today. In a few words, I feel like “hey if I die tomorrow I would just die happy” (laughs). Oh no, no, don’t die please (laughs)! I always ask this question to female singers so I will ask it to you too: What about the appearance of a female singer? Do you personally think that it plays an essential role in someone’s career and performance? If I am not mistaken, you have hired a professional stylist who takes care of your clothes, make-up and stuff like that. Do you think it is something important or it’s more like a minor matter for you? This stands out with female singers more. It’s not the stylist who would tell me how should I look, I am aware of how should I look onstage. The stylist just puts in her creativity there. I think it’s important to find a look which matches with who you are. It’s not just having a pretty face or a thin body. It’s really about how you communicate what you are to the audience and how you express what you are. You can emphasize what you are with the right clothing and make-up because we can simply do that. And maybe we can do that more than men or we are just more aware of it. I mean you will all pay more attention to a wellstyled band over to a band that
never gave a thought about that issue. It doesn’t have to do with the female or male bandmates; it’s just more likely that the females will think of it or the females will step in and say to the guys “hey, look at you” (laughs). I think it’s a quite important thing. So, dearest Floor, this is my last and final question for you. I was wondering what happened to your project with Jorn Viggo. You had announced something a few years ago but we had no news about it in the end. Floor: That’s true. That was postponed when After Forever stopped. I did not want a side project to be the first and only thing that would be released after After Forever’s break up. I did not want people to think that this would become my new solo project or a new band or something like that. So I postponed it and I did not have the time to finally do something with it after all these years. Floor this is the end of our nice conversation. I would like to thank you very much for this great opportunity to talk with you
because I am a really diehard fan of yours (laughs). I hope to see you soon on the road. Oh me too! Thank you very much, especially for being so well-prepared. It’s always nice to talk with people who apparently already know everything about me (laughs). Thank you! The final words are yours. I would like you to send a positive message to all your fans out there, who love and appreciate you! I would like to thank everyone for personally standing behind me when I was sick. Apparently, it’s not just the music that matters. People really cared about me and wished me all the best of luck when I needed it the most, in order to get back. That was amazing and so heartwarming. I will never forget it and I am super happy that now there is finally a new album out and hopefully this will be like a reward to all of you. I hope it is worth waiting for and I wish you to totally enjoy it. I hope to see you all soon in our upcoming shows with Revamp. Come and rock with us guys!
Walker By Kostas Lolis | photos by Adrian Erlandson for www.murdermile.com
Carcass has been - and still is - a great inspiration for me since their first album. So, talking to them was, well, it was great! We chatted with Jeff Walker about almost anything you would like to hear for Carcass. So read this interview and wait for the new albumâ&#x20AC;Ś As Jeff stated it, you are gonna be shocked!
39 You have been through a recent lineup change. Are you satisfied with the outcome? Do you believe that Carcass is back and stronger than ever? Yeah, I think so, it’s not a reason. Because, you know, it was 2010 when we last played with Michael Ammott and Daniel Erlandsson and I’m really happy because we’ve done well with Dan Ash. Yeah, it just feels like a different band and the young got a lot more energy coming to the band so, yeah, I don’t wanna compare what we were doing on the reunion, with what we are doing now, but, I feel it’s a better vibe. It seems like the band is a bit more …. you know, truth is, I’m really happy with the band at the moment. “Surgical Steel” is on its way after 1996’s “Swansong”. You recently stated that the album is going to shock people and it is long anticipated for sure. Please give us some hints on what’s going to blow our speakers.
hear the whole album in one sitting. But it’s hard to isolate any single song and let people hear it, because, you see, it’s eleven tracks and every track is completely different, you know. We’re not recycling the same ideas time after time. We have to let people hear something. My philosophy is this: if people like that track “Captive Bolt Pistol” they’re gonna love the album; it’s as simple as that, because that song is not the strongest song in the album. We didn’t, we deliberately avoided picking the finest moments of the album, because if you let people hear the best thing, then what’s left on the album for people to hear?
croticism album or in general?
I don’t know, I just thought of it one day. I think it’s been inspired a lot by Judas Priest, by British Steel.
I think it’s more inspired by the old style of writing, Symphonies, Necroticism, Reek maybe….Cause with Heartwork and Swansong, the lyrics were getting too serious and there’s not a lot, there’s no humor there. You know, there was always a lot of humor in Carcass, black humor, “gallow humor” we call it, and I think that’s back. It was really fun to get back into writing, though it’s kind of bizarre along with the lyrics. It’s a lot of time we spent cracking the words, you know, and same goes to the music. No, there are a lot of people who really enjoyed reading lyrics on Necroticism and Symphonies. I think I’m giving that pleasure back to those people who enjoyed the word-play. It’s like the Swan Song, the lyrics are very simple.
Does the inspiration of the lyrics are based on the Ne-
Yeah, but also great, truly great.
How did you come up with the album name?
Yeah, but we got that out of our system now, see, those were the results of travelling that path of getting tired of trying to be clever. Now I’ve got back to trying to be clever again (laughs). A month ago, you released, “Captive Bolt Pistol” ; the track was also available for free downloading. What was the feedback you received from fans so far? Are you also to release a video clip? I see that you have released a lyric video for that song some days ago. Yeah, we are going to do a video song at some point; we still need to trap down the director who’s gonna do it. Hopefully we will get that done within the next month, time permitted. The reaction has been positive. You know, there’s a lot, there’s your usual trolls on the internet, the cynics and negative people who like to talk shit for no reason. And I
When I said, people are gonna be shocked, I think they are gonna be shocked on how good it is, you know, have you heard the album? No, only the one song that was released a month ago. You know, I’ve been doing interviews, where journalists who have heard the album are telling me , you know, they approach the album with intimidation, with fear, because they thought, you know, “what the hell is it gonna be like?” and they’re actually relieved and impressed and they can’t believe how good it is. When I said that people are gonna be shocked, that’s what I meant. People are gonna be surprised that after 17 years we managed to pull this off, by making a really strong album. And the song sounds really fresh you know, it’s fresh and old. It’s very good. Yeah, that song is not very representative of the album. And ideally we would like people to Burst www.burstzine.com
can take criticism. I don’t mind if people don’t like it, as long as their argument is valid and correct. You see, with the internet, there’s a lot of needless reaction, where people are rude and talk shit and what they’re saying isn’t a valid argument. See, I fully understand why someone who likes Reek of Putrefaction, or Symphonies of Sickness; I can completely understand why they are not going to like this new album. But I think if people like Heartwork or Swansong or Necroticism, then they’re gonna love this album. I mean, I think it’s been inspired by all five albums. Sonically, of course, it doesn’t sound like Symphonies or Reek, ‘cause the production is much better. As I said earlier, the feedback we got is probably 95% positive, you know. There are bands out there that have been influenced by Carcass, that play that style, so, there are, that spirit has been kept alive by other bands. Carcass has moved on, you know. Can’t go back and sound like we did back in 1989 Yeah, that’s normal. You have collaborated with Colin Richardson (Fear Factory, Machine Head, Napalm Death, Slipknot, Bullet For My Valentine) and then Andy Sneap took his place afterwards. What happened there? Colin would say he got burned out; he’d spent too much time living with the album. And he attempted to make certain, or he felt he couldn’t do the material justice so he asked Andy Sneap to come in and take over. In all honesty, that just happened with the Behemoth album as well. Colin mixed it 3 times I believe, and in the end, you know, he and the engineer quit because they couldn’t satisfy Behemoth. With those, he literally decided he wanted to move on and his last decision as a producer was to ask Burst www.burstzine.com
Andy Sneap to mix it. And that made total sense, cause Andy Sneap kind of has been hanging around anyway, plus Andy Sneap was one of the only few guys that Colin would trust to mix it, if he wasn’t gonna do it himself. And I’ve seen the results speak for themselves. I think it’s great, it’s a dream team to have on your album, you know. Yeah, he’s a very good producer; both are very good producers, and the outcome is very good. The album cover was made by the iconic English photographer Ian Tilton, who also did the cover for Necroticism. What was the basic concept behind it? Well, we used that circular tool designs since Necroticism and I wanted an image that isn’t magically recognized as Carcass, because it’s almost like our copy, our corporate logo. But it’s been updated to become a real photograph, a real instrument. And then you know, the album was called Surgical Steel; medical instruments are made out of surgical steel and it’s obviously a very metal looking cover. And I wanted to evoke the feelings of Heartwork and Necroticism, to have a very macabre, disturbing image, but without blood or gore, it’s very clean and clinical. It’s looking great. It fits perfect. Yeah, I think it represents the music as well. Being very cold and precisely clinical. You’re planning to embark on a European Tour with Amon Amarth, as far as I’ve heard. Are you happy with this collaboration? Yeah, I think it’s a cool billing. Andy Sneap’s band, Hell, is also on the bill, so I think it’s a very strong line- up. Plus, Amon Amarth’s album is doing very well, and I think the Car-
cass album is going to do well when it comes out, so I think it’s gonna be value for money, for anyone who’s gonna buy the ticket, so, yeah, it’s gonna be fine, pretty cool. It’s gonna be a good laugh. I hope to see you again here in Greece. Yeah, I mean, we’ll hopefully get to Greece at some point next year. That tour is not coming through, you know. I’m sure we’ll come to Greece at some point. Furthermore, an American tour was announced, with bands like Immolation, Exhumed and Macabre. More info, please! Yeah, I mean that’s just a little dipping out with toes in the water; it’s not a real tour; we’ve just seen what we did in London earlier this year: We did 3 small club shows, so we wanted to do something similar in America. Around the week of the release of the album, we will do a proper tour in America, these are just small clubs, just the kind of small club shows.
ready looking at things for next year, Australia, America, and I’m sure there will be festival shows…So, yeah, business as usual. We’re looking forward to people finally getting their hands on the album, and be able to enjoy it and we’re looking forward to responses, good or bad, I don’t care, people are entitled to their opinions. If people hate it, that’s cool. Just don’t hate it and give some bullshit reason to justify why you don’t like it. The last words are yours. Anything you have to say to the Greek fans? Thanks to everybody who came down to Rockwave; sorry it was so fucking hot, (laughs) really kind of tempo-downward performance. We looked awfully, we wanted to come back to Greece and, yeah, if that same festival is on, what was the festival that Slayer played? It was Heavy By the Sea. It would be cool if that still is going next year. We’d love to play something like that, in Athens, you know.
It will be a killer experience for the fans.
It was a good festival indeed.
Yeah, just get close back to our roots. You know it all seems built a little bit high and so when we come through. For example, we recently played in a big club, like, say, House of Blues in Los Angeles. If we do that now and come back in 6 months, we’re gonna keep things interesting and shake things up a bit.
Yeah, I mean, that would be a cool thing to play…
What else is in stock for the fans? Any other plans for the near future? Well at the moment, it’s just that the album gonna come out first, doesn’t it? And then you know, we start doing shows, so we’re basically busy now till the end of the year. We’re al-
Yeah, Napalm Death was also playing. Yeah, and Down... And Rotting Christ... Once again, our heartfelt thanks for your time, as well as for the killer show a few months ago. We truly hope to see you soon! We wish you all the best for the new album! Thanks Kostas, have a good day!
Aviv Geffen By Eleni Lampraki | Photos by Jo Gogou The interview was conducted in early July.
43 So, Aviv hello, and welcome once again to our country. We are looking forward to the release of the “Blackfield IV” album on August 26. Can you tell us a bit more about it? Yes, on this album we got something like a dream team with great guests to Blackfield, such as Suede and Mercury Rev, who did a few songs in here. It’s still Blackfield sound, it’s me and Steven. I’ve written music and lyrics to all the songs of the album; Steven played his guitars… the old same Blackfield sound, in a way! What is the exact contribution of Steven Wilson to the album? He mixed the album, he played guitars and he sang on the album. Since our third album, “Welcome to my DNA,” I took control not only of music and lyrics, but of everything. I got more freedom. And because Steven quitted for the mid-time, I am still there with the orchestra and all the stuff. When do you express your feelings better, when composing your own mu-
sic, or when you’re writing the lyrics? Yes, you know, all Blackfield songs from the first album are mine, so it’s more or less the same feeling. For me it’s important to have something like messages in our songs. We talked about the “pills” problem, about your government and mine in a way, that still idiotic and lunatic people ruin and terrorize our lives; it’s about what the world will become. At that point we haven’t changed at all. Blackfield have been active for thirteen years now; plus, counting your solo career as well, you have released more than twenty albums. Do you ever feel tired of all that? Have you ever thought to stop? Not really, because when I have all these new songs for the Blackfield album, I go to studio, I go to Steven, we have the new album, we want to tour… Steven and I and all the band, we want to go on tour and play in Europe and in States, on February. And we are definitely coming to Athens. For me to come here, and
Athens to be the first place to give some interviews and talk about the new album is a very happy moment. I’m feeling loyal to the Greek audience, because they were the first ones to support me and I want to start from here. You have a special connection with the Greek audience… Tel Aviv and Athens are very similar because we are very close. Same people walking on the streets, same shops, same coffee bars, warm people… and, you know, people in Greece love the same music we love in Tel Aviv like Radiohead and Depeche Mode. Big, epic, sensitive... So you come from an artistic family. Your sister is an actress and a director and your father a writer and a poet. How all this artistic surrounding affected your personality and your choice to become an artist? I’m coming from something like a royal family in Israel. It started with Moshe Dayan, the Prime Minister; he was like an idol in Israel. And then all the
artists came after, my dad and my sister and me. Is it easy to pursuit and achieve a career in arts in Tel Aviv, and Israel in general? I think it’s like Greece, the country is too small and the market is very tiny. Tel Aviv is very big but I never wanted to lie on my ego, and be great in Aviv and popular. For me it’s more important to do this interview here, than stay only and do things in Tel Aviv. It’s a common thought here that an artist is at the most of the time someone who will succeed very difficult, and will never earn a lot of money... You’re right about that, but my love with Greece started from my mother. She got her B.A. in Philosophy. So when I was really young she told me about all these and I know it by heart, maybe better than you! So, your main themes in your lyrics are about philosophy, death, depression and darkness in general. Do you still feel the
44 same way? Yes, I deal all the time with loneliness and death and other social issues like the controlling government and unfortunately I heard that a few artists refused to come and play in Greece because of the money issue, but I told them that I just want to play here even for free because I’m really loyal to the fans here, and I hope that many more artists will do the same. And it’s not fair because the Greek audience was loyal to them for many years. It’s like a good friend, when you feel a bit down you visit him, it’s not much You are a political activist and you have been always open about your opinion and your position. You have rejected your coun-
try’s politics many times. Now that you have a little son, to you find Tel Aviv a safe place for him to grow up? He is growing up by knowing that his dad did everything to achieve peace, and again I’m against occupation. We should split Jerusalem, definitely. The Palestinians deserve to have their own country. This is very honest and romantic as well, but haven’t you received negative reactions from your country about that? So what? I think artists should deal with their problems, not only enjoy their honey and their roses. I never relied on commercials; I was always honest and did nice pop songs,
so people trust me in a way and I’m very stable for them. Your songs are very popular, especially in your country. It’s very difficult to achieve being a part of pop culture and keep your art on a high level. In a way mainstream came to me, to my indie world; the same happened with Blackfield. We put out Blackfield and somehow we got to the radio here. And that’s great you know. What are your next plans? Now we are working for the promotion of the album, and we are planning to tour as a full band on February in Europe and States.
And how about your solo career? Do you plan anything new or at the moment you are focusing only in Blackfield album? I am doing a few things in Israel but right now I am dealing with Blackfield. I think we have our best album so far, classic sound but with Suede and Mercury Rev as special guests. So in the end do you enjoy more a solo career or the team work of a group? I think Blackfield is a bit different. I can use Steven to play guitars, to mix some songs, or Brett Anderson, but after all it’s about my songs, my music, my lyrics, my ideas, my vision… so it’s me in Blackfield!
46 Progressive metal! Over the last years the term has changed a lot and is not referred to Dream Theater “replicas”. Leprous is one of the most interesting cases in the new wave of progressive metal, judging by the fact that their latest album “Coal” was awesome. So Burst Magazine found them and ask them everything we should know about Leprous. Read That loud! by Spiros Smyrnis
Hey Øystein I hope you’re doing well man! Hello! I’m doing very well, thank you! Few months ago “Coal” was released. How do you feel about it? We made ‘Coal’ really fast and the whole process was very intense. It’s been a good while since we finished everything, so we’ve just been waiting to get the music out there. Feels very good to know the album is released, and we’re very excited about this year. Right now we’re preparing for the shows during the summer festivals, and can’t wait to get out there and start playing all of the new songs! Are the Leprous fans going to listen to the music successor of Bilateral or something completely new? Burst www.burstzine.com
Well, we think ‘Coal’ is very different from ‘Bilateral, but in a good way. Despite that it does feel like a successor to us because there’s progression. We’ve learned so much from writing ‘Coal’ and I think our songwriting skills have improved a lot since the previous albums. The older albums were much more packed with ideas and stuff that we wanted to try out. We had a tendency of putting a lot of those into every song. Overall, I feel ‘Coal’ is a much more mature and consistent. We’re balancing out the ‘extremes’ and keeping our ideas within a framework, instead of constantly trying to break out of everything. To some it might feel like ‘Coal’ is more restrictive, but I think it has a positive effect on the music. It creates a solid flow through the songs. We’re still just as playful and experimental as before, but it’s more a matter of trying to do it elegantly and keep it musically
interesting at the same time. Tell us about all the technical stuff of the new album: Production, mixing mastering? As on ‘Bilateral’ we did quite a lot ourselves, with some nice pointers and hints from our good friend Vegard Tveitan. He and Heidi Solberg Tveitan have been working with us on every album one way or another. We recorded all rhythm guitar parts, bass and keys at home ourselves. For guitars, that basically means to record a clean signal while using some amp simulator as monitoring. We then edited all the tracks to make every transition smooth, and shipped everything of to the studio (meaning Ivory Shoulder Studio). Next step is to re amp all of the guitar tracks, which means setting exactly the guitar sound we were looking and then running all of those recorded clean sig-
nals through the amp, and recording it with microphones. There were also a few things we recorded directly in the studio, like lead and effect guitars. Drums were recorded in a cool vintage studio in Notodden called ‘Juke Joint Studio’, and the vocals were done in ‘Ivory Should Studio’. After putting it all together, creating a nice track setup etc., the material was shipped off to Jens Bogren in Fascination Street (Sweden) for mixing. After some initial mixes and adjusting it (he sent them over the internet) we were happy, mastering was the next step. It was done by another guy from Fascination Street called Tony Lindgren. It all ended up to be just what we wanted! :D Let’s focus on the lyrics part. Is Coal a concept album? What are the themes you’re dealing with this time?
47 No, Coal is not a concept album in the sense of lyrics being a part of a mutual story. On the other hand, both the lyrics and the compositions share to some extent the same dark and melancholic atmosphere and mood. The lyrics a written by TorO and Einar, and they deal with themes that are inspired by their own personal experiences and thoughts. We still feel though, that it’s up to the listener to find what thoughts they make themselves when listening, rather to tell them in what direction they’re supposed to feel. Music is about feelings, and different people can have completely different reactions vent though they’re listening to the same song, and we want people to have this opportunity. I think that “Coal” is not as catchy as Bilateral. Was that intentional or it just happened? Well, I guess that depends a bit on the listener:) Parts of ‘Bilateral’ may have a bit more catchy stuff, but it’s also ‘wider’ in it’s expression and is less stable, if you know what I mean. I think if someone enjoys two or three songs from ‘Coal’, there’s a big chance that
they will enjoy the whole album, but I’m not sure if that’s the case with ‘Bilateral’. It’s bit all over the place! I think ‘Coal’ also has a lot of catchy stuff, but it’s also more ambient. We didn’t make a conscious effort to make it very different than ‘Bilateral’, but it feels like a natural progression for us. You’ve had a few lineup changes over the years. Are you happy with the current lineup? We’re very happy with our lineup and artistically we get along perfectly. Although everyone listen to different music, we still have a common direction everyone wants to follow. That makes the creative process very easy, and made us able to write ‘Coal’ very fast. Jeff Jordan is responsible for “Coal”’ s artwork. Just like in the case of Bilateral, you collaborate with one of the most talented painters out there! Yep, he’s very talented! Our initial idea for the cover was much like the inside of the booklet: Dark, dirty and very simplistic. We ended up not liking the idea as much as we
thought, and started looking for other solutions. Jeff Jordan came to mind. He did a great job on ‘Bilateral’, but since the music is quite different we needed something else this time. Jeff was very excited and he nailed it perfectly. Apparently it was one of the most challenging black and white pencil paintings he’s done, but ended up very happy in the end. I think it’s a cool and eye catching cover!
mines are called the Konnerud Hill mines, and are located a half hour outside of Oslo. We found some amazing locations and Twitch Films (http:// www.twitchyfilms.com) did a fantastic job! We used them do to our previous video, ‘Restless’, as well and they come highly recommended from us. We spent about 8 hours inside those mines, and although we were completely exhausted, I think it gave a nice effect =)
You shot a video for “The Cloak” song. Any trivia from the shootings you would like to share with us?
Which is the hardest album for a band? The first, the second or the third one? Most of my musician friends tend to answer the third one. You?
That was an insane day! The night before we had a show a few hours away from Oslo, which is where we live. We had the shooting scheduled for 8 o’clock the following, and would have been just fine if our car hadn’t decided to break down in the middle of the freeway at 2 in the night. We ended up spending all of the time up until the shoot just getting back home. The three of us (Tor Oddmund, Einar and me) had to go straight into the mines we were going to do the shoot, after a long show and not a second of sleep. The
To be honest none of them felt ‘difficult’ for me. I don’t know how other bands usually think, but when we go into rehearsal to create new stuff, we leave every restriction, fear, expectation, and previous work behind. It serves no purpose for us to think about those things, and they only end up as barriers for your creative mind. We just present to each other stuff we’ve made, and try to build further on it in a way that feels the most natural for us. Sometimes it might not work out (we actually threw away three
48 songs this time), but for 8 songs it worked out just fine! As long as you play stuff with a strong conviction and your personal expression it will sound like you no matter what. I think that’s why ‘Coal’ still sounds unmistakably like Leprous still, even though it’s a lot different from the previous albums. I speak for everyone when I say that we can’t wait to get started writing new material! That’s my favorite thing about playing in the band. Creating new music is what it’s all about. Does the term progressive metal band bother you? It is used a lot nowadays! Yes it is! It doesn’t bother me because everyone needs some way to talk about music. To me those labels are more like
guidelines that give a very general description of what you’re gonna hear, much like categories of movies (action, drama, comedy). We’re definitely a metal band, but progressive seems to mean a whole lot of different things for people. It has sort of become a term to describe a very particular type of music, but to me it’s more the will to experiment and go outside your comfort zone. To think out of the box and create something which hasn’t been done a million times before, with your own personal expression along the way. Are you satisfied from the collaboration with Inside/ Out music so far? Definitely! Getting signed by Century Media / Inside Out Music was a big step for us,
and they have really helped us to get Leprous to the next level. They have a much better distribution than what we did before as well, and they are great to work with. Looking forward to keep workingtogether to make ‘Coal’ as big of a success as possible =)
album. A big headliner tour of Europe is also coming up this fall to further bring our new music into the world. All in all we have a busy year ahead of us.. The timing is just perfect!!
How about Leprous on stage? Any tour plans of promote “Coal”?
We will for sure come back to Greece in the future! Stay tuned on our homepage (www. leprous.net), Twitter (leprousband) and Facebook for all of the latest info. Leprous is coming to a town near you to blow your eardrums. Be sure to grab a ticket!!
At the moment we’re preparing ourselves for all of those big summer festivals out in Europe. We’re going to places like Hellfest, Tuska and Brutal Assault. We’ve been playing on those a few times in the past as the backing band of Ihsahn, but now it’s time to bring a Leprous show! We will do our absolute best on all of those shows and promote our new
Are we gonna see you in Greece again?
The last words are yours. Come see us!! If you like an energetic metal show, you won’t regret it!
BURST WANTS YOU!! 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 firstname.lastname@example.org be creative about yourselves and give us a top10 of your best live photos!
Atrocity is one of the most distinctive metal acts out there. Even though they have changed many faces and styles along the way, they have managed to remain pure and honest to their fans and to themselves alike. I would characterize the interview below as one of the most thruthful and heartfelt ones. Alexander Krull and Thorsten Bauer answered to all of our questions passionately and fearlessly, so let the Pandaemonium begin! by korina p.
51 Hello Alex and Thorsten! Thank you very much for this interview! The new Atrocity album, Okkult, is out. Impressive work by the way, congratulations! You stated that by releasing the album in question, you enter a new era in Atrocity’s career. Could you give us a few more details on that? To be more precise, do you consider that you make a fresh start and turn the page through this release? Alex: With Okkult we certainly enter a new era in the history of Atrocity, but let’s put it the other way around: I think Okkult contains many elements from our musical past, especially the very heavy stuff from our 1990’s album releases but it also features also some elements from our Atlantis era. Death by Metal is the best example for that; the song is actually our tribute to death metal music. The main riffs of the song were originally written back in 1991 but the song also features some riffs, which have been recently written. So Okkult combines our roots with new musical ideas and this is simply a new era for Atrocity after such a long history of producing challenging metal music! Thorsten: The music which is being featured on Okkult is very versatile, rough, dark, symphonic and “occult”. We had the intention to make our music sound heavy and brutal, but also horrifying and thrilling at the same time. During the composing process of the album, I drew a lot inspiration from old horror films music. I think you can clearly hear that influence on the album. However, at the same time, Okkult is also a clear statement to the extreme metal roots of Atrocity. I see. Okkult is the first album out of a trilogy. This is very interesting, if you ask my opinion. Is there an entire concept behind this trilogy? Maybe a basic idea on which is based? Alex: We actually came up with the idea to create the Okkult trilogy during our Atlan-
tis days (2004). The research of the Atlantis secrets was very inspiring, so the next step for us was to make an epic trilogy about the mysteries of the world. Okkult features some very obscure stories. I have always been very much into history, legends, myths and the dark backgrounds and secrets of mankind and I have always been exploring them from different sources. An even bigger challenge and concept was just to make an album trilogy. The lyrics of Okkult are related to occult magic, mysterious places, conspiracy theories and mysteries that remain still unsolved. Pretty interesting subjects, as you just said. I was wondering, were these subjects an idea of yours or it was an idea conceived by the entire band/team? Alex: The lyrics and the research process for an album concept have always been my responsibility, along with the fact that I am the singer and the producer of our albums. I’ve always been into dark topics and the obscure side of mankind’s history in connection with strange, supernatural or unsolved backgrounds and events as I already said! The occult is really interesting to me and probably to many other people too. Digging my nose into heaps of books and sources of this kind of literature is a superb way for me to „switch off” the stress of my daily life. And this topic is not only about black magic, like many people think in today’s society. There was a period of time, when science had to do research and works in the shadows because religion condemned it as the “devil‘s work”. An overall important aspect in Okkult is the intersection of power, politics and religion in our world. Because religion and superstition occure exactly where the man pushes his knowledge to its limits; primal fears can take control over the mind. This concludes in a policy based on the principle of fear. Religion and politics play on people’s fears, thus they control. For mankind the greatest fear is darkness. The best example
is being presented in the song Masaya (Boca del Infierno). The cave system of the volcano in Nicaragua Masaya was regarded as an input for the indigenous population in the dark underworld. To ward off evil spirits, there were rituals of human sacrifice. When the Spanish conquerors emerged in Masaya, there was a cross erected to exorcise the devil. The Spanish conquerers thought that this was one of the entrances to hell. Two completely different cultures with different languages and people, and yet a common fear. I really like the connection between the „real“ and the „supernatural“ world. When Empires Fall To Dust is about a nameless French prophet who predicted gloomy prophecies about the future in Germany and Europe in the chaos at the beginning of the First World War. They were recorded roughly by a German soldier and sent by army postal service to his family. No one took the man seriously. However, later on, when the world was confronted with the global economic crisis, the Third Reich and the fact that even more catastrophic war burst out and the division of Germany happened as well, the words of the stranger appeared in a different light. It seems that you study a lot Alex! All these things sound really fascinating and of course interesting! Let’s refer a bit more to the lyrics. I was wondering if the lyrics of the two forthcoming parts of this trilogy will be related with these subjects again... Alex: Yes, the coming-up releases will follow in the veins of the first part. Actually, I have already started researching on further topics for the other two parts of this trilogy. As for the music, we are planning to continue the same pattern of „epic darkness versus metal brutality“. Victor Smolski and Lingua Mortis Orchestra participated in this album. However, this is not a symphonic metal album (like Nightwish’s Imaginaerum, for exam-
ple). The orchestral parts appear in very specific parts of the album and it seemed to me that they exist just to add many extra points to the entire atmosphere created. Ultimately, the whole album is a great mixture of trash and symphonic elements. How did you come up with the idea of hiring this fantastic orchestra? Did you aim for a specific result? And if so, did you manage to achieve this outcome in the end? Thorsten: Thank you for the compliment! We worked with orchestra and choir on the Werk 80 II album,so we thought it would be a very good idea to use an orchestra again on Okkult. We have cooperated with Victor and Lingua Mortis Orchestra on our Leaves’ Eyes‘ records as well, we were really satisfied with the final results, so we decided to pick them for Okkult, too. The recordings took place in Minsk,Belarus. We really wanted to have a very dark and “occult” sound in order to make the lyrics and the songs really fit together in a very tight way. We knew that the orchestra and the horror soundscape elements would be the perfect choice in order to get the sound we wanted for this album. And your last phrase leads us to my next questions which are the following: The Canadian sound designer Katie Halliday also collaborated with you in Okkult. She is well-known for her work in movies such as Saw V, Saw VI, The Devils Carnival, Todd And The Book Of Pure Evil. Blut was also based on the classic horror movie Dracula so we should deduce that you guys are huge fans of horror movies and you even get some inspiration from them! What was Kate‘s exact role in the album? What was the purpose of this collaboration? Has she taken part in the production of the album as well? Alex: The cooperation with the Canadian sound designer Katie Halliday was super cool; Burst www.burstzine.com
52 she created some really dark and atmopsheric sound effects for us! We met Katie during our tour in Canada. When we told her about the Okkult concept, she said that would be really excited to participate in such a huge metal production. Katie is a huge metal fan, you know. Thorsten: As mentioned above, we wanted to have a very dark atmosphere in the album, just like in these great
old horror movies. These elements are evident in both the orchestral parts of the album and of course in Katieˈs great sound effects, which she contributed to the album. If you just listen to the opening track of the album (Pandæmonium) you’ll get an idea of what I’m trying to describe. It leaves a hell of impression on the listeners! Many fans and critics referred Septicflesh in their reviews of Okkult. To be more specific, many people compared Okkult with Speticflesh’s The Great Mass. What do you have to say about this “comparison”? Maybe Septicflesh Burst www.burstzine.com
have been an influence for you while you were writing and recording Okkult? Alex: (laughs) No. I have not listened to this album yet, but I will check it out now! Of course I know Seth and Septicflesh is a cool band. Maybe we should tour together sometime in the future! (laughs) Alex, is there a “treasure hunt” in progress? Can you give us some more
details about that? Does every and single fan gets a unique song once he gets Okkult? Alex: No that wouldn’t be possible! (laughs) These three tracks are really unique, real treasures! We wanted to make something really special for our fans and we did not want to follow the usual way of releasing a new album, so we decided that there will be no conventional bonus tracks on the Okkult albums! In return, all fans can actively engage in a kind of treasure hunt. To that end, in Okkult albums, we will hide one song on an “occult site”, which is the “missing track” to each album. For the
first Okkult record that certain place will be in Europe. All original recording tracks and mixes of these songs will be destroyed by our own hands and this also means that we as a band will also not be able to listen to these songs until they will be found. So like I said, they are in the truest sense of the word: unique tracks. So, you can be part of the first metal treasure hunt ever! The Digipak LTD version features a great artwork and it also con-
shows the value of music, although we give away the songs for free. The signal is quiet clear, if somebody wants to get them it’s not a very easy task, and it’s not just like downloading them. You really have to do something to get one of the songs, which is actually like a great and real adventure, so in general it shall be great fun for everybody who takes part on the treasure hunt and spicing up the world of metal a little bit.
tains the hidden code and the first evidences for the treasure hunt! You need to identify the code of the hidden numbers to get a password. Actually, this is the name of the hidden song! Once you found it, you will be able to enter the treasure hunt on our website, www.Atrocity.de! You can log in with the password and the treasure hunt will begin!
Once again you did something very special and of course I am talking about the release of Werk 80 II vinyl! Dita Von Teese appeared in its front cover! This is a great gift to your fans (especially to your male ones!). Has a special photoshoot being arranged for Dita for this cover? And how Dita Von Teese is related with an 80’s cover album?
Is this treasure hunt Atrocity’s way to say to your fans “hey folks, we are musicians, we have to live from our music and you have to legally get our album ”? Alex: Indeed, in a way it really
Alex: I know a photographer who did a lot of Dita’s photoshoots and I told him what I had in mind: The dark side of Werk 80 with the mystic classical opera house turned into a fetish club. And I also told
53 him that I was thinking Dita would be the perfect model for the album cover! She has the glamorous look that I was seeking for and that’s why I thought about her at once! So, everything’s getting started. The Werk 80 II album was another succesful record and it even hit the top20 in album charts in Germany. By the way the Werk 80 II has just been released as Gatefold vinyl but was sold out immediately. On the vinyl edition the artwork looks like a really killer one! And speaking of album covers, my only doubts about Okkult generally speaking, were related with its cover artwork. It seems to me not so much representative of the material which is featured in the whole album, let’s say. It is more like a “classic heavy metal” album cover. However, Okkult features many dark elements as you both said. I think I was expecting something more dark and obscure. Was there any special basic idea behind this cover artwork? Alex: First of all, let me tell you that I love the entire Okkult artwork! The booklet looks superb. We wanted to have a real photo and an organic, dark artwork. So this is a photograph with real snakes; we took the picture in a real old vault. So there is nothing fake here! (laughs) It was quite an experience for me to put the snakes around the neck of our witch Erictho! You can see parts of the shoot on our first webisode of the Okkult documentary on Youtube (http:// youtu.be/8r0TpjRvJsY). The artwork was done by Stefan Heilemann, our long-time photographer, artwork artist and friend. The Okkult cover artwork is dedicated to the story behind the song Necromancy Divine which tells the very dark and cruel tale of the ancient witch Erictho. She was a necromancer and lived in the times of the Roman civil war between Caesar and Pompeius around 50 AD. She took dead bodies from the battlefields into her tomb and brought them back to life with painful rituals, filling boiled
blood into the corpses and whipping them with snakes. By bringing back the dead to life, she forced them to predict the future. We actually used the original Latin lyrics of the rituals in the song Necromancy Divine. Oh, that’s pretty spooky, isn’t it? (laughs) Atrocity have already confirmed some very cool summer festivals. Will there be a tour as well? Are there any plans for a full-legth tour? Thorsten: Yes, we will play in some really cool festivals like Masters of Rock in Czech Republic, as well as Maximum Rock Festival in Romania. Other countries and continents will follow. We also hope that we will come up with a tour throughout Europe soon. Leaves’ Eyes are also in the studio, if I am not mistaken. How things are going with Symphonies Of The Night recordings? Thorsten: Everything is going very well with Symphonies of the Night. All songs are written and I have just finished bass and guitar recordings. Right now we are in the mid-
dle of recording strings, some folk instruments, male vocals and at the same time Alex is doing the mix. We have two recording rooms, so things can be worked on in a parallel
procedure/at the same time. It will be a super production! We have taken another artistic step with our previous studio album Meredead, however we will keep the huge, bombastic, rough, sound-track-inspired sound we are known for. Liv’s vocals are amazing, too, as well as the artwork which we had the chance to see just a few days ago. Expect the album to be out this October. Expect a killer album with fantastic songs in typical Leaves’ Eyes style as well as some little surprises. Alex, I guess you have been through a lot through the years. Back in the ‘00’s there was kind of “silence” from Atrocity’s camp and everyone assumed that you guys have disbanded. I guess it was hard times for you. But then you came back with a great album (Atlantis) (actually, I personally consider this album as my favourite one, I love it!). It seems that you never stop no matter what happens, aren’t you? And finally, after all these years obviously you felt the need to make a fresh start. Do you feel like you indeed have turned the page and make
a new start? Are you satisfied with the result until now? Alex: First of all, I have to make it clear that this is not
a new start for us, it’s just another chapter in Atrocity’s history. And we have been always there! After the huge success of Werk 80 and lots of touring, we released a „best of“ album entitled Nonplusultra on our former label Massacre Records in 1999. In 2000 we got signed by a major company called Motor Music / Universal and we released the Gemini album and the Taste of Sin EP. Plus, we played in big festivals and toured with Pain and Samsas Traum as support act. But it’s quiet common major company „problem“: It doesn’t mean you get a worldwide release. So on the one hand you have a very powerful label, which features bands like Rammstein or Marilyn Manson but, on the other hand, fans around the world kept asking where they could find our new record. Indeed a lot of fans outside Germany and Central Europe were wondering „what happend with Atrocity“ because our record has not been released in their territory. In that time we were also building up our Mastersound Studio, into which we have put a lot of time and effort and we formed our second band Leaves’ Eyes. On top of that, we decided to change our label. That maybe explains
why it took us so long to the release Atlantis in 2004. And yes, we are an extremely creative team - and we just can’t stop being creative and develop. I am an artist who seeks Burst www.burstzine.com
54 to force boundaries a little further. I am extremely happy about Okkult and its fantastic musical combination. Plus, the album production is a really killer one! Atrocity have been experimenting through the years. You started as a death metal band, then you continued with some industrial-like tunes and in 2010 you released After The Storm, which was labeled as an “ethno metal” album, not to mention the Werk albums! So, through the years Atrocity have changed many faces. With Okkult you stated that you are going back to your thrash roots. Do you consider that the band has a certain identity, a certain core? Nowadays the band is labeled as “metal” band. This label is kind of too generic. Thorsten: The band has definitely an identity, which is rooted in the metal scene, but we have never been willing to come up with the same kind of albums over and over again. We always wanted and still want to come up with something new, fresh and exciting. Without this attitude/practice, albums like Hallucination, BLUT, Werk 80 or After The Storm would not have been released. We just don’t want to bore ourselves and we love all kinds of music with character and passion. The biggest achievement of Atrocity, in my opinion, is to stay alive for such a long time, always coming up with new ideas and approaches to metal music. Of course there were many milestones on our journey: Atrocity was one of the first German death metal bands, before this kind of music had been established on a broader scale. We were one of the first bands to mix electronic music with metal music on Die Liebe album back in 1995. We were smart enough to form our own recording studio instead of always renting studios and we played countless shows and festivals all across the world. Alex: Some people call us the chameleons of metal. But besides all experimental stuff Burst www.burstzine.com
we never gave up our heavy side or try to deny it! We have been playing the heavy stuff live. Classics like Necropolis, BLUT or Fatal Step from our first albums have been in our live setlist, as you can see on the Live in Wacken DVD. Ok, when we played the “Werk 80 only” sets, it was different of course. Our brutal side or the more experimental stuff, like the Werk 80 albums or the ethno metal albums I did with my sister Yasmin, are all part of the Atrocity history. Let’s see it like that: I really like the idea of being in a band which is able to deal with several musical concepts and styles. What is better? A movie director, who does only horror movies or a movie director who is able to do horror movies, blockbusters and as well as action or fantasy movies? Just like Peter Jackson or Sam Raimi. We don’t like to be pushed in only one special category, we are free thinkers of metal. We had a very strong connection in the early days with the grindcore / death metal scene and even then it wasn’t the easiest of categories to put us in. I have always been fascinated by art, especially music, impressive and extreme music in particular. As we formed Atrocity already in 1985 and became the forerunners of the German death metal scene, I remember dirty rehearsal rooms, shitty equipment, fantastic shows in small rotten clubs! (laughs) We were a big part of the underground movement. Atrocity... and I was there myself when it all started! We have been in personal contact with most of the bandmates from Morbid Angel, Pungent Stench, Immortal, Entombed and so on. By the way, I organized the first European Death Metal Festivals and our first Atrocity European tour together with UK legends Carcass in 1990. Really great times! When we were doing all the work for the great retrospect on our Die Gottlosen Jahre (The Godless Years) last year, a lot of the memories came back. The golden underground times, us being tape traders, but also very passionate musicians at the same time! Back then we wanted to support each other, all the bands were friends with one another, from Napalm
Death to Entombed! Many of them had been guests in my house. Nobody else wanted that kind of extreme music. A lot of musicians who come from these times give us great respect and great statements on that DVD, which is a great honor! These are some of the most unforgettable and special memories of our career. Many others involved in the project share this opinion. And over 80 interviewees from the global metal and gothic scene have contributed to this documentary! To be honest, who would have thought that a German underground band would one day tour the world and even enter the charts?! By the way, this is a DVD I really recommend to everyone to watch it and I hope you will have the chance to watch it! I will certainly do! Alex, apart from a musician you are also a producer (by the way you have collaborated with one of my most beloved bands ever, Elis!). Have you ever thought of giving up the bands in order to continue as a full-time producer? Alex: No, although I like to work with other bands and to do studio work. I really enjoy working as a producer at Mastersound Studio. Plus, I like to create something that will last forever and also to share views and experiences in music. I worked with all kind of people, from established bands to absolutely newcomers and I enjoy working with both those kinds. One of the upcoming productions I will do is SAVN, a new Norwegian band created by Carmen Espenaes, the singer of Midnattsol. I am really looking forward to this production, which will start in a couple weeks. In fact, I could collaborate with much more bands if we would have not been so busy with our own stuff, but I wouldn’t give up the bands. It works very well for me in the way it is, being a producer and a musician at the same time. And speaking of album productions, you also did the album production for Okkult. So, in other words
the band itself was in charge of the album production. Did you prefer to do it on your own rather than hiring and trusting another producer? Alex: Like you said, I work as producer for other bands for many many years too, so we found our perfect way of working process for our bands as well. Owning Mastersound Studio is a gift for us. From the very beginning, I was involved in the album productions. You know, our second studio album, Todessehnsucht, was already produced by ourselves after we have worked with Scott Burns Florida (Death, Sepultura, Obituary) at Morrisound Studio for our debut Hallucinations. Thorsten: I agree with Alex. Besides that, I have never really worked on an album with any other producer myself. Even when we recorded at Danse Macabre Studios, which are owned by Bruno Kramm, we were involved and worked on everything by ourselves too. So, for me, it‘s just natural. We always do it in the same way, we always do all parts of the album production on our own and it is something that I personally enjoy very much. This is a rather typical question but I will aks it anyway: Is there any band that you really want to tour with and why? Thorsten: Actually with both, Atrocity and Leave’s Eyes, we have already toured and played together with many of our personal favourite bands like Iron Maiden or Slayer and many others. The bands I’d love to tour with do not really exist anymore or they still exist but with a different line-up, for example, Deep Purple in 1970, Voivod in 1985, Venom in 1982. These would be the most exciting and desired touring partners for me. Guys, are there any other upcoming plans that you want to share with us? Alex: Besides the music, the „Treasure Hunt“ is a very exciting new „attraction“ for us – it’s very refreshing, too. So I
55 will soon plan the upcoming hidden places for the other two Okkult albums, which I will firstly visit myself and that is just awesome! Some of the places, where I was hiding the hints, are really cool locations;
you could go there for holidays! (laughs) You seem to take a good care of your fans Mr. Krull! (laughs) So, Alex and Thorsten, I would like
to thank you once again for this interview. Do you have any last words? Maybe any promises to your fans for the future? Alex: Thank you very much for
the interview!! Enjoy Okkult and join our OKKULT Treasure Hunt! Thorsten: Yes, check out our new album Okkult. It totally worth it! Hopefully weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll see you all on tour very soon!
Electra s o k a r a B Electra Barakos, was born in LA, raised in Greece and then moved back to LA to follow her heart and dreams… and she made it! As a child, in Greece she joined the choir of the Hellenic National Television Station (Ert1) and she performed several times at the ancient theatre of Epidavros. When she moved back to LA, she studied in California State University of Northridge (CSUN) and in 2007 she starred as Genevieve in the opera production “Suor Angelica” by Puccini. One girl, two musical careers… but she’s definitely a Rock Star!!! After two EPs now, it was time for her to release a full-length album, so she launched a campaign on Kickstarter.com, asking fans to help raise money to record the album; after 30 days she raised $7,000 over her initial goal. Now Electra is currently in Howard Benson’s studio recording her debut full length album with producer Mike Plotnikoff (Buck Cherry, Halestorm, My Chemical Romance, Daughtry etc) and the album will be released sometime in the Fall 2013! BY Sissy Fanouraki
! ! ! ! L R I G M E H T GO GET
Electra, are you a ‘Problem Child’? The song is actually a statement embracing individuality and uniqueness in each person. In some sort of way, everyone at some point in their life maybe felt troubled, confused, left out, abused, judged and bullied, a problem child. “Problem Child” is about standing up for who you are no matter what you look like, what ethnicity you are, what turns you on, what you do, what you wear, etc. We are all unique individuals with a difBurst www.burstzine.com
ferent story to share, yet we all live in this same place called earth, sharing the same experience called Life, and need to be treated equally! Did you always know that you would pursue a career in music? Yes, always. I grew up in a musical family. My dad, Yanni, is a bass player and he has been my biggest inspiration and the reason why I do what I do today. I started playing the piano at the age of 6, joined a professional children’s choir
at the age of 8, and attended a performing arts high school in Athens, Greece. In the meantime, I would tag along with my dad while he was touring with some of the most famous artists in Greece. I lived and breathed music, and always wanted it to be a part of my life! Acting was my other love and from a little child music and acting were the two things I always wanted to do.
Yes I did. I was actually born is Los Angeles, but when my father was requested to play with a famous Greek artist, my parents decided that it was time to move back home to Greece. I grew up in Athens, went to school there, and it was after I graduated from High-school when I decided that I wanted to continue my music career in Los Angeles!
You grew up in Athens, Greece, right? When did you decide to leave Athens and move to Los Angeles?
How easy was for you and your family to move? Did you adapt to the new environment quickly?
57 It was really hard for me at first... I was really young but old enough to know that my life is about to change drastically. I did not speak the language. I could understand some but not much. The first couple of years my life consisted of school and tutoring after school, to catch up with the language! But I did it... They say that when you’re younger it’s easier to learn a new language so I guess that might have helped. I am very grateful that I got the chance to grow up with my family, my cousins, my grandparents, and be able to live in such a beautiful place like Greece!
his credits of compositions and performance are countless! Did you ever feel awkward when you performed live? I have been performing from a very young age, so I am very comfortable with the idea. In fact, I love it and don’t think I could ever stop performing! When I am on that stage is the most magical time of my life! I love sharing my music, expressing my emotions, feeling the beat and being able to make people experience the same. Make them listen, feel the emotion, move to the mu-
is now a big fan of mine too! Opening for such artists is really inspirational and fun for us! It’s a learning experience and also the best gigs ever! You have also performed at the Sunset Strip Music Festival in 2010 and 2011 along with Slash, The Smashing Pumpkins, Motley Crue, Bush and Public Enemy. Any good or bad memories you would like to share? Absolutely not! Probably two of the best experiences of my life!! I am very thankful to Celi-
The project ELECTRA started about 5 years ago, with my dad Yanni Barakos on the bass, and Hyland Church on the guitar. Hyland and I cowrite all the songs. He writes the music, I write the lyrics and then we bounce off each other’s ideas, and bring our vision to the band and let them add their part to it and make it complete! We have had a few drummers and keyboard players over the years, but we are extremely happy to have Dan Welby on the drums, who joined us almost 2 years ago, and Ezequiel Dobrovsky from Argentina, who has been with us only about 5 months or so!! I am so proud and honored to be surrounded and create music with these 4 amazing talented musicians. My dad Yanni, has been playing bass his whole life, and has played and toured the world with some of the most famous Greek artists! He is an amazing bass player and an awesome dad :) Hyland has been in several bands in the past, such as DC4 and Harlow. He is a tiny guy but with some HUGE talent! Dan is a Musicians Institute graduate, and is involved in a couple of other LA-based bands as well! He is an amazing drummer and performer and his dreads are bad ass! Ezequiel, who I call Ezzy, is our angel!! One of the most talented keyboard players I have had the chance to play with! He has played in several famous bands in Argentina, and
When was the band formed? Share with us some info on the members!
sic, inspire and have fun! How did you feel playing alongside well-known artists such as Dilana Robichaux and Lita Ford? It has been an amazing honor to play alongside artists such as Lita Ford, Dilana, Berlin, Missing Persons, Great White, TSOL, WAR, The Tubes, and so many more. I am an independent artist, with no big record company backing me up, yet we have had the privilege to share the stage with such talented artists who have a big history in the music industry! I should also add that a lot of people became my fans after seeing me open for some of these bands! So it’s pretty cool to know that someone who came to see Lita Ford, actually really enjoyed my set and
na Denkins and the Whisky ago-go who made that happen for us! I would repeat it over and over again! Especially the part with Tommy Lee playing Drums on a roller coaster in the middle of the Sunset Strip! Enough said. Pretty epic… You write lyrics and cowrite the music of your songs. Which are your major influences in music and the main sources of inspiration as far as lyrics are concerned? Hyland Church writes the music, I write the lyrics and together we bounce off each other’s ideas and opinions! We collaborate very well, and Hyland is a very talented songwriter! Musically speaking our influences are Muse, P!nk, Led Zeppelin, Garbage and
Queen. The lyrics are inspired by my personal experiences and beliefs. I have songs that are about love, other that are political and other that are just about having FUN! After two EPs now, it’s time for a full-length album. You recently launched a campaign on Kickstarter.com asking your fans to help raise money to record the album and after 30 days you raised $22,000 which exceeded your initial goal by $7,000. Wow! Did you expect it…? We actually raised a total of $22,404 so $7,404 more than our initial goal, and, heck no, I did not expect that (laughs)!! The love and support I received from all my fans and friends was completely overwhelming and touching. This campaign was not just about the money, but it ended up showing me how much my fans believe in me! I never really realized how much love I am surrounded by and this experience has given me more motivation and determination than ever. I am so grateful to each person who contributed to the campaign and can’t wait to return the gift, by making my best record ever!!! Apart from releasing the album do you have any plans for live shows or tour, maybe in Greece too? We are scheduled to play the Freedom Coalition Festival on July 20th at Irvine Lake, and more gigs are still in the works. We have been dying to tour, so yes after the release of the album we will definitely be planning a tour! And YES I would love to be able to play back home in Greece!! I have been talking to some people so hopefully everything comes together and we can make it happen! Any other comments you want to share with your fans? Live life to the fullest! Be who you wanna be, and stand up for who you are, your beliefs, and your rights! We only live once, so live life your way! Burst www.burstzine.com
Interview by Marianna Kofinaki | Photo by Katerina Diamanti
Welcome to Burst and thank you in advance for your time. First of all, could you tell us a few things about the band? How did all start in August 2012? Although Dimitris, Yiannis and Alexis were close friends, they have always been involved in different music projects. Sometime within 2012 they started jamming together, some songs came up and during summer all the music was recorded. Later, Christina joined the band and started working on the lyrics and the vocal parts. How did you come up with the name? The name came up after everything was ready. “Mechanical Parts Inside” is a line of the song “Human 2.0”. The song is about a person that wakes up with memory loss and finds out that his body is half organic, half mechanical. Which are your main sources of inspiration in
terms of music and lyrics? Many things inspire us, but if we had to point some out these would be questions of everyday life, personal introspection, social and philosophical dilemmas, metaphysics, science fiction and literature. You seem to have a diverse range of influences when it comes to music. Which are the bands you admire the most? Each of us has quite different music influences and this can be clearly seen in our music. Some artists we like are Porcupine Tree, Nine inch nails, Isis, Katatonia, Alan Parson’s Project, Pendulum, A Perfect Circle, The Cure, Therion, Jean Michel Jarre, Bruce Dickinson, Crystal Castles, Pure reason Revolution, Supertramp, Seven Lions, Maybeshewill. What is your opinion about the Greek music scene? Do you really admire any Greek artist or band? As long as we can remember,
there has been no change in the way the Greek music industry works and we aren’t sure there will ever be. The music promoted is not exactly to our “taste”. Definitely there are many “diamonds” out there, but they are surely not promoted and that’s the reason why we never got to hear them. How did your participation in the “Red Bull Bedroom Jam” affect the band? Has it become more well-known since you won this competition? The competition has surely affected us positively as it has provided a boost to the band’s popularity. How did you feel when you found out you won? Were you surprised with the outcome? We were extremely happy with the outcome and definitely surprised with the fact that we won among so many bands. What’s
“Unreal” OUT NOW! Mechanical Parts Inside’ debut album “Unreal” is released! All the songs are availiable for streaming and purchase on their website! www.mechanicalpartsinside.com Burst www.burstzine.com
you’ve received so far by fans and the press? Apart from being mentioned as “winners of the week” on some websites and local media, we didn’t receive too much feedback from the press. But we earned some fans and that’s the point! Tell us about your debut album? What should we expect from that release? We are very happy with the work done. There are 10 songs, each one with a different approach. You can expect something diverse. Any plans for the future? What about any live performances? We plan to perform as much as possible, starting this summer. The final words are yours. What’s your message to the fans? We’d like to thank each one of you that supported us so far. Hope to see you on our shows!
I saw Madleaf once on a Nightstalker gig, with Jim Lord (frontman of Lord 13) behind the mic back then. Years passed away and there were some line-up changes on Madleaf. Burst magazine has a little chat with Dorian Gates (bassist) about the upcoming plans of Madleaf! All you “Sinners” come on and join us! by spiros smyrnis Give us a brief bio of Madleaf! Well it all started when I met Jim Lord, the singer of Lord 13, in the tattoo studio he was working in the center of Athens back in 2004. After that, the whole thing really took its course. They were already a band so I was the last one to join, the younger too! In fact, the whole thing started as a project. A while after, we had enough songs to record an album so we did it and “Sinners” came out of Poison Tree Records, a USA/California based label. The same year we did a video of the same song. That line-up though wasn’t to last for long cause the former members went on to devote themselves to their own bands. So after many shows, good reviews and member changes in 2012 we entered the studio with a new line-up adding Alexi Keito on drums, Nick Marinos on vocals and Jimmy Haursen on guitars and becoming a five-piece, which we were always thinking about doing. Right now we’re working on the pre-production of the new album that will be recorded in a couple of months. You wanted it small, I made it small! You had some line-up changes. Have the new members helped the band? Of course they did. Everyone is giving the best they can and
everyone is into it so much more. I honestly think that this is the best line-up Madleaf ever had. Everyone is participating in the structure and composition of the songs, each one with his own little way. I appreciate that. A big plus is that all the guys are amazing people and I am really glad that I have them next to me. The members are Nick Marinos on vocals, Nick on guitars, Jimmy Haursen on guitars Dorian on bass and Alexi Keito on drums. And I hope they stay this way!
but I still haven’t had the time to arrange the songs with the guys. The order of the songs, the cover and some other stuff, you know. We didn’t have the time to really concentrate on that stuff yet because we were composing the songs all this time. So it’s really hard to see what it’s gonna end up being. We have a general idea how it’ll be but I can’t say anything for sure.
You have already released a full length album, “Sinners”. Which was the feedback you received so far?
I think it’s way up musically and in every other way you can put it from “Sinners”. It is going to be organic, straight in your face rock but with it will feature some melancholic elements too. It’s going to be something really cool and nice to hear. I’m really happy about it. It sounds great. It’s got that melancholy quality but mixed up with heavy-rock elements. That’s where we’re at! We’re really happy. It’s got that amazing quality. We all really can’t wait to record it! It’s gonna be recorded in Devasoundz Studios this summer.
Yes. “Sinners” Oh the feedback was amazing so far. Good reviews from all over the world. I honestly didn’t see or read any bad review. People seemed to like it a lot; I think if they liked “Sinners” they will love the next one. Really we had reviews that I didn’t believe we will have, especially from the States. I remember a magazine once wrote that “these guys are the new Nickelback” or something like that! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry!! But really the feedback was totally good. Are there any plans for a new album by Madleaf? Yeah, it’s that basically the next album has been written already. The songs are there
Is the new album going to be the music successor of “Sinners”?
Have you signed with any label, are you currently in search of one, or you intend to release your new album by yourself? I really can’t talk about what’s gonna happen on that aspect. We’ll see. We are still in the pre-production of the album.
Small steps are good steps, you know. Currently no, we’re not signed with any record label. Probably we’ll be on the lookout after we’re done with the recording. You need someone to back you up and support your music besides the band so a label would be a big help. You’ve made an interesting cover of “I Can’t Escape Myself” by The Sound. More info please! Originally we have our own ideas. We started working on choosing the songs and finding different versions of them. In the first place we were thinking about doing a medley with a couple of songs in it; then we thought of doing Billy Idols “Rebel Yell” and right after we thought The Mission UK. We said “let’s actually do something different, special for this”. We’d actually played “I Can’t Escape Myself” live before. You know those songs that you never forget? This song is one of those and we always loved the way we played it. So we said “let’s see what happens with this”. We put our own stamp on it, musically speaking. It turned out great. It was really simple and easy. That’s a sign of a good band. Things just happen! Any gigs on schedule in the near future? Gigs are always on schedule. Not too often though but they are. We’ll release the album Burst www.burstzine.com
Well, as I said before, we’ll have a more often schedule when the album comes out.
actually make a living from the music you make in Greece is a bit of a difficult thing. I don’t know. There are little bands that I see doing it and these bands are numbered in one palm’s fingers. It’s a bit of a hard thing cause lying is bad, Greece can’t offer you anything to support your music. If you really want to be called a professional musician and, by saying that, live off music then you’re in the wrong place and especially in the wrong time.
How difficult it is to be a professional musician in Greece? To be a pro musician and to
The independent Greek rock scene has made big steps during the last years. Do you agree?
first and then we’ll start gigging. It’s how it is either way. To tell you the truth, I wish I could play every day! We did one a few months before, I think March it was, which went really cool. It was the first one after a year I think cause all these member changes and everything that had occurred.
Yep, I see good bands rising up all the time! There are many and all over the place so I won’t start writing down all of them. But definitely bands show that they really like what they do and I don’t really think that most of them have anything to be jealous from bands outside Greece. The whole music, attitude, know how is here you know. I see more and more bands touring Europe and the U.S which is something that really wasn’t there before. Now these are big steps man. In my honest opinion things are going well. Now, the “luck” factor is
another deal! As I said before… it’s Greece man! You always have to try for the best. The last words are yours man! Life is short, love is always over in the morning. It’s the bleakest thing I ever heard, but it is very true guys! Take care darlings, hope we meet you in a gig!!!!
61 Give us a small bio about Audiobreed?
Audiobreed is probably one of the hotter bands, in the hot as hell, Greek sludge/heavy rock scene. Their debut album “All Shades of Colours, but Only Red I See” is stuck on my cd player for many days now and BURST Magazine find it appropriate to have a little chat with the band. Breed us all! by Spiros Smyrnis
Hello Spyros, we’re a band from Piraeus that was formed in 2008. Our music combines influences mainly from Heavy Rock, Stoner Rock and Southern Metal. In 2012 we recorded our debut album “All Shades of Colours, but Only Red I See”, which was released on July 8th in Greece and will be released on August 5th worldwide by Casket Music. Why from all shades of colours only red do you see? Cause we’re gavri… (Greek football team, colored red) Even Audiobreed sail through sludge/heavy rock waters I think that Rage Against the Machine has influenced you too. Am I right?
We have been influenced by many bands including RATM. However, we don’t think that we resemble them that much. Maybe people find that many similarities due to Manos’ vocals…or even hair. All shades of colors but Only red I see is an angry album to me about things that piss you off. Is music a way out to all these? Tell us all the technical stuff we should know about your debut album. Production, mixing mastering? Music is always a way to express your feelings, but we didn’t predetermine what we wanted to create. Back then we just grabbed our instruments and played and this is what came out. As far as the technical part is concerned, the album has been recorded at the homestudio of our friend Kostas Kostidis in May, 2012. Production was made by Kostas Kostidis, Pantelis Nikiforos and us; mixing by Kostas in the same studio and mastering by Giannis Christodoulatos at Sweetspot Studios. You signed Casket / Copro Production. How is your collaboration so far?
out to be pretty good. We only had some communication problems that postponed the album’s release for a couple of months. Which were the difficulties that you overpass to make this album happen? Like most of the nowadays’ bands we had to overpass some financial matters. All the expenses have been covered by us. Except for the gear costs, we also had to cover all the manufacturing costs. We may have signed with a record label for the distribution, but all-in-all it still is a DIY project. I like the simple intriguing front cover of your debut. I think that Marios is responsible for this one. It is a symbolic one right? Marios was basically inspired by the title and lyrics, and made the whole artwork trying to keep it simple and direct. Audiobreed have already been announced for Defcon Festival on September? Any other live appearances on schedule? At the moment, this is the only appearance that has been scheduled. However, we are planning a live presentation of the album, this autumn. As a band with heavy rock/ stoner/ sludge characteristics in your sound I have to ask you: Do you think that this genre has become an “underground music trend” I chose my words carefully in our country. Indeed, this genre finds itself in prosperity the last few years. That’s very encouraging and has helped many bands to come to the fore. Finally, we must admit that the audience has played a big and important role in this fact. The last words are yours. Thank you so much for your time, Cheers
Speaking of the result, the collaboration with Casket turned Burst www.burstzine.com
62 also a real beast behind the kit, joined us in his stead. The rehearsals so far have been more than fun and really creative and we look forward to playing live and recording with him. Which were the difficulties to overcome in order to release your first album? Generally, there were no serious difficulties. Once the band is able to determine the right schedule and keep up with it, the only possible obstacles can be financial ones. Why did you decide to selfrelease your debut?
Half Gramme of Soma is the best band you haven’t listened to! Trust me! Read the following lines and go immediately to check their self titled debut album. Do not waste your time and read that loud! by spiros smyrnis Say a few words about the story of Half Gramme of Soma
a full length album. What is your feedback you got so far?
We started playing together two and a half years ago, driven by the need to create music within the Heavy Rock genre. After a year of rehearsals we started playing live and recorded our first, self-titled album in the summer of 2012. The album was released last January and was followed by more live appearances and some line-up changes. Now we have a new lead vocalist and a new rhythm section compared to the album’s line-up, which leads us to new creative paths that we look forward to explore.
The feedback we got so far from friends, fellow musicians, from other bands and fans is more than encouraging. We also received some good to enthusiastic reviews from local and international magazines, webzines and blogs and some airplay on underground internet radio shows. We’d like to thank everyone who supported us one way or another and gave us strength to continue making music.
Where did that strange name (Half Gramme of Soma) come from? It’s from the dystopian classic “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley, where Soma is a hallucinogenic, a “happy pill” distributed by the World Government to control the masses.”… Half a gramme for a half-holiday, two grams for a dark eternity on the moon…” You have already released Burst www.burstzine.com
You had a line-up change recently as your first drummer left the band. As I’ve read you’ve already replaced him. That’s right, in June, when we played our final gig with him on the island of Kefallonia, Uncle Jim left the band after a year and a half, after many live appearances and of course our first album. We’d like to thank him for his valuable collaboration and wish him the best of luck. Luckily, we were able to replace him almost immediately, since George Dovolos, an enthusiastic youngster who’s
We didn’t really consider any other option. We were an upcoming band and we really needed to have our work out there as soon as possible. Besides, any financial support from underground companies these days is rather meager. There was no real alternative: We had to take the bumpy road of DIY. That doesn’t mean we won’t consider being part of a company’s roster in the future, if that option is realistic. Do you think that selfrelease is the right choice for the independent bands nowadays? It’s quite a good choice, if a band wishes to be independent and distribute its music using its own means, bypassing any intermediaries. In addition, it’s easier nowadays over the internet e.g. on sites such as bandcamp, where one can directly sell one’s music all over the world. On the other hand, one also has to assume the whole responsibility of the band’s “management”. You have to work on it, believe in it and take a leap of faith. Over the last years there is a heavy rock breakthrough here in Greece. Many zines have named you as a heavy rock band. To me you have some main differences from the classic heavy/stoner rock genre. What is your opinion? We don’t really identify with labels when making music.
Combining different influences just comes naturally. We consider “Heavy Rock” a broader term which can encompass facets of stoner, metal, grunge, punk ,postrock/ post-metal, psych-rock – you name it! We just want to play music that we’d like to listen to! You have an upcoming EP in the near future. Am I right? More info please. We are currently working on 5 new songs, some of which have already been on our set lists for months. Our goal is to release the EP sometime in the beginning of 2014. The only sure thing is that you’ll hear a lot of new elements in our music, since we have three new guys in our line-up. You have been announced as the Headliners in the third day of the upcoming Defcon festival. Any other tour plans? We don’t think of it as headlining, all of us are underground bands, we have shared the stage with most of the other bands and we definitely will share it again in the future-the schedule of appearance isn’t that important. We’re really grateful and excited to be participating in one of the most important underground festivals in Greece and sharing the stage with good friends. We definitely look forward to it! The message to the fans is this: “Show up early, support all bands!” As for other tour plans, we didn’t have the chance to gig as much as we wanted to over the summer due to the drummer change. We hope to catch up later, especially touring outside of Athens. The last words are yours. Thank you for your time and the space in your magazine and your interest in underground music. See you soon at a gig!
64 Asking Alexandria - From Death To Destiny The third studio album of Asking Alexandria “From Death To Destiny” is maybe one of the best albums the band has ever released! It’s most rewarding to watch young people finding their way to the top. “From Death To Destiny” is more radio-friendly than its predecessors. It’s a heavy, aggressive and metal album with a mature-ish sound. Asking Alexandria’s album opens up with “Don’t Pray for Me”, which features an audio-sample, where the audience argues with drunk Danny Worsnop; this audio was actually recorded during a live show in Seattle – yes, it’s part of a dispute between the crowd and Danny – where the vocalist was too drunk to perform… Danny Worsnop has a great voice, besides his extensive problems with vocal injuries a few years ago and recently with alcoholism, and fortunately he made some changes in this album that resulted in a more mature sound; his vocals evolved from harsh to more aggressive and less brutal while Ben Bruce provided the backup vocals. Lyrically, Asking Alexandria are more mature as well. The lyrics are less self-centred, without constantly referring to drug abuse and partying… However, the song “White Line Fever” is about cocaine addiction; for the record, the band employed a Christian chorus group, called Greater L.A. Cathedral Choir that later quit, when they realized what they were singing about!!! In this album, Asking Alexandria managed to combine and mix metal sound with new metalcore and electronic elements. En bloc, Asking Alexandria’s new album features new elements and proves the band’s steady and continuous improvement over the years. I can’t describe it as perfect or awesome but it’s a really good effort and you should listen to it! Sissy Fanouraki Carcass - Surgical Steel In my opinion Carcass is one of the most underrated bands of what we the metalheads call extreme metal sound. Lots of people from the metal audience will agree with these lines, I am pretty sure about it. To me “Heartwork” stands next to Death’s “Symbolic” and “At the Gates’ “Slaughter of the Soul” as one of the ultimate death metal classics in the genre’s entire history. So we reached 2013 and seventeen years after the release of “Swansong”, the British band will have pretty soon (on September 13) a brand new album hitting the store shelves. Even though Michael Amott is not a Carcass member anymore, Jeff Walker and Bill Steer, the masterminds of the group, are here to prove that they still have interesting things to say and unmemorable melodies to play. The album was produced by Colin Richardson and mixed by the magical hands of Andy Sneap. “Surgical Steel” has a surgical accuracy in the construction of the songs. Innovative technical melodic death metal! These are the five words, enough to describe the new Carcass Anthem. The opening instrumental intro “1985” has an Iron Maiden sense that runs through the whole album. Jeff Walker’s necro-rotten vocals set the haunting scenery, where the cynical lyrics of Carcass and the sharp riffs of Bill Steer take your breath away! “Cadaver Punch Conveyor System” and “The Master’s Butcher Apron” are a marriage of melody and brutality, bringing headbanging to us all. The guitar-play of Carcass is monumental, while the new drummer Daniel Wilding fills Daniel Erlandson’s shoes. The classic Carcass repertoire meets an Iron Maiden approach on guitars on “Surgical Steel,” while brutal breakdowns and blastbeats are hidden behind the curtain! I had to go to the last track of “Surgical Steel” in order to find my favorite track: “Mount for Execution” a true Carcassian opus. Feel free to cut yourselves with this “Surgical Steel” folks! Spiros Smyrnis Ulver - MESSE I.X-VI.X Words are not enough to describe Ulver’s music: Ever-changing, ever-experimenting, everexploring new boundaries or, should I say, ever destroying barriers between musical genres because labels and genres as defined by the music industry are simply not enough for them to express their exceptional talent. No wonder why each album of the Norwegian Wolves is another magical trip to the depths of the darkest side of our souls, a unique ode to melancholy and despair. As for their latest opus, MESSE I.X–VI.X, it’s the ultimate proof that those extremely talented individuals are capable of creating masterpieces no matter what the dominant musical elements are. This time, the band worked together with The Tromsø Chamber Orchestra, creating a work of art which combines orchestral music and haunting electronic and ambient sounds; The album almost lacks vocals, except for very select moments, such as in the track “Son of Man”, where Rygg laments “What kind of choir of angels will receive us?” sending chills down our spine. The “alive” instruments of the orchestra are entwined with the “dead” electronic beats, creating a unique outcome of absolute perfection, where more peaceful and “relaxed” moments give their turn to powerful crescendos, a fine marriage (not of heaven and hell this time), but of classical music and Ulver darkness. The compositions are inspired of the dark days we currently live in, reminding us of the events in Lebanon and Syria, as well as of the days of crusades of old. The sound and production (professionally attended by the band itself) are state-of-the art and crystal-clear and they provide the optimum outcome in an album that is set to haunt you till the end of your days. No exaggeration there: The excellent structure and the inventive, absolutely brilliant soundscapes are new forms of expression not only for the band itself, but also in music as a whole. Saying that this masterpiece is one of the best albums of the year would be a huge understatement: No, it’s a timeless and priceless masterpiece, creating a trailblazing musical path of its own! Marianna Kofinaki
65 Ashes Of Ares Ashes Of Ares Ι Think I was thirteen years old when I bought the legendary Iced Earth live album, “Alive in Athens”. Back then, John Schaffer’s guitars addicted me to Iced Earth, while Matt Barlow’s vocals made me choose him as my favorite heavy metal singer. Nowadays, after a brief Iced Earth reunion, Matt took a new step in discography, accompanied by another ex Iced Earth member, Freddie Vidales on guitars, bass while the drummer-monster, under the name of Van Williams (ex-Nevermore) is sitting behind the drum kit. This supergroup (I know bands hate the term, but sometimes is the exact one you should use to describe projects like Ashes of Ares) chose the name Ashes of Ares and they are to release their debut album via Nuclear Blast in September. Recorded in Tampa-based “Morrisound Recording” studios together with producer Jim Morris (Iced Earth, Kamelot, Morbid Angel), many of us could expect an album that sounds close enough to Iced Earth recordings. Hopefully, the self titled debut of and Matt Barlow and his gang is not an Iced Earth “replica”. Of course, there are some sound similarities with Matt’s previous band, however Ashes of Ares sound even heavier. As the singer himself stated in Nuclear Blast press kit “Some of the topics are good and evil, life and death, betrayal, victory, loss and defiance. In short – pure heavy fuckin’ metal!” Heavy guitars, classic metal riffology and N.W.O.B.H.M solos are sprayed through the album while “Move the Chains” and “What I am” have the quality of becoming radio hits and I don’t say that in a bad way. However, “Punishment” stands out as my favourite track featured in the album, with the bombastic Manowar-ish drumming of Williams. Matt’s performance is ass-kicking and I have the feeling that these guys enjoy the recordings as we enjoy the listening! Spiros Smyrnis
Fleshgod Apocalypse - Labyrinth Fleshgod Apocalypse’s previous album led to the enthusiastic praise of many headbangers all over the world. The band’s third full-length studio album proves that they are here to stay. Labyrinth is a concept album, which deals with the myth of the labyrinth of Knossos in ancient Greece. Apart from the artistic concept, this title fits perfectly with the
Turisas - Turisas 2013 It took me several minutes to realize that I was listening to Turisas’ new album… ‘Clearing’ my ears and letting my thoughts out of the box, I managed to listen to it and actually write about it! Although it has some classic folk metal Turisaslike elements, it features a completely different sound; less folk but more melodic elements, power-ish sound and ‘theatrical’ choruses. Maybe it isn’t as heavy, power and folk as expected; anyhow, I really enjoyed listening to it! After all, it didn’t remind me of Turisas previous sound that much so... “For Your Own Good”, the 1st track of the album, has nothing to do with old Turisas. I thought I was listening to a movie soundtrack; jazzy at first, but then it becomes more and more metal. “Run Bhang-Eater, Run!” had some ‘peculiar’ folk-is rhythms that actually ‘smack’ my mind’s eye to create a story – well, the woman’s moans of having an orgasm where well-received!!!! The tracks I enjoyed the least were “Greek Fire” – boring – and “No Good Story Ever Starts With Drinking Tea” – punk-ish alcohol anthem, which reminded me of Korpiklaani!!! I was surprised that lyrically the themes didn’t remain similar to typical Turisas; drinking, brotherhood, ride into the gallops of battle. Mathias Nygård managed to pose questions regarding freedom and culture instead! The track “Piece By Piece” talks about the Scandinavian social democracy that copes with immigration. Turisas keep many of the epic elements featuring tons of theatrical attitudes, orchestrated with minimalistic keyboard sounds, enriched with violin solos and lots of melodic riffs remarkably mixed with power metal elements. Generally speaking, I was a bit disappointed by “Turisas 2013”. Nevertheless, if you listen to the album without knowing that it’s a Turisas one it would be better to think of it as a soundtrack of an epic B-movie or a theatrical act. Regardless of what I think of Turisas’ new album, I would love to see them all dressed up and painted in red and black. Sissy Fanouraki
music material featured. Fleshgod Apocalypse’s music is some kind of a labyrinth indeed, in which you get yourself lost, while a feeling of getting hit by a tornado takes you in the end. My attention has been drawn to the fact that the guitar riffs are playing an equal role with the orchestral parts. Of course, the bombastic rhythm section of the entire album is a direct attack to your ears, without showing any sign of mercy. This fact, together with Tommaso Riccardi’s demonic vocals, makes the listener literally suffer. Furthermore, the dramatic soprano Veronica “ValchiRea” Bordacchini offers some haunting backing vocals, as well as some amazing guest lead vocals (Towards The Sun, Warpledge, Epilogue). In 2011, the pianist and orchestrator Francesco Ferrini joined the band as a permanent member and that has been one of the band’s biggest advantages ever since.
Why? Just check out Pathfinder and Labyrinth and you will certainly understand why! The listener takes just a short break to “take a breath” with Prologue, only for a few minutes, since Epilogue grabs you again and put you back in the “labyrinth”. To sum up, Labyrinth is an album that you should listen on the highest possible volume. I think that Fleshgod Apocalypse kept on experimenting in their previous studio albums, but with Labyrinth they finally found their sound, their style and themselves in general. Maybe this album would sound a little bit extravagant to some fans’ ears. However, this is exactly what Fleshgod Apocalypse are: A pandemonium of different elements being blended together. Korina P.
66 Tarja - Colours In The Dark Through the years, Tarja Turunen has been struggling to find her musical identity. It seems that with her new album, Colours In The Dark, the Finnish siren has finally found her own musical path. The album opens with Victim Of Ritual, which is also the first single. The entire track reminds of the classical anthem Bolero; Tarja did that on purpose, in order to bring her classical background into this album and make the whole track sound more theatrical in a way. 500 Letters features a rather personal story, since Tarja wrote this song for stalkers. Lucid Dreamer is next and, despite the amazing vocal melodies and the dreamy feeling from the middle and afterwards, it sinks. The use of strange effects is all over the album, something that could be a double-edged knife. Never Enough is a heavy song that has been already performed in her previous tour. Mystic Voyage is another dreamy and extensive track that Tarja wrote on her own, featuring lyrics in 4 different languages. This is one of the most beautiful songs Tarja has ever sung! In her cover on Peter Gabriel’s Darkness, Tarja sings in a really different and unusual way. She also co-wrote a song (Deliverance) with her orchestral and choir conductor James Dooley and the outcome is at least breathtaking. In Neverlight, which is the heaviest and guitar-driven track of the album, Tarja collaborated with Jesper Strömblad (ex-InFlames). Another musical collaboration -with Poets Of The Fall this time- takes place in Until Silence, which is an extraordinary ballad track. The last track of the album, Medusa, is a magnificent duet with Justin Furstenfeld that closes the album in the best possible way. It seems that Tarja will keep her promise and will continue accompanying us until her last breath indeed. This is truly her best solo album. Korina P. Revamp - Wild Card According to Floor Jansen, a wild card represents the unforeseen and unpredictable factor which is spread out in the whole album. The artwork and the title make this quite clear to the listener: be prepared for what follows. Wild Card is not a typical album released by a female fronted band. In the studio, Floor’s bandmates did a supreme job with the keys and the guitars. Most of the featured tracks are guitardriven; plus, the listener is to listen to some traditional orchestral parts, pianos, loops, proggy elements, dancy and rather electro sounds. The drums sound totally natural and bombastic, wherever necessary. As for the bass parts, Johan Van Stratum (Stream Of Passion) joined Revamp in the studio and gave them a hand. Furthermore, all the harsh vocals -apart from the tracks that feature guest vocals- were performed by Floor and they sound totally awesome! Except for the trilogy entitled The Anatomy Of A Nervous Breakdown, which refers to Floor’s real-life burn-out, the album features some rather catchy tracks, such as Wild Card and I Can Become. In addition, there are certain tracks (Precibus, Nothing, Amendatory), in which Floor demonstrates her ability to switch from one singing style to another. In fact, all the vocal lines of the album are not commercial and they fit perfectly with the riffs and the music. As for the choir parts, they are not extensive but nevertheless play a main role in the whole album; plus, they are quite different, as in this album the band collaborated with some metal singers for a change (Marcela Bovio and Daniel de Jongh contribute alongside Floor). It should be noted that all the Revamp bandmates participated in the writing process. Last but not least, Joost Van Den Broek did his miracle with the production and everything. This is a true masterpiece. Go get it immediately! Viktor Merit Murp - Broken Crayons EP This album review is kind of different compared to our other reviews, since the band consists of two children: Izzy (pronounced Isaiah) is the drummer and he is nine years old and Aaralyn (Izzy’s little sister), is the band’s singer and she is only six years old. The most impressive thing about this band is that they formed in the year 2010, when Aaralyn was three years old and she wanted to participate in the basement jams of her brother and her dad. Her voice is not “pop” oriented as you can imagine. Murp’s music style is deathcore/metalcore and the main theme is about zombies, lullabies and pain associated with brushing knotted-hair. As they are growing up, those kids explore themselves through music. Some of you may have seen their famous youtube video (that has almost 17 million views) of Zombie Skin at America’s got talent; this was the main reason that made me search for this band. I found their official website (http://www.murpband.com/), their official youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/wargasm123/) and I found out that I could preorder their first EP over the internet. On August 29, I received an email with the download link of Broken Crayons. The digital copy of Broken Crayons features the three famous America’s Got Talent Songs (Zombie Skin, Lullaby Crash and Dog Poop) plus one more (Old Butternickel) which is new. The quality of the digital copy is amazing and the voice of Aaralyn sounds even better. Concluding, if you have five bucks to spend, go get the album. In the world of Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, a band like Murp proves that the future is metallish. It is up to you if you want to become a Murpster. Sotiris Stilianos
Karolina Pacan ‘’Real Friend’’
Many of you have wondered of how you can recognize a real friend. Does someone like that exist? Well, yes they do exist, but none of them is wearing a “real friend” badge. A… Real friend will always be there for you when you need so, and when you don’t need, he will be there too :) Real friend will support you the way you are, will not try to change your ways but he will tell you when something is not very right :) For a real friend, the important thing is You and not how many things you achieved in your life ;)
Real friend is able to see your personality, not your wallet. Real friend doesn’t believe in rumors but will ask you what’s real and what’s not. Real friend will tell you when something is wrong instead of being silent for the next two weeks. Real friend will show you that there is a rainbow after the storm :) It is true that a real friend is very hard to find, but when you find it, take care of him because one day, when you will be sad around 4 am, your real friend will be the only one who will come to you without any hesitation ;)
Honoré Fragon They say “art works in mysterious ways”… or is it love? Anyway, you all have seen many forms of art, most being inspired by the environment, sometimes by emotions and imagination, or by a time reference, past, present or future. Looking into the triggers of art you will notice that the usual suspect is … Death. And how can you tell it is art? You have to see it in a museum! I will take you to the Musée Fragonard d’Alfort, a most known corpse museum, an undertaker’s paradise, which includes the exhibits of Honoré Fragonard. A surgeon of the 18th century, cousin of the famous painter Jean- Honoré Fragonard, and cofounder of the first veterinary school in Lyon, he did not become famous as a vet (so don’t expect to see the bios of animals he attended that died of old age). What he did was that becoming one of the most known creators of écorchés. You probably have seen such, in the form of research of scientists of that age, like in Da Vinci’s anatomy notes, being the result of human and animal body analysis, but Mr. Fragonard gave it an unprecedented three-dimentional perspective. He perfected techniques of preserving his flayed figures, with an outcome you have never seen before! The samples include cadavers, animal skeletons, dissections and other anatomical oddities. The detail is amazing, since the originating material is the corpse itself. The process for those magnificent and grotesque samples is described briefly in seven rituallike steps: 1) Incisions: The body is first incised in certain points to empty part of its blood. 2) Heating: It is then placed in baths of hot water, so that the skin softens and it reaches a temperature suitable for the injection of the products used in preservation. 3) Injection: Fragonard prepares mixtures of mutton tallow (animal fat used for making soap), pine resin and essential oil, which is injected into the vessels to be: For tinted red for the arteries, the injection of the mixture was done using a cannula implanted in the heart. For tinted blue for the veins, the liquid is injected at various points on the periphery of the body. 4) Dissection: Once the arteries and veins are revealed, the anatomist could begin the dissection he wanted to highlight. 5) Dehydration: The body is then immersed in a bath of alcohol, and then placed in a wooden box, in which it was held by cloth and needles. The evaporation of the alcohol dries the muscles and the body is frozen in a particular position. 6) Coloring: The colors of the blood vessels are enhanced, in order to be more distinguishable. The arteries are then painted red and the veins blue, according to the distinct color code commonly used in anatomy. 7) Varnish: In this last step, which is essential for the preservation of the body, the cutaway is coated with a varnish, providing protection against insects and especially against Dermestre bacon larvae, a beetle feeding on carcasses of animals and dried flesh. So what you have is a huge collection of statues that originate from actual human or animal bodies, which not only were firstly used for anatomy lessons in school, but also for theatrical effects. From what we know, he had prepared and preserved more than 700 such bodies, only 21 of which remain for display in the museum. The most famous of those are: The Horseman of the Apocalypse - based on Albrecht Dürer’s print, it consists of a man on a horse, both flayed, surrounded by a crowd of small human fetuses riding sheep and horse fetuses, The Man with a Mandible - inspired by Samson attacking the Philistines with an ass’s jaw, the Dissection of a human arm - a teaching exhibit, with muscles and nerves separated, and blood vessels injected with coloured wax (blue for the veins, red for the arteries). The actual materials that he used for the job never became known to the scientific world, arousing a grand mystery on how on earth the exhibits did remain intact for over 200 years!... After his dismissal from the Vet School in Lyon (he was at the time considered a madman!), he continued his art from home, serving the contemporary art anxieties of the rich, by preparing dissections for the aristocracy and making a living out of it. Twenty years later, he began an inventory of anatomical collections in order to bring in a National Law of Anatomy. They were finally dispersed in various museums and private collections, hense it is not possible today to trace them. Don’t miss the chance to visit the museum in Paris and my advise to you bursters out there, keep in mind that twisted thought can create greatness we can learn from. And please don’t try this at home, for the shake of animals… and people.
Written by B|S|Orestis
70 stand by each other and face the Apocalypse? Well, who cares? During the last years, Judd Apatow has brought forth a new kind of comedy: Wasted characters under awkward situations, who are getting through one way or another. Funny scenes, sexist jokes, drugs and a new team of comedians. If you are not familiar with this recipe, then you may want to avoid watching this. This is the End, combines all the elements of movies such as Pineapple Express, Superbad, Knocked up, etc. However, this time the actors are not portraying any nerdy or failed guys, they are just playing themselves. By trying to satirize Hollywood system and gibe their faults and the stuff that has been written By Aggeliki Rouska This Is the End (2013) for them from time to time, they are making the misPhoto © 2013 - Sony Pictures take of taking themselves rather too… unseriously. You may feel that these guys are like you (or that I’ve been trying to avoid writing a review for this movie but it you are like them), you will laugh on some scenes uttering “what seems I cannot do otherwise: It was my choice for this month an asshole!” because someone is acting stupidly, but from some and unfortunately it proved to be the wrong one. point onwards it is way too much. I do not know when much became an essential part, but, this time this ‘muchness’, which is Although I am very fond of the cast and I do not miss most of used to provoke, fails horribly. You have seen it before, you know their movies, this one was not what I expected to be. it; it does not give anything more than tediousness. Jay Baruchel visits his fellow Seth Rogen in L.A. They are preparing to spend some time together and have the wildest burnout. They go to a celebrity party hosted by James Franco and, while Seth and his fellow actors are having a blast, smoking, drinking, doing drugs, Jay is constantly bitching about being uncomfortable and not fitting with these guys. All of a sudden, an earthquake happens! Blue beams fall from the sky, explosions are heard and fire starts consuming what used to be Hollywood! During these events, the guests start fleeing in panic; many of them die and in the end five guys remain hidden in the almost wrecked Franco’s house: Seth, Jay, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Craig Robinson and Danny McBride are waiting to be rescued. But will these guys
Of course there are some funny moments, especially the Pineapple Express sequel, but the one person that saves the day while he is on screen, is Danny McBride. If you have watched Eastbound & Down, you will see Kenny Powers all over him; from the way he walks till the way he eats fresh meat, Kenny Powers is there. It is amazing how a project full of comedians is rescued by one man and most of the interesting parts are those with the cameo roles. Funny and unfunny, I cannot vote it for the comedy of the summer… nor of the year. Totally indifferent. I have definitely not stopped hearing about Aniston’s striptease, both the outcome of a well-placed marketing strategy for, unfortunately, a failed product.
We’re the Millers (2013)
By Aggeliki Rouska
Photo by Michael Tackett – © (c) 2012 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Another hit of the summer; actually another “summer comedy”: After the highly praised Seth Rogen’s “This is the End” (actually it was), comes another equally praised movie, starring Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis. “We ‘re the Millers” is following a dysfunctional made-up family, who tries to transport a huge quantity of weed from Mexico into the U.S. Small-time pot dealer David is forced by his boss to go to Mexico to collect the “stuff”. In order to make his plan work, David requires the assistance of a broke stripper, Rose, a runaway teenage girl, Casey, and his teenage virgin neighbor, Kevin. They will pretend to be a family, the Millers, who go on vacations to Mexico, so in this way they will not raise any suspicions during the customarily investigation at the border. I have not stopped reading positive things about this movie and Burst www.burstzine.com
Unfunny, uninteresting, unbalanced, while, at certain points, I could hear Nanny Fine’s distinctive voice exclaiming “Booooooriiiing”. Extremely long scenes, with indifferent discussions between the characters occupied the biggest part of the movie, while the action was almost absent, embraced by a hasty type of humor and jokes. I think I managed to laugh one time only; except for that, I had the look of a cow. I couldn’t believe that they are still making movies like this one. Come on, seriously? We have to pay… FOR THIS? Why did it get a release date in the first place? Even the striptease scene was a great turn-off. Try and picture Kim Basinger on Nine ½ Weeks or -even better- Demi Moore on Striptease. Yep, that was the fun side. The other side is Jennifer Aniston. I don’t think she could have screamed more “Let’s get on with it!”. Even Miley Cyrus’ performance at MTVA was hotter than this. “We ‘re the Millers” is definitely a movie that by no means should be viewed on the big screen. The best time for watching it is on a Sunday afternoon (after family lunch), where you are lying on the couch and you are ready to drift off to sleep. A small note: In case you are wondering who Casey is, it’s Nickelodeon’s star Emma Roberts (Unfabulous), who is making her own way to the film industry. You will hear more about her soon as she stars together with James Franco in “Palo Alto”, directed by Gia Coppola.
71 and her two nephews, while trying to start a new life. Through a series of flashbacks, we see the contrast between the two different social classes, Jasmine’s glamorous life with her husband in New York and the humble working class life, next to her sibling in San Francisco. Will Jasmine manage to ‘survive’ in a world totally different from the one she used to live? In this movie, the dreamland bubble, to which Woody has accustomed us, pops and we land in the real thing. Human drama has the leading role. The portrayal and the disordered psychology of a modern tragic heroine who, despite the degradation and the humiliation she has suffered, she tries to keep her elegance and dignity. The riveting Cate Blanchett in an outstanding performance -for many her best(smells like Oscar) makes you sympathize a character which, prima facie, is negative and snobbish. But By Danae Christopoulou Blue Jasmine (2013) she will make you stick to her fragile, human side Photo by Merrick Morton – © 2013 - Gravier Productions, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics when her whole life is destroyed and she tries to get over the nervous breakdown through alcohol and If you are one of those who are expecting that the annual meeting pills. Although Blanchett is stealing the show, the rest of the cast with Woody Allen in cinemas will be another romantic comedy, is also very intriguing. I couldn’t really imagine those -caricature then a surprise awaits you, a pleasant one. For goodness sake, I yet real- characters being embodied by anyone else but the actors don’t hold anything against Woody’s comedies; on the contrary that are already selected. I’m a big fan! Anyhow, the 77-years-old director’s new work, this time a drama, exceeded all expectations and for many is consid- “Blue Jasmine” may give you the blues and leave a bitter taste, ered as one of his top movies. but you’ll come across scenes with the ‘lighter’, comic touch of the After the last years’ tour in European cities, Allen returns to America. The heroine, a spoiled middle-aged woman named Jasmine (Cate Blanchett), is enjoying her luxurious life in New York: Expensive designer clothes, social parties, a -seemingly- happy marriage. However, in a blink of an eye everything is lost, when a financial scandal sends Jasmine’s husband, Hal (Alec Baldwin) in prison and Jasmine ends up broke and homeless. Her only solution is to resort to Ginger’s (Sally Hawkins), her sister’s small flat, which she will share with Ginger’s fiance (Bobby Cannavale)
director and the smart dialogues that will draw a smile on your face. And of course one more typical Woody Allen element, that never changes, is the soundtrack: once again the passionate jazz fan picked a number of masterpieces that embrace the scenes. Entertaining in its own way and definitely one of the director’s successful films (both critically and financially), “Blue Jasmine” is a film that, either you’re a Woody Allen follower or not, is worth watching!
tunity in this story, to write the break-through article of his career. His research, sometimes with unorthodox methods, leads to Jim Grant, a defense attorney near New York. He turns out to be Nick Sloan, the main suspect of the band robbery and the murder. At that point, a multiple chase begins: Nick leaves his 11 year old daughter to his brother and tries to find Mimi Laurie, the last one fugitive of the bank case, as well as his former lover in order to prove his innocence. Meanwhile, Ben follows Nick and tries to explain his movements. FBI follows him in order to track down Nick, who always escapes. As the plot continues, Ben finds out a second secret Nick and Mimi share, which will lead to the final scene. Although it is a political thriller, it loses something of its original task someway in the middle. I liked Sarandon’s interview to Ben, where she explains the “WeathBy Eleni Lampraki The Company you keep (2012) er Underground” movement and the whole era and I Photo by Doane Gregory – © 2013 - Sony Pictures Classics also liked Ben’s internal conflict on whether to expose the truth or not. However, at some point, Redford The “Company you keep” is Robert Redford’s latest film, a political thriller about one of America’s favorite themes, Vietnam and (producer, director and protagonist) lost the balance between anti-war movements, and, to be more specific, about “Weath- the political and the personal aspect of the film. The conclusion is er Underground”, the American radical left organization in the about the anti-war hero and the non-conformist versus the figure of the affectionate parent. I understand the conflict between the 1970s. The film begins with a narration and an old TV document of the two, Nick changed his mind, Mimi not, but I do not find adequate Vietnam era; it focuses on a bank robbery and the murder of a the explanation of the finale. It’s not about the good and the bad, security guard back in 1980. The four suspects were never caught but I believe all heroes needed a deeper portrayal. and remained fugitives with different identities. Thirty years af- Anyhow, it’s a nice movie for an open air theatre and a beer, ter, Sharon Solarz, one of the four, decides to reveal her identity but no way a political drama like “Deer Hunter” or “Apocalypse and be arrested. The spotlight turns to the old story, and all other Now”. Plus, Redford seems too old for an eleven-year old daughmembers must face the consequences. At the same time, a young ter, a grand-daughter maybe? I’ll take “Three Days of Condor” or reporter of a local newspaper, Ben Shepard, finds a great oppor- old “Great Gatsby” instead. Burst www.burstzine.com
An Englishman in Hollywood by spiros smyrnis
74 I think I was sixteen, maybe fifteen years old when I was standing in my neighborhood’s video store trying to find a movie for my Saturday evening. There was a tall guy working there who knew me, because I was spending most of my free time there. “Did you watch this one by any chance?”, he said to me passing a copy of Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels(1998). “No man!” I answered back. Just a moment, is Vinnie Jones on the front cover? Yeah, this is the English “Pulp Fiction” man… And Vinnie Jones starring in it? I should definitely watch it. I was a football fan of this angry, bad tempered dirty bastard called Vinnie Jones when he was a Wimbledon and Leeds United player. I was waiting for a few friends of mine to watch “Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” but unfortunately they didn’t come. Screw them! I said out loud, even though I didn’t mean it. I’ll watch it by myself. 102 minutes later, I had found one of my favorite movies. I rewind the VHS (yeah we didn’t have DVD’s or BluRay’s back then) so I could write down the Director’s name: It was Guy Richie, born on September 10 1968 in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, England. The spouse of Madonna, said a friend of mine when I referred to Ritchie. Well let’s clear some things out, Guy Ritchie, despite being one of the smarter directors of his generation, had a “flaw”: His wife was much more fa-
mous than him. I’m sure that Madonna was the one leading him to present us all one of the worst movies in the history of cinema, “Swept Away”, in which she also starred, just to make things worse. Anyhow, let’s leave this unfortunate collaboration aside and some bad decisions Richie made when he was married to the ultimate pop icon named Madonna. As it was written at the back of my DVD copy, Streetwise charmer Eddy walks into the biggest card game of his life with 10,0000 of his own and his friends’ money. But the game is fixed and Eddy ends up owing half a million to a porn king and general bad guy called Hatchett Harry. Eddy has a week to come up with the money before he starts losing his fingers to Harry’s sinister debt collector, Big Chris (Vinnie Jones) unless he can persuade his dad (Sting played the role of Eddy’s father much better than he sings) to hand over his beloved bar instead… Or maybe Eddy and his mates can come up with a better plan. The virile foursome keep on being focused on the big grab, even though when all hell breaks loose around them. Lock Stock was loved much more than a cult film for his clever, sharp dialogues, the underground characters, the amazing soundtrack (the scene with I wanna be your dog in the card game, could be the best video-clip ever shot) the worldwide introduction of
Jason Statham and the cynic sense of humor (the dildo plan by Dexter Fletcher is to me the best plan ever told on the Big Screen). Despite Richie’s first film success, his second attempt on cinema was even better for me. “Movie of the Year” wrote the Sun, “A barrel of fun, even better than Lock Stock) wrote the Daily Express. Snatch (2000), ladies and gentlemen! In the heart of a gangland, two novice unlicensed boxing promoters Turkish (Jason Statham) and Tommy (Stephen Graham) get roped into organizing a rigged bar-knuckle fight with local kingpin villain and fellow boxing promoter, Brick Top (Alan Ford). However, everything goes wrong when wildcat Irish gypsy boxer, One Punch Mickey O’ Neil (Brad Pitt) starts playing by his own rules, so the duo find themselves heading for a whole lot of trouble. Meanwhile, Franky Four Fingers (Benicio Del Toro) and his stolen 86-carat diamond have gone missing in London. Head Honcho Avi (Dennis Farina) hires local legend Bullet Tooth Tony (Vinnie Jones) to find them launching everyone into a spiral of double crossing vendettas and events most of them illegal. Snatch started exactly from where Lock Stock … left us. If I were on Richie’s position after directing one of the most influential movies of the 90’s, then my answer would be Snatch
to those who questioned me. Edgy and ultra-fast editing, inspired dialogues, hilarious lines, Brad Pitt in a career performance, Vinnie Jones bad to the bone, dirty atmosphere, cool nicknames, the gangsta version of Zorba the Greek and continued upside downs fill in the Snatch blanks. After the economic and critic failure of Swept Away (2002), which everybody was watching wondering “where the hell’s Guy Richie talent”? Why God whyyyyyy - like Joey when he turned thirty on Friends- I screamed after the end of the film which described the very boring story of a snooty socialite, which is stranded on a Mediterranean island with a communist sailor. The film was a shitty comedy based on the Italian film of Lina Wertmüller back in 1974. Without nerve, without humor, without anything, this movie stunk Richie’s filmography once and for all. Everyone who saw that movie were left wondering how Madonna convinced him to play in his movie, almost destroying his career. Personally I didn’t lose faith on Guy, so Revolver (2005) made me a hardcore fan of his. Critics and audience snubbed that movie for the wrong reasons: They treated “Revolver” as an action film while it is a psychological one; that’s why it is the most underrated Guy Richie film. Jake Green (Jason Statham) was a convicted felon who, after seven years in the joint, he is finally free to live his life again. Two years after his release, he plans to seek revenge of Macha (Ray Liotta), who sent him in prison. Doctors tell him he has a rare disease and will die in three days; Macha also puts a hit out on him. Loan sharks, Zack and Avi, demand Jake’s cash and complete fealty in return for protection. Jake complies, and through narration and flashbacks, we watch him through at least three days of schemes, danger, and redemption. Who is his greatest enemy?: Probably himself. Smoke, cheap drinks, gambling, revenge, alter egos, fucked up lives. Richie took some criminals in order to deliver the most personal movie in his filmography dealing with modern psychology terms and
75 religious questions of who we really are: A nightmarish scenery of seeking our deeper self. All the die-hard Richie fans were thirsty for some real stuff like Lock Stock and Snatch. So Rock n Rolla is thy name (with the unforgettable music theme of The Subways’ Rock’n Roll Queen) and deceit is thy game. Gerald Butler, right after his Leonidas appearance, took the One Two role and got himself somewhere in London. The story goes like this “Lenny Cole, a London mob boss, puts the bite on all local real estate transactions. For substantial fees, he’s helping Uri Omovich, a Russian developer. As a sign of good faith, Omovich loans Cole a valuable painting, promptly stolen off Cole’s wall. While Cole’s men, led by the dependable Archie, are looking for the canvas, three
local petty criminals, the Wild Bunch, steal money from the Russian, by using inside information from his accountant, the lovely Stella. Meanwhile, a local drug-addled rocker, Johnny Quid, is reported drowned, and his connection to Cole is the key to unraveling the deceits and double crosses of life in the underworld.” The cool nicknames are back in the game, the deceit story is marvelous, the Supporting Actors are sterling (Tom Wilkinson, Tom Hardy, and, last but not least, Jeremy Piven), while the femme fatale (Thandie Newton) is as sexy as bad boys like and can handle alike. Richie, like a maestro, guides his actors with his baguette excellently. Paraphrasing Beastie Boys, “you have fought for your right to Rock n Rolla”. When I first heard the rumors
that Richie is about to direct Sherlock Holmes, I said hell yeah. We are finally about to see the ass-kicking version of the famous detective. Richie hit the bull’s eye with Robert Downey Junior in the leading role of Sherlock, associated by Jude Law as Doctor Watson. Sherlock is smart, arrogant, handsome and a great boxer. He likes solving crimes like filling in a puzzle. Inspector Lestrade is in need of his assistance to solve the mysterious case of Lord Blackwood’s resurrection. Sherlock is the right man for the job. With his partner Watson, they try to unravel the mystery and break some necks as well. This Sherlock played by Downey Jr. could easily be a lost Lock Stock character. The sequel of Sherlock Holmes is another funny and entertaining story about our beloved detective.
Sherlock and Watson join forces again and they finally faced the detective’s arch nemesis Professor Moriarty (played by Jared Harris). Stephen Fry (if you don’t know him, Google up this amazing British comedian immediately) took the role of Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s Brother, and we all lived in peace watching Guy Richie setting the Big Screen on fire. Thank God he divorced Madonna. We had been looking forward to Richie’s next step, titled the Man from U.N.C.L.E. Madames et Monsieurs, bow down before the coolest Englishman in Hollywood!
Written by Spiros Smyrnis
Well, do you feel lucky punk!? I won’t lie. First time I ever heard of that phrase, even though a little bit changed, was from Phil Anselmo’s mouth on “Walk” by Pantera. Later on I saw the classic “Dirty Harry” movie, starring Clint Eastwood. In my head, this movie is what we call the epitome of machismo! In the very same words I would describe Lucky Funeral’s debut album: the epitome of machismo! Man, this album would be the ideal soundtrack for “Dirty Harry” movie because “Lucky Funeral” is as badass as Clint Eastwood was in that film and, trust me, this ain’t easy. It was the crucial year 2008 when the self- titled Lucky Funeral album was released. If someone listens to this album I’m sure he will bet his arms on that the band that played that shit, which was the next best thing in stoner/sludge, coming straight from America. You lost the bet mate! The band didn’t grow up near Mississippi river but near Kifisos river, bitches! Plus, it sounds as heavy as one million crocodiles shuffling Burst www.burstzine.com
their feet. Sometimes the cover speaks for the album itself: Lucky Funeral probably features the best front cover in the history of Greek sludge/ stoner scene ever. But first things first: Let me introduce you Lucky Funeral, one of the most important bands in what we call heavy music. Quoting from the band’s official site: Lucky Funeral is a four piece band based in Athens – Greece, unleashed in the mid of 2007 and since then bonded over a shared musical vision. Band’s music resides somewhere between Rock & Metal, fueled by many progressive, sludge and Space Rock features, combined with extreme sounds. The band recently released their 3rd studio album, named ¨Find your Soul in Beautiful Lunatics¨ via their own label, Lychnopolis Records. Working on the album’s production for almost two years and adding ambient elements, including synths and samples, the outgrowth of this project harmonized music with the philosophical concept of the album, leading
to a modern Plato’s allegory. Over the past years, Lucky Funeral have released two full length albums, ¨Τhe Dirty History of Mankind¨ (Trendkill Records/Venerate, Athens Noise 2010), ¨Lucky Funeral¨ (Debut album, Trailblazer Records 2008), as well as several split vinyls. Lucky Funeral’s intensive work and persistence led them to perform in numerous live shows in Europe and Greece, counting 3 tours across Europe so far, 2 back in their homeland and numerous participations in European music festivals, such as Rockwave (Athens, 2012), B’estfest (Bucharest, 2012)and Devilstone (Anyksciai-Lithuania, 2012). Most of the time, the music speaks for itself but let me tell you a story about the first Lucky Funeral album: It is about some bad boys who get used to do bad things; that’s why we like them. The opening sample of “My Dealer is the Best” is enlightening. Marijuana never killed anyone!
Heavy as shit man, blessed by Down and Corrosion of Conformity, Lucky Funeral combined the Crowbar basics with Southern metal up-tempo rhythms. “Town” comes just before the ultimate Lucky Funeral song, called “Stay Away” where you have to be mute so that you cannot sing the chorus. Besides, “if you don’t like what I am” just stay away! This is the wisest thing to do ‘cause, as I’ve stated before, this music is for men. And cats! Mostly wild cats, like Babis the Stoned Cat, their instrumental opus. “Lucky Funeral” and “Blissful” wave at the American South and we stand with them by banging our heads. Be careful because this time it is serious! Leave your “Bleeding Thoughts” aside and enjoy the low bass-lines by Lizard, the ass-smoking guitars and the passionate performance by Mikebass. Take a rest for a while and light a cigarette. If you’re looking at a “Drunk Crocodile” too, then this shit is good! If I hurt you by any chance, “Please Forgive me for what I say. Don’t live me alone this hard time”
location: Herakledon 19, Thiseio tel: +302103424224 www.apsenticafe.gr email@example.com
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