plug’d in magazine THE HARD ROCK’N BI-WEEKLY MAGAZINE...WITH ZOMBIES!
THE KOTTONMOUTH KINGS
Inside this issue
This Is: The Kottonmouth Kings, Dear Dead Abby,Artist Spotlight: Volpe Vetrano of Infernal Opera, Impact: An Afternoon Out With Alexis Brown of Straight Line Stitch, How To Deal With Your Family After Z-Day
This Is: The Kottonmouth Kings Interview by Vikki Sin If there’s anyone out there who doesn’t like the Kottonmouth Kings, I’ve yet to run into them- and for good reason. Who wouldn’t be down with a group of peace loving, pot smoking, party ready musicians that perform their asses off every goddamn show? Not to mention their eclectic and abundant mix of everything from soothing stoner anthems to upbeat club ready jams. I recently sat down with the Kings after their performance at Irving Plaza in New York City after one such show where they, once again, delivered an energetic and interactive set of what seemed like every song they ever wrote. The whole time they were onstage, an enthusiastic fan was trying to give Daddy X one of her bracelets. Once she got his attention, he put it on and took off one of his KMK armbands and gave it to her, prompting a reaction similar to someone giving a fluffy puppy to a sugared up 5 year old. It’s things like that that make the Kings everyone’s favorite underground rap act. Here’s what they had to say about their next album, favorite cartoons, and why the legalization movement still has a long way to go…V.S.
PI: You guys have a set date already for your next album “Mile High Club” (August 4th). I was looking at the preorders. Whose idea was it to put condoms and rolling papers in there? DX: D-Loc had the rolling paper idea and I had the condom idea. PI: What was the thinking behind that? DX: Safe sex. Mile High Club. While you’re high, you’re high and you have sex. It’s the mile high club. Good thinking right? Let ‘em have a good time all at once.
PI: That’s a long way away. With the way the industry’s going, where people aren’t buying music as much, do you feel like it’s a necessity to set things up like that to get people to buy your music? DX: Well, yea. We have to come up with innovative ways to package things and make fans go get the physical product, because obviously that still is how we make a living and piracy is so widespread there’s not much you can do about that. We try to make the actual physical product we put out, even the posters and the stickers, extra things just to make kids still want to feel and touch that product. The internet, in other ways, gets us exposure that we never got before. It’s all a matter of how you look at it. PI: You guys are ahead of the game because you have your own musical universe with SubNoize and SRH. Maybe when you started out you were like underdogs, but now you have the upper hand because you have your own selfcontained machine. DX: Kottonmouth Kings- we are in control of what everybody does. Like, if you go to KottonmouthKings.com, that’s kind of the center of our universe. You could find everyone’s solo stuff, all our social networking, all at KottonmouthKings.com. We give away Nug of the Week- a free song every week, video premieres, there’s the Kronicles, which has the news stories. Every day there’s news stories about what’s going on around the world with the legalization movement, in the music movement. So we try to keep that in a live and breathing entity at KottonmouthKings.com. It’s a real time website. You’ll see all of our tweets and our posts live as they go up. (Cont’d)
Everything’s live- real time. PI: You just came out with a cartoon, as well…”Welcome to Stonetown”. What was your favorite cartoon growing up? DX: I liked The Flintstones, Scooby Doo. What did you like, D-Loc? DLOC: The Simpsons, of course, that was big when that first hit the scene. South Park’s always a favorite. DX: I love Family Guy, now. That’s my favorite. Me and my daughter watch that all the time. PI: Do you honestly believe we’re moving toward legalization, even if Ron Paul gets in there? DX: It’s a complicated issue. There’s a lot of grey area with medicinal marijuana. It seems like every time we take two steps forward, the federal government knocks us five steps back, so I don’t see it being decriminalized nationwide for a long time. There’s only 14 states right now that even recognize medicinal, but there are some states, like if you look at Massachusetts, Philadelphia, Colorado, California- there’s a handful of states where just personal use, having up to an ounce is only a ticketable offense. I mean, that ticket sucks but at least it’s not jail, you know? So, the marijuana laws have come a long way since we’ve started as a group but we still have a long way to go. And Ron Paul’s not getting into office as much as I’d love to see that happen. (laughs) He’s got some great ideas. I like his tax ideas, of course his common sense approach to the war on drugs is just simple and plain. The fact that you could have the alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutical companies legal companies, but yet marijuana, the hemp, even industrial hemp that has no THC is outlawed is just- there’s reasons why and it’s far above like, those same people that keep that stuff outlawed are gonna keep those laws from ever passing. That’s why I say occupy your mind.
PI: People definitely need to educate themselves more. I think they are though. DX: Oh yea, I mean people are taking to the streets, right? People are in the Occupy Wall Streets all across the country, people are protesting everywhere. People are taking to the streets. The capitalist pigs that kind of run this fucking show have exploited people so bad there’s no other course but a revolution in the streets and that’s what’s happening in America right now.
PI: If there was anyone you could bring back and make into a hologram who would it be? DX: Bob Marley. D-Loc: My gramma. Biggie Smalls. Tupac. DX: They already thought of that. D-Loc: I know. Dirtball: Jerry Garcia, man. Definitely. Jimi Hendrix, for sure. DX: I’d really rather go back and watch video clips of them playing. I mean, it’s cool but if it just starts to become like a touring concept thing where these artists are coming around as holograms. I won’t be buying a ticket. PI: Are you guys looking forward to any music festivals this summer? I don’t know if you’re playing the Gathering of the Juggalos yet but anything you’d like to catch? DX: Well, you know, our good friend Bill Fold runs all the production for the Coachella music festival (Cont’d)
and matter of fact, little people know this but, the video we shot with Twiztid for a song called ‘Watch Out’- we put a free song out to promote the tour- and the video has the guy in the beard, like a serial killer? He’s the organizer of the Coachella music festival. That’s Bill Fold the Mangler. That’s his serial killer name. Yes, he has a hatchet tattoo and he throws the biggest music festival in the world. I wish we could have caught that, but we were on tour. We would have loved to have seen Dre and Snoop this year in California, but we watched on the internet. PI: What if you were offered a big mainstream tour with any rock artists, who would you pick? DX: I wouldn’t mind Green Day. PI: Thanks for giving us a chance to get Plug’d In! KK: Thank you!
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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.
Artist Spotlight: Volpe Vetrano of Infernal Opera Interview by Michael Demos PI: Tell us a little about yourself. How did you become involved with music? VV: I've been singing since before I could even talk! There are tons of family stories, photos, and video of me singing along to Italian music and whatever was on the radio as a baby...and as soon as I was able, I started putting on official "performances"standing on chairs during family gatherings, singing songs I had written on my own. I guess I have always had the bug. I was involved in music all throughout school- in choir, musical theater, solo operatic/classical competitions, founded the Sweet Out -of-Lines (a female barbershop group), and sang for local organizations, such as Veteran's groups. PI: Tell us a little bit about Infernal Opera. How did the band get its start and what's your role in the band? VV: It's kind of a long story! The band's original incarnation far pre-dates me. Over 20 years ago, the band got its start as EXIT. My drummer, Michael, was one of the founding members. He and the original guitarist re-united in 2009 after 16 years being out of the music scene. I joined the band in February 2010, originally as a back-up vocalist. The band had been doing mostly thrashy, aggressive music, and Michael was looking to add some ethereal, operatic vocals to the mix. When the lead singer had to be let go, it fell on me to take over the lead vocals last minute to play a show about a week later. What started as a temporary fill-in became permanent, and we finalized the lineup in May 2011. I am the lead vocalist and co-lyricist. This band is my first experience in metal, but I have been working at it for over 2 years now, and am still going. The band name changed to Infernal Opera, to more accurately represent our new sound. We are much more melodic now, more in the classic metal style. PI: By the time this publishes you will have just finished up the "Damsels Of Darkness" Tour. How was that? VV: It was a lot of fun! There were some great bands and people working on that tour, both in regards to talent and to personality. We played two of the shows, but attended several of them, and it was always a good time. The diversity of the female vocal styles was fun to see, as well. Right now, we are in the midst of another show series called Pure Metal Chaos, organized by Michael and Magnetar Media. It features bands that play in a similar style to us, and is billed as "an experience in traditional, power, and thrash metal." Our first show in that series was at Jimmy's Place in Allentown, courtesy of BizR Entertainment, and went extremely well! There were over 125 people in attendance. PI: Being a woman in Metal, do you have any female role models in music you look up to? What about male? VV: Oddly enough, I recently publicly ranted about this topic! My vocals are fairly diverse, ranging from the more extreme type to operatic, but the majority of my singing is done in a very classic power metal style. I find that there are just not many female main-stream vocalists who sing that way, so I do tend to defer to male singers such as Dio, Halford, and Dickinson to inspire me. For the other vocal styles, I love Alexis Brown, Alissa White-Gluz, Tom Araya, Doro, and King Diamond. PI: What bands have influenced you? VV: Definitely Dio, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, King Diamond, Mercyful Fate, Kreator, Slayer, Black Sabbath, Pantera, Queensryche, and so many more. My musical taste is diverse and I take bits and pieces from everywhere, I am always looking to learn and improve. However, I really think that my theater background, and the influence of that style of singing, comes through in my work with Infernal Opera. PI: Are you planning a career in music? If so, where would you like it to go? VV: I would love a career in music! It has been a dream of mine since childhood. Ideally, IO takes off and we are able to support all the things we want to do- record albums, tour internationally, all that fun rock-star (Contâ€™d)
stuff...and maybe even make a living from it! We are recording our first album at Brian J. Anthony Studios, to be released this summer, so hopefully that helps kick it off! PI: Tell us about some of the struggles you've encountered as a musician and band member and how you've overcome these struggles. VV: I think the main struggle I've experienced has come from a lack of dedication both within the band and in the scene. The lineup of Infernal Opera has changed several times, because members did not see eye to eye as far as what they wanted to accomplish, and what they were willing to do to reach those goals. In some ways, my experiences have shown me where the flaky, moody musician stereotype came from! But with lots of patience, and probably luck, we have finally found the right group of people for this band. The guys are all dedicated, talented, and just great fun to work with. There are no battling egos, we don't fight, and we all work for the good of the group. I am blessed to have my brothers! Currently we are working together to deal with the fact that we all come from different areas, covering 3 different states, to rehearse, record, and play shows. Derek, our bassist, is in Philadelphia; Aaron, our guitarist, is in Allentown; and Michael is in Delaware. Each of us commutes 6 to 10 hours per week just to rehearse! This is what I mean when I say "dedication." PI: If you could make your dreams come true...what would they be? VV: It is all about the music. I know they say that the days of the legendary bands are over...but to be one of them someday, to head up a new generation of metal gods and goddesses...that would be incredible! PI: OMG Fest is Saturday. Are you excited? VV: Yes! This is going to be huge, and combines two of my favorite things: music and video games. There are some awesome bands playing, two stages, lots of fun competitions and other entertainment. There will be something for everyone. We would like to thank JT Cage of No Remorse for the Fallen for putting it together, and inviting us to play. PI: A lot of people claim to "Support Local Music". Do you? If so, how? VV: Absolutely! That is one of the greatest ties that bind my bandmates and I. We are active supporters of the local scene, promoting and networking online as well as in the real world. We attend shows regularly when we are not playing, and when we do play shows, we stick around for all the bands. We buy merch, we promote others who support the scene, and I just launched a "bands supporting bands" carpool group, to help people actively support without breaking the bank or dealing with transportation issues. We are doing all we can to revive and create a true Metal Underground Network, and would like to thank those who are in this with us, including Bob of Power Theory, Dustin of Flesh Engine, Zeus of SickTrust, Black Fate and all who work with them, Skip of BizR Entertainment, Timm at Into the Pit Radio, Arctic Flame, and of course, our fans. Without them, we are nothing! PI: Thanks for sitting down with us and giving us a chance to get Plugâ€™d In. VV: Thank you again for interviewing me, I truly appreciate it.
Impact: An Afternoon Out With Alexis Brown of Straight Line Stitch Interview and Photos by Michael Demos Alexis Brown works hard. Tour after tour, city after city, there’s no denying that the vocalist for Straight Line Stitch has a busy schedule. So when we saw she was coming to Reverb in Reading, Pa we wanted to give her a minute to catch her breath. We decided to take her out for a bite to eat and to have a relaxing afternoon with her in the salon. Why the salon? Well, when you’re headlining a state to state tour, writing for your 3rd album, and waking up each day in a new city sometimes you just don’t get a chance to be a girl. We took Alexis and SLS’s merch girl Nadia out to get their nails done at the cool, boutique salon; It’s All The Rage Hair Designs, in Wyomissing, Pa. We had a nice, relaxing afternoon where we got to know one and another and talk about all the cool, behind the scenes things you normally don’t get to read about. Both Alexis and Nadia are really down to earth girls who were extremely grateful to have a minute to catch their breaths. The girls got a chance to get their nails done which is something they normally don’t do out on the road because of the physical demands of being on tour. Afterwards we went out for Sushi at a Chinese Buffet. The food was amazing and it was nice to have a quiet dinner. We talked to Alexis all afternoon and then we dropped her back off at the venue. It would be impossible to print the entire day’s conversations so we won’t even attempt it. However, we did do a short “official” interview with Alexis and here’s what she had to say…M.D. AB: It’s going pretty well. The weather is nice! (Laughs because it’s pouring outside). It’s been a good tour let just say that. PI: We wanted to take you out today and give you some downtime. What do you normally do during a day off from tour? AB: I like to catch up on my beauty rest. I like to relax as much as possible and zone out and chill. When I’m home in Clarksville I go to my Library and they have these rack of the old Harlequin Romance books and I’ll pick up stacks of them. They just let me walk out the door with 20 stacks of them. So when I’m in the van I’m usually just reading my Harlequin Romance books. PI: Let’s talk about the van. You’re the only woman in the band. How does that work in the van? AB: I enjoy myself immensely and it’s not like my guys are so “macho”. We all just hang out and get along so well. I don’t feel that I’m any different than them. We just chill and do normal stuff. I’m just one of the guys. PI What do you do to get back to being a girl?
AB: When nice interviewers take me out and I get to get my nails done. (Laughs) I don’t get pampered very often. So to get back to being a girl I start trying to do my makeup. I try to stay a little bit feminine, but that’s about it. I don’t do any spa treatments. You never hear me say “Guys drop me off, I need to get my eyebrows done and I need to be waxed!” That does not happen and I’m not a diva! PI: Could you ever see yourself becoming a diva? AB: Anybody could if their circumstances we’re different. I don’t know though, but I’d like to think not. It’s not just about me either. I’m sure my guys would of loved a day out and got their hands massaged. (Laughs) (PI) Next time we’ll bring the whole crew and everyone can get mani/pedis. (AB) I was just thinking about that when Alicia was doing my nails. She was massaging my hand and I was thinking that I’d feel like the biggest dope on the planet if I’d fall asleep. It felt so good. It’s crazy how something so small can feel so good. It was relaxing and felt so good. (PI) When I came back to check on you I thought you we’re sleeping. (AB) Laughs. I was nodding off. PI: So we took you and Nadia, your Merch girl out, and learned a lot from talking to you guys. You speak highly of her. AB: She’s so awesome and not a lot of people realize how hard that job is. We’re the only girls in the band and I said if I’m coming so is she! (Laughs) I used to do merch so I know what type of job it is. It is really hard. You have these really heavy crates full of merch, you have to do count outs, you have to be a people person which sometimes can be really hard. She’s just really good at it. We try to keep it fun and not try to make it too much like a job. She’s able to do her job, but we still have fun. PI: Look into the future a little bit. What haven’t you done in this band yet that you want to do? AB: I want to go to Japan. I want to go to Australia. I want to go back over to the U.K. We went over there with Lacuna Coil not too long ago and it was really fun. Lacuna Coil is a different type of music than us, so we didn’t know what to expect, but it was great. I would like to do some more festivals. I just want to keep busy and moving. I feel like if the band stops to catch its breath we are going to derail. So I just want to keep busy all the time. (Cont’d)
PI: Is it too early to start asking about the third album? AB: We’re actually writing every day. Ian my drummer, who actually also plays guitar, and Chris, our guitarist, are writing machines. We just sit down and record ideas on our laptops and when we get off tour we’re gonna take 3 weeks, just get into a room, and throw all our ideas out on the table and piece stuff together. PI: Thanks for hanging out with us today and giving us a chance to get Plug’d In. AB: No, thanks so much, I had a blast!
How To Deal With Your Family After Z-Day By I Survived The Zombies They are your family, your significant others, and your children. You love them – for the most part. But now things are different. Zombies are running around and they’re eating people up faster than a greased pig through an air duct. Instinctively, you have switched into survival mode and rightfully so. What about your lazy, overweight, and possibly gay son who is whining cause he’s hungry – your wife who won’t stop pointing out everything that you are doing wrong – or your daughter who is too busy texting her BFF’s to notice what’s happening? You now have a huge liability and it’s called your family. So, how do you handle yourself? First, I’ll tell you what I would do. Instantly kill them all and start a new family. Unfortunately, most, if not all of you will probably try something else first. So, let’s approach this from an objective perspective, shall we? First off, it is NOT ok to be overweight after Z-day. The good news is that little sonny boy should slim down fast now that he doesn’t have an endless supply of ding dongs in his mouth (told you he was gay). Laziness is a function of environment. Take away video games, ipods, and porno mags and he’s sure to become more active. Actually, let him keep the porno mags, it’s probably his biggest calorie burner. Now all you have to do is teach that little turd how to shoot a gun and you got yourself a semi-decent little helper. And don’t worry if he turns out to be gay, in a postapocalyptic world we may all wind up going gay. Who knows what kind of partner selections will be left after the Zombies eat all the babes. Onto your annoying wife. You married her for a reason so she must be good at something besides making your ears bleed. In the Post-Apocalyptic world she will need to contribute. So what if she used to yell at you? So what if she withheld the goods unless you took out the garbage every night? That shit may have been fine pre Z-day, even though it still makes you a pussy, but not anymore. Here’s the fix, and it’s an easy one… raise your voice to her. Tell that broad to shut the fuck up and watch how quickly she will snap into place. Surprised? You see, when survival instincts kick in women have a tendency to revert back to the primitive mind set where they are no longer looking for jewelry, designer hand bags, or BMW’s. They just want a strong man to keep them alive and tell them what to do. And for all of you women reading this, it’s pointless to be offended, you can’t fight science. Plus, we’re talking about all those bitchy women out there, not you. You’re on a zombie website for balls-sake. You’re good in our book. Now, your daughter is going to be tricky. She has no real life skills other than texting with the speed of a mongoose and snapping her gum louder than a Howitzer. So how the hell can you utilize her? The truth is you really can’t. But your wife can, so let that bitch deal with it. You’ve known these people a long time and understand their strengths and weaknesses. Before you decide to write them off, and by that I mean kill them of course, give them a chance to shine. People are capable of extraordinary things when faced with extraordinary circumstances. And if they do turn out to be duds, you can always use a little extra zombie bait lying around!
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Published on May 19, 2012