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Inside This Issue: This Is: Dave McClain of Machinehead, From The Vault: Kirk Windstein of Kingdom Of Sorrow/Down/Crowbar, Artist Spotlight: Colin Underwood of United We Fall, Ten WORST Things to do During a Zombie Outbreak, Dear dead abby
This Is: Dave McClain of Machinehead Interview by Michael Demos It’s been 4 years since Machinehead has a headlining gig in the U.S. of their own, not that they’ve been slacking off though, let’s see…they’ve toured with a little band called Metallica, played every major festival known to man, and of course they released last year’s killer album Unto The Locusts. Machinehead is currently finishing up the last leg of their Eighth Plagues Tour, along with Suicide Silence and Darkest Hour, and getting ready to gear up to go to Australia. They’ll also be getting ready for the summer European festival circuit and they’ve already announced dates at Grasspop (Belgium), With Full Force (Germany), and Download (England). We talked to drummer Dave McClain about how the Eighth Plagues Tour has been going, what they’ve got coming up, what’s left on his bucket list, and his band is hungry like Metallica. Here’s what Dave had to say…M.D. PI: You are currently on tour with Darkest Hour and Suicide Silence. How is that going for you? DM: It’s going great. It’s our first headlining tour we’ve done in about four years here in the states and its going great man. The shows have been amazing; we’re playing a super long set, almost two hours a night. It’s a really cool show with us; we kind of took a smaller version of the stuff we had over in Europe with video stuff going on and really cool lights. We kind of wanted to continue what we were doing over in Europe in the states because we’ve never really been able to take a real show with us but the shows are going great. There’s a great turnout. PI: That’s definitely great news. Now, obviously, you guys are supporting 2011’s album Unto the Locust, that album is a little different; you have quite a bunch of songs that are pretty lengthy. How has everyone in the states been responding to that? Are they pleased? DM: People are diggin’ it. At the shows we play most of the record live and people know every song that we’re playing and are singing along. We definitely wanted to try something different than what we did on The Blackening. I don’t think we had a choice, after being 5 years separated from the writing processes, but people are diggin’ it. The record is very different in the sense that each song kind of stands on its own. There are all kinds of different stuff on the record and people like it. PI: I want to talk a little bit about the tour. You guys are doing something different there. You are doing The Faces of the Eighth Plague at each show. Can you tell us a little bit about how that came about? DM: We started playing that song maybe a little more than halfway through the European tour. We had videos playing during the song, just things that kind of went along with the meaning of the song. We had our film guy, Scott, go into the lines where people were waiting to get into the show and he had paper and a sharpie and was just writing down what people said Machine Head meant to them and it’s really cool. People were really responding to it and really wanted to be a part of it. For us, just seeing that every night almost chokes us up sometimes just to see what people write about our band and what it means to them. It’s a really cool thing and a great way to make our fans feel like they are a part of the show. PI: Machine Head has been doing this forever. You’ve been doing this forever. You’ve got this tour now, Australia soon, and you’re doing With Full Force, Grasspop, and Download this summer. Does it ever start to become a blur to you?
DM: There is definitely a block in a tour where someone comes up to you and says “Dude, remember when” and a lot of times you can’t even remember where you were or what you were doing three days ago. Everything kind of melts into each other but there is so much going on all the time and you don’t really get to go out and experience anything that would remind you of the city that you’re in. On tours like Mayhem, every amphitheater looks the same day to day and it’s not that it’s tedious or boring but, again, everything just kind of melts into each other. It’s definitely different when you get into the festival situation over in Europe because festivals like Download have its own identity so you tend to remember it a little bit more. PI: Speaking of Download, Metallica and Black Sabbath this year, right? DM: Yeah! (PI) You have opened up for Metallica before, right? (DM) Yeah, we toured for almost a year with them about two or three years back. PI: When you look back on Machine Head’s career, you have become more tight-knit over the years and it just turned into something huge. Do you find it easy to stay grounded, or is it easy to get swept up into this whole money thing? DM: It’s pretty easy for us to stay grounded. This band has gone through so many ups and downs, not that we expect bad things to happen, but we know now that when things are great, just soak it in. If things are bad you just gotta get through it. It’s not like we go around thinking we’re the shit, we still feel like we have so much to prove as a band, especially after touring with a band like Metallica. There are a bunch of bands that are doing really good… and then there’s Metallica. They are the Kings and they can literally play anywhere they want to play and sell it out and do whatever they want. Their still hungry to do stuff and they still have that in them and we feel the same way, we want more and more and we respect what happens to us. We take nothing for granted. PI: By being in Machine Head, have you crossed many things off of your bucket list? If you haven’t, what are you looking forward to doing? DM: Having our own private jet (Laughs). We got to ride in Metallica’s and it was pretty fucking awesome! (Laughs) To be honest, our band getting more and more popular is all we ever wanted and just to continue doing what we do and hoping to get a little bigger in the process. PI: When you get the chance to have some down time for yourself outside of touring, how long does it take for you to decide that you miss touring and want to go out again? DM: Two weeks (Laughs). I’m the dude in the band that is always ready to go and happy to be on the bus. I enjoy my time at home, but there is definitely a time limit on it where I’m just like “Okay, let’s get the Hell out of here and get back on the road,” you know? PI: With all the bands you tour with and support, who out there is making music or has a stage show that has you excited? Who are you listening to right now? DM: Right now, a band that I’m really excited about is a band called Ghost. They have really cool music, a great image and a cool show. They are really exciting right now. They are super nice guys and a great band. PI: I just want to say congratulations on all your personal accomplishments as well as Machine Head’s and I wanted to thank you for the opportunity to sit down and get Plug’d In with you. DM: Cool man, I appreciate it.
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Dear Dead Abby Abby was born and raised in the coal regions of Northeastern Pennsylvania. The oldest of eight, she constantly had her younger brothers and sisters asking her questions about everything from how things work to why that boy threw dirt on her. She’d try to steer them straight with her advice, though sometimes she could be a bit sarcastic. Abby also had an uncanny ability to see the truth in people, despite what they tried to portray with their lies. Unfortunately, this led the locals to believe that she was with surrounded with dark forces. The summer before her final year of school, Abby was sentenced to death by hanging, without a proper trial, simply stating that she was a witch. Abby can’t recognize the faces of her family through death, but she answers questions, thinking it might be one of her siblings needing her guidance. Q.I live in Detroit and things are bad here. I hate going to school because of all the fights. I turn 17 next month and I'm thinking about leaving school, packing up, moving to a new area, and getting a job. Any advice? M.C. A. Detroit or not, don’t do anything stupid like dropping out of school. You’re 17, so that’s what, one more year of high school? I’m pretty sure you can handle that. Apply for colleges or trade schools somewhere out of the area. Set things in motion for you to be able to get out of the area and better yourself. Q. This has to be the warmest weather for a winter here in NJ ever! What's going on? Is it global warming? W.W. A. Some believe in global warming, some do not. Yes, it’s been a nice mild winter, but that doesn’t necessarily constitute to global warming. A few years ago it was extremely cold. The autumn was extremely rainy. This summer will probably be extremely hot and humid. Many different things can cause the changes in the weather, though most people really don’t complain about a mild winter. I could use words like jet streams, trade winds, artic oscillation, and sunspot activity, but I can also tell you to Google it for yourself. Q. The whole "pink slime' thing in McDonalds food is disgusting! How can they get away with that? R.S. A. It’s McDonalds. They rule the world. Duh. Q. I find myself very attracted to you. Am i weird? Anon A. Yes. No. I don’t know. Who am I to judge? I’m a dead girl that gives advice to clueless teenagers. Q. Can you see where buried treasure is? J.S. A. Up your ass. Q. My girlfriend is a loser. She can’t keep a job and is a mess with $. Now we barely have sex. I keep trying to break up with her. Every time I do though, she gives me this huge guilt routine and I stay. I've had it! I'm thinking about just fucking one of her friends so it will be done for good. Advice? G.R. A. Don’t let the guilt routine make you stay. If you want to break up with her, do it like a man, not a skeezeball by sleeping with one of her friends. That will label you for life. Imagine what the next girl you date will think. Even if she says it doesn’t bother her, when you’re in a fight, it will always be in the back of her mind of what you did. Do yourself a favor and do it the right way.
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From The Vault: Kirk Windstein of Kingdom Of Sorrow/Down/Crowbar Interview and Photos by Michael Demos -Originally Published 08/21/11 PI: I’ve got to tell you, I wasn’t sure who we were going to be interviewing and when I saw you guys coming into the room I was like “this is going to be freakin’ awesome, I get to sit down with the “Beard of Doom”. We are sitting here in the press end at Mayhem Fest in Camden, New Jersey, how has Mayhem been for you guys thus far? KW: Really good! It’s hot as fuck but it’s a really good festival. It’s good for Jamey and I to be able to do Kingdom of Sorrow proper on this thing, you know, just do a real tour. We’re hitting everywhere in the U.S. and we did one show in Canada so it’s a really good chance for us to kind of re-launch Behind the Blackest Tears, which came out last year. It’s good. Good promotion, it’s fun, a lot of boring down-time, of course, but that’s what festivals are about. I’ve fiddled around on the computer as much as possible to waste time and once the day gets rolling its okay. Once I’m done with everything I can go check out some bands, unfortunately I can’t see any of the bands on our stage just because I’m working all day but last night I watched Godsmack, it was really cool. Tonight I’ve got some friends coming and I got me a ticket as well in the seats so I can be a fan and I’ll catch Megadeth, Godsmack sure, maybe Disturbed. PI: Are you promoting a lot of the Crowbar stuff this tour? KW: No, we’re doing one of his songs because the new record just came out. He wants to do a Crowbar tune and I’m like “No, let’s promote Kingdom of Sorrow”. I’ve got plenty coming up when I get home with Down. I just got back from Europe with Down before this started and as soon as we get home Crowbar plays in Fort Worth Texas, we have a show in Baton Rouge Louisiana the next day, and I start rehearsal with Down that week and leave for another tour. PI: 3 different bands; where do you find the creativity to fit in with each band? KW: I’m going through a really busy stretch right now a lot of times. but when I’m done with the Down tour, I’ll be home around September 25th. When I’m home from that I am off until we go to South America with Down in November and then I’m off until after the first of the year. During that time is when I’m home with family, just a regular guy cutting the grass, going grocery shopping, no partying, I don’t go to clubs and shit at all, I mean, I’m burned out all night, you know? I just chill with the old lady being a regular dude. PI: In the underground scene, is there any band you’re excited about right now? Are there any bands that you would personally listen to? KW: Ghost. I’ve got a song stuck in my head right now called Rituals. I can’t get it out of my head. I saw them at Download over in England only a little bit because I had a bunch of press, of course, but Down is taking out a band called In Solitude that’s also a Swedish band, different than Ghost, a little more metal but still old school so I like them a lot too. Right now, I’m kind of a big fan of the new wave or Swedish heavy metal. PI: How do you yourself get exposed to the new music? KW: I’ll just run into a band here or there, I mean, dude I’m 46 years old, so something like Ghost attracts me, it sounds like Merciful Fate meets Blue Oyster Cult meets 70’s, it’s like shit I grew up on. It’s difficult for me to get into like new death metal bands, they all play great but to my mindset I want choruses and melodies and Ghost has
that. All of my bands are heavy, but you gotta have hooks, you gotta have choruses, you gotta have shit you remember. I can’t understand one lyric of anybody but that’s just me, I’m old. Nothing against them, they are all great musicians and shit, but I’m old school. PI: Everything has changed in the industry over the years, the kids are different, everything has a sub genre, and it’s not just rock and roll anymore. What do you think about the direction metal has taken? KW: One side of me is really disappointed in it because it seems like bands these days just go “okay, we’re gunna rip-off this”. You ask a band “what do you all sound like, dude?” and they tell you a band. You’re not supposed to sound like a band, you’re supposed to have influence from bands but you’re supposed to create your own sound from those influences. But bands like Ghost and stuff like that renew my faith that there are bands out there that make new music and have it be something original and new and fresh. When I hear it I’m like “I can’t get the melodies out of my head”. I’m not just jumping on the bandwagon because I’m not that kind of guy, very few bands blow me away with what they’re doing. Stuff like Ghost and In Solitude is cool. I hope younger bands are influenced by that and realize that anybody can play 800 miles an hour, anybody can fucking scream like two cats being gang-banged by a knife, or something. Write songs bro. PI: Looking back throughout your career, one highlight and one thing you wish you could change. KW: I wouldn’t change anything man, maybe getting rich would be nice, but I really wouldn’t change anything because it makes me who I am and it’s what I’ve learned from. As far as one highlight, there were many. I’m blessed and I’m really lucky. Other than getting rich, I’ve been able to do everything I’ve dreamt of doing. Down supported Metallica on the first leg of the Death Magnetic tour. We had done some shows to gain support from Metallica in some stadiums in Eastern Europe, which was amazing, but doing the tour here in the round and all that shit, our tour ended in New Orleans at the New Orleans arena so that was probably the highlight because (James) Hetfield got up and played Bury Me In Smoke with Down, he really did get up there and play so that was a trip. Hometown crowd with 20,000 and not only am I opening for them, Hetfield is jamming with us. That would have to be the highlight. PI: There’s a bunch of kids here, it’s hot as hell outside, they’ve been waiting an hour and they want to see you and talk to you. Is there anything you want to say to them? KW: More power to you. Thanks for dealing with the heat every day, people are troopers man. They suck it up and go for it, it’s cool, so we’re looking forward to jamming today. PI: You guys got anything else? KW: Fortunately for me, I’ve been able to accomplish everything I want to accomplish in music and that’s saying a lot so I’m really blessed with that. If I quit tomorrow and go do something else, at least I won’t be one of those bitter musicians and I’m really lucky because there are so many of them but you can’t blame them in a way because it is a lot of hard work. People think it’s easy. I played my first show in 1980 at a school fair 31 years ago and I’m far from rich, trust me. I’m all good, I’m happy, I’m upbeat. All we want is a roof over our heads, a car that runs, food, you know, and all the simple things in life. PI: Kirk I want to say thanks so much for sitting down with us and giving us a chance to get Plugd In KW: I appreciate in man, thank you.
Artist Spotlight: Colin Underwood of United We Fall Interview by Michael Demos What’s not to like about United We Fall? They’re fun guys and lately they’ve been really stepping up their game. I first came across them last year when I was looking for an opener for our J.X.M.X. festival. I asked them to play and they really impressed me. Back then their set was mostly covers and since then they written a bunch of their own songs. Their live shows are very energetic and I’m excited to see what these guys will be doing in the future. I had a chance to talk to Colin Underwood, vocalist and guitarist, over the interweb recently and here’s what he had to say…M.D. PI: Colin, tell us a little about you. CU: My name is Colin Underwood, I am 18, and I am the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the band United We Fall. I perform with three of my best friends, Brian Erb, Carter Weitzel and Richie Clemens. PI: How long have you been with United we Fall and how did the band come about? CU: We are all the original members, which formed in July of 2010. We jammed on Brian’s back porch until it became a real 'band'. It wasn’t sought to be a big thing, just something to do at the time. PI: Where did the name “United We Fall “come from? What’s the meaning behind it? CU: Honestly, Carter used to carry his pedals in an old paper grocery bag that said ‘United We Stand’ on it. Brian jokingly put that name ‘United We Fall’ into the list of names and it stuck. We’re not majorly against the government, we don’t support anything outrageous like that, and it just appealed to us. PI: How did you come about playing the guitar? Do you play any other instruments? CU: I picked up the guitar through desire when I was 15 and I am completely self-taught. I found out later my grandfather had been a great guitarist before he passed. I play the piano for my own enjoyment too. PI: Who do you look up to as musical inspirations and why? CU: Jimi Hendrix and Kurt Cobain. Innovators of their times, simply put. Lyrically, Jesse Lacey of Brand New, is one of my favorite people ever. I attribute his style towards our latest music.
PI: Who writes most of your lyrics? Where does the inspiration for those lyrics come from? CU: I write the lyrics in the group. My inspirations come from things people can relate to…the struggles of man, love, living, drugs. I've had a pretty colored history since I was young, so I have a lot to write about, and people really relate to it. PI: What’s up with the beard? Is it true that’s it gives you superpowers? CU: It is pretty adorable, huh? (Laughs) I don’t know. My beard and my hair have always set me off from other lead singers in the area. It went from me being a lazy bastard to being the guy with awesome hair, so it stuck! And yes, it does give me many superpowers. PI: What band can’t you stand and why? CU: Nickelback. Because it’s Nickelback. I hope they see this. Fuck you Nickelback. PI: What was the best concert you’ve ever been to and why? CU: Recently, I’ve been attending a lot of major concerts, but my favorite will always have to be seeing Buckcherry with The Damned Things, Hellyeah and All That Remains with the guys in my band. Weirdest. Lineup. Ever. PI: Why should people check out your band? CU: We’re different… Insert generic statement. I mean it though. Our sound is unique, our lyrics are relatable, and our enjoyment is contagious. People come out to enjoy themselves and I love being able to share what I love with my best friends and with complete strangers. Supporting local music is crucial, especially in the times we are in now where the scene is dying. PI: What is next for United We Fall? CU: We've got seven shows in the next three months including performing with City Lights and Freshman 15 on March 9th at the Sherman Theater, so that's pretty exciting. We're looking to record sometime in the near future as well. PI; Thanks for sitting down with us and giving us a chance to get Plug’d In with you. CU: Thank you for having me!
Ten WORST Things to do During a Zombie Outbreak By The Zombiephile A wave of Zombie survival manuals have popped up recently, this one included, telling people what they should do during an outbreak of zombies. Thing is, nobody’s talking about what people shouldn’t do during a zombie outbreak. Fortunately for you, our Zombiephile has scoured popular zombie movies and has isolated the Ten WORST Things to Do During a Zombie Outbreak. Sit back, enjoy, and take notes, Zombiephiles. Ten WORST Things to Do During a Zombie Outbreak 10. Don’t set zombies on fire. Burning zombies smell terrible. Just what I needed zombies AND third-degree burns. We’re not sure why you see it in every zombie movie, but it stands to reason that the only thing worse than a zombie is a flaming zombie. Remember, it can take a long time for a zombie to burn to death – more than ten minutes, in some recorded cases. Do you really want a burning zombie lighting you and your friends on fire? Play it safe – chances are good that there won’t be much fire-fighting infrastructure in place during a zombie outbreak if things get out of hand. 9. Don’t get sentimental. Zombies won’t. Despite what it may look like, she's not coming in for a big zombie hug. Sure, it’s your house. Sure, they were your family and friends. But now it’s a zombie nest, and they’re zombies. Stick around, and your best chance is to become zombie food – worst case, you’ll end up a zombie like the rest. Zombies don’t have any feelings, neither should you. 8. Don’t forget to shut the door behind you. Zombies often come over without calling first. Now, I'm not saying it was you. I'm saying it was Ed. Were you born in a barn? Zombies might not be the brightest, but they know an open door when they see one. Keep your suburban zombie fortress secure by remembering to close and lock the door behind you. And don’t slam it either! Zombies hate that. 7. Don’t keep zombies in the basement, even if they are your zombie family. Actually, you probably shouldn't keep living family members in the basement, either. Devotion to family and friends is touching. However, you don’t want them to be touching you, after they’re dead. Do yourself a favor and make sure you put zombie friends and family down properly. Remember, there is no zombie cure, and keeping them around only prolongs their suffering and increases the risk for everyone. Besides, do you really want to get eaten by your buddies? 6. Don’t try to reunite with friends / family over long distances. Don't have a nice cup of tea and wait for this all to blow over. It's a rubbish idea. Seems like a great idea, doesn’t it? That’s what everyone thinks. Look, do the math. If you leave your house at noon, heading toward your mum’s, traveling 3 km per hour, and a crowd of zombies leaves the general vicinity of your mum’s at the same time, heading toward you at 1 km per hour, what time will you get eaten by zombies? Skip the math and consult rule #9.
5. Don’t go down. Zombies can go down too. Zombies can’t climb. You can. In light of this, why would you ever choose to go down, rather than up? Stay out of basements, gullies, sewers, and anyplace else that zombies might unwittingly wander / fall into and be unable to get out of. Remember, it’s unlikely that a human would be in a sewer, but zombies don’t care a whit about the smell. 4. Don’t broadcast your presence. Zombies may be listening. Zombies that still retain their ears have been statistically shown to have above-average recognition of bassline frequencies. If you absolutely must blast music while killing zombies, do it on your Ipod, and you might want to consider delaying that block party until after the zombie outbreak blows over. During a zombie outbreak, remember to turn your cell phone to vibrate – it’s only polite. 3. Don’t stand in front of the window. That’s just foolish. You’d think this one didn’t require stating, but apparently it does. Windows are an aesthetic defense against the environment, not protection against zombies and the living dead. Once you find your fortress, barricade the windows as quickly as possible and stay the hell away from them. Whatever you do, don’t deliver speeches with your back to them. 2. Don’t get too creative with zombie defense. Sure, chainsaw slits in your van seemed like a good idea at the time, before you filled your car with fumes and exhaust, passed out at the wheel and got yourself sawed in half. Well, ok, not sawed completely in half, but sawed mostly in half. The temptation to get very creative with zombie dispatching can seem almost unbearable at times, but when it comes to killing zombies, that old adage applies: Keep it simple, stupid! 1. Don’t be “that one asshole” in your group. Textual analysis of zombie movies has proven that “that one asshole,” a character ubiquitous in zombie and survival horror movies, only stands a 4.32% chance of surviving until the end of the movie. Later studies have challenged that figure, citing several movies in which “that one asshole” was one-upped by “the other, bigger asshole,” who then assumed “that one asshole “status. What do these figures mean? Being nice matters. To dramatically increase your chances of survival, make sure you always have “that one asshole” traveling in your party with you, otherwise you might end up playing the role of “that weak douchebag,” a similarly ill-fated character. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you believe you are already “that one asshole,” you should immediately leave your group. You might be able to pass as “that Kevin Costner anti-hero” if you’re traveling solo.
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